Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


King Benjamin’s speech focuses almost entirely on service, repeating four variations of the word—servants, serve, served, and service—fifteen times in only eighteen verses. Benjamin gave the discourse in such a manner that his audience could have understood service in multiple ways. Given the significant temple setting for the discourse and the references to temple service in the Old Testament, Parry seeks to highlight the emphasis on temple service. To further strengthen his focus on temple service, Benjamin links service to the concept of blood on garments and his need to wash his garments of his people’s blood, bringing to mind the priests with blood on their garments from temple rituals, who were required to wash their garments. The temple setting, where sacrifices were made under the law of Moses, and the focus on service point to Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice—the supreme and final act of service.