Why the Translation Process is the Best Evidence in Favor of the Book of Mormon

Many critics argue that the translation of the Book of Mormon as described by many witnesses is evidence that Joseph Smith was a fraud. A good summary of eye-witness testimony of the translation process can be found here. It is generally accepted by critics and apologists that Joseph Smith placed his own seer stone or the Nephite interpreters into a hat, looked inside, and dictated to his scribes what was revealed to him. It is my argument, however, that if it can be proved that Joseph Smith did in fact dictate the entire Book of Mormon in the way described by witnesses, that this is in fact the best evidence of Joseph Smith’s prophetic calling. Below is a list of some of the reasons why I believe this:

  1. The Number of Biblical References

There are hundreds of references to the Bible found in the Book of Mormon (I have counted well over 800 so far). These references include direct quotes, modified quotes, themes, doctrines, symbols, and names. Many of these references are seamlessly interwoven into the narrative with such subtlety as to go unnoticed by most. Joseph Smith would have needed to be familiar with the entire Bible and have memorized a lexicon of hundreds of Biblical phrases to repeat off the top of his head, and possibly review chapters of the Bible the night before translating so that he could memorize a few more to be used the next day. Some examples of Biblical references in the Book of Mormon can be found in my examination of 2 Nephi 9, Jacob 5, and Alma 5. Consistently using such a large number of Biblical references would make the dictation process extremely difficult and it is remarkable that the use of so many references was maintained for over 500 pages.

  1. The Genealogy of Ether

Moroni provides the genealogy of the prophet Ether, which is comprised of 30 names (Ether 1:6-32). This genealogy includes names from the Bible (i.e., Seth, Levi, Ether, Omer) and names modified from the Bible (i.e., Riplakish, Lib, Hearthom). Joseph Smith would have needed to memorize this list of 30 names or at least list them off the top of his head and then be committed to use them for the rest of his narrative in the Book of Ether. He then repeats this genealogy in reverse order over the 30+ pages of the Book of Ether, including the names and storylines of characters not found in the original genealogy. This would have been an arduous process for Joseph to have to repeatedly review the genealogy and dictate the stories of each of these individuals over the course of several days. Click here for a more in-depth analysis of the genealogy of Ether.

  1. Chiasmus

While I do not believe that the existence of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon is definitive proof of its authenticity (critics point out that other contemporary sources have used chiasmus), I do believe that within the context of the translation process it does provide strong evidence for Joseph Smith’s prophetic calling. Alma 36 is the prime example of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon, and a break-down of its structure can be found here. If Joseph had been dictating with his head buried in an empty hat while only stopping every 30 or so words for the scribe to repeat back what he had written, he would have had to memorize at least 15 themes to be repeated in reverse order over 30 verses when Alma is describing his conversion. It is unlikely that the chiasmus in Alma 36 appeared accidentally, and dictating it intentionally without notes would be an incredible feat.

  1. Unique Language of the Book of Mormon Authors

I do not know much about the science behind identifying an author’s written works based on analyzing the frequency of phrases unique to that author. Regardless, there are many phrases that are found exclusively in the writings of specific Book of Mormon authors that are not found in other authors’ writings. For example, the prophet Zenos uses phrases like “turn their hearts aside” and “in the midst of thy congregations,” which are phrases found in the Old Testament but not anywhere else in the Book of Mormon (click here for more examples). Not only are some of these phrases unique to certain prophets, but they are also found across several books (i.e., Jacob using unique phrases in 2 Nephi 9, and then using these phrases again in the Book of Jacob) suggesting Joseph Smith would have been cognizant that people would analyze whether his Book of Mormon characters had unique writing styles and would have intentionally varied their writing style to make sure it would stand up to scrutiny. This is a level of attention to detail that seems unlikely.

  1. The Structure of Jacob 5

Jacob 5 is a chapter in the Book of Mormon that is layered with complexity that suggests it was meticulously planned and not the product of a man who had a general idea of what he wanted to say and then dictated using his natural ability to speak off the top of his head. First, the length of the allegory of the olive tree is an impressive 77 verses. Second, it uses a variety of references to other Biblical doctrines and phrases and some are modified to fit specifically with the imagery of olive trees. Third, the phrasing of the chapter is structured so that over 20 phrases are repeated over the course of the 77 verses, suggesting Joseph would have needed to memorize these phrases to be repeated systematically and then incorporate them to reflect Biblical doctrines using the unique symbol of an olive tree.

  1. Names in the Book of Mormon

There are a few hundred names of people and places in the Book of Mormon. Many of these names are not found in the Bible. Many of these names, however, seem to be modified from certain root words in the Bible. Click here for a list of many of the names found in the Book of Mormon and their Biblical correlates. Joseph would have needed to identify names scattered across the Bible and then come up with creative ways of modifying and combining them (i.e., “Zarahemla” is a composite of “Zarah” and “Imla”). This would have been a complicated process which he would have needed to do while steeped in the translation. In addition, he would have to be familiar with the meaning of some Hebrew names such as “Ram” and “Zif” in order to use them correctly in the Book of Mormon (see references to “Ziff” and “Rameumptom” in the previously mentioned list of Book of Mormon names).

  1. Consistency in Geography

Whoever wrote the Book of Mormon had a clear picture of the locations where the events of the Book of Mormon took place. For instance, Nephi always describes traveling to Jerusalem as “going up to” Jerusalem, suggesting the author knew Jerusalem was on a hill (this is also consistent with the Bible). Another example is that the Nephites live in the land northward, but they always say they “go up” to the land southward, suggesting that author knew visually that the land southward was a higher physical elevation than the land northward. Click here for a closer look at some of the geographical consistencies in the Book of Mormon. Joseph would have needed to memorize the names and locations of Book of Mormon cities as well as the events that occurred in the narrative or at least be able to regularly reference a map while dictating in order to produce the consistency found in the Book of Mormon.

  1. Translating beginning with Mosiah

After Joseph and Martin Harris lost the first 116 pages of the Book of Mormon, there is strong evidence that they picked up the translation process from where they left off in the Book of Mosiah. They continued through the end of the Book of Moroni, and then returned and translated 1 Nephi through Words of Mormon. This would have been difficult because Joseph makes many references to events that happened to characters in the lost portion of the Book of Mormon that are referenced after the Book of Mosiah. The most cited example is Alma quoting Lehi in Alma 36:22 before Lehi’s quote had been written. Joseph would have needed to remember that he had quoted Lehi and then remember to review the manuscript when he dictated 1 Nephi 1:8 so he could create the exact original quote that Alma was citing. Again, this would have been a remarkable example of Joseph’s attention to detail.

An Answer to the Vernal Holley Map Theory

Vernal Holley made the argument that the geography described in the Book of Mormon is strikingly similar to geography and place names of the Great Lakes region of the United States. He therefore concludes that the Book of Mormon is a 19th century work based on the author’s personal experience. For reference, the Holley map can be found here. This argument has since been regurgitated by Jeremy Runnells, who compiled his somewhat well-known “Letter to a CES Director” where he concludes the argument by saying “Why are there so many names similar to Book of Mormon names in the region where Joseph Smith lived? This is all just a coincidence?” (It should be noted that Runnells has removed many names from Holley’s original list such as “St. Agathe/Ogath,” “Conner/Comnor,” and “St. Ephrem/Hill Ephraim” because there is demonstrable proof that they were founded well after the Book of Mormon was published).

FairMormon, Daniel Peterson, and Wheat & Tares have all provided thorough rebuttals  to this theory. Peterson rightly concludes that the theory “has been exploded, detonated so many times that it’s exasperating to see it keep coming back.” FairMormon does a very good job debunking this theory by pointing out that many of the locations identified by Holley do not match what is described in the Book of Mormon. For example, Holley places the Nephite city of “Morianton” (which is supposed to be similar to “Moravian Town”) on the west side of the map, when it is described as being near the eastern seashore (Alma 51:26). In addition, Holley places the Nephite city “Jacobugath” (which is supposed to be similar to “Jacobsburg”) in the land south when the Book of Mormon clearly places it in the land northward (3 Nephi 7:12).

From what I can tell, however, none of the apologists answer the question “Why are there so many similar names between the Great Lakes region and the Book of Mormon?” This is an easy question to answer. First, it is important to know that many of the names mentioned on Holley’s list are names found in the Bible. The Book of Mormon tells the story of Hebrew people coming to the Americas and basing their society on Biblical writings. It should not surprise anyone that a 500-600 mile region of the eastern United States founded by Protestants would share some Biblical place names. For example, the fact that Jordan, Jerusalem, Noah, Midian, and Boaz are the names of locations in both the Book of Mormon and the eastern United States is not miraculous.

In addition, just because names sound similar doesn’t mean that they are similar, especially since most of the Book of Mormon names on the list have roots in the Bible. I have made a list refuting some of the supposedly similar place names identified by Holley by providing an explanation of their possible Biblical origins.

  1. Moravian Town = Morianton (Alma 51:26)
  • These names look sort of similar (even though Holley placed it in the wrong location). The name “Morianton,” however, clearly has its roots in names in the Bible such as “Moriah” (2 Chronicles 3:1) and names with the ending “-ton” such as “Eshton” (1 Chronicles 4:12), which is a much stronger correlation than “Moravian Town.” In addition, there are Book of Mormon names similar to Morianton such as “Corianton” (Alma 39) and “Gadianton” (4 Nephi 1:42). I seriously doubt Joseph Smith based these names on cities named “Coravian Town” and “Gadavian Town.”

2. Shiloh = Shilom (Mosiah 10:8)

  • First off, Shiloh is a name found frequently in the Bible (Judges 21:12). In addition, the Bible has many derivations of the name Shiloh such as “Shelomith” (1 Chronicles 26:28), “Shallum” (Ezra 7:2), “Shiloni” (Nehemiah 11:5), “Shelemiah” (Nehemiah 3:30), and “Shillem” (Numbers 26:49). “Shilom” looks like a perfectly suitable derivation of a Biblical name.

3. Jacobsburg = Jacobugath (3 Nephi 9:9)

  • Other than the fact that “Jacobsburg” on Holley’s map isn’t anywhere near where the Book of Mormon describes “Jacobugath,” these names do sound similar. However, the name Jacobugath has more in common with the Bible than it does with the name Jacobsburg. It is likely a combination of the Biblical names “Jacob” (Genesis 29:1)–who founded the city–and “Gath” (2 Chronicles 11:8); not a creative derivation of Jacobsburg.

4. Sherbrooke = Shurr (Ether 14:28)

  • Like so many of the names on Holley’s list, “Shur” is a name found in the Bible (1 Samuel 15:7) and is much more similar to “Shurr” than Sherbrooke. I seriously doubt Joseph Smith or Solomon Spaulding saw the name Sherbrooke and decided to derive the name “Shurr” instead of simply using the Bible as its source.

5. Hellam = Helam (Mosiah 23:19)

  • Once again, “Helam” (2 Samuel 10:16) is a name found in the Bible and the Book of Mormon contains its original spelling. There would be no reason to use the town of “Hellam” as a source for the location.

6. Rama = Ramah (Ether 15:11) 

  • “Ramah” (1 Kings 15:17) is found many times in the Bible, and the Book of Mormon contains the correct spelling.

7. Ripple Lake = Waters of Ripliancum (Ether 15:8)

  • This might be a compelling similarity if “Ripliancum” didn’t have roots in the Bible and other Book of Mormon names. For example, the name “Riplah” (Alma 43:31) is a name found in the Book of Mormon, which contains the suspect letters “Ripl” which sounds like “Ripple.” Was this name also based on “Ripple Lake?” No, because it is a variation on the Biblical name “Riblah” (Numbers 34:11). Another name in the Book of Mormon is “Riplakish” (Ether 10:4), which is a combination of “Riplah” and “Kish” (1 Samuel 14:51) or “Riphath” (1 Chronicles 1:6) and “Lachish” (Joshua 10:3). Ripliancum makes more sense as a derivation of “Riblah” and the Book of Mormon names “Moriancumer” (Ether 2:13) or “Teancum” (Alma 52:1) rather than a mindless variation on “Ripple Lake.”

8. Minoa = Minon (Alma 2:24)

  • This is an obscure comparison considering the land of “Minon” is only named once in the Book of Mormon. “Minon” is likely a derivation of “Pinon” (1 Chronicles 1:52), or “Minnith” (Ezekiel 26:17) and any other of the hundreds of Biblical names that end in “-on” such as “Maon” (1 Chronicles 2:45). “Manoah” (Judges 13:2) is also a Biblical name which sounds more similar to “Minoa” than does “Minon.”

9. Monroe = Moroni (Moroni 1:1)

  • This similarity Holley identifies is quite a stretch. To me, it makes much more sense to see how the name “Moroni” has its roots in Biblical names such as “Moriah” (2 Chronicles 3:1) or “Beth-horon” (Joshua 16:3), and names like “Hachmoni” (1 Chronicles 27:32), “Shiloni” (Nehemiah 11:5), and “Gideoni” (Numbers 10:24).

10. Lehigh = Lehi (1 Nephi 1:5)

  • They do look similar. Do you know what else is similar? The actual name “Lehi” found in the Bible (Judges 15:14).

11. Tecumseh/Tenecum = Teancum (Alma 52:1)

  • In my opinion, Teancum is one of the more difficult names in the Book of Mormon for which to identify a Biblical correlate, only second to the name “Gimgimno” (3 Nephi 9:8). It seems, however, that Teancum is likely a combination of the Biblical name “Teman” (Genesis 36:11) and any of the other Book of Mormon names with the letters “c-u-m” such as “Ripliancum,” “Moriancumer,” “Cumorah,” or “Cumeni” [which seems to be a derivation of names like “Cush” (1 Chronicles 1:8) and “Temeni” (1 Chronicles 4:6)].

12. Antioch = Ani-Anti (Alma 21:11)   

  • “Antioch” is a name found frequently in the New Testament (Acts 11:19). To suggest that “Ani-Anti” was based off of a location named “Antioch” in the Great Lakes region falls apart when considering the root “Anti” is used in other Biblical names (see “Antipas” in Revelation 2:13) and many times in the Book of Mormon for locations such as “Antionum” (Alma 31:3), city of Antiparah” (Alma 57:1), “mount Antipas” (Alma 47:7), the “city of Manti” (Alma 58:1), and for character names such as “Antionah” (Alma 12:20), “Anti-Nephi-Lehi” (Alma 27:2) and “Antipus” (Alma 56:9). An “antion” (Alma 11:19) is also a Nephite monetary measurement. The “Mantua = Manti” connection is also explained with this line of reasoning.

13. Morin = Moron (Ether 7:5)

  • Both of these names are similar to Biblical names such as “Beth-horon” (Joshua 16:3) “Merom” (Joshua 11:5), and “Shimron-meron” (Joshua 12:20). There is nothing special about these two names being similar that can’t be explained by appealing to the Bible.

14. Sodom = Sidom (Alma 15:1)

  • Both “Sodom” (Genesis 19:1/2 Nephi 23:19) and “Sidon” (Genesis 10:15/Alma 43:22) are found in the Bible and Book of Mormon. The fact that there is a place in the Book of Mormon called “Sidom,” which looks like a combination of both of these names, should not be surprising to anyone.

15. Kishkiminetas = Kishkumen (Helaman 2:3)

  • “Kish” is a name found many times in the Bible (1 Samuel 9:1). “Kishkumen” is most likely a combination of the name “Kish” and Book of Mormon names such as “Kumen,” “Kumenonhi,” (3 Nephi 19:4), or “Cumeni” (Alma 57:7) [a derivation of names like “Cush” (1 Chronicles 1:8) and “Temeni” (1 Chronicles 4:6)].

16. St. Agathe = Ogath (Ether 15:10)

  • Even though “St. Agathe” wasn’t founded until after the Book of Mormon was published, I thought I would go ahead and talk about it anyway. The name “Ogath” is most likely a combination of the name “Gath” (2 Chronicles 11:8) and similar sounding names like “Oboth” (Numbers 33:43).

17. Oneida = Onidah (Alma 47:5)

  • The name “Onidah” has its “oni” roots in names like “Hachmoni” (1 Chronicles 27:32), “Shiloni” (Nehemiah 11:5), and “Gideoni” (Numbers 10:24), while it has its “dah” roots in names like “Adah” (Genesis 36:2). The Book of Mormon also contains the city “Onihah” (3 Nephi 9:7).

18. Antrim = Antum (Mormon 1:3)

  • “Antum” is derived from Book of Mormon names like “Coriantumr” (Ether 14:3), “Irreantum” (1 Nephi 17:5), “Seantum” (Helaman 9:26), and “Moriantum” (Moroni 9:9). It is not very plausible that Joseph Smith heard the name “Antrim,” changed it to “Antum,” and then used it as a root word for other location/character names as well. See the commentary on “Antioch = Ani-Anti” as well.

19. Comoros = Cumorah (Mormon 6:2)

  • While not on Vernal Holley’s list, Runnells argues that it is an impossible coincidence that there is an island nation off the coast of Mozambique called “Comoros” “Comore,” “Comorra,” or “Camora” (depending on who you ask) and had a settlement called “Moroni” or “Meroni” which today is its capital city. Cumorah, however, has its roots in the Bible, sounding similar to “Gomorrah” (Genesis 14:2) or “Deborah” (Judges 4:4) with the inserted letters “cu” much like other Book of Mormon names such as “Ripliancum,” “Teancum,” and “Cumeni.” The potential origin of the name Moroni has already been discussed.

Conclusion

After seeing these comparisons, what we are left with is a map of the eastern United States that has some names that sound a little similar to very obscure Book of Mormon locations (that are in the wrong place) that share more in common with the Bible than the eastern U.S. It is not difficult to find similarities in names if one looks hard enough. If Joseph Smith lived in southern California, critics would argue that “Riverside” sounds like the “River Sidon,” that “Tonner Canyon” sounds like “Teomner,” that “Monrovia” sounds like “Moronihah,” that “Moreno Street” look like “Moroni,” and that “Corona” sounds like “Cumorah” (not to mention I drove in my Toyota “Tacoma” which sounds like “Teancum”).

A Closer Look at Some Biblical References Found in the Book of Mormon

The following are some Biblical references found in the Book of Mormon that illustrate the complexity of the Book of Mormon and how subtle Biblical references are masterfully woven into the narrative beyond direct quotes.

  1. Captain of fifty = (Isaiah 3:3)/(1 Nephi 3:31)

This quote from 1 Nephi seems to be a reference to a passage in Isaiah, and yet it is significantly modified to become a subtle part of the Book of Mormon narrative.

  • “How is it possible that the Lord will deliver Laban into our hands? Behold, he is a mighty man, and he can command fifty, yea, even he can slay fifty; then why not us?” (1 Nephi 3:31)
  • The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, the captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counselor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator” (Isaiah 3:3)

 

  1. Let good and bad grow together = (Jacob 5:65)/(Matt 13:29-30)

The allegory of the olive tree refers to doctrine found in Jesus’ parable of the wheat and the tares by stating that the Lord’s servants should let both good and bad olives to grow together until the last day. Jesus says that they should let the wheat and tares grow together to prevent ripping out the wheat. Jacob 5 says to let wild and tame fruit grow together so that the roots of the olive tree do not overpower the branches and kill the tame fruit.

  • “But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn” (Matthew 13:29-30)
  • “And as they begin to grow ye shall clear away the branches which bring forth bitter fruit, according to the strength of the good and the size thereof; and ye shall not clear away the bad all at once, lest the roots thereof should be too strong for the graft, and the graft thereof shall perish, and I lose the trees of my vineyard” (Jacob 5:65)

 

  1. Jacob/the Nephites have I loved; Esau/the Lamanites have I hated = (Romans 9:13)/(Helaman 15:3-4)/(Malachi 1:2-3)

The author of the Book of Mormon uses the Biblical reference of the Lord hating Esau and loving Jacob but changes the subjects to the Nephites and Lamanites.

  • “They have been a chosen people of the Lord; yea, the people of Nephi hath he loved, and also hath he chastened them…But behold my brethren, the Lamanites hath he hated because their deeds have been evil continually” (Helaman 15:3-4)
  • “yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste” (Malachi 1:2-3)
  • “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” (Romans 9:13)

 

  1. Make it after the pattern shown thee in the mount = (1 Nephi 17:7-8)/(Exodus 25:40)/(Hebrews 8:5)

The Lord tells Nephi to get into the mountain and construct a ship after the manner which was shown to him. This is a reference to Moses who constructed the tabernacle after being shown its construction in the mount.

  • “Arise, and get thee into the mountain…Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee” (1 Nephi 17:7-8)
  • “And look that thou make them after the pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount” (Exodus 25:40)
  • “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount” (Hebrews 8:5)

 

  1. Man/Nations are nothing; less than nothing/dust (Helaman 12:7)/(Isaiah 40:15-17)

The language has been changed significantly but the reference is nonetheless explicit. This is another example where a doctrine is preached that has been significantly modified by the author of the Book of Mormon but is nonetheless a reference to ancient scripture

  • “O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are less than the dust of the earth” (Helaman 12:7)
  • “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance…All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity” (Isaiah 40:15-17)

 

  1. Setting a mark on their foreheads = (Alma 3:13, 18)/(Ezekiel 9:4)

This is another modified reference where the Lord gives a mark to the righteous on their foreheads, but the wicked Amlicites mark themselves on their foreheads to separate themselves from the righteous.

  • “they set the mark upon themselves, yea, even a mark of red upon their foreheads…Now the Amlicites knew not that they were fulfilling the words of God when they began to mark themselves in their foreheads”
  • “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof” (Ezekiel 9:4)

 

  1. Not be afraid of tens of thousands = (1 Nephi 4:1)/(Psalm 3:5-6)

David in this Psalm declares that the Lord will protect him and that he will not be afraid of tens of thousands of his enemies. When Laman and Lemuel are fearful because Laban can command fifty men, Nephi subtily references this Psalm by saying that the Lord will protect them from fifty men, and even tens of thousands of men, therefore they should not be afraid.

  • “let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; for behold he is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban, and his fifty, yea, or even than his tens of thousands” (1 Nephi 4:1)
  • “I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about” (Psalm 3:5-6)

 

  1. Oath and a curse = (Nehemiah 5:13/10:29)/(Alma 46:22)

Various examples of prophets making a symbolic oath which will result in death if they do not fulfill it are found throughout the Bible. The people who choose to follow Captain Moroni into battle make a unique oath and curse by ripping their cloaks and casting them at the feet of Moroni

  • “Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not his promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the Lord. And the people did according to this promise” (Nehemiah 5:13)
  • “They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God’s law” (Nehemiah 10:29)
  • “Now this was the covenant which they made, and they cast their garments at the feet of Moroni, saying: We covenant with our God, that we shall be destroyed, even as our brethren in the land northward, if we shall fall into transgression; yea, he may cast us at the feet of our enemies, even as we have cast our garments at thy feet to be trodden under foot, if we shall fall into transgression” (Alma 46:22)

 

  1. Curse God and die = (Job 2:9)/(Mormon 2:14)

Job’s wife tells him that he has been cursed by God, so that he might as well curse God and die. Mormon uses similar language to describe the state of his soldiers who cursed God and wished to die but would still fight for their lives.

  • “And they did not come unto Jesus with broken hearts and contrite spirits, but they did curse God, and wish to die. Nevertheless they would struggle with the sword and their lives” (Mormon 2:14)
  • “Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die” (Job 2:9)

 

  1. Dwelt in tents = (Judges 8:11)/(Jeremiah 35:7)/(1 Nephi 2:15)

A very clear distinction is given to people in the Bible who dwell in tents. Nephi also makes this clear distinction, possibly to show that they were strangers in their own lands and they did not cease being strangers until they arrived to the promised land.

  • “And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host” (Judges 8:11)
  • “Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any: but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers” (Jeremiah 35:7)
  • “And my father dwelt in a tent” (1 Nephi 2:15)

 

  1. God speaks once, twice, yet men do not perceive it = (Job 33:14)/(3 Nephi 11:3, 6)

This connection may be a bit of a stretch, but it is interesting how Elihu, the friend of Job, tells him that God speaks once or twice and people do not perceive it. The people of Nephi, when Christ first appears to them after his resurrection, twice hear a voice and do not understand it. Only on the third time the voice appears do they understand the words being spoken to them.

  • “For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not” (Job 33:14)
  • “they heard a voice as if it came out of haven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard…And it came to pass that again they heard the voice, and they understood it not….And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard” (3 Nephi 11:3, 6)

 

  1. Great and marvelous are they works = (1 Nephi 1:14)/(Revelation 15:3)

Upon receiving a revelation from the Lord regarding the destruction of Jerusalem, Lehi praises God in a phrase that is similar to Revelation 15:3, which is possibly a reference the “song of Moses” or “song of the Lamb.”

  • “And it came to pass that when my father had read and seen many great and marvelous things, he did exclaim many things unto the Lord; such as: Great and marvelous are they works, O Lord God Almighty!” (1 Nephi 1:14)
  • “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of god, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty” (Revelation 15:3)

 

  1. Great gulf dividing the righteous and the wicked = (1 Nephi 12:18)/(Luke 16:26)

Nephi and Lehi’s visions of the tree of life are full of symbolism found within the Bible. One such example is the great gulf dividing the righteous and the wicked.

  • “And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence” (Luke 16:26)
  • “And the large and spacious building, which my father saw, is vain imaginations and the pride of the children of men. And a great and terrible gulf divideth them; yea, even the word of the justice of the Eternal God” (1 Nephi 12:18)

 

  1. Loftiness of man = (Isaiah 2:17)/(Jacob 5:48)

On several occasions the prophets in the Bible refer to those who are proud as being “lofty” and that they must be brought down in humility. Zenos’ allegory of the Olive Tree notes that the fruit in the vineyard is becoming corrupted because the branches are too lofty and must be cut down.

  • “And it came to pass that the servant said unto his master: Is it not the loftiness of thy vineyard—have not the branches therefore overcome the roots which are good? And because the branches have overcome the roots thereof, behold they grew faster than the strength of the roots, taking strength unto themselves” (Jacob 5:48)
  • “And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day” (Isaiah 2:17)

 

  1. A righteous branch = (Jeremiah 23:5)/(Genesis 49:22)/(2 Nephi 3:5/9:53)

Prophets have referred to Jesus Christ as a righteous branch coming forth from the family line of King David. Joseph, the son of Jacob/Israel, gives a prophecy cited in the brass plates in the Book of Mormon, stating that a righteous branch will be raised among his own seed, which is not Jesus Christ, but instead the Nephites on the American continent. In Genesis, Joseph is referred to as a fruitful bough.

  • “Wherefore, Joseph truly saw our day. And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off, nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord…” (2 Nephi 3:5)
  • “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper” (Jeremiah 23:5)
  • Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall” (Genesis 49:22)

 

  1. Rod of Iron = (1 Nephi 11:25)/(Revelation 7:17/19:13, 15)

Nephi sees a vision of a rod of iron leading to the tree of life. He is told that the rod of iron represents the word of God. The Apostle John sees a vision of the Lamb of God leading his followers to the tree of life. The symbolism is very accurate since Jesus is also referred to by John as “the Word of God.”

  • “And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life, which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God” (1 Nephi 11:25)
  • For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters…” (Revelation 7:17)
  • “and his name is called The Word of God…and he shall rule them with a rod of iron” (Revelation 19:13, 15)

 

  1. They have become like a rock/flint = (2 Nephi 5:21)/(Jeremiah 5:3)/(Ezekiel 3:9)

The Bible refers to people becoming hardened or having their faces becoming hard like a rock or flint. In the Book of Mormon, this symbolism in the Bible is expanded to include the color of flint, serving as an outward curse against the Lamanites to symbolize how they hardened their hearts against the Lord.

  • “And he had caused the cursing to come upon them…they had become like unto a flint…the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them” (2 Nephi 5:21)
  • “As an adamant harder than flint have I made my forehead” (Ezekiel 3:9)
  • “they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return” (Jeremiah 5:3)

 

  1. A tree/well springing up unto everlasting life  = (John 4:14)/(Alma 32:41)/(1 Nephi 11:25)

Nephi uses the “fountain of living waters” and the “tree of life” interchangeably. Surprisingly, this synonymous relationship is subtly referenced when Alma teaches that gaining a testimony is like planting and nourishing a seed until it becomes a tree “springing up unto everlasting life.” Alma words are similar to those of Jesus when he spoke with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, referring to himself as a well of living waters.

  • “And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life, which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God” (1 Nephi 11:25)
  • “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up unto everlasting life” (John 4:14)
  • “But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patients, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life” (Alma 32:41)

 

  1. Describing women as tender and delicate = (Isaiah 47:1)/(Jacob 2:7)

The author of the Book of Mormon makes sure to use obscure adjectives found in Isaiah, describing women as “tender and delicate” in Jacob’s discourse to his people.

  • “O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate” (Isaiah 47:1)
  • “your wives and your children, many of whose feelings are exceedingly tender and chaste and delicate before God, which thing is pleasing unto God” (Jacob 2:7)

 

  1. Using “Wisdom” as a feminine noun = (Luke 7:35)/(Mosiah 8:20)

This one is pretty self-explanatory. The Book of Mormon refers to gendered nouns on a few occasions (Alma 42:24) but it is interesting to me that wisdom is consistently a feminine noun in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon

  • “for they will not seek wisdom, neither do they desire that she should rule over them!” (Mosiah 8:20)
  • “But wisdom is justified of all her children” (Luke 7:35)

 

Comparing Names in the Book of Mormon and the Bible

Much has been said about the origin of the unique names found in the Book of Mormon (BOM). Mormon apologists identify ancient correlates to these names that are not found in the Bible and suggest it is evidence of the BOM’s authenticity (see https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Book_of_Mormon/Names), while critics argue that Joseph Smith simply stole names from the Bible and made a few minor changes to make them sound unique. For me, either argument isn’t particularly important. It could be argued that Joseph simply borrowed names from the Bible and changed them, but the fact that the names in the BOM are similar to other Semitic names is exactly what you would expect from an ancient record written by a people whose entire civilization is built upon the words contained in the brass plates. It would be easier to prove Joseph’s fraud if the names found in the BOM had no Semitic roots whatsoever.

I argue that it would have been easier for Joseph to either copy all names from the Bible or to make them up off the top of his head than to create some of the very creative names in the BOM which utilize various roots of other Biblical names. The following are some examples of BOM names and their Biblical correlates, based on my perusal of the Old and New Testaments. This is not intended to be a thorough review of all names found in the scriptures:

  1. Aaron (Mosiah 27:34)/(1 Chronicles 20:1)
  2. Abish (Alma 19:16)
    • Abishai (2 Samuel 19:21)
    • Achish (1 Samuel 29:2)
  3. Abinadi (Mosiah 12:1)
    • Abinadab (2 Samuel 6:3)
  4. Abinadom (Omni 1:10)
    • Abinadab (2 Samuel 6:3)
  5. Agosh (Ether 14:15)
    • Abishai (2 Samuel 19:21)
    • Goshen (Joshua 10:41)
  6. Ahah (Ether 1:9)
    • Ahi (1 Chronicles 7:34)
    • Aharah (1 Chronicles 8:1)
    • Ahava (Ezra 8:21)
    • Ahiah (1 Samuel 14:3)
  7. Akish (Ether 8:17)
    • Achish (1 Samuel 29:2)
    • Kish (1 Samuel 14:51)
  8. Alma (Alma 1:2)
    • Almon (Joshua 21:18)
  9. Amaleki (Omni 1:12)
    • Amalek (Exodus 17:8)
  10. Amalickiah (Alma 46:3)
    • Amalek (Exodus 17:8)
    • Zedekiah (Jeremiah 21:1)
  11. Amaron (Omni 1:3) / Ammaron (4 Nephi 1:49)
    • Amariah (Nehemiah 10:3)
    • Ammah (2 Samuel 2:24)
    • Beth-horon (Joshua 16:3)
  12. Amgid (Ether 10:32)
    • Amnon (2 Samuel 3:2)
    • Giddalti (1 Chronicles 25:29)
    • Gideon (Judges 7:1)
  13. Aminadab (Helaman 5:39)/(Numbers 7:12)
  14. Ammon (Mosiah 7:6)/(Joshua 13:25)
  15. Ammonihah (Alma 8:7)
    • Ammon (Joshua 13:25)
    • Ahiah (1 Samuel 14:3)
  16. Ammoron (Alma 52:3)
    • Ammon (Joshua 13:25)
    • Beth-horon (Joshua 16:3)
  17. Amnigaddah (Ether 1:15)
    • Amnon (2 Samuel 3:2)
    • Gad (2 Samuel 24:5)
    • Ammihud (1 Chronicles 7:26)
  18. Amnihu (Alma 2:15)
    • Ammihud (1 Chronicles 7:26)
    • Abihu (Exodus 24:1)
    • Amnon (2 Samuel 3:2)
  19. Amnor (Alma 11:6)
    • Amnon (2 Samuel 3:2)
    • Amorites (Exodus 3:17)
  20. Amos (4 Nephi 1:19)/(Amos 1:1)
  21. Amulek (Alma 10:2)
    • Amalek (Exodus 17:8)
  22. Amulon (Mosiah 23:31)
    • Ammon (Joshua 13:25)
    • Helon (Numbers 7:24)
  23. Antiparah (Alma 56:14)
    • Antioch (Acts 6:5)
    • Paran (Numbers 10:12)
  24. Archeantus (Moroni 9:2)
    • Archite (2 Samuel 17:14)
    • Leviticus (Leviticus 1:1)
  25. Boaz (Mormon 4:20)/(Ruth 4:13)
  26. Cezoram (Helaman 5:1)
    • Jehoram (2 Chroinicles 21:4)
    • Zorah (Judges 18:11)
  27. Chemish (Omni 1:9)
    • Carchemish (2 Chronicles 35:20)
  28. Cohor (Ether 7:20)
    • Kohath (1 Chronicles 23:6)
    • Hor (Numbers 20:22)
    • Nahor (Genesis 11:22)
  29. Com (Ether 1:13)
    • Milcom (2 Kings 23:13)
    • Coz (1 Chronicles 4:8)
  30. Corihor (Ether 7:3)
    1. Korah (Genesis 36:5)
    2. Hor (Numbers 20:22)
    3. Sihor (Jeremiah 2:18)
  31. Corom (Ether 1:20)
    • Horam (Joshua 10:33)
    • Beth-horon (Joshua 16:3)
  32. Cumeni (Alma 56:14)
    • Cuth (2 Kings 17:30)
    • Temeni (1 Chronicles 4:6)
  33. Cumorah (Mormon 6:2)
    • Gomorrah (Zephaniah 2:9)
    • Cuth (2 Kings 17:30)
    • Cushi (Zephaniah 1:1)
    • Cushan (Habukkuk 3:7)
    • Moriah (2 Chronicles 3:1)
  34. Emron (Moroni 9:2)
    • Shimron (Joshua 11:1)
  35. Etham (Ether 1:8)
    • Ethem (Numbers 33:6)
  36. Ezias (Helaman 8:20)
    • Ezion-Geber (1 Kings 22:48)
    • Esaias (Romans 10:16)
  37. Ezrom (Alma 11:6)
    • Ezra (Ezra 7:1)
    • Hezron (Genesis 46:9)
  38. Gad (3 Nephi 9:10)/(Joshua 13:24)
  39. Gadiandi (3 Nephi 9:8)
    • Gad (Joshua 22:9)
    • Gideon (Judges 7:1)
    • Giddalti (1 Chronicles 25:29)
  40. Gadianton (4 Nephi 1:42)
    • Gad (Joshua 22:9)
    • Gideon (Judges 7:1)
    • Eshton (1 Chronicles 4:12)
  41. Gadiomnah (3 Nephi 9:8)
    • Gad (Joshua 22:9)
    • Gideon (Judges 7:1)
    • Dimnah (Joshua 21:35)
  42. Gazelem (Alma 37:23)
    • Gazez (1 Chronicles 2:46)
    • Jerusalem (Matthew 2:1)
    • Gerizim (Judges 9:7)
  43. Gidgiddoni (3 Nephi 3:20) / Gidgiddonah (Mormon 6:13)
    • Iddo (2 Chronicles 13:22)
    • Hachmoni (1 Chronicles 27:32)
    • Megiddo (1 Kings 9:15)
    • Gideon (Judges 7:1)
    • Gudgodah (Deuteronomy 10:7)
  44. Giddianhi (3 Nephi 3:12)
    • Giddalti (1 Chronicles 25:29)
    • Gideon (Judges 7:1)
  45. Gilgah (Ether 6:14)
    • Bilgah (1 Chronicles 24:14)
    • Gilgal (1 Samuel 13:4)
  46. Gilgal (3 Nephi 9:7)/(Deuteronomy 11:30)
  47. Hagoth (Alma 63:5)
    • Havoth (Numbers 32:41)
    • Haggith (1 Kings 1:11)
  48. Hearthom (Ether 10:30)
    • Hotham (1 Chronicles 7:32)
  49. Helam (Mosiah 18:12)/(2 Samuel 10:16)
  50. Helaman (Alma 36:3)
    • Heman (1 Chronicles 2:6)
    • Helam (2 Samuel 10:16)
  51. Hermounts (Alma 2:37)
    • Mount Hermon (Psalm 133:3)/(Deuteronomy 3:8)
  52. Heshlon (Ether 13:28)
    • Heshbon (Deuteronomy 3:6)
    • Helon (Numbers 7:24)
  53. Himni (Alma 23:1)
    • Hinnom (Joshua 17:2)
    • Temeni (1 Chronicles 4:6)
    • Timnah (Joshua 15:57)
  54. Jacobugath (3 Nephi 9:9) (I find this one funny because some critics point to city names in the region where Joseph grew up such as “Jacobsburg” as evidence that the Book of Mormon was made up based on his personal experience. Jacobugath’s connection to the Bible, however, is much more compelling than believing Joseph based the name “Jacobugath” on the name “Jacobsburg”)
    • Jacob (Genesis 25:26)
    • Gath (2 Chronicles 11:8)
    • Jotbath (Deuteronomy 10:7)
  55. Jacom (Ether 6:14)
    • Jacob (Genesis 25:26)
    • Milcom (2 Kings 23:13)
  56. Jared (Ether 1:32)/(Genesis 5:15)
  57. Jashon (Mormon 2:16)
    • Jashen (2 Samuel 23:32)
    • Jasher (Joshua 10:13)
  58. Jershon (Alma 27:22) (My Speculation: It is interesting to me that Gershom is the name given to Moses’ son because he said “I have been a stranger in a strange land.” The Anti-Nephi-Lehis were also strangers when they were forced out of their own lands and came as refugees to inherit the land given to them by the Nephites, which was called Jershon)
    • Gershom (Exodus 2:22)
    • Gershon (1 Chronicles 6:1)
  59. Jordan (1 Nephi 10:9)/(Joshua 4:16)
  60. Judah (1 Nephi 1:4)/(2 Chronicles 25:10)
  61. Kib (Ether 7:3)
    • Kibzaim (Joshua 21:22)
    • Kibroth-hataavah (Numbers 3:16)
  62. Kishkumen (Helaman 2:3)
    • Kish (1 Samuel 14:51)
    • Temeni (1 Chronicles 4:6) (See “Cumeni”)
  63. Korihor (Alma 30:12)
    • Korah (Genesis 36:5)
    • Shihor (1 Chronicles 13:5)
    • Nahor (Genesis 11:22)
  64. Laban (1 Nephi 3:3)/(Genesis 24:29)
  65. Lachoneus (3 Nephi 6:6)
    • Lachish (Joshua 10:3)
  66. Lamoni (Alma 19:33)
    • Lamech (Genesis 5:28)
    • Hachmoni (1 Chronicles 27:32)
  67. Leah (Alma 11:17)/(Genesis 29:24)
  68. Levi (Ether 1:20)/(Genesis 46:11)
  69. Lib (Ether 1:18)
    • Libni (1 Chronicles 6:17)
    • Libnah (Joshua 15:42)
  70. Limhi (Mosiah 7:9)
    • Libni (1 Chronicles 6:17)
  71. Limnah (Alma 11:10)
    • Libnah (Joshua 15:42)
    • Dimnah (Joshua 21:35)
  72. Luram (Moroni 9:2)
    • Ludim (Genesis 10:13)
  73. Mahah (Ether 6:14)
    • Mahath (1 Chronicles 6:35)
    • Mahazioth (1 Chronicles 25:4)
    • Mahalaleel (Genesis 5:12)
  74. Mathonihah (3 Nephi 19:4)
    • Mattaniah (1 Chronicles 9:15)
    • Matthias (Acts 1:23)
  75. Melek (Alma 8:3)
    • Melech (1 Chronicles 8:35)
    • Helek (Joshua 17:2)
  76. Middoni (Alma 22:1)
    • Middin (Joshua 15:61)
    • Iddo (2 Chronicles 13:22)
    • Hachmoni (1 Chronicles 27:32)
  77. Minon (Alma 2:24)
    • Pinon (Genesis 36:41)
  78. Mocum (3 Nephi 9:7)
    • Milcom (2 Kings 23:13)
    • Memucan (Esther 1:16)
  79. Morianton (Alma 59:5) / Moriancumer (Ether 2:13) (Morianton is another name critics like to point to, claiming it sounds similar to a place in the region where Joseph lived called Moravian Town. Once again, the Biblical connection seems much more plausible
    • Moriah (2 Chronicles 3:1)
    • Eshton (1 Chronicles 4:12)
  80. Moron (Ether 11:14)
    • Beth-horon (Joshua 16:3)
    • Merom (Joshua 11:5)
    • Shimron-meron (Joshua 12:20)
  81. Moroni (3 Nephi 8:9)
    • Moriah (2 Chronicles 3:1)
    • Hachmoni (1 Chronicles 27:32)
    • Beth-horon (Joshua 16:3)
    • Shiloni (Nehemiah 11:5)
    • Gideoni (Numbers 10:24)
  82. Mosiah (Omni 1:18)
    • Josiah (2 Chronicles 34:1)
  83. Neas (Mosiah 9:9)
    • Neah (Joshua 19:13)
  84. Nehor (Alma 1:15) / Nahom (1 Nephi 16:34)
    • Nahor (Genesis 11:22)
  85. Nimrah (Ether 9:8)/(Numbers 32:3)
  86. Nimrod (Ether 2:1)/(Genesis 10:8)
  87. Ogath (Ether 15:10)
    • Oboth (Numbers 33:43)
    • Gath (1 Chronicles 7:21)
  88. Omer (Ether 1:30)/(Exodus 16:36)
  89. Omner (Mosiah 27:34)
    • Omer (Exodus 16:32)
  90. Omni (Omni 1:1)
    • Omri (2 Chronicles 22:2)
  91. Paanchi (Helaman 1:3)
    • Maachah (1 Chronicles 9:35)
    • Malchi-shua (1 Chronicles 9:39)
    • Paran (Numbers 10:12)
  92. Pacumeni (Helaman 1:3)
    • Paran (Numbers 10:12)
    • Temeni (1 Chronicles 4:6)
  93. Pagag (Ether 6:25)
    • Agag (1 Samuel 15:32)
    • Magog (1 Chronicles 1:5)
    • Paran (Numbers 10:12)
  94. Pahoran (Alma 60:1)
    • Paran (Numbers 10:12)
    • Nahor (Genesis 11:22)
  95. Rabbanah (Alma 18:13) (This word means “great king,” while Rabboni means “Master.” If these words are linguistically similar, it would have been impressive for Joseph to include such an intricate detail of including a Biblical word which refers to someone of authority and modify it to be unique to the BOM. This connection is identified in the footnotes of Alma 18:13) 
    • Rabboni (John 20:16)
    • Rabbah (1 Chronicles 20:1)
  96. Rameumptom (Alma 31:21) [abarim-publications.com states the following about the name “Ram:” “The name Ram comes from the verb רום (rum), meaning to be high.” The name Rameumptom is the name given to a stand which is described as “high above the head” (Alma 31:13). See also https://onoma.lib.byu.edu/index.php/RAMEUMPTOM for a deeper analysis)
    • Ram (1 Chronicles 2:9)
  97. Riplah (Alma 43:35)
    • Riblah (Numbers 34:11)
  98. Riplakish (Ether 1:23) (Once again, critics point to Riplakish and Ripliancum (Ether 15:8) as being similar to a place near Joseph called Ripple Lake. The Biblical basis of the name is much more plausible
    • Riblah (Numbers 34:11)
    • Kish (1 Samuel 14:51)
  99. Sam (1 Nephi 2:5)
    1. Samson (Judges 15:16)
    2. Samuel (1 Samuel 4:1)
    3. Samlah (1 Chronicles 1:47)
  100. Sariah (1 Nephi 5:1)
    • Seraiah (Nehemiah 10:2)
  101. Senum (Alma 11:3)
    • Senuah (Nehemiah 11:9)
    • Shunem (Joshua 19:18)
  102. Seth (Ether 1:10)/(Genesis 4:25)
  103. Shazer (1 Nephi 16:13)
    • Jazer (Numbers 32:1)
    • Shamer (1 Chronicles 6:46)
  104. Shelem (Ether 3:1)
    • Helem (1 Chronicles 7:35)
    • Shelah (Genesis 46:12)
    • Shechem (Judges 21:19)
  105. Shem (Mormon 2:20)/(Genesis 9:18)
  106. Shemlon (Mosiah 10:7)
    • Shem (Genesis 9:18)
    • Helon (Numbers 7:24)
  107. Shemnon (3 Nephi 19:4)
    • Shem (Genesis 9:18)
    • Amnon (1 Chronicles 3:1)
  108. Sherem (Jacob 7:1)
    • Sherebiah (Nehemiah 10:12)
    • Sheresh (1 Chronicles 7:16)
    • Shechem (Judges 21:19)
  109. Sherrizah (Moroni 9:7)
    • Sheresh (1 Chronicles 7:16)
    • Mizzah (Genesis 36:13)
  110. Sheum (Mosiah 9:9)
    • Shunem (Joshua 19:18)
  111. Shez (Ether 1:25)
    • Shem (1 Chronicles 1:4)
  112. Shilom (Mosiah 9:6)
    • Shiloh (Judges 21:12)
    • Shillem (Genesis 46:24)
  113. Shim (Mormon 1:3)
    • Shimeath (2 Chronicles 24:26)
    • Shimi (Exodus 6:17)
    • Shimrith (2 Chronicles 24:26)
  114. Shiz (Ether 14:17)
    • Shiza (1 Chronicles 11:42)
  115. Sidom (Alma 15:1)
    • Sodom (Genesis 19:24)
    • Sidon (Genesis 10:15)
  116. Sidon (Alma 2:15)/(Genesis 10:15)
  117. Siron (Alma 39:3)
    • Sihon (Joshua 9:10)
    • Sirah (2 Samuel 3:26)
    • Sirion (Deuteronomy 3:9)
  118. Teomner (Alma 58:16)
    • Temeni (1 Chronicles 4:6)
    • Omer (Exodus 16:32)
  119. Tubaloth (Helaman 1:16)
    • Tubal (1 Chronicles 1:5)
    • Geliloth (Joshua 18:17)
    • Mikloth (1 Chronicles 9:37)
  120. Zarahemla (Omni 1:14)
    • Zerah (1 Chronicles 4:24)
    • Imla (2 Chronicles 18:8)
  121. Zeezrom (Alma 10:31)
    • Zeeb (Judges 7:25)
    • Hezron (Genesis 46:9)
    • See “Ezrom”
  122. Zemnarihah (3 Nephi 4:17)
    • Zemaraim (Joshua 18:22)
    • Ahiah (1 Samuel 14:3)
  123. Zenock (Alma 33:15)
    • Zadok (Ezekiel 44:15)
    • Enoch (Genesis 5:19)
  124. Zenos (Jacob 5:1)
    • Enos (Genesis 5:7)
  125. Zenephi (Moroni 9:16)
    • Zepheniah (Zepheniah 1:1)
  126. Zerahemnah (Alma 43:5)
    • Zerah (1 Chronicles 1:44)
    • Imnah (1 Chronicles 7:30)
  127. Zeram (Alma 2:22)
    • Zerah (1 Chronicles 1:44)
  128. Zerin (Ether 12:30)
    • Zeri (1 Chronicles 23:10)
  129. Ziff (Mosiah 11:3) = (What is interesting about this word is that it is an unknown substance that is part of a list of valuable metals such as gold, silver, and copper, that were taxed by King Noah. Alma says that metal plates upon which historical records were written must “retain their brightness” (Alma 37:5). The Biblical correlate “Zif” means “brightness” (biblehub.com). This connection is mentioned int the Topical Guide of the Book of Mormon)
    • Ziph (Joshua 15:24)
    • Zif (1 Kings 6:1)
  130. Zoram (1 Nephi 4:35)
    • Zorah (Judges 13:25)
    • Joram (1 Chronicles 26:25)
    • Horam (Joshua 10:33)

Temas e Doutrinas da Bíbilia achadas em 2 Néfi 9

O seguinte é uma lista de referências na Bíbilia a doutrinas, eventos, ou metáforas incluido em 2 Néfi 9 do Livro de Mórmon (LDM). O propósito desta lista é para ajudar o leitor entender melhor a complexidade e precisão do autor em referir à Bíblia em escrever 2 Néfi 9. Esta lista representa apenas uma porҫão das referências achadas em 2 Néfi 9.

  1. Pela boca de seus santos profetas
  • “Que ele tem falado aos judeus pela boca de seus santos profetas, desde o comeҫo” (2 Néfi 9:2)
  • “dos quais Deus falou pela boca de todos os seus santos profetas, desde o princípio” (Atos 3:21)
  1. De geraҫão a geraҫão
  • “de geraҫão a geraҫão” (2 Néfi 9:2)
  • “nem nela morará alguém de geraҫão a geraҫão” (Isaías 13:20)
  • “e os eu domínio de geraҫão a geraҫão” (Daniel 4:3)
  • “E a sua misericórdia é de geraҫão em geraҫão” (Lucas 1:50)
  1. Rebanho de Deus
  • “restituídos à verdadeira igreja e rebanho de Deus” (2 Néfi 9:2)
  • “E eu mesmo recolherei o restante das minhas ovelhas, de todas as terras para onde as tiver afugentado, e as farei voltar aos seus apriscos” (Jeremias 23:3)
  1. Levantar a cabeҫa
  • “levanteis a cabeҫa para sempre” (2 Néfi 9:3)
  • “Levantai, ó portas, as vossas cabeҫas” (Salmo 24:7)
  1. Investigado para conhecer o future
  • “Pois sei que muitos de vós haveis investigado muito para conhecer as coisas que estão para vir” (2 Néfi 9:4)
  • “Da qual salvaҫão inquiriram e trataram diligentemente os profetas que profetizaram da graҫa que vos foi dada” (1 Pedro 1:10)
  1. Vamos morrer, mas veremos a Deus em nosso corpo
  • “nossa carne deverá definhar e morrer; não obstante, veremos a Deus em nosso corpo” (2 Néfi 9:4)
  • “E depois de consumida a minha pele, contudo ainda em minha carne verei a Deus” (Jó 19:26)
  1. Sujeitos a Cristo
  • “morra por todos os homens, para que todos possam tornar-se-lhe sujeitos” (2 Néfi 9:5)
  • “Todas as coisas lhe sujeitaste debaixo dos pés” (Hebreus 2:8)
  1. Poder de ressurreiҫão
  • deve existir um poder de ressurreiҫão” (2 Néfi 9:6)
  • “Para conhecê-lo, e à virtude da sua ressurreiҫão” (Filipenses 3:10)
  1. Corrupҫão vai revestir-se de incorrupҫão
  • “porque se a expiaҫão não fosse infinita, esta corrupҫão não poderia revestir-se de incorrupҫão” (2 Néfi 9:7)
  • “Porque convém que isto que é corruptível se revista da incorruptibilidade, e isto que é mortal se revestir da imortalidade” (1 Coríntios 15:53)
  1. Anjo que caiu da presenҫa de Deus
  • “nossos espíritos estariam à mercê daquele anjo que caiu da presenҫa do Eterno Deus” (2 Néfi 9:8)
  • “Como caíste desde o céu, ó estrela da manhã, filha da alva” (Isaías 14:12)
  1. O Diabo pode tranformar em um anjo de luz
  • “que se transformou quase em um anjo de luz” (2 Néfi 9:9)
  • “E não é Maravilha, porque o próprio Satanás se transfigure em anjo de luz” (2 Coríntios 11:14)
  1. O Diabo enganou Adão e Eva
  • “como aquele ser que enganou nossos primeiros pais” (2 Néfi 9:9)
  • “Mas temo que, assim como a serpent enganou Eva com a sua astúcia, assim também sejam de alguma sorte corrompidos os vossos sentidos” (2 Coríntios 11:3)
  1. A bondade de Deus
  • “Oh! Quão grande é a bondade de nosso Deus, que prepara um caminho” (2 Néfi 9:10)
  • “Oh! Quão grande é a tua bondade, que guardaste para os que te temem” (Salmo 31:19)
  1. Morte e Inferno
  • “sim, aquele monstro, morte e inferno, que eu chamo morte do corpo e também morte do espírito” (2 Néfi 9:10)
  • “E olhei, e eis um cavalo amarelo, e o que estava assentado sobre ele tinha por nome Morte; e o inferno o seguia” (Apocalipse 6:8)
  1. Morte e inferno libertará seus cativos/A segunda morte
  • “E essa morte da qual falei, que é a morte espiritual, libertará seus mortos; e essa morte spiritual é o inferno; portanto, morte e inferno deverão libertar seus mortos; e o inferno deverá libertar seus espíritos cativos e a sepultura deverá libertar seus corpos cativos” (2 Néfi 9:12)
  • “E deu o mar os mortos que nele havia; e a morte e o inferno deram os mortos que neles havia; e foram julgados cada um segundo as suas obras. E a morte e o inferno foram lanҫados no lago de fogo. Esta é a segunda morte. E aquele que não foi achado escrito no livro da vida foi lanҫado no lago de fogo” (Apocalipse 20:13-15)
  • “a sua parte será no lago que arde com fogo e enxofre; o que é a segunda morte” (Apocalipse 21:8)
  1. O manto de retidão
  • “estando vestidos com pureza, sim, com o manto da retidão” (2 Néfi 9:14)
  • “E haverá estrangeiros, que apascentarão os vossos rebanhos; e estranhos serão os vossos lavradores e os vossos vinhateiros” (Isaías 61:10)
  1. O tribunal de Cristo
  • “deverão comparecer ante o tribunal do Santo de Israel; e virá então o julgamento” (2 Néfi 9:14)
  • “Pois todos havemos de comparecer ante o tribunal de Cristo” (Romanos 14:10)
  • “Porque todos devemos comparecer ante o tribunal de Cristo” (II Coríntios 5:10)
  1. A palavra de Deus não pode passer
  • “pois o Senhor Deus disse-o e é sua eterna palavra, a qual não pode passar” (2 Néfi 9:16)
  • “Passará o céu e a terra, mas as minhas palavras não passarão” (Marcos 13:31)
  1. Os justos ainda serão justos; os imundos ainda serão imundos
  • “os justos ainda serão justos e os imundos ainda serão imundos” (2 Néfi 9:16)
  • “Quem é injusto, faҫa injustiҫa ainda; e quem está sujo, suje-se ainda; e quem é justo, faҫa justiҫa ainda; e quem é santo, seja santificado ainda” (Apocalipse 22:11)
  1. Lago de fogo e enxofre
  • “e seu tormento é como um lago de fogo e enxofre, cuja chama ascende para todo o sempre” (2 Néfi 9:16)
  • “Estes dois foram lanҫados vivos no lago de fogo que arde com enxofre” (Apocalipse 19:20)
  1. Cuja chama/fuma ascende para todo o sempre
  • “e seu tormento é como um lago de fogo e enxofre, cuja chama ascende para todo o sempre” (2 Néfi 9:16)
  • “E a fumaҫa do seu tormento sobe para todo o sempre; e não têm repouso nem de dia nem de noite” (Apocalipse 14:11)
  1. Suportar as cruzes do mundo e desprezado a sua vergonha
  • “os que tiverem suportado as cruzes do mundo e desprezado a sua vergonha” (2 Néfi 9:18)
  • “o qual, pelo gozo que lhe estava proposto, suportou a cruz, desprezando a afronta, e assentou-se à destra do trono de Deus” (Hebreus 12:2)
  1. Herdar o reino de Deus preparado desde a fundaҫão do mundo
  • “herdarão o reino de Deus, que foi preparado para eles desde a fundaҫão do mundo” (2 Néfi 9:18)
  • “Vinde, benditos de meu Pai, possuí por heranҫa o reino que vos está preparado desde a fundaҫão do mundo” (Mateus 25:34)
  1. Sua alegria será completa
  • “e sua alegria será completa para sempre” (2 Néfi 9:18)
  •  Estas coisas vos escrevemos, para que a vossa alegria seja completa” (1 João 1:4)
  1. Perseverar até o fim
  • “E se não se arrependerem…nem perseverarem até o fim, serão condenados” (2 Néfi 9:24)
  • “mas aquele que perseverar até ao fim será salvo” (Mateus 10:22)
  1. Nenhuma lei, nenhum castigo
  • “Ele deu, portanto, uma lei; e onde nenhuma lei é dada não há castigo” (2 Néfi 9:25)
  • “Porque a lei opera a ira. Porque onde não há lei também não há transgressão” (Romanos 4:15)
  1. Incircuncisos de coraҫão
  • Ai dos incircuncisos de coraҫão, porque o conhecimento de suas iniquidades feri-los-á no ultimo dia” (2 Néfi 9:33)
  • “Homens de dura cerviz, e incircuncisos de coraҫão e ouvido” (Atos 7:51)
  • “e toda a casa de Israel é incircuncisa de coraҫão” (Jeremias 9:26)
  1. Ter mente carnal é morte
  • “Lembrai-vos de que ter mente carnal é morte e ter mente spiritual é vida eterna” (2 Néfi 9:39)
  • “Porque a inclinaҫão da carne é morte; mas a inclinaҫão do Espírito é vida e paz” (Romanos 8:6)
  1. Falar coisas duras
  • “Não digais que falei coisas duras contra vós” (2 Néfi 9:40)
  • “Fizeste ver ao teu povo coisas árduas; fizeste-nos beber o vinho do atordoamento” (Salmo 60:3)
  1. O caminho estreito
  • “Eis que o caminho para o homem é estreito, mas segue em linha reta adianta dele” (2 Néfi 9:41)
  • “Senhor, guia-me na tua justiҫa, por causa dos meus inimigos; endireita diante de mim o teu caminho” (Salmo 5:8)
  • “Preparai o caminho do Senhor, endireitai as suas veredas” (Mateus 3:3)
  1. Caminho de justiҫa
  • “Lembrai-vos de que seus caminhos são justos” (2 Néfi 9:41)
  • “Refrigera a minha alma; guia-me pelas veredas da justiҫa, por amor do seu nome” (Salmo 23:3)
  1. Considerem-se insensatos diante de Deus
  • “e a menos que se despojem de todas estas coisas e considerem-se insensatos diante de Deus e humilhem-se profundamente” (2 Néfi 9:42)
  • “se alguém dentre vós se tem por sábio neste mundo, faça-se louco para ser sábio” (1 Coríntios 3: 18)
  1. Os sábios e os prudentes
  • “As coisas dos sábios e dos prudentes, porém, ser-lhes-ão ocultas para sempre” (2 Néfi 9:43)
  • “Porque está escrito: Destruirei a sabedoriados sábios, e aniquilarei a inteligência dos inteligentes” (1 Coríntios 1:19)
  1. Sacudo as vestimentas para estar livre de vosso sangue
  • “Eis que tiro minhas vestimentas e sacudo-as diante de vós…que sacudi vossas iniquidades de minha alma…e estou livre de vosso sangue” (2 Néfi 9:44)
  • “sacudiu as vestes, e disse-lhes: O vosso sangue seja sobre a vossa cabeça; eu estou limpo” (Atos 18:6)
  1. Olhos de Deus que tudo veem
  • “rogo ao Deus de minha salvação que me olhe com seus olhos que tudo veem” (2 Néfi 9:44)
  • “Sonda-me, ó Deus, e conhece o meu coração; põe-me à prova, e conhece os meus pensamentos” (Salmo 139:23)
  • “Eis que os olhos do Senhor estão sobre os que o temem, sobre os que esperam na sua misericórdia” (Salmo 33:18)
  • “Os olhos do Senhor estão em todo o lugar, contemplando os maus e os bons” (Os Provérbios 15:3)
  1. Apresentar-se limpo ante Deus
  • “que me apresento limpo ante ele” (2 Néfi 9:44) (a palavra é “brightness” ou “resplandor” em inglês)
  • “Por causa de Sião não me calarei, e por causa de Jerusalém não me aquietarei, até que saia a sua justiça como um resplendor” (Isaías 62:1)
  • “os quais desembainharão as suas espadas contra a formosura da tua sabedoria, e mancharão o teu resplendor” (Ezequiel 28:7)
  1. Rocha de salvação
  • “vinde ao Deus que é a rocha de vossa salvação” (2 Néfi 9:45)
  • “Só ele é a minha rocha e a minha salvação; é a minha defesa; não serei grandemente abalado” (Salmo 62:2)
  1. Correntes do inferno
  • “sacudi as correntes daquele que vos quer amarrar firmemente” (2 Néfi 9:45)
  • “havendo-os lançado no inferno, os entregou às cadeias da escuridão” (2 Pedro 2:4)
  • “reservou debaixo da escuridão, e em prisões eternas até o juízo daquele grande dia” (Judas 1:6)
  1. Falar com clareza
  • “Seria eu claro para convosco, com a clareza da verdade, se estivésseis livres do pecado?” (2 Néfi 9:47)
  • “Tendo, pois, tal esperança, usamos de muita ousadia no falar” (2 Coríntios 3:12)
  1. Deleito na retidão
  • “Eis que minha alma tem aversão ao pecado e meu coração se deleita na retidão; e louvarei o santo nome de meu Deus” (2 Néfi 9:49)
  • “Deleito-me em fazera tua vontade, ó Deus meu; sim, a tua lei está dentro do meu coração” (Salmo 40:8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consistência Interna no Livro de Mórmon: A Árvore de Vida e a Fonte de Águas Vivas

No Livro de Mórmon, o profeta Leí é mostrado uma visão onde ele vê pessoas segurando a uma barra de ferro ao tentar chegar à árvore de vida (1 Néfi 8). O filho de Leí, Néfi, deseja ver a visão de seu pai, e ao ponderar o que ouviu ele é mostrado a mesma visão e uma interpretaҫão de seu simbolismo (1 Néfi 11-14)

Néfi é mostrado a árvore de vida e descreve o seguinte:

  • “E eu olhei e vi uma árvore; e era semelhante à árvore que meu pai tinha visto; e sua beleza era tão grande, sim, que excedia toda beleza” (1 Néfi 11:8)

Néfi vê uma visão de Maria dando a luz ao Jesus Cristo, e depois o anjo que serve como guia para Néfi na visão pergunta-lo se ele soubesse o significado da árvore:

  • “Sabes tu o significado da árvore que teu pai viu?” (1 Néfi 11:21)
  • “E respondi-lhe, dizendo: Sim, é o amor de Deus, que se derrama no coração dos filhos dos homens” (1 Néfi 11:22)

Por alguma razão, porém, algúns versículos depois, ele refere à árvore de vida como “a fonte de águas vivas:”

  • “E aconteceu que vi que a barra de ferro que meu pai tinha visto era a palavra de Deus, que conduzia à fonte de águas vivas, ou seja, à árvore da vida; águas essas que eram um símbolo do amor de Deus; e também vi que a árvore da vida era um símbolo do amor de Deus” (1 Néfi 11:25)

Esta referência à “fonte de águas vivas” de repente aparece sem ser mencionado explícito na descriҫão da visão. Enquanto não sei o significado de usar os símbolos da fonte de águas vivas e a árvore de vida indiferentemenete, o que é mais interessante para mim é que talvez este relacionamento seja aludido centenas de páginas depois em Alma 32.

Alma explica aos Zoramitas que se eles exercerem fé e experimentarem em suas palavras, sua fé no evangelho podiam crescer a conhecimento perfeito que vai tornar-se uma árvore de video de qual fruto pode comer.

Alma diz:

  • “E assim, se não cultivardes a palavra, esperando com os olhos da fé o seu fruto, nunca podereis colher o fruto da árvore da vida. Se, porém, cultivardes a palavra, sim, cultivardes a árvore quando ela começar a crescer, com vossa fé, com grande esforço e com paciência, esperando o fruto, ela criará raiz; e eis que será uma árvore que brotará para a vida eterna.” (Alma 32:40-41)

Aqui não há menҫão à fonte de águas vivas. Porém, a frase “uma árvore que brotará para a vida eternal” é muito semelhante à frase usada por Jesus Cristo ao falar com a mulher de Samaria no fonte de Jacó e ele diz que pode dar-lhe águas vivas, de qual se ela bebesse jamais ter sede:

  • “Mas aquele que beber da água que eu lhe der nunca terá sede, porque a água que eu lhe der se fará nele uma fonte de água que salte para a vida eternal” (João 4:14)

Alma, não fazendo nenhuma menҫão comparando a árvore de vida à fonte de águas vivas, se usa a mesma frase para descrever a árvore de vida como foi usado pelo Salvador para descrever águas vivas. Enquanto esta conexão entre Néfi, Alma, e Jesus Cristo podia ocorrer por chance, creio que é uma chance peqeuninha que Joseph Smith usou as palavras do Salvador arbitrariamente pelo discurso feito por Alma sobre a fé para apoiar a comparaҫão feito por Néfi da árvore de vida e a fonte de águas vivas.

Para mim, é incrível que este relactionamento sinônimo entre a árvore de vida e a fonte de águas vivas, descrito casualmente em 1 Néfi 11, é também encontrado centenas de páginas depois em Alma 32. Para mim, esta conexão é mais um pedaҫo de uma grande colecҫão de evidência confirmando o Livro de Mórmon é a palavra de Deus.

Arguments Against Denver Snuffer (Part II)

This article is a response to Denver Snuffer Jr.’s talk entitled “Other Sheep Indeed” presented at the Salt Lake City Sunstone Symposium (2017, click here for full article). Snuffer argues that the LDS church’s doctrine is incomplete and that the way to receive the full truth of the gospel is to seek out other religions and see if they have truths to add to our own. Since Snuffer makes many arguments in his talk, I find it best to respond to some of his quotes individually:

Snuffer Quotes #1:

  • “The “keystone” of Mormonism is the Book of Mormon. That book alerts its readers that there are many others from vastly different places with vastly different scriptures who are nonetheless Christ’s sheep. Book of Mormon readers are expected to search for, welcome and learn from them. In contrast, institutional Mormonism of all stripes confine trustworthy new religious ideas to their authorized leaders. Early in the text we learn that our faith, like our scriptures, is unfinished, and to anticipate a flood of additional sacred texts to help remove our ignorance.”
  • “What if the “fullness of the mysteries of God” have been scattered, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, worldwide among remnants of believers who have received truths in different times and places?” (p. 21)

Response: Throughout the talk, Snuffer makes several assertions that are not found anywhere in the Book of Mormon. He says that there are many other people who have written God’s word. That is true. Mormons believe that and we believe that these writings will be revealed to us in the last days (2 Nephi 29:11-13/3 Nephi 16:1-3). We do not believe, however, that the truth has been scattered across many religions and it’s each individual member’s job to go out and find other religions and see if they have additional truth. Neither is it true that these scriptures which will be revealed are “vastly different” than what we have now. Quite the opposite. The Lord said “Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also” (2 Nephi 29:8). In other words, the purpose of the “flood of additional sacred texts” is to show that God speaks the same words to all nations who hear his voice. The prophesied texts will serve to support the doctrine of the Book of Mormon and the Bible, not “remove our ignorance” by providing some completely new doctrine we did not anticipate.

He also says that we “are expected to search for, welcome and learn from them” (or other religious texts, regardless of whether they teach the doctrine of Christ). I agree that we should learn about other religions. I myself have read the Koran in its entirety. However, not once did Christ ever say “put down the scriptures and find truths in other religions.” On the contrary, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the creator of Heaven and Earth and all that in them is, commanded the Nephites and the readers of the Book of Mormon not to look for more scriptures, but instead search and feast upon the words of the prophets that they already had:

  • “And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah” (3 Nephi 23:1)
  • “And whosoever will hearken unto my words and repenteth and is baptized, the same shall be saved. Search the prophets, for many there be that testify of these things” (3 Nephi 23:5)
  • “Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:3)

Snuffer Quote #2:

  • “Why aren’t people from around the world eager to teach Mormons? What would it be like if Mormons sent out missionaries to inquire if others had any great truths to share with us?” (p. 11)

 

Response: Missionaries should be respectful of other religions and be willing to listen to other people, but the reason why we don’t send out missionaries “to inquire if others had any great truths to share with us” is because Christ commanded us to follow his gospel as contained in the Bible and the Book of Mormon and to preach it to all the world.

  • “For behold, thus said Jesus Christ, the Son of God, unto his disciples who should tarry, yea, and also to all his disciples, in the hearing of the multitude: Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature; And he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mormon 9:22-23)
  • “And now it came to pass that when Jesus had expounded all the scriptures in one, which they had written, he commanded them that they should teach the things which he had expounded unto them” (3 Nephi 23:14)

Snuffer Quotes #3:

  • Mormonism announced in its founding book of scripture that it is an incomplete, markedly unfinished religion searching for more truth to achieve its destiny” (p. 1)
  • Mormonism is only a “starter” religion based on an incipient planting by the Gods. It remains wanting. We Mormons should be people of wit and religion, willing to consider and value all truth from whatever source it springs. The greatness of Mormonism has not been realized in any of its past, and those who have managed to profit from organizing institutions based on its mere beginning are threatened by the idea that there is yet much more to be added” (p. 28)

Response: Once again, Snuffer makes claims that just aren’t true. Yes, Mormons believe that we will receive more words of the Lord such as the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon (Ether 3:27). However, we believe that the Book of Mormon and other standard works provide the Gospel of Christ necessary for salvation.

  • Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me” (3 Nephi 27:13)
  • “Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ (2 Nephi 31:20)
  • “I must speak concerning the doctrine of Christ…Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel” (2 Nephi 31:2, 13)
  • “Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:3)
  • “Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them. And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock…Therefore, go forth unto this people, and declare the words which I have spoken, unto the ends of the earth” (3 Nephi 11:39-41)

Snuffer Quote #4

  • “Institutional forms of Mormonism want to claim that God has finished His work for our day and given His authority to a select group of professional clergy. Their jealousy and envy keep them out of the kingdom, and those under their control are prevented from entering God’s kingdom. What an odd outcome this is for institutional Mormonism when the religion was founded on the relentless search for truth, anywhere it may be found.”

Response: The LDS church/religion is not “founded upon the relentless search for truth, anywhere it may be found.” Nowhere does the Book of Mormon say this. Yes, it is important for us to learn as much as we can about the world. If we find truth in other places, then yes, we should accept it. The LDS religion is founded upon the gospel of Jesus Christ; not on the aimless searching for other truths when the plainness of the gospel of Christ is right in front of you.

  • “Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them. And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock…Therefore, go forth unto this people, and declare the words which I have spoken, unto the ends of the earth” (3 Nephi 11:39-41)
  • “But if it be called by my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel” (3 Nephi 27:8)

The Lesser Portion of the Word

Snuffer criticizes members of the LDS church for being prideful because they do not learn from other religions to see what hidden truths they hold that we do not have. He bases this on scriptures that say there are other books written that will eventually come forth (1 Nephi 13:39-42/2 Nephi 29:11-13/3 Nephi 16:1-3). The fact that they haven’t yet come forth must mean that the LDS church is wicked.

Snuffer likens the LDS church to the people of Ammonihah when Alma said:

  • he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full. And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil…” (Alma 12:10-11).

Snuffer makes a false equivalency between the people of Ammonihah not obeying the commandments and the LDS church not adopting Buddhist texts as canon. Alma is not advocating that the people of Ammonihah travel to the ends of the earth to read all other sacred texts and try to piece together all the lost truths of the gospel. He is advocating that they follow the commandments of God as found in the Holy Scriptures.

Snuffer compares the LDS church to the people of Ammonihah, but I think a more accurate comparison is to liken Snuffer to the Jews in Jerusalem, whom Jacob criticizes in Jacob 4:13-14:

  • These things are manifested unto us plainly, for the salvation of our souls. But behold, we are not witnesses alone in these things; for God also spake them unto prophets of old. But behold, the Jews were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they cannot understand, because they desired it. And because they desired it God hath done it, that they may stumble”

Snuffer and his followers are not satisfied with the revelations and scriptures they have been given. They want God to give them more and they want to receive these promised scriptures on their own time table. Because they cannot see the plainness of the gospel in front of them, they are looking beyond the mark and will receive the lesser portion of the word.