Sunday, October 20, 2013

Book of Mormon Word Usage: Attend

Although the English word attend has many meanings, the two uses in the Book of Mormon only really cover one of them, the second meaning in Webster's 1928 dictionary: "To be present; to accompany." This can be seen in the two appearances (both in Alma):
Now these are the circumstances which attended them in their journeyings, for they had many afflictions; they did suffer much, both in body and in mind, such as hunger, thirst and fatigue, and also much labor in the spirit. (Alma 17:5)

And there were some who said that Ammon was sent by the Great Spirit to afflict them because of their iniquities; and that it was the Great Spirit that had always attended the Nephites, who had ever delivered them out of their hands; and they said that it was this Great Spirit who had destroyed so many of their brethren, the Lamanites. (Alma 19:27)
It may be of some significance that the subject of these verbs is never a mortal, instead being less tangible things such as "hunger, thirst, and fatigue," or what the Lamanites described as "the Great Spirit." But of all the things that could attend someone, the Great Spirit is certainly one of the most desirable.

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