Saturday, October 7, 2017

Cocoa Comfort


O Cozy Cocoa, Comfort Me!
(An Ode to My Drinking Problem)

A nectar of divine ambrosia pours
Into my mighty merry cocoa mug,
A sweet and happy mead of sorts that scores
Perfection as intoxicating drug.
The cherubim, chockfull of chocolate,
Such chubby children, cheerful and divine,
Make heaven’s happiness to percolate
Throughout my heart with ecstasy sublime.
The frothy foam  adorns my luscious lips
As I with bliss imbibe into my soul
That potion which for anyone who sips
Its silky sweetness makes the spirit whole.
I pray, sweet cozy cocoa, comfort me!
Imbue my soul with sweet serenity.

2017.10.07 © Aaron Jordan


Friday, September 8, 2017

Epistrophe

Epistrophe!  Epistrophe!  Not Dystrophy!  Epistrophe!

Epistrophe is, at least in theory, as simple as anaphora.  Whereas anaphora repeats beginnings, epistrophe repeats endings.  (The blog post about anaphora can be found here.)  In practice, however, epistrophe can be more subtle.

The OED, whose definition for anaphora is mysteriously unhelpful, does better with epistrophe: “The repetition of a word at the end of successive clauses or sentences.”[1]

Merriam-Webster does even better: “repetition of a word or expression at the end of successive phrases, clauses, sentences, or verses especially for rhetorical or poetic effect.”  The example cited is Lincoln’s “of the people, by the people, for the people.”[2]  (This is also an example of asyndeton, which is discussed here.)

The final sentence of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address contains both anaphora (via the word “that”) and epistrophe (via the phrase “the people”): “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”[3]

If you are asking how the phrase “the people” constitutes epistrophe when it does not come at the end of the sentence, the answer is that it comes at the end of three successive prepositional phrases within the sentence.  A measure of flexibility and imagination is usually a good idea when dealing with literary devices, because the language of words is usually not as precise as the mathematical language of numbers.

Epistrophe tends to be less obvious than anaphora, in large part because anaphora, with its pattern of repetitions hitting the reader up front at the beginning of successive clauses or phrases, tends to jump out right away, whereas epistrophe has to wait its turn until the end.  Moreover, perhaps for the same reason, epistrophe sometimes seems more embedded or camouflaged amid preceding and/or surrounding words than does anaphora.

Anaphora is the point man, the guy out front, the person we encounter first, the one who leads the charge.  Epistrophe is the guy bringing up the rear, the poor schlub who is more easily overlooked.  And often epistrophe seems to come in the murky middle of things rather than at the clear end.

Here are some examples of epistrophe.

Example #1:
“. . . he hath put it into my heart to say unto this people that the sword of justice hangeth over this people; and four hundred years pass not away save the sword of justice falleth upon this people.  Yea, heavy destruction awaiteth this people, and it surely cometh unto this people, and nothing can save this people save it be repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ, who surely shall come into the world, and shall suffer many things and shall be slain for his people.”  (Helaman 13:5–6, Book of Mormon.)

(Note that the first two instances of “this people,” occurring as they do within the same sentence, could also be characterized as an example of mesoteleuton, which is the repetition of a word or phrase at the middle and end of a sentence.  Note also how the single word “people” at the very end of the passage does not resonate the way the phrase “this people” does.)

Example #2:
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”  (1Corinthians 13:11, KJV.)  (Also asyndeton here.)

Example #3:
“Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.”  (2 Corinthians 7:2, KJV.)  (Also asyndeton here.)

Example #4:
“And said, O Lord God of Israel, why is this come to pass in Israel, that there should be to day one tribe lacking in Israel?”  (Judges 21:3, KJV.)

Example #5:
“For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray, ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray.”  (2 Nephi 32:8, Book of Mormon.)

Example #6:
“Now, there is a death which is called a temporal death; and the death of Christ shall loose the bands of this temporal death, that all shall be raised from this temporal death.”  (Alma 11:42, Book of Mormon.)

Example #7:
“And now it came to pass that all this was done in Mormon, yea, by the waters of Mormon, in the forest that was near the waters of Mormon; yea, the place of Mormon, the waters of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, how beautiful are they . . .”  (Mosiah 18:30, Book of Mormon.)  (Some asyndeton here as well.)

Example #8:
“. . . a people which I knew not shall serve me.  Strangers shall submit themselves unto me: as soon as they hear, they shall be obedient unto me.”  (2 Samuel 22:44–45, KJV.)

Example #9:
“. . . and they called the land Helam.  And it came to pass that they did multiply and prosper exceedingly in the land of Helam; and they built a city, which they called the city of Helam.”  (Mosiah 23:19–20, Book of Mormon.)

Example #10:
“And now, my brethren, how is it possible that ye can lay hold upon every good thing?  And now I come to that faith, of which I said I would speak; and I will tell you the way whereby ye may lay hold on every good thing.  For behold, God knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting, behold, he sent angels to minister unto the children of men, to make manifest concerning the coming of Christ; and in Christ there should come every good thing.  (Moroni 7:20–22, Book of Mormon.)

Example #11:
“For this ordinance belongeth to my house, and cannot be acceptable to me, only in the days of your poverty, wherein ye are not able to build a house unto me.  But I command you, all ye my saints, to build a house unto me; and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me; and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me.”  (Doctrine and Covenants 124:30–31.)  (Note that the phrase “to build a house to me” also occurs in verse 33.  Note further the multiple repetitions of the phrase “acceptable to/unto me” in verses 30–37.)

Example #12:
“And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free.”  (Mosiah 5:8, Book of Mormon.)

Example #13:
And it came to pass that we did go up to battle against the Lamanites; and I, even I, in my old age, did go up to battle against the Lamanites.”  (Mosiah 10:10, Book of Mormon.)

Example #14:
“Therefore he is as though there was no redemption made, being an enemy to God; and also is the devil an enemy to God.”  (Mosiah 16:5, Book of Mormon.)

Example #15:
“I say unto you, unless this be the case, they must be cast off; and this I know, because I was like to be cast off.”  (Mosiah 27:27, Book of Mormon.)

Example #16:
“. . . and it was a cause of much affliction to the church; yea, it was the cause of much trial with the church.”  (Alma 1:23, Book of Mormon.)

Example #17:
“And he that will contend against the word of the Lord, let him be accursed; and he that shall deny these things, let him be accursed; . . .”  (Ether 4:8, Book of Mormon.)

Example #18:
“And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord . . .” (1 Samuel 2:1, KJV.)  (Note also verses 31 and 32, where the phrase “that there shall not be an old man in thine house” is repeated, though it is not the cleanest example.)

Example #19:
“Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness.  Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.  And now, my son, all men that are in a state of nature, or I would say, in a carnal state, are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; they are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness.  (Alma 41:10–11, Book of Mormon.)

(This is not the best example because of the clauses intervening between the second and third occurrences of “happiness,” but the first and second occurrences are a clean example.  Note also that the third occurrence of “happiness” qualifies as epanalepsis, because it constitutes a repetition of a word after intervening matter.)

Example #20:
“For I will, saith the Lord, that they shall hide up their treasures unto me; and cursed be they who hide not up their treasures unto me; for none hideth up their treasures unto me save it be the righteous; and he that hideth not up his treasures unto me, cursed is he, and also the treasure, and none shall redeem it because of the curse of the land.”  (Helaman 13:19, Book of Mormon.)  (The first two occurrences are the cleanest part of this example.)

Example #21:
“When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands.  When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.  When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.  (Deuteronomy 24:19–21, KJV.) 
                         
(This is not the cleanest example.  The first occurrence does not come at the end of sentence.  Moreover, the three occurrences represent complete independent clauses in and of themselves rather than words or phrases occurring at the end of successive clauses.  The repetition here feels like a Hebrew poetic style rather than a typical figure of speech at the sentence level.  But the example illustrates the principle, especially if we are flexible in applying that principle.)

Example #22:
“O Israel, trust thou in the Lord: he is their help and their shield.  O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord: he is their help and their shield.  Ye that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord: he is their help and their shield.”  (Psalms 115:9–11, KJV.) 

(This example is problematic, just like Deuteronomy 24:19–21, because entire independent clauses are being repeated, and it feels like a Hebrew poetic style, but the example still illustrates the general principle of repetition at the end.  Note also the first part of the third sentence: “Ye that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord . . .”  This also qualifies as epistrophe, because the phrase “the Lord” comes at the end of two successive clauses, one subordinate, the other independent—which means that we have in Psalms 115:9–11 an epistrophe within an epistrophe.  Note also the clause “but in the name of the Lord will I destroy them” at the end of three successive verses in Psalms 118:10–12, KJV.)






[1] "epistrophe, n.". OED Online. June 2017. Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/63573?redirectedFrom=epistrophe (accessed September 08, 2017).
[2] Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed. (CD-ROM).
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gettysburg_Address#Text_of_the_Gettysburg_Address

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Anaphora

            Anaphora is defined in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary as “repetition of a word or expression at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, sentences, or verses especially for rhetorical or poetic effect.”  An example is Lincoln’s statement, “we cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground.”[1]

            This is one case where the OED definition is not helpful: “The repetition of the same word or phrase in several successive clauses.”[2]  That definition is too broad.  It would apply to various figures of speech, including anaphora, epistrophe, mesodiplosis, conduplicatio, repetitio, symploce, and arguably others.

            Anaphora is so straightforward that little commentary is necessary.  A writer might choose to use anaphora for the same reasons that a writer might use any form of repetition: to create emphasis, to set up a parallel structure, to make an idea more memorable, to establish a rhythm or a mood, to achieve an effective sound, to connect otherwise disparate ideas by anchoring them to a common introductory word or phrase, or simply to apply a particular style or a method of organization.

            Anaphora in the Scriptures

            Anaphora abounds in the scriptures.  Following are salient examples.

            Example #1:
            “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
            Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
            Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
            Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
            Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
            Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
            Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
            Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
            Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.”  (Matthew 5:3–11, KJV.)  (Note also the parallelism and the use of mesodiplosis with the word “for,” especially in the phrase “for they.”)

            Example #2:
            “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”  (Ecclesiastes 3:1–8, KJV.) (Note the use of antithesis in the contrasting pairs.)

            Example #3:
            “That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.”  (Zephaniah 1:15–16, KJV.)

            Example #4:
            “And it came to pass that I saw a mist of darkness on the face of the land of promise; and I saw lightnings, and I heard thunderings, and earthquakes, and all manner of tumultuous noises; and I saw the earth and the rocks, that they rent; and I saw mountains tumbling into pieces; and I saw the plains of the earth, that they were broken up; and I saw many cities that they were sunk; and I saw many that they were burned with fire; and I saw many that did tumble to the earth, because of the quaking thereof. And it came to pass after I saw these things, I saw the vapor of darkness, that it passed from off the face of the earth; and behold, I saw multitudes who had not fallen because of the great and terrible judgments of the Lord.  And I saw the heavens open, and the Lamb of God descending out of heaven; and he came down and showed himself unto them.  And I also saw and bear record that the Holy Ghost fell upon twelve others; and they were ordained of God, and chosen.”  (1 Nephi 12:4–7, Book of Mormon.)

            Example #5:
            “Ye say that this people is a free people.  Behold, I say they are in bondage.  Ye say that those ancient prophecies are true.  Behold, I say that ye do not know that they are true.  Ye say that this people is a guilty and a fallen people, because of the transgression of a parent.  Behold, I say that a child is not guilty because of its parents.  And ye also say that Christ shall come.  But behold, I say that ye do not know that there shall be a Christ.  And ye say also that he shall be slain for the sins of the world—”  (Alma 30:24–26, Book of Mormon.)  (Note the use of antithesis and parallelism.  This passage could be characterized as an example of two instances of anaphora alternating with each other.)

            Example #6:
            “If thou art called to pass through tribulation; if thou art in perils among false brethren; if thou art in perils among robbers; if thou art in perils by land or by sea; If thou art accused with all manner of false accusations; if thine enemies fall upon thee; if they tear thee from the society of thy father and mother and brethren and sisters; and if with a drawn sword thine enemies tear thee from the bosom of thy wife, and of thine offspring, and thine elder son, although but six years of age, shall cling to thy garments, and shall say, My father, my father, why can’t you stay with us? O, my father, what are the men going to do with you? and if then he shall be thrust from thee by the sword, and thou be dragged to prison, and thine enemies prowl around thee like wolves for the blood of the lamb; And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.”  (Doctrine and Covenants 122:5–7.)

            Example #7:
            See Deuteronomy 28 for a Biblical chapter loaded with anaphora.  Pay attention to the words “Blessed,” “Cursed,” and “The Lord shall.”

            Anaphora in LDS Sermons

            Example #8:
            “Here we played together as our children grew, and here we prayed together. Here we and our children came to know our Heavenly Father, that He lives, and listens, and answers.”[3]  (President Gordon B. Hinckley.)  (President Hinckley was especially fond of anaphora.  This and the following four examples all come from a single chapter in the Gordon B. Hinckley student manual.)

            Example #9:
            “We have thousands of good bishops in this Church. We have thousands of good quorum officers. We have thousands of wonderful Relief Society women. We have home teachers and visiting teachers.”[4]  (President Gordon B. Hinckley.)

            Example #10:
            “Behold your little ones. Pray with them. Pray for them and bless them. The world into which they are moving is a complex and difficult world. They will run into heavy seas of adversity. They will need all the strength and all the faith you can give them while they are yet near you. And they also will need a greater strength which comes of a higher power. They must do more than go along with what they find. They must lift the world, and the only levers they will have are the example of their own lives and the powers of persuasion that will come of their testimonies and their knowledge of the things of God. They will need the help of the Lord. While they are young, pray with them that they may come to know that source of strength which shall then always be available in every hour of need.”[5]  (President Gordon B. Hinckley.)  (Pay attention to the word “they.”  Also note the minimal anaphora at the beginning with the word “pray.”  Finally, the phrase “pray with them” could be characterized as an example of inclusio, because it occurs near the beginning and the end of the passage.)

            Example #11:
            “Your daily conversations with him will bring peace into your hearts and a joy into your lives that can come from no other source. … Your love will strengthen. Your appreciation for one another will grow.  Your children will be blessed with a sense of security that comes of living in a home where dwells the Spirit of God.”[6]  (President Gordon B. Hinckley.)

            Example #12:
            “They will know and love parents who respect one another, and a spirit of respect will grow in their own hearts. They will experience the security of kind words quietly spoken. They will be sheltered by a father and mother who, living honestly with God, live honestly with one another and with their fellowmen. They will mature with a sense of appreciation, having heard their parents in prayer express gratitude for blessings great and small. They will grow with faith in the living God.”[7]  (President Gordon B. Hinckley.)

            Example #13:
            “To abide in God’s love in this sense means to submit fully to His will.  It means to accept His correction when needed, ‘for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.’  It means to love and serve one another as Jesus has loved and served us.  It means to learn ‘to abide the law of a celestial kingdom’ so that we can ‘abide a celestial glory.’”[8]  (Elder D. Todd Christofferson.)





[1] 11th ed., on CD-ROM.
[2] "anaphora, n.". OED Online. June 2017. Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/7083?redirectedFrom=anaphora (accessed September 02, 2017).
[3] Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley, 2016, Chapter 11: “Home—the Basis of a Righteous Life,” p. 165.  This chapter can be read here.
[4] Ibid at 169.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid at 170.
[7] Ibid.
[8] Ensign, November 2016, "Abide in My Love," p. 49.  This talk can be read here.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Asyndeton

            The OED defines asyndeton as “A rhetorical figure which omits the conjunction.”[1]  So instead of writing, “The intriguing stranger was tall, dark, and handsome,” a writer using asyndeton would write, “The intriguing stranger was tall, dark, handsome.”

            Why would a writer use asyndeton?  Arthur Quinn states two reasons, but cautions that these two are not exclusive or exhaustive.

            First, omitting the conjunction can speed things up, and this acceleration applies not only to the reading of the words, but also to the events that those words are describing.  For example, Quinn cites Caesar’s famous statement about Gaul: “I came, I saw, I conquered.”  The asyndeton not only makes the statement more brief, but perhaps also emphasizes the speed with which Caesar conquered the place after he came and saw it.

            In a subtle way, the asyndeton here helps to characterize Caesar himself as a quick, decisive, and powerful general—or perhaps I should say, as a quick, decisive, powerful general.  Like Caesar, asyndeton cuts to the punch and does not mess around.  Unlike most writers, including yours truly, asyndeton leans toward taciturnity—it is more laconic than loquacious.  Thus, asyndeton gives the writer a tool to temper the tone.

            Second, omitting the conjunction can make the items in the list be read as “constituting an inseparable whole” instead of as representing individual, separate items.  Quinn cites Abraham Lincoln’s famous quotation from the Gettysburg address: “That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”  The repetition of people (an example of epistrophe) further contributes to this effect in this case.[2]

            What are some other possible reasons for using asyndeton?  Going along with the notion of brevity, asyndeton gives a statement the feeling of being clipped.  Also, when the reader is instinctively expecting a conjunction before the final item, but instead is hit with the final item early, and with no conjunction accompanying it, the result can be to emphasize that final item.

            I think of a statement by Mrs. Drysdale in an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies when she expresses the desire to be “slim, trim, beautiful.”  She not only employs asyndeton, but also pauses with each comma and pronounces the final item with extra gusto in her voice.  Add to this the fact that beautiful occupies the final position in the sentence, which is a power position, and she achieves a triple emphasis.  Perhaps this helps to explain, at least in part, why her statement was not only funny but also memorable.

            I would not overemphasize the power of asyndeton to speed things up, because in fact only a single conjunction is being omitted, and conjunctions are tiny words.  Only the final item in the series is accelerated; all the other items in the list remain unchanged.  For this reason, asyndeton is generally less emphatic than its opposite, polysyndeton, which usually adds a conjunction to every single item.  Polysyndeton can hammer away at every single item in the list, giving each one extra oomph, whereas asyndeton merely brings the final item closer to the preceding items.  The effect is more subtle, which might help to explain why asyndeton is often used by highbrow academic types.  It has that delicious, snooty, liberal-chic quality to it, like the subtle smoky savor of smoked Gouda—though, of course, any writer of any political or gustatory persuasion can relish the smooth staccato subtleties of asyndeton.

            Note the following warning from Quinn: “Too frequent use of the asyndeton . . . will give to prose a jerky, unconnected feel.”[3]

Examples of Asyndeton in the Scriptures

            I wrote in a previous blog post (which can be accessed here) that polysyndeton might be the most common literary device in the scriptures.  Not so with asyndeton, which is far more rare.  But here are some examples.

Example #1:
 “The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.  Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.  Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?  Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them.”  (Exodus 15:9–12, KJV.)  (Note also how the omission of conjunctions can produce comma splices.)

Example #2:
“He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.  As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.”  (Deuteronomy 32:10–12, KJV.)

Example #3:
“And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses.”  (1 Kings 22:4, KJV.)  (Zeugma here as well.)

Example #4:
“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”  (Mark 7:21–23, KJV.)

Example #5:
“They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.  Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.”  (Luke 17:27–29.)  (Note the pinch of polysyndeton mixed in.)

Example #6:
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,  Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.  Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  (1 Corinthians 13:4–8, KJV.)

Example #7:
“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (1 Corinthians 13:13, KJV.)

Example #8:
“But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.”  (2 Timothy 3:10–11, KJV.)

Example #9:
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”  (2 Timothy 3:16, KJV.)

Example #10:
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”  (2 Timothy 4:2, KJV.)

Example #11:
“For they are carnal and devilish, and the devil has power over them; yea, even that old serpent that did beguile our first parents, which was the cause of their fall; which was the cause of all mankind becoming carnal, sensual, devilish, knowing evil from good, subjecting themselves to the devil.”  (Mosiah 16:3, Book of Mormon.)

Example #12:
“And he became a great hinderment to the prosperity of the church of God; stealing away the hearts of the people; causing much dissension among the people; giving a chance for the enemy of God to exercise his power over them.”  (Mosiah 27:9, Book of Mormon.)

Example #13:
“But if she observe not to do whatsoever I have commanded her, I will visit her according to all her works, with sore affliction, with pestilence, with plague, with sword, with vengeance, with devouring fire.”  (Doctrine and Covenants 97:26.)

Example #14:
“Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;  That your incomings may be in the name of the Lord, that your outgoings may be in the name of the Lord, that all your salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with uplifted hands unto the Most High—”  (Doctrine and Covenants 109:8–9.)





[1] "asyndeton, n.". OED Online. June 2017. Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/12363?redirectedFrom=asyndeton (accessed August 28, 2017).
[2] Arthur Quinn, Figures of Speech: 60 Ways to Turn a Phrase (Salt Lake City: Gibbs M. Smith, Inc., 1982), 7.
[3] Ibid at 10.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Soviet Saviors



Soviet Saviors

A hundred years ago emerged a nation
Whose leaders with the devil made a pact
To reenact the Genesis creation,
Except with God omitted from the act.
For God turned out to be an evil fool
Whose plan could never save humanity,
But communism gave these men the tool
By which they’d make God’s children truly free.
By politics correcting God’s cruel errors,
They sought by force to make us free and equal.
Yet notwithstanding all their bloody terrors,
The world still waits to see the promised sequel.
This paradox these killers failed to fix:
Equality and liberty don’t mix.

June 24, 2017 © Aaron Jordan


Friday, June 30, 2017

God’s True Love and Living, Loving Truth


God’s Love and Truth

Will people live the truth who love it not?
Mere truth, as truth, propels with little force.
What love for truth can live when truth is aught
But truth directed by love’s gentle course?
Can love stay love that stays not true to truth?
True love is honest, though the truth be cruel.
What truth stays true that stays from love aloof?
Hard truth by love untempered plays the fool.
As gentle heat that warms but does not burn,
As kindly light that shines but does not blind,
So gentle love to truth a heart can turn,
So kindly truth to love inspire the mind.
If love by truth can die, and truth by love,
Both live when Spirit-filled by God above.

June 26, 2017 © Aaron Jordan


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Marriage to My Lovely Lover



Infatuation blinds the lover’s eye.
It heats the heart, but in the process numbs it.
And flesh aflame with lust doth simply lie,
On true love prosecutes a false assumpsit.
Outside of marriage, love by lust doth rot,
And love, once dead, leaves lust to fade away—
Such empty, broken vessels, once so hot,
Now shattered shards of lonely, cold dismay.
The heart alone knows joy—the flesh mere pleasure.
Base lust and noble love, engaged in war,
Must marry to make peace as blended treasure,
With lust subsumed in love’s triumphant soar.
Thus marriage safely gives to passion life.
I love my lovely lover—my sweet wife.

June 17, 2017 © Aaron Jordan