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|Title||KnoWhy #438 - Why Do Biblical Psalms of Lament Show Up in the Book of Mormon? (1 Nephi 8:8)|
|Year of Publication||2018|
|Corporate Authors||Book of Mormon Central Staff|
|Publisher||Book of Mormon Central|
|Place Published||Springville, UT|
|Keywords||Intertextuality; Lament; Lehi (Prophet); Mourning; Psalms; Worship|
When tragedy struck God’s people in Old Testament times, it was common for them to respond, both as a community and as individuals, with “psalms of lament.” A psalm of lament is a song of complaint to the Lord regarding difficulties being endured, and a petition for His help. They were so common that they make up the largest category of psalm in the Bible.
Lehi and his family would certainly have been aware of this type of psalm, so it would be natural to expect that similar expressions of lament would show up in some form in the Book of Mormon. Selections actually do appear in the Book of Mormon approximately two dozen times.
Due to the large number of laments in the Book of Psalms and elsewhere in the Bible, it is clear that this form of expression was an important means of communicating one’s needs and desires to the Lord and petitioning His divine assistance.
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