New World Temple Building
2 Nephi 5:6, 15-16; “Wherefore, it came to pass that I, Nephi, did take my family, and also Zoram and his family, and Sam, mine elder brother and his family, and Jacob and Joseph, my younger brethren, and also my sisters, and all those who would go with me. And all those who would go with me were those who believed in the warnings and the revelations of God; wherefore, they did hearken unto my words. 15 And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance. 16 And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of Solomon save it were not built of so many precious things; for they were not to be found upon the land. wherefore, it could not be built like unto Solomon’s temple. But the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine.”
1 Kings 5:13-16; “And king Solomon raised a levy out of all Israel; and the levy was thirty thousand men. 14 And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month by courses: a month they were in Lebanon, and two months at home: and Adoniram was over the levy. 15 And Solomon had threescore and ten thousand that bare burdens, and fourscore thousand hewers in the mountains; 16 Beside the chief of Solomon’s officers which were over the work, three thousand and three hundred, which ruled over the people that wrought in the work.”
1 Kings 6:38; “And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it.”
Let’s roll up our sleeves and get started because this is an interesting story Joseph Smith wants us to buy into.
Lehi and his family came here to America and in that group we can only guess at how many people really came over, but for the sake of the argument let’s say there were as many as 53 people.
Lehi and wife = 2
Lehi’s daughters = 2
Lehi’s 6 sons, their wives & 5 kids per couple = 42
Zoram, the family friend and his wife plus 5 kids = 7
Next we need to look at what happened.
Nephi and his brothers get into an argument and the clan is split. If half the people (26) went with Nephi this would mean as many as two-thirds of those would be women and children. This would be 18 people who would be non-laborers and that leaves us with 8 men.
Now, are all those men trained in wood-working? What about stone carving? Where are the seamstresses who will create the temple clothing and temple veil? What about those who launder the clothing, clear the fields, cook the food, and meet medical needs…
And the final focus point is time. Second Nephi tells us they built the temple in approximately 1-19 years.
Now compare those stats with Solomon’s temple and his workforce.
1 Kings 5:13 – 30,000 laborers
1 Kings 5:15 – 70,000 transporters
1 Kings 5:15 – 80,000 stone hewers
1 Kings 5:16 – 3,300 deputies
Here we see that Solomon had 183,000 people who worked on the temple for 7.5 years.
Also take note of 2 Nephi 5:15 and 2 Chronicles 2:7, 9;
“15 And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.”
“7 Send me now therefore a man cunning to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and that can skill to grave with the cunning men that are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father did provide 9 Even to prepare me timber in abundance: for the house which I am about to build shall be wonderful great.”
Now let’s take another look at 2 Nephi 5:16; “And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of Solomon save it were not built of so many precious things; for they were not to be found upon the land….”
Short of the fabrics, the materials Nephi claims he used on the temple were the same materials Solomon used so why did he say the materials weren’t found upon the land in verse sixteen?
Does Nephi’s story make sense? Solomon used over 180,000 people for seven plus years to construct the temple and Nephi had about eight. Not eight thousand or even eight hundred. Just eight total people. What precious ores were in great abundance in the eastern part of North America? Where are the gold or silver mines?
Even if we added a dozen or so people or say even 1,000 could they have built a temple like Solomon’s?