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Where would Joseph Smith have read all about the traditions of ancient covenant renewals?

In Mosiah 1-6 we read of King Benjamin’s address. Stephen D. Ricks explains how these chapters contain all the expected elements of the Feast of Tabernacles in which Israelites renewed their covenant with God. 

Ricks goes on to say:

Six elements of covenant renewal can be found in Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Joshua: (1) the king/prophet gives a preamble that introduces God as the one making the covenant or that introduces his prophet as spokesman for God; (2) the king/prophet gives a brief review of God’s relations with Israel in the past; (3) the king/prophet notes the terms of the covenant, listing specific commandments and obligations that God expected Israel to keep; (4) the people bear witness in formal statements that they accept the covenant; (5) the king/prophet lists the blessings and curses for obedience or disobedience to the covenant; and (6) the king/prophet makes provisions for depositing a written copy of the covenant in a safe and sacred place and for reading its contents to the people in the future.

In addition, the ideal was that the new king take office before the death of the old one, and this transfer of power was connected with the ceremony where the people make or renew their covenant with God. Interestingly, each of these features is found in Mosiah 1–6….

Stephen D. Ricks, “King, Coronation, and Covenant in Mosiah 1–6,” in Rediscovering the Book of Mormon, edited by John L. Sorenson and Melvin J. Thorne (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co.; Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1991), Chapter 19. 

What are the odds that King Benjamin’s speech would include all the elements of ancient covenant renewal?


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