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Lucy Mack Smith letter - dated January 23, 1829


notHagoth7

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Supposedly, this letter was discovered in 1982.

Has it been proven to be authentic?

Or it it one of several forgeries to emerge in the last few decades?

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Link or reference please.

This page is one of several which mentions it.

This page claims it was a Hofmann forgery.

And I just found this LDS.org page which affirms that it was a forgery.

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From your Ensign link: Is this the only source of the Ishmael-Sariah family connection?

I don't know. So far, it's the only one that I know of (other than sources which derive from that source.)

There are, however, pre-Hofmann LDS statements that identify Ishmael as being of Ephraim.

In addition, Nibley did suggest, based on Semitic tradition, that Ishmael may have been related to Lehi (prior to Nephi marrying one of Ishmael's daughters). Remains to be seen whether there actually was any relationship between the two families (other than the marriage of their children). So if anyone is aware of a reliable statement that might shed light on any relation between those two families, I'd appreciate it.

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I am under the impression that Elder Erastus Snow of the Quorum of the Twelve made some comments about the sons of Ishmael marrying the daughters of Lehi, although I could be wrong on that!

According to this Fair article, Orson Pratt apparently traced Ishmael to Ephraim (through Joseph) in 1850, and similar statements were later made by Erastus Snow and Franklin D. Richards.

Here's Erastus' comments:

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I don't know. So far, it's the only one that I know of (other than sources which derive from that source.)

There are, however, pre-Hofmann LDS statements that identify Ishmael as being of Ephraim.

In addition, Nibley did suggest, based on Semitic tradition, that Ishmael may have been related to Lehi (prior to Nephi marrying one of Ishmael's daughters). Remains to be seen whether there actually was any relationship between the two families (other than the marriage of their children). So if anyone is aware of a reliable statement that might shed light on any relation between those two families, I'd appreciate it.

Found the quote from Nibley on another board (same as your link above) asking the same thing:

The proverbial ancestor of the Arabs is Ishmael. His is one of the few Old Testament names which is also at home in ancient Arabia. 46 His traditional homeland was the Tih, the desert between Palestine and Egypt, and his people were haunters of the "borders" between the desert and the town; 47 he was regarded as the legitimate offspring of Abraham by an Egyptian mother. His was not a name of good omen, for the angel had promised his mother, "he will be a wild man; his hand will be against everyone, and every man's hand against him," 48 so the chances are that one who bore his name had good family reasons for doing it, and in Lehi's friend Ishmael we surely have a man of the desert. Lehi, faced with the prospect of a long journey in the wilderness, sent back for Ishmael, who promptly followed into the desert with a large party; this means that he must have been hardly less adept at moving than Lehi himself. The interesting thing is that Nephi takes Ishmael (unlike Zoram) completely for granted, never explaining who he is or how he fits into the picture
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Looks like the Sariah was Ishmael's sister was just a typical Hofmann approach from what I've read---use known, but not commonly taught info to establish credibility and interest (the possible family relationship) and then add a 'new' tidbit to set the hook (the specifics of that relationship).

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  • 4 weeks later...

Looks like the Sariah was Ishmael's sister was just a typical Hofmann approach from what I've read...

Sad, however, it is or was a well known custom in the Middle East for a lad to marry his first cousin, that was the preferred choice.

This is brought out in one of Richard Burton's footnotes to Arabian Nights (and in the text) - sorry I don't have it in front of me

Wood

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