Today was Day 2 of our companion scripture study with the Book of Mormon and Student Manual. We’ve already had some great conversations and insights and we haven’t even made it to the 16th verse of 1 Nephi!

Here are a few thoughts and quotes that we liked
Translation of the Boom of Mormon

  • While reading about the translation of the Book of Mormon, Katie pointed out how interesting it is that Joseph Smith translated the language into an older form of English that we don’t use in modern day. For example, all of the “-eth’s”, like cometh, seeketh, obtaineth… these are all words that we would never use in today’s vernacular. With this in mind, its curious to consider how and why Joseph Smith translated the reformed Egyptian into older forms of English. Obviously the Bible has this same type of language structure. Could it be that he was inspired to maintain this vernacular in order for us to identify sacred, ancient text?….. We would like to look further into this.
  • We found this section very interesting
    • Lehi and Nephi used “the language of the Egyptians” to record their history onto gold plates. Four hundred and seventy years later, King Benjamin taught his sons “the language of the Egyptians,” which was not only the language of the gold plates but the language of the brass plates as well (Mosiah 1:1–4). The term “reformed Egyptian” only appears in the Book of Mormon in Mormon 9:32. Reformed Egyptian appears to be a term that reflects a variation in the language used by Lehi and Nephi. In Mormon 9:32–33 Moroni indicated that by his day, approximately a thousand years from the time of Lehi and Nephi, both the Egyptian and Hebrew had been altered from that used by Lehi and Nephi.

    • We had never thought about the fact that the language would have evolved and changed by Moroni’s time. And we didn’t realize that the term ‘reformed Egyptian’ is only mentioned once.

PT: Wealth

  • 1 Nephi 1:1, Nephi’s classic line “Born of goodly parents”
    • I remember learning once that goodly, in addition to meaning righteous, could also suggest that they were wealthy…
      • Looking further into the topic, I found an interesting article online
      • However, another article I found, which I find more credible and insightful, shows examples of all 38 scriptural occurrences when ‘goodly’ is used, and none of them point towards the usage referring to wealth.
        • Author Kevin Barney concludes “Given the above evidence, I don’t see any scriptural usage of the word “goodly” that would suggest the meaning “wealthy” in 1 Ne. 1:1. I therefore am renouncing my prior agnosticism on this issue and accepting the traditional reading of goodly as simply meaning “good” in some sense.”
    • Keep in mind that I usually try my best to stick with insight from scriptural texts, church manuals, and modern apostolic talks to obtain additional information, but I was curious to see what bloggers have thought and researched regarding the topic. For now, I think I’ll just stick with the usage that the brethren have used in their talks, which refers to goodly as righteous/good parents.

PT: Trials

In contrast, we also see that Laman and Lemuel, as well as many others in the Book of Mormon, required frequent afflictions to remind them of the Lord’s blessings. This principle is sadly reaffirmed by the prophet Mormon: “And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him” (Helaman 12:3).

  • Trials obviously occur in all lives, both righteous and unrightous. Unfortunately, some of these trials are brought on because nothing else will remind individuals (like the example of Laman and Lemuel) of the Lord and his blessings until they are brought down to their lowest point in life. 
    • We witness this today in the lives of those around us
      • I particularly see this in my job as a tech in the Emergency Department. I have have conversations with patients on multiple occasions that were currently at their lowest point in their lives. Interestingly… they bring up the church. Often times, they ask that their Bishop be the one to take them home, even after years of inactivity in the church.

Every Dispensation: Prophets

  • Fulfillment of prophecy
    • Shortly after Lehi’s departure from the area, Zedekiah attempted another revolt against Babylon, resulting in a much greater destruction of Jerusalem in about 587 B.C. Many people were killed, and most of the rest of the Jews were taken captive into Babylon for the next 70 years. This fulfilled Lehi’s prophecies to Judah that if they did not repent they would be destroyed.

      • • Nephi said that “many prophets” came among the people. We know Jeremiah, Obadiah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah were all contemporary prophets who testified in the kingdom of Judah. Jeremiah 35:15 includes a similar comment about numerous prophets being sent by the Lord to warn the people (see also 2 Chronicles 36:15–16).

  • The footnote of many prophets also sends us to Jeremiah 7:25, 26:20, and 26:18. We didn’t get the chance to look at these scriptures, but we were curious about their connection with the prophet references within the Book of Mormon during the reign of Zedekiah in the Old Testament.