The Book of Mormon is a musical comedy with music, lyrics and book by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone.. First staged in 2011, the play is a satirical examination of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' beliefs and practices that ultimately endorses the positive power of love and service. They believe he was a real person, but he was a prophet, not a god and Mormons think of him in the same way they think of Moses or Noah. Just like other prophets in the bible, the book of Mormons also has books named after various Hebrew prophets. When the title appears in the Book of Mormon, it is generally in a quotation from Isaiah or in a commentary on one of those quotations. I can see your point about the reverence attached to the plates being a reason why he might not have recycled old plates. Year after year, the Nephites battled the Lamanites. This is a representation of Moroni, who would return as an angel to tutor Joseph Smith prior to the restoration of the gospel and who would lead Joseph to the records for which he paid such a great price. It was aimed at a Western Christian audience. A reader of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone knows instantly that the subject of the book is Harry Potter and that it will involve a philosophers stone. Ad Hominem Attack: This argument discounts this vast field of study by calling scholars and investigators mere “apologists.” Tu Quoque: This argument discounts theories about the Book of Mormon civilization as “models,” but that is what every scientific theory, law, or conclusion is: a model. However, the true name of the Church defines whom we really worship. Regarding the plates, I don’t think recycling gold was a concern at all. All of us upon our birth are given a name. The process in which a name is chosen is often agonising, and most parents donât chose any old name at random; no parent that I know chose their name by throwing darts at a book of names. It seems easier then suggesting Moroni carried rooms full of plates around America. The next year, even though he was only sixteen, he was chosen to lead his people in battle. If it was the case that he reused some of the old plates to recycle and write upon. Required fields are marked *, Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress, The Mormon Church distributes free copies of the King James Version of the Bible and the. Your email address will not be published. Sometimes we will recall the significance of the name as part of anecdotal conversation, but for the most part our name simply is for identification, most of us donât think to much about why other people are called by certain names. However, they eventually managed to work out a treaty with the Lamanites and regain some of their lands and did so with God’s help, despite their unworthiness. Joseph Smith said "that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book," (History of the Church, vol. Head of History at an all girls school. I didn’t pick up on those until after I had read the BoM several times. It also indicates who they were aiming the book towards. I recommend Hardy’s book for both believers and non-believers alike, a tough feat to pull off. At age fifteen, Mormon, still a serious young man, wanted to preach to the wicked, but God would not allow it. I’ve sometimes wondered if the sub-title “Another Testament of Jesus Christ” might eventually be made the title, and “The Book of Mormon” made into the sub-title. So I think that Mormon could very easily have taken out some pages of what he thought were less important things to write his account on. There are a couple of verse where he makes a mistake then corrects himself after such as Alma 43:38: where he says that ‘they being shielded from the more vital parts of the body’ which doesn’t make much sense so he corrects it with ‘or, the more vital parts of the body being shielded from the strokes of the Lamanites.’ Alma 24:19, and Alma 32:16 also contains examples of mistakes then amended in the following sentence. (Conference Report, Apr. So why is it called the book of Mormon? It speaks of him, but really it is just the witness of Mormon and Moroni and the teleological narrative they made of their civilisation. What does his narrative tell us about the time in which he was writing and his struggles? A parenthetical remark or clause usually has an obvious starting point, but the end of the remark is not always obvious without punctuation. ( Log Out / Now, some critics also claim that Smith gained most of his theories from a manuscript of a novel written by Solomon Spaulding. This makes the title semantically empty, there is nothing in it that really conveys anything to the general public (who would know nothing about Mormon prior to encountering the book) about what the book is about. In fact, Jesus Christ testified that this would happen (see 2 Nephi 29:3).There are many reasons why the Book of Mormon is important in our day (for example, see 2 Nephi 29:7–11).Here are just a few reasons why … These passages seem to infer that he was writing an material that made it difficult to correct mistakes. As the terms testament and Jesus Christ would only be understood by those in western christian nations, who were familiar with the language of christianity, and would have understood the reference to the old and new testament. In the meantime, he was to pay attention to the history of his people so that when he got the records, he could add to them. 4, p. 461).Allegedly it was translated by the power of God. As debatable as it is regarding if the contents are actually Mormon Doctrine at all, and not just his own interpretation and opinions, he in chosing that title wants the reader to read it as if it is Mormon doctrine. Mormon’s use of, or references to, antecedants, also does not quite jibe with our modern English usage. In the Book of Mormon, Jacob 2:23-27, 3:5-7 it seems to clearly teach that polygamy is an abomination to the Lord. The Book of Mormon numbered them many fewer. It is possible that really it is a book that is all about Mormon and that is why it is called the Book of Mormon.Â That the way in which he appears in the text is at the level of editor and compiler, that it is on the meta-analysis of the text that we can see his hand throughout the text, and it is indirectly about him. Why the Book of Mormon Matters? It tells us nothing about what the account is of, simply that it was written by Mormon and that its source was the Plates of Nephi. They were unwilling to repent and to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. They were too wicked and would not have listened to him. As BRM doubtless knew, it would not have sold nearly as well. The book is named after Mormon not because the book is about Him, but because he, and after his death, his son, condensed the writings of the prophets who contributed to the book and put it into the form Joseph Smith received from Mormon’s son Moroni, who was by then an angel. Despite the fact that the text is broken up into individual books, it is not presented to us as a Biblia or Library of books, but as a whole text that has been edited by Mormon. I am inclined to think he reused old plates, for where else would he get such an abundant amount of gold to use for them? In order to prevent this confusion in 1982 the church added the subtitle âAnother testament of Jesus Christâ the purpose of this was to highlight the role of the Saviour in the book. For we could also make the case for it being called the Book of Joseph Smith, or the Book of the Latter-day saints, on the basis of ownership and possession.Â The fact then that the title gives nothing away about what it is about, and due to the rise of the term Mormon to apply to a members of The Church of Latter-day saints, has caused the relevance of the name Mormon in the title to be lost, and simply cause bewilderment. If he did recycle anything, I’m sure it was some minor thing. It is certainly good to read the book in this way, but, perhaps the fact we have overlooked the title and its significance means we have missed out on the way in which Mormon features in the book as its narrator and compiler. And the uniqueness of the Church was emphasized at that time, with a certain pride in being a peculiar people. I don’t think the church will ever change the title and I hope that they don’t. The ancient prophets are witnesses who testify of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and teach the truths of His gospel. I look at the OT and see Joseph and his brothers reach at-one-ment. political and personal decisions and agendas) are clearly at play. There are an infinite number of combinations and variations of other stories that he could have picked and chose from the 1,000 years of history he had access to, to form the Book of Mormon. Because the events described in it largely took place somewhere on the American continent, it helps to prove Jesus really did live and that He really was resurrected, since He visited them after His death. Our prophets downplay many of the more unique aspects of Mormonism (ie. He was tall for his age and an imposing figure. This raises questions such as why did Mormon pick certain stories for inclusion? Oh, and in the US it’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. (Although this does raise the question of how Moroni wandering alone could have transported literally TONS of plates to upstate New York). I just think the Book of Mormon is so different to the bible that to compare them results in misreading both texts and distracts us from seeing the many ways in which they are very different books. I think it’s named after the hit broadway musical. The Why. He declared himself to be a prophet of God. It makes it clear Jesus was not just the Savior of a tiny group of Christians in the Holy Lands, but of all people everywhere. I suppose Mormon could have written his draft on a cheaper media, recycled some of the “large plates” that had been handed down for a thousand years, then copied his final edition from the temporary media onto the recycled gold plates. I’ve recently found this theme interesting. Esau has done well in the world, Jacob offers him the birthright (berekah) back and Esau says there is no need, there is enough for all. The Know The Title Page of the Book of Mormon calls its text, as prepared by Mormon and Moroni, “an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites.” It also refers to its account of Jaredite history as “an abridgment taken from the Book of Ether.” But can a prophet succeed in the age of the iPhone? Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Russell Nelson speaks more openly and often about his divine revelations than any Mormon president in recent memory. This follows common protocol for books to use titles as a guide for what it contains then, but it highlights the fact that in guiding it influences and imposes upon how we read the text. We can look at countless times in the scriptures where the name has been significant, Abram has his name changed to Abraham, Jacob to Israel to show significant changes in their life, and many other examples could be found in the scriptures to show how God has used names for important reasons. The Book of Mormon is set up as follows: The Prophet Mormon, who is a prophet for the Nephite people has been given the responsibility to keep and record his people’s religious/historical record. Learn how your comment data is processed. It should be remembered that as a writer of history the account he gave us of the Nephites is not the only account he could have given us of the Nephites and Lamenites. The 1830 and current editions give that in all caps, so I’m not sure how to capitalize it in mixed case. Hidden away, the teenage Moroni worked to condense the records to manageable size and then hid them away. The significance always remains and has a functional role, even if it is often over looked. At the time Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, it was believed ancient people had not kept records on metal plates. If that stone is removed, then the arch crumbles, which, in effect, means that Mormonism so-called -- which actually is the gospel of Christ, restored anew in this day -- stands or falls with the truth or the falsity of the Book of Mormon." Change ). Grant Hardy’s book is on my ever growing list of books to read. I love learning, questioning, challenging and exploring the vast reservoir of knowledge that we find all around us. For instance Gulivers Travels was initially called Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. I wonder why Nephiâs blessing by Lehi is left out. Thanks, I’ve changed it. I’ve also wondered about the corrections embedded in the text. After all, a financial report from a company would be called an account as well as a persons story about their trip to the shops, or a fictional narrative such as Guliver’s Travels. There is such a massive diversity in the latter-day saints that I think it would be difficult to work out which of all the possible periods and groups he was trying to convey things to. I have always thought that gold was used to show the value, but it seems likely that it was just an easier medium to engrave, and recycle old plates then brass, or copper. The false translation of the Book of Abraham, therefore, casts serious doubt on the Book of Mormon as well, forever debilitating Joseph’s claim he was a true, inspired prophet of God. But if he was writing on plates it would be easier to correct it after, then erase and rewrite the page. In what ways can we see the influence of Mormon on the narrative? Or Oliver Cowdery’s printer’s manuscript, which had many discrepencies from the original. by Matt Slick. It ties the Church into historical events and gives it a “weightiness” that might otherwise be lacking in a new religion. The “Book of Mormon: An Account…” fits the bill for the early days of the Church. Jesus is only head of church Col 1:18 : Joe Smith is head of Mormon church D&C 28:2-6 The Know. by Terrie Lynn Bittner | Sep 24, 2011 | Frequently Asked Questions | 0 comments. She became a member of the Church at the age of 17 and began sharing her faith online in 1992. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. He send animals and other gifts to appease Esau. It is called the Book of Mormon and is a second witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ. Look at all the errors in the Bible, and minor variations between codices. His story is an interesting one that illustrates a true Christian life. Many titles that appealed in one cultural context may need to be modified to appeal in another (hence, Jaws was called “Les Dents de la Mer” in France – the much more poetic “Teeth of of the Sea.”). Both of these titles would be valid as a name but in changing the title it radically alters the way in which we read the text. Today, records kept on metal plates have been found and dated into ancient times. Given the fact that the large plates contained a 1,000 years of history, I think that it must have been more then just one volume, and most likely contained lots of irrelevant information. Eventually, Mormon was killed. The Lamanites had become evil beyond measure and were focused entirely on murder, even of their own people. The purpose of the title of the book usually informs us into what the subject of the book is about. Like the house of God, or the car of Jake. Maybe it was because this would have been misleading, as it wasnât written by him, or about him, even if he features significantly within the text.Â The intrusion by the Church redefines how the Book of Mormon is perceived, and in turn how we read and understood the text. I think that is a really good question, but that assumes that Mormon was writing for us. When Mormon was ten years old, a prophet named Ammaron hid the records in a hill. Packer makes it clear that it needs to be read in relation to these texts. I am going through the book of mormon again now, so I am going to be looking out for them. I’ve always thought that the title per se has been a stumbling block to people that prevents many from investigating the church. About Terrie Lynn Bittner The late Terrie Lynn Bittner—beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend—was the author of two homeschooling books and numerous articles, including several that appeared in Latter-day Saint magazines. One can still make mistakes when copying. You’ve done an excellent job of pointing out that he could have chosen many things (and he does, for example, love to discuss military tactics and strategy well beyond its theological content). I have always taken them to not be literal but symbolic visions. I think the title of the Book of Mormon actually says less about the contents of the book and more about the goals of the organization. In his Claremont speech he raises an interesting point about how some items were specifically excluded while Nephi engraved. and what sources was Mormon using to construct his narrative? Christ bore testimony that the Book of Mormon is true, D&C 17:6. I have just been reading By The Hand of Mormon, and its really interesting to see how the role of the Book of Mormon has changed as the church has developed and changed over the years. After Mormons compilation he passed the books on to his son Moroni. View all posts by jacobhalford, Minor quibble/fix: “Perhaps, more can be understood when we consider its full title as it should be remembered that the authorial title, that is the one that was given it by Mormon was: The Book of Mormon: An Account written by the Hand of Mormon upon the Plates of Nephi, and not the …”. He waits alone in the field praying and when Esau comes they have at-one-ment. The Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, D&C 20:9 (D&C 20:8–12; 42:12). However, he was only to take one set of records and leave the rest. Although you might not have heard of Moroni, you may have seen the angel of the statue that appears atop most Mormon temples. Perhaps, more can be understood when we consider its full title as it should be remembered that the authorial title, that is the one that was given it by Mormon was: The Book of Mormon: An Account written by the Hand of Mormon upon plates taken from the Plates of Nephi, and not the title that we know it by The Book of Mormon: Another testament of Jesus Christ.