Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2010, April 29

Book of Mormon | “Moroni the Man, Pahoran the Propagandist UPDATE: ‘Sword of Justice'” by grego

Book of Mormon | Moroni the Man, Pahoran the Propagandist UPDATE: ‘Sword of Justice’

grego
(c) 2010

I have one addition to my article Moroni the Man, Pahoran the Propagandist:

In that article, talking about Moroni’s letter to Pahoran, I wrote:
14. then tells them what will be the result of their failure to repent: “Behold it is time, yea, the time is now at hand, that except ye do bestir yourselves in the defence of your country and your little ones, the sword of justice doth hang over you; yea, and it shall fall upon you and visit you even to your utter destruction” (Alma 60:29).
15. reminds them that if they can’t do the job, they shouldn’t be in the position:
“Behold, I wait for assistance from you; and, except ye do administer unto our relief, behold, I come unto you, even in the land of Zarahemla, and smite you with the sword, insomuch that ye can have no more power to impede the progress of this people in the cause of our freedom” (Alma 60:30).

Note that there are two swords here: the sword of justice, and Moroni’s sword. These are not the same! They are two separate but related swords here.

The term “sword of justice” is unique in the LDS scriptures (Holy Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price) to the Book of Mormon. Here are all the other times it is used:

“All forms of the words SWORD and JUSTICE in the Scriptures”:
–Alma 26:19 Oh then, why did he not consign us to an awful destruction, yea, why did he not let the *sword of his justice* fall upon us, and doom us to eternal despair?

–Alma 54:6 Behold, I would tell you somewhat concerning the *justice of God, and the sword of his almighty wrath, which doth hang over you* except ye repent and withdraw your armies into your own lands, or the land of your possessions, which is the land of Nephi.

–Helaman 13:5 And he said unto them: Behold, I, Samuel, a Lamanite, do speak the words of the Lord which he doth put into my heart; and behold he hath put it into my heart to say unto this people that the *sword of justice* hangeth over this people; and four hundred years pass not away save the *sword of justice* falleth upon this people.

–3 Nephi 20:20 And it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that the *sword of my justice* shall hang over them at that day; and except they repent it shall fall upon them, saith the Father, yea, even upon all the nations of the Gentiles.

–3 Nephi 29:4 And when ye shall see these sayings coming forth among you, then ye need not any longer spurn at the doings of the Lord, for the *sword of his justice* is in his right hand; and behold, at that day, if ye shall spurn at his doings he will cause that it shall soon overtake you.

–Ether 8:23 Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the *sword of the justice* of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.

And this:
–3 Nephi 2:19 And thus ended the fifteenth year, and thus were the people in a state of many afflictions; and the *sword of destruction did hang over them, insomuch that they were about to be smitten down by it*, and this because of their iniquity.

In addition, there is this, written by the record-keeper Moroni, speaking about people in a different time; but note the connection between this and what was happening during the war at the same time that Captain Moroni wrote the epistle to Pahoran and the other Nephite leaders:
36 And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts…unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities…
37 For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.
38 … Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world?
39 Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not?
40 Yea, why do ye build up your secret abominations to get gain, and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, and also orphans to mourn before the Lord, and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands to cry unto the Lord from the ground, for vengeance upon your heads?
41 Behold, *the sword of vengeance hangeth over you*; and the time soon cometh that he avengeth the blood of the saints upon you, for he will not suffer their cries any longer.

Note that *every* use of this phrase “sword of justice” and “sword of vengeance” is prophetic (even the previous one by Captain Moroni), and talks of the sword as being held by God and falling in judgment against people who oppose God/ don’t/ aren’t willing to repent.

Captain Moroni uses this term in his epistle as a prophetic indicator, not as a vain threat or war talk, and not in hypocrisy. It is one more piece of evidence that Moroni is speaking by the authority of God, under direction from the Spirit; and not of himself.

He also explains—afterwards—that should the sword fall, he and his forces will be the physical executioners to fulfill the prophecy.

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2010, April 27

Holy Bible: “Laban’s Trickery and a Lifetime of Hell for Jacob, Leah, Rachel, Grandchildren, and Himself” by grego

Holy Bible: “Laban’s Trickery and a Lifetime of Hell for Jacob, Leah, Rachel, Grandchildren, and Himself”

grego
(c) 2010

Laban (starting in Genesis 29) had a great plan, eh? Lie and trick Jacob to get a good husband for both his daughters, and get a great worker for cheap for 14 years. Yeah!!

Let’s see the general results of Laban’s lying and trickery:

1. Two good sisters were rivals for their entire lives.
2. His son-in-law had little respect for him (at the most), and likely no liking for him.
3. His grandchildren grew up in this environment of rivalry and non-love, and were negatively influenced by it.
4. He himself lost all that he gained by his trickery, including his monetary holdings and his family (Genesis 30-31).

In other words, he put himself, his daughters, his son-in-law, and his grandchildren through lives of hell for a trick or two that seemed, at the time, to “put him ahead”.

2010, April 26

“LDS Mission Presidents Are Human” by grego

“LDS Mission Presidents Are Human”

grego
(c) 2010

Hey, I love them. They sacrifice a lot, and for what? To watch over 19-28 year olds guys and gals (which means everything from babies to very mature people, and it doesn’t depend on the age)!

However, I want to relate something I heard about.

“This past weekend, we went through another losing missionary program at stake conference priesthood leadership meeting, again… (We’ve been having those for the past 15 years or so—not the meetings, the losing missionary programs.) You know, the type where after hours and hours of studying, they come up with something pretty simple, ordinary, and still as full of problems as the last program.

We are still at about the same lousy retention rate, but luckily with fewer people getting baptized recently (I’ll likely never forget 84 new member interviews with the bishop (luckily not me) in one year), as two missions have been combined and our ward has dropped from eight to six to four and pretty soon down to two missionaries. Were everything working well, you could imagine how disappointed we would be to lose all those missionaries… Unfortunately, it seemed like many leaders, not just me, were very happy to hear the news of fewer missionaries when it was announced a few months ago; and unfortunately (fortunately?), the foreign American mission president didn’t know anything about that.

No, the missionary work problems and new member retention are not all the new members’ fault, nor missionaries’ nor the mission president’s fault; a lot is ours, the local leadership, and the auxiliary leaders and the members.

My latest episode with our mission president wasn’t such a good one.

After he gave me a handout of his missionary program in English (thank you, that really was very considerate :) ), I asked about the “How Great Shall Be Your Joy” program. I was a little surprised when he answered he didn’t really have a clue.

(I wonder: if the Brethren would give mission presidents a packet of all the general conference talks and Ensign articles on missionary work, plus past missionary programs and their evaluations (successes, failures, reasons for both, etc.)—would it be helpful? I can’t help but think that it would be *very* helpful.)

I then asked about the “Set a Date” program, and he got a little reluctant. I said, it was a great program that was unsuccessful due to a small problem—like a wonderful young lady who can’t get married because of her big nose—one small operation, or a guy with a big nose, and voila! success has arrived.

I asked about the CD I had given him about two years ago that was chock full of missionary stuff (and to which he never responded ;( )—he got very defensive quickly and said he had gotten it, but that “the Brethren are very clear that we are to use the Proclaim My Gospel book; it’s in there, you just have to dig a little.” And that was, well, kind of that.

I was mad, disappointed, and appalled at the audacity of the answer, and seeing his red face and “I won’t talk any more about this” appearance, I figured I’d have better luck teaching the Catholic priest I taught in his church on my mission, than to try to carry the conversation any further.

So I walked back to my seat with the program handout—WAIT!

What the heck?! Why am I holding this piece of paper of HIS program that ISN’T IN the Proclaim My Gospel book?!?!

And yes, I have “[dug] a little” (and more), but still can’t find anything like his program in the manual; while in fact, most of the things on the CD are in it!!

Nor is his plan in the scriptures, or based on anything from the scriptures, which at least most of the things on the CD were.

So why? What was the difference between our plans?

Here’s the key: No one wants to depart from the status quo system and be a failure.

If you fail doing what everyone else does, or a slight variation of it, that’s ok. You’re status quo. It doesn’t matter much if you fail, because then you can blame it on the LDS Church, the system, the authority above you, …

If you do something different and do well, you might still “be in trouble” from on top. Or not.

But here’s the block: you might fail. Your numbers might drop.
And seriously, this is very important to most. Most leaders are worried about reporting “bad” numbers to their leaders. Righteous leaders, trying to do well (the majority are—mission presidents, stake presidents, etc.). I believe there is a gap between what happens in the field, and what the apostles wished were happening, and I think the main problem has to do with the numbers and Seventies (I’ve spoken on this in other missionary articles on this blog).

If you fail doing something some Seventy or someone in a department in Salt Lake City might lay bricks about, *you* are a failure; you failed the Lord, you failed the Church, you failed the missionaries, you failed the members, etc. And not only that, you won’t be called upon next time for mission president, or temple president, or Seventy, or …

Of course, I don’t believe that is the right way, but I believe that most mission presidents do, and I believe that might be their real-life experience.

Once more, a reminder: All LDS Church leaders are human, including mission presidents. (And including me, of course.)

I love them, but like others, I need to tell them some things they can’t tell themselves, and that someone in SLC likely won’t tell them.

I can’t help but imagine that our mission president has misunderstood some things about his calling (and this is about all of us, not personally).
1. He hasn’t been called to reinvent the wheel, when a wheel or something very similar to a wheel is what is needed. (Change the flat tire, no need to throw away the car and buy a new one.)
2. He has retained his brain even after his call for a reason (and it’s not just to memorize instructions from his leaders).
3. He is allowed to listen to and be open to others, even if they don’t have “authority” over him and the work.
4. He is allowed to consider something that is not “in the book” (he already did that with his own plan, just that I think he has limited himself as to what things he’s allowed to consider… But I don’t know what message(s) he is getting from “the Brethren…??). “The book” even says that.
5. If it ain’t working, it’s likely broke. FIX IT.
6. It might be broken a lot, or a little. You’ll find out by trying to fix it. If you don’t try to fix it, you’ll likely never know.
7. About this missionary program and all the others—it’s broke. FIX IT. Please. Pretty please. Pretty, pretty please.
7. If the Brethren can’t tell you how to fix it, go back to #1 and start again… Also, see my article about “By Study and By Faith”.
8. Generally, if you don’t fix it, it will remain broken. No, the Lord will not fix it for you.
9. You decide if you want to be another status quo broken or a status quo breaker (hopefully for the better). You decide if you are serving the Lord, or serving a Seventy.
10. You will also decide if you want the local leaders to remember you as a saint or something much less.

So, if you are a mission president, please, please, *please* remember those things!

UPDATE: Looking at the 2010 new mission president callings, 17 missions have closed/ will be closing due to “mission consolidation”. Ouch. At least to me, to be a status quo mission president and have to have the mission I was presiding over close, would be much more a sign of failure than to try something different and possibly have a dip in numbers and have the mission close anyway, but at least have a chance of turning things for the better. No, there is no need to rebel against the Lord, teach your missionaries to be apostate, etc. It can all be done with a change in ways and the Spirit.

For possible ideas as to how, use the search function to find the missionary ideas/ missionary work posts here (I’ve listed some on this blog).

2010, April 24

“Book of Mormon: Chapter Heading Correction of 3 Nephi 7: Jacob the Antichrist” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Chapter Heading Correction of 3 Nephi 7: Jacob the Antichrist”

grego
(c) 2010

Part of the current chapter heading of 3 Nephi 7 reads:

“Jacob, an antichrist, becomes king of a league of tribes”.

This is incorrect; he became king of just one tribe/ band out of the many, which, in fact, was the one outcast tribe:

3 Nephi 7:9 Now this secret combination, which had brought so great iniquity upon the people, did gather themselves together, and did place at their head a man whom they did call Jacob;
10 And they did call him their king; therefore he became a king over this wicked band…
11 And it came to pass that they were not so strong in number as the tribes of the people, who were united together save it were their leaders did establish their laws, every one according to his tribe; nevertheless they were enemies; notwithstanding they were not a righteous people, yet they were united in the hatred of those who had entered into a covenant to destroy the government.

2010, April 23

Book of Mormon | “Chapter Heading Correction of 3 Nephi 2: White Lamanites” by grego

Book of Mormon | Chapter Heading Correction of 3 Nephi 2: White Lamanites

grego
(c) 2010

Part of the chapter heading reads:
“Converted Lamanites become white and are called Nephites.”

It should be:
“Converted Lamanites unite with and are numbered among the Nephites; the curse is removed, and their skin becomes white.”

Here it is:
12 Therefore, all the Lamanites who had become converted unto the Lord did unite with their brethren, the Nephites…
13 And it came to pass that before this thirteenth year had passed away the Nephites were threatened with utter destruction because of this war, which had become exceedingly sore.
14 And it came to pass that those Lamanites who had united with the Nephites were numbered among the Nephites;
15 And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites;
16 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.

“The Scarcity Principle, Being Saved, and Heaven” by grego

“The Scarcity Principle, Being Saved, and Heaven”

grego
(c) 2010

Just had a thought the other night…

To sell salvation and heaven, wouldn’t it be better to use the Scarcity Principle?

“There are only 144,000 places up here, so… hurry up and get to it, or you’ll lose your spot to someone else!!”

And yet, that’s not the message in the Book of Mormon:

Helaman 12: 25 And *I would that all men might be saved*. But we read that in the great and last day there are some who shall be cast out, yea, who shall be cast off from the presence of the Lord;

2 Nephi 9: 50 Come, my brethren, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come buy and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price.

2 Nephi 26:24 He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.
25 Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price.
26 Behold, hath he commanded any that they should depart out of the synagogues, or out of the houses of worship? Behold, I say unto you, Nay.
27 Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance.
28 Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden.
33 For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.

1 Ne. 10:18 For he is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever; and the way is prepared for *all* men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.

1 Ne. 13: 40 …and shall make known to *all* kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that *all* men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.

#
2 Ne. 9:5 …for it behooveth the great Creator that he suffereth himself to become subject unto man in the flesh, and *die for all men*, that all men might become subject unto him.
6 For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord.
21 And [Jesus Christ] cometh into the world that he *may save all men* if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of *every living creature, both men, women, and children*, who belong to the family of Adam.
22 And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day.
23 And he commandeth *all* men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.

Omni 1: 25 And it came to pass that I began to be old; and, having no seed, and knowing king Benjamin to be a just man before the Lord, wherefore, I shall deliver up these plates unto him, exhorting all men to come unto God, the Holy One of Israel, and believe in prophesying, and in revelations, and in the ministering of angels, and in the gift of speaking with tongues, and in the gift of interpreting languages, and in all things which are good; for there is nothing which is good save it comes from the Lord; and that which is evil cometh from the devil.

Alma 5: 33 Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you.

2010, April 19

“Book of Mormon: Did Christianity Come from another Religion?” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Did Christianity Come from another Religion?”

grego
(c) 2010

There’s this mistaken belief that Christianity started with Jesus’ earthly life.

Nope.

Christianity was the first religion we humans had.

Adam and Eve were Christians.

However, it didn’t take long for their children to leave “pure” Christianity, often mixing Christianity with other beliefs to form other, new religions.

Pure Christianity existed down until, while being led from Egypt to the promised land, The Hebrews received the Law of Moses (a “lower” form of Christianity), which was to keep them true in their worship; but, over time, the Jews (those of the kingdom of Judah: mostly the tribe of Judah and part of the tribe of Benjamin) lost the true essence of the Law of Moses—the worship of Christ, the Messiah.

Many parts of the Book of Mormon talk about this: here.

For example, Nephi says:
2 Nephi 25:24 And, notwithstanding we believe in Christ, we keep the law of Moses, and look forward with steadfastness unto Christ, until the law shall be fulfilled.
25 For, for this end was the law given; wherefore the law hath become dead unto us, and we are made alive in Christ because of our faith; yet we keep the law because of the commandments.
26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.
27 Wherefore, we speak concerning the law that our children may know the deadness of the law; and they, by knowing the deadness of the law, may look forward unto that life which is in Christ, and know for what end the law was given. And after the law is fulfilled in Christ, that they need not harden their hearts against him when the law ought to be done away.

Jesus Christ came to restore the original religion—pure Christianity—and to fulfill the Law of Moses.

So, the next time someone tells you that “‘Religion X’ came before Christianity, etc., etc.”, you can remember this. Sure, many won’t accept it, but…

Book of Mormon | “Signs and Times: Samuel the Lamanite’s Missing Prophecy of the Time of Christ’s Death” by grego

Book of Mormon | “Signs and Times: Samuel the Lamanite’s Missing Prophecy of the Time of Christ’s Death”

grego
(c) 2010

There is a missing prophecy (unwritten in the Book of Mormon at an earlier time) that is found in 3 Nephi 8:
3 Nephi 8:2 And now it came to pass, if there was no mistake made by this man in the reckoning of our time, the *thirty and third year had passed away;
3 And the people began to look with great earnestness for the sign which had been given by the prophet Samuel, the Lamanite, yea, for the time that there should be darkness for the space of three days over the face of the land.

They were looking for the sign of death at a certain time, but in Helaman 12-14, there is no mention of this time:
Healaman 14:20 But behold, as I said unto you concerning another sign, a sign of his death, behold, in that day that he shall suffer death the sun shall be darkened and refuse to give his light unto you; and also the moon and the stars; and there shall be no light upon the face of this land, even from the time that he shall suffer death, for the space of three days, to the time that he shall rise again from the dead.

27 And he said unto me that while the thunder and the lightning lasted, and the tempest, that these things should be, and that darkness should cover the face of the whole earth for the space of three days.

2010, April 14

“Book of Mormon: How Old Did They Live to Be?” by grego

Book of Mormon: How Old Did They Live to Be?

grego
(c) 2010

So, how old did some of those guys in the Book of Mormon live to be?

*Nephi1: 71-83 years old, estimate (600 BC – 544 BC = 56; +15-23 years, + 0-4 years)
*Alma the elder: 82 years old (Mosiah 29:45) (estimate 25 years old when Abinadi preached: 148 BC – 91 BC = 57 years; 82 -57 = 25)
*King Mosiah II: 63 years old (Mosiah 29:46)
*Alma the younger (before he was likely translated): 54-61 years old ((124 BC – 73 BC) + (3-10 years))
*Helaman: 40-50 years old, estimate (Alma 62:52) (74 BC – 57 BC, + 20-30? years)
*Moroni1: 43 years old, likely (Alma 43:17, 63:3)
*Mormon: 79-90 years old (Mormon 1:2; Mormon 7): (385~401AD -322 AD + 11 years = 74~90)

That’s quite a range! Note that whether young or old, they lived long enough to complete their mission…

www.OvercomingPornography.org Is Missing THIS

“www.OvercomingPornography.org Is Missing This”

grego
(c) 2010

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) has a new website for overcoming pornography called www.overcomingpornography.org.

I’d like to add one very important part that is missing: energy work.

Energy work is currently the best healing available—much more so than 12-step programs, traditional counseling, and non-traditional counseling (https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/if-12-step-addiction-recovery-programs-arent-as-good-as-other-addiction-recovery-methods-why-is-lds-mormon-social-services-relying-on-it/ ).

It is also likely that addiction is aided by wicked spirits, to some degree, and at one time or another—and this is something that 12-step programs, traditional counseling, and non-traditional counseling don’t deal with.

So, for the best in overcoming addiction—pornographic or any other type—try some energy work, such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). Even good NLP can do much better than a 12-step program. Also, look into “spirit release therapy”.

“A Short Response to David Stewart’s ‘The Twelve Tribes of Israel Today'” by grego

Book of Mormon | “A Short Response to David Stewart’s ‘The Twelve Tribes of Israel Today'”

grego
(c) 2010

I found this the other day: http://www.gatheringofisrael.com/12tribes.html and just have a few comments to share.

First, I find that, with usual irony, a writer who unsupportedly refers to others’ ideas as “bizarre and outlandish”, “silly, fantastic, and speculative” in order to proclaim self-authority while they present their own, is often one of those with “bizarre and outlandish”, “silly, fantastic, and speculative” ideas themself; and it seems to stand here, too.

In the gospel, I am slightly unsure how to categorize things; see, to “normal” people, much of the gospel *is* “bizarre and outlandish”, “silly, fantastic, and speculative”. I know that might come as a surprise to many LDS, including David Stewart, but just ask any atheist (many of which, I also believe, are just as “bizarre and outlandish”, “silly, fantastic, and speculative” as LDS…).

Much has authoritatively been spoken about the Ten Lost Tribes in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), and not only does it answer all the problems encountered on the topic, it explains more that David forgot to write. Here are the three major ones, which makes the whole thrust of his article powerless:

1. The Ten Lost Tribes, like Abraham’s seed and the other two tribes, have been and are scattered over the earth (see 2 Nephi 10:22, for example). That is obvious, correct. The following should also be obvious:

2. Anyone not of one of the twelve tribes of Israel is *adopted* into a tribe at their baptism, which is always before their patriarchal blessing; so everyone getting a patrarchal blessing, is already of one of the twelve tribes (and I don’t see proof that every single patriarch will have it revealed to him, and he will state, “you are adopted” if that really is the case; though I could be wrong; source to the contrary, anyone?).

3. The majority of the Ten Lost Tribes (see those capitals? They’re there, and have been there, for a reason…) are in a body, separate. For example, to believe that 3 Nephi 15, 16, and especially 3 Nephi 17:4 refer to all those places (and more!) referenced to in Stewart’s article and that the records are in the Armenian Church museum basement, are… what was that phrase?… “bizarre and outlandish”, “silly, fantastic, and speculative”.

However unbecoming that might be to David and others, I have one word for them: sorry! If the Ten Lost Tribes were hidden under the polar icecaps, in “secret cities” in Russia, in the center of the Earth, under the sea, and so forth”, or even on another planet, such as mentioned by Joseph Smith, well, that wouldn’t be the first time something “bizarre and outlandish”, “silly, fantastic, and speculative” would be in the history of this world—or in the gospel, would it? ;)

2010, April 7

“Book of Mormon | Heavenly Communication: A Clue in 3 Nephi 17:16-17?” by grego

Book of Mormon | Heavenly Communication: A Clue in 3 Nephi 17:16-17?

grego
(c) 2010

3 Nephi 17:15 And when he had said these words, he himself also knelt upon the earth; and behold he prayed unto the Father, and the things which he prayed cannot be written, and the multitude did bear record who heard him.
16 And after this manner do they bear record: *The eye hath never seen, neither hath the ear heard, before, so great and marvelous things as we saw and heard Jesus speak unto the Father*;
17 And no tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things as *we both saw and heard Jesus speak*; and no one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father.

Now, am I reading too much into this, that this heavenly communication had something to do with sight, too? Or is this just that the multitude was bearing witness that they saw Jesus kneel down and pray?

2010, April 3

“Book of Mormon: Why Are Humans Less than the Dust of the Earth?” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Why Are Humans Less than the Dust of the Earth?”

grego
(c) 2010

In the Book of Mormon, king Benjamin says:

Mosiah 2:25 And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. *Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth*; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you.

Mosiah 4:2 And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men.

Why are humans less than the dust? Mormon later tells us why:

Helaman 12:6 Behold, *they do not desire that the Lord their God, who hath created them, should rule and reign over them*; notwithstanding his great goodness and his mercy towards them, they do set at naught his counsels, and they will not that he should be their guide.
7 O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even *they are less than the dust of the earth*.
8 *For behold, the dust of the earth moveth hither and thither, to the dividing asunder, at the command of our great and everlasting God*.
9 Yea, behold at his voice do the hills and the mountains tremble and quake.
10 And by the power of his voice they are broken up, and become smooth, yea, even like unto a valley.
11 Yea, by the power of his voice doth the whole earth shake;
12 Yea, by the power of his voice, do the foundations rock, even to the very center.
13 Yea, and if he say unto the earth—Move—it is moved.

The dust—“owned” by God, and from which humans were made by God (thus humans are “owned” by God)—obeys the word of the Lord exactly: the Lord speaks, and the dust obeys. Humans, however, often do the opposite—the Lord commands, and humans disobey.

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