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|Title||Lesson 21 - Life in the Desert, Lehi the Poet — A Desert Idyll|
|Publication Type||Manual Lesson|
|Year of Publication||1957|
|Authors||Nibley, Hugh W.|
|Manual Title||An Approach to the Book of Mormon|
|Publisher||The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints|
|Place Published||Salt Lake City|
|Keywords||Arabia; Lehi (Prophet); Plagiarism; Poetry; William Shakespeare|
One of the most revealing things about Lehi is the nature of his great eloquence. It must not be judged by modern or western standards, as people are prone to judge the Book of Mormon as literature. In this lesson we take the case of a bit of poetry recited extempore by Lehi to his two sons to illustrate certain peculiarities of the Oriental idiom and especially to serve as a test-case in which a number of very strange and exacting conditions are most rigorously observed in the Book of Mormon account. Those are the conditions under which ancient desert poetry was composed. Some things that appear at first glance to be most damning to the Book of Mormon, such as the famous passage in 2 Ne. 1:14 about no traveler returning from the grave, turn out on closer inspection to provide striking confirmation of its correctness.
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