Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2009, May 19

Book of Mormon Article: “Ether 12:27–‘Weakness’ or ‘WeaknessES?’ Part 4 of 6” by grego

Book of Mormon Article: “Ether 12:27–‘Weakness’ or ‘WeaknessES?’ Part 4 of 6”
by grego
(c) 2005-2009

Ether 12:27–“Weakness” or “WeaknessES”?

PART 4

Start at Part 1

Part 3

Here is another place that shows that great faith help the weak ones to overcome their weakness, not weaknesses, and be made strong in the Lord:
“Behold, now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he looked round about again on the multitude, and he said unto them: Behold, my time is at hand” (3 Nephi 17:1).
“I perceive that YE ARE WEAK, that ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time” (3 Nephi 17:2).
“Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again” (3 Nephi 17:3).

And yet, these people received truly unspeakable blessings a few moments later, and Jesus says this about their faith:
3 Nephi 17:8 For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that YOUR FAITH IS SUFFICIENT that I should heal you.
3 Nephi 17:20 And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: BLESSED ARE YE BECAUSE OF YOUR FAITH. And now behold, my joy is full.

Nephi writes of his shortcomings and his need for God:
2 Nephi 4:16 Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard.
2 Nephi 4:17 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.
2 Nephi 4:18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.
2 Nephi 4:19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.
2 Nephi 4:20 My God hath been my support…

Nephi comments on his own writing:
“AND now I, Nephi, cannot write all the things which were taught among my people; neither am I mighty in writing, like unto speaking; for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men” (2 Nephi 33:1) …
“But I, Nephi, have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great worth, and especially unto my people. For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry” (2 Nephi 33:3)
“And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in WEAKNESS will be made STRONG unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal” (2 Nephi 33:4)

Reminders by Mormon and Moroni (note that these all came before Ether 12):
Title Page: And now, IF THERE ARE FAULTS THEY ARE THE MISTAKES OF MEN; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.
Mormon 8:17 And IF THERE BE FAULTS THEY BE THE FAULTS OF A MAN. But behold, we know no fault; nevertheless God knoweth all things; therefore, he that condemneth, let him be aware lest he shall be in danger of hell fire.
Mormon 8:12 And whoso receiveth this record, and shall not condemn it because of THE IMPERFECTIONS WHICH ARE IN IT, the same shall know of greater things than these. Behold, I am Moroni; and were it possible, I WOULD MAKE ALL THINGS KNOWN UNTO YOU.
Mormon 9:31 CONDEMN ME NOT BECAUSE OF MINE IMPERFECTION (not “imperfectionS”), neither MY FATHER, BECAUSE OF HIS IMPERFECTION (not “imperfectionS”), neither THEM WHO HAVE WRITTEN BEFORE HIM; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been.

And then this: Ether 12:40 “And only a few have I written, because of my WEAKNESS in writing”.

Yet Moroni understands, through seeking and finding Jesus, we receive grace:
Ether 12:41 “And now, I would commend you to SEEK THIS JESUS of whom the prophets and apostles have written, THAT THE GRACE OF GOD the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, MAY BE AND ABIDE IN YOU FOREVER. Amen”.

The story of Nephi the third great prophet is interesting. He has such great faith that he constantly works miracles:
3 Nephi 7:18 And it came to pass that they were angry with him, even because he had greater power than they, for it were not possible that they could disbelieve his words, for SO GREAT WAS HIS FAITH ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST THAT ANGELS DID MINISTER UNTO HIM DAILY… and HE DID ALSO DO MANY MORE MIRACLES, in the sight of the people, IN THE NAME OF JESUS (author’s note: not of himself, a mortal man, but by and through God and His power!).

And more about him here:
3 Nephi 8:1 AND now it came to pass that according to our record, and we know our record to be true, for behold, it was a just man who did keep the record–for he truly did many miracles in the name of Jesus; and there was not any man who could do a miracle in the name of Jesus save he were cleansed every whit from his iniquity–

and yet, in just the next verse, we read:
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;

In other words, though Nephi “was a just man”, “cleansed every whit from his iniquity”—through the atonement of Jesus Christ, that is—and had performed “many miracles” (note the so-very-important “in the name of Jesus” here!), Nephi might have made a simple human mistake in keeping track of the time! (Gives ADDer’s great hope, huh?)

When Jesus comes, the first matter of business is to chastize the people for having disputations and contentions regarding the ordinance of baptism and other doctrines–something that Nephi, as prophet, should have been taking care of:
3 Nephi 11:22 And again the Lord called others, and said unto them likewise; and he gave unto them power to baptize. And he said unto them: On this wise shall ye baptize; and there shall be no disputations among you…
3 Nephi 11:27 And after this manner shall ye baptize in my name; for behold, verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one.
3 Nephi 11:28 And according as I have commanded you thus shall ye baptize. And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been.
3 Nephi 11:29 For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.
3 Nephi 11:30 Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.

Later, Jesus checks the records, and finds that Nephi didn’t record the fulfillment of an important prophecy—it seems he had forgotten:
3 Nephi 23:8 And when Nephi had brought forth the records, and laid them before him, he cast his eyes upon them and said:
3 Nephi 23:9 Verily I say unto you, I commanded my servant Samuel, the Lamanite, that he should testify unto this people, that at the day that the Father should glorify his name in me that there were many saints who should arise from the dead, and should appear unto many, and should minister unto them. And he said unto them: Was it not so?
3 Nephi 23:10 And his disciples answered him and said: Yea, Lord, Samuel did prophesy according to thy words, and they were all fulfilled.
3 Nephi 23:11 And Jesus said unto them: How be it that ye have not written this thing, that many saints did arise and appear unto many and did minister unto them?
3 Nephi 23:12And it came to pass that Nephi remembered that this thing had not been written.

Part 5


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2009, April 27

Book of Mormon | “Destruction of Nephite Cities at the Time of Jesus Christ’s Death” by grego

Book of Mormon | “Destruction of Nephite Cities at the Time of Jesus Christ’s Death”
by grego
(c) 2009

In the description of the Nephite cities’ destruction at the time of Jesus Christ’s death, Mormon writes:
3 Nephi 8:8 And the *city of Zarahemla* did take *fire*.
3 Nephi 8:9 And the *city of Moroni* did sink into the depths of the *sea*, and the inhabitants thereof were drowned.
3 Nephi 8:10 And the *earth* was carried up upon the *city of Moronihah*, that in the place of the city there became a great mountain.

Then, describing the aftermath:
3 Nephi 8:24 And in one place they were heard to cry, saying: O that we had repented before this great and terrible day, and then would our brethren have been spared, and they would not have been *burned* in that great *city Zarahemla*.
3 Nephi 8:25 And in another place they were heard to cry and mourn, saying: O that we had repented before this great and terrible day, and had not killed and stoned the prophets, and cast them out; then would our mothers and our fair daughters, and our children have been spared, and not have been *buried up* in that great *city Moronihah*. And thus were the howlings of the people great and terrible.

The city Moroni is missing here…

The same cities are then mentioned by Jesus Christ when He reports the destruction He caused:
3 Nephi 9:3 Behold, that great *city Zarahemla* have *I burned with fire*, *and the inhabitants thereof*.

3 Nephi 9:4 And behold, that great *city Moroni* have *I caused to be sunk in the depths of the sea*, and *the inhabitants thereof to be drowned*.

3 Nephi 9:5 And behold, that great *city Moronihah* have *I covered with earth*, and *the inhabitants thereof*, to hide their iniquities and their abominations from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints shall not come any more unto me against them.

Notice that each city represents one “element” (as in the classical elements, etc.): fire, water, earth. Missing, for some reason, is the element of air, according to the Greeks; but maybe it’s based on a Chinese system, which would only use these three major elements for natural destruction.

The Lord continues His list of cities, this time moving backwards (from fire, water, earth, to now earth, water, fire):
EARTH: 3 Nephi 9:6 And behold, the city of Gilgal have *I caused to be sunk*, and the inhabitants thereof to be *buried up in the depths of the earth*;

WATER: 3 Nephi 9:7 Yea, and the city of Onihah and the inhabitants thereof, and the city of Mocum and the inhabitants thereof, and the city of Jerusalem and the inhabitants thereof; and *waters have I caused to come up in the stead thereof*, to hide their wickedness and abominations from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints shall not come up any more unto me against them.

COMBINATION OF EARTH AND WATER: 3 Nephi 9:8 And behold, the city of Gadiandi, and the city of Gadiomnah, and the city of Jacob, and the city of Gimgimno, all these have *I caused to be sunk, and made hills and valleys in the places thereof; and the inhabitants thereof have I buried up in the depths of the earth*, to hide their wickedness and abominations from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints should not come up any more unto me against them.

FIRE: 3 Nephi 9:9 And behold, that great city Jacobugath, which was inhabited by the people of king Jacob, have *I caused to be burned with fire* because of their sins and their wickedness, which was above all the wickedness of the whole earth, because of their secret murders and combinations; for it was they that did destroy the peace of my people and the government of the land; therefore I did cause them to be burned, to destroy them from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints should not come up unto me any more against them.

FIRE: 3 Nephi 9:10 And behold, the city of Laman, and the city of Josh, and the city of Gad, and the city of Kishkumen, have *I caused to be burned with fire*, and the inhabitants thereof, because of their wickedness in casting out the prophets, and stoning those whom I did send to declare unto them concerning their wickedness and their abominations.

There seems to be some order after all!

As a testimony to Elijah, the Lord did this:
1 Kings 19:11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and *a great and strong wind* rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind *an earthquake*; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:
12 And after the earthquake *a fire*; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

Remember the disciples in Jerusalem? Even thought they had already seen miracles and knew that Jesus was the son of God, they marveled at Jesus’ control over the elements.
Matthew 8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and *rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm*.
27 But *the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!*

Mark 4:37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
41 And *they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him*?

Matthew 14:24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
25 And in the fourth watch of the night *Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea*.
26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30 But when he saw *the wind boisterous*, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
32 And *when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased*.
33 Then *they that were in the ship came and worshipped him*, saying, *Of a truth thou art the Son of God*.

By giving the Nephites (and future readers) examples of destruction by all three elements, and by the words of Jesus himself testifying that He caused the destruction, Mormon and the Lord testify to everyone that Jesus Christ is truly Lord and master over all the elements–earth, water, and fire.

They also testify that He is Lord over the inhabitants of the land that He destroyed, and that He was the one who saved those who were not destroyed (3 Nephi 9:13 O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they… 3 Nephi 9:14 …Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you…).

Oh, air… I see some elements about it in a few places:
1. the thunder, and lightning, and whirlwinds (3 Nephi 8:16, 17, 19);
2. the three days of complete darkness and vapor in the air (3 Nephi 8:20-23); and
3. lastly, the descension of the Lord, from the sky down to the earth (3 Nephi 11:8 And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them…
3 Nephi 11:10 Behold, I am Jesus Christ…)
all constitute testimonies of Jesus’ supremacy over the element of air.

Once more, the Book of Mormon emphasizes Jesus is mighty to save, and to destroy by control over the elements:
3 Nephi 10:12 And it was *the more righteous part of the people who were saved*…
3 Nephi 10:13 And *they were spared* and were *not sunk and buried up in the earth* (earth); and they were *not drowned in the depths of the sea* (water); and they were *not burned by fire* (fire), neither were they fallen upon and crushed to death; and they were *not carried away in the whirlwind; neither were they overpowered by the vapor of smoke and of darkness* (air).
3 Nephi 10:14 And now, whoso readeth, let him understand; he that hath the scriptures, let him search them, and see and behold if all these deaths and destructions *by fire*, and *by smoke*, and *by tempests*, and *by whirlwinds*, and *by the opening of the earth to receive them*, and all these things are not unto the fulfilling of the prophecies of many of the holy prophets.


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