In Luke 24 the resurrected Lord joins two of his disciples on the road to
Emmaus. While they spoke with him their eyes were "holden" so that they
couldn't recognize him initially. Through the witness of the Holy Ghost
they were able to feel the power of the Savior's words. "Did not our
heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to
us the scriptures?" (verse 32).The Book of Mormon is like that.
Though we cannot see the plates, we have their words and we can feel the power
of the Holy Ghost bearing witness that they are the words of Jesus Christ.
Through the Spirit we can recognize the voice of the Lord as we read the Book of
lol, well said vanka!!
Brahma bull,Yes, and Bill o Nebraska has the very arrogant habit of
holding himself up as more worthy and righteous than those of us who did not get
the same "answer" as he got - you can hear his subtext of all his
condemning comments: "I got the RIGHT answer because I did it RIGHT and am
worthy of the manifestation of the Spirit! Thank you Father for separating us
from these unbelievers, and that thou hast elected us to be thy holy children,
that we shall be saved, whilst all around us are elected to be cast by thy wrath
down to hell; for the which holiness, O God, we thank thee; and we also thank
thee that thou hast elected us, that we may not be led away after the foolish
traditions of these unworthy unbelievers, which doth bind them down to atheism.
And again we thank thee, O God, that we are a chosen and a holy people.
Amen".I think Bill is a Zoramite.
Searching...Bill in Nebraska has a bad habit of assuming that if you
do everything the Moroni promise states and don't get the same answer he
did then you are doing something wrong. He has said it must be you, not the
promise. If everybody relied on the spirit alone to get answers we would all be
different, as I believe the spirit is only your mind speaking to you. Then over
the years you add to the answer as if it was more signifigant than what it was.
If somebody prays and gets a different answer they have the obligation to follow
that no matter what it was. I too have found through prayer, and research over
several years that the church is not what it claims to be. I would be a liar if
I said I still believe. How can I then claim to believe? I can't. It
doesn't make me or anybody else a pawn of satan as Bill in Nebraska would
say. All it means is we have the integrity to admit we don't believe
anymore, regardless of the consequences. Nothing more, nothing less.
I'm glad it was explained in the article that sacrament consists of bread
and WINE per Jesus' commandments to his ancient central american disciples
in 3rd Nephi of the Book of Mormon.The Church of Jesus Christ [WHQ:
Monongahela, PA] has ALWAYS used bread and wine for sacrament since its
beginnings (March 1852- July 1862).Bread and wine sanctified by
prayer in Jesus' name is truly the bread of life and the power of the
Bill, is a year of prayer and study enough? How about five? Twenty? More? You
are assuming that I prayed once and left it. You're wrong. I've read
the promise, explained it to others, even memorized it. I know what it says and
what it means. I also know now why it works for some people and not for others,
but I won't go into that. I planted the seed, watered it, fed it, and
nothing happened. Alma tells me that that means it wasn't a good seed. I
will accept that. It appears to me that Mormonism gives you a great amount
value. I will accept that as well.
Searching: I prayed and did exactly as Moroni states and got the answer. I just
knew that the Lord answers all prayer and I expected an answer. What I received
was not the answer I expected nor in the way I expected it. However, I did
spend the night reading the Book of Mormon after my prayer. That is what it
means. You don't just pray and do nothing. You have to really work for
the answer. Read Moroni's promise carefully and you will find that you
have to ponder it in your mind. So yes reintent and sincere prayer is more than
just asking and leaving it for an answer.
How is it that there are written records made of clay that are over six thousand
years old that have survived and are present for modern day examination, but the
Book of Mormon people who supposedly existed less than two thousand years ago
and wrote records on brass, silver or gold plates (that are much more durable
than clay), yet there is absolutely no remaining record of their writings, or
any evidence of their being. Could it be that it is just one big perpetuated
pipe dream of no historical reality.
Bill, I've found through experience that the sooner a response cites
Moroni's promise, the closer my post was to some troublesome detail. I
won't argue with you other than to say that a null response to prayer is
not a positive in the same way that if one carefully follows directions to
cultivate a seed and it doesn't grow doesn't mean it is a good seed. I
prayed sincerely and didn't get an answer; that's enough for me.KDTaylor, I think that having the plates would be very beneficial to the
credibility of Joseph Smith's story. It is much more difficult to argue
their existence if anyone, regardless of belief or conditions could view them.
Their production would require much more than JS's imagination alone was
capable of. And with the actual plates it might be possible to tie the language
and culture to an ancient American corollary.
I have a theory what Reformed Egyptian may be or evolved into. Hint: Its still
used today in Egypt.That being said; Amen is a deriviative of
Egyptian deity Amun-Ra.
RE: KDTaylor, Hebrew writings of the present, or even the last several hundred
years. JS had problems with languages that we do have.Joseph Smith
said,“Eloheim is from the word Eloi, God is singular number; and by
adding the word heim ,it renders it Gods.” (HofC, 1844)?In
Hebrew the form of the word Elohim, with the ending -im, which normally
indicates a masculine plural, however with Elohim the construction is usually
grammatically SINGULAR, (i.e. it governs a singular verb or adjective) (H #430)
Strong’s translates Elohim to God in the KJV. “In the
beginning God(‘O Theos)” (Genesis 1:1 Greek Septuagint)
In(D&C 110: 1-16) Elias and Elijah appear to JS, but in the Bible
they are the same person. The KJV translators attempted to transliterate Elijah
to Elias because there isn’t a Greek character for the English letter
J.To avoid confusion, modern translations: NIV, NJKV, NASB and the
Catholic Bible have Elijah instead of Elias in(Mt 11:14,; Luke 1:17).
Searching: You bring up some questions that I asked myself many years ago.
then as I continued to read and ponder the Book of Mormon over the years I find
that it really doesn't matter. The questions are only for those looking
for someone to prove to them that it is true, not for them to prove for
themselves that it is true. That is left up to the individual to do in the
means that Moroni has stated. One must have a broken heart and a contrite
spirit. One must have reintent that once they KNOW it is true to change their
lives to do what is required of them. Many seem to get part A about having a
broken heart and a contrite spirit, but fail to really have the intent to do
exactly what they are needing to do. Therefore, they fail to receive the
answer. Some are expecting the same thing to happen to them as with Joseph
Smith and others. However, the answer comes little by little, piece by piece
until it covers their entire being. You must be willing to lay your questions
to the side and listen to the Lord.
Excellent article! I loved reading about this and am grateful for the reminder
of the power of those special prayers.
As to the alphabetic characters of languages, it is now known that original
Hebrew writings used characters starkly different characters than Hebrew
writings of the present, or even the last several hundred years. As
a small part of this evolutionary process, for instance, one article by Chaim
Clorfene on the subject observes that: "Around the year 800
B.C.E., Paleo-Hebrew letters became reworked in Babylon and the surrounding
region and evolved as the native Aramaic script. Around 275 years later (circa
525 B.C.E.) the Jews in Babylon, notably Ezra the Scribe, refined the native
Aramaic letters and developed Ashuri, the script recognized today as
If the plates once had by Joseph Smith, and seen by no less than 11 others, were
still in our possession, it would prove one thing and one only: That there were
plates. It would certainly be no convincing witness to those claiming to
"know" that Joseph Smith is a fraud. Mark well the words of Dr. Hugh
Nibley in this regard:"Critics of the Book of Mormon often
remark sarcastically that it is a great pity that the golden plates have
disappeared, since they would very conveniently prove Joseph Smith's story.
They would do nothing of the sort. The presence of the plates would only prove
that there were plates, no more: it would not prove that Nephites wrote them, or
that an angel brought them, or that they had been translated by the gift and
power of God; and we can be sure that scholars would quarrel about the writing
on them for generations without coming to any agreement, exactly as they did
about the writings of Homer and parts of the Bible."
@the truth"A copy of BOM writings were shown to a professor and he
confirmed they WERE egyptian."Did they show the professor one of
the plates or did they have a copy of some of it written the way it was written
on the plates? If it's the latter then what happened with that copy after
the plates were taken away by Moroni?
At the Passover feast, Jesus gave bread and wine to his disciples telling them
to eat and drink what he said was his body and blood. There’s nothing like
that in the Passover Seder or traditions. But It’s in the gospels thus
making Jesus the one who gave Christianity its earliest defining ritual before
there even was a Christianity. That’s of greater interest to me than
whether or not there ever was a reformed Egyptian language.
In order to accept Mr. Peterson's assertion that the sacrament prayers are
of ancient origin, he needs to establish that the BoM is of ancient origin. In
my opinion, he hasn't yet done that.Royal Skousen claims
"This evidence...indicates that the Lord exercised what I refer to as
"tight control" over the word-by-word translation of the Book of Mormon.
In particular, the evidence suggests that Joseph Smith saw specific words
written out in English and read them off to the scribe, and that the accuracy of
the resulting text depended on the carefulness of Joseph and his scribe." If
Skousen is correct, then the BoM is almost exactly as God wanted it. Ensuing questions: Why translate into an old form of English that
was (and still is) more difficult for contemporary and modern speakers to
understand?Why include known King James Version translation
errors?Why include "[l]ong strings of subordinate clauses and
verbal expressions" (Stubbs, Maxwell Institure) that are difficult for
English readers to process?Why make the BoM more difficult to
understand if it is to lead to the salvation of all humanity?
KDTaylor:[First of all, written languages change noticeably over time. The
history of the English language alone supplies ample evidence of this. Those who
doubt it can read the original English poetry of Chaucer and compare it to the
English poetry of this century written by, for instance, Richard Wakefield.]Its still mostly the same characters, though, which was my point.
Spelling is another matter, and not relevant to logographic systems. However,
even spelling gets regularized at some point, and English spelling has changed
very little over the few several centuries. Chaucer was at the beginning of
regularization written English, as it had been abandoned for several centuries
in favor of French and Latin.For logographic systems like Chinese,
Egyptian Hieroglyphs, and Mayan, there may be some pronunciation points in some
of the characters, but for the most part you can still recognize the characters
across the centuries. However, the supposed "Egyptian" hieroglyphs found
in America are not recognizable as "Egyptian", other than just being
[I've decided to slightly expand upon my penultimate comment.]First of all, written languages change noticeably over time. The history of
the English language alone supplies ample evidence of this. Those who doubt it
can read the original English poetry of Chaucer and compare it to the English
poetry of this century written by, for instance, Richard Wakefield. Secondly, except in cases of inherent logical contradiction (as with
assertions such "he is a married bachelor" or "this is a square
circle") it is impossible to prove a universal negative.Thus,
the comically sophomoric charge that "there is no such thing as reformed
Egyptian, never has been" is so much empty bluster.The Book of
Mormon, including but not limited to the sacrament prayer texts contained in it,
displays just the sort of linguistic characteristics we should expect for an
ancient text with the background claimed for it that has been translated into
English.For a very brief introduction to the issues involved, see
the short article "Book of Mormon Language" by Brian D. Stubbs.
Yeah sure... You can't prove a negative, but you could prove a positive if
the plates were here right? Oh wait an angel took them with him so they
can't be studied. Right... Talk about sophomoric.
Except in cases of inherent logical contradiction (as with assertions such
"he is a married bachelor" or "this is a square circle") it is
impossible to prove a universal negative. Thus, the comically
sophomoric charge that "is no such thing as reformed Egyptian, never has
been" is so much empty bluster. The Book of Mormon, including
but not limited to the sacrament prayer texts contained in it, displays just the
sort of linguistic characteristics we should expect for an ancient text with the
background claimed for it that has been translated into English. For
a very brief introduction to the issues involved, see the short article
"Book of Mormon Language" by Brian D. Stubbs.
So here's the thing about linguistic change:1. Spoken language
can change quite a bit, but using the comparative method we can reconstruct
"pro-languages". Linguists have used the comparative method on many
existing Native American languages and have found no trace of Semitic, East
African, or Middle Eastern language relations. This is despite the fact that the
comparative method is able to compare and reconstruct from largely unwritten
languages a proto-language like Proto-Uralic, a language from about 5000 or so
years ago.2. Written language is surprisingly regular once
developed. Even Chinese characters from 3000 years ago are extremely similar to
their modern traditional* forms. Even our own alphabet, which originates with
the Phoenicians before passing through the Greeks and Romans, is largely similar
after all these millenia. The great thing about written language is that it
lasts a lot longer than spoken language, before recording devices, that is.Once again people make the mistake of thinking written and spoken
language are the same.*(Traditional chracters and simplified
characters have a technical meaning here, so it isn't absurd to say
"Modern Traditional" Chinese characters versus Modern Simplified or
Ancient Chinese Characters)
It is evident from the BOM text that there were different "languages" or
writing systems employed by the BOM inscribers than what would have been in
common use. They had perhaps developed their own system, based on a style they
knew (or had been passed down) but which was compact and easier to inscribe. If
so, there would not likely be any examples of this writing style laying around
for professors of Egyptology to find.
@the truth"A copy of BOM writings were shown to a professor"Wait there were copies written in the "reformed egyptian" style
other than the plates? If so then where'd those go off to?
@BrahmabullYes, they are wrong.A copy of BOM writings
were shown to a professor and he confirmed they WERE egyptian.He
then took back his analysis when he was told the source,That
doesn't change the source.Important point:"reformed egyptian" is also a translation."reformed
egyptian" must look like a modified version over a millenia from the
original egyptian that Lehi knew and wrote in. Which could very well have been
significantly changed over that time.There was no known formal
school and text books, when they first arrived, to preserve their language,
other than the brass plates which the lamanites did not have access to, and only
those in close proximity may have had access to, most probably only the prophet
and few others assign to record keeping.A side note, The nephites
and the mulikites did not know each other's language, and those two groups
arrived in the americas at about the same time and from the same place,language can change quickly, so who knows how "reformed" their
language had become.
I love that picture, I have it as my desktop picture on my laptop. As for the
Sacrament prayer, all I can say, I am grateful that I can renew my covenants
each week and that I have the blessing to be able to take the sacrament. No
debates here :)
Brother Peterson, thank you for another great article.
Brahmabull,It stands to reason that any language will evole over
1000 years of use, whether it be commonly used or used by a few. Egyptian
heiroglyphs evolved over thousands of years of use in the Middle East. Even Old
English from just 500 years ago is quite different from Modern English.I would be more skeptical of any language that did not evolve over a 1000
years of use.
Daleycall:Reformed egyptian?? And what exactly does reformed
egyption writing look like? There is no such thing as reformed Egyptian, never
has been From wikipedia, with cited sources"John A.
Wilson, professor of Egyptology at the University of Chicago, wrote, "From
time to time there are allegations that picture writing has been found in
America… In no case has a professional Egyptologist been able to recognize
these characters as Egyptian hieroglyphs. From our standpoint there is no such
language as 'reformed Egyptian'. No Egyptian writing has been found in
this [Western] hemisphere to my knowledge."Do you mean to tell
me that all of the experts are wrong? That somehow there is such a language but
they still have not one shred of evidence of it? Come on.
@ScientistIt's a TRANSLATION, not the exact reformed Egyption as
So ancient that they manifest 19th Century American linguistic
@Sacrament prayers have ancient origin.A.D. 400( Mormon 9:29) “See
that you ye are not baptized unworthily; see that ye partake not of the
*sacrament…”.*sacrament (12th century.)" a Church
Latin loan-translation of Greek mysterion,=*mystery.To whom God
would make known what is the riches of the glory of this*mystery among the
Gentiles; “which is Christ in you”, the hope of glory(Col 1:27)RE: Doctrine and Covenants 20:77 and 20:79 for the text of the prayers
to be offered.It is customary to read the two prayers over the
emblems lest the officer, forgetting the words or changing them, break the
spirit of the meeting . For convenience we quote them here from Doctrine and