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Pointless stuff?


Magyar

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We are all familiar with the great pains taken by the writers and abridgers of the Book of Mormon to record only that which was of spiritual significance -- and just enough history to allow the narrative to make sense.

I can understand that the much-maligned "and it came to pass" doesn't violate that rule, especially if the long English phrase derives from one little Hebrew word that serves effectively for punctuation.

But last night I was reading Alma 3, the follow-up to the devastating war with the Amlicites. And I simply cannot find anything uplifting, nor critical to the narrative, about a verse describing the enemy having slain many women and children, flocks and herds, and treading down their grain fields. Seems to me that could have been left out ... making room, perhaps, for at least one paragraph in the Book, for example, about the Nephites offering up Mosaic sacrifice, which would have left one less argument for our critics to throw at us.

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We are all familiar with the great pains taken by the writers and abridgers of the Book of Mormon to record only that which was of spiritual significance -- and just enough history to allow the narrative to make sense.

I can understand that the much-maligned "and it came to pass" doesn't violate that rule, especially if the long English phrase derives from one little Hebrew word that serves effectively for punctuation.

But last night I was reading Alma 3, the follow-up to the devastating war with the Amlicites. And I simply cannot find anything uplifting, nor critical to the narrative, about a verse describing the enemy having slain many women and children, flocks and herds, and treading down their grain fields. Seems to me that could have been left out ... making room, perhaps, for at least one paragraph in the Book, for example, about the Nephites offering up Mosaic sacrifice, which would have left one less argument for our critics to throw at us.

It may not be uplifting but the BoM was written to prepare us and help us through the things that we will experience in our times.

Taken from the Title Page of the BoM.

An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi

Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites

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We are all familiar with the great pains taken by the writers and abridgers of the Book of Mormon to record only that which was of spiritual significance -- and just enough history to allow the narrative to make sense.

I can understand that the much-maligned "and it came to pass" doesn't violate that rule, especially if the long English phrase derives from one little Hebrew word that serves effectively for punctuation.

But last night I was reading Alma 3, the follow-up to the devastating war with the Amlicites. And I simply cannot find anything uplifting, nor critical to the narrative, about a verse describing the enemy having slain many women and children, flocks and herds, and treading down their grain fields. Seems to me that could have been left out ... making room, perhaps, for at least one paragraph in the Book, for example, about the Nephites offering up Mosaic sacrifice, which would have left one less argument for our critics to throw at us.

When I come across such passages, after making an effort to imagine another reader's circumstances that may make this passage helpful to him/her, I conclude that my knowledge and imagination are simply too small to recognise the value of the passage, and I move on. I am a firm believer in the limitation of my own spiritual eyesight :P

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When I come across such passages, after making an effort to imagine another reader's circumstances that may make this passage helpful to him/her, I conclude that my knowledge and imagination are simply too small to recognise the value of the passage, and I move on. I am a firm believer in the limitation of my own spiritual eyesight :P

In other words, personal humility is called for. Good point, well taken.

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Perhaps those verses had more impact upon the early members of the Church, who knew personally the horror of having had their women and children slain, their livestock killed and their crops ruined, by a vicious enemy -- and needed a reminder that other righteous people had suffered as well and had come through.

Just because I can't "liken it unto myself" doesn't mean someone else can't.

Whereas my suggestion for a paragraph about Mosaic sacrificial ceremony would have added nothing of comfort or inspiration to anyone. The critics wouldn't have been impressed -- they would simply say Joseph copied it from the Bible.

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The aspect of the BofM that disappointed me even as a child is the reader being told that "not even a hundredth part" of what Jesus said is written down; yet the bulk of that is a rehash, word for word, of the Matthew 5-7 sermon; followed by unrevealing "prophecy" mainly about America and Joseph Smith.There should have been more post-1829 prophecy and less rehash of known history; and NO rehash of the sermon on the mount (that is not a verbatim account anyway, but a recollection long after the fact of "Jesus sayings"....)

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We are all familiar with the great pains taken by the writers and abridgers of the Book of Mormon to record only that which was of spiritual significance -- and just enough history to allow the narrative to make sense.

I can understand that the much-maligned "and it came to pass" doesn't violate that rule, especially if the long English phrase derives from one little Hebrew word that serves effectively for punctuation.

But last night I was reading Alma 3, the follow-up to the devastating war with the Amlicites. And I simply cannot find anything uplifting, nor critical to the narrative, about a verse describing the enemy having slain many women and children, flocks and herds, and treading down their grain fields. Seems to me that could have been left out ... making room, perhaps, for at least one paragraph in the Book, for example, about the Nephites offering up Mosaic sacrifice, which would have left one less argument for our critics to throw at us.

Magyar, you are embarking on a dangerous and frustrating journey. Once you start analyzing the Book of Mormon for its efficiency in conveying its message, you'll find yourself constantly scratching your head and doubting the skill of the abridger. You'll read verses and chapters and imagine Mormon or Moroni slowly engraving caractors on the plates and wonder "what they were thinking....?"

813_62520000_p_348.jpg

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a dangerous and frustrating journey

I think this is a very common theme in the Book of Mormon, with the destination clearly worth it. Going through a little struggle is a good way to relate to a process that maximizes the spiritual benefit thereof. A couple of other things to consider in this regard:

1. What message draws your attention more, Moroni

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QB:

There are significant differences in The Sermon on the Mount, and Sermon at the Temple.

http://maxwellinstit...d=50&chapid=324

I have read this before but thanks for sharing. I do not see any of these "significant differences" as anything more than the necessary changes in order to make "the sermon" work in a BofM setting, in other words the differences are not significant of anything that the author was not aware of or knowledgeable of....

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We are all familiar with the great pains taken by the writers and abridgers of the Book of Mormon to record only that which was of spiritual significance -- and just enough history to allow the narrative to make sense.

You are taking a command Nephi records relevant to the small plates and extending it to both the large plates and Mormon's editing of the large plate tradition. It doesn't really apply. Mormon's reasons for what he did with the large plates differ from Nephi's intent with the somewhat duplicate small plates.

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We are all familiar with the great pains taken by the writers and abridgers of the Book of Mormon to record only that which was of spiritual significance -- and just enough history to allow the narrative to make sense.

I can understand that the much-maligned "and it came to pass" doesn't violate that rule, especially if the long English phrase derives from one little Hebrew word that serves effectively for punctuation.

But last night I was reading Alma 3, the follow-up to the devastating war with the Amlicites. And I simply cannot find anything uplifting, nor critical to the narrative, about a verse describing the enemy having slain many women and children, flocks and herds, and treading down their grain fields. Seems to me that could have been left out ... making room, perhaps, for at least one paragraph in the Book, for example, about the Nephites offering up Mosaic sacrifice, which would have left one less argument for our critics to throw at us.

Is the records of the wars of Israel, and there extermination of the various people's of Canaan pointless as well?

Every verse of scripture has some spiritual purpose, otherwise it would not be the inspired Word of God, I agree that there are many things in the scripture that is not very reverent or child friendly. You have genocide, murder, adultery, incest, betrayal, many many terrible things happen. They all prove points though and are warnings of how society will dissolve into anarchy when the people abandon Heavenly Father, you can see the same thing happening today. The people are abandoning their God and are dissolving into wicked and vile anarchy.

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I have come to understand that both Mormon and Moroni wrote what they did keeping the last days in mind; the Book of Mormon is basically a road map to the Second Coming. What is written in the Book has applicability to the events in our day. Not everything will be understood by us, but I have been surprised at how much has been opened to me that seemed "pointless" at first. Perhaps it's just because I've somewhat figured out the perspective of the Isaiah chapters and why Nephi quotes them at length, but I have come to the realization that there is much hidden in the book that will be unlocked at the proper time. And there is also much that is hidden from the likes of cynics who have embarked on their spiritually destructive journeys, that is very much open to those who ponder with the Spirit in faith.

The Book of Mormon is deep, it is significant, and is not easily dismissed by those, who in the words of Elder Holland (paraphrased), have to crawl, climb, or otherwise get around it in order to leave the Church.

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last night I was reading Alma 3, the follow-up to the devastating war with the Amlicites. And I simply cannot find anything uplifting, nor critical to the narrative, about a verse describing the enemy having slain many women and children, flocks and herds, and treading down their grain fields. Seems to me that could have been left out ... making room, perhaps, for at least one paragraph in the Book, for example, about the Nephites offering up Mosaic sacrifice, which would have left one less argument for our critics to throw at us.

The issue of the Nephites' following the Law of Moses is plainly addressed in the current text, so your concern is unwarranted. Even the Lamanites, when they were the more righteous of the two peoples, did so.

1 And now it came to pass in the eighty and sixth year, the Nephites did still remain in wickedness, yea, in great wickedness, while the Lamanites did observe strictly to keep the commandments of God, according to the law of Moses.

This passage strongly implies that the Nephites, as long as they were righteous, were those who followed the Law of Moses.

We know that Lehi (the other one), offered sacrifices. We see many examples of the three annual feasts of the Jews in the Book of Mormon (even more, I believe, than in the Old Testament), and have extracts of their "Conference Reports" in the the Book of Mormon (notably in 2 Nephi, Jacob, Mosiah).

That said, however, there are two themes that run in parallel in the Book of Mormon. The first is that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, that he was resurrected and is the Savior of the world. The second is a constant and hard-hitting warning against "secret combinations". They were the downfall of the Jaredites on several occasions, and it was no different with the Nephites, either.

The wars to which you refer were integral to the message of the Book of Mormon.

Lehi

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We are all familiar with the great pains taken by the writers and abridgers of the Book of Mormon to record only that which was of spiritual significance -- and just enough history to allow the narrative to make sense.

I can understand that the much-maligned "and it came to pass" doesn't violate that rule, especially if the long English phrase derives from one little Hebrew word that serves effectively for punctuation.

But last night I was reading Alma 3, the follow-up to the devastating war with the Amlicites. And I simply cannot find anything uplifting, nor critical to the narrative, about a verse describing the enemy having slain many women and children, flocks and herds, and treading down their grain fields. Seems to me that could have been left out ... making room, perhaps, for at least one paragraph in the Book, for example, about the Nephites offering up Mosaic sacrifice, which would have left one less argument for our critics to throw at us.

I think the reason the author's provided it was because it is 1) one of the few remaining books of their history and 2) a testament to what happens when a people disobeys the Lord. I think they were warning people - perhaps us - of what could happen because of disobedience. I think they were living such... and so they really didn't want us to go through similar mistakes.

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We are all familiar with the great pains taken by the writers and abridgers of the Book of Mormon to record only that which was of spiritual significance -- and just enough history to allow the narrative to make sense.

I can understand that the much-maligned "and it came to pass" doesn't violate that rule, especially if the long English phrase derives from one little Hebrew word that serves effectively for punctuation.

But last night I was reading Alma 3, the follow-up to the devastating war with the Amlicites. And I simply cannot find anything uplifting, nor critical to the narrative, about a verse describing the enemy having slain many women and children, flocks and herds, and treading down their grain fields. Seems to me that could have been left out ... making room, perhaps, for at least one paragraph in the Book, for example, about the Nephites offering up Mosaic sacrifice, which would have left one less argument for our critics to throw at us.

There is nothing pointless about this

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Perhaps those verses had more impact upon the early members of the Church, who knew personally the horror of having had their women and children slain, their livestock killed and their crops ruined, by a vicious enemy -- and needed a reminder that other righteous people had suffered as well and had come through.

And how do you know we won't go through the same kind of thing? I've always thought it was a warning of what could transpire in the last days for any of us.

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