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A Book of Mormon Mystery Solved?


consiglieri

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What with David Bokovoy's recent thread on a Book of Mormon hebraism taking off on two different boards, I thought I would throw the following into the mix which, while not a hebraism per se, delves into the ways in which the Book of Mormon plays upon Old Testament and New Testament texts in remarkable and unexpected ways.

1. A Strange Thing for King Lamoni to Say?

When King Lamoni comes around after being divinely struck down, the first words out of his mouth are addressed to his wife, the queen, "Blessed be the name of God, and blessed art thou."

While the first part of King Lamoni's statement makes sense, the second part has always struck me as strange.

Why does King Lamoni say to his queen, "Blessed art thou"?

The answer may be found in the next thing King Lamoni says, which also contains an unusual element, but it is this unusual element that provides the answer: "For as sure as thou livest, behold, I have seen my Redeemer; and he shall come forth, and be born of a woman, and he shall redeem all mankind who believe on his name."

It is similarly strange that King Lamoni includes in his brief declaration that the Redeemer "shall be born of a woman," and yet I think that is the connection the text makes between King Lamoni telling the queen, "Blessed art thou."

In some way, and for some reason, King Lamoni says his queen is "blessed" because the Redeemer "shall be born of a woman."

2. The Annunciation Connection

This connection is made more intriguing by comparing this Book of Mormon account with the Annunciation to Mary, who is obviously the "woman" referred to by King Lamoni of whom the Redeemer would be born.

There we find the angel Gabriel saying the same words to Mary, "Blessed art thou among women."

3. A Two-Fold Repetition

Additionally the two texts reveal this statement being made twice to the Lamanite queen, and twice to Mary.

Ammon says "blessed art thou" to the queen a few verses before King Lamoni says the same thing to her.

In Luke, the angel Gabriel says "blessed art thou" to Mary a few verses before Martha says the same thing to her.

4. "According to thy word"

Further, there is the component of the two women believing the words of the messenger (Ammon and Gabriel) without additional evidence.

Ammon tells the Lamanite queen her husband will arise the next (third) day, although others think he is dead: "And Ammon said unto her: Believest thou this? And she said unto him: I have had no witness save thy word, and the word of our servants; nevertheless I believe that it shall be according as thou hast said.

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I like it a whole lot! Thanks for a very thought- provoking post!

But just be cautious- you're starting to sound like a TBM! ;) Maybe your bishop should not fire you after all! :P

Seriously, a very interesting idea, and very nice parallel. Having grown up Catholic, with all the sermons I have heard about Mary, I noticed that language and wondered why it was there- and that is a possible solution which also lends further authenticity to the BOM.

Thanks- good post!

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Whaddya think?

I think it's brilliant! This is clearly another example of the profound ways in which Book of Mormon narrative invokes Christian typology. I love the Isaiah/Samuel connection theory and while without further evidence, it must remain hypothetical, it makes considerable sense. I'll never read/teach these verses the same way.

Sincere props!

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I think it's brilliant! This is clearly another example of the profound ways in which Book of Mormon narrative invokes Christian typology. I love the Isaiah/Samuel connection theory and while without further evidence, it must remain hypothetical, it makes considerable sense. I'll never read/teach these verses the same way.

Sincere props!

Praise from Caesar, big guy!

I am not entirely sure what "props" are, but I take it is something other than that you are propositioning me in some way.

Not that there's anything wrong with that . . .

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Sunday.

I mentioned it to John Larsen on the Mormon Expression interview Monday, but the podcast won't be up for another couple of weeks or so.

John officially scooped the competition on this story.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Consig, I'm going to try to fast track you, but I make no promises. :P

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Consig, I'm going to try to fast track you, but I make no promises. :P

In that case, let me mention for the record that John Larsen is a courteous and delightful host, and that we shared a lot of laughs during the interview.

It was, in the words of Sammy Davis, Jr., a real gas.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Most Bible scholars are agreed that the context of the prophecy is of a virgin who would conceive a son that would be born in King Ahaz' day, else how could it be a sign to him? An additional component is found in Isaiah 7:16 that points toward a contemporary fulfillment. It seems likely that the primary "sign" given through Isaiah refers to a son born to Isaiah's wife.
Are you suggesting that Isaiah's wife was a virgin when she had her son?

Another option would be that Lamoni's wife had been barren and would now conceive (similar to Hannah, Samuel's mother in the Bible as well as Sarah, Isaac's mother).

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Are you suggesting that Isaiah's wife was a virgin when she had her son?

I think most Bible scholars are agreed that the word translated "virgin" in Isaiah actually means "(young) woman" with no indication as to her previous sexual experience.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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I think most Bible scholars are agreed that the word translated "virgin" in Isaiah actually means "(young) woman" with no indication as to her previous sexual experience.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

I was wondering it that is what you meant....of course, such a sign isn't all that miraculous but not all signs need to be.
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The sign given through Isaiah's wife was one of the most ordinary human events. Ties in nicely to quite a few BoM themes.

I suspect most signs aren't, expectations are often raised though by focusing on the spectacular ones. The key is to be spiritually aware.
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In that case, let me mention for the record that John Larsen is a courteous and delightful host, and that we shared a lot of laughs during the interview.

It was, in the words of Sammy Davis, Jr., a real gas.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

And it's faith promoting. You almost had me wanting to go back to Church for about 4 minutes.

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To be fair, you're way ahead of me.

I can't even remember the last time I actually wanted to go back to Church.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

If you lived in Missoula, I would switch wards just to have Sunday School with you.

Yours under the weird oaks

Nathair /|\

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Consiglieri,

Nice insight. When I was a kid, Samuel the Lamanite was my favorite scripture story, mostly because I share his cognomen.

Yours under the eponymous oaks,

Nathair /|\

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Consig

What's the deal? I am actually starting to feel sympathy for you! You get it from both sides don't you?!

Consig, I'm still waiting for you to declare that the usage of the word "the" in the BoM is a bullseye! :P

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Consiglieri,

Brilliant work! Why wasn't this dedicated to me? Harumph! :P

The connections you make are crystal clear, and to my knowledge entirely new. Absolutely fascinating.

What I doubt is the connection to Samuel the Lamanite; and I doubt it for two reasons:

First, if the reader were ultimately supposed to relate this to Samuel, the connection could be made clear--e.g., by allusions back to this text in the Samuel story.

Second, the verbal parallels between the Lamoni narrative and the Annunciation have been crafted by someone familiar with the Annunciation story, which presumably makes God or Joseph Smith the one who used the parallel phrasing. Why would Joseph Smith introduce it? Would he have known of the Samuel connection? And why would God have introduced it for a modern audience who wouldn't "get it," not even now since, so far as I can see, the text doesn't establish a Samuel connection; one can only be bewilderedly speculated. It's also difficult to see the utility of this connection for the latter-day reader.

I have no idea [yet: =) ] why the connection was introduced, but I'd be very surprised if it turns out to be hinting at Samuel the Lamanite.

In any case, we owe you a debt for identifying the connection to be explained. Your readings show that the Book of Mormon is a far richer text than its critics have imagined, and I hope you long continue making and contributing your insight.

Cheers,

Don

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