“ye know that the children of Israel were in bondage” (1 Nephi 17:25)
“ye know that they were laden with tasks” (v. 25)
“ye know that it must needs be a good thing for them, that they should be brought out of bondage” (v. 25)
“ye know that Moses was commanded of the Lord to do that great work” (v. 26)
“ye know that by his word the waters of the Red Sea were divided hither and thither” (v. 26)
“ye know that the Egyptians were drowned in the Red Sea” (v. 27)
“ye also know that they were fed with manna in the wilderness” (v. 28)
“ye also know that Moses … smote the rock, and there came forth water” (v. 29)
“ye know that they were led forth by his matchless power” (v. 42)
“ye also know that … he can cause the earth that it shall pass away” (v. 46)
“ye know that by his word he can cause the rough places to be made smooth (v. 46)
After being shocked later in the chapter, Laman and Lemuel then reverse what they “know”:
“We know of a surety that the Lord is with thee” (1 Nephi 17:55).
“for we know that it is the power of the Lord that has shaken us” (1 Nephi 17:55).
Using irony, the reader is shown the difference between what Laman and Lemuel claim to “know” versus what they actually “know”. Where would Joseph Smith learn the skills to craft verbal irony like this, all while dictating a complex storyline?
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