Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2013, July 25

“Book of Mormon | Alma 51: Why Does Liberty-Loving Captain Moroni Compel and Kill Nephite People who Resist Him?” by grego

Book of Mormon | Alma 51: Why Does Liberty-Loving Captain Moroni Compel and Kill Nephite People who Resist Him?

grego
(c)2011-2013

Some might believe that Captain Moroni wasn’t righteous because he compelled Nephites to do as he wished or die. Surely he could have come up with a more peaceful way to take care of this problem, that didn’t infringe on people’s rights or freedom?

As one put it:

**
“Captain Moroni executed king-men for not taking up arms against the enemy. Was that not compulsion? Must the Nephites have resorted to a hawkish defense policy for preservation against the Lamanites? Couldn’t they have employed a more dovish policy and still maintained peaceful relations?”

“In regards to compulsion of the state, particularly in regards to taking up arms to “defend the country,” there’s no better example of this than in Alma chapter 51. Let’s read this account, shall we? First of all, it begins with a debate between two opposing political parties. On the one hand are those who were labeled “kingmen” and on the other those who were labeled “free men.” Not sure who did the labeling. In verse 5, Mormon writes that those who wanted to alter the law “were called kingmen.” Who did the labeling is a mystery, but my guess, based on history being written by the victors, this label was given by the “freemen” who, in verse six, is written that they took the name upon themselves. In any case, these first few verses are quite fascinating because while contentious, the two sides put it up for some vote (not sure what the voting population was—probably just the men). In the end, the “free men” won, and the “kingmen” lost. They were sad, but they didn’t take up arms against the “free men.”
But here’s where it gets interesting. Amalickiah, now ruling over the Lamanites, pressed his advantage in the war. Pahoran wanted to get more soldiers for the battle. The “king men” refused to fight. Surely one has a right under “voluntarism” to not pick up a sword or a bow and arrow to kill another, right? Isn’t that what you two believe? Or are there instances where voluntarism is void and null? In any case, they refuse to take up arms.

Let’s see what happened:
Alma 51:13 And it came to pass that when the men who were called king-men had heard that the Lamanites were coming down to battle against them, they were glad in their hearts; and they refused to take up arms, for they were so wroth with the chief judge, and also with the people of liberty, that they would not take up arms to defend their country.
14 And it came to pass that when Moroni saw this, and also saw that the Lamanites were coming into the borders of the land, he was exceedingly wroth because of the stubbornness of those people whom he had labored with so much diligence to preserve; yea, he was exceedingly wroth; his soul was filled with anger against them.
15 And it came to pass that he sent a petition, with the voice of the people, unto the governor of the land, desiring that he should read it, and give him (Moroni) power to compel those dissenters to defend their country or to put them to death.

WOW! I gotta say…Imagine today General Patraeus coming out and writing a letter to the president asking him for permission to compel dissenters to defend their country or to put them to death. WOW! Do you two get it yet? A vote was put up before the people and in apparently a free and fair vote, the “kingmen” lost. They didn’t take up arms against the “free men” nor did they take up arms to defend the “free men.” So what do the “free men” do?

And it came to pass that it was granted according to the voice of the people.
17 And it came to pass that Moroni commanded that his army should go against those king-men, to pull down their pride and their nobility and level them with the earth, or they should take up arms and support the cause of liberty.
18 And it came to pass that the armies did march forth against them; and they did pull down their pride and their nobility, insomuch that as they did lift their weapons of war to fight against the men of Moroni they were hewn down and leveled to the earth.
19 And it came to pass that there were four thousand of those dissenters who were hewn down by the sword; and those of their leaders who were not slain in battle were taken and cast into prison, for there was no time for their trials at this period.
20 And the remainder of those dissenters, rather than be smitten down to the earth by the sword, yielded to the standard of liberty, and were compelled to hoist the title of liberty upon their towers, and in their cities, and to take up arms in defence of their country.
21 And thus Moroni put an end to those king-men, that there were not any known by the appellation of king-men; and thus he put an end to the stubbornness and the pride of those people who professed the blood of nobility; but they were brought down to humble themselves like unto their brethren, and to fight valiantly for their freedom from bondage.

WOW! Compelled to hoist the title of liberty. Methinks at this point the whole notion of liberty failed. You’re only free when you are compelled by someone, according to Captain Moroni. Oh, if only indeed everyone were like this man…”
**

First, one needs to understand the Nephite social contract, as explained here: https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2008/07/07/book-of-mormon-korihor-vs-the-nephite-social-contract-the-law-of-war/ .

Liberty, freedom, and Nephite government is not all about “do what you want, even if it infringes on others’ liberty and rights to do what they want”.

Captain Moroni and Mormon explain many times what it is they’re fighting for, as in this article: https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2008/07/31/book-of-mormon-whats-worth-fighting-and-dying-for/

Not long before the situation in Alma 51, there is the Amalickiah situation–an attack on Nephite liberty; a desire for a king; they are angry with the Christians and want to kill them; their numbers are less than the free men; they run away:
Alma 46:4 And Amalickiah was desirous to be a king; and those people who were wroth were also desirous that he should be their king; and they were the greater part of them the lower judges of the land, and they were seeking for power.
5 And they had been led by the flatteries of Amalickiah, that if they would support him and establish him to be their king that he would make them rulers over the people.
6 Thus they were led away by Amalickiah to dissensions, notwithstanding the preaching of Helaman and his brethren, yea, notwithstanding their exceedingly great care over the church, for they were high priests over the church.
10 Yea, we see that Amalickiah, because he was a man of cunning device and a man of many flattering words, that he led away the hearts of many people to do wickedly; yea, and to seek to destroy the church of God, and to destroy the foundation of liberty which God had granted unto them, or which blessing God had sent upon the face of the land for the righteous’ sake.

Most of Amalckiah’s followers are captured, and the ones that covenant to support freedom can live:
Alma 46:33 And it came to pass that Amalickiah fled with a small number of his men, and the remainder were delivered up into the hands of Moroni and were taken back into the land of Zarahemla.
34 Now, Moroni being a man who was appointed by the chief judges and the voice of the people, therefore he had power according to his will with the armies of the Nephites, to establish and to exercise authority over them.
35 And it came to pass that whomsoever of the Amalickiahites that would not enter into a covenant to support the cause of freedom, that they might maintain a free government, he caused to be put to death; and there were but few who denied the covenant of freedom.
36 And it came to pass also, that he caused the title of liberty to be hoisted upon every tower which was in all the land, which was possessed by the Nephites; and thus Moroni planted the standard of liberty among the Nephites.

Harsh? Sure seems that way. Necessary? Sure seems that way.

Who are the king-men in Alma 51? What do they want?

Alma 51:5 And it came to pass that those who were desirous that Pahoran should be dethroned from the judgment-seat were called king-men, for they were desirous that the law should be altered in a manner to overthrow the free government and to establish a king over the land.

8 Now those who were in favor of kings were those of high birth, and they sought to be kings; and they were supported by those who sought power and authority over the people.
13 And it came to pass that when the men who were called king-men had heard that the Lamanites were coming down to battle against them, they were glad in their hearts; and they refused to take up arms, for they were so wroth with the chief judge, and also with the people of liberty, that they would not take up arms to defend their country.
14 And it came to pass that when Moroni saw this, and also saw that the Lamanites were coming into the borders of the land, he was exceedingly wroth because of the stubbornness of those people whom he had labored with so much diligence to preserve; yea, he was exceedingly wroth; his soul was filled with anger against them.
15 And it came to pass that he sent a petition, with the voice of the people, unto the governor of the land, desiring that he should read it, and give him (Moroni) power to compel those dissenters to defend their country or to put them to death.
16 For it was his first care to put an end to such contentions and dissensions among the people; for behold, this had been hitherto a cause of all their destruction. And it came to pass that it was granted according to the voice of the people.
17 And it came to pass that Moroni commanded that his army should go against those king-men, to pull down their pride and their nobility and level them with the earth, or they should take up arms and support the cause of liberty.
18 And it came to pass that the armies did march forth against them; and they did pull down their pride and their nobility, insomuch that as they did lift their weapons of war to fight against the men of Moroni they were hewn down and leveled to the earth.
19 And it came to pass that there were four thousand of those dissenters who were hewn down by the sword; and those of their leaders who were not slain in battle were taken and cast into prison, for there was no time for their trials at this period.
20 And the remainder of those dissenters, rather than be smitten down to the earth by the sword, yielded to the standard of liberty, and were compelled to hoist the title of liberty upon their towers, and in their cities, and to take up arms in defence of their country.
21 And thus Moroni put an end to those king-men, that there were not any known by the appellation of king-men; and thus he put an end to the stubbornness and the pride of those people who professed the blood of nobility; but they were brought down to humble themselves like unto their brethren, and to fight valiantly for their freedom from bondage.
22 Behold, it came to pass that while Moroni was thus breaking down the wars and contentions among his own people, and subjecting them to peace and civilization, and making regulations to prepare for war against the Lamanites, behold, the Lamanites had come into the land of Moroni, which was in the borders by the seashore.

Moroni gives his own perspective on the king-men problem:
Alma 60:16 Yea, had it not been for the war which broke out among ourselves; yea, were it not for these king-men, who caused so much bloodshed among ourselves; yea, at the time we were contending among ourselves, if we had united our strength as we hitherto have done; yea, had it not been for the desire of power and authority which those king-men had over us; had they been true to the cause of our freedom, and united with us, and gone forth against our enemies, instead of taking up their swords against us, which was the cause of so much bloodshed among ourselves; yea, if we had gone forth against them in the strength of the Lord, we should have dispersed our enemies, for it would have been done, according to the fulfilling of his word.
17 But behold, now the Lamanites are coming upon us, taking possession of our lands, and they are murdering our people with the sword, yea, our women and our children, and also carrying them away captive, causing them that they should suffer all manner of afflictions, and this because of the great wickedness of those who are seeking for power and authority, yea, even those king-men.

Pahoran writes about a group of men who are against freedom, set up a king, and fight against the free men and other Nephites fighting for their freedom. This group sounds eerily like the king-men:
Alma 61: 3 But behold, there are those who do joy in your afflictions, yea, insomuch that they have risen up in rebellion against me, and also those of my people who are freemen, yea, and those who have risen up are exceedingly numerous.
4 And it is those who have sought to take away the judgment-seat from me that have been the cause of this great iniquity; for they have used great flattery, and they have led away the hearts of many people, which will be the cause of sore affliction among us; they have withheld our provisions, and have daunted our freemen that they have not come unto you.
5 And behold, they have driven me out before them, and I have fled to the land of Gideon, with as many men as it were possible that I could get.
8 They have got possession of the land, or the city, of Zarahemla; they have appointed a king over them, and he hath written unto the king of the Lamanites, in the which he hath joined an alliance with him; in the which alliance he hath agreed to maintain the city of Zarahemla, which maintenance he supposeth will enable the Lamanites to conquer the remainder of the land, and he shall be placed king over this people when they shall be conquered under the Lamanites.

This is what happens to them:
Alma 62:6 And thus, when Moroni had gathered together whatsoever men he could in all his march…
7 And it came to pass that Moroni and Pahoran went down with their armies into the land of Zarahemla, and went forth against the city, and did meet the men of Pachus, insomuch that they did come to battle.
8 And behold, Pachus was slain and his men were taken prisoners, and Pahoran was restored to his judgment-seat.
9 And the men of Pachus received their trial, according to the law, and also those king-men who had been taken and cast into prison; and they were executed according to the law; yea, those men of Pachus and those king-men, whosoever would not take up arms in the defence of their country, but would fight against it, were put to death.

Amalickiah’s followers, the king-men in Alma 51, and the rebels in Alma 60-61 are all in the same boat: they want a king, they lust after and covet positions of power and authority, and they are willing to use whatever means they can to reach their aims.

The first group was going to use lethal force to get a king, not even bothering to try a vote (unlike the Amlicites); the second group was likely going to wait for the free men to be killed by the Lamanites, then step in and take over; and the third group actually had a rebel king that tried to establish an alliance with the Lamanite king.

So why did Moroni do what he did?
Alma 61:10 And thus it became expedient that this law should be strictly observed for the safety of their country; yea, and whosoever was found denying their freedom was speedily executed according to the law.
11 And thus ended the thirtieth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi; Moroni and Pahoran having restored peace to the land of Zarahemla, among their own people, having inflicted death upon all those who were not true to the cause of freedom.

Captain Moroni didn’t compel random people to join him, or freedom-loving people who feared war but were willing to help out in other ways, or even freedom-haters who were still willing to uphold the Nephite government; he compelled those he had reason to kill because they had rebelled and used arms against him, or who likely would have. Being a Nephite capable of defending their own land and people from an invading army–not attacking or going to another country in a dubious war–meant that you supported the government. Note that there had been always been Nephite dissenters who had left the Nephites and lived under the Lamanite king–there was that freedom. But for those who had crossed the line, Moroni’s compulsion was a form of mercy. It was giving the king-men a chance to prove their loyalty to their country instead of suffering death for treason, as explained in this article: https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2009/02/18/book-of-mormon-an-oath-of-liberty-a-critique-of-the-book-of-mormon-as-support-for-a-moral-obligation-to-fight-for-ones-government-by-grego/ :

“At this point, it is probable that the king-men are not just in a state of dissenting opinion, contention, and dispute, but are dissenters, rebels, opposers of the government in more than word–in a state of open forceful opposition to the government. Every time the word dissenter is used in the Book of Mormon, it is more than just words–there is a physical separation because of a disagreement over law or government. The king-men have chosen to be enemies of the state. They are doing this while still in Nephite land. By doing so, they could be charged with treason and likely executed.

Now, even in this state, Moroni gives them the choice to return in good standing, or suffer the consequences of their choices. Not once do we read in the Book of Mormon of any other Nephite (other than the chief judge) having to take an oath of allegience to the Nephite government. At least for the king-men, taking the oath–after rebelling against the state–allowed them to set aside their penalty and reaffirm their citizenship and rights; refusing to take the oath would just allow the just penalty to be enforced. This oath was to support their form of government, and was a protective set-up so that when Amalickiah and the Lamanites came against the Nepites, they would not be divided on the inside.

If the Amalickiahites had not committed any crime, but had decided to leave the country and go to the Lamanites, this likely would have been fine. However, by being “determined to slay” innocent people, wanting to seek kingship by force, then having the plan to leave the country with a plan to become the Lamanites allies against the Nephites, the king-men are clearly in an illegal situation.

Later, in Alma 62:7, we learn that king-men resisted the lawful Nephite government by the sword, yet the men who were not slain in battle were taken prisoners and received a fair trial. Once more, the opponenets of liberty were required to take an oath. For them, it was not just fight for the defense of the country or die, which would have still been a fair oath, I believe; but: “whosoever would not take up arms in the defence of their country, BUT WOULD FIGHT AGAINST IT, were put to death.” In Alma 62:10, it reads: “And thus it became expedient that this law should be strictly observed for the safety of their country; yea, and whosoever was found denying their freedom was speedily executed according to the law.” “Fighting against the country” and “denying freedom” are different than opposing or refusing to fight in a war, especially in an offensive one in another country.”

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2013, July 22

“Book of Mormon Geography: Where Does Captain Moroni’s Prayer Take Place?” by grego

Book of Mormon Geography: Where Does Captain Moroni’s Prayer Take Place?

grego
(c) 2013

Alma 46:16 And therefore, at this time, Moroni prayed that the cause of the Christians, and the freedom of the land might be favored.
17 And it came to pass that when he had poured out his soul to God, he named **all the land which was south of the land Desolation**, yea, and **in fine, all the land, both on the north and on the south—A chosen land, and the land of liberty**.

Anti-New York geographical setting believers use the second starred section to support their claim that America is included because of the “on the north” part.

But does this land of liberty include the land of Desolation and what’s north of it, or not?

The first starred section makes it seem like it means all the lands on the north and on the south, that are south of the land Desolation. If that’s not what that part means, why was it included, as it seems to contradict what they are trying to prove in the second part?

If not, then does this section support that this must have taken place in North America, such as in New York?

“Book of Mormon: ‘Despised Christians’ among the Nephites??” by grego

Book of Mormon: ‘Despised Christians’ among the Nephites??

grego
(c) 2013

Alma 46:18 And he (note: Moroni) said: Surely God shall not suffer that we, who are despised because we take upon us the name of Christ, shall be trodden down and destroyed, until we bring it upon us by our own transgressions.

I didn’t really understand this verse for a long time–why would Nephite believers be despised in Nephite land?? I think it means “despised by Amalickiah and his followers”.

2013, May 26

“Book of Mormon: Why Were the Nephites Destroyed; How Do We Currently Measure Up?” by grego

Book of Mormon: Why Were the Nephites Destroyed; How Do We Currently Measure Up?

grego
(c) 2013

I’ve compiled a lot of verses for your study that concern the destruction of the Nephites. Hopefully these will help us as individuals, families, communities, and countries to see where we stand before the Lord.

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1 Nephi 12:18 And the large and spacious building, which thy father saw, is vain imaginations and the pride of the children of men. And a great and a terrible gulf divideth them; yea, even the word of the justice of the Eternal God, and the Messiah who is the Lamb of God, of whom the Holy Ghost beareth record, from the beginning of the world until this time, and from this time henceforth and forever.

1 Nephi 12:19 And while the angel spake these words, I beheld and saw that the seed of my brethren did contend against my seed, according to the word of the angel; and \\because of the pride of my seed, and the temptations of the devil, I beheld that the seed of my brethren did overpower the people of my seed.//

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2 Nephi 26:9 But the Son of righteousness shall appear unto them; and he shall heal them, and they shall have peace with him, until three generations shall have passed away, and many of the fourth generation shall have passed away in righteousness.

2 Nephi 26:10 And when these things have passed away a speedy destruction cometh unto my people; for, notwithstanding the pains of my soul, I have seen it; wherefore, I know that it shall come to pass; and \\they sell themselves for naught; for, for the reward of their pride and their foolishness they shall reap destruction; for because they yield unto the devil and choose works of darkness rather than light, therefore they must go down to hell.//

2 Nephi 26:11 For the Spirit of the Lord will not always strive with man. And \\when the Spirit ceaseth to strive with man then cometh speedy destruction,// and this grieveth my soul.

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(This deals with the inhabitants of Ammonihah:) 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.)

Alma 9:19 For he will not suffer you that ye shall live in your iniquities, to destroy his people. I say unto you, Nay; \\he would rather suffer that the Lamanites might destroy all his people who are called the people of Nephi, if it were possible that they could fall into sins and transgressions, after having had so much light and so much knowledge given unto them of the Lord their God;//

Alma 9:20 Yea, after having been such a highly favored people of the Lord; yea, after having been favored above every other nation, kindred, tongue, or people; after having had all things made known unto them, according to their desires, and their faith, and prayers, of that which has been, and which is, and which is to come;

Alma 9:21 Having been visited by the Spirit of God; having conversed with angels, and having been spoken unto by the voice of the Lord; and having the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and also many gifts, the gift of speaking with tongues, and the gift of preaching, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the gift of translation;

Alma 9:22 Yea, and after having been delivered of God out of the land of Jerusalem, by the hand of the Lord; having been saved from famine, and from sickness, and all manner of diseases of every kind; and they having waxed strong in battle, that they might not be destroyed; having been brought out of bondage time after time, and having been kept and preserved until now; and they have been prospered until they are rich in all manner of things–

Alma 9:23 And now behold I say unto you, that \\if this people, who have received so many blessings from the hand of the Lord, should transgress contrary to the light and knowledge which they do have, I say unto you that if this be the case, that if they should fall into transgression, it would be far more tolerable for the Lamanites than for them.//

Alma 9:24 For behold, the promises of the Lord are extended to the Lamanites, but they are not unto you if ye transgress; for has not the Lord expressly promised and firmly decreed, that \\if ye will rebel against him that ye shall utterly be destroyed from off the face of the earth?//

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Alma 45:11 Yea, and then shall they see wars and pestilences, yea, famines and bloodshed, \\even until the people of Nephi shall become extinct–

Alma 45:12 Yea, and this because they shall dwindle in unbelief and fall into the works of darkness, and lasciviousness, and all manner of iniquities; yea, I say unto you, that because they shall sin against so great light and knowledge,// yea, I say unto you, that from that day, even the fourth generation shall not all pass away before this great iniquity shall come.

Alma 45:13 And when that great day cometh, behold, the time very soon cometh that those who are now, or the seed of those who are now numbered among the people of Nephi, shall no more be numbered among the people of Nephi.

Alma 45:14 But whosoever remaineth, and is not destroyed in that great and dreadful day, shall be numbered among the Lamanites, and shall become like unto them, all, save it be a few who shall be called the disciples of the Lord; and them shall the Lamanites pursue even until they shall become extinct. And now, \\because of iniquity,// this prophecy shall be fulfilled.

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Helaman 2:13 And behold, in the end of this book ye shall see that \\this Gadianton did prove the overthrow, yea, almost the entire destruction of the people of Nephi.//

Helaman 2:14 Behold I do not mean the end of the book of Helaman, but I mean the end of the book of Nephi, from which I have taken all the account which I have written.

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Helaman 13:8 Therefore, thus saith the Lord: \\Because of the hardness of the hearts of the people of the Nephites, except they repent I will take away my word from them, and I will withdraw my Spirit from them, and I will suffer them no longer, and I will turn the hearts of their brethren against them.//

Helaman 13:9 And four hundred years shall not pass away before I will cause that they shall be smitten; yea, I will visit them with the sword and with famine and with pestilence.

Helaman 13:10 Yea, I will visit them in my fierce anger, and there shall be those of the fourth generation who shall live, of your enemies, to behold your utter destruction; and \\this shall surely come except ye repent,// saith the Lord; and those of the fourth generation shall visit your destruction.

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Ether 8:18 And it came to pass that \\they formed a secret combination,// even as they of old; which combination is most abominable and wicked above all, in the sight of God;

Ether 8:21 And \\they have caused the destruction of this people of whom I am now speaking, and also the destruction of the people of Nephi.//

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3 Nephi 27:32 But behold, it sorroweth me because of the fourth generation from this generation, for \\they are led away captive by him even as was the son of perdition; for they will sell me for silver and for gold, and for that which moth doth corrupt and which thieves can break through and steal.// And in that day will I visit them, even in turning their works upon their own heads.

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Moroni 8:27 Behold, my son, I will write unto you again if I go not out soon against the Lamanites. Behold, \\the pride of this nation, or the people of the Nephites, hath proven their destruction except they should repent.//

Moroni 8:28 Pray for them, my son, that repentance may come unto them. But behold, I fear lest \\the Spirit hath ceased striving with them;// and in this part of the land \\they are also seeking to put down all power and authority which cometh from God; and they are denying the Holy Ghost.//

Moroni 8:29 And \\after rejecting so great a knowledge, my son, they must perish soon,// unto the fulfilling of the prophecies which were spoken by the prophets, as well as the words of our Savior himself.

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Moroni 9:22 But behold, my son, I recommend thee unto God, and I trust in Christ that thou wilt be saved; and I pray unto God that he will spare thy life, to witness the return of his people unto him, or their utter destruction; for I know that \\they must perish except they repent and return unto him.//

Moroni 9:23 And if they perish it will be like unto the Jaredites, \\because of the wilfulness of their hearts, seeking for blood and revenge.//

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormons || Blacks and the Priesthood Ban: Are Blacks Marked and Cursed/ Black because of Being Less Valiant in the Preexistence?” by grego

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormons || Blacks and the Priesthood Ban: Are Blacks Marked and Cursed/ Black because of Being Less Valiant in the Preexistence?

grego

(c)2013

Are Blacks Black because of Being Less Valiant in the Preexistence?

President Brigham Young, answering a question put to him by Elder Lorenzo D. Young in a meeting held December 25 , 1869, in Salt Lake City, said that Joseph Smith had declared that the Negroes were not neutral in heaven, for all the spirits took sides, but the posterity of Cain are black because he (Cain) committed murder.”
–From “The Way to Perfection”, pages 105-106.

Yet, President Joseph Fielding Smith taught:
“There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantages. The reason is that we once had an estate before we came here, and were obedient, more or less, to the laws that were given us there. Those who were faithful in all things there received greater blessings here, and those who were not faithful received less.” (Doctrines of Salvation, p. 61)

And Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught: “It is the Lord’s doing, is based on his eternal laws of justice, and grows out of the lack of Spiritual valiance of those concerned in their first estate.” (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, pp. 527-528)

However, this statement was removed from the second edition of “Mormon Doctrine”, likely in direction from the First Presidency (or at the least, a more senior apostle).

Is there a connection between where one is born, family, race, country, society, etc. and our faith and action in the preexistence? I believe so.

What is the connection? I have no idea! I don’t think the leaders knew/ know it all, either.

Look at Abraham–his father was an idol worshiper who tried to have him killed; he lived in a strange land, with a strange religion, and wandered forever, far from what “home” he might have had, living among heathens. From that point of view, one might say he was less valiant in the preexistence; but there is no doubt he was not in that category:
Abraham 3:23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.
And since the scriptures are a lot about his story, we have much more that proves he was not cursed. But without that for others, it’s hard to tell.

Perhaps the insight that physically and mentally retarded children were choice spirits changed the perspective of leaders. Was being Black really a curse as a result of a curse, or was it a SEEMINGLY “temporary state” for other choice spirits, such as President Monson’s sick fisherman, the beautiful flower in the ugly temporary pot?

Well, more living babies and children die in Africa than about anywhere else in the world. And where do they go in the next life? They are saved in the Celestial kingdom. Is that a curse, or is that much better than where the majority of white children who grow up will go, especially nowadays?

2013, March 21

“Book of Mormon: Stripling Anti-Nephi-Lehies ‘Rehearsed’ to Helaman the Words of Their Mothers? (Alma 56:48)” by grego

Book of Mormon: Stripling Anti-Nephi-Lehies “Rehearsed” to Helaman the Words of Their Mothers? (Alma 56:48)

grego
(c) 2013

Helaman says of his young Ammonite warriors:

Alma 56:46 For as I had ever called them my sons (for they were all of them very young) even so they said unto me: Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth; we would not slay our brethren if they would let us alone; therefore let us go, lest they should overpower the army of Antipus.
47 Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.
48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.

I think we’ve all heard the “taught by their mothers” part, but I had a thought about this other part: “they REHEARSED unto me the words of their mothers”, with the conclusion: “We do not doubt our mothers knew it”.

That begs the questions: How could 2,000 young men rehearse the same words from all their mothers, and believe all their mothers knew it?

I ask my children to recite the Primary standards and the youth standards every day (we’re far from doing it, but I hope we will continue to make progress). Those were written by the church, and I am grateful for them.

I imagine that these women did not wait for the church leaders, a church program, or the government. They got together themselves with the purpose of knowing what they knew and the things THEY knew, through the Spirit, they needed to pass on and instill in their children.

I believe that the mothers actually put together their own creed or “standards” in the form of a presentation/ play/ musical/ recitation, and presented it to their children. This could have been something in church, the community, or personal; or a combination, like say a large yearly presentation and daily personal or weekly church recitations.

Possibly even more, it could have been that in between the time the idea of their sons going off to war, and their actual going off to war, these mothers were mightily moved upon by their love to put something together to strengthen their sons’ faith–and they did it. This faith was not just a belief, but an action for good.

2013, February 5

“Book of Mormon: Enduring to the End” by grego

Book of Mormon: Enduring to the End

grego
(c) 2013

Amidst great confusion, fear, sin, uncertainty, and unrest, Jared and his brother— through thought, faithfulness, and compassion from above—retained unity for themselves and friends and obtained a promised land better than any other land in the world.

It required work, but all things were prepared for them along the way, including special revelation as to where to go, and how to get there. The journey was also a means of spiritual adventure and growth. Things generally went well, and they enjoyed many wonderful years in the promised land.

Unfortunately, the very last step of leadership failed, and this failure brought pain to countless people for over a thousand years.

Enduring to the end is very important. Some of the most moving parts of the Book of Mormon are the parts about people enduring to the end, especially in the face of great trial or adversity. Look, for example, at Abinadi; the martyrs at Ammonihah and Alma and Amulek; the sons of Helaman; the Lamanites “who would not be removed”; Mormon; Ether; Moroni; the last words of many of the prophets.

Is this one of the reasons the Book of Mormon was written for us, is this one of the lessons we can learn from reading it?

“Book of Mormon | Alma 60–Moroni’s Epistle/ Letter to Pahoran: A Type for LDS Church Leaders to LDS Members?” by grego

Book of Mormon | Alma 60–Moroni’s Epistle/ Letter to Pahoran: A Type for LDS Church Leaders to LDS Members?

grego
(c ) 2012-2013

I had a thought today, listening to this chapter. Could I apply it to us, and to me? Yes, I could, and Wow!

I’ve noticed over the years that the people who are helping shed light on the works of darkness the Gadianton robbers are committing are mostly non-LDS, while the great majority of LDS are very pro-government, brain-washed, anti-conspiracy, etc. people. Most avoid those “yucky things” by the excuse that we “just need to be good, and that’s good enough”. The truth is, it’s not. And that’s not just my opinion, but the teachings of many prophets and apostles. Yes, we are trying to do a lot, but it seems that only a very small percentage of active and “faithful” members are truly engaged in “working righteousness”. Even myself–am I sharing the gospel DAILY? If I’m not, chances are good I can improve. Are miracles occurring in my life DAILY?

Look at these Book of Mormon verses:

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.

Helaman 11:23 And in the seventy and ninth year there began to be much strife. But it came to pass that Nephi and Lehi, and many of their brethren who knew concerning the true points of doctrine, having many revelations DAILY, therefore they did preach unto the people, insomuch that they did put an end to their strife in that same year.

Helaman 15:6 Yea, I say unto you, that the more part of them are doing this, and they are striving with unwearied diligence that they may bring the remainder of their brethren to the knowledge of the truth; therefore there are many who do add to their numbers DAILY.

If this type of thing is not happening in my life, it’s likely I’m not trying hard enough to be good.

-=
So here’s the chapter and how it might apply to us (I just changed it over):

Alma 59:13 And it came to pass that [God] was angry with the [members], because of their indifference concerning the freedom of their country.

Alma 60:1 AND it came to pass that [the LDS Church leaders] wrote again to the [members], and these are the words which [they] wrote, saying: Behold, [we] direct mine epistle to [members] who have been chosen by [God] to govern and manage the affairs of [their freedom and country].

Alma 60:2 For behold, [we] have somewhat to say unto [you] by the way of condemnation; for behold, ye [members] yourselves know that ye have been appointed to gather together men, and arm them with [the gospel, principles of the Consitutution, etc. ], and all manner of [non-physical] weapons of war of every kind, and send forth against the [would-be destroyers of this country], in whatsoever parts they should come into our land.

Alma 60:3 And now behold, I say unto you that [many patriots and their families] have suffered exceedingly great sufferings; yea, even hunger, thirst, and fatigue, and all manner of afflictions of every kind.

Alma 60:4 But behold, were this all [they] had suffered [we] would not murmur nor complain.

Alma 60:5 But behold, great has been the slaughter among [the] people; yea, thousands have fallen by the sword [and through sin], while it might have otherwise been if ye [members] had rendered unto [them] your [help] sufficient strength and succor for them. Yea, great has been your neglect towards [them].

Alma 60:6 And now behold, [God and the patriots] desire to know the cause of this exceedingly great neglect; yea, … to know the cause of you [members’] thoughtless state.

Alma 60:7 Can you think to sit upon your [riches and easy life] in a state of thoughtless stupor [of “all is well in Zion” and TV and video games], while your enemies are spreading the work of death [and destruction of freedom] around you? Yea, while they are [physically and spiritually] murdering thousands of your brethren–

Alma 60:8 Yea, even they who [should] look up to you [who are to be the light of Christ] for protection, yea, [are] in a situation that ye might have succored them, yea, ye might have sent [help] unto them, to have strengthened them, and have saved thousands of them from falling by the sword [and by sin].

Alma 60:9 But behold, this is not all–ye have withheld your [minor help and vocal support] from them, insomuch that many have fought and bled out their lives because of their great desires which they had for the welfare of this [American] people [and country and its principles and freedoms]; yea, and this they have done when they were about to perish with [loneliness], because of your exceedingly great neglect towards them.

Alma 60:10 And now, my beloved brethren [and sisters of the Church]–for ye ought to be beloved; yea, and ye ought to have stirred yourselves more diligently for the welfare and the freedom of this people; but behold, ye have neglected them insomuch that the blood of thousands shall come upon your heads for vengeance; yea, for known unto God were all their cries, and all their sufferings–

Alma 60:11 Behold, could ye suppose that ye could sit upon your [riches and easy life], and because of the exceeding goodness of God ye could do nothing and he would deliver [those who love freedom and gospel principles]? Behold, if ye have supposed this ye have supposed in vain.

Alma 60:12 Do ye suppose that, because so many of your [patriots] have been killed it is because of their wickedness? I say unto you, if ye [members] have supposed this ye have supposed in vain; for I say unto you, there are many who have fallen by the sword; and behold it is to your condemnation;

Alma 60:13 For the Lord suffereth the righteous [and those who are working for him] to be slain that his justice and judgment may come upon the wicked; therefore ye need not suppose that the righteous are lost because they are slain; but behold, they do enter into the rest of the Lord their God [or will soon].

Alma 60:14 And now behold, I say unto you, I fear exceedingly that the judgments of God will come upon [these members], because of their exceeding slothfulness, yea, even the slothfulness of [some of the great ones], and their exceedingly great neglect towards their brethren, yea, towards those who have been slain.

Alma 60:15 For were it not for the wickedness which first commenced [in the church], we could have withstood our [political and other] enemies that they could have gained no power over us.

Alma 60:16 Yea, had it not been for the war which broke out among ourselves; yea, were it not for these [gadianton robbers and all those others seeking for riches and power], who caused so much bloodshed among ourselves; yea, at the time we [American members] were contending among ourselves [about whether to follow the prophets and how much], if we had united our strength as we hitherto have done; yea, had it not been for the desire of power and authority which those [eugenecists, communists, bankers, etc.] had over us; had they been true to the cause of our freedom, and united with us, and gone forth against our enemies, instead of taking up their swords against us, which was the cause of so much bloodshed among ourselves; yea, if we had gone forth against them in the strength of the Lord, we should have dispersed our enemies, for it would have been done, according to the fulfilling of his word.

Alma 60:17 But behold, now [our enemies] are coming upon us, taking possession of our lands, and they are murdering our people with the sword [and otherwise], yea, our women and our children, and also carrying them away captive [and brainwashing them and causing them to sin], causing them that they should suffer all manner of afflictions, and this because of the great wickedness of those who are seeking for power and authority…

Alma 60:18 But why should I say much concerning this matter [to you members]? For [we church leaders] know not but what ye yourselves are seeking for authority. We know not but what ye are also traitors to your country.

Alma 60:19 Or is it that ye have neglected us because ye are in the heart of [complacency] and ye are surrounded by security [and other rich and nice people], that ye do not cause food to be sent unto us, and also men to strengthen our armies?

Alma 60:20 Have ye [members] forgotten the commandments of the Lord your God? Yea, have ye [(American) members] forgotten the [literal and spiritual] captivity of our fathers? Have ye forgotten the many times we [and our forefathers] have been delivered out of the hands of our enemies?

Alma 60:21 Or do ye suppose that the Lord will still deliver us, while we sit [in our cushy jobs and houses and “let those kooky patriots do it”] and do not make use of the means which the Lord has provided for [you to at least help out]?

Alma 60:22 Yea, will ye sit in idleness while ye are surrounded with thousands of those, yea, and tens of thousands, who do also sit in idleness, while there are thousands round about [on] the borders of the [dark] who are falling by the sword, yea, wounded and bleeding?

Alma 60:23 Do ye suppose that God will look upon you as guiltless while ye sit still and behold these things [, and hide your faces from them and any truth not spouted and supported by the mainstream media and the government]? Behold I say unto you, Nay. Now I would that ye should remember that God has said that the inward vessel [church members who have covenanted with God] shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel [America] be cleansed also.

Alma 60:24 And now, except ye do repent of that which ye have done, and begin to be up and doing, and send forth [support to patriots], and that we may [support] and also recover the remainder of our possessions in these parts, behold it will be expedient that we contend no more with [our enemies] until we have first cleansed our inward vessel, yea, even the great head of our government.

Alma 60:25 And except ye grant mine epistle, and come out and show unto me a true spirit of freedom, and strive to strengthen and fortify our [true patriots fighting wickedness and evil], and grant unto them [resources] for their support, behold I will leave a part of my freemen [and patriots and true saints] to maintain this part of our land, and I will leave the strength and the blessings of God upon them, that none other power can operate against them–

Alma 60:26 And this because of their exceeding faith, and their patience in their tribulations–

Alma 60:27 And I will come unto you, and if there be any among you that has a desire for freedom, yea, if there be even a spark of freedom remaining, behold I will stir up insurrections among you, even until those who have desires to usurp power and authority shall become extinct.

Alma 60:28 Yea, behold I do not fear your power nor your authority, but it is my God whom I fear; and it is according to his commandments that I do take my sword to defend the cause of my country, and it is because of your iniquity that we have suffered so much loss.

Alma 60:29 Behold it is time, yea, the time is now at hand, that except ye do bestir yourselves in the defence of your country and your little ones, the sword of justice doth hang over you; yea, and it shall fall upon you and visit you even to your utter destruction.

Alma 60:30 Behold, I wait for assistance from you; and, except ye do administer unto our relief, behold, I come unto you, even in the land of Zarahemla, and smite you with the sword, insomuch that ye can have no more power to impede the progress of this people in the cause of our freedom.

Alma 60:31 For behold, the Lord will not suffer that ye shall live and wax strong in your iniquities to destroy his righteous people.

Alma 60:32 Behold, can you suppose that the Lord will spare you and come out in judgment against the [non-Mormons/ “haters”], when it is the tradition of their fathers that has caused their hatred, yea, and it has been redoubled by those who have dissented from us, while your iniquity is for the cause of your love of glory and the vain things of the world?

Alma 60:33 Ye know that ye do transgress the laws of God, and ye do know that ye do trample them under your feet. Behold, the Lord saith unto me: If those whom ye have appointed your governors [and the salt, and the light of the earth] do not repent of their sins and iniquities, [they shall be destroyed].

Alma 60:34 And now behold, I, Moroni, am constrained, according to the covenant which I have made to keep the commandments of my God; therefore I would that ye should adhere to the word of God, and send speedily unto me of your provisions and of your men, and also to Helaman.

Alma 60:35 And behold, if ye will not do this I come unto you speedily; for behold, God will not suffer that we should perish with hunger; therefore he will give unto us of your food [and resources], even if it must be by the sword. Now see that ye fulfil the word of God.

Alma 60:36 Behold, I am Moroni, your chief captain. I seek not for power, but to pull it down. I seek not for honor of the world, but for the glory of my God, and the freedom and welfare of my country. And thus I close mine epistle.

-=
Ok, that’s been sitting on my computer for a while, and it’s not the clearest; it could be applied in other ways, too; but there are some ideas for you.

2013, January 17

“Judgment and Spiritual Symbolism of Valleys and Mountains and the Lord” by grego

Judgment and Spiritual Symbolism of Valleys and Mountains and the Lord

grego
(c) 2013

I’ve heard a lot of things about “killers” recently and over the years. The more I learn about actual circumstances and not rely on “official stories”, the more these verses come to mind:

Isaiah 40:4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

Helaman 14:23 And behold, there shall be great tempests, and there shall be many mountains laid low, like unto a valley, and there shall be many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great.

This will be what happens when the Lord returns.

This will also be what happens at the last judgment, in addition to this:

2 Nephi 9:46 Prepare your souls for that glorious day when justice shall be administered unto the righteous, even the day of judgment, that ye may not *shrink* with awful fear; that ye may not remember your awful guilt in perfectness, and be constrained to exclaim: Holy, holy are thy judgments, O Lord God Almighty—but I know my guilt; I transgressed thy law, and my transgressions are mine; and the devil hath obtained me, that I am a prey to his awful misery.

The righteous OF THE LORD (not of the people) will be exalted, and the wicked rejected BY THE LORD (not by the people) will be brought low. God will judge, not man. Which is a good thing, because, as you can see, we don’t a very good job of it:
1 Nephi 11:32 And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record.
33 And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world.

So don’t be surprised, whether at that day or earlier, to find out that “evil” is “good” and “good” is “evil”–maybe even including reports you read about people in the news, including horrific, insane, etc. mass-killing killers. (One very small example of this is when new crime technology comes out and death-row murderers are exonerated.) Imagine how you’d feel having hated someone with a passion all your life, only to find out they were innocent all along…

There will be a lot of raised eyebrows, so to say, when we see some we thought close to perdition (“valleys” in the eyes of man) be exalted, and some we thought were next to saintliness (“mountains” in the eyes of man) be brought low.

2013, January 16

“Book of Mormon and Other Scriptures | 3 Nephi 24: Comforting Passages of Scripture for the Extremely Discouraged/ Despondent and/ or Falling Saint” by grego

Book of Mormon and Other Scriptures | 3 Nephi 24: Comforting Passages of Scripture for the Extremely Discouraged/ Despondent and/ or Falling Saint

grego
(c) 2013

One of the strongest and most comforting passages of scripture I have found is in 3 Nephi 24/ Malachi 3—right after the much, much more famous tithing scripture passage. I see it as a major question asked by those frustrated with trying to live the gospel in a lower world, such as many teenagers and newly-baptized and those who try so hard to give they forget to receive; and the answer is extremely touching and strong:
3 Nephi 24:13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say: What have we spoken against thee?
14 Ye have said: It is vain to serve God, and what doth it profit that we have kept his ordinances and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of Hosts?
15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.
16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard; and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.
17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
18 Then shall ye return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

While we need to try much harder to LIVE and BE “here and now”, or as many would say, “being present”… It’s NOT just about “here and now”. Oh, the living righteous part is, of course; but not the consequences, nor the results—whether inside us or outside of us—of obedience.

In addition to that, in a similar situation, comes another passage of scripture. This is also comforting because it talks about situations where we are not righteous enough, and yet…:
Doctrine and Covenants 101:1 Verily I say unto you, concerning your brethren who have been afflicted, and persecuted, and cast out from the land of their inheritance—
2 I, the Lord, have suffered the affliction to come upon them, wherewith they have been afflicted, in consequence of their transgressions;
3 Yet I will own them, and they shall be mine in that day when I shall come to make up my jewels.
4 Therefore, they must needs be chastened and tried, even as Abraham, who was commanded to offer up his only son.
5 For all those who will not endure chastening, but deny me, cannot be sanctified.
6 Behold, I say unto you, there were jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires among them; therefore by these things they polluted their inheritances.
7 They were slow to hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; therefore, the Lord their God is slow to hearken unto their prayers, to answer them in the day of their trouble.
8 In the day of their peace they esteemed lightly my counsel; but, in the day of their trouble, of necessity they feel after me.
9 Verily I say unto you, notwithstanding their sins, my bowels are filled with compassion towards them. I will not utterly cast them off; and in the day of wrath I will remember mercy.
10 I have sworn, and the decree hath gone forth by a former commandment which I have given unto you, that I would let fall the sword of mine indignation in behalf of my people; and even as I have said, it shall come to pass.
11 Mine indignation is soon to be poured out without measure upon all nations; and this will I do when the cup of their iniquity is full.
12 And in that day all who are found upon the watch-tower, or in other words, all mine Israel, shall be saved.
13 And they that have been scattered shall be gathered.
14 And all they who have mourned shall be comforted.
15 And all they who have given their lives for my name shall be crowned.
16 Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.

The section heading introduction reads: “At this time the saints who had gathered in Missouri were suffering great persecution. Mobs had driven them from their homes in Jackson County, and some of them had tried to establish themselves in Van Buren County, but persecution followed them. The main body of the saints was at that time in Clay County, Missouri. Threats of death against individuals of the Church were many. The people had lost household furniture, clothing, livestock, and other personal property, and many of their crops had been destroyed.”

The hymn that naturally follows these passages is “How Firm a Foundation”:
1. How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
Who unto the Savior, who unto the Savior,
Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?

2. In ev’ry condition–in sickness, in health,
In poverty’s vale or abounding in wealth,
At home or abroad, on the land or the sea–
As thy days may demand, as thy days may demand,
As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be.

3. Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

4. When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

5. When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume,
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

6. E’en down to old age, all my people shall prove
My sov’reign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And then, when gray hair shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs shall they still, like lambs shall they still,
Like lambs shall they still in my bosom be borne.

7. The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, I’ll never, no never,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!

Text: Attr. to Robert Keen, ca. 1787 (grego: and edited by LDS Church). Included in the first LDS hymnbook, 1835.

I believe that in the coming days of trial and great discouragement, these scriptures will be of utmost importance in sustaining us in our faith and fidelity to our covenants. They go right along with the Isaiah passages (especially from Nephi) in the Book of Mormon.

2012, October 26

“Book of Mormon: Jared and the Brother of Jared Make a Great Team (Ether)” by grego

Book of Mormon: Jared and the Brother of Jared Make a Great Team (Ether)

grego
(c ) 2012

I like what happens in Ether 1:

Ether 1:33 Which Jared came forth with his brother and their families, with some others and their families, from the great tower, at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, and swore in his wrath that they should be scattered upon all the face of the earth; and according to the word of the Lord the people were scattered.

Ether 1:34 And the brother of Jared being a large and mighty man, and a man highly favored of the Lord, Jared, his brother, said unto him: Cry unto the Lord, that he will not confound us that we may not understand our words.

Ether 1:35 And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord, and the Lord had compassion upon Jared; therefore he did not confound the language of Jared; and Jared and his brother were not confounded.

Ether 1:36 Then Jared said unto his brother: Cry again unto the Lord, and it may be that he will turn away his anger from them who are our friends, that he confound not their language.

Ether 1:37 And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord, and the Lord had compassion upon their friends and their families also, that they were not confounded.

Ether 1:38 And it came to pass that Jared spake again unto his brother, saying: Go and inquire of the Lord whether he will drive us out of the land, and if he will drive us out of the land, cry unto him whither we shall go. And who knoweth but the Lord will carry us forth into a land which is choice above all the earth? And if it so be, let us be faithful unto the Lord, that we may receive it for our inheritance.
Ether 1:39 And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord according to that which had been spoken by the mouth of Jared.

Ether 1:40 And it came to pass that the Lord did hear the brother of Jared, and had compassion upon him, and said unto him:
Ether 1:41 Go to and gather together thy flocks, both male and female, of every kind; and also of the seed of the earth of every kind; and thy families; and also Jared thy brother and his family; and also thy friends and their families, and the friends of Jared and their families.
Ether 1:42 And when thou hast done this thou shalt go at the head of them down into the valley which is northward. And there will I meet thee, and I will go before thee into a land which is choice above all the lands of the earth.
Ether 1:43 And there will I bless thee and thy seed, and raise up unto me of thy seed, and of the seed of thy brother, and they who shall go with thee, a great nation. And there shall be none greater than the nation which I will raise up unto me of thy seed, upon all the face of the earth. And thus I will do unto thee because this long time ye have cried unto me.

Here we have two great men: one great in meditation, thought, and possibilities; one great in faith. They act on their own gifts with faith, and acknowledge the other for his gift. It’s a wonderful team. While we rightly commend the brother of Jared for his faith, just think: without Jared’s three great suggestions, things would have been very, very different.

2012, October 19

“Book of Mormon || Textual Discrepancy between the ‘Book of Mormon’ and the ‘Book of Mormon Stories’ Children’s Reader–Who Burned Abinadi and Was ‘Scourge’ Mistaken for ‘Scorch’ in Mosiah 17?” by grego

Book of Mormon || Textual Discrepancy between the “Book of Mormon” and the “Book of Mormon Stories” Children’s Reader–Who Burned Abinadi and Was “Scourge” Mistaken for “Scorch” in Mosiah 17?

grego
(c) 2012

“Book of Mormon Stories”, the LDS Church’s publication for children, reads:

“King Noah ordered his priests to kill Abinadi. They tied him up, whipped him, and burned him to death. Before he died, Abinadi said King Noah would also die by fire. (Mosiah 17:13-15)”

Did the priests tie Abinadi up, whip him, and burn him? And was Abinadi whipped?

These are the related verses:

Mosiah 17:1 And now it came to pass that when Abinadi had finished these sayings, that the king COMMANDED THAT THE PRIESTS SHOULD TAKE HIM AND CAUSE THAT HE SHOULD BE PUT TO DEATH.
Mosiah 17:5 And it came to pass that the king CAUSED THAT HIS GUARDS should surround Abinadi and take him; and they bound him and cast him into prison.

Mosiah 17:6 And after three days, having counseled with his priests, he caused that he should again be brought before him.
Mosiah 17:7 And he said unto him: Abinadi, we have found an accusation against thee, and thou art worthy of death.

Mosiah 17:11 And now king Noah was about to release him, for he feared his word; for he feared that the judgments of God would come upon him.

Mosiah 17:12 But the priests lifted up their voices against him, and began to accuse him, saying: He has reviled the king. Therefore the king was stirred up in anger against him, and HE DELIVERED HIM UP THAT HE MIGHT BE SLAIN.

Mosiah 17:13 And it came to pass that THEY took him and bound him, and SCOURGED HIS SKIN WITH FAGGOTS, YEA, EVEN UNTO DEATH.

Mosiah 17:14 And now when the flames began to scorch him, he cried unto them, saying:
Mosiah 17:15 … that many shall suffer the pains that I do suffer, even the pains of death by fire…
Mosiah 17:18 …ye shall suffer, as I suffer, the pains of death by fire.
Mosiah 17:20 And now, when Abinadi had said these words, he fell, having suffered death by fire…

So actually, the Book of Mormon text does not say that King Noah ordered his priests to kill Abinadi, and that they did so. I’m pretty sure it was the guards that did it, under the priests’ ok’s.
Mosiah 17:12 But the priests lifted up their voices against him, and began to accuse him, saying: He has reviled the king. Therefore the king was stirred up in anger against him, and HE DELIVERED HIM UP THAT HE MIGHT BE SLAIN.
Mosiah 17:13 And it came to pass that THEY took him…

Who does “they” refer to? It doesn’t say. Even so, look what happened above:
Mosiah 17:1 And now it came to pass that when Abinadi had finished these sayings, that the king COMMANDED THAT THE PRIESTS SHOULD TAKE HIM AND CAUSE THAT HE SHOULD BE PUT TO DEATH.
Mosiah 17:5 And it came to pass that the king CAUSED THAT HIS GUARDS should surround Abinadi and take him; and they bound him and cast him into prison.

So even though the priests are commanded to take him and kill him, it’s the guards that do it. I imagine the priests recommended or requested this action of the king, and he consented. I imagine that’s what happened the second time, too–the guards were the ones who took him, bound him, and burned him.

In addition, it doesn’t say that they “whipped” him. It says:
Mosiah 17:13 And it came to pass that THEY took him and bound him, and SCOURGED HIS SKIN WITH FAGGOTS, yea, even unto death.

Let’s take a look at definitions of “scourge” and “faggots [fagots]”:

SCOURGE, n. skurj. [L. corriggia, from corrigo, to straighten.]
1. To whip; a lash consisting of a strap or cord; an instrument of punishment or discipline.
2. A punishment; vindictive affliction.
Famine and plague are sent as scourges for amendment.
3. He or that which greatly afflicts, harasses or destroys; particularly, any continued evil or calamity.
4. A whip for a top.

SCOURGE, v.t. skurj.
1. To whip severely; to lash.
2. To punish with severity; to chastise; to afflict for sins or faults, and with the purpose of correction.
3. To afflict greatly; to harass, torment or injure.

FAG’OT, n. [Gr. See Fadge. The sense is a bundle or collection, like pack.]
1. A bundle of sticks, twigs or small branches of trees, used for fuel, or for raising batteries, filling ditches, and other purposes in fortification.

First of all, if “scourge” here means “whip”, it would mean they “whipped his skin with bundles of sticks, yea, EVEN UNTO DEATH”. But we know they didn’t, because of this:
Mosiah 17:14 And now when the flames began to scorch him, he cried unto them, saying…
Mosiah 17:15 … that many shall suffer the pains that I do suffer, even the pains of death by fire…
Mosiah 17:18 …ye shall suffer, as I suffer, the pains of death by fire.
Mosiah 17:20 And now, when Abinadi had said these words, he fell, having suffered death by fire…

So it doesn’t make very good sense. It could mean SCOURGE 3, and that would barely pass. But…

My thinking is that “scourge” in this verse:
Mosiah 17:13 And it came to pass that THEY took him and bound him, and SCOURGED HIS SKIN WITH FAGGOTS, YEA, EVEN UNTO DEATH.

should actually be “scorch”, but was misheard and/or written wrong by the scribe. Scourge” had been used before in the Book of Mormon (nine times up to Mosiah–and even though that was translated afterwards, it lends that the book of Lehi might have contained it), so it might have just been assumed that was the word. Here are the verses:
Mosiah 3:9 And lo, he cometh unto his own, that salvation might come unto the children of men even through faith on his name; and even after all this they shall consider him a man, and say that he hath a devil, and shall scourge him, and shall crucify him.
Mosiah 15:5 And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God, suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people.

Both talk about Jesus being scourged, or whipped. Jesus was scourged (“whipped”) before he was slain, and that story, also Biblical, might have enough sway to have let “scourge” pass unnoticed for “scorch” in this circumstance.

“Scorch his skin” is a prevalent phrase that doesn’t just mean SCORCH 1, but SCORCH 2 in Webster’s:

SCORCH, v.t.
1. To burn superficially; to subject to a degree of heat that changes the color of a thing, or both the color and texture of the surface. Fire will scorch linen or cotton very speedily in extremely cold weather.
2. To burn; to affect painfully with heat. Scorched with the burning sun or burning sands of Africa.

SCORCH, v.i. To be burnt on the surface; to be parched; to be dried up. Scatter a little mungy straw and fern among your seedlings, to prevent the roots from scorching.

Later, we read:
Alma 15:3 And also Zeezrom lay sick at Sidom, with a burning fever,… therefore he began to be SCORCHED WITH A BURNING HEAT (SCORCH 2 in Webster’s).
Alma 32:38 But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and SCORCHETH it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out (SCORCH v.i.).

Look at this, too:
Mosiah 17:14 And now when THE FLAMES BEGAN TO SCORCH HIM, he cried unto them, saying…

the very word we are looking for that fits, just a few verses away, in the same context!

2012, October 5

“Book of Mormon: No Ordinance of Confirmation and Laying on of Hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost among Nephites before Jesus’ Visit?” by grego

Book of Mormon: No Ordinance of Confirmation and Laying on of Hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost among the Nephites before Jesus’ Visit?

grego
(c) 2012

It seems that the ordinance of confirmation and the giving of the Holy Ghost were different in the Book of Mormon setting; or, better said, they didn’t exist until after Jesus’ visit. Baptism by water was the ordinance, and the Holy Ghost would come to those who were worthy of it, when they were ready–without ordinance.

I’ll share a little from the Book of Mormon that supports this thought:

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Mosiah 18:10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?
Mosiah 18:12 And now it came to pass that Alma took Helam, he being one of the first, and went and stood forth in the water, and cried, saying: O Lord, pour out thy Spirit upon thy servant, that he may do this work with holiness of heart.
Mosiah 18:13 And when he had said these words, the Spirit of the Lord was upon him, and he said: Helam, I baptize thee, having authority from the Almighty God, as a testimony that ye have entered into a covenant to serve him until you are dead as to the mortal body; and may the Spirit of the Lord be poured out upon you; and may he grant unto you eternal life, through the redemption of Christ, whom he has prepared from the foundation of the world.
Mosiah 18:14 And after Alma had said these words, both Alma and Helam were buried in the water; and they arose and came forth out of the water rejoicing, being filled with the Spirit.

Note that the baptismal prayer includes: “and may the Spirit of the Lord be poured out upon you” as a preface to its happening. Baptism by water allows God to “pour out his Spirit more abundantly”.

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Compare that to this later:
3 Nephi 11:21 And the Lord said unto him: I give unto you power that ye shall baptize this people when I am again ascended into heaven.
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 11:23 Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them–Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them.
3 Nephi 11:24 And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying:
3 Nephi 11:25 Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
3 Nephi 11:26 And then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water.

A very simple ordinance, with no mention of the Holy Ghost.

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3 Nephi 9:20 And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.

This occurs in Helaman 5, where nonmember Lamanites pray with faith and
Helaman 5:45 …the Holy Spirit of God did come down from heaven, and did enter into their hearts, and they were filled as if with fire, and they could speak forth marvelous words.

There was no laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost for these Lamanites, who had not even been baptized.

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3 Nephi 12:1 AND it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words unto Nephi, and to those who had been called, (now the number of them who had been called, and received power and authority to baptize, was twelve) and behold, he stretched forth his hand unto the multitude, and cried unto them, saying: Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these twelve whom I have chosen from among you to minister unto you, and to be your servants; and unto them I have given power that they may baptize you with water; and after that ye are baptized with water, behold, I will baptize you with fire and with the Holy Ghost; therefore blessed are ye if ye shall believe in me and be baptized, after that ye have seen me and know that I am.
3 Nephi 12:2 And again, more blessed are they who shall believe in your words because that ye shall testify that ye have seen me, and that ye know that I am. Yea, blessed are they who shall believe in your words, and come down into the depths of humility and be baptized, for they shall be visited with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and shall receive a remission of their sins.

Jesus doesn’t give them power and authority to give the gift of the Holy Ghost, but for baptism of water. Jesus says the disciples will baptize with water, and that after that baptism, He will baptize people with fire and the Holy Ghost.

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3 Nephi 27:16 And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.
3 Nephi 27:20 Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.

“Filled”–with the Holy Ghost.
The commandment is to be baptized, not receive the Holy Ghost.

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Moroni 6:4 And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith.

The Holy Ghost comes to them when they are ready.

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Moroni 8:25 And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins;

Moroni 8:26 And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God.

The Holy Ghost comes when those baptized by water are ready for it.

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In all the above verses, and everwhere else in the Book of Mormon, there is no reference to the gift of the Holy Ghost as an ordinance, nor to confirmation. I’ve included other “baptism” verses from the Book of Mormon below:

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These are the only references to “the gift of the Holy Ghost” (and variations) in the Book of Mormon:

2 Nephi 28:26 Yea, wo be unto him that hearkeneth unto the precepts of men, and denieth the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost!

Jacob 6:8 Behold, will ye reject these words? Will ye reject the words of the prophets; and will ye reject all the words which have been spoken concerning Christ, after so many have spoken concerning him; and deny the good word of Christ, and the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and quench the Holy Spirit, and make a mock of the great plan of redemption, which hath been laid for you?

Alma 9:21 Having been visited by the Spirit of God; having conversed with angels, and having been spoken unto by the voice of the Lord; and having the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and also many gifts, the gift of speaking with tongues, and the gift of preaching, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the gift of translation;

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The only references to “baptism of fire”:

2 Nephi 31:13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism–yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.
2 Nephi 31:14 But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.

2 Nephi 31:17 Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.
2 Nephi 31:18 And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive.

2 Nephi 32:2 Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost?

2 Nephi 32:5 For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.

3 Nephi 9:20 And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.

Ether 12:14 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.

However, there is this:
3 Nephi 18:36 And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of these sayings, he touched with his hand the disciples whom he had chosen, one by one, even until he had touched them all, and spake unto them as he touched them.

3 Nephi 18:37 And the multitude heard not the words which he spake, therefore they did not bear record; but the disciples bare record that HE GAVE THEM POWER TO GIVE THE HOLY GHOST. And I will show unto you hereafter that this record is true.

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Others:

1 Nephi 10:17 And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision, and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God–and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come–I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men.

1 Nephi 10:19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.

1 Nephi 11:27 And I looked and beheld the Redeemer of the world, of whom my father had spoken; and I also beheld the prophet who should prepare the way before him. And the Lamb of God went forth and was baptized of him; and after he was baptized, I beheld the heavens open, and the Holy Ghost come down out of heaven and abide upon him in the form of a dove.

1 Nephi 13:37 And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be.

2 Nephi 9:23 And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.

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.

2 Nephi 28:26 Yea, wo be unto him that hearkeneth unto the precepts of men, and denieth the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost!

2 Nephi 28:31 Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.

2 Nephi 31:8 Wherefore, after he was baptized with water the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove.

2 Nephi 31:11 And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son.

2 Nephi 31:12 And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.

2 Nephi 31:13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism–yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.

2 Nephi 31:14 But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.

2 Nephi 31:17 Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.

2 Nephi 33:1 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.

Helaman 16:5 Telling them of things which must shortly come, that they might know and remember at the time of their coming that they had been made known unto them beforehand, to the intent that they might believe; therefore as many as believed on the words of Samuel went forth unto him to be baptized, for they came repenting and confessing their sins.

Mosiah 18:17 And they were called the church of God, or the church of Christ, from that time forward. And it came to pass that whosoever was baptized by the power and authority of God was added to his church.
Mosiah 18:18 And it came to pass that Alma, having authority from God, ordained priests; even one priest to every fifty of their number did he ordain to preach unto them, and to teach them concerning the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

Mosiah 21:32 And now since the coming of Ammon, king Limhi had also entered into a covenant with God, and also many of his people, to serve him and keep his commandments.
Mosiah 21:33 And it came to pass that king Limhi and many of his people were desirous to be baptized; but there was none in the land that had authority from God. And Ammon declined doing this thing, considering himself an unworthy servant.
Mosiah 21:34 Therefore they did not at that time form themselves into a church, waiting upon the Spirit of the Lord. Now they were desirous to become even as Alma and his brethren, who had fled into the wilderness.

Mosiah 25:17 And it came to pass that after Alma had taught the people many things, and had made an end of speaking to them, that king Limhi was desirous that he might be baptized; and all his people were desirous that they might be baptized also.
Mosiah 25:18 Therefore, Alma did go forth into the water and did baptize them; yea, he did baptize them after the manner he did his brethren in the waters of Mormon; yea, and as many as he did baptize did belong to the church of God; and this because of their belief on the words of Alma.

Alma 4:4 And they began to establish the church more fully; yea, and many were baptized in the waters of Sidon and were joined to the church of God; yea, they were baptized by the hand of Alma, who had been consecrated the high priest over the people of the church, by the hand of his father Alma.

Alma 15:12 And Alma baptized Zeezrom unto the Lord; and he began from that time forth to preach unto the people.
Alma 15:13 And Alma established a church in the land of Sidom, and consecrated priests and teachers in the land, to baptize unto the Lord whosoever were desirous to be baptized.

Ether 12:23 And I said unto him: Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness in writing; for Lord thou hast made us mighty in word by faith, but thou hast not made us mighty in writing; for thou hast made all this people that they could speak much, because of the Holy Ghost which thou hast given them;

Moroni 3:4 And after this manner did they ordain priests and teachers, according to the gifts and callings of God unto men; and they ordained them by the power of the Holy Ghost, which was in them.

Moroni 6:9 And their meetings were conducted by the church after the manner of the workings of the Spirit, and by the power of the Holy Ghost; for as the power of the Holy Ghost led them whether to preach, or to exhort, or to pray, or to supplicate, or to sing, even so it was done.

Moroni 7:36 Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?

Moroni 7:44 If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.

Moroni 8:7 For immediately after I had learned these things of you I inquired of the Lord concerning the matter. And the word of the Lord came to me by the power of the Holy Ghost, saying:

Moroni 10:4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
Moroni 10:5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
Moroni 10:6 And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is.
Moroni 10:7 And ye may know that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever.

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*.

2012, September 18

“Book of Mormon: Emotions and Sins Lead to Mental and Physical Anguish—Zeezrom’s Sickness in Alma 15” by grego

Book of Mormon: Emotions and Sins Lead to Mental and Physical Anguish—Zeezrom’s Sickness in Alma 15

grego
(c) 2012

Many people have a hard time with the concept that physical and mental problems can result from emotions and sins (a basic principle of energy healing is not that they can, but they usually~always do). Here’s a little story from the Book of Mormon that should help:

Alma 15:3 And also , for he supposed that Alma and Amulek were no more; and he supposed that they had been slain because of his iniquity. And .

Alma 15:4 Now, when he heard that Alma and Amulek were in the land of Sidom, ; and he sent a message immediately unto them, desiring them to come unto him.

Alma 15:5 And it came to pass that they went immediately, obeying the message which he had sent unto them; and they went in unto the house unto Zeezrom; and ; and when he saw them he stretched forth his hand, and besought them that they would heal him.

“Book of Mormon: Chapter Heading Correction–Helaman 13” by grego

Book of Mormon: Chapter Heading Correction–Helaman 13

grego
(c) 2012

In the chapter heading for Helaman 13, it reads:
“…—They reject and stone the prophets, are encircled about by demons, and seek for happiness in doing iniquity.”

The text reads:
Helaman 13:31 And behold, THE TIME COMETH that he curseth your riches, that they become slippery, that ye cannot hold them; and in the days of your poverty ye cannot retain them.
Helaman 13:32 And in the days of your poverty YE SHALL cry unto the Lord; and in vain shall ye cry, for your desolation is already come upon you, and your destruction is made sure; and then shall ye weep and howl IN THAT DAY, saith the Lord of Hosts. And THEN SHALL ye lament, and say:

Helaman 13:33 O that I had repented, and had not killed the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out. Yea, in that day ye shall say: O that we had remembered the Lord our God in the day that he gave us our riches, and then they would not have become slippery that we should lose them; for behold, our riches are gone from us.
Helaman 13:34 Behold, we lay a tool here and on the morrow it is gone; and behold, our swords are taken from us in the day we have sought them for battle.
Helaman 13:35 Yea, we have hid up our treasures and they have slipped away from us, because of the curse of the land.
Helaman 13:36 O that we had repented in the day that the word of the Lord came unto us; for behold the land is cursed, and all things are become slippery, and we cannot hold them.
Helaman 13:37 Behold, . Behold, our iniquities are great. O Lord, canst thou not turn away thine anger from us? And THIS SHALL BE YOUR LANGUAGE IN THOSE DAYS.
Helaman 13:38 But behold, your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is everlastingly too late, and your destruction is made sure; yea, for ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and , which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head.

Samule closes this part by saying:
Helaman 13:39 O ye people of the land, that ye would hear my words! And I pray that the anger of the Lord be turned away from you, and that ye would repent and be saved.

So it’s clear that what he just spoke was a prophecy of future days, not what was going on at the time.

2012, September 6

“Book of Mormon: Hope for Miracles through Faith” by grego

LDS/ Mormon: Hope for Miracles through Faith

grego
(c)2012

The Book of Mormon is clear about many things having to do with miracles. I want to put a few up, hopefully to encourage you.

* Miracles follow those that believe. If there are no miracles, it is because there is no faith.
This is true ALL the time. No, not as in every second of the day (though that’s true, too, when you think about it; but those miracles are open to all of God’s children, not just the believers), or every instance, or on call; they might not come immediately and continuously, but they come when needed and more. This doesn’t necessarily mean “righteousness”, nor does it mean “faith–to change the situation”; it might mean “faith to trust in the Lord and in His ways”.
Moroni 7:37 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.
Moroni 7:38 For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also…

Alma 37:40 And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day.
Alma 37:41 Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey;
Alma 37:42 Therefore, they tarried in the wilderness, or did not travel a direct course, and were afflicted with hunger and thirst, because of their transgressions.

* Greater miracles follow those that believe more greatly.
All believers can have miracles occur in their lives, including non-LDS. Prayer from all people can facilitate miracles. When there is greater faith because of truer teachings, that power to facilitate increases.

*Through faith, all things can be known.
Ether 3:26 For he had said unto him in times before, that if he would believe in him that he could show unto him all things–it should be shown unto him; therefore the Lord could not withhold anything from him, for he knew that the Lord could show him all things.
Moroni 10:5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

* Some miracles are unobservable to outside eyes. Think of all the prayers, the fasting, the quiet faith, etc. and the miracles they brought:
Alma 19:16 … save it were one of the Lamanitish women, whose name was Abish, she having been converted unto the Lord for many years, on account of a remarkable vision of her father–
Alma 19:17 Thus, having been converted to the Lord, and never having made it known, therefore, when she saw that all the servants of Lamoni had fallen to the earth, and also her mistress, the queen, and the king, and Ammon lay prostrate upon the earth, she knew that it was the power of God; and supposing that this opportunity, by making known unto the people what had happened among them, that by beholding this scene it would cause them to believe in the power of God, therefore she ran forth from house to house, making it known unto the people.

* Some miracles are unobservable to your own eyes, righteous or unrighteous.
Note that Nephi and Lehi had no clue a miracle was coming, and the wicked Lamanites were aware of it before they were:
Helaman 5:22 And after they had been cast into prison many days without food, behold, they went forth into the prison to take them that they might slay them.
Helaman 5:23 And it came to pass that Nephi and Lehi were encircled about as if by fire, even insomuch that they durst not lay their hands upon them for fear lest they should be burned. Nevertheless, Nephi and Lehi were not burned; and they were as standing in the midst of fire and were not burned.
Helaman 5:24 And when they saw that they were encircled about with a pillar of fire, and that it burned them not, their hearts did take courage.
Helaman 5:25 For they saw that the Lamanites durst not lay their hands upon them; neither durst they come near unto them, but stood as if they were struck dumb with amazement.

Also, Amulek needed an angel and Alma to show him the miracles he couldn’t see because of his wickedness:
Alma 10:5 Nevertheless, after all this, I never have known much of the ways of the Lord, and his mysteries and marvelous power. I said I never had known much of these things; but behold, I mistake, for I have seen much of his mysteries and his marvelous power; yea, even in the preservation of the lives of this people.
Alma 10:6 Nevertheless, I did harden my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear; therefore I knew concerning these things, yet I would not know; therefore I went on rebelling against God, in the wickedness of my heart, even until the fourth day of this seventh month, which is in the tenth year of the reign of the judges.

* Eyes of faith and understanding, opened by the Spirit, allow you to see the miracles you’d otherwise have missed, at the time, or later.
Other than my parents (who had never talked about it), all the rest of the children in the car never knew (until I told them recently) that we had a clear miracle on a roadtrip that otherwise would have resulted in certain death for all of us.

Another time, my sister and I both saw a small pile of leaves on the side of the road a ways in front of us get smashed and carried away by a gust of wind, coming out of a dangerous canyon (ravines, tight rock walls) in a van known for rolling; we were able to slow down immediately (we were already going slower than the speed limit) but still got shaken pretty good. That wasn’t just chance that there was a pile of leaves as a clear signal marker, that we both saw it and realized what it meant, and reacted well to it.

After a long, dark, seemingly God-lonely period of my life, I was told in a blessing that angels had been around me lifting me up.

There are so many times things happen and we don’t take the few minutes or even seconds of contemplation needed to understand our blessing/ what just happened. As Amulek says:
Alma 10:5 Nevertheless, after all this, I never have known much of the ways of the Lord, and his mysteries and marvelous power. I said I never had known much of these things; but behold, I mistake, for I have seen much of his mysteries and his marvelous power; yea, even in the preservation of the lives of this people.
Alma 10:6 Nevertheless, I did harden my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear; therefore I knew concerning these things, yet I would not know; therefore I went on rebelling against God, in the wickedness of my heart…
Remember: just because YOU aren’t aware of miracles happening, doesn’t mean they aren’t happening.

* No calling or authorization is needed for miracles to occur.
They do occur to help us fulfill our callings and missions, true, but no calling, position, ordination, rank, social status, etc., and sometimes even worthiness, is needed for us to have miracles. You don’t get “called” to miracles.

* Miracles sometimes come after we are in trying situations, have done our best and failed, should have no earthly hope, etc. Try, try again, and keep trying. Evaluate. Use wisdom. God really does help those who do their best, at their level, to help themselves.

* * God helps those who do their best to help others; charity, love in action, helping others greatly enhance the occurrence of miracles. As mentioned in another post, dedication to God and a desire to serve others increases the miracles in our lives.
Alma 34:27 Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.
Alma 34:28 And now behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, do not suppose that this is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need–I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith.
Alma 34:29 Therefore, if ye do not remember to be charitable, ye are as dross, which the refiners do cast out, (it being of no worth) and is trodden under foot of men.

* Miracles CAN CHANGE SITUATIONS, and/ or change our views towards situations.
Some people in the church, even in leadership positions, preach that prayer (read: faith) can’t change situations, but it can help us deal with them–this is only partly true. These people need to read the Book of Mormon more to understand this important doctrine–it is FULL of stories of situations that are changed by faith!! One small verse that shows both:
Alma 31:38 And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith.

* There is no limit on the size of a miracle–it can be huge, or tiny. A miracles is a miracle.

*You don’t have to know everything about the solution/ answer (especially the HOW?), as long as you know the giver of the solution/ answer is God.
Alma 32:21 And now as I said concerning faith–faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.

*Faith leads to repentance.
Alma 34:15 And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance.

*Miracles through faith come by faith AND righteousness.
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–

*Performing/ being involved in miracles often cleanses us.

* Though all miracles come through faith, it’s likely not just our faith that’s involved.
Mosiah 27:14 And again, the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith.
Mosiah 27:16 … And now I say unto thee, Alma, go thy way, and seek to destroy the church no more, that their prayers may be answered, and this even if thou wilt of thyself be cast off.

*Seeing miracles can help our faith, or condemn us.
Helaman 16:2 … but the Spirit of the Lord was with him, insomuch that they could not hit him with their stones neither with their arrows.
Helaman 16:3 Now when they saw that they could not hit him, there were many more who did believe on his words, insomuch that they went away unto Nephi to be baptized.

*Satan and man have explanations for even the greatest and clearest of miracles.
Moroni 7:17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

Helaman 16:15 Nevertheless, the people began to harden their hearts, all save it were the most believing part of them, both of the Nephites and also of the Lamanites, and began to depend upon their own strength and upon their own wisdom, saying:
Helaman 16:16 Some things they may have guessed right, among so many; but behold, we know that all these great and marvelous works cannot come to pass, of which has been spoken…
Helaman 16:22 And many more things did the people imagine up in their hearts, which were foolish and vain; and they were much disturbed, for Satan did stir them up to do iniquity continually; yea, he did go about spreading rumors and contentions upon all the face of the land, that he might harden the hearts of the people against that which was good and against that which should come.
Helaman 16:23 And notwithstanding the signs and the wonders which were wrought among the people of the Lord, and the many miracles which they did, Satan did get great hold upon the hearts of the people upon all the face of the land.

3 Nephi 1:18 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.
3 Nephi 1:19 … and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given.
3 Nephi 1:20 And it had come to pass, yea, all things, every whit, according to the words of the prophets.
3 Nephi 1:21 And it came to pass also that a new star did appear, according to the word.
3 Nephi 1:22 And it came to pass that from this time forth there began to be lyings sent forth among the people, by Satan, to harden their hearts, to the intent that they might not believe in those signs and wonders which they had seen; but notwithstanding these lyings and deceivings the more part of the people did believe, and were converted unto the Lord.

3 Nephi 2:1 AND it came to pass that thus passed away the ninety and fifth year also, and the people began to forget those signs and wonders which they had heard, and began to be less and less astonished at a sign or a wonder from heaven, insomuch that they began to be hard in their hearts, and blind in their minds, and began to disbelieve all which they had heard and seen–
3 Nephi 2:2 Imagining up some vain thing in their hearts, that it was wrought by men and by the power of the devil, to lead away and deceive the hearts of the people; and thus did Satan get possession of the hearts of the people again, insomuch that he did blind their eyes and lead them away to believe that the doctrine of Christ was a foolish and a vain thing.

*Even if just one person has faith, miracles will occur.
Moroni 7:36 Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?

*One person can perform might miracles, even in the face of great opposition.
Helaman 8:11 … have ye not read that God gave power unto one man, even Moses, to smite upon the waters of the Red Sea, and they parted hither and thither, insomuch that the Israelites, who were our fathers, came through upon dry ground, and the waters closed upon the armies of the Egyptians and swallowed them up?

3 Nephi 7:17 …Nephi did minister with power and with great authority.
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.
3 Nephi 7:19 And in the name of Jesus did he cast out devils and unclean spirits; and even his brother did he raise from the dead, after he had been stoned and suffered death by the people.
3 Nephi 7:20 And the people saw it, and did witness of it, and were angry with him because of his power; and he did also do many more miracles, in the sight of the people, in the name of Jesus.

*Witnessing miracles can bless or curse, depending on the attitude and faith of the observer.
(See my article on believing through seeing: https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2011/07/13/book-of-mormon-does-belief-come-through-faith-and-the-holy-ghost-or-also-through-seeing-by-grego/.)

2012, August 30

“Book of Mormon: Does ‘Ceremony’ Fit in Mosiah 19:24?” by grego

Book of Mormon: Does ‘Ceremony’ Fit in Mosiah 19:24?

grego
(c) 2012

In “The Archaic Vocabulary of the Book of Mormon” (Volume 25 – Issue 5 – Insights) (http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/insights/?vol=25&num=5&id=436), Royal Skousen says:
“If the original vocabulary of the Book of Mormon text dates from Early Modern English, one might wonder if there are any archaic words or expressions that were unrecognizable to Joseph Smith and his scribes, thus leading them to misinterpret and change the language during the early transmission of the text… The first one deals with the word ceremony in Mosiah 19:24: “and it came to pass that after they had ended the ceremony that they returned to the land of Nephi.” The problem with this passage is that the word ceremony seems out of place. The larger context implies that their discourse was simply over:
‘and it came to pass that they were about to return to the land of Nephi and they met the men of Gideon and the men of Gideon told them of all that had happened to their wives and their children and that the Lamanites had granted unto them that they might possess the land by paying a tribute to the Lamanites of one half of all they possessed and the people told the men of Gideon that they had slain the king and his priests had fled from them farther into the wilderness and it came to pass that after they had ended the ceremony that they returned to the land of Nephi rejoicing because their wives and their children were not slain and they told Gideon what they had done to the king (Mosiah 19:22—24).'”
Trying to find a word that works better than ceremony works is not easy. Skousen and Bangerter’s proposal that ‘sermon’ was spelled as ‘cermon’ and then miscopied to ‘ceremony’ by the printer seems a little far-fetched.

Ceremony is only out of place because the beginning of the ceremony isn’t mentioned; but that shouldn’t mean much to Book of Mormon students, as that’s not rare in the abridged record.

As Skousen does suggest, there might have “involved some kind of cere­monial aspect in recounting the execution of King Noah”.

Or, as John Tvedtnes suggests: “I assume that he has not read my chapter on “the Nephite Purification Ceremony,” in which I explain that the Nephites mentioned in this passage had just killed King Noah, an act that would have called for purification under the law of Moses” (Reconstructing the Book of Mormon, FARMS Review, Volume 15, Issue 1, Pages 1-3, http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/review/?vol=15&num=1&id=461&cat_id=259 ).

It could have been a ceremony of accepting the rule of the Lamanite king and his 50% tax.

It could have been a ceremony of accepting Limhi as their new king, seeing as they had separated themselves from the main group and especially killed the old king.

Though it’s not the best fit time-wise, it could have been a ceremony of killing their own king instead of just mob attacking and killing him. (Perhaps someone with greater knowledge and research can follow that one.)

Ceremony needn’t imply a long, drawn-out, complicated ritual; even greeting/ shaking hands can be a ceremony in some instances.

So ceremony does work, and in my opinion, much better than ‘sermon’ (‘discussion’) -> ‘cermon’ -> ‘ceremony’.

2012, August 24

“Book of Mormon: Alma’s Use of Sexual Imagery to Corianton in Alma 42” by grego

Book of Mormon: Alma’s Use of Sexual Imagery to Corianton in Alma 42

grego
(c ) 2012

This might not seem very strong, but…

At the end of Alma’s talk to his son Corianton, he says:
Alma 42:30 O my son, I desire that ye should deny the justice of God no more. Do not endeavor to excuse yourself in the least point because of your sins, by denying the justice of God; but do you {let the justice of God, and his mercy, and his long-suffering have full sway in your heart}; and {let it bring you down to the dust in humility}.
Alma 42:31 And now, O my son, {ye are called of God to preach the word unto this people}. And now, my son, go thy way, {declare the word with truth and soberness, that thou mayest bring souls unto repentance, that the great plan of mercy may have claim upon them}. And may God grant unto you even according to my words. Amen.

Wow. Ok, it’s not very explicit, but remember how Alma started this talk:
Alma 39:2 For thou didst not give so much heed unto my words as did thy brother, among the people of the Zoramites. Now this is what I have against thee; {thou didst go on unto boasting in thy strength and thy wisdom}.
Alma 39:3 And this is not all, my son. Thou didst do that which was grievous unto me; for {thou didst forsake the ministry}, and {did go over into the land of Siron among the borders of the Lamanites}, {{after the harlot Isabel.
Alma 39:4 Yea, she did steal away the hearts of many}; but this was no excuse for thee, my son. Thou shouldst have tended to the ministry wherewith thou wast entrusted}.
Alma 39:5 Know ye not, my son, that {these things} are an abomination in the sight of the Lord…
Alma 39:6 … and , it is not easy for him to obtain forgiveness…
Alma 39:7 And now, my son, I would to God that {ye had not been guilty of so great a crime}…
Alma 39:8 But behold, ye cannot hide your crimes from God; and except ye repent they will stand as a testimony against you at the last day.
Alma 39:9 Now my son, I would that ye should repent and forsake your sins, and {go no more after the lusts of your eyes, but cross yourself in all these things}; for except ye do this ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. Oh, remember, and take it upon you, and {cross yourself in these things}.
Alma 39:11 {Suffer not yourself to be led away by any vain or foolish thing; suffer not the devil to lead away your heart again after those wicked harlots}. Behold, O my son, how {great iniquity ye brought upon the Zoramites; for when they saw your conduct they would not believe in my words}.
Alma 39:12 And now the Spirit of the Lord doth say unto me: {Command thy children to do good, lest they lead away the hearts of many people to destruction}; therefore I command you, my son, in the fear of God, that ye refrain from your iniquities;
Alma 39:13 That ye turn to the Lord with all your mind, might, and strength; that ye {lead away the hearts of no more to do wickedly; but rather return unto them, and acknowledge your faults and that wrong which ye have done}.

Corianton’s pride and lust in his heart brought him to leave the ministry and go to Siron and… down with Isabel. His creating life with Isabel was also the same process that destroyed the lives of many Zoramites, spiritually. Adultery was directly related to idolatry.

On the other hand, “the justice of God, and his mercy, and his long-suffering (are to) have full sway in your heart; and let it bring you down to the dust in humility.” And, in this condition, you are called to the ministry and can give spiritual life to many. Sexual faithfulness is equal to spiritual faithfulness.

2012, August 23

“Book of Mormon: The Zoramites’ Idols vs Alma’s God (Alma 31)” by grego

Book of Mormon: The Zoramites’ Idols vs Alma’s God (Alma 31)

grego
(c) 2012

There is a little comparison in Alma 31:
Alma 31:1 NOW it came to pass that after the end of Korihor, Alma having received tidings that the Zoramites were perverting the ways of the Lord, and that Zoram, who was their leader, was leading the hearts of the people to bow down to dumb idols, his heart again began to sicken because of the iniquity of the people.

vs.

Alma 31:36 Now it came to pass that when Alma had said these words, that he clapped his hands upon all them who were with him. And behold, as he clapped his hands upon them, they were filled with the Holy Spirit.
Alma 31:37 And after that they did separate themselves one from another, taking no thought for themselves what they should eat, or what they should drink, or what they should put on.
Alma 31:38 And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith.

Dumb idols: without life; cannot provide; must be given food, clothes, etc. by their worshippers; no amount of faith in them works.

Alma et. al.: living, and filled with the Holy Spirit; provided food, clothes by the Lord; works according to faith.

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