Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2008, January 25

Book of Mormon: My Critique of “Did Father Lehi Have Daughters Who Married the Sons of Ishmael?”

My critique of: Did Father Lehi Have Daughters Who Married the Sons of Ishmael?

The article was written by Sidney B. Sperry of the Maxwell Institute in Provo, Utah, 1995. Pp. 235–38 (However, the date at the end shows “1952” (and I guess that’s much better). Why the discrepancy? I don’t know. Keep that in mind, though–and remember there’s over 50 years here…)
(Original Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and do not represent the position of the Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)

Did Father Lehi Have Daughters Who Married the Sons of Ishmael?
Abstract: Although the beginning of Nephi’s record only mentions sons, Joseph Smith says the record of Lehi in the 116 missing manuscript pages refers to at least two of Ishmael’s sons marrying Lehi’s daughters. Nephi himself mentions his sisters at the end of his record. As no mention is made of further births to Lehi and Sariah after Jacob and Joseph, the assumption can be made that these sisters are the daughters who married Ishmael’s sons

And though there are two more pages, that’s about it, frankly, so I’ll leave it at that, with the link if you want to go read it all. (One reason I dislike some “scholarly” papers–take a short paragraph, fluff it up into two pages. This article is still not too bad, though–I’ve seen much worse by some professors writing on other topics…)

Here’s my favorite part of the article:
“The thesis of my article is reinforced and practically secured by a seldom-noticed and almost-forgotten statement of Nephi in describing the final separation of his followers from the dissident elements among the Nephites:”

because there’s this footnote:
“3. It must be recognized, of course, that the remote possibility exists that the “sisters” mentioned by Nephi were born to Lehi on this continent and were not the wives of Ishmael’s sons. That the birth of the girls is not mentioned agrees with good Oriental custom. That Lehi had at least four daughters is a possibility that must be recognized by all students of the Book of Mormon. However, I repeat that it is a remote possibility, particularly in light of 2 Nephi 3:1, in which Joseph is referred to as Lehi’s “last-born.” But to Orientals the terms first-born and last-born are applied mostly to sons.” (Which Orientals?)

I.e., “I sealed it tight, except for those two really big holes right there”.
Um… that means it’s not sealed!


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