Book of Mormon puzzle

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Palerider
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Book of Mormon puzzle

Post by Palerider » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:44 pm

According to Joseph Smith, the title page to the BofM was translated directly from the plates themselves. He was even audacious enough to name the position of the title page as coming from the last plate on the left hand side of the plate.

https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/book-mormo ... page#_edn2


But there's a problem.

Take a moment to read through a portion of the title page that I have included here:

"The
Book of Mormon
An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi

Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites—Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile—Written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation—Written and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed—To come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof—Sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by way of the Gentile—The interpretation thereof by the gift of God."

You may notice this entire piece has the feeling of being written in the past tense, especially the parts I have underlined.

Nowhere does it say that "I, Moroni will seal these plates up unto the Lord." Or even " I, Moroni am sealing these plates up unto the Lord."

The entire sense of the passage is that this sealing and hiding are a "fait accompli", something already done.

So here's the question.

Who is writing this passage???

We know that Moroni was supposedly the last writer on the plates. So if according to this passage the plates are already sealed up and hidden....how did this "plate" that we are reading get attached to the rest of the plates and who wrote it?

Because the "voice" which we are listening to is speaking of Moroni in the past tense. So we know it isn't Moroni or he would be writing in first person as he always does in his BofM writings. For example:

Moroni 1:1
"Now I, Moroni, after having made an end of abridging the account of the people of Jared..."

So who is this mysterious person who engraved the title page to the BofM and got it attached to the plates after they were already buried???

Any guesses? 8-)
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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Corsair
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Re: Book of Mormon puzzle

Post by Corsair » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:12 pm

I'm almost finished with the David Bokovoy interview on Mormon Stories. The faith transition of a scholarly apologist is quite a sight to behold. His challenges with the Book of Mormon start firmly in the camp of Deutero-Isaiah and bypass the anachronism issues of horses, steel, and chariots. Seeing the grammar on the conveniently placed "title page" of the Book of Mormon is another angle towards deconstructing the Book of Mormon.

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slavereeno
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Re: Book of Mormon puzzle

Post by slavereeno » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:32 pm

My Guess: Joseph made it all up. (I got that from Red Ryder)

Anon70
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Re: Book of Mormon puzzle

Post by Anon70 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:24 pm

My head hurts. And if you point this out too loudly or to the wrong people using your real name you get excommunicated. Not an apology...not more transparency and honesty. Nope-you get blamed for making people uncomfortable for pointing out the obvious.

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Palerider
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Re: Book of Mormon puzzle

Post by Palerider » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:59 pm

Anon70 wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:24 pm
My head hurts. And if you point this out too loudly or to the wrong people using your real name you get excommunicated. Not an apology...not more transparency and honesty. Nope-you get blamed for making people uncomfortable for pointing out the obvious.
Eventually it will get better. As long as you're on the side of truth it will work out in the end.....maybe even sooner. :)
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

Anon70
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Re: Book of Mormon puzzle

Post by Anon70 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:11 am

Palerider wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:59 pm
Anon70 wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:24 pm
My head hurts. And if you point this out too loudly or to the wrong people using your real name you get excommunicated. Not an apology...not more transparency and honesty. Nope-you get blamed for making people uncomfortable for pointing out the obvious.
Eventually it will get better. As long as you're on the side of truth it will work out in the end.....maybe even sooner. :)
Do you really think so? It seems like anyone vocal gets excommunicated and the TBMs are doubling down.

Reuben
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Re: Book of Mormon puzzle

Post by Reuben » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:37 am

I can imagine writing the page in past tense before actually doing the burying. To the reader, the burying would be in the past. A change in tense would be awkward. So I can't classify "past tense on the title page" as evidence either for or against historicity.
Grieve. It's your right and inheritance as a human being.

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jfro18
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Re: Book of Mormon puzzle

Post by jfro18 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:23 am

It doesn't make sense that Moroni would write it that way, but I also don't know think it qualifies as a smoking gun either. As Reuben said, an apologists would just argue that Moroni changed tense because he knew it would be read later.. which is stupid since it's the last plate and not the first, but what do I know?

That said, it's just another piece of the puzzle that Joseph made it all up.

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Palerider
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Re: Book of Mormon puzzle

Post by Palerider » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:55 am

Reuben wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:37 am
I can imagine writing the page in past tense before actually doing the burying. To the reader, the burying would be in the past. A change in tense would be awkward. So I can't classify "past tense on the title page" as evidence either for or against historicity.
This is the defense I thought some apologist would offer, but it doesn't really fit with the way the characters in the book have written throughout. If they're describing something that they're in the process of doing it's always in first person. Another way of looking at it might be, "Why would a title page even exist or be necessary?" If you were being hunted by Lamanites who wanted to kill you, you're completely alone, the book is complete, and suddenly you feel compelled to explain what the book's purpose is and make sure everyone knows it's existence is sacred and how it was brought forth was a sacred experience by someone who is in touch with God and angels. This is almost more of a sales pitch than a necessity. Not only is Joseph telling us it's sacred but so is "presumably" Moroni. Bigger than life characters who have come back as angels carry a lot of weight. They better be believed.

Except that the way it is written logically excludes Moroni from being the author.

The book actually speaks for itself. Why not let it? Why do we have to be "told" what it's significance is? Told what to think about it?

Isn't it more likely that the writer in his zeal to be believed, forgot or lost track for a moment that the way he was writing the title page wasn't adding up? It's that old "Oh what a web we weave" story. It's extremely difficult to continually make sure all of the story adds up when you're imagining it as you go.
Last edited by Palerider on Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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Hagoth
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Re: Book of Mormon puzzle

Post by Hagoth » Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:06 am

Palerider wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:55 am
The book actually speaks for itself. Why not let it? Why do we have to be "told" what it's significance is? Told what to think about it?
This is a general problem with the Book of Mormon. For all of its bravado it seems to be pretty insecure about itself. It's constantly insisting to the reader that it's real, and constantly apologizing for itself. "If you think this is poorly written it's because we had to write it in a language that we're not that familiar with, and because it's really hard to write on gold, and these characters are really tricky, and we're just weak men anyway, and even though I'm telling you that some really AMAZING things were said I can't write even a hundredth of them because that would take up too much space, so I'm not even going to attempt to summarize them, even though it I did, believe me, it would knock your socks off."

And where else do authors insist that they REALLY wrote this by their own hand? Apart from Abraham, that is.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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Palerider
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Re: Book of Mormon puzzle

Post by Palerider » Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:12 am

Anon70 wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:11 am
Palerider wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:59 pm
Anon70 wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:24 pm
My head hurts. And if you point this out too loudly or to the wrong people using your real name you get excommunicated. Not an apology...not more transparency and honesty. Nope-you get blamed for making people uncomfortable for pointing out the obvious.
Eventually it will get better. As long as you're on the side of truth it will work out in the end.....maybe even sooner. :)
Do you really think so? It seems like anyone vocal gets excommunicated and the TBMs are doubling down.
The church may or may not get better. But your "head hurting" will. It just takes time.
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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