I’ve been reading Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon most recently. Today I read in the “Hebraisms and other Peculiarities” chapter a section on a poetic form called “climax” (which means “ladder” in Greek), which was discovered in 1898 by a biblical scholar. The definition of this poetic form is described as follows: “Climax occurs when the same word or words found at the end of one clause are repeated at or near the beginning of the next clause.” (Echoes, pg 166)
The book then shares some examples of climaxes found in the Bible as well as the Book of Mormon. I thought the one found in Moroni 8:25-26 was beautiful and wanted to share it. I will break it down as it is broken down in the book to emphasize the use of climax:
And the first fruits of repentance is
baptism cometh by faith unto
the fulfilling the commandments; and
the fulfilling the commandments bringeth
remission of sins; And the
remission of sins bringeth
meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of
meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the
Holy Ghost, which
Comforter filleth with hope and perfect
love endureth by diligence unto prayer,
until the end shall come, when all Saints shall well with God.
If I hadn’t read about this poetic form, I would have read right over it and missed great symbolic purpose. I think it’s awesome to see how this is like a ladder, or climax in that each step builds on the other and at the top of the ladder is love, which is the greatest commandment. Even better, it doesn’t just stop there. The verses tell us how we can maintain our love and the result (dwelling with God) if we are diligent in keeping love in our hearts.
What are your thoughts as you read this? Also, do you know of any other examples in the scriptures where this poetic form is used?