Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Book of Mormon, Books, Helaman, Language, Book of Mormon as Literature, Notable People, Samuel the Lamanite


The wide-ranging sermon of Samuel the Lamanite, spoken from the top of the city wall of Zarahemla, exhibits poetic features in a censuring passage—features that bear similarities to laments found in the Bible, most notably in the Psalms. Like the laments in the Bible, those in Samuel’s speech show contacts with worship. In distinction to the biblical laments, but like the Thanksgiving Hymns of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the poetic pieces in Samuel’s sermon reveal a set of prophecies that find fulfillment in later periods, including the days of Mormon, the compiler and editor of the Book of Mormon.