However, given the generations of reverence attributed to both the large and small plates of Nephi, I doubt Mormon would have destroyed any of the originals in order to make new writing material. The post-humous addition of the extra subtitle âAnother testament of Jesus Christâ has caused us to focus on reading the book in terms of one looking for testifying of Jesus as the Christ, and in seeing it in relation to the old and new testament, this is surely an important way in which we can read the text. If he did recycle anything, I’m sure it was some minor thing. I can see your point about the reverence attached to the plates being a reason why he might not have recycled old plates. Was there another way? It is possible that really it is a book that is all about Mormon and that is why it is called the Book of Mormon.Â That the way in which he appears in the text is at the level of editor and compiler, that it is on the meta-analysis of the text that we can see his hand throughout the text, and it is indirectly about him. ( Log Out / It is certainly good to read the book in this way, but, perhaps the fact we have overlooked the title and its significance means we have missed out on the way in which Mormon features in the book as its narrator and compiler. After all, a financial report from a company would be called an account as well as a persons story about their trip to the shops, or a fictional narrative such as Guliver’s Travels. There are an infinite number of combinations and variations of other stories that he could have picked and chose from the 1,000 years of history he had access to, to form the Book of Mormon. Despite the fact that the text is broken up into individual books, it is not presented to us as a Biblia or Library of books, but as a whole text that has been edited by Mormon. With a ten-year break in the fighting, Mormon helped them prepare for the next battles, and tried to help them understand they survived only because God stepped in. The Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, D&C 20:9 (D&C 20:8–12; 42:12). It is possible that really it is a book that is all about Mormon and that is why it is called the Book of Mormon. He titled it the Book of Mormon. Smith, they will say, translated the Book of Mormon from golden plates he dug up in a hill in New York in the early 1800s. He send animals and other gifts to appease Esau. He often inserts a qualifying or relative clause, which sometimes causes me to go back and re-read the sentance without the embedded “side note.” Since the original didn’t use punctuation, it would take a degree of discernment or judgement as to how to punctuate many places. The Know. President Hinckley shying away from the doctrine that God was once like us, and we can be like Him, or polygamy, or whatever). Jesus is only head of church Col 1:18 : Joe Smith is head of Mormon church D&C 28:2-6 All of us upon our birth are given a name. It makes it clear Jesus was not just the Savior of a tiny group of Christians in the Holy Lands, but of all people everywhere. When I saw The Book of Mormon, all I knew was that everybody loved it — from Oprah Winfrey to Jon Stewart.One of the most successful musicals of … Rather, then construct his own plates. In the Book of Mormon Nephi and Lehi are told they are given their names as a reminder of their ancestors so their name would remind them of their righteous acts. I just think the Book of Mormon is so different to the bible that to compare them results in misreading both texts and distracts us from seeing the many ways in which they are very different books. Packer makes it clear that it needs to be read in relation to these texts. I have always thought that gold was used to show the value, but it seems likely that it was just an easier medium to engrave, and recycle old plates then brass, or copper. It’s one thing I’ve always disliked about the BOM. (Conference Report, Apr. The majority of the Nephites, once God’s people, were killed in this battle. As Boyd Â K. Packer said: “The Book of Mormon has been misunderstood. The Know The Title Page of the Book of Mormon calls its text, as prepared by Mormon and Moroni, “an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites.” It also refers to its account of Jaredite history as “an abridgment taken from the Book of Ether.” They eventually laid down their weapons of war, and renamed themselves Anti-Nephi-Lehies. Without a comma after the first plates, it seems to imply that the plates upon which Mormon wrote were recycled from Nephi’s actual plates, “erased” somehow (gold is soft enough you could do that, or melted down and reformed), and Mormon’s words written upon the same pieces of metal. This makes the title semantically empty, there is nothing in it that really conveys anything to the general public (who would know nothing about Mormon prior to encountering the book) about what the book is about. 4, p. 461).Allegedly it was translated by the power of God. I am going through the book of mormon again now, so I am going to be looking out for them. A man named Joseph Smith emerged to propose his own reported religious experiences as the solution. At this point, Mormon agreed to once again be their military leader. Jared was the patriarch of the family, and tradition had been to concentrate on him and his name, not Mahonri’s. They believe he was a real person, but he was a prophet, not a god and Mormons think of him in the same way they think of Moses or Noah. In one of the most touching stories Jacob sees the Lord and realizes there is no need for enmity, pride, and competition with his brother. In order to prevent this confusion in 1982 the church added the subtitle âAnother testament of Jesus Christâ the purpose of this was to highlight the role of the Saviour in the book. I think it’s named after the hit broadway musical. It speaks of him, but really it is just the witness of Mormon and Moroni and the teleological narrative they made of their civilisation. When war began again and the people began bragging they were winning entirely due to their own brilliance, Mormon decided he’d had enough. These records were engraved on brass plates. I wonder if Mormon Doctrine shouldn’t have been titled The Book of Bruce R. McConkie. I’ve recently found this theme interesting. Answer: When the hunger for religious experience peaked in the 1800s, the lack of unity among the differing branches of Christian faith became a stumbling block for some. The initial title was reduced to the Book of Mormon when it was printed on the cover of the book. Why does the Book of Mormon not name the Brother of Jared (later named by Joseph Smith as Mahonri Moriancumer)? In his Claremont speech he raises an interesting point about how some items were specifically excluded while Nephi engraved. The Title Page of the Book of Mormon calls its text, as prepared by Mormon and Moroni, “an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites.”. When Mormon was ten years old, a prophet named Ammaron hid the records in a hill. In time, they were forced to flee, and as Mormon reached the age of twenty-four, the age he was commanded to retrieve some of the records, he found himself near their hiding place. Mormon worked to get all the Nephites gathered into one place so it would be easier to protect them. In the meantime, he was to pay attention to the history of his people so that when he got the records, he could add to them. In time, the Nephites became frightened by the wickedness of the world and began to express sadness over the ways of the world. Given the fact that the large plates contained a 1,000 years of history, I think that it must have been more then just one volume, and most likely contained lots of irrelevant information. This raises questions such as why did Mormon pick certain stories for inclusion? Learn how your comment data is processed. But if he was writing on plates it would be easier to correct it after, then erase and rewrite the page. Eventually he secretly returned and added more to the record before again hiding them and leaving. You’ve done an excellent job of pointing out that he could have chosen many things (and he does, for example, love to discuss military tactics and strategy well beyond its theological content). There is such a massive diversity in the latter-day saints that I think it would be difficult to work out which of all the possible periods and groups he was trying to convey things to. Answer: When Mormon missionaries (properly called Latter Day Saints or simply "LDS") come to your door, they will often offer a free copy of the Book of Mormon and tell you about its author, Joseph Smith. With the subtitle our reading experience is structured around the concept of what we are reading being related to the Bible, and in a framework that testifies of Jesus Christ. The ancient prophets are witnesses who testify of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and teach the truths of His gospel. There are an infinite number of combinations and variations of other stories that he could have picked and chose from the 1,000 years of history he had access to, to form the Book of Mormon. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. He dug up the records and recorded the wickedness and trials of his people. I’ve also wondered about the corrections embedded in the text. She became a member of the Church at the age of 17 and began sharing her faith online in 1992. For example, the prophet Jacob uses the title 14 times in one chapter— 2 Nephi 9 —which is part of a sermon based on Isaiah 50 and 51 . When Mormon was eleven, his family moved to a place called Zarahemla. To demonstrate this lets consider the title of one of our books of scripture The Book of Mormon. At this time, a great battle was scheduled between the two groups. The “Book of Mormon: An Account…” fits the bill for the early days of the Church. However, it could equally be called The Book of Joseph Smith: A 19th Century historical text this is because it was dictated/translated/interpreted by Joseph Smith, and it was written in the 19th century and is of a historical nature. But can a prophet succeed in the age of the iPhone? These passages seem to infer that he was writing an material that made it difficult to correct mistakes. Collette Brennan: Every Member a Missionary, Delisa Hargrove: Applying Gospel Principles, Denise Brandell Mastrocola- To Your Health, Janette Beverley: Reaching Toward the Light, Jessica Clark: Marriage—From Here to Eternity, Kelly P. Merrill: Prophets and Their Teachings, Lady Airyn: Addiction, Betrayal, & Healing, Roberta Hess Park–Coping With the Hard Life. His story is an interesting one that illustrates a true Christian life. I recently read an article in which the author said Mormons worshipped Mormon and Jesus both, which he felt proved Mormons aren’t Christians. Mormon was overjoyed by this, being not just their military leader, but also a spiritual leader. They were too wicked and would not have listened to him. After hundreds of years, the record was given to Mormon, who was both a prophet and military leader. Look at all the errors in the Bible, and minor variations between codices. Required fields are marked *, Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress, The Mormon Church distributes free copies of the King James Version of the Bible and the. From your recommendation it has just been moved up 20 books on the list. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. So in this regard, The Book of Mormon is presented as “merely” a companion to the already accepted Bible. I suppose Mormon could have written his draft on a cheaper media, recycled some of the “large plates” that had been handed down for a thousand years, then copied his final edition from the temporary media onto the recycled gold plates. On the other hand the first would cause us to look more at the christology within it, and miss perhaps the 19th century elements embedded in the text. It should be remembered that as a writer of history the account he gave us of the Nephites is not the only account he could have given us of the Nephites and Lamenites. Especially if we consider he was writing on both sides of the plates, which as you point out would make correcting on the second side problematic. This website is not owned by or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). But she really wants you to know that the name “Mormon” actually comes from ancient scriptures called the Book of Mormon. Because of its true doctrine and its revelations about sacred ordinances and covenants, the Book of Mormon naturally facilitates personal revelation. If we take this notion of using a title as a guide to what its about, it doesnât really fit with the Book of Mormon, as the prophet Mormon isnât the subject of the Book, in fact there is no clear subject of the Book Of Mormon. Reading it in terms of the latter would possibly cause us to miss the theme of testifying of Jesus Christ and instead focus on the 19th century elements that exist in the text. For we could also make the case for it being called the Book of Joseph Smith, or the Book of the Latter-day saints, on the basis of ownership and possession.Â The fact then that the title gives nothing away about what it is about, and due to the rise of the term Mormon to apply to a members of The Church of Latter-day saints, has caused the relevance of the name Mormon in the title to be lost, and simply cause bewilderment. Year after year, the Nephites battled the Lamanites. It seems to give the impresion we believe in Mormon or follow Mormon or worship Mormon. I have just been reading By The Hand of Mormon, and its really interesting to see how the role of the Book of Mormon has changed as the church has developed and changed over the years. ( Log Out / When we read the actual book, it tells us that Mormon was a Hebrew prophet who compiled the books of Mormon. The 1830 and current editions give that in all caps, so I’m not sure how to capitalize it in mixed case. I’ve begun reading Hardy’s book Understanding the Book of Mormon, and he’s done an excellent job of pointing out just how much this book is from Mormon’s perspective. It is called the Book of Mormon and is a second witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ. The church was first called The Church of Christ, which was a bit confusing because many Christian churches used that name. If that stone is removed, then the arch crumbles, which, in effect, means that Mormonism so-called -- which actually is the gospel of Christ, restored anew in this day -- stands or falls with the truth or the falsity of the Book of Mormon." He fled and traveled for many years. Your email address will not be published. It tells us nothing about what the account is of, simply that it was written by Mormon and that its source was the Plates of Nephi. We don’t know his authoral intentions and even though he tells us he is writing for his latter-day audience which period is he referring to Joseph Smith, post-manifesto, pre-1978, mainstream mormons, fringe members? Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. I have always been puzzled by the accounts of rooms full of plates. I look at the OT and see Joseph and his brothers reach at-one-ment. For the official Church websites, please visit churchofjesuschrist.org or comeuntochrist.org. His story, which he shares in the Book of Mormon, is one of the most moving stories ever written, that of a teenager who has lost his entire family and all his friends and who remains alive only to do God’s work. Question: "Why do Mormons refer to themselves as Latter Day Saints?" The battles didn’t always go well. He was tall for his age and an imposing figure. In what ways can we see the influence of Mormon on the narrative? Whatâs in a name, or, why is the Book of Mormon called the Book of Mormon? Change ). I suppose that the plates were written on double-sided, meaning that erasures as you’re writing on the first side would be easy, but erasures on the 2nd side would be problematic, as any pounding on the metal to smooth out (erase) the inscription would also tend to erase whatever is on the reverse too. Everything has a moral lesson to it, even when the facts presented are morally ambiguous – and if the facts don’t fit, Mormon has no qualms about speechifying his way into a moral point. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships, which when printed was reduced to its current title simply to save space on the cover and to clarify what the book was about. Mormon, now growing old, understood it would be the final battle and the end of a once-great civilization. Written by Michael Otterson Reviews of “The Book of Mormon” musical have been all over the entertainment media in the past few weeks. Possible answer to 1): Ether and Moroni were simply following tradition in trying to concentrate on the name Jared. Now, some critics also claim that Smith gained most of his theories from a manuscript of a novel written by Solomon Spaulding. I hadn’t thought about those perspectives of Mormon and his dedication to attributing everything to part of God’s plan, I think that Nephi is also guilty of doing this in the part that he narrates. The Book of Mormon numbered them many fewer. The writer hadn’t done his homework. It was brought to my attention as I followed Josh Madson’s work on a non-violent reading of the Book of Mormon. About Terrie Lynn Bittner The late Terrie Lynn Bittner—beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend—was the author of two homeschooling books and numerous articles, including several that appeared in Latter-day Saint magazines. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. political and personal decisions and agendas) are clearly at play. It relates the history of a group of Hebrews who migrated from Jerusalem to America about 600 bce, led by a prophet, Lehi. It is providing a structure around which we can build our expectations and oriantate the information we gain as we read through the text. The next year, even though he was only sixteen, he was chosen to lead his people in battle. The people had been promised they would always be protected when they obeyed God, but Mormon’s people, the Nephites, did not, so their enemies, the Lamanites were able to experience some success. But it does add a dimension that Mormon the compiler of records would do that – if it’s single-layered didactic fiction, surely JS could come up with more black & white examples that really do illustrate his points rather than trying to shoehorn morally gray stories into neat little black and white lessons. President Hinckley declared, “Here is something that a man could hold in his hands, could ‘heft,’ as it were. As you say it is a significant point in the construction of that sentence. I am inclined to think he reused old plates, for where else would he get such an abundant amount of gold to use for them? Grant Hardy’s book is on my ever growing list of books to read. View all posts by jacobhalford, Minor quibble/fix: “Perhaps, more can be understood when we consider its full title as it should be remembered that the authorial title, that is the one that was given it by Mormon was: The Book of Mormon: An Account written by the Hand of Mormon upon the Plates of Nephi, and not the …”. Hidden away, the teenage Moroni worked to condense the records to manageable size and then hid them away. Our prophets downplay many of the more unique aspects of Mormonism (ie. The book is named after Mormon not because the book is about Him, but because he, and after his death, his son, condensed the writings of the prophets who contributed to the book and put it into the form Joseph Smith received from Mormon’s son Moroni, who was by then an angel. Our name simply becomes a way of identifying who we are, no one ever says âthatâs Jake, who is called that because his mum liked the name and it reminded her a person who had helped her during difficult times.â Or, in the case of Victoria and David Beckhamâs child Brooklyn, nobody really says âthat is Brooklyn named after the place in which he was conceivedâ. I don’t think the church will ever change the title and I hope that they don’t. Head of History at an all girls school. Likewise Mormon Doctrine, with its title Bruce R. Mcconkie makes it clear that he wants his readers to understand that subject inside is what the title claims it is: the doctrine of Mormons. Did Lehi tell him to salvage his relationship with Laman and Lemuel. At age fifteen, Mormon, still a serious young man, wanted to preach to the wicked, but God would not allow it. Maybe when we look at the book in this way it will be seen that the Book of Mormon really is a book all about Mormon the prophet and in looking at it from this perspective we will gain a new set of lessons from the rich structure of the Book of Mormon. Hawkgrrl can you think of any times which fit when Mormon forces a moral point on a morally grey area? At the time Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, it was believed ancient people had not kept records on metal plates. The wars began and the people became very wicked. The Book of Mormon shall stand as a testimony against the world, Ether 5:4. Likewise Â Ezra Taft Benson explained the function of the new subtitle: “With the subtitle added to the Book of Mormon, the purpose of the book, ‘to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST,’ will become immediately apparent to all who hereafter receive the Book of Mormon,”. Later in The Book of Mormon, the Lamanites killed 1,005 of their own people who had converted to Christianity. It is likely that they do reflect more about the mechanics of writing on plates. He refused to lead them any longer. With the subtitle, it takes its place where it should be– beside the Old Testament and the New Testament.”. I can see its value for propaganda and advertising the book of Mormon to non-LDS people, but I am not sure if I think the Book of Mormon really is fundamentally a testament of Jesus Christ. One can still make mistakes when copying. Because the events described in it largely took place somewhere on the American continent, it helps to prove Jesus really did live and that He really was resurrected, since He visited them after His death. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Perspectives matter, and it does make me wonder about the perspectives implied in the BOM…. Maybe it was because this would have been misleading, as it wasnât written by him, or about him, even if he features significantly within the text.Â The intrusion by the Church redefines how the Book of Mormon is perceived, and in turn how we read and understood the text. Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon via Book of Mormon Central In the 1830s, Joseph Smith struggled with what should be the name of the church he restored. I agree I think the change in the title reflects the churches attempt to become more inline with mainstream Christianity by focusing on the commonalities and portraying the Book of Mormon as being a continuation of the already accepted Bible. The title is still rather enigmatic and tells us little about what to expect from the book. Joseph Smith said "that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book," (History of the Church, vol. Four times in the book of Revelation, the Apostle John quotes Jesus as saying “I am Alpha and Omega.” Each time, the title is followed by an explanatory phrase, such as “the beginning and the end” or “the first and the last” (Revelation 1:8, 11, Revelation 21:6, Revelation 22:13).Alpha (Α or α) is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and Omega (Ω or ω) is the last letter. He declared himself to be a prophet of God. Just like other prophets in the bible, the book of Mormons also has books named after various Hebrew prophets. They multiplied and eventually split into two groups. by Terrie Lynn Bittner | Sep 24, 2011 | Frequently Asked Questions | 0 comments. Now a war was about to start and they needed to keep the records safe. So why is it called the book of Mormon? In Joseph Smith’s day, the Church was presented as something “new”, something different from the many sects of his time. In the case of books the name of a book is not simply for identification. I think there is a lot in a title. After Mormons compilation he passed the books on to his son Moroni. He continued to lead his people in battle, but he noted that they were rejecting the opportunity to have God’s help. Whether someone believes Mormon was a historical person or not, Mormon the narrator clearly has a flawed perspective that a close reading of the text reveals. A reader of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone knows instantly that the subject of the book is Harry Potter and that it will involve a philosophers stone. It is possible then to infer from the title that it could be a financial report in the Book of Mormon on the basis of it being an account. The fact that they had no punctuation when Mormon wrote it means its difficult to know how he intended it. Whilst, it is possible to say that it presents a narrative of some of the religious events of a population of people that resided in America this raises the question of why is it not called the Book of the Nephites and Lamanites?Â This could be because it isnât just about either of these groups, as it also contains other populations such as the Jaredites and the Amalekites. The fact then that the title has no clear subject in its title reflects the lack of a clear subject within the text. Since these records were kept only by prophets, this was effectively his call to be the next prophet. The prophet Nephi similarly referred to a portion of his writings as “an abridgment of the record of my father” ( 1 … Finally, when Mormon, still an observer and their prophet, even though they were ignoring him, saw the city was about to be overtaken, he returned to the hill and retrieved all the records to protect them. For most people, however, the significance that our name had when it was chosen is lost. Ad Hominem Attack: This argument discounts this vast field of study by calling scholars and investigators mere “apologists.” Tu Quoque: This argument discounts theories about the Book of Mormon civilization as “models,” but that is what every scientific theory, law, or conclusion is: a model.