Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2010, October 20

“Book of Mormon and the LDS Church: ‘Much in the Family’ Prophets and Apostles” by grego

Book of Mormon and the LDS Church: ‘Much in the Family’ Prophets and Apostles

grego
(c)2010

It has been noted, usually negatively, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormon Church leadership (usually termed “hierarchy” by those noting) seems to revolve around a few families, most that had been around since near the beginning. When it seems a stranger is called as an apostle, you sometimes find out that he really is no stranger, but intermarried with one of the families.

It’s clear that in the Book of Mormon, much of the religious leadership is in the family, especially the time before Jesus Christ’s appearance. Lehi, Nephi, Jacob, etc. on down to King Benjamin (and because the last one right before didn’t have a son)… Alma, Alma, Helaman, Shiblon, Helaman, Nephi, Nephi… Mormon, Moroni.

There was one section that I had never noticed much before. It was also interesting to me that of the disciples called by Jesus, named and discussed in 3 Nephi 19:
three are related (father, brother, son) and two of these are named after prophets;
two are related (brothers);
two are named “Jonas”; and
three are named after Old Testament prophets (Jeremiah, Zedekiah, Isaiah).
Then, two names seem to be related.

Maybe there are certain family lines that are more… “apropos” to being called to serve as apostles and prophets.

And maybe naming your child after a prophet helps! ;)

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2010, October 19

“Book of Mormon: Pahoran Sons’ Names Clearly Indicate a Syllabic Language”

“Book of Mormon: Pahoran Sons’ Names Clearly Indicate a Syllabic Language”

grego
(c)2010

The three sons of Pahoran that are given are named: Pahoran, Paanchi, Pacumeni (Helaman 1). However, the names don’t just start with “P”, as English speakers would notice; but with a syllable, “Pa”. This is strange to English. It’s true, English etymology (origin of words) does have syllables/ “parts”—such as “con-“, “re-“, “-able”, etc. But rarely are these used in naming people.

Yet some languages, especially where a syllable means/ can mean something (which is also strange to English), are a much better explanation for the “pa” syllable being in a name. In Chinese, for example, names are sometimes given to all the children that start with the same syllable.

So, another foreign influence found in the Book of Mormon that Joseph Smith most likely didn’t know anything about.

“Pearl of Great Price: ‘Kawkaban’ = Abraham and Joseph Smith’s ‘Kokaubeam’?” by grego

“Pearl of Great Price: ‘Kawkaban’ = Abraham and Joseph Smith’s ‘Kokaubeam’?”

grego
(c)2010

Linguists, anything here? (I know lots of times it seems like something, but…)

At http://www.yostours.com.ye/mon_mahwit.htm, about Yemen geography, it says:
Kawkaban: An ancient historical centers and a fortified citadel about 2800 m above sea level, the city is walled from the north and is fortified naturally from the other directions. It was a capital of Bani Sharaf Al-Deen in the 9th century AH (15 the century AD) . It is cauterized by beautiful architectural design. Most of its houses were destroyed in the past and were rebuilt. It was reputed as a school of music. It is said that it was named so because it had two palaces decorated with precious stones. Each of them was called “ a star” (Literally Planet”, so it is *Kawkaban (two stars)* attributed to these two palaces.

Abraham 3:13 And he said unto me: This is Shinehah, which is the sun. And he said unto me: Kokob, which is star. And he said unto me: Olea, which is the moon. And he said unto me: *Kokaubeam, which signifies stars, or all the great lights, which were in the firmament of heaven*.

2010, October 16

“Book of Mormon: Internal Consistency: The Bow and the Arrow as Separate Weapons” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Internal Consistency: The Bow and the Arrow as Separate Weapons”

grego
(c) 2010

(While the consistency is always there, to do a proper research report on this topic in the areas I go would require a considerable amount of time, if not more, which I don’t have right now; so remember, this is not hard data and necessary results here, eh?)

All throughout the Book of Mormon, the bow and the arrow—which we in the USA today know as “bow and arrow”, “bow and arrows”, or “bows and arrows”—are written as “the bow, and the arrow”—listed as if they were separate weapons! Yes, if they are both listed they are paired, but always separate. Outlandish! How else do you use an arrow, especially in war?

In addition, stones and the sling are paired if both are listed, but they are also listed as separate weapons, too.

Here are all the references: “All forms of the word ARROW in the Text of the Book of Mormon.”:

1 Ne. 16:14 And it came to pass that we did take *our bows and our arrows*…
15 And it came to pass that we did travel for the space of many days, slaying food by the way, with *our bows and our arrows* and our *stones and our slings*.
23 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did make out of wood a bow, and out of a straight stick, an arrow; wherefore, I did arm myself with *a bow and an arrow*, with *a sling and with stones*. And I said unto my father: Whither shall I go to obtain food?

Jarom 1:8 …weapons of war—yea, the sharp pointed *arrow*, and the quiver, and the dart, and the javelin, and all preparations for war.

Mosiah 9:16 And it came to pass that I did arm them *with bows, and with arrows*, with swords, and with cimeters, and with clubs, and with slings, and with all manner of weapons which we could invent…

Mosiah 10:8 And it came to pass that they came up upon the north of the land of Shilom, with their numerous hosts, men armed *with bows, and with arrows*, and with swords, and with cimeters, and *with stones, and with slings*…

Alma 2:12 … they did arm themselves with swords, and with cimeters, and *with bows, and with arrows*, and *with stones, and with slings*, and with all manner of weapons of war, of every kind.

Alma 3:5 Now the heads of the Lamanites were shorn; and they were naked, save it were skin which was girded about their loins, and also their armor, which was girded about them, and *their bows, and their arrows*, and *their stones, and their slings*, and so forth.

Alma 17:7 Nevertheless they departed out of the land of Zarahemla, and took their swords, and their spears, and *their bows, and their arrows*, and *their slings*; and this they did that they might provide food for themselves while in the wilderness.

Alma 43:20 Now the army of Zerahemnah was not prepared with any such thing; they had only their swords and their cimeters, *their bows and their arrows*, *their stones and their slings*…

Alma 49:2 And behold, the city had been rebuilt, and Moroni had stationed an army by the borders of the city, and they had cast up dirt round about to shield them from *the arrows* and *the stones* of the Lamanites; for behold, they fought *with stones* and *with arrows*.
4 But behold, how great was their disappointment; for behold, the Nephites had dug up a ridge of earth round about them, which was so high that the Lamanites could not cast their stones and their arrows at them that they might take effect, neither could they come upon them save it was by their place of entrance.
19 And thus were the Nephites prepared to destroy all such as should attempt to climb up to enter the fort by any other way, by casting over stones and arrows at them.
22 Now when they found that they could not obtain power over the Nephites by the pass, they began to dig down their banks of earth that they might obtain a pass to their armies, that they might have an equal chance to fight; but behold, in these attempts they were swept off by the stones and arrows which were thrown at them; and instead of filling up their ditches by pulling down the banks of earth, they were filled up in a measure with their dead and wounded bodies.
24 There were about fifty who were wounded, who had been exposed to the arrows of the Lamanites through the pass, but they were shielded by their shields, and their breastplates, and their head-plates, insomuch that their wounds were upon their legs, many of which were very severe.

Alma 50:4 And he caused towers to be erected that overlooked those works of pickets, and he caused places of security to be built upon those towers, that *the stones and the arrows* of the Lamanites could not hurt them.

Helaman 1:14 … the Lamanites had gathered together an innumerable army of men, and armed them with swords, and with cimeters and *with bows, and with arrows*, and with head-plates, and with breastplates, and with all manner of shields of every kind.

Helaman 16:2 But as many as there were who did not believe in the words of Samuel were angry with him; and they *cast stones* at him upon the wall, and also many *shot arrows* at him as he stood upon the wall; but the Spirit of the Lord was with him, insomuch that they could not hit him with their stones neither with their arrows.

Mormon 6:9 And it came to pass that they did fall upon my people with the sword, and *with the bow, and with the arrow*, and with the ax, and with all manner of weapons of war.

(2 Nephi 15:28 Whose *arrows shall be sharp, and all their bows bent*, and their horses’ hoofs shall be counted like flint, and their wheels like a whirlwind, their roaring like a lion.
2 Nephi 17:24 *With arrows and with bows* shall men come thither, because all the land shall become briers and thorns.)

Notice the different relationships:
1 Ne. 16:14 And it came to pass that we did take *our bows and our arrows*…
15 And it came to pass that we did travel for the space of many days, slaying food by the way, with *our bows and our arrows* and our *stones and our slings*.
23 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did make out of wood a bow, and out of a straight stick, an arrow; wherefore, I did arm myself with *a bow and an arrow*, with *a sling and with stones*. And I said unto my father: Whither shall I go to obtain food?

Jarom 1:8 …weapons of war—yea, the sharp pointed arrow, and the quiver, and the dart, and the javelin, and all preparations for war.

Mosiah 9:16 And it came to pass that I did arm them *with bows, and with arrows*, with swords, and with cimeters, and with clubs, and with *slings*, and with all manner of weapons which we could invent…

Mosiah 10:8 men armed *with bows, and with arrows*, and with swords, and with cimeters, and *with stones, and with slings*…

Alma 2:12 … they did arm themselves with swords, and with cimeters, and *with bows, and with arrows*, and *with stones, and with slings*, and with all manner of weapons of war, of every kind.

Alma 3:5 and *their bows, and their arrows*, and *their stones, and their slings*, and so forth.

Alma 17:7 their swords, and their spears, and *their bows, and their arrows*, and *their slings*; and this they did that they might provide food for themselves while in the wilderness.

Alma 43:20 *their bows and their arrows*, *their stones and their slings*…

Alma 49:2 …they had cast up dirt round about to shield them from *the arrows* and *the stones* of the Lamanites; for behold, they fought *with stones* and *with arrows*.
4 the Nephites had dug up a ridge of earth round about them, which was so high that the Lamanites could not *cast their stones and their arrows* at them that they might take effect…
19 And thus were the Nephites prepared to destroy all such as should attempt to climb up to enter the fort by any other way, by casting over stones and arrows at them.
22 *the stones and arrows which were thrown at them*; and instead of filling up their ditches by pulling down the banks of earth, they were filled up in a measure with their dead and wounded bodies.
24 There were about fifty who were wounded, who had been exposed to the arrows of the Lamanites through the pass, but they were shielded by their shields, and their breastplates, and their head-plates, insomuch that their wounds were upon their legs, many of which were very severe.

Helaman 16:2 *cast stones* *shot arrows*

Here are the weapons and delivery methods:
sharp pointed arrow, quiver, dart, javelin.
spears.
cast their stones and their arrows (no mention of bows, slings).
casting over stones and arrows at them; stones and arrows thrown at them.
cast stones, shot arrows.

What is to “cast”? From Webster’s 1828 dictionary:
1. To throw, fling or send; that is, to drive from, by force, as from the hand, or from an engine. (and there are more, but most definitions don’t fit anything that would have to do with arrows).
So, casting arrows would not be with a bow, but perhaps by hand, string, some kind of sling or method to propel it, etc. It’s possible that definitions changed over time; that has happened before. It’s possible that Hebrew for “to cast” means “to shoot [an arrow]. No doubt linguistic dancing could make “to cast” fit “to shoot [as from a bow]”. Because, we all know arrows are shot from a bow!–right? But as we accept all those possibilities, let’s stop, look, and think.

Reading through the text, I see references to arrows being thrown. But of course that’s stupid—throwing arrows in war?? You throw spears (maybe, usually not), and you throw javelins. But arrows?

Whoops.

Quimsically, a search for “arrow throwing”—something I had never heard of, especially growing up on American Indian shows where a bow was always used— is/ was part of many ancient places/ cultures, including Yemen, Korea, Rome, etc.

Here’s something about arrow throwing in England. From “The Crossbow”, found at http://www.crossbowbook.com/page_243.html (probably 1903 or so):
“The ordinary thrower will cast the arrow from 240 to 250 yards, a very skilful thrower will send it from 280 to 300 yards, the record throw being 372 yards.”

Ok, that’s not much information, and that’s still a long way to throw an arrow…

Anything else that matches the text better?

From http://www.thudscave.com/npaa/designs/baton.htm, is a relation of some experiements :
-=
“Ever seen an arrow thrown with a leather thong? Well its like a piece of string with a knot in the end. You wrap that knot on the arrow around the balance point or something like that and then rotate the string around once or so I forget. Then wrap the other end around your finger and you throw arrows.”

“I brought the same 2.3 ounce dart…
With distance I’m getting *50-55 yards*. I found that *if I try to angle it much higher than a little, from parallel with the ground then not much energy is transferred to the dart and it doesent go more than 30 yards. If its parallel or angled down slightly it just flies!* heh”

“In the book it said for light darts 3/4th a turn of the string around the shaft. For heavier ones, 1 full turn. Well trying that out, I found that 3/4th and 1 full turn caused the dart to fly upwards on release and fly quite a bit higher and arc more like a distance throw. I started wrapping the string about 3 or 4 times around the dart and found that the (trajectory? is that what it’s called?) to be somewhat flat, it didnt have much an arc to it.”

“More experiementing and then I found that the best way to throw was like a throwing spear, but as I’m moving my arm and body forward to lift the dart up and then do a fast downward motion as it’s about to leave. *That makes the dart fly parellel to the ground, with no sideways movement, it flies straight as an arrow!* Usually when I’m throwing like that with a dart, close to the end of the flight, the darts gonna curve a bit.”

“Oh yea sorry forgot to mention that this dart has NO FLETCHING. So it flew like it had fletching, if I did that up/down thing right it would fly flat, straight and direct…”

“After that I started throwing 25 yards from my target. I actually hit the rabbit sized wood/bark 3 times! I hit the lump of snow quite a bit too. One time I threw it so hard, it zoomed hit the iced front part of the lump directly. I went up to pull the dart out. The lump was solid ice….. and the dart was in past the binding of the point. Went in 6 inches…”

“*Oh yea I forgot to mention, try throwing downhill. That’s when this thing REALLY shines I dont want to be on the recieving end! haha*”
-=

So, to sum up:
–great distance, great accuracy, great penetration.
–level launching works; the higher up the target, the less effective.
–throwing downhill really makes it zing.

I think those parts are interesting with regards to the Lamanite attack on Noah. Look one more time at this:
4 the Nephites had dug up a ridge of earth round about them, which was so high that the Lamanites could not *cast their stones and their arrows* at them that they might take effect…
19 And thus were the Nephites prepared to destroy all such as should attempt to climb up to enter the fort by any other way, by casting over stones and arrows at them.
22 …*the stones and arrows which were thrown at them*; and instead of filling up their ditches by pulling down the banks of earth, they were filled up in a measure with their dead and wounded bodies.
24 There were about fifty who were wounded, who had been exposed to the arrows of the Lamanites through the pass, but they were shielded by their shields, and their breastplates, and their head-plates, insomuch that their wounds were upon their legs, many of which were very severe.

If we’re imagining a ridge of earth that is really high, I think we’re mistaken; a good bow could still hit high, too (though I don’t know about 600BC bows. It has been researched that some flight bows could hit 750 yards with a light arrow, 350 yards with a heavy war arrow; see http://www.atarn.org/islamic/Performance/Performance_of_Turkish_bows.htm ). I believe the “ridge of earth” being too “high” has to do with the angle of delivery for thrown or string-thrown arrows—as the commenter was getting at, that when the target is high above the horizon, there’s not enough arc for good delivery, and the arrows don’t fly well at all, especially if they are heavy war arrows.

However, throwing from above, at a target below horizon, is the opposite story.

Given a choice, the bow would not doubt be the excellent delivery method. So, what might be the advantages of throwing arrows instead of using bows to shoot them?
–not having to carry a bow (especially a long one).
–less equipment (size, weight).
–faster travel (especially if through dense forest or jungle terrain), less tired, less cumbersome, one less weapon to maintain.
–more arrows/ other weapons can be carried instead.
–no need to worry about bows, bow strings breaking or becoming useless.
–if there is lots of humidity, or if there are great changes in humidity (which affect bows), there would be fewer problems.
–possibly much faster to attack (more arrows/ minute), less concentration required—but perhaps only if hand-thrown instead of string-thrown.
–no fletching needed.

So, the internal consistency throughout the Book of Mormon about bows and arrows is amazing, and the possibly bizarre-seeming intended meanings of the text actually support war data from other times and places in more similar conditions than what we imagine. If Joseph Smith were making it up, that would be one more brilliant plume in his con hat.

2010, October 11

“Book of Mormon | Mosiah 7: Don’t Kill the Answers to Your Prayers” by grego

“Book of Mormon | Mosiah 7: Don’t Kill the Answers to Your Prayers”

grego
(c) 2010

The Limhites are praying mightily for deliverance for a period of time:
Mosiah 21:13 And they did humble themselves even to the dust, subjecting themselves to the yoke of bondage, submitting themselves to be smitten, and to be driven to and fro, and burdened, according to the desires of their enemies.
14 And they did humble themselves even in the depths of humility; and they did cry mightily to God; yea, even all the day long did they cry unto their God that he would deliver them out of their afflictions.
15 And now the Lord was slow to hear their cry because of their iniquities; nevertheless the Lord did hear their cries, and began to soften the hearts of the Lamanites that they began to ease their burdens; yet the Lord did not see fit to deliver them out of bondage.

Then this happens:
Mosiah 7:3 And it came to pass that on the morrow they (the Nephite group from Zarahemla that was sent to discover what had happened to the Limhites) started to go up.
6 And Ammon took three of his brethren…down into the land of Nephi.
7 And behold, they met the king (king Limhi) of the people who were in the land of Nephi, and in the land of Shilom; and they were surrounded by the king’s guard, and were taken, and were bound, and were committed to prison.
8 …they stood before the king, and were permitted, or rather commanded, that they should answer the questions which he should ask them.
9 And he said unto them: Behold, I am Limhi…
10 And now, I desire to know the cause whereby ye were so bold as to come near the walls of the city, when I, myself, was with my guards without the gate?
11 And now, for this cause have *I suffered that ye should be preserved, that I might inquire of you, or else I should have caused that my guards should have put you to death*. Ye are permitted to speak.

Wow! The answers to their many prayers of deliverance and freedom come, and the answers are almost slain before they can even say anything.

But Ammon clears it up:
12 And now, when Ammon saw that he was permitted to speak, he went forth and bowed himself before the king; and rising again he said: O king, I am very thankful before God this day that I am yet alive, and am permitted to speak; and I will endeavor to speak with boldness;
13 For I am assured that if ye had known me ye would not have suffered that I should have worn these bands. For I am Ammon, and am a descendant of Zarahemla, and have come up out of the land of Zarahemla to inquire concerning our brethren, whom Zeniff brought up out of that land.

King Limhi is happy:
14 And now, it came to pass that after Limhi had heard the words of Ammon, he was exceedingly glad, and said: Now, I know of a surety that my brethren who were in the land of Zarahemla are yet alive. And now, I will rejoice; and on the morrow I will cause that my people shall rejoice also.

Why did Limhi almost kill Ammon and the others? He imagined they were some of king Noah’s priests:
Mosiah 21:19 And the king himself did not trust his person without the walls of the city, unless he took his guards with him, fearing that he might by some means fall into the hands of the Lamanites.
20 And he caused that his people should watch the land round about, that by some means they might take those priests that fled into the wilderness, who had stolen the daughters of the Lamanites, and that had caused such a great destruction to come upon them.
21 For they were desirous to take them that they might punish them; for they had come into the land of Nephi by night, and carried off their grain and many of their precious things; therefore they laid wait for them.
23 And the king having been without the gates of the city with his guard, discovered Ammon and his brethren; and supposing them to be priests of Noah therefore he caused that they should be taken, and bound, and cast into prison. And had they been the priests of Noah he would have caused that they should be put to death.
24 But when he found that they were not, but that they were his brethren, and had come from the land of Zarahemla, he was filled with exceedingly great joy.

So, remember, don’t kill the answer to your prayers! When something comes up, and you start to get all flustered and upset about it, stop and think: is this/ might this be the answer to my prayers?

That happened recently with us. My wife was praying for service opportunities, and yup, we got a whole bunch. All of them seem to be because of families having problems. I wasn’t happy with some of them (like we babysit while a wife works because her excommunicated husband chooses to work at the same time because he doesn’t want to watch his children) and wanted to turn them down, but especially after my wife shared, I settled down and thought… So, we serve more.

I was praying about health, and then the water pressure dropped. I checked out our water source, and it was sick (literally and figuratively). I wasn’t very happy. I was going to get others to come fix it, but for some reason, I cleaned it up really well and sanitarily. Then I realized this big problem was actually a big answer to my prayer. We had been bathing, brushing teeth, washing hands, and washing clothes with this water.

The next week, the water filter guys messed up on it, and water was pouring out all over the kitchen floor (luckily we have tiles and a drain pipe there, no problems). I was upset at the non-professionalism of workers, etc., and wanted to call them up and have them come fix it; but it was a holiday; I could wait; but I knew we wouldn’t have water for a day, but that would be ok; then I saw the hose in a container with roach poison, and I knew they wouldn’t care… Ah heck, let’s take a look! I checked, and lo and behold, there was an abundance of mold, etc. in the water hoses. I cleaned everything up the best I could, and then I realized, that once more, this big problem was actually a big answer to my prayer.

2010, October 6

“Book of Mormon: Mosiah 7 and Answers to Prayers” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Mosiah 7 and Answers to Prayers”

grego
(c) 2010

As I read the beginning of Mosiah 7, I was thinking about the whole Limhi story. And, how sometimes our prayers are answered by a series of thoughts and requests that others have regarding us, a long time before our prayers get answered. The Limhites had tried unsuccesfully and painfully to overcome the Lamanites, having fought them in battle and lost three times; then, they had been praying to God for a long time for deliverance from the Lamanites (see Mosiah 21).

Mosiah 7:1 And now, it came to pass that after king Mosiah had had continual peace for the space of three years, he was desirous to know concerning the people who went up to dwell in the land of Lehi-Nephi, or in the city of Lehi-Nephi; for his people had heard nothing from them from the time they left the land of Zarahemla; therefore, they wearied him with their teasings.
2 And it came to pass that *king Mosiah granted that sixteen of their strong men might go up to the land of Lehi-Nephi, to inquire concerning their brethren.

The people are curious; perhaps people are being moved by the natural and very small promptings of the Spirit? How long had they been pestering King Mosiah? King Mosiah also starts getting bit by the bug, and finally gives in. The Zarahemlaite group starts their quest.

Mosiah 7:4 And now, they knew not the course they should travel in the wilderness to go up to the land of Lehi-Nephi; therefore they wandered many days in the wilderness, even forty days did they wander.

Even then, that’s forty more days of waiting before the prayers are answered; or, forty days planned ahead to answer the prayers of the Limhites.

Then, they find the Limhites. Shortly after, the Limhites are delivered.

So, the whole process of the Limhites’ deliverance was started in Zarahemla, perhaps even long before the Limhites’ situation had become a real problem that they were praying about; still, the process took time, due to the need for the Limhites to repent.

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