Where Have All the Good Writers Gone? You won’t find them in the Book of Mormon

And I’m sure not one of them!

There is no way on God’s green earth that anyone can make logical sense of who wrote what and when to produce the Book of Mormon other than it all came from the head of Smith between 1827 and 1830.

If we start with the book attributed to Mormon, (3rd from last in B. of M.) all Mormon was commanded to write on the plates of Nephi were the things he observed during his lifetime. (Mormon 1:3) If this was all that Mormon was to do, he certainly didn’t need to take the unabridged writings of 900 years that, according to some, could weigh hundreds of pounds and jeopardize these gold records in his tent while fighting wars for 60 years over thousands of miles of real estate? A God that would want him to do this would not be very smart or practical. We have to conclude that Ammaron/God didn’t intend for Mormon to take the complete plates of Nephi record at that time, in fact we have to take Mormon’s word that he was just to take the ‘plates of Nephi’. (Mormon 1:4) Smith tells us the lost first 475 years of the book of Lehi were written on the plates of Lehi. Maybe Mormon should take just a few empty plates that Ammaron generously included for the next engraver of the record?

When you put all the loose pieces together with Cowdery’s statement of the amount of records in the ‘cave’ at Cumorah, where Mormon was supposed to have buried the tons of records that Brigham Young said would represent several ‘wagon loads’, we have to conclude these were the very same records that 300 year old Ammaron buried in hill Shim in South America for Mormon to find. First, to take what Brigham says were several wagon loads, without wagons, this 300 yr. old man would be hard pressed to get it there without finding a neat Aladdin like cave like the one found at Cumorah. The next  problem would be to put name tags on each individual stack so Mormon could discern from all of the look alike plates which ones were the plates of Nephi. This is also assuming that Mormon was ever taught by his father to read and write.

But, if Mormon didn’t take some plates with engraved Egyptian how was he to learn to read and write the language? Where was he going to learn Hebrew so he could teach his son, that he doesn’t mention until he is 75 yrs. old, and be able to tell us that the whole history could have been written in Hebrew, if the plates had only been large enough! (Mormon 9:33) But the Mormon God, who isn’t Jewish, had his reasons for Nephi to make smaller plates and keep the Egyptian writing that the Jews hate,d but, of course, the last thing that Smith would want is have his gold plates written in a Hebrew dialect.

The book is a maze of contradictions and absurdities and one doesn’t know which to point out first. To think that the God of the Universe had anything to do with it would be blasphemy. There is critical dating everywhere you look. The departure date of Lehi and his group from Jerusalem in 600 BC during the reign of Zedekiah could not happen if Zedekiah didn’t ascend the throne until late 597 BC.

It was more than just ‘convenient’ for Lehi with 4 sons plus Zoram, a male servant of Laban, for God/Smith to come up with a family with 5 unmarried daughters to join the trek into Saudi Arabia with no animals and few provisions. If we count Nephi’s two sisters who didn’t marry, there were initially 16 people sharing Lehi’s tent. 1Nephi 16:6-7 tells us that the four sons of Lehi plus Zoram married the 5 daughters of Ishmael. With the crowded tent we would have to believe Lehi’s wife was already pregnant with Jacob when the journey began. Nephi and his brothers had tents when they returned to Jerusalem for the plates of Laban but when Nephi killed Laban and stole the hundreds of pounds of plates, while being chased by Laban’s servants, they were forced to leave their tents behind.

The ultimate first destination that God would have known was Muscat, Oman. The traditional Frankincense Trail would have taken less than 2 months with Camels. By following the guide (Ouija ball that worked like the Ouija board based on the faith of the participants) that the Mormon God furnished, they spent 8 years traveling in circles in what the Arabs called ‘the Empty Quarter’ 250,000 sq. mi of nothing but sand dunes. According to the story the women were giving birth with Lehi’s 45 year old Wife giving birth to her second son in that environment with no fruits, vegetables, milk or anything other than uncooked predator mea,t that was forbidden under the Law of Moses. Why they didn’t all die of scurvy or malnutrition can only happen in a bad fantasy novel. After 8 years of this bodily abuse, they faced an 18,000 mile sea voyage of at least 2 years with the same nourishment problems. By the time they reached the middle of Chile, South America, (according to Smith), their health longevity was greatly impaired.

However, if Nephi who says he was ‘exceedingly’ young in 600 BC was 15 then his soon to be born brother Jacob would be 16 years younger. The book of Jacob, vs. 1, tells us that it is now 545 BC with Nephi now 70 and about to anoint a king to rule over an extended family of maybe 10 adults with children. In order not to marry his niece, Jacob needed Zoram to have a couple of daughters, one for him and one for his brother Joseph. We know of no children from Nephi other than two girls who may have died on the ship voyage. In Jacob 1:9 we are told that Nephi anointed a MAN to be King over this small family group.

If Nephi had a son and anointed him, Jacob would have indicated that. If Jacob had a son besides Amos, and he was anointed, he would have said that. 2Nephi 5:6 tells of the split in the original group and who followed Nephi. It tells us Nephi’s older brother Sam with his family and Zoram and his family with no indication if there were sons. It appears Jacob and Joseph were still unmarried and waiting for one of Zoram’s daughters to be old enough. The probable date for this is maybe 570 BC with Lehi having passed away maybe a year or two earlier. The most probable of all the candidates would have been the Son of Sam that uncle Jacob should have honored by saying so! Unless, when Jacob mentioned the various clans in Jacob 1:13, he left out Sam and family because they had all died. The clan of Sam disappears and is never mentioned again in the Book of Mormon. Probably because in 2Nephi 4:11 Lehi wanted Sam to be part of Nephi’s clan. But that is still no reason not to identify a son of Sam as the newly anointed king if that was indeed the case.

We hear of no sons from either Zoram or Joseph but if it had been Joseph’s very young son, we would think Jacob would indicate the MAN/boy was an immediate family member rather than anointing the son of the servant Zoram. Unfortunately, there was no one else! Jacob was 45 at the time, and if Enos, Jacob’s son was 22, it was possible for an even younger son of Jacob, to be king, but not without giving him a name and standing in the family. If Enos was 22 in 545 BC the book of Enos vs. 25 tells us 179 years had passed, which would make it 420 BC and make Enos the healthiest of the Nephites living well past 100. The son of Enos, Jarom, writes in vs. 13 that now 238 years had passed making it 361 BC and if he was born in 535 BC when Enos was 32, Enos’ son Jarom, would now be 174 yrs. old!

This story, ‘critical dating’ gets flakier and flakier. Jacob Vs. 11 tells us

“Wherefore, the people were desirous to retain in remembrance his [Nephi’s] name. And whoso should reign in his stead were called by the people, second Nephi, third Nephi, and so forth, according to the reigns of the kings; and thus they were called by the people, let them be of whatever name they would.”

12 And it came to pass that Nephi died.

This is not supposed to be an abridgment from Mormon or anyone else and should be the exact words that Jacob writes. Of course, no one could write this in 644 BC at the time of Nephi’s death. We know this whole story is a series of ‘flashbacks’ or someone like Mormon writing at the end of his life quoting what he may have remembered 50 years earlier. To give Jacob the benefit of the doubt let us say he knew about this reign of kings named Nephi because he waited another 23 years to write it, just a few months before he dies. And manages to put all the 3,800 words of the false prophet Zenos and the stupid story of Sherem in chapter 7 about an unknown man who wasn’t a Lamanite, but knew the traditions of the Jews; however, he somehow spoke the Egyptian dialect that Jacob and his group of maybe 10 adults spoke. Of all the unbelievable characters in the book, this probably takes the cake.

Jacob mentions a second king in vs. 15, so this young unknown first king, not related to the principal characters, did not last long. Jacob 2:1 tells us of a speech that Jacob gave after the death of Nephi where he warns his brother Joseph and any grandson that Zoram might have had about polygamy and that they shouldn’t do it. He talked about the ‘wives’ of Nephi’s ‘people’ that could have been at most 2 couples that Jacob united in marriage in a temple that he and his brothers made as a replica of Solomon’s temple while everyone lived in tents. (2Nephi 5:16)

But we are first told that God spoke to Jacob to get to the temple immediately to warn them about acquiring riches because somehow these two couples were looking for gold and silver rather than planting crops and tending the flocks, as though they could buy something with it at Walmart rather than barter with each other for something useful. One of these grandmothers must have been a seamstress that had brought over a sowing machine and some angel brought down some beautiful cloth from heaven and they were making ‘costly apparel’ where the wife could sit in the café and sip coffee. Come on Jo, you can do better than this! You were lousy with dates, but these people were barely starting out in a new land and half or more of them still living in tents. Who ever learned to spin wool? Where were all the sheep?

Jacob 4:1 tells us of the difficulty of engraving words on plates but not the difficulty of finding and mining the ore to make the plates. Nevertheless, his next chapter is a complete quote from a false prophet named Zenos that he would have to have seen on the stolen brass plates. These were the plates that Jacob would have to have at the temple where these extraordinary young people came to study the scriptures and learn about David and Solomon’s polygamy, of course after someone had taught them to read and write Egyptian. Maybe at most, one or two lucky ones could take time from providing food and shelter and attend 4 hour a day classes held by Jacob who learned Egyptian from of course, Egyptian speaking angels. Nephi had no time with so much metal plate making and engraving he had to do.  He had to find time to engrave on metal plates the writings of his father that had to have been done on parchment. He tells us in 1Nephi 1:17 that he is going to make an abridgment of his father’s record before he gets around to the story of his own life. His father died in Chile maybe about 573 BC after which Nephi was warned by God that his older brothers were planning to kill him and Nephi should leave with all of the important Egyptian writing so his older brothers would continue their Hebrew language and ways, without any written word. It is unclear who among the Egyptian speaking Nephites kept the Hebrew language still viable both spoken and written for 1,000 years. (Mormon 9:33) Someone must have dropped the ball because they could not understand the Hebrew speaking Mulekite/Jews when the Nephites joined with them in their land maybe about 180 BC. (Omni vs17)

Smith was way off base having Jacob ‘engrave’ almost 4,000 words (Jacob 4:1 ‘and I cannot write but a little of my words, because of the difficulty of engraving our words upon plates’) of the most off the wall, repetitious, plagiarism of Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapter 11, where Paul spoke to the ‘wild olive tree’, (gentiles in Rome) it had relevance, but to this tiny family of so called Jews, it was ridiculous.

Anyone studying the Book of Mormon as ‘inspired’ actual history has a most difficult job trying to get the sequence of things with any reliable dating. The dating has significance for a variety of reasons not the least of which was the prophecy that Christ would be born exactly 600 years from when they left Jerusalem.

To repeat myself, we have to realize that major changes were made in the first 475 years of the history of the book that Smith was trying to palm off on the unsuspecting world. The lost manuscript for this period of time was referred to by Smith and his God as the Book of Lehi from the plates of Lehi. Lehi was the father of Nephi who, along with the help of Smith gave the beginning account of the same 475 years that Nephi/Smith is trying to cover. These years and story line have to dovetail into what was contained in Smith’s drafts for the rest of the 1,000 years. Smith knew that at any moment those who stole his manuscript to discredit him would produce it if the two story lines differed in any meaningful way. The first 20-30 years coming from the son’s perspective, didn’t have to be a word for word match of his father’s lost record.

For today’s readers who see current events recorded for TV, must understand that every bit of hard news of what claims to be history will be written after the events and often many years later. Such is the case starting with Nephi, whether a fictional character or not. In his first chapter, he certainly is not writing while in Jerusalem or at any time on the Asian continent. His father may have written on parchment scrolls in his house in Jerusalem, or tent in Arabia (we don’t know how he got the scrolls or ink) Smith was smart enough not to have him write on gold plates from some Solomon gold mine.

It is already most difficult for any serious scholar to believe the Laban ‘brass plates’ story. First of all, Smith should have used the term ‘bronze’ as brass didn’t exist in Jerusalem at the time. Laban, a non Levite, and not from the Scribe profession is totally unlikely to even be able to read and write Hebrew let alone Egyptian. The claim that Lehi preached to the tribe of Judah calling them to repentance in Egyptian is equally preposterous. How would Lehi become a bi-lingual literate man who home schooled his youngest son to be the same without being a Levite Scribe?

Reading, writing and keeping the religious record was the domain of the Levites whose inheritance was the Priesthood. The other tribes were farmers and/or those who tended flocks, made garments and had shops, etc. They were not literate people. Even Jeremiah, a Priest, the current prophet in 600 BC had his scribe write down his words. Baruch, Jeremiah’s scribe would have been the only one to mention king Zedekiah in this time frame and was the keeper of Jeremiah’s oracles. It is most unlikely that Baruch would be meeting with Laban, a non Levite, so he could translate and transfer Jeremiah’s prophesies to the brass plates in Egyptian!

If we compare Smith’s history with history from Historians we find during Lehi’s 30’s and 40’s that there was considerable turmoil. In 609 King Josiah sided against King Neco of Egypt and was killed. The Egyptian king eventually put a son of the killed Josiah on the throne and called him Jehoiakim. He was hostile to Jeremiah and kept him in prison for much of his reign.

“On one occasion, when an early draft of the prophet’s writings was being read to Jehoiakim (Jer 36:21), the king used a scribe’s knife to cut the scroll apart, three or four columns at a time, and threw it piece by piece into the firepot in his winter apartment. At the Lord’s command, however, Jeremiah simply dictated his prophecies to Baruch a second time, adding ‘many similar words’ to them.” (That is what true prophets do, take note, Smith.)

We are told by this same Historian that Jehoiakim stayed on the throne through the 605 BC sacking of Jerusalem by the king of Babylon. It included deportation and training of Daniel and his three companions for important work in the king’s palace in Babylon. (Dan 1:2-6)

The historian Josephus gives a graphic description of still another sacking of Jerusalem and what kinds of people were deported to Babylon.

“Yet when he [King of Babylon] came into the city [Jerusalem] he did not observe the covenants he had made, but he slew such as were in the flower of their age, and such as were of the greatest dignity, together with their king Jehoiakim, whom he commanded to be thrown from the walls, without any burial; and made his son Jehoiachin king of the country and he took the principal persons in dignity for  captives, three thousand in number, and led them away to Babylon; among which was the prophet Ezekiel, who was but young.”

Where were Lehi and his sons while this was going on? Jehoiachin was put on the throne for 3 months in 597 BC. Smith/Nephi tells us that they left Jerusalem in 600 BC, that would be 600 years before the coming of Christ. We get no clue whatever from Nephi that Zedekiah was the uncle of the short reigning king Jehoiachin, and whose name had been changed from Mattaniah to Zedekiah. These accounts are given in Chronicles and Kings but from the historian Josephus in the Antiquities of the Jews the following account of the third sacking of Jerusalem that Lehi and family would have to live through but fail to mention. The king of Babylon was afraid that Jehoiachin might hold a grudge against him for throwing his father to his death, didn’t keep his agreement once again.

 “Which agreement they did not observe for a single year, for the king of Babylon did not keep it, but gave orders to his generals to take all that were in the city captives, both the youth and the handicraftsmen, and bring them bound to him; their number was ten thousand eight hundred and thirty-two; as also Jehoiachin, and his mother and friends. And when these were brought to him, he kept them in custody, and appointed Jehoiachin’s uncle, Zedekiah, to be king.”

If Zedekiah was not put on the throne until the end of 597 BC, it is likely Nephi and his group didn’t leave before 596 BC, if it was during the reign of Zedekiah. (It is absolutely amazing that Nephi’s family escaped death or deportation during all three sackings without breathing a word to his readers! And of course Lehi is on the streets warning them of things that already happened. And if we can believe 2Kings 24:14 “And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained save the poorest sort of the people of the land”) Then Zedekiah was put on the throne! Vs. 17 says “all those apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.” Lehi’s sons couldn’t possibly fall into any of these categories, at least not in Smith’s fantasy story.

If 596 BC is the correct date, according to world historians, then the coming of Christ 600 years after the departure of Lehi from Jerusalem couldn’t be before 4 AD at the earliest. If we take into account the Jewish lunar calendar that did not have 365 days and was 11 days shorter than the solar, a month was needed to be added every 3 years to make it solar and keep the spring festival in the Spring. If Smith and the Nephite prophets didn’t understand that, we would have 600, divided by 3, divided by 12 to get an additional 16 years to reconcile Christ’s birth for the Nephites. So the Mormon Christ comes about 20 years after the Bible Christ and of course we know that the Bible Christ spent the three days after his crucifixion in Paradise with the thief. (Luke 23:43 it is interesting that Smith in his ‘inspired’ version of the Bible inserts along with many other things, this verse in his Matthew gospel) Peter infers in 1Peter 3:19 that Christ may have been preaching to those in prison who were wicked in the days of Noah. The Mormon Christ spent this time with his terrorist angels destroying an exceeding number of cities in North and South America, along with innocent men, women and children.

So the maze or smoke and mirrors created by Smith is too great for one to come to any rational idea about dates and how historical data was possible that is in line with world historical facts.

Nephi tells us that his Jewish father who lived his whole life in Jerusalem wrote his whole history and translated his Hebrew dreams, visions and revelations into Egyptian to make his Nephite record, or did he write half and half depending on what one is trying to prove. He and a relative, Laban, who his son murdered to steal Laban’s life’s work, were the only ones besides scribes who could do this.

Nephi 1:16 says,

“And now I, Nephi, do not make a full account of the things which my father hath written, for he hath written many things which he saw in visions and in dreams; and he also hath written many things which he prophesied and spake unto his children, of which I shall not make a full account.

17 But I shall make an account of my proceedings in my days. Behold, I make an abridgment of the record of my father, upon plates which I have made with mine own hands; wherefore, after I have abridged the record of my father then will I make an account of mine own life.

Verse 17 tells us he is going to make an abridgment of the record of his father, and after he has done that he will start on the record that we are presently reading. This he cannot do until he gets the revelation to make such a record and has the time and ore and plates to do so. To complete his father’s record, he would have to wait until his father was dead and finished his writings which wouldn’t be until Nephi had left Chile for Peru, South America, if you can believe Smith. (The Mormon apologists will say this all happened in Central America.)

Nephi 19:1 tells us Nephi made plates of ore after their arrival in Chile. (According to Smith)

“…the Lord commanded me, wherefore I did make plates of ore that I might engraven upon them the record of my people. And upon the plates which I made I did engraven the record of my father, and also our journeyings in the wilderness, and the prophecies of my father; and also many of mine own prophecies have I engraven upon them.”

He doesn’t say here that the record of his father was an abridgment. To be logical, he would want to transfer all of the writings of his father from parchment to plates after his father’s death and after he had escaped from his brother’s plans to kill him. This would put a big burden on his brothers and Zoram in building the Solomon-like temple, tending the flocks and planting seeds that they hopefully harvested while still in Chile. This may have been another reason for his brothers to be angry that Nephi took all the written records as well. He wasn’t the next in line to rule the family after the death of their father.

Lehi probably died in Chile about 571 BC so they were all united in one big clan for close to 20 years. Certainly Lehi’s last blessings and prophesies found in 2Nephi chapters 1-4 would be part of the plates of Lehi. We are not told who was transcribing Lehi’s words as they were spoken. We are not told if the daughters of Ishmael and Nephi’s older brothers were all bi-lingual or if Lehi spoke to all in Egyptian or Hebrew. Later in the story we learn that the Lamanites didn’t understand Egyptian, only a Hebrew dialect.

We are also told, contrary to modern science, as Lehi’s clan journeyed in Chile

“… in the wilderness, that there were beasts in the forests of every kind, both the cow and the ox, and the ass and the horse, and the goat and the wild goat, and all manner of wild animals, which were for the use of men.”

It is too bad that Smith didn’t think to include sheep so one could believe that they eventually wore something besides animal skins.  Smith uses the term ‘sheep’ as a metaphor dozens of times and is mentioned once in the Jaredite record as being brought to America in 2200 BC along with the Elephants but it seems no Elephants or sheep greeted Lehi. In 18 years they certainly domesticated these animals for the use of the clan. The writings of Lehi would be a treasure for all the sons of Lehi especially those next in line to rule the clan. When Lehi ‘waxed old’ before he died it fell to Laman to take charge of what the clan possessed. If Nephi was going to make a hard copy of what his father wrote on parchment, this would be the time to do it. He needed to find ore, mine it, refine it and make plates. Laman would look at this as a ‘clan’ effort to preserve their father’s heritage. Nephi would have to be excused from other clan duties to do this tedious work.

When Nephi fled from the clan’s farm with all who went with him, he took not only all the clan’s plates he had made, but the brass plates of Laban that would weigh a couple hundred pounds if it contained the whole Old Testament including Jeremiah. One would think he would take at least a pack horse for the tents and all of the plates. We are told when they got to the land of Nephi that they planted seeds that they stole from Laman, but left the animals because there were plenty of those same animals in Peru that were found in Chile. These animals then magically died out without a trace. (They were brought to America in 2,200 BC by the Jaredites and lived here for at least 2,200 years and then God had them all disappear to test the faith of the Mormons.) With Nephi absconding with all the clan’s treasures it is amazing that Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael did not follow on their fastest horses to get it all back and finish killing Nephi.

2Nephi 5:7 says: “…And after we had journeyed for the space of many days we did pitch our tents.8 And my people would that we should call the name of the place Nephi; wherefore, we did call it Nephi.”

Smith was not aware of the vast distances in South America. To travel 1,000 miles certainly took the ‘space of many days’ The action took place here until about 170 BC when the Nephites who followed Mosiah joined the Mulekites in Columbia, in the city of Zarahemla.

Here comes more smoke and mirrors again for in verse 4 we find that Nephi already says he did make another record of events far into the future from his arrival date in Chile in 589 BC.

Wherefore, I, Nephi, did make a record upon the other plates, which gives an account, or which gives a greater account of the wars and contentions and destructions of my people. And this have I done, and commanded my people what they should do after I was gone; and that these plates should be handed down from one generation to another, or from one prophet to another, until further commandments of the Lord.

“Fatal Flaws of the Most Correct Book on Earth” (Book of Mormon) can be bought at Amazon.com

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Published in: on September 7, 2011 at 11:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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