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blarsen

Stones given to Bro. of Jared, vs. Gazelem

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Posted (edited)

Has anyone sorted out the mystery of the secret writings of the Brother of Jared, the stones or interpeters that were hidden up with them, and how both Mosiah (Ether 4:1) and Moroni may have gotten them (Ether 4:4)?  Ancillary question would be whether Alma's Gazelem (Alma 37:23) are the same as Ether's  "interpreters/stones" (Ether 3:23,28; 4:5)?  There is no indication I can find that the 24-gold plates found by the exploration party sent by Limhi to find the land of Zarahemla, contained anything other than the Book of Ether . .. . no indication they also contained the secret writings of the Brother of Jared OR the interpreters, else why would Limhi ask Ammon if he knew who could interpret them, or that Ammon knew that Alma had such devices before the 24 plates were found?

Edited by blarsen
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It seems the First Mosiah (who became king over the Mulekite city of Zarahemla) had the ability translate a large stone containing Jaredite history in 130 BC.

130 BC Omni 1:
20 And it came to pass in the days of Mosiah, there was a large stone brought unto him with engravings on it; and he did interpret the engravings by the gift and power of God.
21 And they gave an account of one Coriantumr, and the slain of his people. And Coriantumr was discovered by the people of Zarahemla; and he dwelt with them for the space of nine moons.

121 BC Mosiah 8:
7 And the king (Limhi) said unto him: Being grieved for the afflictions of my people, I caused that forty and three of my people should take a journey into the wilderness, that thereby they might find the land of Zarahemla, that we might appeal unto our brethren to deliver us out of bondage.
8 And they were lost in the wilderness for the space of many days, yet they were diligent, and found not the land of Zarahemla but returned to this land, having traveled in a land among many waters, having discovered a land which was covered with bones of men, and of beasts, and was also covered with ruins of buildings of every kind, having discovered a land which had been peopled with a people who were as numerous as the hosts of Israel.
9 And for a testimony that the things that they had said are true they have brought twenty-four plates which are filled with engravings, and they are of pure gold.
10 And behold, also, they have brought breastplates, which are large, and they are of brass and of copper, and are perfectly sound.
11 And again, they have brought swords, the hilts thereof have perished, and the blades thereof were cankered with rust; and there is no one in the land that is able to interpret the language or the engravings that are on the plates. Therefore I said unto thee: Canst thou translate?
 

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, longview said:

It seems the First Mosiah (who became king over the Mulekite city of Zarahemla) had the ability translate a large stone containing Jaredite history in 130 BC.

130 BC Omni 1:
20 And it came to pass in the days of Mosiah, there was a large stone brought unto him with engravings on it; and he did interpret the engravings by the gift and power of God.
21 And they gave an account of one Coriantumr, and the slain of his people. And Coriantumr was discovered by the people of Zarahemla; and he dwelt with them for the space of nine moons.

121 BC Mosiah 8:
7 And the king (Limhi) said unto him: Being grieved for the afflictions of my people, I caused that forty and three of my people should take a journey into the wilderness, that thereby they might find the land of Zarahemla, that we might appeal unto our brethren to deliver us out of bondage.
8 And they were lost in the wilderness for the space of many days, yet they were diligent, and found not the land of Zarahemla but returned to this land, having traveled in a land among many waters, having discovered a land which was covered with bones of men, and of beasts, and was also covered with ruins of buildings of every kind, having discovered a land which had been peopled with a people who were as numerous as the hosts of Israel.
9 And for a testimony that the things that they had said are true they have brought twenty-four plates which are filled with engravings, and they are of pure gold.
10 And behold, also, they have brought breastplates, which are large, and they are of brass and of copper, and are perfectly sound.
11 And again, they have brought swords, the hilts thereof have perished, and the blades thereof were cankered with rust; and there is no one in the land that is able to interpret the language or the engravings that are on the plates. Therefore I said unto thee: Canst thou translate?
 

How 'king Mosiah' apparently got the secret writings of the Brother of Jared (Ether 4:1) (which must have been handed down to Moroni, who sealed them up again (Ether 4:4-5)), is one of the few loose ends I've encountered in the Book of Mormon.  According to Moroni, the "interpreters" also came with them, which makes sense because they were buried with the secret writings.

It may be, as you hinted, that Mosiah 1 was able to interpret the stone found by the Mulekites using the interpreters he may have received with the secret writings of the Brother of Jared; provided he was the Mosiah mentioned by Moroni in Ether 4:1.  I just don't find anything in the BofM that describes how Mosiah 1 or 2 may have taken possession of them.  So Mosiah 1's interpretation of the stone may have been by "the gift and power of God" as enabled by the two stones/interpreters.

And if this is the case, it makes sense that the Gazelem, stone/interpreters mentioned by Alma in Alma 37:21-24 (also mentioning the twenty-four gold plates containing The Book of Ether), would be the two stones/interpreters buried up with the secret writings of the Brother of Jared.  Mosiah 21:25-29 indicates that Mosiah 2 was the one that translated the complete Book of Ether by "gift of God", not necessarily by use of interpreters; whilst, Moroni is the one that abridged them.

Edited by blarsen
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1 hour ago, blarsen said:

How 'king Mosiah' apparently got the secret writings of the Brother of Jared (Ether 4:1) (which must have been handed down to Moroni, who sealed them up again (Ether 4:4-5)), is one of the few loose ends I've encountered in the Book of Mormon.

Do you have a source for the "secret writings" being brought along with the large stone?  What if the "secret writings" were imbedded within the 24 gold plates?  Do you agree that the Sealed Portion of the BoM may have several different authors besides the Brother of Jared?

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Is Gazelem the stone or the name of the servant?

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, ERMD said:

Is Gazelem the stone or the name of the servant?

Good point.  The power of a well-placed or missplaced comma.  Removing or re-emplacing a given comma can really change the meaning of certain BofM passages.  If you place a comma after "servant" in Alma 37:23, you could make a case that it might be referring to the stone.  Anyone else know anything about this? . . . . . maybe already discussed in this forum.   But maybe Gazelem refers to the Brother of Jared, who produced the secret writings in the first place, and was given two stones for use in their interpretation.  I.e., the unnamed Brother of Jared was actually named Gazelem.

As an aside, I'll mention two other signifiant places where comma re-emplacement/removal can seem to change the meaning of a passage, or to clarify it. 

First is in 1 Nephi 13:30, if you remove the 2nd comma located after "captivity", the case is strengthened for the idea that the angel is referring to JUST the "gentiles who have gone forth out of captivity and have been lifted up by the power of God above all other nations", not to the other gentiles who have gone forth out of captivity.  This reading undercuts the Heartlander idea about this passage, that all references to gentiles going out of captivity means they all came to CONUS, which is the sole 'promised land'.

Another one is Mormon 6:11.  Does the phrase:  "did behold on the morrow" refer to the day after the single day of the last great battle, or does it simply refer to the day after a much longer battle?  If you remove the comma appearing after "morrow", I think the case is strengthened for the latter case.  I.e., Mormon is simply referring to being able to really survey the scene only after the long battle, which probably lasted many days . . . .  on the day dawning after the Lamanites had returned to their camps.   This makes MUCH more sense, when you consider the incredible numbers that were slaughtered during this battle.

 

Edited by blarsen
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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, longview said:

Do you have a source for the "secret writings" being brought along with the large stone?  What if the "secret writings" were imbedded within the 24 gold plates?  Do you agree that the Sealed Portion of the BoM may have several different authors besides the Brother of Jared?

No.  Mere speculation.  But if the king Mosiah mentioned in Ether 4:1 is indeed Mosiah 1, the case is strengthened.  A Mosiah apparently did get ahold of the secret writings, but which one?  Another sub-loose-thread or ambiguity.  Still another would be the meaning of Gazelem . . . even in the face of the apparent fact that Gazelem was an early code name used by Joseph Smith . . . .  But then, isn't the name 'Morianton Moriancumr' (sp?) supposed to be the actual name of the Brother of Jared??

Edited by blarsen

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Posted (edited)

Don Bradley has noted that some of this appears to be on the lost 116 pages. Go look at the LDS Perspectives transcript - although his book should be out in a year or so. Quoting from the transcript:

Fayette Lapham, it turns out, in his Joseph Smith Sr. interview, gives a story of how the Nephites get the interpreters, so he helps fill that narrative hole that we have in the extant text. His narrative basically goes like this: sometime after the Nephites have arrived in the New World, they’re traveling again. He doesn’t say how soon after – and I think it’s actually quite a while after – but they’re travelling again; they’re being led again by the Liahona. Apparently, they’re in-between stationary temples again because they construct a tabernacle during their journey.

Whoever it is who is using the Liahona – and Lapham doesn’t give a name; again, he doesn’t seem to know any of the names, so he just refers to whomever it is as “they” – so “they” were going along and led by the Liahona. Whoever this person is is led by the Liahona to an object. He doesn’t know what the object is and he doesn’t know what he’s supposed to do with it once he finds it, so he takes it into the tabernacle to ask God what he’s supposed to do with this.

Once he walks into the tabernacle, the voice of the Lord asks him, “What is that in your hand?” Presumably this is the voice of the Lord coming to him from the Holy of Holies, where the presence of God was understood to dwell in the ancient Israelite temples. The voice of the Lord speaks to him and says, “What is that in your hand?”

According to Lapham, he says that he “did not know, but had come to inquire.” Then the Lord tells him, “Put this object on your face and put your face in an animal skin.” He does and once he does, he can see anything – it’s the interpreters.

Lapham, who apparently doesn’t know the Book of Mormon very well, for all he gets right about it – he actually makes some pretty substantial mistakes. He seems to place the events at the beginning of the Book of Mormon back near the time of the Exodus, for instance (which anybody who has read 1 Nephi 1 would know better). He has managed to provide a narrative that tells how the Nephites would have gotten the interpreters. This narrative, like a lot of Book of Mormon narratives, has heavy echoes from the Old Testament and particularly the story of the Exodus.

For instance, the question that the Lord asks: “What is that in your hand” – that’s Exodus 4:2, where the Lord asks Moses out of the burning bush on Sinai, “What is that in thine hand?” It’s Moses’s staff in that case. The veiling of the face: this is, again, Moses on Sinai. This is the second time Moses is on Sinai, when he goes up to get the stone tablets (the Ten Commandments), and he comes down and his face is shining, so he veils his face.

The wrapping of a sacred object in an animal skin – this is also the Exodus. The biblical Tabernacle was built during the Exodus--at Sinai-- and when it was built, it had various coverings, and the outer covering was supposed to be made from badger skins – and sacred relics, the sacred vessels of the temple, when the Tabernacle’s being taken apart, and it’s all being transported, are supposed to be wrapped in badger skins.

The narrative that Lapham is given and gives us, then, fits with the Book of Mormon narrative, even though the person who’s giving us the narrative doesn’t seem to know that much about the Book of Mormon.

 

 
Edited by clarkgoble
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2 hours ago, blarsen said:
18 hours ago, ERMD said:

Is Gazelem the stone or the name of the servant?

Good point.  The power of a well-placed or missplaced comma.  Removing or re-emplacing a given comma can really change the meaning of certain BofM passages.  If you place a comma after "servant" in Alma 37:23, you could make a case that it might be referring to the stone.  Anyone else know anything about this? . . . . . maybe already discussed in this forum.   But maybe Gazelem refers to the Brother of Jared, who produced the secret writings in the first place, and was given two stones for use in their interpretation.  I.e., the unnamed Brother of Jared was actually named Gazelem.

As an aside, I'll mention two other signifiant places where comma re-emplacement/removal can seem to change the meaning of a passage, or to clarify it. 

First is in 1 Nephi 13:30, if you remove the 2nd comma located after "captivity", the case is strengthened for the idea that the angel is referring to JUST the "gentiles who have gone forth out of captivity and have been lifted up by the power of God above all other nations", not to the other gentiles who have gone forth out of captivity.  This reading undercuts the Heartlander idea about this passage, that all references to gentiles going out of captivity means they all came to CONUS, which is the sole 'promised land'.

Another one is Mormon 6:11.  Does the phrase:  "did behold on the morrow" refer to the day after the single day of the last great battle, or does it simply refer to the day after a much longer battle?  If you remove the comma appearing after "morrow", I think the case is strengthened for the latter case.  I.e., Mormon is simply referring to being able to really survey the scene only after the long battle, which probably lasted many days . . . .  on the day dawning after the Lamanites had returned to their camps.   This makes MUCH more sense, when you consider the incredible numbers that were slaughtered during this battle.

 

According the the Doctrine and Covenants Encyclopedia, Gazelem refers to a person:

"In three different revelations, spanning a period of two years (1832-34), Joseph Smith was called "Gazelam" by the Lord (D&C 78:9; 82:11; 104:26, 43, 45, 46; pre-1981 edition). His name was disguised in order to prevent his enemies from discovering what plans the Lord had in mind at that particular time (HC 1:255).
In the Book of Mormon, Alma reveals the following use of the word Gazelem: "And the Lord said: I will prepare unto my servant Gazelem, a stone, which shall shine forth in darkness unto light, that I may discover unto my people who serve me" (Alma 37:23; italics added). The meaning of Gazelem is discussed by Reynolds and Sjodahl: "Gazelem is a name given to a servant of God. The word appears to have its roots in Gaz-a stone, and Aleim, a name of God as a revelator, or the interposer in the affairs of men. If this suggestion is correct, its roots admirably agree with its apparent meaning-a seer." (CBM 4:162.) With this in mind, it is appropriate that such a name was applied to God's seer on earth-the Prophet Joseph Smith."

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, JAHS said:

According the the Doctrine and Covenants Encyclopedia, Gazelem refers to a person:

"In three different revelations, spanning a period of two years (1832-34), Joseph Smith was called "Gazelam" by the Lord (D&C 78:9; 82:11; 104:26, 43, 45, 46; pre-1981 edition). His name was disguised in order to prevent his enemies from discovering what plans the Lord had in mind at that particular time (HC 1:255).
In the Book of Mormon, Alma reveals the following use of the word Gazelem: "And the Lord said: I will prepare unto my servant Gazelem, a stone, which shall shine forth in darkness unto light, that I may discover unto my people who serve me" (Alma 37:23; italics added). The meaning of Gazelem is discussed by Reynolds and Sjodahl: "Gazelem is a name given to a servant of God. The word appears to have its roots in Gaz-a stone, and Aleim, a name of God as a revelator, or the interposer in the affairs of men. If this suggestion is correct, its roots admirably agree with its apparent meaning-a seer." (CBM 4:162.) With this in mind, it is appropriate that such a name was applied to God's seer on earth-the Prophet Joseph Smith."

But if the meaning of 'Gaz-a' means stone, then the ambiguity remains . . . . it could be both.  Provided I've read your quote accurately.  But even if you were says 'Gaz' means "a stone", this wouldn't change.  You could then interpet Gaz+Alaim to mean God as a revelator by means of a stone . . . . which is in keeping with 2 stones being given to the Brother of Jared in order to 'interpret' the unkown writing he was told to write then hide up.

Then if you look at the saying that Jesus is the rock or stone of Israel, and the interpretation of the idea that "rock" in Mathew 16:18 has been interpreted as meaning 'the rock of revelation' ( "18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it"), then you add more credence to Gazelem meaning both a person who wielded revelation and the rock by means of how the revelation came . . . . a double meaning.

So, how fitting that a code name used by Joseph or the designation given him by the Lord, could mean the 'stone of revelation' . . . . Joseph being preeminently, a 'revelator'.

 

Edited by blarsen
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2 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Don Bradley has noted that some of this appears to be on the lost 116 pages. Go look at the LDS Perspectives transcript - although his book should be out in a year or so. Quoting from the transcript:

Fayette Lapham, it turns out, in his Joseph Smith Sr. interview, gives a story of how the Nephites get the interpreters, so he helps fill that narrative hole that we have in the extant text. His narrative basically goes like this: sometime after the Nephites have arrived in the New World, they’re traveling again. He doesn’t say how soon after – and I think it’s actually quite a while after – but they’re travelling again; they’re being led again by the Liahona. Apparently, they’re in-between stationary temples again because they construct a tabernacle during their journey.

Whoever it is who is using the Liahona – and Lapham doesn’t give a name; again, he doesn’t seem to know any of the names, so he just refers to whomever it is as “they” – so “they” were going along and led by the Liahona. Whoever this person is is led by the Liahona to an object. He doesn’t know what the object is and he doesn’t know what he’s supposed to do with it once he finds it, so he takes it into the tabernacle to ask God what he’s supposed to do with this.

Once he walks into the tabernacle, the voice of the Lord asks him, “What is that in your hand?” Presumably this is the voice of the Lord coming to him from the Holy of Holies, where the presence of God was understood to dwell in the ancient Israelite temples. The voice of the Lord speaks to him and says, “What is that in your hand?”

According to Lapham, he says that he “did not know, but had come to inquire.” Then the Lord tells him, “Put this object on your face and put your face in an animal skin.” He does and once he does, he can see anything – it’s the interpreters.

Lapham, who apparently doesn’t know the Book of Mormon very well, for all he gets right about it – he actually makes some pretty substantial mistakes. He seems to place the events at the beginning of the Book of Mormon back near the time of the Exodus, for instance (which anybody who has read 1 Nephi 1 would know better). He has managed to provide a narrative that tells how the Nephites would have gotten the interpreters. This narrative, like a lot of Book of Mormon narratives, has heavy echoes from the Old Testament and particularly the story of the Exodus.

For instance, the question that the Lord asks: “What is that in your hand” – that’s Exodus 4:2, where the Lord asks Moses out of the burning bush on Sinai, “What is that in thine hand?” It’s Moses’s staff in that case. The veiling of the face: this is, again, Moses on Sinai. This is the second time Moses is on Sinai, when he goes up to get the stone tablets (the Ten Commandments), and he comes down and his face is shining, so he veils his face.

The wrapping of a sacred object in an animal skin – this is also the Exodus. The biblical Tabernacle was built during the Exodus--at Sinai-- and when it was built, it had various coverings, and the outer covering was supposed to be made from badger skins – and sacred relics, the sacred vessels of the temple, when the Tabernacle’s being taken apart, and it’s all being transported, are supposed to be wrapped in badger skins.

The narrative that Lapham is given and gives us, then, fits with the Book of Mormon narrative, even though the person who’s giving us the narrative doesn’t seem to know that much about the Book of Mormon.

 

 

Excellent and thank you.  I'm  working on something with someone else who may want to contact Don Bradley.  Perhaps you could PM me on this info, if you have it.

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8 hours ago, blarsen said:

No.  Mere speculation.  But if the king Mosiah mentioned in Ether 4:1 is indeed Mosiah 1, the case is strengthened.  A Mosiah apparently did get ahold of the secret writings, but which one?  Another sub-loose-thread or ambiguity.  Still another would be the meaning of Gazelem . . . even in the face of the apparent fact that Gazelem was an early code name used by Joseph Smith . . . .  But then, isn't the name 'Morianton Moriancumr' (sp?) supposed to be the actual name of the Brother of Jared??

Mahonri Moriancumr is the name Joseph gave to a boy he blessed.  He then told the parents that this was the name of the Brother of Jared.

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27 minutes ago, ERMD said:

Mahonri Moriancumr is the name Joseph gave to a boy he blessed.  He then told the parents that this was the name of the Brother of Jared.

Well, I wasn't too far off on the Moriancumr name.

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