Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2012, September 28

“Book of Mormon: Parallels among the Nephites between the Birth of Jesus Christ and His Post-Resurrection Appearance” by grego

Book of Mormon: Parallels among the Nephites between the Birth of Jesus Christ and His Post-Resurrection Appearance

grego
(c) 2012

There are a few parallels between the two comings of Jesus Christ; the first coming occurs when he is born, and the second is after he is resurrected and appears to the Nephites.

Here’s the first time:
Helaman 14:7 And it shall come to pass that 1)*ye shall all be amazed, and wonder*, insomuch that 2)*ye shall fall to the earth*.
Helaman 14:8 And it shall come to pass that 3)*whosoever shall believe on the Son of God, the same shall have everlasting life*.

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 1)*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 2)*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 4)*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 1)*so exceedingly astonished that they fell to the earth*.

3 Nephi 1:18 For 5)*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.

Here’s the second time:
3 Nephi 11:1 AND now it came to pass that there were a great multitude gathered together, of the people of Nephi, round about the temple which was in the land Bountiful; and they were 1)*marveling and wondering* one with another, and were showing one to another the great and marvelous change which had taken place.

3 Nephi 11:3 And it came to pass that while they were thus conversing one with another, 4)*they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven…
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*.

3 Nephi 11:8 … they saw a Man descending out of heaven…
3 Nephi 11:9 And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying:
3 Nephi 11:10 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.

3 Nephi 11:12 And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words 2)*the whole multitude fell to the earth*; for 5)*they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto them after his ascension into heaven*.

3 Nephi 11:15 And it came to pass that the multitude went forth… and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, 5)*of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come*.

3 Nephi 11:16 1)*And when they had all gone forth and had witnessed for themselves, they did cry out with one accord, saying:
3 Nephi 11:17 Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Most High God! And they did fall down at the feet of Jesus, and did worship him*.

3 Nephi 11:33 3)*And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God*.

2010, January 19

“Book of Mormon: A Critique of ‘The Living Scriptures’ Video ‘Samuel and the Sign'” by grego

“Book of Mormon: A Critique of ‘The Living Scriptures’ Video ‘Samuel and the Sign'”

grego
(c) 2010

When it comes to “scriptures”, nothing kills faster than leaving the script… and that is what happens a few times in The Living Scriptures video, “Samuel and the Sign”.

I understand ‘artistic license’, etc. I don’t believe it should be used so liberally with the scriptures, though. However, that’s not the problem I have here. Here’s what rubs me: my daughters watch, and think “that’s in the Book of Mormon”–only to find out during FHE, or Primary, or whenever, that it’s not; and not only that, but a few parts are plain-out *wrong*.

That’s a nice gift for a child, don’t ya think?

Ok, so Brian Nissen’s [corrected by Anonymous; before incorrectly “Scott Orson Card’s”] (I’m assuming the script was all his idea) getting a way to kill the believers is artistic license, and it’s a good possibility. Kudos. It took some thought and imagination, and it works.

There are a few parts that don’t, however. So, what are they, and how do they conflict with the Book of Mormon?

1. After much prayer, Nephi is told by the Lord that the sign will come that night (3 Nephi 1:11-15).
In the video, Nephi is in the dark as to whether the sign will come or not, and no one else knows, either. He doesn’t seem to have prayed much, either.

2. There is no darkness at the going down of the sun (Helaman 14:3-4; 3 Nephi 1:15, 19).
In the video, it does turn dark at the going down of the sun–if only for a moment or two.

3. The wicked are so amazed and fearful, they fall down at the sign, in fulfillment of Samuel’s prophecy (Helaman 14:7, 3 Nephi 1:16).
In the video, only the bad leader trembles and runs away; for everyone else, hey, it’s all ok, been there done that, it’s over, let’s shake and get on.

4. Jesus will be born the next day (Helaman 14:3; 3 Nephi 1:13, 19).
In the video, Nephi–at the time the sign is given–says that Jesus has been born.

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

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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
19 And it came to pass that there was no darkness in all that night, but it was as light as though it was mid-day. And it came to pass that the sun did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given.
20 And it had come to pass, yea, all things, every whit, according to the words of the prophets.

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 15

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).

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