Posts Tagged ‘Mosiah’

Mosiah 3:17 “And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.” – BC 124 (more…)

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Luke 21:8; “And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.”

Today we have two questions concerning a passage in the Book of Mormon text.

Mosiah 13:34; “Have they not said that God himself should come down among the children of men, and take upon him the form of man, and go forth in mighty power upon the face of the earth?”


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They Fell to the Earth in the Book of Mormon

This is one in a series of several articles looking at various topics in the Book of Mormon. This article is focusing on the phrase “they fell to the earth”.  As I was gathering info on another topic I kept coming across this unusual phrase with different variations. Intrigued by its appearance, I decided to list it as a topic in our series so here we are!


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Did God Create or Organize the Earth?

Mosiah 5:15; Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen.


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Studying the Book of Mormon Part 5

The Rise and Death of King Mosiah

Instead of listing a verse from the text we have a question for the Mormon people to ponder.

Why would the Israelites choose to write in their enemies’ tongue and not use Hebrew?

One of the main problems in the Book of Mormon is how the repeated phrase of the “language of my fathers” is used and the reminder for the next generation that if it weren’t for the writings on the plates they wouldn’t have known God.  The Encyclopedia of Mormonism (pg. 1006) says it was the tradition of the Nephites to keep diligent records, but what do the records say?  These mysterious records are mentioned quite frequently, yet there are no absolutes regarding their context or location.

Being a history buff prompts me with a desire to dig into what was going on socially, economically, militarily and spiritually with the people group I am studying.  The stories in the Book of Mormon leave my heart sad with the continual need of wanting something more.  Something’s always missing. 

For instance I can go to libraries, encyclopedias, newspapers, living witnesses or military museums to further my studies about WW2.  Or I can go to Josephus’, Suetonius’ or Pliny’s writings to retrieve information about the socio-economic conditions in ancient Israel. 

Can we do this with the Book of Mormon?  No.  The Mormon Church is the only resource outside of the Book of Mormon itself to which we can turn for information.  That’s not exactly an independent resource now, is it?

Surprisingly, I’ve had Mormons tell me the Nephites weren’t a tribe of Israel, but followed the laws of their fathers in the “land of Jerusalem”.  I find this interesting because I grew up believing the Nephites were originally from one of the “lost ten tribes” of Israel or that they’re from the tribe of Ephraim – sigh – that’s a story for another time…if these guys weren’t Jewish what were they?  What laws were they following and to which god were they sacrificing to? 

The language of the fathers in the Nephite community supposedly spoke “Reformed Egyptian”.  To date no reputable Egyptologist has acknowledged such a language.

This is the scenario we encounter as we begin reading the story of Mosiah.  King Benjamin was delivering words of warning to his sons Mosiah, Helaman and Helorum.  King Benjamin writes that because he had been taught in the language of the Egyptians, he could read and understand what the plates said.  Oddly enough, the Book of Mormon never expounds on what the plates said.  

And again, with a heavy emphasis for his sons to obey what was written on the plates, he called for everyone to gather around for the next day he was going to crown Mosiah king over the land.  Now it would be Mosiah’s turn to tell everyone he had read the plates and remind people to obey the teachings on the plates.

I believe Mosiah 2:21, 24-25 gives us valuable insight as to how the Mormon god looks upon his people.  They in turn have no clue who the real God is and how much He loves them.  

I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.  24 And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?  25 And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you.” 

Sadly, the Mormon teachings don’t promote this theology.  Brigham Young taught that he believed the story in the Bible about the beginning of man was a baby story created for childish minds.  (Journal of Discourses 2:6-7) 

King Benjamin also told the people in 2:39 that if they die before they repent then they would live in a “never-ending torment”.  What about baptisms for the dead?  Further on in chapter three, the king tells his subjects about an angel that appeared to him.  This angel told him how God would come to earth in a tabernacle of clay and be called Jesus Christ and his mother would be called Mary.  The problem with this scenario?  It’s 124 BC.

This isn’t the first, nor is it the last story in the Book of Mormon that tells of an event which rivals the same kind of scenario in the Bible.  The Bible “merely” tells of a prophecy Isaiah gave to the people in Isaiah 7:14 which is a glorious foretelling of what God would do seven hundred years in the future.  King Benjamin has an angelic being appear to him and gives him exact names of people involved, in addition to the Biblical information.  Shockingly, the Mormon people buy into this with no questions asked (Mosiah 3:8).

We are always praying the Mormon people will stop and think about these things in addition to holding Joseph Smith to his word.  Smith emphatically claimed there was no Greek or Latin upon the plates from which he translated the Book of Mormon (Times and Seasons, vol. 4 (November 1842-November 1843): pg. 194).  We found at least twenty Greek and Latin words just in Mosiah chapter three alone.  I wrote an article on this subject and found there are more than 7,000 Greek and/or Latin words in the Book of Mormon.  http://www.lifeafter.org/greeklatin.asp 

Mosiah 3:17-19 is one of the most confusing set of verses in the Book of Mormon.  I’m convinced this is one of the ways Satan keeps a blindfold over the spiritual life of the Mormon people.  In verse seventeen Benjamin says there will be no other name given whereby salvation can come other than “Christ”.  Never mind that Christ isn’t a name but a title, the following verses go on to say the natural man is an enemy to God and will continue to be an enemy unless you respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Let’s unpack this section.  The LDS Church emphatically teaches all other churches but their own are the whores of Babylon (1 Nephi 14:10) – there is no salvation outside of Mormonism.  (Ensign, July 1973, pg. 108)  If that’s true, their claim above is a lie.  (We’ll also forego the argument that he’s plagiarizing Luke in Acts 4:12 some two hundred years before it was written.)

The next problem is the claim that the natural man is an enemy to God.  How can they be an enemy to God if they don’t believe sin is automatically transmitted to mankind when they’re born?  (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1052 & 2nd Article of Faith)  One more thing – how can you respond to promptings of the Holy Spirit if He hasn’t been given to mankind yet?  See John chapters 14-17. 

In chapter five King Benjamin tells the people because of their faith they are now spiritually begotten sons and daughters of Christ.  (vs. 5-7)  Ask your Mormon friend/loved one if we’re begotten of God or begotten of Christ.  Be sure you have a good verse to back up the truth when you share it with them.

In chapter nine we are reminded how the Lamanites are lazy, filthy, blood thirsty people always wanting a fight and looking for things to steal from the Nephites.  In chapter ten we’re told of another continual peace in the land, but then King Laman died and all bets were apparently off. 

In chapter twelve Abinadi is captured and taken before the king where he summarily begins quoting Isaiah 53 (vs. 21) and the Nephites confess to Abinadi they know the Law of Moses, but don’t obey it.   

Chapter eleven reveals to us that King Zeniff “conferred the kingdom upon Noah, one of his sons…who did not walk in the ways of his father”.  King Noah caused a myriad of problems for the Nephites and people of Zarahemla throughout the years.

When we get to Mosiah chapters thirteen, fifteen and sixteen we see again how the Book of Mormon claims that Christ is the Eternal Father. My question for these claims is why does the text keeps saying this?  If the LDS Church does not believe in the Trinity why does it say this?  If they believe they are three separate gods, then they must admit they are polytheists. 

In chapter seventeen the story of Alma fleeing for his very life comes into play and we’re told the righteous prophet Abinadi died in the fire King Noah’s priests had prepared for him.  King Noah was the father of Limhi and son of Zeniff who died off sometime earlier – the text is not clear when or how Zeniff died. 

Chapter eighteen opens up with Alma still on the run and secretly teaching the Nephites about the coming of Christ as he institutes the very first church.  Interestingly enough, he was baptizing people and we’ve gone backwards in time by about twenty years.  It’s now 147 BC.  In chapter nineteen we find Gideon climbing a tower to kill King Noah, but backs out when the king falsely claims he’s worried for his people.  Gideon’s men finally caught up to King Noah and burned him alive. (19:20) 

Two chapters later we see that the Lamanites were cruel task masters to the Nephites and would “smite them on their cheeks” to keep them in line (21:3).  With no other viable info on that subject I have to wonder why it’s there at all.  Verse four tells us these things were done “so the word of the Lord might be fulfilled”.  What did God say and why did he say it? 

By the end of chapter twenty one the people of Limhi were at war with the Lamanites.  In 21:33 we’re told Limhi and “many of his people were desirous to be baptized”, but no one had authority to do such a thing and Ammon refused because he considered himself to be unworthy. 

Because of the fervent prayers of others, Ammon had a conversion experience much like the Apostle Paul did in Acts chapter nine – the problem here is that it’s about 165 years before Paul and still 120+ years before Jesus was even born.  I find it interesting this Ammon fellow would have the same humble attributes our beloved Paul had in addition to having an eerily similar experience…could that really have happened in 122 BC?

In chapter twenty two the people of Limhi escaped into the wilderness “and joined Mosiah’s people and became his subjects”.  (22:13) 

In chapter twenty three Alma refuses to be the king and instead taught the people they should love their neighbors as they love themselves.  Isn’t this Shema, the two greatest commandments that Jesus spoke of in Mark 12:29 when He quoted from Deuteronomy 6:4?  (Also notice the BoM doesn’t offer any scripture from Torah to refer the readers to.)  This took place in 145 BC and within a few more verses into chapter twenty four, the righteous people were being threatened with death if they were found praying. 

By chapter twenty five the Mulekites of Zarahemla became Nephites.  The two clans joined forces because there weren’t very many Nephites and the people of Zarahemla who originally came from Mulek outnumbered them.  These two groups combined didn’t make up half of the number of Lamanites.  When King Mosiah explained to the people of Zarahemla the great affliction the Nephites had gone through at the hand of the Lamanites their hearts were troubled.  (25:9) It was at this time King Mosiah instructed Alma to institute another church.  By now it was 120 BC.

Not a lot of time passed by before many of the church members fell into apostasy and King Mosiah handed the judgment of those who were sinning into the hands of Alma.  (26:12) 

After a little confusion of whose side the sons of Mosiah and Alma the younger should be on, they finally came to their senses and supposedly dedicated their life to God.  They preached that mankind must be born again to be saved and by the end of the chapter was publishing good tidings of the Redeemer to all the people.  It was 92 BC

Chapter twenty seven begins by telling us none of the sons of Mosiah want to take over the kingdom, instead they have chosen to go and preach salvation by grace to their “brothers”, the Lamanites.  

In light of this new situation, King Mosiah took the plates of brass and the plates of gold and translated by the “power of the two stones which were fastened into the two rims of a bow”, the records of their fathers.  (28:13) After he translated the plates and shared his information with the people he announced in chapter twenty nine because no one was available to take over the kingdom he would be their king till he died.  After that time a panel of judges would watch over the people, the first of which was Alma the younger.  When Mosiah was 63 years old he died, as did “Alma the elder, the founder of their church”. 

I’m not sure what spiritual comfort any of these stories could bring to the Mormon people.  I realize they think highly of Ammon and Abinadi, but when I read their hero stories I can’t help but wonder why it doesn’t make them think of the true life heroes in the New Testament.

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Studying the Book of Mormon Part 4

The Letters of Jarom, Omni and Words of Mormon

Jarom 1:1; “Now behold, I, Jarom, write a few words according to the commandment of my father, Enos, that our genealogy may be kept.

Omni 1:1; “Behold, it came to pass that I, Omni, being commanded by my father, Jarom, that I should write somewhat upon these plates, to preserve our genealogy—

This time we’ve used two verses as our synopsis for this study.  The first thing that popped out to me for each book was the commandments given by fallible men to write scripture.  This means they weren’t written as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost; they are not God-breathed – theopneustos.   A stark contrast to this is what the Apostle Peter describes to us in his second epistle to the Jewish believers.

2 Peter 1:20-21; “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

We find that Jarom is the son of Enos and yet again nothing is shared with the reader about their relationship other than his father commanded him to write something.  Jarom tells us in the second verse there’s really nothing to share because everything’s already been said.  What he does share is compacted into one chapter.  On the surface it may seem there’s not a lot going on in the book of Jarom, but friends that’s not the case!

In 1:4, Jarom lets us know there “are many among us who have many revelations” and those who accepted them have communion with the Holy Spirit.  This obviously causes concern because at the time of his writing it’s 399 BC.  Unfortunately, there is nothing of substance giving us detailed descriptions of what the people are doing and why.

Maybe there’s nothing to share because nothing is there…

Just four verses later we’re again faced with the situation of inventions being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  In this particular verse Jarom claims his people were very skilled in the use of “machinery, iron, copper, and brass and steel”.  He also claims the Nephites were using “tools of every kind to till the ground and weapons of war…”  Ironically, he doesn’t tell us what they’ve made or why they needed tools to begin with.

Here is an excerpt from an article I wrote on the artifacts from the Book of Mormon.  I researched a total of eighteen questionable items and documented my findings. 

According to the Wikipedia website on the history of ancient steel it says;

“Some of the first steel comes from East Africa, dating back to 1400 BC.[10] In the 4th century BC steel weapons like the Falcata were produced in the Iberian Peninsula, while Noric steel was used by the Roman military.”  (22)

The article goes on to say this about modern steel making in America;

“The modern era in steelmaking began with the introduction of Henry Bessemer’s Bessemer process in 1858[20]. This enabled steel to be produced in large quantities cheaply, so that mild steel is now used for most purposes for which wrought iron was formerly used.

There doesn’t seem to be getting around this one!  How would the Nephites have the knowhow to make this type of steel here in America circa BC 420?  Another great website on the history of steel making can be found at the link below.


Click here for the entire article http://www.lifeafter.org/artifacts.asp

Jarom claimed in verse ten the “prophets of the Lord did threaten the people of Nephi, according to the word of God”, and if they didn’t behave, they’d be wiped off the earth.

I don’t remember any place in the Old Testament where God “threatens” his people.  Does He warn and exhort?  Absolutely!  Threaten?  No, He does not.  As a matter of fact, the word “threaten” appears only two times in the KJV and they’re both found in the New Testament.  

I find the context of how this was used to be very interesting as well.  Notice in the first example that it’s those with hatred towards Jesus’ disciples who threaten and in the second example, it explicitly says Jesus didn’t threaten those who reviled Him.

Acts 4:21; “So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.

1 Peter 2:23; “Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.

In each case we find both Jesus and the followers paying attention to nothing but God.  Our focus always is to be upon Him who loves us.  The Lord doesn’t threaten anyone.  He gives us commandments to obey and when we don’t then there are consequences. 

To threaten is “to be a menace or a source of danger”.  (www.dictionary.com)  

Is that how you see God?

One of the most important questions I have about the Book of Mormon is why God would allow a self proclaimed “wicked man” to author his holy writ.  Does it make sense a holy, righteous God would convey His thoughts through an evil person in this manner?  

Do the words of Omni’s son Amaron sound like they’re from God? 

Omni 1:5; “Behold, it came to pass that three hundred and twenty years had passed away, and the more wicked part of the Nephites were destroyed.

Here we see the Nephites grammar problem isn’t an isolated incident.  There are literally dozens of other examples of verses just like this that sound eerily similar.

After four verses Omni tells us he passed the plates on to his son Amaron and just four verses after that Amaron passes them on to his brother Chemish.  After Chemish wrote two verses the plates were then passed to his son Abinadom. 

Abinadom tells us he took the lives of many Lamanites before he passed the plates on to his son Amaleki. So in the course of thirteen verses a total of five people had written about the horrible Lamanites and many people had been killed.  No specifics on how the Nephites trusted in the Lord except they knew they were moved “by the arm of the Lord”.

Exactly, what is the “arm of the Lord”?

At some point the Nephites had been moved down to the wilderness into the land of Zarahemla and it was there they discovered another people group called “the people of Zarahemla”.  The text tells us nothing in particular about these people except that they “rejoiced exceedingly because the Lord had sent the people of Mosiah with the plates of brass which contained the record of the Jews”.

Finally, in Omni 1:15 the author tells us these people had escaped Jerusalem during the time of King Zedekiah and had also sailed across the “great waters” to settle in the Promised Land, yet didn’t believe in God.  These Jews apparently hadn’t taken any writings with them. 

They seemed to have the same problem the Nephites and Lamanites had incurred while in the Americas.  They too had a huge population growth with many wars, serious “contentions” and a language corruption.  While not stating what language these people of Zarahemla were using, the text tells us that Mosiah taught them his language. 

After learning the language of Mosiah, the people of Zarahemla told them of their genealogy, but it’s not written down anywhere.

This one thing alone should send loud siren like warnings to the Mormon people.  For the Jews one of the most important things in life was to know which tribe you came from.  Belonging to a certain tribe indicated what you’d be doing in life.  Ironically, living on this side of the cross means genealogy has no part in your life.  When we’re in Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek.  With the way they keep ancestral records today, you’d think the Book of Mormon would say something about this.  Once again, they have things backwards.

Apparently “the people of Zarahemla” also discovered a people group who sailed over the oceans at the time of the tower of Babylon.  The Zarahemla people gave a stone to Mosiah that had engravings on it and he interpreted it for them (1:20).  The story on this engraved rock was about someone named “Corinatumr and the slain of his people”. (Omni 1:21)

Again, we see another grammatical problem.  Coriantumr lived with the people of Zarahemla for “the space of nine moons” after his first parents came from Babylon and the Lord confounded their language as a punishment for their behavior.  Don’t expect to hear anything else about these people because as abruptly as he appeared in this letter, his story is done.  There’s nothing else written about Coriantumr. 

The rest of the book of Omni is much like the book of Jarom.  There is a pleading to the Nephites they should come to Christ in 279 BC without explaining who He is and there’s no description of where these people lived or their daily routines. 

The next book is as small as the previous two, but with an added twist.  This book was written circa 385 AD.  The Words of Mormon is another “abridgement” written for the benefit of the readers to better understand how the original books flowed from one to the other.  Got that?  Here’s how the Mormon Church’s website describes the Words of Mormon;


A Book out of Time

The short book called the Words of Mormon was written by the prophet and record keeper Mormon about A.D. 385, more than 500 years after the last writer wrote in the book of Omni. It is Mormon’s explanation for his including the small plates of Nephi with his abridgment of the large plates of Nephi…

Not sure why this was needed or what purpose it served the people back in 385 AD, but it is what it is for the Mormons today.

The prophet Mormon seemed to have the same problem with proper grammar his predecessors were plagued with.  Here’s what he had to say in the beginning of 1:3; 

“And now, I speak somewhat concerning that which I have written…” 

Verse twelve is just as bad;

And now, concerning this king Benjamin—he had somewhat of contentions among his own people.

Here’s my grammatical take on that; Huh?

Why would this guy be writing these things if he knew his people were going to be annihilated?  Does this sound like an inspired word from the Lord?  What purpose does this serve for the Mormon people today in Brigham City or Kearns or Richfield, Utah?

In verse five he made the comment that he couldn’t write the hundredth part of the things of his people and I want to know why.  Why can’t he write even one thing about the Nephites to give us any insight about these people?  Something of substance, anything telling us specifically where they lived or in what manner they worshipped. 

What kind of clothing did they wear? 

What color was their hair? 

Did they sleep on mats or maybe blankets? 

Did they share in a daily communal meal as the Israelites did at the time of Jesus?

How were the false Christs punished for their crimes in 130 BC as it states in verse sixteen?  Or did he mean 385 AD when he wrote this abridgement?

Is there a deeper meaning to the word righteousness as there is in the Greek?  If not, then why?

We will continue to read through the Book of Mormon as Mr. Hinckley suggested, but honestly I just can’t see where any of this would give hope to the Mormon people.  Please, pray with us won’t you that members of the LDS Church will ask God to open their eyes?

With Love in Christ;  Michelle Grim

1 Cor. 1:18  …

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