The Book of Mormon is a sacred text of the Latter Day Saint movement, which, according to Latter Day Saint theology, contains writings of ancient prophets who lived on the American continent from approximately 2200 BC to AD 421. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. 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. I think it’s named after the hit broadway musical. Written by Michael Otterson Reviews of “The Book of Mormon” musical have been all over the entertainment media in the past few weeks. “Mormon” was a prophet that lived a long time ago on the American continent. Our prophets downplay many of the more unique aspects of Mormonism (ie. Why the Book of Mormon Matters? They were too wicked and would not have listened to him. 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. It seems then to make sense to call it after the person who compiled the records, but this is not what we do with our other scriptures, we do not call the bible the Book of Constantine, as it was under his instruction that the canon was produced.  In fact the title of the Book of  Mormon seems to direct us away from the book as a abridgement and compilation of book’s. Head of History at an all girls school. They were unwilling to repent and to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even when we consider the full title of the Book of Mormon (with the subtitle). The current full title of the text is The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. He hoped, with the optimism of  youth, that they were sad for their own contributions to the world’s evil, but he soon realized they were only unhappy God wasn’t protecting them in their wickedness. Question: "Why do Mormons refer to themselves as Latter Day Saints?" He often inserts a qualifying or relative clause, which sometimes causes me to go back and re-read the sentance without the embedded “side note.” Since the original didn’t use punctuation, it would take a degree of discernment or judgement as to how to punctuate many places. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your account. In Joseph Smith’s day, the Church was presented as something “new”, something different from the many sects of his time. He send animals and other gifts to appease Esau. The wars began and the people became very wicked. In order to prevent this confusion in 1982 the church added the subtitle ‘Another testament of Jesus Christ’ the purpose of this was to highlight the role of the Saviour in the book. All of us upon our birth are given a name. The battles didn’t always go well. Although you might not have heard of Moroni, you may have seen the angel of the statue that appears atop most Mormon temples. 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. Eventually, Mormon was killed. I recommend Hardy’s book for both believers and non-believers alike, a tough feat to pull off. It makes the Book of Mormon into a palimpsest and adds a new dimension to the text. The prophet Nephi similarly referred to a portion of his writings as “an abridgment of the record of my father” ( 1 … Our name simply becomes a way of identifying who we are, no one ever says ‘that’s Jake, who is called that because his mum liked the name and it reminded her a person who had helped her during difficult times.’ Or, in the case of Victoria and David Beckham’s child Brooklyn, nobody really says ‘that is Brooklyn named after the place in which he was conceived’. The views expressed by individual users are the responsibility of those users and do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. I recently read an article in which the author said Mormons worshipped Mormon and Jesus both, which he felt proved Mormons aren’t Christians. This website is not owned by or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). For the official Church websites, please visit or I can see its value for propaganda and advertising the book of Mormon to non-LDS people, but I am not sure if I think the Book of Mormon really is fundamentally a testament of Jesus Christ. However, it is also interesting to see it as the prophet Mormon’s story, for the book represents the way in which he understood the narrative of his people, the series of events that he thought were significant enough to explain where he was in a war-torn country on the brink of utter destruction. It is not the Books of Mormon, or Books of the Nephites but simply a singular book. I have always been puzzled by the accounts of rooms full of plates. 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. And the uniqueness of the Church was emphasized at that time, with a certain pride in being a peculiar people. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships, which when printed was reduced to its current title simply to save space on the cover and to clarify what the book was about. 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. ( Log Out /  If the title of the text is important as to how we read the text it leads us to ask the question why is it called The Book of Mormon and why was the subtitle added to it? I have a gut sense that there is an implied punctuation mark after the first “plates.” “Taken from” seems, to me at least, to modify “an account” and not the first “plates”. However, it could equally be called The Book of Joseph Smith: A 19th Century historical text this is because it was dictated/translated/interpreted by Joseph Smith, and it was written in the 19th century and is of a historical nature. In fact the title and name of a book has a great deal of impact upon the way in which we understand and read it. The Book of Mormon—A Witness and a Warning. It’s one thing I’ve always disliked about the BOM. From your recommendation it has just been moved up 20 books on the list. He was tall for his age and an imposing figure. Hidden away, the teenage Moroni worked to condense the records to manageable size and then hid them away. Now, some critics also claim that Smith gained most of his theories from a manuscript of a novel written by Solomon Spaulding. Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon via Book of Mormon Central In the 1830s, Joseph Smith struggled with what should be the name of the church he restored. 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. It is impossible to understand what the title even refers to if one has not read the book already. 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. They were not interested in repenting, only in getting protection they didn’t deserve any more than their enemies did. Change ). Ask God if these things are not true, Moro. 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. His story is an interesting one that illustrates a true Christian life. 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. President Hinckley declared, “Here is something that a man could hold in his hands, could ‘heft,’ as it were. In what ways can we see the influence of Mormon on the narrative? The Know. I don’t think the church will ever change the title and I hope that they don’t. If the role of Christ is how it should be read  then why didn’t Mormon name it the Book of Jesus Christ, or an account of Christ? I think that from a 21st Century believer’s perspective — whether that belief is in historicity or in metaphor or some combination of the two — the question should be “why were these understandings the ones Mormon wished to convey to us”. The majority of the Nephites, once God’s people, were killed in this battle. It also refers to its account of Jaredite history as “an abridgment taken from the Book of Ether.”. Each prophet had been required to write a history of his people and their dealings with God. The Book of Mormon numbered them many fewer. 10:4. It is more often read as being the Book of The Mormons and not the Book of Mormon by those outside of the church. Rather, then construct his own plates. What’s in a name, or, why is the Book of Mormon called the Book of Mormon? Oh, and in the US it’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. She became a member of the Church at the age of 17 and began sharing her faith online in 1992. 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. After hundreds of years, the record was given to Mormon, who was both a prophet and military leader. The Lamanites had become evil beyond measure and were focused entirely on murder, even of their own people. Without a comma after the first plates, it seems to imply that the plates upon which Mormon wrote were recycled from Nephi’s actual plates, “erased” somehow (gold is soft enough you could do that, or melted down and reformed), and Mormon’s words written upon the same pieces of metal. He titled it the Book of Mormon. Collette Brennan: Every Member a Missionary, Delisa Hargrove: Applying Gospel Principles, Denise Brandell Mastrocola- To Your Health, Janette Beverley: Reaching Toward the Light, Jessica Clark: Marriage—From Here to Eternity, Kelly P. Merrill: Prophets and Their Teachings, Lady Airyn: Addiction, Betrayal, & Healing, Roberta Hess Park–Coping With the Hard Life. The ancient prophets are witnesses who testify of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and teach the truths of His gospel. (Although this does raise the question of how Moroni wandering alone could have transported literally TONS of plates to upstate New York). I look at the OT and see Joseph and his brothers reach at-one-ment. The “Book of Mormon: An Account…” fits the bill for the early days of the Church. by Terrie Lynn Bittner | Sep 24, 2011 | Frequently Asked Questions | 0 comments. I’ve recently found this theme interesting. It is possible then to infer from the title that it could be a financial report in the Book of Mormon on the basis of it being an account. Mormon condensed all the writings into one volume, engraved on thin sheets of metal. After Mormons compilation he passed the books on to his son Moroni. In his Claremont speech he raises an interesting point about how some items were specifically excluded while Nephi engraved. On  a basic level it is called this because Mormon was the compiler of the records, and the subtitle was added later to clarify and inform a certain approach (the significance of this will be seen later). Everything has a moral lesson to it, even when the facts presented are morally ambiguous – and if the facts don’t fit, Mormon has no qualms about speechifying his way into a moral point. The highly acclaimed musical “The Book of Mormon” opened on Broadway in 2011 and is still playing to sold-out crowds there. Christ bore testimony that the Book of Mormon is true, D&C 17:6. 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. Like the house of God, or the car of Jake. Jesus is only head of church Col 1:18 : Joe Smith is head of Mormon church D&C 28:2-6 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. IE., the account was taken from the plates of Nephi. One can still make mistakes when copying. The 1830 and current editions give that in all caps, so I’m not sure how to capitalize it in mixed case. The fact that they had no punctuation when Mormon wrote it means its difficult to know how he intended it. In time, they were forced to flee, and as Mormon reached the age of twenty-four, the age he was commanded to retrieve some of the records, he found himself near their hiding place. For most people, however, the significance that our name had when it was chosen is lost. Answer: When the hunger for religious experience peaked in the 1800s, the lack of unity among the differing branches of Christian faith became a stumbling block for some. Smith, they will say, translated the Book of Mormon from golden plates he dug up in a hill in New York in the early 1800s. When we read the actual book, it tells us that Mormon was a Hebrew prophet who compiled the books of Mormon. Joseph Smith called the Book of Mormon “the keystone of our religion.” Its main doctrine is Jesus Christ teachings, the foundation of faith for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Book of Mormon The Book Of Mormon claims that Moroni, a “prophet”, originally wrote the book and that it was translated by Joseph Smith. Ammaron went to Mormon and said, “I perceive that thou art a sober child, and art quick to observe.” He instructed Mormon to retrieve the records from their hiding place when he was twenty-four years old. It was aimed at a Western Christian audience. He refused to lead them any longer. 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.”. Four times in the book of Revelation, the Apostle John quotes Jesus as saying “I am Alpha and Omega.” Each time, the title is followed by an explanatory phrase, such as “the beginning and the end” or “the first and the last” (Revelation 1:8, 11, Revelation 21:6, Revelation 22:13).Alpha (Α or α) is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and Omega (Ω or ω) is the last letter. Mormon’s use of, or references to, antecedants, also does not quite jibe with our modern English usage. Maybe when we look at the book in this way it will be seen that the Book of Mormon really is a book all about Mormon the prophet and in looking at it from this perspective we will gain a new set of lessons from the rich structure of the Book of Mormon. 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. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. 4, p. 461).Allegedly it was translated by the power of God. 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. I think that is a really good question, but that assumes that Mormon was writing for us. For instance Gulivers Travels was initially called Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. It is providing a structure around which we can build our expectations and oriantate the information we gain as we read through the text. Book of Mormon : Church began in 33 AD Mt 16:18 Acts 2 : church began in 147BC, Mosiah 18:17 "disciples were first called Christians in Antioch" 40AD, Acts 11:26 : Alma 46:13-16 supposedly written in 73BC refers to Nephites as Christians. With the subtitle, it takes its place where it should be– beside the Old Testament and the New Testament.”. Jared was the patriarch of the family, and tradition had been to concentrate on him and his name, not Mahonri’s. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. 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. Especially if we consider he was writing on both sides of the plates, which as you point out would make correcting on the second side problematic. 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. Reading it in terms of the latter would possibly cause us to miss the theme of testifying of Jesus Christ and instead focus on the 19th century elements that exist in the text. The Why. I actually have issues with the introduction of the subtitle. The Book of Mormon resembles the Bible in its length and complexity and in its division into books named for individual prophets. 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." 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. Some people may ask you why we need the Book of Mormon when we already have the Bible. To demonstrate this lets consider the title of one of our books of scripture The Book of Mormon. So why is it called the book of Mormon? Why is it called the Book of Mormon? If we take this notion of using a title as a guide to what its about, it doesn’t really fit with the Book of Mormon, as the prophet Mormon isn’t the subject of the Book, in fact there is no clear subject of the Book Of Mormon. They wanted God to make them happy while they continued to sin. 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. When war began again and the people began bragging they were winning entirely due to their own brilliance, Mormon decided he’d had enough. It is interesting that it is not just another testament, but a testament *of* Jesus Christ, neither the old or new has this extra stipulation, in order to clarify what it is. They multiplied and eventually split into two groups. The church was first called The Church of Christ, which was a bit confusing because many Christian churches used that name. Finally, when Mormon, still an observer and their prophet, even though they were ignoring him, saw the city was about to be overtaken, he returned to the hill and retrieved all the records to protect them. The title is still rather enigmatic and tells us little about what to expect from the book. It was brought to my attention as I followed Josh Madson’s work on a non-violent reading of the Book of Mormon. Likewise Mormon Doctrine, with its title Bruce R. Mcconkie makes it clear that he wants his readers to understand that subject inside is what the title claims it is: the doctrine of Mormons. 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. 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. He gave a few plates to his son, Moroni, but the rest were hidden. To the point of your post, titles should engage readership, not merely be descriptive. 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. It also indicates who they were aiming the book towards. It is likely that they do reflect more about the mechanics of writing on plates. With a ten-year break in the fighting, Mormon helped them prepare for the next battles, and tried to help them understand they survived only because God stepped in. It seems to give the impresion we believe in Mormon or follow Mormon or worship Mormon. 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. I am going through the book of mormon again now, so I am going to be looking out for them. But she really wants you to know that the name “Mormon” actually comes from ancient scriptures called the Book of Mormon. Packer makes it clear that it needs to be read in relation to these texts. The people had been promised they would always be protected when they obeyed God, but Mormon’s people, the Nephites, did not, so their enemies, the Lamanites were able to experience some success. As Boyd  K. Packer said: “The Book of Mormon has been misunderstood. in 1982 the church added the subtitle ‘Another testament of Jesus Christ’. This made me think of another point. I think there is a lot in a title. and what sources was Mormon using to construct his narrative? But can a prophet succeed in the age of the iPhone? Because Mormon was one of the last prophets in "The Book of Mormon," (living about 400 AD) and because he was the man who transcribed most of it (in the original language), it is generally called by his name. Grant Hardy’s book is on my ever growing list of books to read. As BRM doubtless knew, it would not have sold nearly as well. From this long list and many other such instructions, it is not hard to see why one could call the Book of Mormon a handbook of instruction for church administration. 1961, p.39) 2) Our use of the Book of Mormon. Mormon was overjoyed by this, being not just their military leader, but also a spiritual leader. 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. Thousands of Mormons left the church as the result of this discovery, while thousands more are completely unaware of this important piece of evidence. 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. They didn’t see things that way, however. These passages seem to infer that he was writing an material that made it difficult to correct mistakes. Then I read in the Doctrine and Covenants Sec. He fled and traveled for many years. When I saw The Book of Mormon, all I knew was that everybody loved it — from Oprah Winfrey to Jon Stewart.One of the most successful musicals of … Hawkgrrl can you think of any times which fit when Mormon forces a moral point on a morally grey area? In the Book of Mormon Nephi and Lehi are told they are given their names as a reminder of their ancestors so their name would remind them of their righteous acts. At age fifteen, Mormon, still a serious young man, wanted to preach to the wicked, but God would not allow it. At the time Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, it was believed ancient people had not kept records on metal plates. Why does the Book of Mormon not name the Brother of Jared (later named by Joseph Smith as Mahonri Moriancumer)? Mormon, now growing old, understood it would be the final battle and the end of a once-great civilization. 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. These records were engraved on brass plates. Even more bewildering is if we take the title The Book of Mormon, to denote possession, that it is the book that Mormon owns. I have always taken them to not be literal but symbolic visions. The fact that he chose certain stories, books, and narratives to tell, reflect upon what was important to him, and what he thought would be important to his future readers.If then we look at the Book of Mormon and consider the historiography of its composition from the perspective of Mormon the prophet and the series of choices he made in the composition we will read it in the way in which the author intended it to be read. In the case of books the name of a book is not simply for identification. 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 … Out of anger, they proceeded to battle the Nephites, and destroyed the people in a city called Ammonihah. 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. The post-humous addition of the extra subtitle ‘Another testament of Jesus Christ’ has caused us to focus on reading the book in terms of one looking for testifying of Jesus as the Christ, and in seeing it in relation to the old and new testament, this is surely an important way in which we can read the text. I love learning, questioning, challenging and exploring the vast reservoir of knowledge that we find all around us. Now a war was about to start and they needed to keep the records safe. Modern prophets and apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ have called the Book of Mormon “a witness and a warning” for our day. The purpose of the title of the book usually informs us into what the subject of the book is about. If he did recycle anything, I’m sure it was some minor thing. Because of its true doctrine and its revelations about sacred ordinances and covenants, the Book of Mormon naturally facilitates personal revelation. The fact then that the title has no clear subject in its title reflects the lack of a clear subject within the text. I wonder if Laman, Lemuel, Nephi could have reached that point and realized there is no need for rivalry or in God’s kingdom there is enough for all. To Mormon, everything is attributable to God’s higher plan, even when other factors (e.g. At this point, Mormon agreed to once again be their military leader. I wonder if Mormon Doctrine shouldn’t have been titled The Book of Bruce R. McConkie. It ties the Church into historical events and gives it a “weightiness” that might otherwise be lacking in a new religion. 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.”). If Mormon didn’t reuse plates, then he must have found a source of a lot of gold in order to make new plates, unless there were existing unused plates that he used. Did Lehi tell him to salvage his relationship with Laman and Lemuel. There are many official accounts of a room full of many, many plates that Mormon used to abridge the record. Mormon worked to get all the Nephites gathered into one place so it would be easier to protect them. With the subtitle our reading experience is structured around the concept of what we are reading being related to the Bible, and in a framework that testifies of Jesus Christ. by Matt Slick. For example, the prophet Jacob uses the title 14 times in one chapter— 2 Nephi 9 —which is part of a sermon based on Isaiah 50 and 51 . 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 …”. It speaks of him, but really it is just the witness of Mormon and Moroni and the teleological narrative they made of their civilisation. I have always been troubled by the amount of war that goes on in the Book of Mormon, so Josh Madson’s reading of it seems to make a lot of sense, that we have missed the point about why the wars are included inside them. However, he was only to take one set of records and leave the rest. I’ve begun reading Hardy’s book Understanding the Book of Mormon, and he’s done an excellent job of pointing out just how much this book is from Mormon’s perspective. 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. President Hinckley shying away from the doctrine that God was once like us, and we can be like Him, or polygamy, or whatever). Later in The Book of Mormon, the Lamanites killed 1,005 of their own people who had converted to Christianity. In fact, such preaching might have put him in danger and prevented him from carrying out God’s plan for Him.
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