Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2010, November 15

“Book of Mormon: The Prophecy regarding the Three Disciples Fulfilled–‘Sorrow for the Sins of the World'” by grego

Book of Mormon: The Prophecy regarding the Three Disciples Fulfilled–‘Sorrow for the Sins of the World’

grego
(c)2010

Regarding the three Nephite disciples, in 3 Nephi it says:
3 Nephi 28:9, 38
9 And again, ye shall not have pain while ye shall dwell in the flesh, *neither sorrow save it be for the sins of the world*; and all this will I do because of the thing which ye have desired of me, for ye have desired that ye might bring the souls of men unto me, while the world shall stand.
38 Therefore, that they might not taste of death there was a change wrought upon their bodies, that they might *not suffer pain nor sorrow save it were for the sins of the world*.

Jesus’ words are fulfilled in 4 Nephi:
4 Nephi 1:44 And from this time the disciples began to *sorrow for the sins of the world*.

(P.S. Just a reminder: if Joseph Smith were to have made up the Book of Mormon, that is one more thing he would have had to remember (in three places).)

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2010, November 10

“Making the Book of Mormon a Personal Sacred Relic” by grego

Making the Book of Mormon a Personal Sacred Relic

grego
(c)2010

I was thinking about the emotional impact that the Book of Mormon has on my life, and why. Every time I read the Book of Mormon, there is some emotional input; over time, that emotional input grows, and links to the text, so that it seems to be embedded in the text; so that there is a link between the text, my previous experiences/ contexts, and the emotions I have felt while reading that text.

This builds up the spirituality of the text for us, and lays up power, in store, in the text—much like some magic talismans and crystals. In this way, it also returns to us what we have invested in it.

I encourage everyone to build up their personal spiritual power of the Book of Mormon by constant (at least daily) and continual (multiple) reading, study, attention during classes, prayer, revelation, etc.

2010, November 9

“Mosiah 25: Is This How You Feel When You Read the Book of Mormon?” by grego

Mosiah 25: Is This How You Feel When You Read the Book of Mormon?

grego
(c)2010

As I was doing some research and collecting verses from all over the Book of Mormon and being reminded of all I had read many times, I read some verses in Mosiah 25. King Mosiah has his people listen to the scriptures, and as they do so, they have experiences:

Mosiah 25:5 And it came to pass that Mosiah did read, and caused to be read, the records of Zeniff to his people; yea, he read the records of the people of Zeniff, from the time they left the land of Zarahemla until they returned again.
6 And he also read the account of Alma and his brethren, and all their afflictions, from the time they left the land of Zarahemla until the time they returned again.
7 And now, when Mosiah had made an end of reading the records, his people who tarried in the land were struck with wonder and amazement.
8 For they knew not what to think; for when they beheld those that had been delivered out of bondage they were filled with exceedingly great joy.
9 And again, when they thought of their brethren who had been slain by the Lamanites they were filled with sorrow, and even shed many tears of sorrow.
10 And again, when they thought of the immediate goodness of God, and his power in delivering Alma and his brethren out of the hands of the Lamanites and of bondage, they did raise their voices and give thanks to God.
11 And again, when they thought upon the Lamanites, who were their brethren, of their sinful and polluted state, they were filled with pain and anguish for the welfare of their souls.
12 And it came to pass that those who were the children of Amulon and his brethren, who had taken to wife the daughters of the Lamanites, were displeased with the conduct of their fathers, and they would no longer be called by the names of their fathers, therefore they took upon themselves the name of Nephi, that they might be called the children of Nephi and be numbered among those who were called Nephites.
13 And now all the people of Zarahemla were numbered with the Nephites, and this because the kingdom had been conferred upon none but those who were descendants of Nephi.

I laughed as I realized that these were the exact emotions I had. I believe that everyone who reads the scriptures with the correct spirit and Spirit will also feel these same emotions.

Those listening to (/ reading) the scriptures:
—were struck with wonder and amazement.
—knew not what to think.
—were filled with exceedingly great joy.
—were filled with sorrow, and even shed many tears of sorrow.
—did raise their voices and give thanks to God.
—were filled with pain and anguish for the welfare of [sinners].

Also, those reading with the correct spirit and Spirit experience the feeling that the children of Amulon and his brethren (who King Noah’s priests) have: that we are “displeased” and ashamed of our old lives, so to say, and desire to “[take] upon [our]selves the name of” Jesus Christ, “that [we] might be called the children of” Jesus Christ “and be numbered among those who were called” disciples of Jesus Christ.

2010, November 4

“Book of Mormon | Protecting Your Sheep, Overcoming Your Wolves: Personal Applications of Alma 5:59” by grego

Book of Mormon | Protecting Your Sheep, Overcoming Your Wolves: Personal Applications of Alma 5:59

grego
(c)2010

In Alma 5, Alma says:
56 And finally, all ye that will persist in your wickedness, I say unto you that these are they who shall be hewn down and cast into the fire except they speedily repent.
57 …all you that are desirous to follow the voice of the good shepherd, come ye out from the wicked, and be ye separate, and touch not their unclean things; and behold, their names shall be blotted out, that the names of the wicked shall not be numbered among the names of the righteous…
59 For what shepherd is there among you having many sheep doth not watch over them, that the wolves enter not and devour his flock? And behold, if a wolf enter his flock doth he not drive him out? Yea, and at the last, if he can, he will destroy him.
60 And now I say unto you that the good shepherd doth call after you; and if you will hearken unto his voice he will bring you into his fold, and ye are his sheep; and he commandeth you that ye suffer no ravenous wolf to enter among you, that ye may not be destroyed.

As I’ve been on a personal improvement binge (for the past few years particularly) in all areas of life, and hopefully getting close to a meaningful end for many problems, I saw verse 59 (and 60) in a particular manner.

Our persons, our personalities, have lots of different “elements”/ “parts” to them. These could be beliefs, ideas, habits, triggers, associations, etc. that are part of us/ that make us up. Most of them could be classified as good or bad, sheep or wolves.

We have lots of wonderful parts I call sheep. The gospel and the LDS Church have helped me a lot with them.

On the other hand, packs of wolves surround us on every level: spiritual, physical, emotional, etc.

Sickness; emotions such as anger, frustration, despair, revenge; habits such as negative addictions; self-doubt; etc.

They keep us prey, surrounding us, nipping at us, waiting for an opening to lunge in and drag us down, kill us.

We are, to some degree, in fear of them all the time. Or else we foolishly ignore them, and their power over us is stronger.

The less we have to defend against them (faith, strength, power), the easier it is for them to attack us. When one gets a good hold, the others join in.

Our sheep are always at their mercy. Yet the shepherd who loves, protects, and appreciates the sheep, still has power to overcome the wolves. The shepherd has sources from which to draw more power to safeguard the sheep and counter the wolves: prayer, scriptures, renewing covenants, temple attendance, service, etc.

To truly become free, we must either convert the wolves into sheep and bring them into the fold, or drive them out of the fold or kill them, if possible. (Note: this does not mean, nor did Alma mean, that the righteous should kill the wicked or apostates!)

So, I’ve been working on overcoming my wolves recently… What wonderful imagery!

2010, November 3

“Book of Mormon Geography: The Nephites Lived near Wolves; Are There Wolves in Mesoamerica?” by grego

“Book of Mormon Geography: Alma 5:59—The Nephites Lived near Wolves; Are There Wolves in Mesoamerica?””

grego
(c)2010

The book of Mormon says that there were wolves among the Nephites, and this might give us a clue as to where the Book of Mormon geographical setting was (Mesoamerica, New York, etc.).

In Alma 5, Alma says:
59 For what shepherd is there among you having many sheep doth not watch over them, that the wolves enter not and devour his flock? And behold, if a wolf enter his flock doth he not drive him out? Yea, and at the last, if he can, he will destroy him.

3 Nephi 14:15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Wolves were there! Alma 5:59 especially is not just “a reference” to wolves (like perhaps in Isaiah), but a verse clearly showing that the Nephites lived near wolves.

Where are wolves in the Americas? Guatemala? Central America? Peru? New York? Utah? Looking at www.discoverlife.org, currently (not back then) I see this geographical distribution:
Canis rufus: North America and possibly northern Mexico, at lowest
Canis lupus: North America; Mexico (very little), Argentina (very little, if any?)

Ouch! That doesn’t seem to fare well for the Guatemala-as-the-Book-of-Mormon-geography folks.

Maybe a jackal?
Jackals are noted in the Bible; Nephi and likely Jacob would know what they were; so unless they showed up later than Nephi and Jacob, wolf =/= jackal. Still (discoverlife.org again, and in the future, too):
Black-backed jackals: California, possibly New York?

Coyote?
I imagine coyotes would be with jackals or dogs more than with wolves, but… Maybe, maybe not.
Coyote: everywhere in North and Central America—except the Yucatan Penninsula.

Wild (feral) dogs?
There are three mentions of (wild) dogs in the Book of Mormon, from Mosiah to Helaman:

Mosiah 12:2 Yea, wo be unto this generation! And the Lord said unto me: Stretch forth thy hand and prophesy, saying: Thus saith the Lord, it shall come to pass that this generation, because of their iniquities, shall be brought into bondage, and shall be smitten on the cheek; yea, and shall be driven by men, and shall be slain; and the vultures of the air, and the dogs, yea, and the wild beasts, shall devour their flesh.

Alma 16:10 But behold, in one day it was left desolate; and the carcases were mangled by dogs and wild beasts of the wilderness.

Helaman 7:19 And behold, instead of gathering you, except ye will repent, behold, he shall scatter you forth that ye shall become meat for dogs and wild beasts.

It seems that these dogs are meat scavengers; also, “dog” always appears right in front of “wild beasts”. Dogs have been in the Americas since before the Lehites, though I’m not sure where…

Searching for Mayan myths about wolves, or just anything between Mayas and wolves, I have only found a photo of a “wolf man” sculpture.

And that’s all for here, now.

Perhaps someone could look into geographical distribution for wolves in 83 BC in the Americas? :)

“Book of Mormon: Jacob’s Prophecy of Destruction in Jacob 3 Fulfilled in Omni 1” by grego

Book of Mormon: Jacob’s Prophecy of Destruction in Jacob 3 Fulfilled in Omni 1

grego
(c) 2010

Jacob prophesies:
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.
4 And the time speedily cometh, that except ye repent they shall possess the land of your inheritance, and the Lord God will lead away the righteous out from among you.

So, the Lamanites will destoy the unrepentant Nephites. While this seems like a foretelling of the end of the Nephite nation in 400’s AD, it might mean something else.

Then, if the Nephites don’t repent, the Lamanites will take over their first lands, and the righteous will be led away. Which also means, the wicked Nephites will be destroyed.

Later, there is this:
Omni 1:4 And now I, Amaron, write the things whatsoever I write, which are few, in the book of my father.
5 Behold, it came to pass that *three hundred and twenty years had passed away, and the more wicked part of the Nephites were destroyed.
6 For the Lord would not suffer, after he had led them out of the land of Jerusalem and kept and preserved them from falling into the hands of their enemies, yea, he would not suffer that the words should not be verified, which he spake unto our fathers, saying that: Inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall not prosper in the land.
7 Wherefore, the Lord did visit them in great judgment; nevertheless, he did spare the righteous that they should not perish, but did deliver them out of the hands of their enemies.
12 Behold, I am Amaleki, the son of Abinadom. Behold, I will speak unto you somewhat concerning Mosiah, who was made king over the land of Zarahemla; for behold, he being warned of the Lord that he should flee out of the land of Nephi, and as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord should also depart out of the land with him, into the wilderness—
13 And it came to pass that he did according as the Lord had commanded him. And they departed out of the land into the wilderness, as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord; and they were led by many preachings and prophesyings. And they were admonished continually by the word of God; and they were led by the power of his arm, through the wilderness until they came down into the land which is called the land of Zarahemla.

There is the fulfillment of Jacob’s double prophecy–18 pages later (in the current Book of Mormon). Once more, internal consistency that adds to Joseph Smith being a prophet or a genius with incredible memory.

2010, November 1

“Book of Mormon: Use of the Word ‘Repent (of)’ to Mean ‘Sorrow for’ in Mormon 2” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Use of the Word ‘Repent (of)’ to Mean ‘Sorrow for’ in Mormon 2”

grego
(c)2010

10 And it came to pass that the Nephites began to *repent of* their iniquity, and began to cry even as had been prophesied by Samuel the prophet; for behold no man could keep that which was his own…
11 Thus there began to be a mourning and a lamentation in all the land because of these things, and more especially among the people of Nephi.
12 And it came to pass that when I, Mormon, saw their lamentation and their mourning and their sorrow before the Lord, my heart did begin to rejoice within me, knowing the mercies and the long-suffering of the Lord, therefore supposing that he would be merciful unto them that they would again become a righteous people.
13 But behold this my joy was vain, for their sorrowing was not unto repentance, because of the goodness of God; but it was rather the sorrowing of the damned, because the Lord would not always suffer them to take happiness in sin.
14 And they did not come unto Jesus with broken hearts and contrite spirits, but they did curse God, and wish to die. Nevertheless they would struggle with the sword for their lives.

So why does it say that the Nephites repented, when they really didn’t?

Another definition of repentance is being used here. It is definition #2 (and likely some #1, too) in Webster’s 1828 dictionary:
REPENT’ANCE, n.
1. Sorrow for any thing done or said; the pain or grief which a person experiences in consequence of the injury or inconvenience produced by his own conduct.
2. In theology, the pain, regret or affliction which a person feels on account of his past conduct, because it exposes him to punishment. *This sorrow proceeding merely from the fear of punishment*, is called legal repentance, as being excited by the terrors of legal penalties, and it may exist without an amendment of life.
3. Real penitence; sorrow or deep contrition for sin, as an offense and dishonor to God, a violation of his holy law, and the basest ingratitude towards a Being of infinite benevolence. This is called evangelical repentance, and is accompanied and followed by amendment of life.

There are other places in the scriptures (mainly the Old Testament) where “repent” means other things than “godly sorrow”. Here are just a few examples:

Genesis 6:6 And it *repented* the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
Here, “repent” is related to the Hebrew root which means “to be sorry”, “moved to pity,” “have compassion.’
It is the same in:
Judges 2:18 And when the Lord raised them up judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it *repented* the Lord because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.

Here, it basically means to “regret” leaving Egypt:
Exodus 13: 17 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people *repent* when they see war, and they return to Egypt:

Here, it basically means “changed His mind”:
Exodus 32:14 And the Lord *repented* of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.
Jeremiah 18:8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.

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