Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2010, August 5

“Book of Mormon: Alma’s Interesting Twist on Cause and Effect in Prophecy in Alma 13:26–Events Occur to Fulfill Prophecies” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Alma’s Interesting Twist on Cause and Effect in Prophecy in Alma 13:26–Events Occur to Fulfill Prophecies” by grego

grego
(c) 2010

I generally understand that things (will) happen (“the cause”), and prophecies are made (“the effect”). A prophecy is just foretelling something that is bound to happen. The spirit of prophecy lets one know what will happen in the future, and one can then say something about it.

However, in Alma 13:26, Alma reverses the explanation: the prophecy (according to the spirit of prophecy) is “the cause”, and the events are “the effects” or results:

Alma 13:26 And it shall be made known unto just and holy men, by the mouth of angels, at the time of his coming, *that the words of our fathers may be fulfilled, according to that which they have spoken concerning him, which was according to the spirit of prophecy which was in them*.

It’s a little like Newtonian physics vs. chaos theory.

UPDATE: Reading the Bible recently, I found this:
John 19:28 Ҧ After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, *that the scripture might be fulfilled*, saith, I thirst.
In other words, Jesus did this to fulfill prophecy.

UPDATE:
A slightly different version, same principle, maybe clearer to understand:
3 Nephi 5:14 And it hath become expedient that I, according to the will of God, *that the prayers of those who have gone hence, who were the holy ones, should be fulfilled according to their faith*, should make a record of these things which have been done–

UPDATE:
Mosiah 21:2 And it came to pass that after many days the Lamanites began again to be stirred up in anger against the Nephites, and they began to come into the borders of the land round about.
Mosiah 21:3 Now they durst not slay them, because of the oath which their king had made unto Limhi; but they would smite them on their cheeks, and exercise authority over them; and began to put heavy burdens upon their backs, and drive them as they would a dumb ass–
Mosiah 21:4 Yea, *all this was done that the word of the Lord might be fulfilled*.

2008, October 20

Book of Mormon: More about the Lamanites and Ammonihah, by grego

Book of Mormon: More about the Lamanites and Ammonihah
by grego

Alma prophesies to the (Nephite) people of Ammonihah:
Alma 9:16 For there are many promises which are extended to the Lamanites; for it is because of the traditions of their fathers that caused them to remain in their state of ignorance; therefore the Lord will be merciful unto them and prolong their existence in the land.
Alma 9:17 And *at some period of time they will be brought to believe in his word, and to know of the incorrectness of the traditions of their fathers; and many of them will be saved, for the Lord will be merciful unto all who call on his name*.
Alma 9:18 But behold, I say unto you that *if ye persist in your wickedness that your days shall not be prolonged in the land, for the Lamanites shall be sent upon you; and if ye repent not they shall come in a time when you know not, and ye shall be visited with utter destruction*; and it shall be according to the fierce anger of the Lord.

It’s interesting that this parallel occurs exactly as prophesied in the Book of Mormon, though not in a straightforward way.

The first part of the prophecy is fulfilled in the later story of the preaching of Ammon and his brethren to the Lamanites, in Alma 17-27 or 28.

The second part of the prophecy is fulfilled at the end of the Ammonihah story, in Alma 16.

So, it’s a double prophecy and parallel fulfillment, but in two separate Book of Mormon stories.


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2008, June 2

Book of Mormon: King Mosiah and Kings to Judges

I think that the study on kings by King Mosiah is brilliant. As recorded in Mosiah 29, it is short, concise, and dense. I’ll write later about that.

But what I want to talk about is the situation that king Mosiah had and how he dealt with it.

King Mosiah wanted to pass the kingdom on down to his sons. That was his plan; that had been his plan. I don’t think he had ever considered that they wouldn’t want it. But they didn’t want to be king; none would accept.

This caused King Mosiah to be blocked; stuck; up the creek without a paddle. It seemed like a really bad thing. This is *not* what King Mosiah wanted. But, he got to it. Instead of plowing ahead with an easy answer that wasn’t good, or just taking a step back, he really pulled back and took a look at the course of things. Fortunately, God had prepared his mind for this situation, through many experiences. I imagine these are some of the things King Mosiah considered:

*He had the history of the Nephites, kings and priests on the plates of Nephi.
*He knew about Lamanites and kings and wars.
*His grandfather, King Mosiah1, had melded his people with the Mulekites/ people of Zarahemla, and become the king (Omni 1:19). While it doesn’t explicitly say it, I assume that Zarahemla was king at the time (Omni 1:18, 19). Perhaps King Mosiah2 saw where they were and what they had been through, and maybe potential future problems about ruling/ kings.
*He had two Jaredite records–the smaller one from his grandfather interpreted (Omni 1:20-22), and the 24 plates found by the people of King Limhi (Mosiah 8:9, 28:11). I assume King Mosiah had the words of the brother of Jared about not having kings (Ether 6:23), and most likely two accounts of king after king all the way down to King Coriantumr and the Jaredite destruction.
*He had the story of King Noah and the problems he and his priests had caused, brought by King Limhi and his people.
*He had the words of Alma refusing to be king and a reason or two why (Mosiah 23:6-14); yet Alma was just the Church, not a “nation” including nonbelievers; and at that time there was a big problem with the nonbelievers who remained Nephites (Mosiah 26, 27). In fact, four of his sons were nonbelievers for quite a while, and I think he saw how easy it was for one generation to turn.
So these groups–Mulekites, Limhites, Almaites–with kings (real or basically), united with the Nephites at Zarahemla…

Any answers anywhere?
*King Mosiah had the brass plates, and so I imagine, the records of judges and kings/ Samuel/ Saul.
*He had the prophecies about the land, the land being a land of liberty, people serving God or being destroyed when they were ripe, what that meant, a history of this promise being fulfilled by God.

So, he put it all together and presented their problem and potential future problems, his solution, the reasons for changing, and more about his solution, etc. By commands, I believe it to be clear that this was inspiration/ revelation.

So, what do we do when things don’t go as planned, especially with something major? How do we make our decisions? Where do we look for answers? Do we consider that maybe God has, through time and our experiences, prepared us for new things? Do we remember that we can and are supposed to turn to the scriptures, His word, and Him for direction, help, and confirmation? Do we consider the possibility that Plan B, which we never wanted because we were very happy and content with Plan A, might be 10x better than Plan A ever thought of being? Can we stop, step back, and ponder? Can we look for better ways–maybe not just on the surface, but deeper? Do we have the ability to “let go” of Plan A so that we are free for Plan B? Are we courageous enough to follow the path we see we’re supposed to take? Are we courageous enough to be dependent on the Lord and ourselves, and independent of others’ contrary opinions and harpings? Do we think it out, explain ourselves well, and burn our bridges when they need to be burned? Are we willing to give up something like our descendants being king, in order for something better for everyone? Do we see our solutions through to an end?

King Mosiah’s sons refuse, he remains king until death, and then the system of judges–already in place and judges elected (at least some)–and the laws–already in place–take effect. A smooth transition from kings to judges.

And Alma, the first chief judge and the high priest of the church, had such a great opportunity to be king; yet he set a wonderful example for the people and the following rulers. Perhaps the people saw a need for a great leader who was not only a good man, but had been the son of a man who had already spoken against having kings and displayed passing up the opportunity when he had been asked earlier to be king.


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2008, April 21

Critique 3 of John Tvedtnes Comment in Meridian Magazine–Amulonites

From the same article: http://www.meridianmagazine.com/bookofmormon/080227misunderstanding.html

Tvedtnes writes:

Textual Errors

Some misunderstandings have arisen from errors in the text of the Book of Mormon. A good example is found in Alma 43:13-14:
“the Nephites were compelled, alone, to withstand against the Lamanites, who were a compound of Laman and Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael, and all those who had dissented from the Nephites, who were Amalekites and Zoramites, and the descendants of the priests of Noah. Now those descendants were as numerous, nearly, as were the Nephites; and thus the Nephites were obliged to contend with their brethren, even unto bloodshed.”
The wording of this passage, suggests that it was the “descendants of the priests of Noah” who “were as numerous, nearly, as were the Nephites.” In view of the fact that these priests had captured only 24 Lamanite women to take as wives (Mosiah 20:1-5), it is unlikely that they could have become nearly as numerous as the Nephites. I wondered if perhaps Alma 43:14 should read “dissenters” rather than “descendants.”

A check with the text of the printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon, from which the 1830 edition was typeset, showed agreement with the printed editions. But the original manuscript, from which the printer’s manuscript was copied, reads “de[se]nte[r]s,” thus demonstrating that the passage should note that it was the total number of dissenters who were nearly as numerous as the Nephites, not the “descendants” of the priests of Noah. The error was made during the copying of the printer’s manuscript, when the word in the original was misread. [13] ”

Tvedtnes is correct here, but for another reason: by this time, the seed of the priests of Noah–the Amulonites–had already had some problems, eh. This is in Alma 43, but earlier in Alma 25, we read that:
“4 And *among the Lamanites who were slain were almost all the seed of Amulon and his brethren, who were the priests of Noah, and they were slain by the hands of the Nephites*…
5 And *the remainder, having fled into the east wilderness, and having usurped the power and authority over the Lamanites*, caused that many of the Lamanites should perish by fire because of their belief—

7 And it came to pass that *those rulers who were the remnant of the children of Amulon caused that they should be put to death*, yea, all those that believed in these things.
8 Now this martyrdom caused that many of their brethren should be stirred up to anger; and there began to be contention in the wilderness; and *the Lamanites began to hunt the seed of Amulon and his brethren and began to slay them; and they fled into the east wilderness*.
9 And behold *they are hunted at this day by the Lamanites*. Thus the words of Abinadi were brought to pass, which he said concerning the seed of the priests who caused that he should suffer death by fire.

12 And he said unto the priests of Noah that their seed should cause many to be put to death, in the like manner as he was, and that they should be scattered abroad and slain, even as a sheep having no shepherd is driven and slain by wild beasts; and now behold, these words were verified, for *they were driven by the Lamanites, and they were hunted, and they were smitten*.”

Given also that no more mention is made of the Amulonites (other than Alma 43) and the fulfilling of Abinadi’s prophecy, I wonder if there even were any more Amulonites among the Lamanites after Alma 25; if there were, I imagine they didn’t number many. A more interesting comment from Tvedtnes would have been on why the mention of them in Alma 43, after Alma 25…

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