Zelph the White Lamanite
Discourses of Joseph Smith pg 266-267; “Zelph, the Lamanite On the top of the mound were stones which presented the appearance of three altars having been erected one above the other, according to the ancient order; and the remains of bones were strewn over the surface of the ground. The brethren procured a shovel and a hoe, and removing the earth to the depth of about one foot, discovered the skeleton of a man, almost entire, and between his ribs the stone point of a Lamanitish arrow, which evidently produced his death. Elder Burr Riggs retained the arrow. The contemplation of the scenery around us produced peculiar sensations in our bosoms; and subsequently the visions of the past being opened to my understanding by the Spirit of the Almighty, I discovered that the person whose skeleton we had seen was a white Lamanite, a large, thick-set man, and a man of God. His name was Zelph. He was a warrior and chieftain under the great prophet Onandagus, who was known from the eastern sea to the Rocky mountains. The curse was taken from Zelph, or, at least, in part—one of his thigh bones was broken by a stone flung from a sling, while in battle, years before his death. He was killed in battle by the arrow found among his ribs, during a great struggle of the Lamanites and Nephites. (HC 2:79-80.)”
Philippians 4:8; “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
If this so-called revelation from the Lord was legit why isn’t this in their scripture or in a more prominent place of historical value? Here it is languishing in the discourses of Joseph Smith. While the legend of Zelph is fairly well known amongst the Mormons we’re always left wondering how the story keeps recycling itself in lore and adoration for Smith.
I have a few questions –
What is the “ancient order”? Stones being erected, scattered bones…??? Why were these grown men digging around with shovels and hoes out in the middle of nowhere? Shouldn’t they be running their businesses or working their farms? Is this how a group of godly men behaved in the early nineteenth century?
When I read this account of Zelph the white Lamanite Warrior I’m reminded of what Smith’s mother said about her son;
“In the course of our evening conversations, Joseph gave us some of the most amusing recitals which could be imagined. He would describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, their manner of traveling, the animals which they rode, the cities that they built, and the structure of their buildings with every particular, their mode of warfare, and their religious worship as specifically as though he had spent his life with them”
Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and his progenitors for many generations, pg 85 by his mother Lucy Mack Smith. Also see Dan Vogel – Early Mormon Documents, Vol 1, pg 296.
What’s so interesting about his mother’s statement is when she made it. In the next paragraph of her diary she mentions the visit of an angel – it was 1823. Remember, the plates weren’t translated until 1829…
The elaborately detailed stories of people and angels never known before, the extraordinary detailed accounts of events for which no archaeological evidence has ever been retrieved, the contradictory and evolving doctrines of a god that smacks of the foreign gods in Egypt, the attempt of translating the Kinderhook Plates planted by farmers to catch Joseph in his lies, the Greek Psalter Smith tried to pass off as Egyptian hieroglyphics…could it be this too is a hoax?