Jacob Through Words of Mormon: To Learn With Joy
The key to such a suggestion is in verse 45 of Section We got back more than we lost. And it was known from the beginning that it would be so. We do not know exactly what we missed in the pages, but we do know that what we received on the small plates was the personal declarations of three great witnesses, [Nephi, Jacob, and Isaiah],. I think you could make a pretty obvious case that the sole purpose of the small plates was to give a platform for these three witnesses. After all, their writing constitutes a full pages of what is only a page record. A short account of this experience is found in the Documentary History of the Church: Harris, having returned from his tour, showing the transcript of the record to Professor Anthon left me and went home to Palmyra, arranged his affairs, and returned again to my house about the 12th of April, , and commenced writing for me while I translated from the plates, which we continued until the 14th of June following, by which time he had written one hundred and sixteen pages of manuscript on foolscap paper.
Some time after Mr. Harris had begun to write for me, he began to importune me to give him liberty to carry the writings home and show them; and desired of me that I would inquire of the Lord, through the Urim and Thummim, if he might not do so.
I did inquire, and the answer was that he must not. However, he was not satisfied with this answer, and desired that I should inquire again. I did so, and the answer was as before.
Still he could not be contented, but insisted that I should inquire again. I did this and after much solicitation I again inquire of the Lord, and permission was granted him to have the writings on certain conditions; which were, that he show them only to his brother, Preserved Harris, his own wife, his father and his mother, and a Mrs.
Cobb, a sister to his wife. In accordance with this last answer, I required of him that he should bind himself in a covenant to me in a most solemn manner that he would not do otherwise than had been directed. He bound himself as I required of him, took the writings, and went his way. Notwithstanding, however, the great restrictions which he had been laid under, and the solemnity of the covenant which he had made with me, he did show them to others, and by stratagem they got them away from him, and they never have been recovered unto this day.
In the meantime, while Martin Harris was gone with the writings, I went to visit my father's family at Manchester. I continued there for a short season, and then returned to my place in Pennsylvania. Immediately after my return home, I was walking out a little distance, when, behold, the former heavenly messenger appeared and handed to me the Urim and Thummim again--for it had been taken from me in consequence of my having wearied the Lord in asking for the privilege of letting Martin Harris take the writings which he lost by transgression--and I inquired of the Lord through it, and obtained in July , a revelation concerning certain manuscripts of the first part of the book of Mormon, which had been taken from the possession of Martin Harris.
After I had obtained the above revelation, both the plates and the Urim and Thummim were taken from me again; but in a few days they were returned to me, when I inquired of the Lord, and the Lord gave unto me a revelation informing me of the alteration of the manuscript of the fore part of the Book of Mormon. For the benefit of the reader, Section 10, verses will be quoted below with interpretive comment added: And now, verily I say unto you, that an account of those things that you have written, which have gone out of your hands [the lost pages of manuscript], is engraven upon the [Small] plates of Nephi; Yea, and you remember it was said in those writings [the lost pages] that a more particular [or more spiritual] account was given of these things upon the [Small] plates of Nephi.
And now, because the account which is engraven upon the [Small] plates of Nephi is more particular concerning the things which, in my wisdom, I would bring to the knowledge of the people in this account [or to the knowledge of the remnant of the tribe of Joseph]--Therefore, you shall translate the engravings which are on the [Small] plates of Nephi, down even till you come to the reign of king Benjamin, or until you come to that which you have translated, which you have retained [from your translation of Mormon's abridgment of the Large Plates of Nephi]. Concerning the exact reason for the loss of the pages, Francis Kirkam notes that the mother of the Prophet wrote: The manuscript has never been found; and there is no doubt but Mrs.
Harris took it from the drawer, with a view of retaining it until another translation should be given, then, to alter the original translation, for the purpose of showing a discrepancy between them, and thus to make the whole appear to be a deception. History of Joseph Smith , chapters , pp. Kirkam additionally notes that the loss of the manuscript was also told by Pomeroy Tucker, an early anti-Mormon writer. Tucker gives a few pages of his book to this event and writes in part as follows: Thus exercised, she [the wife of Martin Harris] contrived in her husband's sleep to steal from him the particular source of her disturbance, and burned the manuscript to ashes.
For years she kept this incendiarism a profound secret to herself, even until after the book was published. The loss of the first translations checked for a time the progress of Mormon events.
Basic Historical Information," F. How much written material was contained on the lost pages of Original Manuscript which Joseph Smith entrusted to Martin Harris? According to an article by Shirley Heater, the paper used for the Original Manuscript was called "foolscap. The surviving Original Manuscript pages are of two sizes see illustration and three kinds of paper -- one, a coarse mesh machined paper, the others of finer handmade texture.
The Book of Mormon: Jacob through Words of Mormon, To Learn with Joy | Religious Studies Center
Those coming from the book of Alma measure 8" by 13". The reader should be careful to remember that First Nephi from the small plates was translated after Joseph Smith completed his translation of Mormon's abridgment of the large plates and Moroni's abridgment of Ether plus a few of Moroni's own words. Because we lack any fragments from the book of Mosiah see illustration , and because Joseph waited some months after the loss of the pages of manuscript before resuming the translation process, it is difficult to know the exact size of the lost sheets.
However, by calculating the page area of both page sizes we can come up with an approximation. Page A yields We have a preserved portion of the Original Manuscript of the A size see illustration. By comparing the amount of script with the area of the page we can approximate that one page of handwritten manuscript would yield an average of about 1 page of present edition text.
At least two sizes of "foolscap" paper were used in the Original Manuscript. The drawing above illustrates how they were folded to create long and short page sizes. The shorter pages were created from 13" by 16" sheets, which were folded and sewn the short length, resulting in page size of 8" by 13".
Book of Mormon (Symposium Series): Jacob Through Words of Mormon, To Learn with Joy
This is the size of the existing pages from the book of Alma. The Original Manuscript page containing the equivalent of what is now found in 1 Nephi 7: Surviving portions of the Original Manuscript. According to Raymond Treat, the principle, "What is in the Book of Mormon is There for a Purpose," is a very important principle to understand about the Book of Mormon. The dictionary tells us that a principle is a general truth on which other truths depend.
The recognition of the "purpose principle" is the recognition of a general truth about the book of Mormon which in turn will lead to other truths. If we ask the question, "Why has this particular information been included? How do we know that what is in the book of Mormon is there for a purpose?
Because major writers of the Book of Mormon tell us they were directed by God as to what to put in the Book of Mormon and what to leave out. For example, in Words of Mormon 1: But behold, I shall take these plates, which contain these prophesyings and revelations, and put them with the remainder of my record, for they are choice unto me; and I know they will be choice unto my brethren. And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me.
And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will. And my prayer to God is concerning my brethren, that they may once again come to the knowledge of God, yea, the redemption of Christ; that they may once again be a delightsome people.
And now I, Mormon, proceed to finish out my record, which I take from the plates of Nephi; and I make it according to the knowledge and the understanding which God has given me. In each case these writers were told both what to put in the Book of Mormon and what to leave out. For all practical purposes two of these three writers, Mormon and Moroni, controlled the contents of the entire Book of Mormon.
Mormon was directed to add the entire contents of the small plates of Nephi to the Book of Mormon. Nephi was responsible for about 82 percent of the contents of the small plates of Nephi, which strengthens the case even further that the contents of the Book of Mormon were indeed divinely controlled.
They also give validity to the principle that what is in the Book of Mormon is there for a purpose. Probably the most accepted traditional view about the content of the book The Words of Mormon has been written recently by Eldin Ricks: We understand this statement simply to mean that he returned to the large plates of Nephi, his basic source book, to obtain the information for the historical addition to the small plates of Nephi that comprise verses As we probe further into the abbreviated historical notes that Mormon added to the small plates of Nephi, we see that they carry the reader from the point in the early lifetime of king Benjamin where the small plates of Nephi end to the point late in Benjamin's lifetime where the book of Mosiah begins.
Mormon's appendage leads one smoothly and directly into his abridgment of the book of Mosiah. If we accept this theory, then we must ask a number of questions about not only why Mormon chose to summarize Benjamin's reign, but why he even included this historical summary Words of Mormon 1: If The Book of Mosiah begins with the record of Mosiah 2 , then what happened to the record of Mosiah 1 and the record of King Benjamin which were part of the large plates?
Mosiah 2 is not anointed king until chapter 6 v. Are chapters also to be considered part of the record of Mosiah 2? If Amaleki finished the small plates and delivered them up to King Benjamin during "the early lifetime of King Benjamin," then why would Mormon think he had to make a summary of the history of King Benjamin's reign?
The Book of Mormon: Jacob through Words of Mormon, To Learn with Joy
Why didn't Mormon just tie the small plates into the "early" part of King Benjamin's reign? Could it be that Amaleki turned the small plates over to King Benjamin in the latter part of his reign? What are the chances that the recorded history of the small plates plus the history included in The Words of Mormon would fit exactly into the void left by the loss of the pages of manuscript?
When did Amaleki deliver his record to Benjamin? According to the proposed chronology chart in Appendix A, the beginning of the reign of Mosiah 1 has been tentatively placed in the year , when he attained the age of 30 and the end of his reign has been tentatively placed forty years later, when he reached the age of Amaleki states, "I was born in the days of Mosiah" Omni 1: This also means that it might be possible that Amaleki could have been born roughly the same time as Benjamin.
If Amaleki and Benjamin lived approximately the same number of years, then Amaleki would have turned over the plates towards the latter part of Benjamin's reign in the year roughly years into Benjamin's reign. Religion and , , p. Mormon refers to "records handed down by the kings, from generation to generation until the days of King Benjamin" Words of Mormon 1: Does this statement mean that Mosiah 1 was part of a royal line?
Volume 4 in the Book of Mormon Symposium Series
Thus, the double wording here of "king to king" and from "generation to generation" would tend to convey the idea that Mosiah 1 was part of the royal family. Interestingly, in verse 11, Mormon says that King Benjamin handed the records down "from generation to generation until they have fallen into my hands. To me this means that Mormon and Moroni would have been in line to be Nephite kings and that the large plates were probably passed down from one royal hand to another.
Miner, Personal Notes] [See the commentary on Mosiah 9: John Tvedtnes believes that Words of Mormon 1: To understand this proposition, we must turn to an examination of the printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon, copied by Oliver Cowdery from the original manuscript written from dictation the latter, as far as Tvedtnes can determine, being missing for this portion of the text.
The manuscript, as originally copied, does not show a title for the book of Mosiah, presumably because that title appeared on one of the lost pages. Even more important is the fact that there is, on the manuscript, no original indication of a separation between Words of Mormon and Mosiah. Tvedtnes believes that this title was misplaced and should have been after Words of Mormon 1: Here are his reasons for this belief: Mormon's statement that he was "about to deliver up the record which I have been making into the hands of my son Moroni" and had witnessed "almost all the destruction of my people the Nephites" Words of Mormon 1: This means he was not working on the story of Benjamin at the time he wrote these words, explaining how he had come across the small plates, but it may have been a long time since he had discovered them.
Mormon wrote that he was going to "finish my record" on the small plates Words of Mormon 1: Since the bulk of his abridgment was written after he wrote of king Benjamin's time, he could not have "finished" his record by writing about that king in Words of Mormon 1: How did he finish that record? Tvedtnes suggest that he summed up an explanation of the two sets of plates Words of Mormon 1: Sperry first suggested many years ago. Sperry, Book of Mormon Compendium , p.
It would, in any event, explain why Joseph Smith translated the small plates last. Mormon's concluding remarks in Words of Mormon 1: He wrote of the preservation of the records cf. This makes Tvedtnes wonder if the last part of Mormon chapter may have been written on the small plates. In any event, the similarity of words found in Mormon and in Words of Mormon 1: There is a smooth flow from Words of Mormon 1: Joseph Smith may have chosen to place the title "Book of Mosiah" in its current place because Mosiah 1: If this is true, then Words of Mormon 1: Joseph may have retained this part cf.
The book of Mosiah, in this case, was probably named after the first Mosiah, whose history would have been part of the lost pages; otherwise, one might expect the book to be named after Benjamin.
But this is by no means certain. Mormon mentions that king Benjamin "did fight with the strength of his own arm, with the sword of Laban" Words of Mormon 1: The wording here sounds very much like the wording in Jacob 1: According to Todd Kerr, one of the most important roles of the Hebrew king "was that of being a leader in war. That is to say, primarily it was his duty to defend his people from aggressive action on the part of their neighbors. Hebrew kingship initially developed because of pressing needs for military leadership in Israel's territorial scuffles with surrounding nations.
King Benjamin also rose to power and influence during a period of "serious war and much bloodshed between the Nephites and the Lamanites" Omni 1: All the Lands of Their Inheritance: One might wonder how vast the "lands of their inheritance" were that were governed by King Benjamin Words of Mormon 1: How similar were King Benjamin's territorial boundaries to those boundaries of Nephite and Lamanite lands described in Alma According to Brant Gardner, one of the passages in the Book of Mormon that may gain added perspective from a Mesoamerican context is found in Words of Mormon 1: Mormon indicates that there had been "false Christs" among the people.
While we cannot be certain of the meaning of this phrase, the presence of multiple "false Christs" in a culture undergoing a conflict between a new and an old religious system at least suggests that the false Christs may be related to this religious conflict. The Nephites considered Christ as their God, and a false Christ would be a man impersonating that deity.
This is the precise definition of the Mesoamerican concept of god-impersonators. We find both Olmec and Maya depicted in the garb of various deities. Among the later Aztecs, these god-impersonators were known as the ixiptla. It is not difficult to imagine the internal contentions revolving around the retention or rejection of the old religion. Whether the god-impersonators were attempting to continue the old gods, or attempting to merge the religious form of the old religion with the new, the god-impersonators of that old religion are direct conceptual matches for the false Christs which Mormon describes.
This particular interpretation of the false Christs as god-impersonators explains why there are multiple false Christs, why they become an issue at precisely this time early in the merger between the Zarahemlaites and the Nephites , and why we should have false Christs appearing in a community where only the smaller number of people had a tradition of a belief in Christ at all. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
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