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Why Lead Lehi to the New World?


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As I've been studying the BoM this year for Gospel Doctrine I have a nagging question I can't fully itch.

We are taught that Lehi and his family are led from Jerusalem to the new world to establish a righteous people.

But there is no discernible remnant of Lehi's people in America. So I wonder if the purpose is to raise up the BoM for the people of this day. But I still have to wonder why Lehi would have been necessary. Why wouldn't Christ have established his church among the people who were already here?

It's kind of like Raiders of the Lost Ark. If you take Indiana Jones completely out of the story the Nazi's still accomplish their aim and open the ark of the covenant and get their faces melted off.

Take Lehi and his family out of the story and we have the same outcome and evidence of their existence as if they had really been in the Americas. There was no righteous posterity to connect his day with ours. There was no lasting Christian tradition that survived after Moroni.

The only "evidence" of the value of Lehi's involvement is the BoM which just as easily could have been written by the American natives.

Edited by HappyJackWagon
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8 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Why wouldn't Christ have established his church among the people who were already here?

I think it has to do with demonstrating the tangible fulfillment of His promises and prophecies to Joseph of old; the role of the tribes of Israel in connection with the fulfillment of the Law of Moses as a type or sign; a connecting frame of reference to similar things being done among other sheep of Israel as their "Another Testaments" come forth.

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To fulfill prophecy about the stick of Joseph, as well as other prophecies, such as Zenos's olive tree one (Jacob 5). That one in particular is fulfilled in great detail by the panoramic history of the Book of Mormon people, and requires relocation and grafting in of Israelite with Gentile peoples in a separate "corner of the vineyard." And this, in turn, harks back to Jacob's blessing on Joseph in Genesis 49:

 

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22 ¶Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:

 23 The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him,and hated him:

 24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty Godof Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)

 25 Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:

 26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.

 

In short, there are a number of good reasons why God would physically separate and lead away people from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh into a land "choice above all others."

Edited by rongo
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22 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

As I've been studying the BoM this year for Gospel Doctrine I have a nagging question I can't fully itch.

We are taught that Lehi and his family are led from Jerusalem to the new world to establish a righteous people.

But there is no discernible remnant of Lehi's people in America. So I wonder if the purpose is to raise up the BoM for the people of this day. But I still have to wonder why Lehi would have been necessary. Why wouldn't Christ have established his church among the people who were already here?

It's kind of like Raiders of the Lost Ark. If you take Indiana Jones completely out of the story the Nazi's still accomplish their aim and open the ark of the covenant and get their faces melted off.

Take Lehi and his family out of the story and we have the same outcome and evidence of their existence as if they had really been in the Americas. There was no righteous posterity to connect his day with ours. There was no lasting Christian tradition that survived after Moroni.

The only "evidence" of the value of Lehi's involvement is the BoM which just as easily could have been written by the American natives.

During Book of Mormon times there were thousands (if not millions) of people who were taught the gospel who otherwise would not have if Lehi had not arrived in the New World.  Think of it sort of as Lehi and his family being called on a foreign mission, only instead of  the mission lasting for 2 or 3 years it lasted for the rest of their lives. 

Christ could have found another way to establish a church in the Americas, but this is the one he chose. 

While the church and belief in Christ did not last past Moroni, it did last for a thousand years.  That's gotta be worth something.

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27 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

As I've been studying the BoM this year for Gospel Doctrine I have a nagging question I can't fully itch.

We are taught that Lehi and his family are led from Jerusalem to the new world to establish a righteous people.

But there is no discernible remnant of Lehi's people in America. So I wonder if the purpose is to raise up the BoM for the people of this day. But I still have to wonder why Lehi would have been necessary. Why wouldn't Christ have established his church among the people who were already here?

It's kind of like Raiders of the Lost Ark. If you take Indiana Jones completely out of the story the Nazi's still accomplish their aim and open the ark of the covenant and get their faces melted off.

Take Lehi and his family out of the story and we have the same outcome and evidence of their existence as if they had really been in the Americas. There was no righteous posterity to connect his day with ours. There was no lasting Christian tradition that survived after Moroni.

The only "evidence" of the value of Lehi's involvement is the BoM which just as easily could have been written by the American natives.

Stop! Stop right now...it was this kind of thinking that led me out of the church. It's better to just accept the story as presented and not seek answers to your nagging questions...they could inevitably lead you some place you may not want to go...

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39 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

As I've been studying the BoM this year for Gospel Doctrine I have a nagging question I can't fully itch.

We are taught that Lehi and his family are led from Jerusalem to the new world to establish a righteous people.

But there is no discernible remnant of Lehi's people in America. So I wonder if the purpose is to raise up the BoM for the people of this day. But I still have to wonder why Lehi would have been necessary. Why wouldn't Christ have established his church among the people who were already here?

It's kind of like Raiders of the Lost Ark. If you take Indiana Jones completely out of the story the Nazi's still accomplish their aim and open the ark of the covenant and get their faces melted off.

Take Lehi and his family out of the story and we have the same outcome and evidence of their existence as if they had really been in the Americas. There was no righteous posterity to connect his day with ours. There was no lasting Christian tradition that survived after Moroni.

The only "evidence" of the value of Lehi's involvement is the BoM which just as easily could have been written by the American natives.

In my experience, God rarely does what is easiest. 

Think about it. Which would be easier, sending missionaries to other lands, or sending an angel to declare the truth to people already there? 

There are a million other similar examples where the easiest option is ignored by God.

 

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31 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

As I've been studying the BoM this year for Gospel Doctrine I have a nagging question I can't fully itch.

We are taught that Lehi and his family are led from Jerusalem to the new world to establish a righteous people.But there is no discernible remnant of Lehi's people in America.

What do you mean by "discernible?"  Who is doing this "discerning?"  What metrics do you propose should be used for this "discerning?"

Quote

So I wonder if the purpose is to raise up the BoM for the people of this day. But I still have to wonder why Lehi would have been necessary. Why wouldn't Christ have established his church among the people who were already here?

That's a fair question.  I think it has to do with the Abrahamic Covenant, which for reasons we don't really comprehend apparently involve specific groups of people, and hence a need to transplant descendants of those people.  See here:

Quote

When the Savior visited the descendants of Lehi on the American continent, He told them that they were children of the prophets, members of the house of Israel, and heirs to the promises made to Abraham. They were favored through the blessings of the Atonement as promised to Abraham (see 3 Nephi 20:25–27). The Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith that the members of the Church in these latter days are also heirs of Abraham’s promised blessings (see D&C 132:29–32).

There are blessings promised through the Abrahamic covenant. [8.1.3]

The blessings of the Abrahamic covenant can be summarized as follows...

Feel free to read the rest of it, as it goes into quite a bit of detail.

Extended families, either through blood (such as transplants like Lehi, whose group is "among the ancestors of the American Indians") or adoption.  That's what it's all about, IMHO.

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It's kind of like Raiders of the Lost Ark. If you take Indiana Jones completely out of the story the Nazi's still accomplish their aim and open the ark of the covenant and get their faces melted off.

Well, if we continue this line of reasoning, we can discount pretty much everything and anything that God does or does not do.

"Why did God send us to earth?  He's omniscient, so he already knew how things would turn out if He sent us here, so there's no need to actually send us here.  Why is God wasting time?"

You get the idea.

The answer to such conjectural questions, I think, is usually going to end up at Isaiah 55:8 ("For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.").  Or Moses 6:32 ("Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good.").  Or 1 Cor. 13:12 ("For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.").

Thanks,

-Smac

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18 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

During Book of Mormon times there were thousands (if not millions) of people who were taught the gospel who otherwise would not have if Lehi had not arrived in the New World.  Think of it sort of as Lehi and his family being called on a foreign mission, only instead of  the mission lasting for 2 or 3 years it lasted for the rest of their lives. 

Christ could have found another way to establish a church in the Americas, but this is the one he chose. 

While the church and belief in Christ did not last past Moroni, it did last for a thousand years.  That's gotta be worth something.

I like the analogy of a foreign mission. So it would appear to serve a temporary purpose.

Regarding the fulfillment of prophesy. Does a prophesy generally serve a purpose or does it exist merely to be fulfilled. I suspect there are examples of both, but having a prophesy for the sole purpose of being fulfilled isn't very...fulfilling. 

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As has been stated, the blessing of the priesthood comes through the Abraham covenant so the priesthood had to be brought to the new world. God will bring angels to restore it when it is lost, but if it is already on the earth, he sends missionaries with the priesthood to establish his church. The same argument could be used today - why send missionaries to china, God can just call his own prophet there. It has never worked that way. 

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Because finding and populating a land changes it for future inhabitants even if one never knows what was helped  by other inhabitants?   Because establishing the Promised Land as such, with the protection of the Almighty only so long as there is righteousness inevitably leads to vanishing civilizations that ignore that condition?  But that doesn't mean God stops trying to bless His children.

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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

As I've been studying the BoM this year for Gospel Doctrine I have a nagging question I can't fully itch.

We are taught that Lehi and his family are led from Jerusalem to the new world to establish a righteous people.

But there is no discernible remnant of Lehi's people in America. So I wonder if the purpose is to raise up the BoM for the people of this day. But I still have to wonder why Lehi would have been necessary. Why wouldn't Christ have established his church among the people who were already here?

It's kind of like Raiders of the Lost Ark. If you take Indiana Jones completely out of the story the Nazi's still accomplish their aim and open the ark of the covenant and get their faces melted off.

Take Lehi and his family out of the story and we have the same outcome and evidence of their existence as if they had really been in the Americas. There was no righteous posterity to connect his day with ours. There was no lasting Christian tradition that survived after Moroni.

The only "evidence" of the value of Lehi's involvement is the BoM which just as easily could have been written by the American natives.

It's an interesting question from a narrative standpoint.  (And I would point out that if Indy hadn't gotten involved, the Nazis might never have found Marion Ravenwood and the medallion, so they might never had found the Ark in the first place.)

But the real reason is this:

Holy scripture records that “after the waters had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof.” (Ether 13:2.) Such a special place needed now to be kept apart from other regions, free from the indiscriminate traveler as well as the soldier of fortune. To guarantee such sanctity the very surface of the earth was rent. In response to God’s decree, the great continents separated and the ocean rushed in to surround them. The promised place was set apart. Without habitation it waited for the fulfillment of God’s special purposes.

With care and selectivity, the Lord began almost at once to repeople the promised land. The Jaredites came first, with stories of the great flood fresh in their memories and the Lord’s solemn declaration ringing in their ears: “Whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and forever, should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of his wrath should come upon them.” (Ether 2:8.)

Despite such counsel, however, the Jaredite civilization steadily degenerated into a violent society which forced a man to keep “the hilt of his sword in his right hand” (Ether 14:2)—until finally he “ate and slept, and prepared for death on the morrow.” (Ether 15:26.)

But even as the last light flickered on Jaredite civilization, a bold new sun rose to illuminate a thousand years of Nephite-Lamanite experience on the same soil. Despite periods of war and rebellion, these people nevertheless had great moments of power and purity, including the personal ministry of the resurrected Christ, who walked and talked and prayed with these New World inhabitants for three indescribable days. There in the meridian of time the land enjoyed three generations of peace and perfection, which it would not know again until the Master’s millennial reign.

https://www.lds.org/ensign/1976/06/a-promised-land?lang=eng

If Elder Holland is right, then if the Jaredites and Lehi (and Mulek) hadn't journeyed here, there might not have been anyone here at all when Columbus showed up.

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59 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I like the analogy of a foreign mission. So it would appear to serve a temporary purpose.

Regarding the fulfillment of prophesy. Does a prophesy generally serve a purpose or does it exist merely to be fulfilled. I suspect there are examples of both, but having a prophesy for the sole purpose of being fulfilled isn't very...fulfilling. 

I think some prophecies, or that some aspects of prophecy,  are divine blueprints for us to apply our efforts to achieving, to make something wonderful happen that we otherwise would not have considered a reality, or “That wise men and rulers may hear and know that which they have never considered; That I may proceed to bring to pass my act, my strange act, and perform my work, my strange work…” (D&C 101: 94-95)

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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Regarding the fulfillment of prophesy. Does a prophesy generally serve a purpose or does it exist merely to be fulfilled. I suspect there are examples of both, but having a prophesy for the sole purpose of being fulfilled isn't very...fulfilling. 

No, in God's omniscience, all of His chess-board moves with peoples serve the ultimate purpose of "bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." It wasn't done simply to fulfill prophecies He had already given (like the ordinations on the Far West temple cornerstones); rather, it was prophesied and carried out for the ultimate blessing of His covenant and non-covenant peoples. Sometimes in ways we can't see, or can't yet see.

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3 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

As I've been studying the BoM this year for Gospel Doctrine I have a nagging question I can't fully itch.

We are taught that Lehi and his family are led from Jerusalem to the new world to establish a righteous people.

But there is no discernible remnant of Lehi's people in America. So I wonder if the purpose is to raise up the BoM for the people of this day. But I still have to wonder why Lehi would have been necessary. Why wouldn't Christ have established his church among the people who were already here?

It's kind of like Raiders of the Lost Ark. If you take Indiana Jones completely out of the story the Nazi's still accomplish their aim and open the ark of the covenant and get their faces melted off.

Take Lehi and his family out of the story and we have the same outcome and evidence of their existence as if they had really been in the Americas. There was no righteous posterity to connect his day with ours. There was no lasting Christian tradition that survived after Moroni.

The only "evidence" of the value of Lehi's involvement is the BoM which just as easily could have been written by the American natives.

He did, they were called the Jaredites. Due to wickedness their society could not survive until Christ appeared in America.

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20 hours ago, cinepro said:

It's an interesting question from a narrative standpoint.  (And I would point out that if Indy hadn't gotten involved, the Nazis might never have found Marion Ravenwood and the medallion, so they might never had found the Ark in the first place.)

But the real reason is this:

 

 

If Elder Holland is right, then if the Jaredites and Lehi (and Mulek) hadn't journeyed here, there might not have been anyone here at all when Columbus showed up.

Except that the Mulekites and Jaredites became extinct and the people the Spanish found in America and continue to exist now, have no connection to Lehi. (DNA doesn't match)

So Columbus  and the conquistadors would have still found the natives and the same ruins etc as they did because they were not related to Lehi or other BoM peoples.

This explanation would have made much more sense 20 years ago when the church still taught that the BoM peoples  were the primary ancestors of native Americans.

Edited by HappyJackWagon
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4 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Except that the Mulekites and Jaredites became extinct and the people the Spanish found in America and continue to exist now, have no connection to Lehi. (DNA doesn't match)

So Columbus  and the conquistadors would have still found the natives and the same ruins etc as they did because they were not related to Lehi or other BoM peoples.

This explanation would have made much more sense 20 years ago when the church still taught that the Native Americans were the primary ancestors of BoM peoples.

According to F.A.R.M.S., FairMormon, and the folks at MormonInterpretor, Lehi landed in Mesoamerica which was already crowded with people - which contradicts the Book of Mormon, of course - but they don't care because their jobs as Mormons is to Interpret the scriptures and hopefully get some donations and/or sell some books on the side to supplement their income.

So I wouldn't give too much credence to their claim that Lehi's, Nephi's, Laman's, etc., DNA can't be found especially when the Book of Mormon states Lehi's promise that the seed of his son Joseph will not be entirely destroyed, nor the seed of Laman and Lemuel. It's just the MormonInterpretators don't give a hill of beans what the Book of Mormon says because they're fixated on Mesoamerica - because they've spent so much time and effort and much of their mortal finite Probationary period in trying to persuade others of it's truth - and haven't yet grasped the concept of "sunk cost" - due to pride, reputation or whatever.

Stick with the Book of Mormon and quit worrying what man can do or say otherwise.

 

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26 minutes ago, PeterPear said:

According to F.A.R.M.S., FairMormon, and the folks at MormonInterpretor, Lehi landed in Mesoamerica which was already crowded with people - which contradicts the Book of Mormon, of course -

Where does the Book of Mormon say (or even imply) that any part of the Western Hemisphere (I'm making this as broad as possible for you) was empty of people when Lehi arrived?

I'm interested in what passages you think show this. This is an old topic that has been hashed and rehashed, but you're the one who says that Lehi's destination being already peopled "contradicts the Book of Mormon, of course."

This is a CFR.

Thanks!

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6 hours ago, cinepro said:

It's an interesting question from a narrative standpoint.  (And I would point out that if Indy hadn't gotten involved, the Nazis might never have found Marion Ravenwood and the medallion, so they might never had found the Ark in the first place.)

But the real reason is this:

 

 

If Elder Holland is right, then if the Jaredites and Lehi (and Mulek) hadn't journeyed here, there might not have been anyone here at all when Columbus showed up.

Not necessarily.  His comments do not rule out the immigration of others by different routes or from other points of origin.

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I've wondered why the three groups (Jaredites, Mulekites, Lehites) were sent all the way to America, totally bypassing all of Asia/Africa.

If these groups were fulfilling a missionary role, or fulfilling the Abrahamic covenant, seems they would have started closer to home and spread out. Instead all three groups sailed right past India, through the isles of the sea, and skirted around China just to reach an impossibly distant land where they would ultimately perish. Where do the billions upon billions that have lived in Asia fit into this plan?

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10 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

But there is no discernible remnant of Lehi's people in America...

Looks like you lost me at "hello".

And that kind of a statement doesn't jive with just about every single GA ever to speak on the subject or temple dedications in Latin America, the Western US and Polynesia.

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2 hours ago, rongo said:

Where does the Book of Mormon say (or even imply) that any part of the Western Hemisphere (I'm making this as broad as possible for you) was empty of people when Lehi arrived?

I'm interested in what passages you think show this. This is an old topic that has been hashed and rehashed, but you're the one who says that Lehi's destination being already peopled "contradicts the Book of Mormon, of course."

This is a CFR.

Thanks!

Jacob 5 comes to mind, among others, the allegory of the olive tree.  You'll notice, unlike other areas of the vineyard, the Lord doesn't graft branches in, he plants.  Words mean things.

 

 43 And behold this last, whose branch hath withered away, I did plant in a agood spot of ground; yea, even that which was choice unto me above all other parts of the land of my vineyard.

 44 And thou beheldest that I also cut down that which acumbered this spot of ground, that I might plant this tree in the stead thereof.

 45 And thou beheldest that a apart thereof brought forth good fruit, and a part thereof brought forth wild fruit; and because I plucked not the branches thereof and cast them into the fire, behold, they have overcome the good branch that it hath withered away.

Interestingly, in olive cultivating, a "truncheon" is a branch that is planted in the ground and not grafted into a host tree.  Both are viable ways to propagate olives.    Zenos knew his stuff!

Edited by Sevenbak
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I think the more complicated problem has to do with Laman and Lemuel.

Nephi kills Laban, because God says it's important that the people not dwindle in unbelief. Of course, they eventually do, but that's significantly later. The point is God repeatedly says he intends to establish a righteous people.

Yet Laman and Lemuel are brought along. After trying several times to kill Nephi, after an Angel they can never seem to remember (along with other big spiritual events these wicked brothers have), I always ponder why in the world God didn't just tell Lehi to let them go. Instead, they come and immediately become a problem upon Lehi's death, trying to kill Nephi and threaten his people to the point Nephi and others have to flee. 

These brothers end up in a land reserved for the righteous.

The point is made that the Lamanites (and other -ites of that line) are used by God to stir up the Nephites to repentance when the screw up. And it occasionally works. Still, I've always been baffled why God brings them along to the Promised Land kicking and screaming and murderous intending. I am sure some of Nephi's descendants would have become wicked on their own. It's all a bit baffling and is one of the questions I'll have to ask when I get to the next side. 

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      Two months ago someone from my extended family, Richard (not his real name), left the church.
      “I believe Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon,” he said.
      I spent an hour or so pushing back on this point. I brought up the complex geography of the BOM (“Fiction writers very rarely invent geography, and when they do it’s a very simple geography”); the language (“Who invents something like Reformed Egyptian? If you’re inventing a story about Jews from 600 BC you have them speaking Hebrew”); the various plates (“Someone could write a whole book on the various plates in the BOM alone, the abridgments, the abridgments of abridgments, the large plates, the small plates, what happened to these plates over the course of a thousand years”); the messiness yet internal consistency of the narrative (“Fiction is not messy, it is tidy, organized. But the BOM is untidy, messy, and there are loose ends everywhere. Why? Because it is not fiction"); etc., etc.
      But it was all to no effect. Richard has never been a reader, and most of what I said––well, it just didn’t register with him.
      But what I said next, did.
      “The Book of Mormon was originally rendered in a language Joseph Smith didn’t know.”
      “What?”
      “The Book of Mormon, the original text that Joseph Smith dictated, was not written in the English of that day. It was not the King James English of the Bible, nor was it the English of Joseph’s day. It was written in Early Modern English, a language which had been out of use for 200 years by 1827. This was a language Joseph Smith did not know and could not have known.”
      Long pause. I’d finally hit on something that Richard could grasp.
      "The presence of Early Modern English in the Book of Mormon is proof that Joseph Smith did not produce the book himself," I said.
      Maybe it would be more accurate to say that it is a different kind of proof, one that is easily grasped by someone like Richard, who is not going to respond to other proofs.
      Not that Richard is suddenly going to return to the church. I doubt that he will.
      But the presence of EModE in the BOM, when taken with all of the other proofs, makes it extremely unlikely, really impossible, that JS wrote the BOM.
      P.S. - Tried to edit headline but can't.
    • By Robert F. Smith
      A symposium on "EGYPT AND THE OLD TESTAMENT" will be held at the Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst, Gabelsbergerstr. 35, Munich/München, Germany, on 6-7 Dec 2019.
      The proceedings will be published as ÄAT (AEGYPTEN UND ALTES TESTAMENT) volume 100.
      More on the symposium can be found at https://www.freunde-abrahams.de/aegypten-und-altes-testament/  .
      ÄAT's spectrum covers the philological, art historical, and archaeological branches of Egyptology, as well as Old Testament exegesis, the archaeology, glyptics and epigraphy of Israel/Palestine and neighboring regions such as Sinai and Transjordan, literature and history of religions, from the Bronze Ages up to Greco-Roman and early Christian periods, as well as relevant aspects of research history.
       
    • By Bernard Gui
      At the end of Alma 37, Alma gives his final instructions to his faithful young son Helaman. After encouraging him always to be obedient to God’s commandments and to pray to God continually, Alma uses the Liahona as an object lesson to teach Helaman how to obtain eternal life through following the words of Christ. Using analogy, Alma compares the Liahona, the temporal compass provided by God to Lehi, with the words of Christ, the spiritual guide provided to all by God. In this remarkable passage, Alma, like all good teachers, repeats this image three times, and like a good Nephite teacher, he uses a parallelism to increase the impact.
      Alma employs the alternate parallel form, one of the most common and effective forms of poetic parallelism in the Book of Mormon. It appears hundreds of times. An alternate consists of two or more lines that are repeated in parallel order. The simple alternate form is outlined ABAB. Extended alternates are outlined ABCABC, etc. 
       Alma uses three extended alternates in rapid sequence to instruct his son. 
       A   For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, 
          B   which will point to you 
              C   a straight course to eternal bliss, 
      A   as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, 
           B   which would point unto them 
               C   a straight course to the promised land.
      The A phrase compares the ease of heeding the words of Christ with the ease of looking at the Liahona. The B phrase describes the purpose of A which is to point the course. The C phrase declares the final destination of those who follow A, salvation and arrival at the promised land.
       A   For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, 
         B   by following its course, 
             C   to the promised land, 
      A   shall the words of Christ, 
         B   if we follow their course,
             C  carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise.
      The A phrase again compares the words of Christ with the Liahona, but in reversed order. The B phrase indicates what we should do with A – follow their directions, and the C phrase gives the destination of those who do B – the promised land and a far better place, eternal life. 
       A   for so was it with our fathers; 
         B    for so was it prepared for them,
            C   that if they would look they might live; 
      A   even so it is with us.
         B   The way is prepared, 
            C   and if we will look we may live forever.
      In this last alternate, Alma personalizes the analogies of the first two. The A phrase compares the Nephite fathers (Lehi and Nephi) with Alma and his son Helaman. The B phrase indicates that God prepared the ways of direction for all of them. The C phrase compares the physical salvation of the Nephite fathers by following the Liahona with the spiritual salvation promised to all of us who will look upon Christ.
      Alma concludes his instructions with another impassioned fatherly plea that his son rise to the greatness of his calling.
      This passage indicates deliberate logical planning on the part of Alma in giving crucial instructions to his son prior to his death. This is what Alma thought would be of most worth to his son - look to Christ. It gives us insight into the Nephite mind, especially that of a powerful and gifted leader. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon and the beautiful intricacies that await in its pages for us to discover. (Thanks to Donald Parry for his marvelous edition of the Book of Mormon. Poetic Parallelism in the Book of Mormon: The Complete Text Reformatted. Maxwell Institute, 2007).
       Your comments are welcomed. 
       Here is the passage in context.
       
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