In recent blog posts I have pointed out how the Lord is willing to help each of us overcome our weaknesses and that He often gives us special challenges to help us do that.
I have indicated recently that being united with other members of Jesus Christ's true and authorized church whether it was anciently in the Americas like in the case of the First Alma and those others who believed in the words of the martyred prophet, Abinadi, or in our day, that membership becomes a solid pillar of support to us.
Thinking of the great support my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been to me throughout my 76 years of life, an important symbol comes to mind. That symbol is the Church's Salt Lake Temple. Everytime I see it or a picture or painting of it, I'm reminded of the strength my church membership has given me.
As I told you in Post 14, I lived just across North Temple Street in Salt Lake City, UT in the Church's Primary Children's Hospital from the Salt Lake Temple for 14 months when it was located there years ago. I saw that temple up close every day during that relatively long time. I learned some things about the importance of that sacred building from what I was told at the ages of six and seven while living there.
Of course, now there are, as of August 2008, 126 operating temples world-wide that this church has erected and dedicated, but that building, which took 40 years for our pioneer ancestors to build, to me, is a very special symbol of what my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints means to me. That is why I chose to insert a picture of it at the beginning of this blog post.
As I began planning to put together this blogpost, I thought back to Posts 1 and 2 in which I referred to a scholar who appeared in the PBS production, "The Mormons" in May 2007.
In those two posts I referred to a man who was introduced by the host of the show as a scholar. I remember his saying, in effect in that video, "Everytime I read the words in the Book of Mormon, I see the farmboy, Joseph Smith in them." It was clear that he was intimating that Joseph Smith had authored the Book of Mormon instead of being the inspired translator of it.
Based on what that scholar said, I indicated then and now again indicate that this scholar must never have read the Book of Mormon.
In an older copy of the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, in a pronounciation guide in it (which is not in the Book of Mormon I usually use) I found a list of nouns, most of them being first names that are original nouns in the Book of Mormon which I couldn't find in my Bible Dictionary. I left out the guides to pronounciation in this list because I don't have all the symbols on my laptop keyboard I'd need for them and I didn't think that you'd want to know how to pronounce them.
In that pronouncing guide from which I copied all those nouns, I eliminated a number of nouns that I discovered by checking the Bible dictionary and finding them there. I may have missed a few of them, but I feel that is OK because the people of the Book of Mormon came, for the most part, from Jerusalem. It makes sense that they brought many nouns with them to Ancient America, not only in their personal vocabularies, but also in their Brass Plates which, as I mentioned early on in writing these posts, contain many of the scriptures that are found in our Old Testament.
Please just quickly scan over this list of original Book of Mormon names and ask yourself this question: "How could a State of New York farm boy like Joseph Smith in 1829, who hardly had any schooling at all, make up such a list of original nouns!"
Abinadi, Abinadom, Abish, Ablom, Agosh, Ahah, Ahaz, Aiath, Akish, Amaleki, Amalikiah, Amaron, Amgid, Aminadab, Aminadi, Amlici, Ammaron, Ammon, Ammonihah, Ammoron, Amna, Amnigaddah, Amnah, Amnihu, Amnor, Amoron, Amulek, Amulon, Anahoth, Antiomno, Antion, Antionah, Antionum, Antiparah, Antipus, Antum, Arpad, Carchemish, Cezoram, Chemish, Cohor, Com, Comnor, Corianton, Coriantor, Coriantum, Coriantumr, Corihor, Corom, Cumeni, Cumenihah, Cumen, Cumorah, Curelom, Enos, Ephah, Esrom, Ethem, Ether, Ezias, Ezrom, Gad, Gadiandi, Gadianton, Gadiomnah, Gallim, Gazelem, Geba, Gebim, Gibeah, Gid, Giddonah, Giddianhi, Gidgiddonah, Gidgiddoni, Gilead, Gilgah, Gilgal, Gimgimno, Gomorah, Hagoth, Hamath, Hearthom, Helam, Helaman, Helem, Helorum, Hem, Hermounts, Heshlon, Heth, Himni, Horeb, Irreantum, Jacobugath, Jacom, Jarom, Hashon, Jeberechiah, Jeneum, Jothan, Kib, Kim, Kimnor, Kish, Kishkumen, Korihor, Kumen, Kumenonhi, Laban, Lachoneus, Laish, Lamah, Laman, Lamoni, Lehi, Lehonti, Liahona, Lib, Limhah, Limher, Limhi, Limnah, Luram, Madmenah, Mahah, Mahonri, Mani, Mathoni, Mathonihah, Melek, Michmash, Middoni, Midian, Migron, Minon, Mocum, Moriancumer, Morianton, Moriantum, Mormon, Moron, Moroni, Moronihah, Mosiah, Mulek, Muloki, Nahom, Neas, Nehor, Nephi, Nephihah, Neum, Nimrah, Ogath, Omer, Omner, Omni, Onidah, Onihah, Onti, Opher, Oreb, Orihah, Paanchi, Pachus, Pacumeni, Pagag, Pahoran, Pathros, Pekah, Rabbanah, Rahab, Ramah, Ramath, Rameumptom, Remaliah, Rezin, Riplah, Riplakish, Ripliancum, Sariah, Seantum, Sebus, Seezoram, Senine, Senum, Seraphim, Shared, Shazer, Shearjashub, Shelem, Shem, Shemlon, Shemnon, Sherem, Sherrizah, Aheum, Shez, Shiblom, Shiblon, Shiblum, Shiloah, Shilom, Shim, Shimnilon, Shinar, Shiz, Shule, Shum, Shurr, Sidom, Sidon, Sinim, Siron, Teancum, Teomner, Tubaloth, Uriah, Uzziah, Zerahemla, Zebulon, Zeezrom, Zemnarihah, Zenephi, Zeniff, Zenoch, Zenos, Zerahemnah, Zeram, Zerin, Ziff, Zoram.
Wow, some farmboy Joseph Smith must have been to come up with all of those! He didn't. He received each of them, including their spelling through revelation as the Lord guided him in the translation of that sacred book, The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ which book I have emphasized so much in this blog.
I now refer back to Posts 8 and 4 in which I inserted identical links to a presentation made by BYU Scholar, Dr. Daniel C. Peterson of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute For Religious Scholarship in which he so effectively was able to prove that there was no possible way Joseph Smith was copying information he might have received from others as he quoted the words of translation to his scribe.
That list of words above that you just skimmed through is solid evidence that the Book of Mormon is what Joseph Smith and many others from his day, and from our day also, testify is a sacred record delivered to Joseph Smith by an angel of God, Moroni (THERE IS ONE OF THOSE ORIGINAL BOOK OF MORMON NOUNS, MORONI) because the Lord Jesus Christ wanted the whole world in our day to have a companion scripture to the Holy Bible (which bible people of our day unfortunately don't pay enough attention to).
I'm now going to tell you about additional evidences that I personally have noticed as I have read the Book of Mormon that make it very clear that Joseph Smith did not write this sacred book.
Actually, at the BYU's Neal A. Maxwell Institute For Religious Scholarship, there are great scholars who have done much research to help us see that same truth I wrote in the previous paragraph. I have worked some of Dr. Dan C. Peterson's excellent research into this post, but most of that which you will now read in this post are things that I have discovered from my reading.
For almost 18 years my wife, and I, have read one chapter, most evenings, just before bed time, from the Book of Mormon.
Several weeks ago we were reading from one of the early chapters in the Book of Mormon (one of the sub-books of the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ). It was written by the prophet Mormon who was assigned by the Lord Jesus Christ to write an abridgement of all of the records of his people since they first arrived in the Americas from Jerusalem. In this particular book Mormon dwells much on the events of his day.
Mormon, besides being a prophet and abridger of sacred records, was also a general in his people's army and in these specific verses I have chosen for you to read, he tells us the names of specific cities that were on the verge of being destroyed by their enemies, the Lamanites (relatives, but nonetheless, enemies.) Please read Mormon 4:7-8
One of these cities was Teancum. Yep, that name is on that list that I copied for you at the beginning of this post.
How is this an evidence of the truthfulness of this great scripture, the Book of Mormon? Well it makes sense history-wise that nations could name cities after significant people.
Well, Mormon lived until approximately 380 AD, but back in about 60 B.C. we are told in the Book of Alma about one of their national heroes who lost his life while bravely killing an enemy general in the night time. Please read about that: Alma 62:35-37.
In this scripture, written by Mormon, the abridger himself, it is shown that Teancum was a true national hero, worthy of having had a city named after himself.
Could young Joseph Smith have made up this complex historical matter? Of course not.
Now, in the LDS Church (using another nickname for the Church) almost every girl and boy who is active in church attendance or participates in family reading of the Book of Mormon, can quote this following scripture by heart: Please read this one verse: I Nephi 3:7
Well, the words of that verse are a great guideline for both young and old. But when coupled with this next scripture which was also written by the prophet Nephi himself and was not a part of Mormon's abridgement work, it becomes significant evidence of the complexity of this book. In this case Nephi speaks from the frame of reference of the earlier words he had said to his father, Lehi.
These words were said and written about eight years (and 30 pages) later on their (he and other members of Father Lehi's family and their relative, Ishmael's family) long, and difficult eastward journey across the Arabian Peninsula. I Nephi 17:3
If young Joseph Smith were writing a piece of fiction instead of translating an actual history that he did translate, it would take great writing ability to string together those two parallel thoughts thirty pages later.
Remember, BYU's Dr. Dan Peterson reminds us of the brief time that was used in the translation of this great Book. If I remember correctly, i took about 65 days total. That being the case, how could Joseph have made up all of that intricate history?
Again, Dr. Peterson proves well that there is no evidence at all that Joseph had other documents to copy from while doing his translating, and gives significant evidence that his translation came about because God was involved in the process.
Dr. Peterson also gave significant evidence that Joseph found that he always had to be spiritually in-tune to accomplish the translating the Lord required of him.
There is more to come on this same general subject in the next Blog Post, Part 18, of Have You Really Read the Book of Mormon? I'll try to make it very interesting and helpful.
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