Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2010, August 16

“Book of Mormon Miracles” by grego

“Book of Mormon Miracles”

(c) 2010

So, what miracles are in the Book of Mormon?

First, appearances and/ or communications directly/ in person from God/ Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, Holy Ghost, and angels. The Book of Mormon has them all.

Any miracles performed by them in person (such as the many by Jesus Christ in 3 Nephi).

References to others’ performances of miracles, such as Jesus Christ, Moses, and some of the writings of Isaiah.

The gifts of the Spirit/ Holy Ghost, such as dreams and visions, prophecies, and revelations. The miracles in the Book of Mormon are mostly comprised of these.

Miracles of deliverance (LOTS in the Book of Mormon), be it physical/ temporal or spiritual. In fact, this is the theme of the Book of Mormon.

Miracles in particular, which often vary in degree, intensity, and “help needed”; often comprised of many miracles (such as getting the brass plates: which required miracles of safe travel both ways—at least once during the night, getting into and out of Jerusalem, twice escaping death at the hands of Laban, the appearance of an angel, Nephi’s return to the city and Laban’s intoxication to the point of unconsciousness and location in the street, Nephi’s plan to appear as Laban, getting the plates, getting Zoram to go with them); and including many of the previously-mentioned.

I’ll give a few more examples of these:
–the Liahona;
–crossing the desert;
–Nephi’s building of the ship;
–the journey to the promised land;
–the mark on the Lamanites;
–Jacob’s note on the ability to command the earth and lower forms of life;
–conversions (Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah; Amulek; Zeezrom; the Lamanites to Anti-Nephi-Lehies (in Alma); the Lamanites (in Helaman); etc.);
–the faithfulness of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies;
–the living of the 2,000 and 2,060 untried sons of Helaman during battle;
–famine and rain;
–the detailed revelation about the death of the chief judge;
–the power of prophets and the priesthood to bless or curse others, and to survive in order to carry out their prophetic missions (Sherem, Abinadi, Alma and Amulek, Korihor, Ether, etc.);
–the signs and prophecies of Jesus Christ’s birth and death;
–the three Nephite disciples;
and many, many more. The list would be extensive, since the Book of Mormon is full of accounts of miracles.

Regarding miracles, the Book of Mormon says:
2 Nephi 27:23 For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith.

Mormon 9:10-11, 15, 17-20
10 And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whom there is shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles.
11 But behold, I will show unto you a God of miracles, even the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and it is that same God who created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are.
15 And now, O all ye that have imagined up unto yourselves a god who can do no miracles, I would ask of you, have all these things passed, of which I have spoken? Has the end come yet? Behold I say unto you, Nay; and God has not ceased to be a God of miracles.
17 Who shall say that it was not a miracle that by his word the heaven and the earth should be; and by the power of his word man was created of the dust of the earth; and by the power of his word have miracles been wrought?
18 And who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty miracles? And there were many mighty miracles wrought by the hands of the apostles.
19 And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.
20 And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.

Ether 12:12, 15-16, 18
12 For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith.
16 Yea, and even all they who wrought miracles wrought them by faith, even those who were before Christ and also those who were after.
18 And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God.

Moroni 7:27, 29, 35, 37
27 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into heaven, and hath sat down on the right hand of God, to claim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men?
29 And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.
35 And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased?
37 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.

2 Nephi 26:13 And that he manifesteth himself unto all those who believe in him, by the power of the Holy Ghost; yea, unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, working mighty miracles, signs, and wonders, among the children of men according to their faith.

Moroni 10:12 And again, to another, that he may work mighty miracles;

2010, March 9

“How Did the Book of Mormon ‘Golden Plates’ Get to New York?” by grego

“How Did the Book of Mormon ‘Golden Plates’ Get to New York?: ‘One Cumorah’ Theory; ‘Two Cumorahs’ Theory; or THIS?”

(c) 2010

There are a few theories that I am aware of about how the Book of Mormon plates got from Moroni’s original location to the hill Cumorah in New York, where Joseph Smith found them:

1. The Book of Mormon setting is *in* or nearby New York; and the hill Cumorah that Moroni hid the plates in, is the same as the hill Cumorah that Joseph Smith found the plates in; so, one hill Cumorah.
2. Moroni traveled from Central America (where he was originally) to New York, where he hid them in the hill where Joseph Smith found them; so, one hill Cumorah.
3. The box the plates were buried in was whisked away from the original hill Cumorah to the hill in New York; so, two hill Cumorahs.
4. The Three Nephites carried them from Central America to New York and buried them; so, two hill Cumorahs.

After reading quite a bit of compiled research about this topic, I find that there is nothing in LDS church history that says that the hill Cumorah in New York *is* the hill Cumorah in the Book of Mormon, or that even implies that; nor is there anything that says the contrary, either. There seemed to have been a whole lot of assumption, misunderstanding, misinterpretation, staunch personal viewpoints parading as doctrine and teachings, complete unquestioning acceptance, hearsay, blind leading the blind, contradictions, and especially illogical and false conclusions on lots of people’s parts (including many church leaders), over the years, for many different possibilities.

I believe #1 and 4 are the most likely of those proposals; yet even then, there seem to be problems. #1 has seeming problems. #2 has the problem that Moroni traveled a very long distance, through all kinds of other peoples; but actually, no huge problem (have you ever heard of “shadow scout”?). But Joseph Smith gives an account of Moroni’s death, saying that he was killed by Indians, or was that Lamanites?; which means he either returned (traveling back 3,000 miles or so) to Lamanite land, which makes me wonder, why?; or, that he was pursued the 3,000 miles by Lamanites who wanted to kill him; hmmm…. Wait! In this reference (I can’t find any other account of Moroni’s death at the moment, sorry), there is mention of “Indians”, but not “Lamanites” in particular, so maybe that would be fine: “At a meeting at Spanish Fork, Utah Co., in the winter of 1896, Brother Higginson stated in my presence that Thomas B. Marsh told him that the Prophet Joseph Smith told him (Thomas B. Marsh, he being then President of the Twelve), that he became very anxious to know something of the fate of Moroni, and in answer to prayer the Lord gave Joseph a vision, in which appeared a wild country and on the scene was Moroni after whom were six Indians in pursuit; he stopped and one of the Indians stepped forward and measured swords with him. Moroni smote him and he fell dead; another Indian advanced and contended with him; this Indian also fell by his sword; a third Indian then stepped forth and met the same fate; a fourth afterwards contended with him, but in the struggle with the fourth, Moroni, being exhausted, was killed. Thus ended the life of Moroni.” -Charles D. Evans, LDS Church Archives, as quoted in H. Donl Peterson, Moroni: Ancient Prophet, Modern Messenger, p. 77

I add a new possibility, which like any of the others, might or might not be true.

In Ether 12, Moroni lists a few miracles that were accomplished by people’s faith:
6 And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; …
7 For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world.
10 Behold it was by faith that they of old were called after the holy order of God.
11 Wherefore, by faith was the law of Moses given. But in the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way; and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled.
13 Behold, it was the faith of Alma and Amulek that caused the prison to tumble to the earth.
14 Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost.
15 Behold, it was the faith of Ammon and his brethren which wrought so great a miracle among the Lamanites.
17 And it was by faith that the three disciples obtained a promise that they should not taste of death; and they obtained not the promise until after their faith.
19 And there were many whose faith was so exceedingly strong, even before Christ came, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw with their eyes the things which they had beheld with an eye of faith, and they were glad.
22 And it is by faith that my fathers have obtained the promise that these things should come unto their brethren through the Gentiles; therefore the Lord hath commanded me, yea, even Jesus Christ.

Interestingly, note that Moroni himself has had many of those and other miracles occur in his life:
Christ showed himself unto;
called after the holy order of God;
received commandments directly from the Lord;
escaped enemies and death;
baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost;
preached by the power of the Spirit;
special promises of his written word and eternal life given and fulfilled;
read the brother of Jared’s account of his vision of all things;
obtained the promise that these things should come unto their brethren through the Gentiles (through him).

Later in Ether 12, Moroni adds another miracle performed by the brother of Jared:
29 And I, Moroni, having heard these words, was comforted, and said: O Lord, thy righteous will be done, for I know that thou workest unto the children of men according to their faith;
30 For the brother of Jared said unto the mountain Zerin, Remove—and it was removed. And if he had not had faith it would not have moved; wherefore thou workest after men have faith.

I propose (as a thought) that the box that the golden plates were in was moved from its original location to New York by a miracle performed by Moroni, perhaps even a “moving-the-mount” which would make the hill Cumorah that Moroni hid the plates in, the same hill Cumorah in New York, relocated.

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