A few general introductory notes about the Book of Ether.
First, unlike the other two Book of Mormon migratory peoples, the Jaredites (as we call them) are not under the Law of Moses. Abraham>Isaac>Jacob (Israel)>>>>Moses. They’re not Jewish nor even Israelite (also a late term) nor Canaanite, but Mesopotamian, probably. So they are operating under a different set of religious ideas, different language— Sumerian, Akkadian, something else? Hebrew isn’t an option— and different cultural background than the rest of the Book of Mormon. And indeed, Ether has a different feel to it than the rest. It’s largely political history, stories of wars between scheming royal families, imprisonment, regicide, etc. All very Game of Thrones-y. Continue reading “Come Follow Me: Ether”
I’ll be posting the final Book of Mormon lessons soon, along with some pre-D&C posts and my “What to Read for D&C.”
With Mormon, we finally arrive in “the present,” that is, Mormon’s present. He’s no longer working from records that were ancient to him. Remember, the time difference between Mormon and the visit of Jesus is roughly the same time difference between us and Columbus; but in Mormon he’s now working from his own life’s experience, his own memories and thoughts. This is now a primary source, unfiltered through anyone else (well, except translation through Joseph Smith, however that worked.)
You can’t read the beginning of the end of the Book of Mormon without thinking of President Kimball’s stark call against modern idolatry which included this observation— “We are a warlike people, easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the Lord.” Continue reading “Come Follow Me: Mormon 1-9”
Why is 4th Nephi so short? Two interrelated ideas, I think. Continue reading “Come Follow Me: 4 Nephi”
First, D&C is coming. I still haven’t decided how to approach it for the blog, but I will be posting a suggested reading list in another week or two. My 2016 list is here, and there are some things to update. So stay tuned.
Continue reading “Come Follow Me (Brief): 3Ne 22-26”
I updated this from an isolated cabin in Wisconsin, while working on my final dissertation proposal draft (post-defense), our upcoming BYU Studies special issue, and some other projects. And then, working on that other stuff, I forgot to actually hit “update.” Re: these other projects, I’ll post some updates on all this soon. Continue reading “Rough notes on 3Ne 16, 20-30”
Today we enter into a very interesting section of the Book of Mormon. Like the Isaiah chapters, it closely parallels a section of the Bible. Like the Isaiah chapters, there are some subtle differences. 3Ne 12-15 parallels the Sermon on the Mount, from Matthew 5-7. It’s been lined up so that if you want to compare verses (and you should!), take the Book of Mormon chapter number and subtract 7 to get the right verse in Matthew, e.g. 3 Nephi 12:48 ≈ Matthew 5:48.
Let’s compare those. Continue reading “Come Follow Me:3 Nephi 11-15”
Let’s begin with this observation about the power of art, by a BYU professor with training in both art and religion. Continue reading “Come Follow Me: 3 Nephi 8-10”
First, it’s that time of year wherein I start thinking about January, which means D&C/Church History… but mostly D&C. I always get excited when we hit D&C, because it means we’re almost to the Old Testament again. In the meantime, I have to figure out how to handle D&C here. This is the book I have read and taught the least, and I have virtually no notes to build from. Yes, I’m a historian of American religious history, but D&C focuses almost entirely on the 1830-1845 period… but my specialization is elsewhere. As for today, I want to focus almost entirely on 3Ne 6:12 today. Continue reading “Come Follow Me: 3 Nephi 1-7”
(I’m under a number of serious deadlines right now, and haven’t had time to update this much.) Today we get to meet Samuel, who prophecies of, well, 3 Nephi, basically.
Thought question: What does it mean that the Lamanite prophet Samuel has a name from the Hebrew scriptures? What does it say, potentially, about his parents, upbringing, etc.?
Continue reading “Come Follow Me: Helaman 13-16”