Book of Mormon Authorship: Unique phrases of various Prophets

[UPDATE: The first phrase “the eye of God,” which I argued was unique to the prophet Jacob (2 Nephi 9:44/Jacob 2:10/Jacob 2:15), is not unique to him but is also found in Mosiah 27:31. This unique phrase has been replaced with another unique phrase from the Prophet Zenos]

Much has been written about Book of Mormon authorship, trying to answer questions such as “Did Joseph Smith write it?” “Did Joseph Smith have help?” “Did other authors write it?” Some of these questions have been examined using wordprint analyses to determine who authored the Book of Mormon (see https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Book_of_Mormon/Wordprint_studies for a summary of findings). While wordprint studies are out of my expertise and ability, there are interesting idioms found in many of the Book of Mormon prophets’ words that may contribute support to the belief that it is unlikely that Joseph Smith paid such amount to detail as to create individual writing styles for each of the characters in the Book of Mormon. The following are some examples of phrases that are unique to individual Book of Mormon prophets:

  1. In the midst of thy congregations = Unique to the prophet Zenos

The prophet Zenos is quoted on at least three occasions in the Book of Mormon and the style of each citation seems to be significantly different than the writings of other Book of Mormon prophets. In this situation, the prophet Zenos uses the following phrase:

  • “Yea, O God, thou hast been merciful unto me, and heard my cries in the midst of thy congregations” (Alma 33:9)

The word “congregation” is only found in one other instance in the Book of Mormon in the “Isaiah Chapters” (2 Nephi 24:13/Isaiah 14) and is only found in the New Testament once (Acts 13:43). The word shows up 333 times in the Old Testament, and the same phrase “midst of the congregation” is found several times (Numbers 16:47/Psalm 22:22/Proverbs 5:14). It is interesting that this phrase is only found in the Book of Mormon in the writings of the prophet Zenos, who is believed to have lived many years before Lehi and his family left Jerusalem, which language is consistent with Old Testament vernacular.

2. Turn their hearts aside = Unique to the prophet Zenos

This is an interesting idiom because similar renditions are sparsely found in the Old Testament (see 1 Samuel 12:20-21) but none are found in the New Testament or any other Book of Mormon prophets. Adding to the uniqueness of this phrase is that it fits well with the Book of Mormon timeline which puts Zenos’ writings before 500 B.C. and possibly before the writings of Isaiah. The Book of Mormon prophets typically use the phrase “harden their hearts.”

  • “they crucify the God of Israel, and turn their hearts aside, rejecting signs and wonders” (1 Nephi 19:13)
  • “And because they turn their hearts aside, saith the prophet, and have despised the Holy One of Israel” (1 Nephi 19:14)
  • “no more turn their hearts against the Holy One of Israel” (1 Nephi 19:15)

3. Great Creator = Unique to the prophet Jacob

The word “Creator” is used 10 times in the Book of Mormon, and only twice in the New Testament and three times in the Old Testament. Only the prophet Jacob puts the qualifier “great” before stating “creator.” While this by itself is not particularly miraculous, it is very interesting that it appears in Jacob’s writings in 2 Nephi 9 and thirty pages later in Jacob 2. Not only is it unique to Jacob, but it is unique across time in his writings and in Joseph Smith’s translation process.

  • “for it behooveth the great Creator that he suffereth himself to become subject unto man in the flesh” (2 Nephi 9:5)
  • “to fulfill the merciful plan of the great Creator” (2 Nephi 9:6)
  • “how much better are you than they, in the sight of your great Creator?” (Jacob 3:7)

4. The Lord Omnipotent = Unique to King Benjamin

When King Benjamin asks his people to make a covenant to take upon them the name of Christ, both he and his people refer to Christ as the “Lord Omnipotent.” The word “omnipotent” occurs 6 times in the Book of Mormon, all of them contained in the discourse of King Benjamin, and only once in all other scriptures (Revelation 19:6, “the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth”).

  • “with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity” (Mosiah 3:5)
  • “only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent” (Mosiah 3:17)
  • “through the atoning blood of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent” (Mosiah 3:18)
  • “only through repentance and faith on the name of the Lord God Omnipotent” (Mosiah 3:21)
  • “because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent” (Mosiah 5:2)
  • “that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his” (Mosiah 5:15)

5. The Great God = Unique to King Anti-Nephi-Lehi

There are many occasions in the Old and New Testaments where the phrase “great God” is used (Psalm 95:3/Titus 2:13), but it is only used in the Book of Mormon by King Anti-Nephi-Lehi in an address to his people asking them to make a covenant to bury their weapons of war. There are only two other similar iterations of this phrase in the Book of Mormon (Helaman 12:8: “great and everlasting God”/Helaman 13:18 “great and true God”), but interestingly one of them is also made by a Lamanite, and the other by Mormon, who was about to write about Samuel the Lamanite one chapter later. It is my opinion that King Anti-Nephi-Lehi refers to “the great God” because of the Lamanite belief in the existence of a  “Great Spirit,” which they learn is the “great God” when Ammon preaches to Kin Lamoni (Alma 18:24-29).

  • “I thank my God, my beloved people, that our great God has in goodness sent these our brethren” (Alma 24:7)
  • “And behold, I thank my great God that he has given us a portion of his Spirit” (Alma 24:8)
  • “And I also thank my God, yea, my great God” (Alma 24:10)
  • “through the blood of the Son of our great God” (Alma 24:13)
  • “And the great God has had mercy on us, and made these things known unto us” (Alma 24:14)

6. The Lord of Hosts = The Lord warning his people of destruction

The phrase “Lord of Hosts” never appears in the New Testament but is found frequently in the Old Testament. In the Book of Mormon, the phrase “Lord of Hosts” appears when it is quoting sections of the Old Testament or in the following cases of unique citations of the Lord found in Helaman, Jacob, and briefly in 2 Nephi. It is not found in any of the Book of Mormon prophet’s writings unless they are quoting God.

2 Nephi = Prophecies of the death of Christ

“the depths of the earth shall swallow them up, saith the Lord of Hosts” (2 Nephi 26:5)

“the day that cometh shall consume them, saith the Lord of Hosts” (2 Nephi 26:6)

“if the inhabitants of the earth shall repent of their wickedness and abominations they shall not be destroyed, saith the Lord of Host” (2 Nephi 28:17)

Helaman 13:8-21 = Samuel the Lamanite calling the Nephites to repentance

“And behold, a curse shall come upon the land, saith the Lord of Hosts, because of the people’s sake who are upon the land” (Helaman 13:17)

“And it shall come to pass, saith the Lord of Hosts, yea, our great and true God” (Helaman 13:18)

“and then shall ye weep and howl in that day, saith the Lord of Hosts” (Helaman 13:32)

Jacob 2:23-33 = Jacob calling the Nephites to repentance

“And whoredoms are an abomination before me; saith the Lord of Hosts” (Jacob 2:28)

“Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes” (Jacob 2:29)

“For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people” (Jacob 2:30)

“And I will not suffer, saith the Lord of Hosts, that the cries of the fair daughters of this people, which I have led out of the land of Jerusalem, shall come up unto me against the men of my people, saith the Lord of Hosts” (Jacob 2:32)

“even unto destruction; for they shall not commit whoredomes, like unto them of old, saith the Lord of Hosts” (Jacob 2:33)

 

Should Members of the LDS Church Prosecute Criminals?

The LDS church has recently been the subject of many lawsuits claiming that some church leaders have taken part in the cover up of serious crimes committed by members of their congregations by dealing with serious legal matters exclusively within the church. Some of these lawsuits argue that church leaders and ward members actively discourage victims to prosecute serious crimes “lest they run afoul of church teachings regarding forgiveness” (http://www.journal-news.net/news/local-news/2017/06/lawsuit-against-lds-church-permitted-to-move-forward/). It is my opinion that matters involving crimes committed by members of the church against other members of the church should not be resolved exclusively within church disciplinary councils, but that such persons should be tried in a secular court of law.

Some may believe that pressing charges against another member of the church who has committed a crime may be a sin itself because they assume that legal prosecution and Christ’s teachings of forgiveness are mutually exclusive. This belief is based on scriptures where God commands his followers to forgive all people no matter what they have done (Mosiah 26:31; Matthew 6:14-15; Alma 34:40). These misguided assumptions about forgiveness and the legal system, unfortunately, place the victims of crimes in situations where they are re-victimized in at least four ways (assuming the worst circumstances as outlined in these lawsuits). First, they suffer the pain from the crime itself. Second, they suffer the pain of being taught that it is a sin to have negative feelings against the perpetrator or for desiring justice against the perpetrator. Third, they must sit back and watch while the perpetrator is free to re-victimize, receiving no lasting consequences for their actions. Fourth, victims suffer from the confusion and anger associated with the mixed messages of church leaders being sent to them and to the criminal. They see church leaders preach messages of hope to the criminal, assuring them that they can be forgiven for whatever crimes they commit. The victims, on the other hand, are lectured about how they must forgive the criminal because they can’t be forgiven for their own sins if they do not forgive others first. While these circumstances are rare, the fact that they have occurred even once is unacceptable.

It is my opinion that delivering a criminal to be judged according to the laws of the land is not mutually exclusive to the principles of forgiveness outlined in Christ’s teachings. This is because legal prosecution of crimes is not carried out solely for the victim; it is carried out by government officials based on laws and punishments agreed upon by society. The government, not the victim, is the party who is administering justice and enforcing the laws of the land that have been established.

The government prosecutes crimes and punishes offenders so that society can benefit from deterring future crimes and preventing criminals from committing more crimes. Members of the church who prosecute criminals, therefore, are not seeking personal vengeance and thus negating their capacity to forgive, but are instead fulfilling their responsibility as law-abiding citizens to report crimes to the state so that its citizens can enjoy a more harmonious society. This is separate from principles of forgiveness; a person can see justice administered and yet not forgive the perpetrator, while another person can see the guilty party get away with their crimes and yet forgive them for their actions, recognizing that the justice system is fallible.

If a victim desires, they can also make settlements outside of the law if it is most beneficial for the victim. For example, a victim of theft may find it beneficial to not see the thief thrown into prison if that would mean not receiving restitution payments in a timely manne. I would argue that decisions to prosecute certain crimes are a personal issue for the victim and they have every right to decide whether to press charges. It is my opinion that settlements made outside a court of law, however, should not be based on a false belief that it is contrary to Christ’s teachings to prosecute criminals.

Below are some examples in the Book of Mormon to support these points of view I have described:

  1. Righteous judges and kings in the Book of Mormon were given authority from the people to punish those who broke the laws given to them by God:

“…there should be no wars or contentions, no stealing, nor plundering, nor murdering, nor any manner of iniquity. And whosoever has committed iniquity, him have I [King Mosiah] punished according to the crime which he has committed, according to the law which has been given to us by our fathers” (Mosiah 29:14-15)

“…choose you by the voice of this people, judges, that ye may be judged according to the laws which have been given you by our fathers, which are correct, and which were given them by the hand of the Lord” (Mosiah 29:25)

“And he selected a wise man who was among the elders of the church, and gave him power according to the voice of the people, that he might have power to enact laws according to the laws which had been given, and to put them in force according to the wickedness and the crimes of the people.” (Alma 4:16)

Now if a man owed another, and he would not pay that which he did owe, he was complained of to the judge; and the judge executed authority, and sent forth officers that the man should be brought before him; and he judged the man according to the law and the evidences which were brought against him, and thus the man was compelled to pay that which he owed, or be stripped, or be cast out from among the people as a thief and a robber” (Helaman 11:2)

  1. The law must be enforced because it serves as a deterrent to crime. If there were no punishment for crimes, then people would commit more crimes and society would descend into wickedness. Enforcing the laws creates peace:

“Nevertheless, they durst not lie, if it were known, for fear of the law, for liars were punished; therefore they pretended to preach according to their belief; and now the law could have no power on any man for his belief. And they durst not steal, for fear of the law, for such were punished; neither durst they rob, nor murder, for he that murdered was punished unto death” (Alma 1:17-18; see also Romans 7:7)

“Now, if there was no law given—if a man murdered he should die—would he be afraid he would die if he should murder? And also, if there was no law given against sin men would not be afraid to sin. And if there was no law given, if men sinned what could justice do, or mercy either, for they would have no claim upon the creature” (Alma 42:19-21)

“persecuting, lying, thieving, robbing, committing whoredoms, and murdering, and all manner of wickedness; nevertheless, the law was put in force upon all those who did transgress it, inasmuch as it was possible. And it came to pass that by thus exercising the law upon them, every man suffering according to that which he had done, they became more still, and durst not commit any wickedness if it were known; therefore, there was much peace among the people of Nephi until the fifth year of the reign of the judges” (Alma 1:32-33)

  1. It is wicked to try and prevent justice from being administered to those who are guilty. If criminals are not punished for their crimes, then the sufferings of the righteous will cry out for vengeance against the criminals and those who refused to enforce the law. This principle is described when Alma prosecutes Nehor for slaying Gideon while practicing priestcraft:

“And thou hast shed the blood of a righteous man, yea, a man who has done much good among this people; and were we to spare thee his blood would come upon us for vengeance. Therefore thou art condemned to die, according to the law, which has been given us by Mosiah, our last king; and it has been acknowledged by this people; therefore this people must abide by the law” (Alma 1:13-14)

“[the wicked] having usurped the power and authority of the land; laying aside the commandments of God, and not in the least aright before him; doing no justice unto the children of men; condemning the righteous because of their righteousness; letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money” (Helaman 7:4-5)

  1. The law, justice, and punishment are all part of God’s plan for us here on earth. If there were no consequences for our actions, then there would be no purpose for our creation and God would not exist:

“Now, repentance could not come unto men except there were a punishment, which also was eternal as the life of the soul should be, affixed opposite to the plan of happiness, which was as eternal also as the life of the soul. Now, how could a man repent except he should sin? How could he sin if there was no law? How could there be a law save there was a punishment? Now, there was a punishment affixed, and a just law given…” (Alma 42:16-17)

“And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.” (2 Nephi 2:13)

“We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law” (Articles of Faith #12)

Christopher Nemelka’s Purpose for Writing the Sealed Portion

The following quotes are taken from Christopher Nemelka from his BlogTalkRadio interview with Bryce Blankenagel of “Naked Mormon Podcast Live” on 4/16/17. Christopher Nemelka is the founder of the “Humanity Party” and the “Marvelous Work and a Wonder” organization. He gained some level of fame when Ida Smith, the great-great granddaughter of Hyrum Smith, was converted from her LDS faith (and excommunicated) to believe Nemelka’s teachings after reading his supposed translation of The Sealed Portion: The Final Testament of Jesus Christ (see http://www.cityweekly.net/utah/sealed-fate/Content?oid=2152358). Ida went to her grave believing that Nemelka was the reincarnated Hyrum Smith, and that he was visited by the resurrected Joseph Smith and given the means to produce the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon referenced in Ether 4. These comments will be posted as they were originally stated without any commentary at this time because the words speak for themselves. A link to the video can be found at https://www.facebook.com/MarvelousWorkAndAWonder/ and the exchange begins roughly at 1:52:25 of the broadcast.

(Caller Jared): “I don’t know anything about you, Chris. How did your book come to be? How can we trust you over any other first-hand accounts that Bryce studies and presents on his show. You said that your book [Without Disclosing My True Identity: The Authorized and Official Biography of the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr.] has power, but how can we verify that what it says is true without personally trusting you or diverting…to faith that can’t really be tested or proven to be true. And to kind of get on the end of what Anthony said, if you specifically said something that was a lie…like how can we trust that what you’re now telling him is the truth if he is a follower?

(Christopher Nemelka): “The only thing that I’m telling him that is the truth, is that it was all a lie. That everything that Joseph Smith did was based on trying to get people to disbelieve the lie of the Bible. The whole purpose of the sealed portion and my work is to get people to disbelieve the lie of the Book of Mormon. Okay? We don’t care anymore about whether people think I’m a liar or a charlatan or whatever. I’ve done exactly what Joseph Smith did.”

(Bryce Blankenagel): “I think that everyone else in the world cares if you’re a liar”

(Christopher Nemelka): “I don’t care, it doesn’t matter because the people who wrote the Bible were liars. They were liars. But we’re coming out with a complete disclosure of what I know, what happened in 1987 to my brain. What happened to my brain happened to Joseph Smith’s brain. Okay? We went crazy, instantly. We had to develop a story eventually that fit into the paradigm of our families and our traditions and everything else. But in a moment in our lives, our minds were opened up – I don’t want to say enlightenment because that tends to be logical – where our minds were opened up to a reality about human existence that most people have no idea about. And based on that instantaneous thing that happened to our brain – it took Joseph…it took him a few years until people kind of helped him do what he did, it took me a lot longer until I finally agreed to do the lie, to do the lie to get people out of the LDS church which was the only purpose for the lie folks. There was no other purpose”

 

Contradictions in Christopher Nemelka’s “Book of Lehi”

The following is a list of contradictions found in Christopher Nemelka’s “The Sealed Portion: The Final Testament of Jesus Christ” (2005; a free download can be found here http://www.marvelousworkandawonder.com/tsp/download/TSPSecured.pdf). Nemelka claims that he has translated the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon and that he has also been given the power to reproduce the lost 116 pages of the original Book of Mormon manuscript. Unfortunately for Nemelka, the reproduction of the 116 page manuscript bears little similarity to the Book of Mormon and has many problems, not the least of which are glaring contradictions of events found in the current version of the Book of Mormon. Some of these contradictions are listed below:

  1. Book of Mormon = Lehi was a descendant of Manasseh (Alma 10:3)

“And Aminadi was a descendant of Nephi, who was the son of Lehi, who came out of the land of Jerusalem, who was a descendant of Manasseh, who was the son of Joseph…”

 Nemelka = Lehi was a descendant of Ephraim (Lehi 1:11, p. 600)

“And Saresh was the son of Judah, who was the son of Ephraim, who was the son of Joseph.”

2. Book of Mormon =  The order of the Priesthood is necessary for Christ’s church (Moroni 3:3-4)

“In the name of Jesus Christ I ordain you to be a priest (or if he be a teacher, I ordain you to be a teacher) to preach repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ, by the endurance of faith on his name to the end. Amen.”

“And after this manner did they ordain priests and teachers, according to the gifts and callings of God unto men; and they ordained them by the power of the Holy Ghost, which was in them.”

Nemelka = The Priesthood is unnecessary for salvation (Lehi 1:51, p. 602)

“Behold, I [Zenock] am not a member of your church, nor do I have the priesthood ye claim giveth you the power and authority to act in the name of God…Nevertheless, God hath called me through the administrations of His holy angels…”

3. Book of Mormon = The ordinances of baptism and taking the sacrament are necessary for salvation (3 Nephi 12:1/18: 5-6)

“Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these twelve whom I have chosen from among you to minister unto you, and to be your servants; and unto them I have given power that they may baptize you with water; and after that ye are baptized with water, behold, I will baptize you with fire and with the Holy Ghost; therefore blessed are ye if ye shall believe in me and be baptized, after that ye have seen me and know that I am.”

“And when the multitude had eaten and were filled, he said unto the disciples: Behold there shall one be ordained among you, and to him will I give power that he shall break bread and bless it and give it unto the people of my church, unto all those who shall believe and be baptized in my name. And this shall ye always observe to do, even as I have done, even as I have broken bread and blessed it and given it unto you.”

Nemelka = Ordinances like baptism and the sacrament profit us nothing (TSP 12:116-117, p. 56/ Lehi 1:46, p. 602)

“if a man or woman doeth the works of Christ in the spirit of Christ and doth not receive the ordinance of baptism, or doth not partake of the ordinance of the sacrament, then this man or woman is already doing the will of the Lord and is justified therein…And if their works are righteous, then the ordinances that have been established in the church profit them nothing.”

“For Zenock said unto the priests: Know ye not that the ordinances and sacraments, and offerings, and institutions, and traditions of this church are not the gospel of the Lord, but were intended to point a man towards this gospel?”

4. The Book of Mormon follows a linear timeline (see The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ)

Nemelka cites numerous events in the Book of Mormon before they happened (Lehi 2:14, 16, p. 604-605; see also Lehi 5:23, p. 617/ 9:23, p. 630)

“And Zenos spoke of this land, which is a promised land unto the Nephites and also unto the Lamanites…And in the latter days before God once again sendeth His Son among the people, yea, even in all his glory like unto the glory that he showed unto the Nephites and the Lamanites in the land of Bountiful.”

5. Book of Mormon = The Olive Tree in Zenos’ allegory represents the house of Israel (Jacob 5:3)

“For behold, thus saith the Lord, I will liken thee, O house of Israel, like unto a tame olive tree, which a man took and nourished in his vineyard; and it grew, and waxed old, and began to decay.”

Nemelka = Contradicts himself by first stating the Olive Tree is the house of Israel, then states that there will be many churches who claim to be the “pure olive tree” (Lehi 2:5,15, p. 604-605)

“And Zenos expounded unto them a parable of an olive tree and likened the house of Israel unto this olive tree…And there shall be many churches that shall claim to be the pure olive tree that the Lord grew in his vineyard.”

6. Book of Mormon = The land Bountiful was found after Ishmael’s death and after Nephi got food for his murmuring family (1 Nephi 16:23-24, 34/17:4-5)

“I, Nephi, did make out of wood a bow, and out of a straight stick, an arrow; wherefore, I did arm myself with a bow and an arrow, with a sling and with stones. And I said unto my father: Whither shall I go to obtain food? And it came to pass that he did inquire of the Lord, for they had humbled themselves because of my words…”

“And it came to pass that Ishmael died, and was buried in the place which was called Nahom.”

“And we did sojourn for the space of many years, yea, even eight years in the wilderness…And we did come to the land which we called Bountiful, because of its much fruit and also wild honey…”

Nemelka = Lehi’s family found Bountiful before Ishmael’s death and Nephi getting food (Lehi 5:45-47, 50, p. 619)

“the Lord commanded Lehi to continue to travel until they came to a land bordering the seashore, which they called Bountiful…And Ishmael grew old and died in the wilderness…And Nephi asked his father to repent of his murmurings and take the ball again in his hand and ask the Lord to point the directors where he must go to hunt for food.”

7. Book of Mormon = The land Bountiful was full of food so that Lehi’s family would not perish (1 Nephi 17:5)

“And we did come to the land which we called Bountiful, because of its much fruit and also wild honey; and all these things were prepared of the Lord that we might not perish.”

Nemelka = Lehi’s family struggled to find food after finding the land Bountiful (Lehi 5:45-46, p. 619)

“they came to a land bordering the seashore, which they called Bountiful. And there were many times when food was scarce. And during these times Laman and Lemuel and some of the children of Ishmael began to murmur…”

8. Book of Mormon = Nephi tells Laman and Lemuel they will wither away and die if they touch him. He eventually shocks them to show them the power of God (1 Nephi 17:48, 53)

“they were angry with me, and were desirous to throw me into the depths of the sea; and as they came forth to lay their hands upon me I spake unto them, saying: In the name of the Almighty God, I command you that ye touch me not, for I am filled with the power of God, even unto the consuming of my flesh; and whoso shall lay his hands upon me shall wither even as a dried reed…Stretch forth thine hand again unto thy brethren, and they shall not wither before thee, but I will shock them, saith the Lord, and this will I do, that they may know that I am the Lord their God.”

Nemelka = Nephi is saved by Zoram who is wielding a staff (Lehi 6:5-6, 9, p. 621)

“And they were again desirous to take the life of Nephi and their father Lehi…And it came to pass that Zoram stood forth and took up a staff against the enemies of Nephi…And it came to pass that Zoram struck down the son of Ishmael and was about to strike down Laman and Lemuel, but Nephi stood forth and embraced his friend and begged for the safety of his brothers.”

9. Book of Mormon = Laman and Lemuel tie up Nephi on the boat for days. They become afraid of the storm and loosen his bands. They never try to kill Nephi (1 Nephi 18:11, 13, 15)

“And it came to pass that Laman and Lemuel did take me and bind me with cords, and they did treat me with much harshness; nevertheless, the Lord did suffer it that he might show forth his power…And after we had been driven back upon the waters for the space of four days, my brethren began to see that the judgments of God were upon them, and that they must perish save that they should repent of their iniquities; wherefore, they came unto me, and loosed the bands which were upon my wrists…And there was nothing save it were the power of God, which threatened them with destruction, could soften their hearts; wherefore, when they saw that they were about to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea they repented of the thing which they had done, insomuch that they loosed me.”

Nemelka = Laman and Lemuel try to throw Nephi into the ocean. They are stopped by Barhanas, a son of Ishmael (Lehi 6:22, 28, 31 p. 622-623)

“And Laman and Lemuel were desirous to throw Nephi into the great waters, believing him to be the cause of all of their problems…Barhanas broke forth from the place where he was being held and took hold of Laman and Lemuel and was about to throw them into the depths of the ocean…And Barhanas broke the bonds that held Nephi.”

10. Book of Mormon = Nephi and his family and friends leave the land of their first landing after being warned by the Lord to flee because Laman and Lemuel desired to kill them (2 Nephi 5:2, 5)

“But behold, their anger did increase against me, insomuch that they did seek to take away my life…And it came to pass that the Lord did warn me, that I, Nephi, should depart from them and flee into the wilderness, and all those who would go with me.”

Nemelka = The Lamanites are chased out of the land by Nephi and his guards armed with swords fashioned after the sword of Laban (Lehi 7:13, 23, 25/8:6, p. 624, 627)

“And it came to pass that Laman and Lemuel began to separate themselves from the people of Nephi and they called themselves Lamanites…And it came to pass that Nephi commanded his best foundry men and his strongest guards to take the sword of Laban and construct other swords…And the Lamanites were sore afraid of the weapons of the Nephites, and they fled into the wilderness…many years passed in peace and happiness among the Nephites. And all of their enemies were swept away from among them.”

11. Book of Mormon = Abinadom is the son of Chemish (Omni 1:10-11)

“Behold, I, Abinadom, am the son of Chemish…And behold, the record of this people is engraven upon plates which is had by the kings, according to the generations.”

Nemelka = Abinadom was named after his father (Lehi 8:37, p. 629)

“And Abinadom, who was named after his father…took his family and fled into the wilderness with Mosiah. And Abinadom had many of the records of the Nephites in his possession.”

Problems with Christopher Nemelka’s “The Sealed Portion”

The book “The Sealed Portion: The Final Testament of Jesus Christ” written by Christopher Nemelka in 2004 purports to be the sealed portion of the gold plates alluded to in the Book of Mormon. In addition, it contains the re-translated lost 116 pages of the Book of Lehi. Nemelka claims to have received divine authority from the resurrected Joseph Smith to translate the sealed portion because the current LDS faith no longer teaches Christ’s true doctrine.

It is difficult to say whether Nemelka believes that he has actually translated the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon or whether he is simply conducting a social experiment to prove to current members of the LDS church that Joseph Smith was just some guy who made up some book by plagiarizing the Bible, and that anyone could have written a work like the Book of Mormon. I believe the latter hypothesis, because members of the LDS church often justify their belief in the Book of Mormon based on conclusions such as “I don’t believe someone as uneducated as Joseph could have written a 500+ page book referencing scriptures and introducing profound doctrines.” Nemelka unsuccessfully attempts to replicate Joseph Smith’s accomplishment in translating the Book of Mormon by ticking all of these criteria that many LDS members use to strengthen their faith.

The book is identified as Moroni’s abridgment of the vision given to the Brother of Jared in the Book of Ether when he sees a vision of the Lord. In the vision, the Brother of Jared sees a multitude of Gods, learns about the true story of the creation of the world, is shown visions of Jesus’ ministry, and many other diverse topics. It is a lengthy vision (574 pages) that starts off well trying to mimic the language of the Book of Mormon, but writer’s fatigue quickly takes its toll within a few pages as common scriptural phrases are substituted for a less than graceful vernacular. A not-so-careful reading of the text, and especially what Nemelka claims is the re-translated lost 116 pages of the Book of Lehi, show that this book is clearly fraudulent and should not be taken seriously by LDS church members. Nemelka, however, should be given credit for the amount of time he must have spent on the project and for his willingness to provide a free pdf version of the book online at https://archive.org/details/TheSealedPortion.

THE BOOK OF LEHI

The appendix of The Sealed Portion contains a re-translation of the lost 116 pages of the Book of Lehi. Since this portion of the book is most easy to criticize, I will begin with a list of just some of the many errors, contradictions, and peculiarities found in the book. The list is hardly comprehensive, but only a few examples should suffice in disproving the book.

  1. Nemelka claims Lehi was a descendant of Ephraim. The Book of Mormon says he was a descendant of Manasseh. This should end the discussion immediately.
  • “[Lehi’s lineage]…Judah, who was the son of Ephraim, who was the son of Joseph” (Lehi 1:11, pg. 600)
  • “Lehi…who was a descendant of Manasseh” (Alma 10:3)

2. Nemelka claims that you do not need to be a member of God’s church or need to have the priesthood in order to speak on behalf of God’s people. This claim defies the entire message and purpose of the Book of Mormon. 

  • Lehi 1:49, pg. 602 =”Behold, it mattereth not unto the Lord whether or not a man belongest to this church, or hath the priesthood of Aaron as ye claim that ye have”
  • Lehi 1:51, pg. 602 = “Behold, I [Zenock] am not a member of your church, nor do I have the priesthood that ye claim giveth you the power and authority to act in the name of God”
  • Mosiah 18:17-18 = “And they were called the church of God, or the church of Christ, from that time forward. And it came to pass that whosoever was baptized by the power and authority of God was added to his church. And it came to pass that Alma, having authority from God, ordained priests; even one priest to every fifty of their number did he ordain to preach unto them, and to teach them concerning the things pertaining to the kingdom of God”
  • Mosiah 23:17 = “And it came to pass that none received authority to preach except it were by him from God. Therefore he consecrated all their priests and all their teachers; and none were consecrated except they were just men”
  • See also Mosiah 25:18-19 and Alma 15:13

3. Nemelka claims Lehi prays to be forgiven of his sins instead of praying on behalf of the sins of his people.

  • Lehi 3:6, pg. 607 = “And Lehi cried unto the Lord that he might be forgiven for his many sins and that he might understand further what the Lord would require of him”
  • 1 Nephi 1:5 = “My father, Lehi, as he went forth prayed unto the Lord, yea, even with all his heart, in behalf of his people”

4. Nemelka claims that Zenos and Zenock are stoned and then hung by the neck until they are dead. The Book of Mormon says Zenock was simply stoned. Stoning would most likely have killed the prophets and they would not have had to be hung. 

  • “And the people took Zenos and Zenock, and after they had stoned them, they hung them by the neck until they were dead” (Lehi 3:26, pg. 609)
  • “and because the people would not understand his [Zenock’s] words they stoned him to death” (Alma 33:17)

5. Nemelka destroys Mormon’s carefully crafted linear narrative by consistently referring to events in the Book of Mormon hundreds of years before they happened. 

  • Referring to “Nephi’s record” before Mormon even tells us that Lehi has sons or that Nephi made plates: “And I, Mormon, cannot write all the words that the prophets Zenock and Zenos preached unto the Jews…And Nephi hath recorded upon his record all of the words that Zenos and Zenock spake” (Lehi 2:2, pg. 604)
  • Referring to Nephites and Lamanites before giving any context about who or why there are “Nephites” and “Lamanites”, or even that he has a son named Laman: “And Zenos spoke of this land, which is a promised land unto the Nephites and also unto the Lamanites” (Lehi 2:14, p. 604)
  • Referring to Jesus showing himself to the Nephites and Lamanites in the land of Bountiful: “like unto the glory that he showed unto the Nephites and the Lamanites in the land of Bountiful” (Lehi 2:16, pg. 605)
  • Referring to Jesus preaching to Mormon’s ancestors: “Yea, what were the words that the Lord spake to my fathers, the Nephites? Were they not the same words that he spake unto the Jews at Jerusalem” (Lehi 5:27, pg. 617)

6. Nemelka destroys the purpose and beauty of the allegory of the olive tree (Jacob 5).

  • Nemelka puts the millenium described at the end of the allegory right in the middle of his version: “And the wild olive branches are the Gentiles who shall have the gospel…there shall be peace for a time among them. And after a space of a time the trees of the vineyard shall once again bring forth corrupt fruit…and the gospel shall be given to the people on this continent as well as it was given unto the Jews at Jerusalem” (Lehi 2:12-14, pg. 604). See Jacob 5:76-77.
  • Nemelka tells the reader that the allegory is about the destruction of the Jews at Jerusalem and the restoration of the gospel: “And Zenos prophesied in the parable about the destruction of the Jews…and the parable spoke of the restoration of the gospel among the Jews at the time of the coming of the Lord into the world” (Lehi 2:10,12). It is actually about the lord fulfilling his covenant in gathering the house of Israel in the last days (Jacob 6:2-4).
  • Nemelka claims that the allegory suggests there will be many other churches or trees who claim to be “the pure olive tree” that the Lord grew in his vineyard (Lehi 2:15). The allegory says nothing of churches or anyone pretending to be a “pure olive tree,” which is a phrase not used in the entirety of the scriptures. The “tame olive tree” represents the literal house of Israel (Jacob 5:3).
  • The allegory of the olive tree is about the Jews coming to accept the Savior in the last days. Nemelka claims it is meant to show that the leaders of the church in the last days will become corrupt and must be corrected so that the olive tree can return to its original state (Lehi 2:22)

SOME OF THE MANY PECULIAR QUOTES: The Book of Mormon deserves credit where credit is due. It is an extremely well-written and carefully constructed narrative that seamlessly crafts Biblical symbolism into its complex narrative even before the 3,000 textual changes following the first edition. Nemelka, who had unlimited time, resources, education, etc., could only produce this contradictory mess of a narrative full of poorly utilized Biblical phrases and contradictory doctrines (see my previous posts on linguistic consistencies between the Book of Mormon and the Bible). Here are some examples of the  language used by Nemelka’s book:

  • “This Nephi did because his older brothers had threatened to confess to the Jews that their father was foolish, and also because of their desire to once again be part of the people at Jerusalem” (Lehi 4:7, pg. 611)
  • “And Nephi believed the words of the Spirit, he having had many such manifestations in his youth and many presently, therefore he could feel the sanctification of the Spirit of that which he was about to do” (Lehi 4:16, p. 612)
  • “Knowest thou not that I am even at this time ripe with child and that I will deliver this child in the wilderness? And my daughters; what shall they do when they are grown and have no man to choose from to be a husband? Shall they be single and barren all the days of their lives and perish in the wilderness?” (Lehi 4:37, p. 613)
  • “And it came to pass that one of the sons of Ishmael, being of great strength, even of a strength greater than that of many men, began to have compassion on Nephi, and also compassion on his mother who he loved with all of his heart. And also Ishmael, being bent over with great age, did plead with his son to help Nephi. And this son of Ishmael, and his name was Barhanas, did take a hold on the brothers of Nephi, and with his exceedingly great strength, restrained Laman and Lemuel from murdering their brother” (Lehi 4:64, pg. 615)
  • “Nevertheless, I, Mormon, do not write in this record all of the dreams and visions of Lehi, for they are many. But of one dream I do write in this abridgment. And I write this dream because of its exquisite beauty and symbolic representation of the goodness and the greatness of the love of God. And also because of its prophetic meaning concerning all of the children of men from the beginning of time to the end thereof” (Lehi 5:5, pg. 616)
  • “Oh my beloved brothers and sisters, read his words. Ponder his gospel and pray for understanding. Your church meetings, your ordinances, your genealogies, your tithes, your offerings, your temples, your churches, your rituals, and your prayers are not sanctioned by the Lord or His Spirit, because all of these things cause you to reject and deny the true gospel of Jesus Christ” (Lehi 5:28, pg. 618)
  • “And the daughters of Nephi were greatly desired by many of the sons of Laman, Lemuel, and also by the grandsons of Ishmael. Nevertheless, they were very wise in their youth and wanted no man until they were old enough to choose for themselves by their own wisdom” (Lehi 7:6, pg. 623)
  • “For behold, the church of God will not always be righteous. Yea, it will not always follow the commandments of God and will suffer itself to become corrupt through the craftiness and wickedness of men. For this reason the Lord calleth prophets who are not members of the church of God, who are sent to preach repentance unto the church. Nevertheless, these prophets have no authority from God to lead the church, which hath been set up according to the lower law of Moses, which Jesus Christ fulfilled during his earthly ministry among the Jews” (Lehi 7:35-36, p. 625).

 

THE SEALED PORTION

While I do not have time to evaluate the entire sealed portion, I would like to cite excerpts from select verses to show just how much of a misfire Nemelka’s project is. One need not conduct a word-print analysis to see that the author who wrote the Book of Mormon is not the author of the sealed portion. Below are some randomly selected gems that highlight words, phrases, doctrines, and situations that have no in the Book of Mormon style or other Biblical works.

  • “And the Lord instructed them, saying: Nevertheless, ye shall not divulge any portion of the truth regarding the way in which Eve was tempted and lost her power over death and was cast out of the garden of Eden. For behold, these things shall not be known by any man except it be unto those whom I choose to reveal them. And I, Moroni, would that ye should know that unto some the truth of these things was revealed. And this truth hath been corrupted and changed over the course of the history of the children of men. For some have written concerning a fallen angel who came down upon the earth and enticed the daughters of men to engage in sexual intercourse” (TSP 15:5-6)
  • “And Lucifer became incarnate, and took upon himself one of the bodies that he found best suitable for that which he was wont to do. And the desire of Satan was to go into the garden of Eden and entice Eve and cause her to obey the eternal laws of the Father that he might take the glory upon himself. And Satan designed a type of ship in which he traveled over the many waters. And when he reached the land in which was centered the garden of Eden, he continued his travels up a large river of water until he came upon the borders of the garden of Eden. And the Lord did not stop Satan from doing that which he was wont to do, and this because of the law of free agency” (TSP 15:24-27)
  • “And Satan touched Eve in a manner that Eve had never been touched before. And when he touched Eve, she was surprised and astonished at the feeling that it caused to come over her. And Satan said unto her: Knowest thou not that these feelings that thou art experiencing at this time are those blessings that the Father hath given unto thee that thou mightest partake of the joy of which He partaketh? And Eve answered him, saying: I do not know about the feeling of joy of which our Father hath spoken, for I have not yet experienced this joy in all things. But in the things that I have experienced, I do not know what joy I should feel. And Satan said unto her: When I touch thee in this way, doth it not give unto thee the feelings of joy? And these feelings are the only way that thou canst comply with all the commands of the Father. For did not the Father command thee and Adam to multiply and have joy in your posterity? And how can ye have joy in something that ye do not have? And Satan enticed Eve, and showed unto her the pleasures of which he had spoken. And Satan took Eve and showed unto her the way that the other animals, that were like unto him, whose body Satan had possessed, produced their offspring” (TSP 15: 31-35)
  • “And those who are weaker spirits, and who have chosen their desire of happiness as that of a Terrestrial and Telestial state and would not have been able to handle the hardships of mortality, yea, even many of these are living in the last days before the coming of the Lord in his glory, even when the power of Satan hath taken away many of the vicissitudes and hardships of life and given unto them things that were forbidden to come forth in the days of the hardships of their ancestors” (TSP 8:31)

 

Jacob 5: Phrases, Doctrines, and Metaphors beyond Isaiah 5 and Romans 11

Some dismiss chapter 5 of Jacob as simply a plagiarism of Isaiah 5 and Romans 11. The following is a list of Biblical references in Jacob 5 that are not found in Isaiah 5 or Romans 11. The purpose of this list is to illustrate the complexity of the allegory of the olive tree and how it has a deep foundation in Biblical imagery and doctrine not accounted for in Isaiah 5 or Romans 11, possibly providing evidence of its Semitic roots.

1. Planting trees in a vineyard = Some argue that it makes no sense that the allegory refers to an olive tree in a vineyard, with some attributing the supposed “error” to the mindless plagiarism of Isaiah 5 and Romans 11, and others arguing that this error is due to writer’s fatigue. Planting trees in vineyards, however, has its basis in other Biblical passages.

  • Jacob 5:3 = “a tame olive tree, which a man took and nourished in his vineyard”
  • Luke 13:8 = “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard…”

2. Prune it, dig about it, nourish it, dung it = Had Jacob 5 been a simple plagiarism of Isaiah 5, then it would have only mentioned “pruning” and “digging.” Jacob 5 includes “dunging” and “nourishing,” which are not mentioned in Isaiah 5.

  • Jacob 5:4, 64 = “I will prune it, and dig about it, and nourish it…dig about them, and prune them, and dung them once more…”
  • Isaiah 5:6 = “it shall not be pruned, nor digged…”
  • Luke 13:8 = “till I shall dig about it, and dung it”

3. Shoot forth branches = It is unknown whether or not “shoot forth branches” was part of the vernacular of 19th century farmers, but regardless the phrase is found in various Old and New Testament scriptures.

  • Jacob 5:4 = “that perhaps it may shoot forth young and tender branches”
  • Ezekiel 17:7 = “and shot forth her branches toward him…”
  • Ezekiel 36:8 = “But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come”
  • Luke 21:30 = “when they now shoot forth, ye see and know…”

4. Those who abide in the vine/tree bring much fruit = The Lord of the Vineyard is Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament. Members of the LDS faith believe that Jesus Christ is Jehovah, making the verse in Jacob 5 a direct reference to the words of the Savior in the New Testament.

  • Jacob 5:20 = “this long time have I nourished it, and it hath brought forth much fruit.”
  • John 15:5 = “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit…”

5. Young and tender branches = Once again, it is unknown whether the phrase “young and tender” was part of the vernacular of 19th century farmers, but the phrase is found in its exact form in the Old Testament.

  • Jacob 5:4 = “shoot forth young and tender branches”
  • Matthew 24:32 = “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh”
  • Ezekiel 17:22 = “crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one…”
  • 1 Chronicles 22:5 = “Solomon my son is young and tender…”

6. Cast withered branches into the fire that they are burned = The wording between these two passages is very similar, including the unusual phrase “into the fire that they may be burned.” Most English writers would simply say “cast into the fire” and omit “that they may be burned” because it would be redundant. This may lend support to the Semitic origins of the Book of Mormon

  • Jacob 5:7 = “branches which are beginning to wither away, and we will cast them into the fire that they may be burned.”
  • John 15:6 = “he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”

7. The main top begins to perish and will be destroyed= The perishing of the olive tree is a direct reference to prophecies about the scattering of Israel. There is no reference to the perishing of an olive tree in Isaiah 5 or Romans 11.

  • Jacob 5:6-7 = “it began to put forth somewhat a little, young and tender branches; but behold, the main top thereof began to perish…we will pluck off those main branches which are beginning to wither away, and we will cast them into the fire that they may be burned”
  • Jeremiah 2:21 = “Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?”
  • Jeremiah 19:15/20:4 = “I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words…and I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive into Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword”

8. Lord of the vineyard =

  • Jacob 5:8 = “And behold, saith the Lord of the vineyard…”
  • Luke 20:13 = “Then said the Lord of the vineyard…”

9. Lay up against the season = It is unknown if this was common vernacular during the time of Joseph Smith. Regardless, the language is consistent with that of the Bible.

  • Jacob 5:13 = “that I may lay up fruit thereof against the season, unto myself…”
  • 1 Timothy 6:19 = “Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”

10. Good spot of ground/soil =

  • Jacob 5:25 = “Behold, this have I planted in a good spot of ground…”
  • Ezekiel 17:8 = “It was planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine.”

11. Planting tender branches into a new spot of ground =

  • Jacob 5: 24 = “Look hither, and behold another branch also, which I have planted…”
  • Ezekiel 17:22-23 = “I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent…and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit…”

12. Spare the tree a little longer =

  • Jacob 5:27, 50 = “Let us prune it, and dig about it, and nourish it a little longer…But behold, the servant said unto the Lord of the vineyard: Spare it a little longer.”
  • Luke 13:8-9 = “Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: and if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.”

13. None of the fruit is good =

  • Jacob 5:32 = “this time it hath brought forth much fruit, and there is none of it which is good.”
  • Psalms 14:3 = “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

14. Corrupt trees bring evil fruit =

  • Jacob 5:38-39 = “Let us go down into the nethermost parts of the vineyard, and behold if the natural branches have also brought forth evil fruit… the fruit of the natural branches had become corrupt also; yea, the first and the second and also the last; and they had all become corrupt.”
  • Matthew 7:17, 19 = “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit…Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire”

15. Trees are hewn down and cast into the fire =

  • Jacob 5:42 = “now all the trees of my vineyard are good for nothing save it be to be hewn down and cast into the fire.”
  • Matthew 3:10 = “every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”

16. Cut down that which cumbers the ground =

  • Jacob 5:44 = “I also cut down that which cumbered this spot of ground, that I might plant this tree in the stead thereof.”
  • Luke 13:7 = “Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?”

17. Stretched forth my hand all the day long =

  • Jacob 5:47 = “Have I slackened mine hand, that I have not nourished it? Nay, I have nourished it, and I have digged about it, and I have pruned it, and I have dunged it; and I have stretched forth mine hand almost all the day long, and the end draweth nigh.”
  • Isaiah 65:2 = “I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts.”
  • Romans 10:20-21 = “But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people”

18. Loftiness of the vineyard = Loftiness in the Bible is associated with pride. Isaiah 5 and Romans 11 mention nothing of the height of the tree nor that the loftiness of the tree overpowers the roots.

  • Jacob 5:48 = “Is it not the loftiness of thy vineyard—have not the branches thereof overcome the roots which are good?”
  • Isaiah 2:12, 17 = “For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty…and the loftiness of man shall be bowed down…”
  • Ezekiel 31:10-11 = (Note: This is a prophecy referring to the fall of Egypt. However, the metaphor is similar to that in Jacob 5) “Because thou hast lifted up thyself in height, and he hath shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height; I have therefore delivered him into the hand of the mighty one of the heathen; he shall surely deal with him: I have driven him out for his wickedness”

19. Labor with our might =

  • Jacob 5:61 = “that we may labor diligently with our might in the vineyard…”
  • Ecclesiastes 9:9-10 = “and in thy labor which thou takest under the sun. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might…”

20. Prepare the way = This is a clever use the phrase “prepare the way.” In preparing the way for the good fruit to grow, the writer also refers to prophecies of Isaiah.

  • Jacob 5:61, 64 = “labor diligently with our might in the vineyard, that we may prepare the way, that I may bring forth again the natural fruit…prepare the way for them, that they may grow”
  • Isaiah 40:3 = “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God”
  • Matthew 3:3 = “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”

21. First shall be last; last shall be first =

  • Jacob 5:63 = “Graft in the branches; begin at the last that they may be first, and that the first may be last…”
  • Matthew 19:30 = “But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.”

22. Let good and bad grow together = This similarity is particularly interesting because it shows two parables referring to different dilemmas (olive trees producing evil fruits vs. a wheat field being infested with tares) and yet teach the same doctrine about good and evil in the last days.

  • Jacob 5:65 = “And as they begin to grow ye shall clear away the branches which bring forth bitter fruit, according to the strength of the good and the size thereof; and ye shall not clear away the bad thereof all at once, lest the roots thereof should be too strong for the graft…”
  • Matthew 13:28-30 = “The servants said unto him; Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest…”

23. They shall be one =

  • Jacob 5:68 = “That they shall bring forth the natural fruit, and they shall be one.”
  • John 17:11 = “that they may be one, as we are.”

24. The laborers are few =

  • Jacob 5:70 = “And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard sent his servant; and the servant went and did as the Lord had commanded him, and brought other servants; and they were few.”
  • Matthew 9:37 = “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his vineyard”

25. They will be one body =

  • Jacob 5:74 = “the trees had become again the natural fruit; and they became like unto one body…”
  • I Corinthians 12:13 = “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles…”

26. The fruits were equal =

  • Jacob 5:74 = “and they became like unto one body; and the fruits were equal…”
  • Matthew 20:12 = “These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us…”

27. Satan will be bound but will return for a short time =

  • Jacob 5:76-77 = “For behold, for a long time will I lay up of the fruit of my vineyard unto mine own self against the season, which speedily cometh…And when the time cometh that evil fruit shall again come into my vineyard, then will I cause the good and the bad to be gathered…and my vineyard will I cause to be burned with fire.”
  • Revelation 20:2-3 = “And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled; and after that he must be loosed a little season”

28. Good and evil will be separated in the last days =

  • Jacob 5:77 = “then will I cause the good and the bad to be gathered; and the good will I preserve unto myself, and the bad will I cast away into its own place. And then cometh the season and the end”
  • Matthew 25:32 = “And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats”

29. The evil are cast away to their own place =

  • Jacob 5:77 = “and the good will I preserve unto myself, and the bad will I cast away into its own place.”
  • Acts 1:25 = “from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.”

Comparing Isaiah and the Book of Mormon (Part 2)

The following is a list of differences between chapters of Isaiah found in the Herald Heritage Reprint (1973) of the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon (BOM) and the King James version (KJV) of the Bible. The list will include comparisons between”Second Book of Nephi: Chapter 5″ (2 Nephi 6:16-18/7-8) and Isaiah 49:24-26/50-51/52:1-2.

Text that is found in the BOM but not in the KJVwill be bolded, underlined and italicized. Text that was excluded from the BOM that was found in the KJV will have a line through it.

“Second Book of Nephi: Chapter 5” (2 Nephi 6:16-18) and Isaiah 49:24-26

24 (Isaiah). “For shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?”

25. “But thus saith the Lord: Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for the Mighty God shall deliver his covenant people. For thus saith the Lord: I will contend with them him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.

“Second Book of Nephi: Chapter 5” (2 Nephi 7) and Isaiah 50

1. Yea, for thus saith the Lord: Have I put thee away, or have I cast thee off forever? For thus saith the Lord: Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement? To whom have I put thee away, or to which of my creditors is it to whom I have have I sold you? Yea, to whom have I sold you?…”

2. “wherefore, when I come came, there was was there no man?; when I called, yea, there was was there none to answer?

3. “O House of Israel, is my hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem, or have I no power to deliver? Behold, at my rebuke, I dry up the sea, I make their rivers a wilderness and their fish to stink stinketh, because the waters are dried up there is no water; and they die because of for thirst.”

4. “The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season unto thee, O House of Israel. When ye are to him that is weary, he waketh morning by morning…”

5. “The Lord God hath appointed opened (it is changed back to “opened” in later editions) mine ear, and I was not rebellious…”

8. “And the Lord He is near, and he that justifieth me. Who will contend with me? Let us stand together. Who is mine adversary? Let him come near to me, and I will smite him with the strength of my mouth…”

9. “For Behold, the Lord God will help me. And all they which who is he that shall condemn me?, behold lo, all they they all shall wax old as a garment, and the moth shall eat them up.”

10. “Who is among you that feareth the Lord; that obeyeth the voice of his servent; that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.

11. “…walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks which that ye have kindled…”

“Second Book of Nephi: Chapter 5” (2 Nephi 78) and Isaiah 51-52:1-2

1. “Hearken unto me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: Look unto the rock from whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit from whence ye are digged.”

2. “Look unto Abraham, your father; and unto Sarah, she that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.

4. “…and I will make my judgment to rest for a light thing (deleted in later editions) of the people.”

7. “Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart I have written is my law…”

8. “Awake, awake, put on strength O arm of the Lord: awake as in the ancient days, in the generations of old…”

11. “…and come singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy and holiness shall be upon their heads; and they shall obtain gladness and joy: and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.”

12. “I am he; yea, I even I am he that comforteth you: Behold, who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of a man which that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made like unto as grass;”

15. “But I am the Lord thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: the Lord of Hosts is my his name.”

16. “And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have hath covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Behold, thou art my people.”

17. “…thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out;”

18. “and There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand, of all the sons that she hath brought up.”

19. “These two sons things are come unto thee; who shall be sorry for thee? thy desolation and destruction, and the famine and the sword: And by whom shall I comfort thee?”

20. “Thy sons have fainted, save these two: they lie at the head of all the streets…”

21. “Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, and but not with wine…”

22. “Thus saith thy Lord, the Lord and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury…”

23. “But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which I have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over…”

Isaiah 52: 2 “Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem…”