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3 Nephites stories

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I found an article via JSTOR that apparently originally appeared as follows: Fife, A.E. (Jan.-Mar. 1940*) "The Three Nephites Among the Mormons" [sic], The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 53, Iss. 207, pp. 1-49.  https://www.jstor.org/stable/535372?read-now=1&refreqid=excelsior%3A5df5084f6270723d7b082e6b2e288aba&seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents.  (I'm not sure where the link takes you.  JSTOR does require a subscription, but gives you a certain number of free views each month.)

*Yes, that makes this "an oldie but a goodie."  Perhaps you would prefer more up-to-date information regarding wacky Three Nephites stories, but perhaps this does have some historical value. ;)

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On 8/29/2019 at 6:08 PM, strappinglad said:

Anyone here know if there has been a compilation of " Three Nephite " stories ever published ? 

 As shown by Joseph Gaer, The Legend of the Wandering Jew (1961), 88-94, there is an interesting confluence of the legends of the Grail, Merlin the Magician, King Arthur, Rip Van Winkle, Sleeping Beauty, Charlemagne, St. John the Divine, Honi the CircleMaker, the Wandering Jew, the Seven Sleepers, and the Three Nephites.  A friend of mine adds to that Islamic legends of Hidden Imams and Jewish legends of the Thirty-Six Righteous, for whose prayers alone God allows the world to continue in existence (cf. Alma 10:22-23).

At noon, on the winter solstice of 1964, Hugh Nibley watched the light of the Sun shine into and on the very back of an important shrine-cave in Transjordan.  The cave (al-kahf) featured an ancient drawing of a dog, which clearly connected it with the legend of the Seven Sleepers or Sages of Ephesus (cf. Qur’an 18:9-26).  The legend includes stories of gold, silver, and bronze plates deposited in the cave, which reminded Nibley of the lists of buried treasure in the copper scrolls (actually a copper plate divided in half and rolled up) from Qumran Cave Three, and of Jeremiah's fabled treasure in a cave near Jericho.  What is of particular interest here is that the legendary plates in the legendary cave are deciphered by itinerant smiths!    Nibley, Nibley on the Timely and Timeless, 196 (nn. 71-80), 198.

The late Mircea Eliade told us that, in various traditions, 


   [t]he smith is first and foremost a worker in iron, and his nomadic condition–for he is constantly on the move in his quest for raw metal and for orders for work–puts him in touch with differing populations.  The smith becomes the principal agent in this spread of myths, rites and metallurgical mysteries.
            *            *            *            *
    [T]he smith plays an important part in religious and social life--he is the master-instructor in initiation ceremonies, he is prophet and divine, etc., . . .
            *            *            *            *
    The Smith-Counsellor continues and completes the work of God by making man capable of understanding mysteries.  Hence the role of the smith in the initiations at puberty and in secret societies, and his importance in the religious life of the community.  Even his relations with the chiefs and sovereigns, whom, in certain regions, he overlaps, are of a religious character.  Eliade, The Forge and the Crucible: The Origins and Structures of Alchemy, 25,94,96.


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We had an Seventy tour mission and maybe Bluebell had him as well, we both served in the same state at the same time but he told us that "The 3 Nephites had more to do with the fall of Russia than we know" and I remember thinking I was 11 when that all happened and I didn't think the 3 Nephites had anything to do with it or anything really

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11 hours ago, strappinglad said:

Thing is, my Dad claimed to have met one of them on 2 different occasions. Interesting stories. 

Well, out with it!

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