Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2009, August 28

“Book of Mormon: Critique of Giddianhi’s Letter to Lachoneus” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Critique of Giddianhi’s Letter to Lachoneus”
grego
(c) 2009

3 Nephi 3 contains Giddianhi’s letter to Lachoneus. (Gaddianhi is the leader of the Gadianton robbers; Lachoneus is the leader of the Nephites and those who joined them.) This will be a critique of that letter.

3 Nephi 3:1 AND now it came to pass that in the sixteenth year from the coming of Christ, Lachoneus, the governor of the land, received an epistle from the leader and the governor of this band of robbers; and these were the words which were written, saying:

3 Nephi 3:2 Lachoneus, most noble and chief governor of the land, behold, I write this epistle unto you, and do give unto you exceedingly great praise because of your firmness, and also the firmness of your people, in maintaining that which ye suppose to be your right and liberty; yea, ye do stand well, as if ye were supported by the hand of a god, in the defence of your liberty, and your property, and your country, or that which ye do call so.

grego: flattery, flattery, flattery!
“That which ye *suppose* to be…”
“*as if* ye were supported by the hand of a god”
“or that which ye do call so”
–all phrases to both flatter yet cause questioning/ confusion

-=-=-=

3 Nephi 3:3 And it seemeth a pity unto me, most noble Lachoneus, that ye should be so foolish and vain as to suppose that ye can stand against so many brave men who are at my command, who do now at this time stand in their arms, and do await with great anxiety for the word–Go down upon the Nephites and destroy them.

3 Nephi 3:4 And I, knowing of their unconquerable spirit, having proved them in the field of battle, and knowing of their everlasting hatred towards you because of the many wrongs which ye have done unto them, therefore if they should come down against you they would visit you with utter destruction.

grego: Ah, wonderful Giddianhi has *feelings* of pity when he sees his foolish and vain enemies decide not to do as he wishes they would.
“Brave men”, “proved… in the the field of battle”: yeah, right! More like, pillagers, robbers, guerillas—who made a living bullying out-numbered, caught-off-guard, defenseless, spread-out civilian families…
“Unconquerable”: yeah, when you fight like that, of course…

-=-=-=

3 Nephi 3:5 Therefore I have written this epistle, sealing it with mine own hand, feeling for your welfare, because of your firmness in that which ye believe to be right, and your noble spirit in the field of battle.

grego: Ah, the first part of “bad cop, good cop”! “I feel for you, I know you’re basically a good guy”…

-=-=-=

3 Nephi 3:6 Therefore I write unto you, desiring that ye would yield up unto this my people, your cities, your lands, and your possessions, rather than that they should visit you with the sword and that destruction should come upon you.

3 Nephi 3:7 Or in other words, yield yourselves up unto us, and unite with us and become acquainted with our secret works, and become our brethren that ye may be like unto us–not our slaves, but our brethren and partners of all our substance.

grego: Giddianhi has a good double bind here: “*Either* yield *or* get destroyed”. A or B, which one? We’ll see that Lachoneus chooses C.
And here is the “good cop’s” request: “Just give it all up! We won’t give you problems. All will be ok. Even though we did kill your families and relatives and friends… Even though we are living off of their stuff… Even though we will take at least half of all your stuff… Even though after we take over government we will have no way to have food or live…” Yeah, “partners of all our substance”… All that means is, you can still have some of your stuff… I mean, after everyone’s a robber, who else gets robbed??

Here’s a funny part: Nothwithstanding my men’s “everlasting hatred towards you because of the many wrongs which ye have done unto them” (v. 3), you can still “unite with us… and become our brethren… and [full] partners”!! That makes sense, eh?

-=-=-=

3 Nephi 3:8 And behold, I swear unto you, if ye will do this, with an oath, ye shall not be destroyed; but if ye will not do this, I swear unto you with an oath, that on the morrow month I will command that my armies shall come down against you, and they shall not stay their hand and shall spare not, but shall slay you, and shall let fall the sword upon you even until ye shall become extinct.

grego: “I promise… no, really. “I promise you won’t be destroyed”—even though there’s no way to live/ survive after all your stuff is gone! I promise when we all start to starve, we’ll take turns dying off…
“[Next] month?” Frankly, that’s a decent amount of time to prepare… Very bad mistake. He should have given two weeks at the absolute most, then dropped leaflets about the proposal all over the villages.
“[We’ll kill you]”—which is what they had been doing all along, and nothing more than what the Nephites were expecting…

-=-=-=

3 Nephi 3:9 And behold, I am Giddianhi; and I am the governor of this the secret society of Gadianton; which society and the works thereof I know to be good; and they are of ancient date and they have been handed down unto us.

grego: Either ancient or brand new, that’s the way the marketing goes…
“I know they are good because they let me be a ruler over others, and I don’t have to work for my living—I just have to let others do all the work, then kill them and steal their stuff. How is this *not* good? What, robbing, raping, ravaging, killing innocent people, including children, isn’t that bad, come on…”

-=-=-=

3 Nephi 3:10 And I write this epistle unto you, Lachoneus, and I hope that ye will deliver up your lands and your possessions, without the shedding of blood, that this my people may recover their rights and government, who have dissented away from you because of your wickedness in retaining from them their rights of government, and except ye do this, I will avenge their wrongs. I am Giddianhi.

grego: I hope we won’t have to die, so just give up and let us win, ok?!
And once more, from The Ultimate Rebel Leader’s Handbook: “I am the good man, avenging the wrongs that have been done to these poor people because you wicked rulers took away their rights.”

All in all, a very poor offer. I mean, what was in it for the Nephites? It’s clear that Giddianhi should have had a marketing counselor…

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“Heavenly Father’s/God the Father’s Voice in the Book of Mormon” by grego

“Heavenly Father’s/God the Father’s Voice in the Book of Mormon
grego
(c) 2009

Does Heavenly Father/God the Father speak in the Book of Mormon? Yes, He does. What is His purpose in doing so? Each time, it is to testify/ witness of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Let’s count the times…

**In 2 Nephi 31, to Nephi:
2 Nephi 31:11 And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son.
2 Nephi 31:15 And I heard a voice from the Father, saying: Yea, the words of my Beloved are true and faithful. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.
2 Nephi 31:20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

**In Helaman 5, to the converted Lamanites:
Helaman 5:46 And it came to pass that there came a voice unto them, yea, a pleasant voice, as if it were a whisper, saying:
Helaman 5:47 Peace, peace be unto you, because of your faith in my Well Beloved, who was from the foundation of the world.

**In 3 Nephi 11, to the people who remained in the land:
3 Nephi 11:6 And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard; and it said unto them:
3 Nephi 11:7 Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name–hear ye him.

(Did I miss any?)

2009, August 26

“Critique of FAIR Website’s Book of Mormon Article: ‘Lamanite Curse'” by grego

“Critique of FAIR Website’s Book of Mormon Article: ‘Lamanite Curse'”

grego
(c)2009

This is a critique of the FAIR website’s article, “Lamanite curse”, found at: http://en.fairmormon.org/Lamanite_curse .

FAIR Article:
“Criticism
* Critics claim that the Church believed that Lamanites who accepted the Gospel would become light-skinned.
* “Mormon folklore” claims that Native Americans and Polynesians carry a curse based upon “misdeeds on the part of their ancestors.”

grego: Well, I also don’t believe either of those, but the article doesn’t answer them as much as it tries to do other things…

-=-=-=

FAIR Article: “The Book of Mormon, however, sometimes does call the mark a curse, as shown in Alma 3:6-7.
And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men. And their brethren sought to destroy them, therefore they were cursed; and the Lord God set a mark upon them, yea, upon Laman and Lemuel, and also the sons of Ishmael, and Ishmaelitish women. Alma 3:6-7 (emphasis added)

Although this passage refers to the mark as the curse, it later makes a distinction between the curse and the mark. These passages also indicate that the curse was applied prior to the mark. [2]”

grego: Whoops, one passage is not “sometimes”. However, if other references had been given, that would be “sometimes”.

-=-=-=

FAIR Article: “What is the curse?

Tvedtnes suggests that curse applied to the Lamanites was that they were cut off from the presence of the Lord. Nephi states:

Wherefore, the word of the Lord was fulfilled which he spake unto me, saying that: Inasmuch as they will not hearken unto thy words they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord. And behold, they were cut off from his presence. 2 Nephi 5:20

A group of Nephites who joined the Lamanites illustrates. Their skin color was not changed because of their rejection of the Gospel but the curse was applied to them. Hugh Nibley describes the situation of the Amlicites:

Thus we are told (Alma 3:13-14,Alma 2:18) that while the fallen people “set the mark upon themselves,” it was none the less God who was marking them: “I will set a mark upon them,” etc. So natural and human was the process that it suggested nothing miraculous to the ordinary observer, and “the Amlicites knew not that they were fulfilling the words of God when they began to mark themselves; . . . it was expedient that the curse should fall upon them” (Alma 3:18). Here God places his mark on people as a curse, yet it is an artificial mark which they actually place upon themselves. The mark was not a racial thing but was acquired by “whosoever suffered himself to be led away by the Lamanites” (Alma 3:10);[3] (emphasis added)”

grego: Notice this part carefully, because it is a “hook”: “So natural and human was the process (note this is talking about the mark on the Amlicites, not the Lamanites) that it suggested nothing miraculous to the ordinary observer, and ‘the Amlicites knew not that they were fulfilling the words of God when they began to mark themselves’. Here God places his mark on people as a curse, yet it is an artificial mark…”
We will see this nice illusory transition in the next section—be prepared, or you will miss it!
We suddenly have a conclusion that the mark was not racial, though it’s uncertain if this refers to the Amlicites or to the Lamanites. Perhaps the confusion is intended?

-=-=-=

FAIR Article: “What was the mark?

As shown above, the mark may vary from group to group. The Amlicites marked themselves, and this was taken by the Nephites as a sign of divine “marking.”

Many LDS have traditionally assumed that the “mark” was a literal change in racial skin color.”

grego: There it is!! Did you see the magic trick? From the marking of the Amlicites, to others, to the marking of the Lamanites—even though there is no connection between the two in the Book of Mormon, the author (Brant Gardner, I guess, right?) wants you to imagine that there is one, even if it is just based on “common sense” type imagining.

-=-=-=

FAIR Article: “There are certainly verses which can be read from this perspective. A key question, however, is whether modern members read the Book of Mormon’s ideas through their own society’s preoccupations and perspectives. American society was (and, to an extent, continues to be) convulsed over issues regarding race, especially black slavery and its consequences.

As a result, nineteenth- and twentieth-century members may have read as literal passages which were far less literal to the Nephites.”

grego: This is the ultimate cop-out that FAIR uses for some explanations: “presentism”. What it often actually means is, “Since the interpretation given doesn’t suit my purposes, I will find a reason to nullify it, and then present *my* (modern-day—but don’t remember that!!) interpretation in its stead.
It also has what I’ll refer to as Americanism. How do people in other societies *other than America* interpret the passages? If you guessed, “Literally”, “racially”, or something similarly, you would be pretty correct.
So much for that line of reasoning…

-=-=-=

FAIR Article: “Douglas Campbell has completed an exhaustive review of all such references in the Book of Mormon.[4] He found that there were twenty-eight usages of the word “white” or “whiteness” in the Book of Mormon. He divided them into several categories:
1. Clothing: symbols of purity or cleanness
2. Fruit (of tree of life): luminosity or holiness
3. Stone (clear and white): literally white stones are not clear, they are opaque. Thus, white is again a term for holiness or luminosity
4. Hair (black or white): a single mention (based on the KJV Sermon on the Mount) uses the term as an allegory or symbol
5. Jesus, his mother Mary, or those made pure by him: exquisite, radiant, awe-inspiring
6. Gentiles: all Gentiles, thus not about skin color but beautiful, pure, and righteous
7. The saved: pure, holy, without spot
8. As a pair of contrasts (black and white, bond and free): sets of opposites
9. Nephites: See below

Thus, virtually all other uses of the white/black terminology reflects symbolic or spiritual states, not literal color.”

grego: This is an example of what I would call extreme playing with semantics—reading and interpreting the meanings so that they fit a predetermined, boxed, structure.
Let’s see…
1. White clothing—while symbolizing purity—is what color? White. Good.
2. What color is the fruit? White. Good.
3. The definition here for “white stone” is forced. I have seen white clear stones (in fact, I own one). It is clear, and it is white, but it is not holy (I’ve tried, but I can’t see anything… ;) )
4. Hair is what color here? Black (younger), white (aged). Good.
5. I’m glad FAIR has confirmed that Mary did not have white skin, but was very dark. (Can I order that vision too? Which page is that in the Church catalog?)
6. So by that reasoning, all Gentiles are “beautiful, pure, and righteous”?? Clear problem here…
8. So, as a pair of contrasts, Nephi just indiscriminately picked “black and white” to go along with and “bond and free” and “male and female” ? Are “bond and free” and “male and female” *also* completely symbolic?

Let me add something here that might be helpful to see and remember, from http://anthropology.si.edu/goddard/redskin.pdf:
“For example, both James Madison and Black Thunder, who used red and white as racial terms (see below), also used red (or bloody) and white to symbolize war and peace, clearly intending no linkage between the two idioms (Stagg et al. 2004: 175–177; Boilvin 1816).”

Ok, my research wasn’t quite “exhaustive”, but it did take a minute or two.

Here’s another thing: the mark follows many of the above examples, in that not only was it symbolic, it was *also* a physical color:
2 Nephi 5:21 And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.
Try making sense of *that* verse when thinking “skin of blackness” is a metaphor!

-=-=-=

FAIR Article: “It is likely that Nephites would not have had the modern American “preoccupation” with skin color, and so would not be burdened with our tendency to see references about skin to automatically imply race.”

grego: And here is a presentist interpretation about skin color and the Nephites, just like I warned about a few paragraphs ago.
Why would it be “likely”? Is there anything FAIR knows about the Nephites that allows that comment? Because I can’t see that in the Book of Mormon, and in fact, I find verses to the contrary (I show them below.) References, please, FAIR, to back up this statement?

-=-=-=

FAIR Article: “Thus, concludes Campbell:

White-skinned Nephites and black-skinned Lamanites are metaphors for cultures, not for skin colour.”

grego: Nice conclusion; many have concluded many things from the Book of Mormon. While conclusions are nice, I really prefer evidence and proof. Which, unfortunately, are missing from the argument.

-=-=-=

FAIR Article: “The church teaches that the descendants of the Lamanites inhabited the Americas when Columbus arrived. But Lamanites are not black-skinned; they are not even red-skinned.”

grego: First, is anyone sure that is Columbus?
Second, where are the descendants of the Lamanites in the Americas?
Third, I would like to know how one assumes that the Lamanites met by Columbus (is that what was inferred?) looked the same as the ones that were from close to 600BC.
Fourth, I would like to know if they were the same color as the Lamanites in 231 AD, and 400(+ -) AD; and that those from 400(+ -) AD had the same dark skin mark as those of 580(+ -) BC. Keep in mind the conversion of the Lamanites (Helaman 5+), the remaining of the people after the great destruction before the coming of Christ, the numerous Nephite dissenters and deniers among them and their intermixing, etc.
References, FAIR?

Next, I will plead a case of presentism and Americanism: “black” does not necessarily mean “black”, but means “dark”. “Blacks”—in America—usually doesn’t refer to people who are the color of pitch-dark black, or even black; most I know are a much lighter shade; even brown. It would have made, and would make, much more sense—for smart modern advanced Western Americans—to call them “Browns” instead, but… didn’t happen, eh? Is it possible something similar happened to the Lamanites, too? Does the Book of Mormon ever state after 3 Nephi, for example, that the Lamanites had “skins of blackness”?
As another example, Chinese say they have “black eyes”—when in fact, they have brown eyes.
See also Jacob 3:9, Alma 3:6.
And yes, many people in the Americas Indians were dark-skinned.

If Indians aren’t red-skinned, why did they call themselves “red-skinned” (http://anthropology.si.edu/goddard/redskin.pdf, p.3)? And, as you see in that reference, why did one use “Whites” and “Black”? Or, are you talking about other Indians that are just dark-skinned?:
“As an example Robert Vézina (pers.comm., 20 February 2005) cites Jean-Bernard Bossu (1768: 60), who quotes a Natchez elder as referring to ‘tous les hommes rouges,’ explaining that, ‘C’est ainsi que ces Sauvages s’appellent pour se distinguer des Européens qui sont blancs, & des Africains qui sont noirs.’ In the translation of Seymour Feiler (Bossu 1962: 39) this is ‘all the red men,’ with a note: ‘This is what the Indians call themselves to distinguish themselves from the Europeans who are white and the Africans who are black.'”

-=-=-=

FAIR Article: “As the ‘skin of blackness’ is a metaphor, so too is the white skin of the Nephites.”

grego: Woah!! Where in the FAIR article was it ever shown that “‘skin of blackness’ is a metaphor”??
And where did that linked conclusion come from?

-=-=-=

FAIR Article: “Perhaps 3 Nephi 2:15-16, in which the Lamanites have the curse taken from them, fulfills 2 Nephi 30:6. In these verses the Lamanite has become ‘white and delightsome’ not ‘pure and delightsome.'”

grego: Yes, no doubt Jesus prophesied a prophecy that a past occurrence already fulfilled… Get a clue, folks! ;)

-=-=-=

FAIR Article: “I do not believe the Lord changed their physical skin to white in the twinkling of an eye. These Lamanites…became cultural Nephites.”

grego: Your belief has no bearing on this. We are looking at the text, and maybe even more, but we are not tapping into your belief, to find out what really happened.
I missed “twinkling of an eye” in my Book of Mormon—can FAIR provide a verse, please?
Yes, they likely did become cultural Nephites. And…?

-=-=-=

FAIR Article: “Some things better explained by this model

There are also instances in which skin color does not play a role, when it should—if the skin color change is literal and noticeable. This should suggest that the literal skin model may be inadequate, since it makes nonsense of a few textual passages.

For example, Captain Moroni wanted to portray his men as being ‘Lamanites’.”

grego: This example was already explained away and shown to be wanting in a few different ways on the FAIR discussion board (mormonapologetics.org; search “Lamanite skin color”). I wonder why those same arguments are not mentioned and countered here for purposes of building credibility for the FAIR article? Is it very scholarly, or honest: to ignore known (and public!) credible counter-arguments that obliterate your point of view?

-=-=-=

FAIR Article: “He searched among his troops for someone descended from Laman, and found someone. Moroni sent this man with a troop of Nephite soldiers, and he was able to deceive the Lamanites:”

grego: The writer would have you believe that “a troop of Nephite soldiers” means “white men”, while the text never says that. Not only that, one writer on the discussion board thread already noted that the Book of Mormon is unclear that the antecedent to “his” is Moroni; it could very well be Laman.

-=-=-=

FAIR Article: “Now the Nephites were guarded in the city of Gid; therefore Moroni appointed Laman and caused that a small number of men should go with him. And when it was evening Laman went to the guards who were over the Nephites, and behold, they saw him coming and they hailed him; but he saith unto them: Fear not; behold, I am a Lamanite. Behold, we have escaped from the Nephites, and they sleep; and behold we have taken of their wine and brought with us. Now when the Lamanites heard these words they received him with joy…(Alma 55:7-9.)

If skin color is the issue, then a single Lamanite with a group of Nephites should be easy to spot. But, in this case, it is not. Why, then, the need for a Lamanite at all in Moroni’s plan?

A “native” Lamanite was probably needed because there were differences in language or pronunciation between cultural Nephites and Lamanites (compare between Ephraim and others’ ‘shibboleth, Jud. 12:6). Note that the Book of Mormon says that “when the Lamanites heard these words,” they relaxed and accepted the Lamanite decoy with his Nephite troops. What they could see had not changed, and surely if a dark-skinned Lamanite shows up with a white-skinned bunch of Nephites, they would be suspicious not matter what he says. But, if Nephites and Lamanites are indistinguishable on physical grounds if dressed properly, then their sudden reassurance when a native Lamanite speaks is understandable.

This fact was probably obvious to Mormon and Captain Moroni. The text does not spell it out for us (since it was obvious to the writers), but the clues are all there for the careful reader.

This passage is nonsensical if literal skin color is the issue. It makes perfect sense, however, if Nephites and Lamanites are often physically indistinguishable, but have some differences in language which are difficult to “fake” for a non-(cultural)-Lamanite.”

grego: So… why is it “nonsensical”, and where are all those “clues” for the “careful reader”? What a loaded sentence! How about this: “The text does often spell out Lamanite skin color for us (and it was obvious to the writers), and the clues are all there for the non-careful and the careful reader”.

I see many problems with this interpretation of events, and in fact, a literal skin color interpretation seems to make more sense.

What is happening here is that the article writer is ignoring clear cases of the text, in favor of one episode that, through contrived personal interpretation and reasoning, provides evidence to the contrary. Hmmm… Trying to figure out which one I’ll be persuaded more by…

So, let’s see if there is any other way to read this…
Laman says, “I’m a Lamanite”—the native language being the important thing, especially since the setting is not bright daylight anymore. When Laman gets there, and interacts with the Lamanites, they see that he *is* a Lamanite.

What about the others with Laman, then? Perhaps they are all dark-skinned Lamanites (which the reading allows just as much, if not more, than the proposed interpretation by the article writer).
But, there are still other options. Has no one at FAIR seen “7 Years in Tibet”? The others could very easily be painted in coal, mud, clay, berries, etc., and/or be wrapped up.
Or yet, they were rebel Nephites (like Amlicites, Amalickiahites), where at most a temporary mark on the forehead would do the trick.
Note that Laman never says, “*We* are Lamanites”. He says, “*I* am a Lamanite. Behold, *we* have escaped…” Why the change in sentence subject?

Besides, the main thing is, they have wine! Note also that while FAIR would have you believe the Lamanites relax after hearing “I am a Lamanite” (here is the quote: “Note that the Book of Mormon says that ‘when the Lamanites heard these words,’ they relaxed and accepted the Lamanite decoy with his Nephite troops.”) that is not necessarily true. Take a look:
Alma 55:8: And when it was evening Laman went to the guards who were over the Nephites, and behold, they saw him coming and they hailed him; but he saith unto them: Fear not; behold, I am a Lamanite. Behold, we have escaped from the Nephites, and they sleep; and behold we have taken of their wine and brought with us.
Alma 55:9 Now when the Lamanites heard these words they received him with joy; and they said unto him: Give us of your wine, that we may drink; we are glad that ye have thus taken wine with you for we are weary.

What words made the Lamanite guards “[relax] and [accept] the Lamanite decoy? Was it, “I am a Lamanite”? Or was it, perhaps, “[the Nephites sleep and we] have taken of their wine and brought with us”?
Verse 9 would have me believe it was the latter, *not* the former.

-=-=-=

FAIR Article: “Is the lifting of the curse associated with a change in skin color?

The Lamanites are promised that if they return to Christ, that “the scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes:”

And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them; wherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers.
And then shall they rejoice; for they shall know that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a pure and a delightsome people.2 Nephi 30:5-6

At the time that this statement was made by Elder Kimball, the Book of Mormon did indeed say “white and delightsome.” This passage is often quoted relative to the lifting of the curse since the phrase “white and delightsome” was changed to “pure and delightsome” in the 1840 (and again in the 1981) editions of the Book of Mormon. The edit made by Joseph Smith in 1840 in which this phrase was changed to “pure and delightsome” had been omitted from subsequent editions, which were actually based upon the 1837 edition rather than the 1840 edition. …

It seems evident from the passage in 2 Nephi that the lifting of the curse of the Lamanites was the removal of the “scales of darkness” for their eyes.”

grego: They shall also be a “pure and delightsome” people. Why cut “scales’ apart from “pure and delightsome”, then choose just one? Is that because it fits in with what the article writer would want us to believe?

There is no Book of Mormon reference noted in this FAIR article that says the “scales of darkness” or anything else mentioned is the lifting of the mark or curse.
Any references to make this “evident”, would be appreciated.

-=-=-=

FAIR Article: “It is sometimes indicated that Lamanites who had converted to the Gospel and thus had the curse lifted also had the mark removed. If the mark was more in the eyes of the Nephites than in a physical thing like actual skin color, its removal is even more easily understood.

And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites; And their young men and their daughters became exceedingly fair, and they were numbered among the Nephites, and were called Nephites. And thus ended the thirteenth year. 3 Nephi 2:15-16”

grego: First of all, “sometimes indicated” is not true. The removal of the mark is recorded only once. It is not recorded when the Anti-Nephi-Lehites join, nor about their sons who fight with Helaman, nor in Helaman 5 when so many Lamanites are converted and more righteous, as a people, than the Nephites, nor anywhere else—only in 3 Nephi 2.

Whether something is easier to understand or not, doesn’t make it truer or not, right? Is someone limiting God’s ability to work a miracle?

“If the mark was more in the eyes of the Nephites than in a physical thing…” Are we to also understand that the mark of the Amlicites upon their foreheads was “more in the eyes of the Nephites than is a physical thing”? Once more, this metaphorical thinking brings many problems with it…

-=-=-=

FAIR Article: “As with the invocation of the curse followed by the application of the mark, this passage indicates that the curse was revoked and the mark was removed when the Lamanites’ skin “became white like unto the Nephites.” The Book of Mormon makes no mention of any change in skin color as the result of the conversion of Helaman’s 2000 warriors, yet these Lamanites and their parents had committed themselves to the Lord, and were often more righteous than the Nephites were.

Thus, although a change in skin color is sometimes mentioned in conjunction with the lifting of the curse, it does not appear to always have been the case.”

grego: As mentioned above, it wasn’t the case, other than in this case.

-=-=-=

FAIR Article: “And, as discussed above, it may well be that Nephite ideas about skin were more symbolic or rhetorical than literal/racial. This perspective harmonizes all the textual data, and explains some things (like the native Lamanite and his band of Nephite troops deceiving the Lamanites) that a literal view of the skin color mark does not.”

grego: Once more, this is given as a way to “[explain] some things”. I would like to ask, FAIR, *what* “things”, exactly, are explained by this way of reasoning?
Once more, there is only one example given—Laman, in Alma 55—not many. (And that’s a bad example…)

-=-=-=

FAIR Article: “Chapter headings modified in the 2006 Doubleday edition of the Book of Mormon

This perspective is perhaps reinforced by some recent changes in the Book of Mormon’s modern chapter headings.

These headings are not part of the translated text and were never present in the 1830 edition. The most significant expansion of chapter headings occurred in the 1981 edition of all of the Standard Works. Changes made in the chapter headings of the 2006 Doubleday edition reflect the view of the curse being a separation from the presence of the Lord, rather than a “skin of blackness.”

Note the following two changes to the chapter headings between the 1981 and 2006 (Doubleday) editions (emphasis added):
Chapter 2 Nephi 5
1981 (Official LDS Church Edition) Because of their unbelief, the Lamanites are cursed, receive a skin of blackness, and become a scourge unto the Nephites.
2006 (Doubleday Edition) Because of their unbelief, the Lamanites are cut off from the presence of the Lord, are cursed, and become a scourge unto the Nephites.

Mormon 5
1981 (Official LDS Church Edition) The Lamanites shall be a dark, filthy, and loathsome people
2006 (Doubleday Edition) Because of their unbelief, the Lamanites will be scattered, and the Spirit will cease to strive with them”

grego: “Changes” might “reflect the view”, but the text already explains it.
I’m not sure how this whole section supports anything, really.

-=-=-=

FAIR Article: “Conclusion

Although the curse of the Lamanites is often associated directly with their skin color, it may be that this was intended in a far more symbolic sense than modern American members traditionally assumed.

The curse itself came upon them as a result of their rejection of the Gospel. It was possible to be subject to the curse, and to be given a mark, without it being associated with a change in skin color, as demonstrated in the case of the Amlicites. The curse is apparently a separation from the Lord. A close reading of the Book of Mormon text makes it untenable to consider that literal skin color was ever the “curse.” At most, the skin color was seen as a mark, and it may well have been that these labels were far more symbolic and cultural than they were literal.”

grego: A much better closing. Overall, though, the article seems disoriented, loose, and in need of much revision.
“Symbolic”? No, it’s actually real. “Black” translated as meaning pitch-dark black for the entire existence of the Lamanites? Ok, I can see problems with that—and it’s been shown.

-=-=-=
grego: The first part of my critique is done.

Here’s another question: How would intermarrying with natives (as Brant Garnder and many FAIR members believe happened) affect the skin and physical features, especially 1,000 years later? Would that affect episodes such as Laman’s?

Now, let’s look at a few verses that FAIR didn’t manage to put in this article…

***
2 Nephi 5:20 Wherefore, the word of the Lord was fulfilled which he spake unto me, saying that: Inasmuch as they will not hearken unto thy words they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord. And behold, they were cut off from his presence.

2 Nephi 5:21 And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.

2 Nephi 5:22 And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.

grego: Being cut off is the curse, and they were cursed, “because of their iniquity”. Then, it follows, “wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome”. If were to read this solely symbolically, as FAIR does, what do we make of that? I can’t make anything of that symbolically, because how could they be “righteous” (FAIR’s symbolic interpretation) after “their iniquity”? Were the Lamanites righteous before the separation and complete cursing? The” loathsome” part is due to the curse, yet we will see in other parts of the Book of Mormon that some of the Nephites connected the skin color to it.

***
Jacob 3:3 But, wo, wo, unto you that are not pure in heart, that are filthy this day before God; for except ye repent the land is cursed for your sakes; and the Lamanites, which are not filthy like unto you, nevertheless they are cursed with a sore cursing, shall scourge you even unto destruction.

grego:
Some of the Nephites are not “pure in heart” (righteous), but are “filthy” (symbolic of wicked); the curse is recalled; the Lamanites are not “filthy like unto you” (“filthy to you on the outside, but not filthy like you on the inside due to clearly choosing deep sin”), even though they are under the curse of being cut off from the Lord.

***

Jacob 3:5 Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom ye hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you [due to fidelity];

Jacob 3:7 …and their unbelief and their hatred towards you is because of the iniquity of their fathers…

Jacob 3:8 O my brethren, I fear that unless ye shall repent of your sins that their skins will be whiter than yours, when ye shall be brought with them before the throne of God.

Jacob 3:9 Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, which is the word of God, that ye revile no more against them because of the darkness of their skins; neither shall ye revile against them because of their filthiness; but ye shall remember your own filthiness, and remember that their filthiness came because of their fathers.

Jacob 3:10 … remember that ye may, because of your filthiness, bring your children unto destruction, and their sins be heaped upon your heads at the last day.

grego: Jacob ties in outer filthiness of the Lamanites to the inner filthiness of the Nephites.
He also ties in the physical colors of the Nephite vs. Lamanite skins, with a symbolic color of their skin at the judgment day.
Neither construction is pure symbolism.

Lamanite iniquity, cursing, filthiness, and black (read “dark”) skin mark—all literal/ seen by the natural eye—are from their ancestors.
Nephite iniquity, cursing, and white skin that is symbolically black (read “light to the physical eye, but symbolically dark/ wicked”)—all seen by the prophetic eye—is from themselves.

Jacob was basically chastizing the Nephites for hypocrisy. They judged the Lamanites on outward appearances, but ignored that inwardly, they appeared worse.

***
Alma 3:6 And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men.

grego: A verse that supports “black” to be read as “dark”, not literally pure black. Clearly, the dark skin is the mark of the curse.

***
Alma 3:7 And their brethren sought to destroy them, therefore they were cursed; and the Lord God set a mark upon them, yea, upon Laman and Lemuel, and also the sons of Ishmael, and Ishmaelitish women.

grego: After the cursing, the mark was put on everyone, not just the fighting men.

***
Alma 3:8 And this was done that their seed might be distinguished from the seed of their brethren, that thereby the Lord God might preserve his people, that they might not mix and believe in incorrect traditions which would prove their destruction.

Alma 3:9 And it came to pass that whosoever did mingle his seed with that of the Lamanites did bring the same curse upon his seed.

Alma 3:10 Therefore, whosoever suffered himself to be led away by the Lamanites was called under that head, and there was a mark set upon him.

Alma 3:13 Now we will return again to the Amlicites, for they also had a mark set upon them; yea, they set the mark upon themselves, yea, even a mark of red upon their foreheads.

Alma 3:14 Thus the word of God is fulfilled, for these are the words which he said to Nephi: Behold, the Lamanites have I cursed, and I will set a mark on them that they and their seed may be separated from thee and thy seed, from this time henceforth and forever, except they repent of their wickedness and turn to me that I may have mercy upon them.

Alma 3:15 And again: I will set a mark upon him that mingleth his seed with thy brethren, that they may be cursed also.

Alma 3:16 And again: I will set a mark upon him that fighteth against thee and thy seed.

grego: Mingling with the Lamanites made one called a Lamanite, being cut off from the Lord, and having a mark set upon oneself. However, it seems that the marks are different for the original Lamanites and “additional” Lamanites.

***
3 Nephi 2:15 And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites;

grego: The curse was removed, *and* the skin became white. This is the only instance. If the mark were only symbolic of the curse, why didn’t it happen with the Anti-Nephi-Lehites? Why didn’t it happen with other converted Lamanites, at other times?

Summary:
*Is “darkness” symbolic in the Book of Mormon? Usually.

*Is it possible that the Lamanite mark was symbolic? No.

*Was a literal dark skin the mark for all the Lamanites? No.

*Was light skin a mark for a Lamanite who had the curse removed? Rarely (only one recorded instance).

*In that one recorded instance, was there also a cultural and political joining of Lamanites to Nephites that had never seemed to happen to the same extent before? Yes, there was.

*Was a literal dark skin pigmentation the mark for the original Lamanites? Likely. To say the least, there was surely some physical, not symbolic, mark on the Lamanite skin.

*Could the original dark skin Lamanite mark have come from intermarriage? No, definitely not. There are many reasons:
1. The mark came upon the first generation, not just the future ones (Alma 3:7 And their brethren sought to destroy them, therefore they were cursed; and the Lord God set a mark upon them, yea, upon Laman and Lemuel, and also the sons of Ishmael, and Ishmaelitish women.).
2. Laman, Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael were already married (see: 1 Nephi 16:7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, took one of the daughters of Ishmael to wife; and also, my brethren took of the daughters of Ishmael to wife; and also Zoram took the eldest daughter of Ishmael to wife. 1 Nephi 18:9 And after we had been driven forth before the wind for the space of many days, behold, my brethren and the sons of Ishmael and also their wives began to make themselves merry, insomuch that they began to dance, and to sing, and to speak with much rudeness, yea, even that they did forget by what power they had been brought thither; yea, they were lifted up unto exceeding rudeness.).
3. Jacob preached that the Lamanites were monogamous and faithful.

*Could the skin color have come from some other physical source/ reason? Ah, good question…

These additional unmentioned verses sustain the conclusion that the mark was not metaphorical/ spiritual, but literal/ physical.

Book of Mormon | “Overlooked Symbolism in the Brother of Jared and the Stones” by grego

Overlooked Symbolism in the Brother of Jared and the Stones
grego
(c) 2009

Much has been said and written about the Book of Mormon story about the brother of Jared and the sixteen small stones—that the stones symbolize our hearts, and the Lord touches our hearts, and …

One part that really stood out the last time I read it, however, is the preparation that the Brother of Jared did with the stones.

He did not carry sixteen lumps of coal up to the mountain top, nor rocks he found on the ground, nor rocks he thought were pretty, nor rocks he polished a little.

The stones were “molten out of a rock” (Ether 3:1); “white and clear, even as transparent glass” (Ether 3:1). He says, “Behold these things which I have molten out of the rock” (Ether 3:3). Through work and inspiration he prepared them for their purpose; he just needed the Lord’s help to do what he couldn’t do. Even though they were “small” (Ether 3:1), with the Lord’s touch, they served their purpose.

2009, August 25

“Idolatry and Adultery” by grego

Idolatry and Adultery
grego
(c) 2009

Thinking about how some LDS worship money and putting earthly goods above the worship of God and heavenly goods, led to thinking about idolatry and adultery, and I realized, once again but perhaps clearer than ever before, that they are pretty much the same principle: being faithful to one you have covenanted to be one with/ been sealed to and not letting others take their place (be it worshiping them or what you can get from them/ what they can give you/ pleasure/ fulfilling your needs, wants, and desires).

They are also similar that you are free to end a rightful relationship, but you must suffer the consequences of doing so, depending on what the other can do.

And, if God/ your spouse is unfaithful to you, you are free to break the relationship, and its following plusses and/or minuses, without fault. (Just make sure they really are unfaithful, eh?)

Imagery of Jesus as the bridegroom and his people as the bride, especially alluded to in the Book of Mormon by Isaiah (see 1 Nephi 21, 3 Nephi 22) and also mentioned in the Bible (Jeremiah 3; Hosea 1-3; Ezekiel 16; Leviticus 20:5-6; Numbers 14:9, 33; 2 Chronicles 21:11, 13), makes this relationship between idolatry and adultery clear.

2009, August 24

Book of Mormon | “The Unfairness and Injustice of the Wicked in 3 Nephi 1” by grego

The Unfairness and Injustice of the Wicked in 3 Nephi 1
grego
(c)2009

Here’s what’s going on:
3 Nephi 1:5 But there were some who began to say that the time was past for the words to be fulfilled, which were spoken by Samuel, the Lamanite.

3 Nephi 1:6 And they began to rejoice over their brethren, saying: Behold the time is past, and the words of Samuel are not fulfilled; therefore, your joy and your faith concerning this thing hath been vain.

3 Nephi 1:7 And it came to pass that they did make a great uproar throughout the land…

3 Nephi 1:9 Now it came to pass that there was a day set apart by the unbelievers, that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass, which had been given by Samuel the prophet.

Wow, isn’t that interesting: “if the sign doesn’t come, you die”.

Come on, what about basic fairness and justice? What about the other hand? What if the sign *does* come? Will the nonbelievers allow themselves to be killed/ die/ kill themselves?

No, of course not.

Anyway, it seems to be the case that most everything based on faith is under this type of attack from nonbelievers. For some reason, people take great pleasure in trying to ridicule others… even to the point of wanting to kill them because they believed something that, well, really didn’t matter to others… Somehow they miss their hypocrisy; and the mercy they extend—to themselves (called injustice)!

2009, August 21

Book of Mormon: “3 Nephi 1 and the Faith of Believers in Prophecy” by grego

Book of Mormon: “3 Nephi 1 and the Faith of Believers in Prophecy”
grego
(c) 2009

I found this very interesting:
3 Nephi 1:5 But there were some who began to say that the time was past for the words to be fulfilled, which were spoken by Samuel, the Lamanite.

3 Nephi 1:6 And they began to rejoice over their brethren, saying: Behold the time is past, and the words of Samuel are not fulfilled; therefore, your joy and your faith concerning this thing hath been vain.

3 Nephi 1:7 And it came to pass that they did make a great uproar throughout the land; and the people who believed began to be very sorrowful, lest by any means those things which had been spoken might not come to pass.

3 Nephi 1:8 But behold, they did watch steadfastly for that day and that night and that day which should be as one day as if there were no night, that they might know that their faith had not been vain.

3 Nephi 1:9 Now it came to pass that there was a day set apart by the unbelievers, that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass, which had been given by Samuel the prophet.

3 Nephi 1:10 Now it came to pass that when Nephi, the son of Nephi, saw this wickedness of his people, his heart was exceedingly sorrowful.

3 Nephi 1:11 And it came to pass that he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people, yea, those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their fathers.

Having only been five years, I imagine that most of the saints had either heard of Samuel the Lamanite’s prophecy or heard others speak about having heard it. They had likely felt the Spirit when they heard it.

Yet here it was, it seemed like it wasn’t going to happen. Perhaps… something was wrong? What? What had changed? What was the cause? Was it due to a change in the conditions of the prophecy? Had they been wicked? Had their faith not been enough? Did something happen “over there”, in Jerusalem? (Or before you jump on my case, Bethlehem, Judea, wherever…) They were unsure. *They didn’t know.*

I’ve had the experience of giving many priesthood blessings, which are basically all prophecies. I’ve had glorious experiences seeing many of them fulfilled. A few also make me wonder about “what happened”… So, I’ve felt before a little of what they were feeling. I know others have, too. Sometimes things *do* change—I know about that, too. Still, there is the “watching steadfastly” for the fulfillment of the prophecy.

I feel the humbleness and belief of the believers in verse 7. They weren’t worried others might think they were misled or stupid; they weren’t quick to retort with lots of “reasons why” and explanations, though I imagine there were many; they weren’t mad at Samuel the Lamanite or Nephi. Frankly, when it came time, I doubt they were more worried about dying; they were “very sorrowful, lest by any means those things which had been spoken might not come to pass.” It was similar with Nephi, who was “exceedingly sorrowful”, not just about his faith, I imagine, but about the “wickedness of his people”—*not* the saints, but the Nephites who were going to kill the saints.

“Book of Mormon: 3 Nephi: Prophet Nephi—Knowing through Faith and Works” by grego

“Book of Mormon: 3 Nephi: Prophet Nephi—Knowing through Faith and Works”
grego
(c) 2009

I was thinking about prophets and what they know. So often we think they know it all (if they’re actually *a real* prophet, ya know…). Here’s something from the the Book of Mormon that I find very interesting.

In 3 Nephi, the believers in Christ are about to be killed:
3 Nephi 1:5 But there were some who began to say that the time was past for the words to be fulfilled, which were spoken by Samuel, the Lamanite.

3 Nephi 1:6 And they began to rejoice over their brethren, saying: Behold the time is past, and the words of Samuel are not fulfilled; therefore, your joy and your faith concerning this thing hath been vain.

3 Nephi 1:9 Now it came to pass that there was a day set apart by the unbelievers, that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass, which had been given by Samuel the prophet.

Nephi, the current prophet, prays about this situation:
3 Nephi 1:10 Now it came to pass that when Nephi, the son of Nephi, saw this wickedness of his people, his heart was exceedingly sorrowful.

3 Nephi 1:11 And it came to pass that he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people, yea, those who were *about to be destroyed* because of their faith in the tradition of their fathers.

3 Nephi 1:12 And it came to pass that he cried mightily unto the Lord all that day; and behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:

3 Nephi 1:13 Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.

3 Nephi 1:14 Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfil all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father and of the Son–of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh. And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given.

3 Nephi 1:15 And it came to pass that the words which came unto Nephi were fulfilled, according as they had been spoken; for behold, at the going down of the sun there was no darkness; and the people began to be astonished because there was no darkness when the night came.

What, Nephi hadn’t known? No, he hadn’t, really; he was just like everyone else, living by faith. How did he get a revelation? He spent a day praying mightily about the situation. And then, the answer comes: it’ll be ok, it’ll happen tonight. Was all that prayer worth it, if it was just going to happen that night? I believe it was, for a few reasons.
1. It was a fulfillment of the word of the Lord (prophecy) to Nephi, given as a sign to Nephi and the other believers.
2. It was good news—even if it was just known a few hours ahead of time: you’re not going to die, your faith was not in vain, I know what’s happening, the wicked will not be victorious, the sign will be given.
3. It was a witness that the other signs that had been prophesied, and all the other words of the prophets, would also be completely fulfilled.
4. It once more shows faith + works = revelations + blessings.

2009, August 20

“Blacks and the LDS/ Mormon Priesthood: ‘Abel’s Seed’ Teaching and Its Fulfillment” by grego

“‘Abel’s Seed’ Prophecy and Its Fulfillment”
grego
(c) 2009

There are many problems with the topic of Blacks and the priesthood. It seems too many leaders in the past spoke about things they didn’t receive by revelation, but inferred through their personal filters after having experiences, or from reading scriptures, or from “having remembered someone say something” type of thing; lots of interpretation placed on previous comments (if the comments had actually been made in the first place!). I believe, in essence, it boils down to the First Presidency letter in 1949, where it seems that whatever might have happened or been said in the past, at that point, it was clear that the Lord’s will (“direct commandment from the Lord”) was that that was how it was to be, for the present time.

There is mention about prophecy regarding “Abel’s seed” having a great deal to do with the timing of the lifting of the priesthood ban:
“The prophets have declared that there are at least two major stipulations that have to be met before the Negroes will be allowed to possess the Priesthood. The first requirement relates to time. The Negroes will not be allowed to hold the Priesthood during mortality, in fact, not until after the resurrection of all of Adam’s children. The other stipulation requires that Abel’s seed receive the first opportunity of having the priesthood….the last of Adam’s children will not be resurrected until the end of the millennium. Therefore, the Negroes will not receive the Priesthood until after that time… this will not happen until after the thousand years of Christ’s reign on earth.”
(The Church and the Negro, 1967, pages 45-48.)

Well, that’s not really any type of prophecy, that’s a quote from a book that’s pretty unclear about what was really said; let’s look again:
“President George Q. Cannon remarked that the Prophet [Joseph] taught this doctrine: That the seed of Cain could not receive the Priesthood, nor act in any of the offices of the Priesthood until the seed of Abel should come forward and take precedence over Cain’s offspring.” 22 August 1895, Minutes of Meeting of General Authorities, The Way to Perfection (1931), Joseph Fielding Smith, p. 110.

Well, that’s not really prophecy, that’s a person saying someone taught something; any second witness? Let’s try again…
“President [George Q.] Cannon remarked upon this subject, as he said, he had on a prior occasion when this subject was under consideration, that he had understood that the Prophet Joseph [Smith] had said during this lifetime, that there would be a great wrong perpetrated if the seed of Cain were allowed to have the Priesthood before Abel should have posterity to receive it, and this curse therefore was to remain upon the seed of Cain until the time should come that Abel should have posterity. *He understood that that time could not come until Abel should beget spirits in the eternal worlds and those spirits obtain tabernacles;* (George Albert Smith Papers, Manuscripts Division, Marriott Library, University of Utah).
Any record of the “prior occasion”? “He had understood that the Prophet Jospeh had said…” Had anyone else heard Joseph say that? No one? Had anyone else understood that that was what Joseph meant? Was President Cannon playing “Operator” here (and I don’t mean that in any denigrating way)?

Well, that’s not prophecy either…
“I say the curse is not yet taken off the sons of Canaan, neither will it be until it is affected by as great power as caused it to come;” Joseph Smith, Messenger and Advocate 2:290; History of the Church 2:438. Well, there’s what seems to be a prophecy, and Joseph Smith says the curse must be lifted by God, as that’s what caused it to come. Ok.

““Now I tell you what I know: when the mark was put upon Cain, Abel’s children were in all probability young; the Lord told Cain that he should not receive the blessings of the Priesthood, nor his seed, until the last of the posterity of Abel had received the Priesthood, until the redemption of the earth…” (Brigham Young Addresses 2:77 , 5 January 1852)
Is Brigham Young quoting scripture, a revelation, offering an interpretation (especially the last part), or what?

Anyway, there might be more on Abel, but I’ll take most of this as teachings, not clear prophecies; that does not mean that there was no revelation, or that the actual situation was wrong, etc.

Here are some thoughts:

Abel—I believe that we assume that Abel and Cain were young, unmarried men. As Brigham Young thought, not so. Cain was already married when he killed Abel (see Moses 5:28, though it does talk about Cain having children only after that; nothing is said about Abel’s children, though the priesthood passing to Seth might imply that). How do we know that Abel was not married, and that he did not have children? (I admit, I might have missed something here.) Searching, I came across the above quote by Brigham Young where he mentions Abel’s children in the flesh, though I don’t know where he came by that knowledge, as I have found nothing else on it.

Abel was waiting to be resurrected at the death of Christ (see Doctrine and Covenants 137:40, 51.). Especially if he were already married, he (and his children?) would have already qualified by ordinance for exaltation. Abraham—who came much later than Abel—already sat on his throne of glory in the 1800’s: [Abraham] “hath entered into his exaltation and sitteth upon his throne” (Doctrine and Covenants 132:29). Who is to say that Abel didn’t have spirit children long, long ago–like maybe almost 2000 years ago (or, ok, let’s say 200 years ago), or at least by the time the curse was lifted? Had all the posterity of Abel received the priesthood near the time of the lifting of the curse?

Wait—what about Noah and the flood? If everone were destroyed in the flood, wouldn’t Abel’s seed–if he had any that were still living—have either been wiped out or continued through one of the eight on the ark? Here’s a possible (though perhaps unlikely) predicament: what if Ham were Abel’s seed?

Abel—Elijah Abel’s seed—his son and grandson—received the priesthood, fulfilling “until the seed of Abel should come forward and take precedence over Cain’s offspring”. And that’s what Abel and his seed did—while no one past the first generation of Cain’s seed received the priesthood, Abel and his son and grandson all received the priesthood, and “[took] precedence over Cain’s offspring”. A convoluted interpretation, you say? Perhaps… Oh, you’re *sure* it wasn’t *that* Abel that was being talked about?

All the other children on earth, at that time, had had the opportunity, as much as possible, to accept the gospel and the priesthood; by that time, the Church had contacted every nation for permission to preach the gospel to everyone, and no one except Blacks were denied the priesthood. Missionaries were sent everywhere that they could be sent; many nations rejected them. As far as I could see, no, I don’t believe that there is any quote that said everyone would have to accept the gospel first—just that everyone would have the opportunity to hear it first. And everyone did.
I heard that David Kennedy reported that Pres. Kimball was ever anxious to spread the gospel, but that it was everywhere it could be at the time—except in the countries with Blacks. Looking at the map, Pres. Kimball would ask him, where else can we go, where else can we try again? And Bro. Kennedy would say, only here (and point at the Black countries). That *was* the only other place, the last place, that the gospel could go, for a long time. (Note it wasn’t until 11 years after the lifting of the ban, in 1989, that the Berlin Wall even came down and the way was soon to open for missionaries into Eastern Europe and the USSR. Note that some countries still haven’t given permission for the gospel to be preached. By the way, that conversation was… not in 1978.)

So, just a few thoughts about “Abel’s seed” and the priesthood.

2009, August 17

Book of Mormon | “Missing Prophecies of Abinadi and Samuel the Lamanite in the Book of Mormon as Evidence of Internal Consistency” by grego

Book of Mormon | “Missing Prophecies of Abinadi and Samuel the Lamanite in the Book of Mormon as Evidence of Internal Consistency”

grego
(c) 2009

In a recent article, “Missing Prophecies of Abinadi and Samuel the Lamanite in the Book of Mormon”

2009, August 15

Book of Mormon | “Samuel the Lamanite’s Prophecy of Falling to the Earth and Its Fulfillment” by grego

Book of Mormon | “Samuel the Lamanite’s Prophecy of Falling to the Earth and Its Fulfillment”
grego
(c) 2009

Samuel the Lamanite prophecies that at the time of the sign of Christ’s birth,

Helaman 14:7 And it shall come to pass that ye shall all be amazed, and wonder, insomuch that ye shall fall to the earth.

Helaman 14:8 And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall believe on the Son of God, the same shall have everlasting life.

Samuel gives no reason as to why the people would do that, and then he strangely seems to connect that with belief on the Son of God and everlasting life.

Later, we see why, and how:

3 Nephi 1:5 But there were some who began to say that the time was past for the words to be fulfilled, which were spoken by Samuel, the Lamanite.

3 Nephi 1:6 And they began to rejoice over their brethren, saying: Behold the time is past, and the words of Samuel are not fulfilled; therefore, your joy and your faith concerning this thing hath been vain.

3 Nephi 1:9 Now it came to pass that there was a day set apart by the unbelievers, that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass, which had been given by Samuel the prophet.

3 Nephi 1:11
And it came to pass that he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people, yea, those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their fathers.

3 Nephi 1:15 And it came to pass that the words which came unto Nephi were fulfilled, according as they had been spoken; for behold, at the going down of the sun there was no darkness; and the people began to be astonished because there was no darkness when the night came.

3 Nephi 1:16 And there were many, who had not believed the words of the prophets, who fell to the earth and became as if they were dead, for they knew that the great plan of destruction which they had laid for those who believed in the words of the prophets had been frustrated; for the sign which had been given was already at hand.

3 Nephi 1:17 And they began to know that the Son of God must shortly appear; yea, in fine, all the people upon the face of the whole earth from the west to the east, both in the land north and in the land south, were so exceedingly astonished that they fell to the earth.

3 Nephi 1:18 For they knew that the prophets had testified of these things for many years, and that the sign which had been given was already at hand; and they began to fear because of their iniquity and their unbelief.

The words of the Samuel being fulfilled, in addition to the prophecies about faith, caused astonishment and then fear in the wicked, as they realized they didn’t have faith in Jesus Christ and perhaps that they were fighting against the faithful of the true God. Nevertheless, Samuel connected the two so that the people would hopefully repent.

Book of Mormon | Signs and Times: Samuel the Lamanite’s Prophecy and Christ’s Birth

Book of Mormon | Signs and Times: Samuel the Lamanite’s Prophecy and Christ’s Birth
by grego
(c) 2009

We find a scenario in the Book of Mormon where there is a problem regarding timing. Samuel the Lamanite gives a sign of Christ’s birth that will come in five years:

Helaman 14:2 And behold, he said unto them: Behold, I give unto you a sign; for five years more cometh, and behold, then cometh the Son of God to redeem all those who shall believe on his name.

Helaman 14:3 And behold, this will I give unto you for a sign at the time of his coming; for behold, there shall be great lights in heaven, insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness, insomuch that it shall appear unto man as if it was day.

Helaman 14:4 Therefore, there shall be one day and a night and a day, as if it were one day and there were no night; and this shall be unto you for a sign; for ye shall know of the rising of the sun and also of its setting; therefore they shall know of a surety that there shall be two days and a night; nevertheless the night shall not be darkened; and it shall be the night before he is born.

Later, we find this problem:
3 Nephi 1:5 But there were some who began to say that the time was past for the words to be fulfilled, which were spoken by Samuel, the Lamanite.

3 Nephi 1:6 And they began to rejoice over their brethren, saying: Behold the time is past, and the words of Samuel are not fulfilled; therefore, your joy and your faith concerning this thing hath been vain.

3 Nephi 1:7 And it came to pass that they did make a great uproar throughout the land; and the people who believed began to be very sorrowful, lest by any means those things which had been spoken might not come to pass.

3 Nephi 1:8 But behold, they did watch steadfastly for that day and that night and that day which should be as one day as if there were no night, that they might know that their faith had not been vain.

3 Nephi 1:9 Now it came to pass that there was a day set apart by the unbelievers, that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass, which had been given by Samuel the prophet.

How could they not know, based on Samuel’s prophecy of “five years”?

What seems like a simple thing on the surface is much deeper. I see a few reasons:

1. Wording, meaning, intention.
Five years–general or specific? That same day, five years later, or five years from that year (as in it’s 2009 now, so in 2014)? The first day of the year five years from now?
Samuel said, “Five more years cometh, and then cometh the Son of God…” Is that in the meaning of “in exactly five years, He will come” or more like “at least five more years, and shortly afterward, He will come”?

2. CalendarS.
Even if it were understood to have been “five years from the same date, exactly”, which calendar would be used to calculate it? Were the Nephites and Lamanites on the same calendar system? Were the Nephites as a people or the Lamanites as a people all even on just one system? (There are places even today where the general population/ government use different calendar systems than the old folks and farmers.) Different calendars based on different systems will have different number of days between two exact dates, five years apart, especially if there are special occurrences (such as a leap month (yes, month, not day) in the lunar calendar, which can *really* throw dates off).

“Missing Prophecies of Abinadi and Samuel the Lamanite in the Book of Mormon” by grego

“Missing Prophecies of Abinadi and Samuel the Lamanite in the Book of Mormon”
grego
(c) 2009

From the Book of Mormon:
Mormon 1:19 And it came to pass that there were sorceries, and witchcrafts, and magics; and the power of the evil one was wrought upon all the face of the land, even unto the fulfilling of all the words of Abinadi, and also Samuel the Lamanite.

Except that we don’t have these prophecies of Abinadi and Samuel the Lamanite in the abridged edition (what we have now)!

We do have clear mention that they said more that wasn’t written, and it even fits in the right areas of their other prophecies:

Abinadi: Mosiah 12:8 And it shall come to pass that except they repent I will utterly destroy them from off the face of the earth; yet they shall leave a record behind them, and I will preserve them for other nations which shall possess the land; yea, even this will I do that I may discover the abominations of this people to other nations. And many things did Abinadi prophesy against this people.

Samuel the Lamanite: Helaman 14:1 AND now it came to pass that Samuel, the Lamanite, did prophesy a great many more things which cannot be written.

Still, Mormon puts the fulfilling of the prophecies in, which is an important purpose of the Book of Mormon.

2009, August 11

grego’s Critique of FAIR’s Critique of Mr. Meldrum, Part 2

Filed under: Book of Mormon — grego @ 12:28 am
Tags: , ,

grego’s Critique of FAIR’s Critique of Mr. Meldrum, Part 2
by grego
(c) 2009

Well, there’s a whole mess being made, and I don’t really understand it. A man believes in a Book of Mormon geography, and FAIR is up in arms about it. I’m not even really sure what the problems are, but I think it would be wise for FAIR to step back and b-r-e-a-t-h-e. Following are a few excerpts, gleaned from different areas.

-=-=-=

From :
“To be clear, FAIR advocates no particular theory of Book of Mormon geography. Some of our members subscribe to one or the other, but refrain from imposing their opinions on Latter-day Saints as matters of testimony.”

grego: Hmmm… Ok, FAIR, on the boards and articles I have yet to hear of anyone who doesn’t go for the LGT—not that there might not be any. But it’s pretty well known to all that LGT theory rules at FAIR. And I’ve heard many, probably most, imposing their opinions about this topic on others (along with “Others in the land”), though to their credit, as far as I can remember, not as “matters of testimony”. How many articles/ papers/ books by FAIR support the LGT, compared to other theories?

-=-=-=

From http://www.fairlds.org/Book_of_Mormon/MisguidedF.html I read:
“It is apparent that Mr. Meldrum, rather than approach FARMS directly with his research, decided–after much prayer–to leave FARMS alone. It would be troubling enough that a researcher would choose to sequester himself from what has historically been an important center of LDS scholarship, but that is not the only troubling thing about Mr. Meldrum’s solution.”

grego: This is somewhat interesting. FAIR and FARMS have continually mentioned that they are loose organizations of individuals, and in essence, there is no real way to “approach… directly”. So why that comment, I don’t know.

I don’t see Meldrum sequestering himself, and Meldrum hasn’t said it that way. Especially if he felt that way after prayer, goodness.

I, however, do have many experiences with “[approaching] FARMS (and FAIR) with [my] research” in more than one way, and I can tell you that you might just as well sequester yourself for all the good that would do! Wait, that’s not completely true… One FARMS member (if it really was him) complained once about one of three critical critiques of his work. Wow.

I imagine if FARMS or FAIR have issues, they can “unsequester” themselves from other scholarship—such as what FAIR has done with these anti-Mr. Meldrum articles. (This does not imply that I agree with Mr. Meldrum.)

There is, of course, another approach: sequester the person themself from FAIR, FARMS, etc. Fitting right in, such is the approach that FAIR (whoops, it’s now www.mormonapologetics.org, not FAIR) took with me when they restricted my access to the apologetics discussion board—a long time after my last post. I’m still trying to view this as irony or hypocrisy…

-=-=-=

Continuing from the FAIR article:
Mr. Meldrum avoids scholarly dialogue by claiming that his ideas are approved by God. He claims that God has told him not to try to “convert FARMS.” Yet, this is exactly what we must do if we have a new idea–we must try to persuade other people, by the evidence, that it is plausible. His revelations, while appropriate for personal evidence, should not be used as evidence for anyone else.

Dr. Nibley points out that this is a key part of examining secular ideas:
A professor is not one who knows, but one who professes to know, and [thus] is constantly in the position of inviting challenge.
He professes publicly where everyone is invited to come and challenge, [and] at any time he must be willing and able to defend it openly against all comers… A scholar [cannot] hide behind in safe immunity from any challenge.40

Mr. Meldrum should, therefore, present his ideas in a forum in which other knowledgeable people can examine them. They could help him by pointing out areas in which his argument is weak.

grego: Yeah, I know exactly how well that works out in reality…

How many scholars “present their ideas in a forum”? How often have any of the FAIR or FARMS scholars done that? I might be missing something, but I haven’t seen many do that on the few boards I’ve seen. By the time they get on boards to discuss something, the time for “presenting” is over…

Anyway, after reading those paragraphs by FAIR, I am very happy to have this blog where I am free to present ideas, point out areas in others’ arguments that I feel are weak, allow others the opportunity to respond (interesting… I unannouncedly get kicked off the forum, yet no one from FAIR has tried to help me by “pointing out areas in which [my] argument is weak”—what’s up with that, is this just lip-service or more?), and not have to worry about whether I’ll get kicked off/ restricted or not because I touched sacred cows (be they topics or people) politically-incorrectly.

Ok, I had said I wasn’t sure if it’s irony or hypocrisy; I think it’s clearer now…
It’s even greater when one remembers the special protective treatment given to certain personages (I’d say scholars, but after Nibley’s comments, “scholars” doesn’t seem to fit) on the discussion board (even when it was a part of FAIR or otherwise).

-=-=-=

Continuing:
Does this mean that one must be an expert, “a scholar,” or have university degrees to “prove all things and hold fast to that which is good?” Of course not. They can be helpful as they help one become knowledgeable with the body of work in a certain discipline and help one gain a certain amount of rigor in one’s research, but anyone with sufficient interest, ability, humility, and grounding is not only able but encouraged to contribute. As Dr. Nibley noted, “What on earth have a man’s name, degree, academic position, and, of all things, opinions, to do with whether a thing is true or not?”41 All that matters is the evidence.

grego: This seems like a really nice place to ask: FAIR, why the heck do you repeatedly use “Mr.” before Meldrum, instead of “Rodney” (his given name) or “Bro.” or just “Meldrum”? Obviously it’s not for formality or for respect; is it to remind people that he is not a “Dr.”? You know, as in this sentence: “However, in an August 2007 conversation with Dr. (!) Louis Midgley Mr. (!) Meldrum disclosed that”…? What’s up?

-=-=-=

From http://www.fairlds.org/DNA_Evidence_for_Book_of_Mormon_Geography/DEBMG03F.html:
Meldrum first makes much of the fact that he is being fair and balanced by presenting both sides of the story. This is like the magician who first assures us that “there’s nothing up my sleeve”:
But there is some confusion because there have been several things attributed to Joseph Smith that he believed that it [the Book of Mormon geography] was in Central America.
Now, I bring this up because I’ve had several people say, “Well, Brother Meldrum, you’re only showing one side of the story and that’s not good research.” I had already done the research, so I already knew the answer, but I left it out originally because it’s a little on the negative side and so forth. But people do have a lot of questions about this and so I decided to go ahead and put it back in.51
This portion of the presentation seems to downplay the importance of what can be seen as disconfirming evidence—he’s only added it to his presentation because people have asked about it, and even implies that bringing it up might be slightly unworthy: “it’s a little on the negative side.” He has thus set the stage and prepared his audience—faithful Latter-day Saints who do not like contention or negativity—to brush the matter off quickly. And, he’s conditioned us to think that this is “no big deal”—he’s only bringing it up because of nitpickers.

grego: Compare that with the introductions FAIR gives as to why they are responding to Meldrum, and you have a very good match-up. Irony, or hypocrisy?

-=-=-=

From Rodney’s blog:
As you know, Rod, as a courtesy to you as a LDS FAIR agreed to enter into a contract with you. The contract provided that FAIR would lock its blog on your material, provide you with its work to date, and withhold publication until September–a date selected at your request. You’re part of the contract was to read the FAIR material, and before FAIR’s publication date you would tell FAIR what you believed FAIR had wrong, and why. FAIR would review that, and make any appropriate changes.

grego: Well, dang! He finally found a way to make FAIR respond, I guess. Kudos! I’ve been trying that for years, with no success… (I guess I just needed to start selling $16 DVD’s that cut into FAIR’s profits or something?)

There’s much more, but it’s pretty much the same: a bunch of emotional responses from FAIR usually lacking in substance; and some pretty grounded replies. Without touching the topic much, Rodney is surely ahead in my book. I’m still not sure exactly what the strong arguments against him are, though maybe sometime I’ll find out. It seems, though, that whatever they throw at him, gets thrown back better, including some of the premises and principles in the arguments. Ok, I’ll put it more clearly: the more I read the exchange, the more Meldrum is mopping the floor with FAIR and especially Robert White. NOT what I had expected… at least from the whole group. FAIR et. al.: really, step back, take a break, and b-r-e-a-t-h-e. It seems like you’re trying to tie your shoelaces and run at the same time, and the result is a lot of loose bows, knots, and falling over. And it’s unfortunate, because if only the strong arguments were paid attention to, it would be clear that Meldrum has some very large problems in his theory.

I suggest that if FAIR wants to win, they cut their resopnses down to about 1/3 of what they are now, with the strongest points first, and cut out much of the talk about Meldrum himself.

Still, in conclusion, I don’t know why so many problems with the LGT (such as the narrow neck of land, journey of 1.5 days) are glossed over/ forgotten/ gaggingly explained, yet a problem or two in another theory is blown up into proof of its impossibleness. FAIR? Anyone?

P.S. Hoping to learn more, I googled the term/ phrase “naked lady gambit”, but it can be found only twice—both times, at FAIR. Duplicates, at that.

“I’ve Been Kicked Off of MormonApologetics.Org!” by grego

Filed under: Uncategorized — grego @ 12:10 am
Tags:

“I’ve Been Kicked Off of MormonApologetics.Org!”
by grego
(c) 2009

Well, it seems I have been kicked off the mormonapologetics.org site. I get a “403 Forbidden” message when I try to get on; but from other computers, I can get on with no problems (I guess they restricted my IP). I double-checked with a login, and after logging in as “grego”, I immediately received a “403 Forbidden” message also. Yup, it’s clear now. This is not just posting privileges. This is everything.

My last post on the site was when I lost posting privileges for a week. I went back later to see the thread, and the moderators had changed the original thread. (They deleted a post, and changed the words in another post. What?!?) That thread occurred about… two years ago. I haven’t posted there since. I was given no warning, no reason, nothing. So, it must have been some other reason…

Maybe it’s because I have “corrected” the work of some of their “in” people, especially Brant Gardner and many who run with his way of thinking. On http://www.mormonapologetics.org, I was always ready and willing to engage everyone and their point of view, on their, my, or a third person’s work, but I know others seemed to have a problem with that… “Nevermind the clown, folks, we’re trying to have a *real* discussion here.” I thought that’s what FAIR and its acronym might have stood for, and what they chided Rodney Meldrum for. I guess my putting holes in some theories (such as Others and the Lehites, surviving Jaredites) didn’t help…

I was and am a person who believes that the Book of Mormon was meant for our day a lot because of politics, and some articles have been about that. I know that didn’t go over well with many.

Perhaps I said something they didn’t like? Perhaps someone finally read the truth in my “About Me” and didn’t like it? Perhaps “I’m sorry” is too hard to say?

It could have been this article: “LDS Apologetics FAIR Says: ‘Absolutely Forbidden by Scripture’–Which Scripture?” that tipped the scales, though it would have been very quick work… I imagine if it were because of an article, it would have had to have been this one: Book of Mormon | “Countering Critique of the Ox Argument for Others in the Land”. See, the Ox Argument is the sacred cow of the “Others in the Land” position, and that article effectively slaughtered it.

Whatever the reason might have been, I imagine it’s probably very justifiable in their minds. In fact, if I were a mormonapologetics.com FAIR people, I would have kicked grego off the board a long time ago, because let’s face it: it’s so much easier to “forbid” someone from a site, than to actually respond to and with logic/ scholarliness. It’s a favorite anti-Mormon trick, and it seems someone has learned well from their enemies.

Oh well, I hadn’t posted for a very long time, and didn’t plan on it as long as the perpetrators of the closing thread remained in good standing…

So, to anyone who added me as a friend or who has messages or whatever, it’s useless to contact me through that means anymore.

I do thank them for the opportunities I had to interact with everyone and discuss lots of ideas, and I thank the (good) moderators for the volunteer work they put in. It was a decent time, and there are some great thinkers there. Perhaps you, the reader, would enjoy commenting there, and I hope you have a better experience than I at the end.

2009, August 10

“LDS Apologetics FAIR Says: ‘Absolutely Forbidden by Scripture’–Which Scripture?” by grego

Filed under: Uncategorized — grego @ 11:59 pm
Tags: , , , ,

“LDS Apologetics FAIR Says: ‘Absolutely Forbidden by Scripture’—Which Scripture?”
by grego
(c) 2009

Reading on a FAIR apologetics page, I noticed this (from http://www.fairlds.org/Book_of_Mormon/MisguidedF.html):

“Mr. Meldrum insists that the blessing affirms ‘the validity [of] the…work.’ Most Latter-day Saints know that the recitation of the contents of a blessing to others with the intention of convincing them that one’s course is in harmony with the powers of heaven is absolutely forbidden by scripture.”

Ok, does anyone have a scripture reference(s) that “absolutely [forbids]” this?

Book of Mormon: “Jacob 6 and 7: Theory, Reality” by grego

Filed under: Book of Mormon — grego @ 10:56 pm
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Book of Mormon: “Jacob 6 and 7: Theory, Reality”
by grego
(c) 2009

Much like Alma 29 and Alma 30, Jacob 6 and Jacob 7 are a theoretical preaching followed by a story that reflects in reality, tying up the section.

In Jacob 6, Jacob preaches:
Jacob 6:8 Behold, will ye reject these words? Will ye reject the words of the prophets; and will ye reject all the words which have been spoken concerning Christ, after so many have spoken concerning him; and deny the good word of Christ, and the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and quench the Holy Spirit, and make a mock of the great plan of redemption, which hath been laid for you?

Jacob 6:9 Know ye not that if ye will do these things, that the power of the redemption and the resurrection, which is in Christ, will bring you to stand with shame and awful guilt before the bar of God?

In Jacob 7, Jacob meets Sherem and this conversation ensues:
Jacob 7:6 … Brother Jacob, …

Jacob 7:7 And ye have led away much of this people that they pervert the right way of God, and keep not the law of Moses which is the right way; and convert the law of Moses into the worship of a being which ye say shall come many hundred years hence. And now behold, I, Sherem, declare unto you that this is blasphemy…

Jacob 7:8 But behold, the Lord God poured in his Spirit into my soul, insomuch that I did confound him in all his words.

Jacob 7:9 And I said unto him: Deniest thou the Christ who shall come? And he said: If there should be a Christ, I would not deny him; but I know that there is no Christ, neither has been, nor ever will be.

Jacob 7:10 And I said unto him: Believest thou the scriptures? And he said, Yea.

Jacob 7:11 And I said unto him: Then ye do not understand them; for they truly testify of Christ. Behold, I say unto you that none of the prophets have written, nor prophesied, save they have spoken concerning this Christ.

Jacob 7:12 And this is not all–it has been made manifest unto me, for I have heard and seen; and it also has been made manifest unto me by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, I know if there should be no atonement made all mankind must be lost.

Jacob 7:13 And it came to pass that he said unto me: Show me a sign by this power of the Holy Ghost, in the which ye know so much.

Jacob 7:14 And I said unto him: What am I that I should tempt God to show unto thee a sign in the thing which thou knowest to be true? Yet thou wilt deny it, because thou art of the devil. Nevertheless, not my will be done; but if God shall smite thee, let that be a sign unto thee that he has power, both in heaven and in earth; and also, that Christ shall come. And thy will, O Lord, be done, and not mine.

Jacob 7:15 And it came to pass that when I, Jacob, had spoken these words, the power of the Lord came upon him, insomuch that he fell to the earth.

Jacob 7:18 And he spake plainly unto them… And he spake of hell, and of eternity, and of eternal punishment.

Jacob 7:19 And he said: I fear lest I have committed the unpardonable sin, for I have lied unto God; for I denied the Christ, and said that I believed the scriptures; and they truly testify of him. And because I have thus lied unto God I greatly fear lest my case shall be awful; but I confess unto God.

“Jacob’s Double-Ax Imagery in the Book of Mormon: ‘Cleave unto God (as He Cleaveth unto You)’ or ‘Get Hewn Down'” by grego

“Jacob’s Double-Ax Imagery in the Book of Mormon: ‘Cleave unto God (as He Cleaveth unto You)’ or ‘Get Hewn Down'”
by grego
(c)2009

Jacob 6:3 And how blessed are they who have labored diligently in his vineyard; and how cursed are they who shall be cast out into their own place! And the world shall be burned with fire.

Jacob 6:4 And how merciful is our God unto us, for he remembereth the house of Israel, both roots and branches; and he stretches forth his hands unto them all the day long; and they are a stiffnecked and a gainsaying people; but as many as will not harden their hearts shall be saved in the kingdom of God.

Jacob 6:5 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I beseech of you in words of soberness that ye would repent, and come with full purpose of heart, and cleave unto God as he cleaveth unto you. And while his arm of mercy is extended towards you in the light of the day, harden not your hearts.

Jacob 6:6 Yea, today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts; for why will ye die?

Jacob 6:7 For behold, after ye have been nourished by the good word of God all the day long, will ye bring forth evil fruit, that ye must be hewn down and cast into the fire?

Ok, whatever that said in “Nephite”, the wordplay was pretty cool in English. “Cleave unto God as he cleaveth unto you” vs. “be hewn down”.

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