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Friday, June 22, 2007

How Do You Explain 4 Nephi 1:6?

Were The Plates Made From Gold?

If the plates were in fact made from gold, it is safe to say that it was a very scarce commodity. As mentioned in a previous post, there is no evidence of gold being used in Mesoamerica until at least 600 A.D., 200 years after the plates were buried. So, despite Nephi's exaggerations that gold and other metals were found in "great abundance"(2 Nephi 5:15), gold must have been pretty hard to come by.

Moroni said the plates were Gold

According to Joseph, the angel Moroni told him the plates were made out of gold.

When first I looked upon him, I was afraid; but the fear soon left me. He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me and that his name was Moroni. . . . He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the sources from whence they sprang (History of the Church, vol. 1, by Joseph Smith, Deseret Book, 1976, pp. 11-12).
Even if the plates were not made of actual gold, they were gold in appearance and retained enough value that the angel Moroni was worried Joseph would be tempted to make himself rich. The plates were heavy and they were made from a precious metal. If the prophet Mormon knew Moroni might have to carry metal plates 3,000 miles from Mesoamerica to upstate, NY on foot, he might want to keep the load as light as possible. Not only that, but I am sure etching characters was a very time-consuming activity. Therefore, every square inch on each golden plate was valuable real estate, so I am sure that everything written on them was very important and was only included after a rigorous selection process. Mormon wouldn't include a single verse in his abridgement unless it was worth taking up the time and space to write it, and it had some kind of profound purpose behind it.

How Do You Reconcile This Verse?

If every little bit of space on the plates were so carefully selected when making an abridgement from the large plates of Nephi, why would Mormon see it fit to include 4 Nephi 1:6?

4 Nephi 1:6
"And thus did the thirty and eighth year pass away, and also the thirty and ninth, and forty and first, and the forty and second, yea, even until forty and nine years had passed away, and also the fifty and first, and the fifty and second; yea, and even until fifty and nine years had passed away."

When this verse was pointed out to me, I laughed out loud. Of course this verse is referring to the years following the mass conversions when there was peace in all the land. No wars, no conflicts, no contentions, just everyone living in harmony and peace as Christians of a single unified church. These years are supposed to exemplify the perfect model of how God intends us to live our lives on this earth; The absolute pinnacle of what we can reach as a church here on earth.

Why Was This Time of Peace Glossed Over?

You would think that we could learn about how they were able to keep peace for so long and read about all the good things that they did for one another and how they helped their fellow man. How they fed the poor, clothed the naked and made sure everyone was taken care of. You would think we could learn from their example and apply their teachings to our lives on how to live in righteousness. However, since there are no conflicts, no wars and no contentions during this time period, it doesn't make good reading.

The entire 200 year period of peace and harmony is merely a hiccup, summarized in one chapter. However, in his abridgement, Mormon thought it was more important to dedicate countless chapters on battle strategies, or the story of how Nephi ended up decapitating a passed-out drunkard, stealing his brass collection, kidnapping his servant and skipping town, as long as the end justifies the mean.

A More likely Reason

I think it is more likely that 4 Nephi 1:6 was included because it was simply one of the many "filler" verses Joseph Smith used in writing the Book of Mormon. Perhaps he needed to think about what he was going to say next or just needed to keep thickening the book up.

Skeptical Mormon

7 comments:

Elder Joseph said...

Its easy to explain 4 Nephi 1:6!

In fact its easy to explain the whole catalogue of problems in the church with , Archeology , History , Anthropolgy , Liguistics ,Evidence ,common sense ,American Indians not really descended of Lehi ,Polygamy with teens ,polygamy with already Married women , Blacks Cursed with Balck Skin ,Adam is God ,Masonic temple oaths , Kinderhook plates , Head In a Hat and Peep stone ,Book Of Abraham really only simple Egyptian funeral Scrolls , Priesthood ban on negroes ( even the negro women weren't allowed in the temple but white women were an they are not priesthood holders )etc

And for the Answer !!!

The church isn't true .It's not what it claims to be .The claims are false . So Beautifully Simple and Simply beautiful :)

Once a person has come to terms with this , then there are no problems whatsoever and It all makes sense .

Adieu

C. L. Hanson said...

Elder Joseph makes a good point...

It's funny that instead of telling any stories at all about what people did in those wonderful righteous days, he would fill a verse with listing off the numbers of years. Clearly righteousness doesn't make nearly as interesting a story as battles, chopping people's arms off, etc.

Zelph said...

EJ-

You pretty much summed it up nicely in that paragraph. Funny that when you try to explain everything,your mind is filled with conflict and you get more questions than answers. The more you dig, the worse and worse it becomes. However, when you decide the church isn't true, a magical thing happens. There is no more conflict and no more cognitive dissonance. It all becomes perfectly clear and there is no more head spinning.

You also realize that you don't have to kill yourself trying to become this fictional perfect person. You come to grips that you don't have to be perfect and you can live with yourself.

nathanielmacrae said...

Although I find your posts and your youtube videos very, VERY intriguing, I can't help but think that such information that sheds doubt into Mormonism is that easy.

Zelph, please forgive me for saying this, but why are you doing this? You obviously have some reservations toward Mormonism, but what is your end goal? Please don't think that you have to answer the question; it's just that I don't quite understand where you are going with this. Is it to make people think? And if people do think and see some chinks in the armour, what then? Where would you like people who are LDS to go? Agnosticism? Atheism? As a follower of Jesus, I pray that people do not abandon God and the work of Jesus, just because they no longer believe J.Smith...

Zelph said...

Nathan-

Thank you for your post and those are VERY good questions and I thank you for your concern.

Why am I doing this?- Ironically, it was the LDS church that has programmed me to seek out truth and spread the word to everyone.

Where would I like people who are LDS to go?- First of all, if they like being LDS, I don't want them to go anywhere. If they want to believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet, that is great. I think people have the right to believe that the moon is made out of cheese. However, their knowledge of the LDS church is not based in reality. What I want is for people to take an honest look at the claims made by the LDS church with both eyes open. I want them to look at both sides of the argument and then decide if it is worth pursuing. You brought up an argument that I have heard occasionally-"why would Joseph Smith do it if it was disproved so easily?" The answer is obvious. The LDS church simply controls information, so they can leave out the parts that might make someone question their faith. I guess that is where I come in. Thanks to the internet, the LDS church no longer has complete control of information to its members.

Part of the reason I am doing this is to put out the information as a PSA. Second reason is because I feel so duped, I am angry at the church for not telling me the whole story, and I am angry at myself for falling for it. I guess what I am saying is that I have found the internet as a great place to vent anonymously.

I don't know where people like me will end up. I guess that is the question. Also ironically, it was evangelical Christians that convinced me to take a closer look at many of the claims made by the LDS church.

I stay in the church because of family reasons. It is best to keep the peace for the time being.

I appreaciate your post and hope that you visit and post often.

nathanielmacrae said...

Zelph, it isn't that I occassionally visit....I am GLUED to this site(!)

And thank you for your honest response.

They call him James Ure said...
This comment has been removed by the author.