What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
A couple of weeks ago I noticed in the scriptures something I had learned from a Hugh Nibley article a few years back: cognate accusatives. They are a literary element found in Hebrew, also making an extensive appearance in the Book of Mormon.
A Students’s Dictionary for Biblical and Theological Studies defines the cognate accusative as, “A noun, derived from the same root as the verb, that defines, explains, or strengthens (emphasizes) the verbal idea” (Huey and Corley 1983:45).
This page from Ohio State defines it as “the easiest form of the internal accusative to identify; it is called a “cognate accusative” because the noun in the accusative case uses a same linguistic stem or root as (in other words, it is cognate with) the stem or root of the verb.”
cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry (Genesis 27:34)
we have dreamed a dream (Genesis 40:8)
vowed a vow (Judges 11:30)
thundered with a great thunder (1 Samuel 7:10)
lamented with this lamentation (2 Samuel 1:17)
devise devices against Jeremiah (Jer. 18:18)
Book of Mormon
curse them with a sore curse (1 Ne. 2:23)
I have dreamed a dream (1 Ne. 8:2)
yoketh them with a yoke (1 Ne. 13:5)
work a great and marvelous work (1 Ne. 14:7)
desire which I desired (Enos 1:13)
succor those that stand in need of your succor (Mosiah 4:16)
taxed with a tax (Mosiah 7:15)
And that, ladies and gents, is another example of why the Book of Mormon is of God. You’d be hard pressed to convince me that an unlearned boy in rural New York knew anything about Hebraic literary patterns (chiasmus being another example). While such things should not serve as the only proof of the Book of Mormon’s validity, they are indeed interesting and reaffirming. I testify that the Book of Mormon is true. It has changed my life for the better, and in it I find priceless counsel, wisdom, and guidance.