BOOK OF MORMON

 

Critique of Alma Chapter 37

 

Setting: Alma continues his powwow with his son Helaman in 73 BCE America!

 

Verses 1-2: AND now, my son Helaman, I command you that ye take the records which have been entrusted with me; and I also command you that ye keep a record of this people, according as I have done, upon the plates of Nephi, and keep all these things sacred which I have kept, even as I have kept them; for it is for a wise purpose that they are kept.

Note: Plates were never used for record keeping by the Jews.

Numbers 16:38 The censers of these men who sinned against their own souls, let them be made into hammered plates as a covering for the altar. Because they presented them before the LORD, therefore they are holy; and they shall be a sign to the children of Israel."

 

Verses 3-4: And these plates of brass, which contain these engravings, which have the records of the holy scriptures upon them, which have the genealogy of our forefathers, even from the beginning-- Behold, it has been prophesied by our fathers, that they should be kept and handed down from one generation to another, and be kept and preserved by the hand of the Lord until they should go forth unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, that they shall know of the mysteries contained thereon.

Note: Plates were never used for record keeping by the Jews.

1 Kings 7:27-37 He also made ten carts of bronze; four cubits was the length of each cart, four cubits its width, and three cubits its height. And this was the design of the carts: They had panels, and the panels were between frames; on the panels that were between the frames were lions, oxen, and cherubim. And on the frames was a pedestal on top. Below the lions and oxen were wreaths of plaited work. Every cart had four bronze wheels and axles of bronze, and its four feet had supports. Under the laver were supports of cast bronze beside each wreath. Its opening inside the crown at the top was one cubit in diameter; and the opening was round, shaped like a pedestal, one and a half cubits in outside diameter; and also on the opening were engravings, but the panels were square, not round. Under the panels were the four wheels, and the axles of the wheels were joined to the cart. The height of a wheel was one and a half cubits. The workmanship of the wheels was like the workmanship of a chariot wheel; their axle pins, their rims, their spokes, and their hubs were all of cast bronze. And there were four supports at the four corners of each cart; its supports were part of the cart itself. On the top of the cart, at the height of half a cubit, it was perfectly round. And on the top of the cart, its flanges and its panels were of the same casting. On the plates of its flanges and on its panels he engraved cherubim, lions, and palm trees, wherever there was a clear space on each, with wreaths all around. Thus he made the ten carts. All of them were of the same mold, one measure, and one shape.

 

Verses 5-6: And now behold, if they are kept they must retain their brightness; yea, and they will retain their brightness; yea, and also shall all the plates which do contain that which is holy writ. Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.

Note: The brightenss of copper does fade and it is foolishness to believe otherwise.

Copper is quite resistant to corrosion. It will not rust. In damp air, it turns from reddish-orange to reddish-brown. After long exposure, copper becomes coated with a green film called patina, which protects it against further corrosion. (Statue of Liberty) World Book Encyclopedia

 

Verses 7-8: And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls. And now, it has hitherto been wisdom in God that these things should be preserved; for behold, they have enlarged the memory of this people, yea, and convinced many of the error of their ways, and brought them to the knowledge of their God unto the salvation of their souls.

Note: Ancient Jewish records were kept on scrolls.

Ezra 6:2 And at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of Media, a scroll was found, and in it a record was written thus:

 

Verses 9-10: Yea, I say unto you, were it not for these things that these records do contain, which are on these plates, Ammon and his brethren could not have convinced so many thousands of the Lamanites of the incorrect tradition of their fathers; yea, these records and their words brought them unto repentance; that is, they brought them to the knowledge of the Lord their God, and to rejoice in Jesus Christ their Redeemer. And who knoweth but what they will be the means of bringing many thousands of them, yea, and also many thousands of our stiffnecked brethren, the Nephites, who are now hardening their hearts in sin and iniquities, to the knowledge of their Redeemer?

Note: Ancient Jewish records were kept on scrolls.

Isaiah 8:1 Moreover the LORD said to me, "Take a large scroll, and write on it with a manís pen concerning Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz."

Note: The name and title "Jesus Christ" was strictly New Testament.

Webster's Dictionary: Jesus, from the Latin Iesus; from the Greek Iesous.

Webster's Dictionary; Christ, from Middle English Crist, from the Greek Christos.

 

Verses 11-12: Now these mysteries are not yet fully made known unto me; therefore I shall forbear. And it may suffice if I only say they are preserved for a wise purpose, which purpose is known unto God; for he doth counsel in wisdom over all his works, and his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round.

Note: Ancient Jewish records were kept on scrolls.

Isaiah 30:8 Now go, write it before them on a (clay) tablet, and note it on a scroll, that it may be for time to come, forever and ever:

 

Verse 13: O remember, remember, my son Helaman, how strict are the commandments of God. And he said: If ye will keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land--but if ye keep not his commandments ye shall be cut off from his presence.

Note: The promised land was located in the Middle East not America.

Exodus 6:4 I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, in which they were strangers.

 

Verse 14: And now remember, my son, that God has entrusted you with these things, which are sacred, which he has kept sacred, and also which he will keep and preserve for a wise purpose in him, that he may show forth his power unto future generations.

Note: Ancient Jewish records were kept on scrolls.

Jeremiah 36:2-3 "Take a scroll of a book and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel, against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah even to this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the adversities which I purpose to bring upon them, that everyone may turn from his evil way, that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin."

 

Verse 15: And now behold, I tell you by the spirit of prophecy, that if ye transgress the commandments of God, behold, these things which are sacred shall be taken away from you by the power of God, and ye shall be delivered up unto Satan, that he may sift you as chaff before the wind.

Note: The BOM author used New Testament phrases.

Revelation 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

Matthew 13:12 "For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him."

Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat."

 

Verse 16: But if ye keep the commandments of God, and do with these things which are sacred according to that which the Lord doth command you, (for you must appeal unto the Lord for all things whatsoever ye must do with them) behold, no power of earth or hell can take them from you, for God is powerful to the fulfilling of all his words.

Note: Mormons viewed Joseph Smith as a god after the publication of the BOM.

We are to be judged by how we respond to the message authored by Mormon and finished by Joseph. Mormon wrote, "Ye must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ . . . to be judged" (Mormon 3:20). Mormon and Joseph will undoubtedly also meet us before the bar of God that we may know that they have been "commanded of [Christ] to write these things" (see 2 Nephi 33:11; see also Jacob 6:13; Ether 12:38). Brigham Young told the Saints in his day, "Joseph Smith holds the keys of this last dispensation, and is now engaged behind the vail [sic] in the great work of the last days. . . . [N]o man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith" (JD 7:289). In our day, President Ezra Taft Benson has warned us that we are on trial to see what we will do with the Book of Mormon (see Benson, A Witness 13). We will answer for our response to this second witness of Jesus Christ. Should not we do more to make the Book of Mormon a larger part of our lives? Fourth Nephi through Moroni (M. Nyman)

 

Verses 17-19: For he will fulfil all his promises which he shall make unto you, for he has fulfilled his promises which he has made unto our fathers. For he promised unto them that he would preserve these things for a wise purpose in him, that he might show forth his power unto future generations. And now behold, one purpose hath he fulfilled, even to the restoration of many thousands of the Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth; and he hath shown forth his power in them, and he will also still show forth his power in them unto future generations; therefore they shall be preserved.

Note: American Indians are related to Asians and are not Jews.

No people lived in the Americas before the Indians arrived. Most scientists think the first Indians came to the Americas from Asia at least 15,000 years ago. Other scientists believe the Indians may have arrived as early as 35,000 years ago. At the time the Indians came, huge ice sheets covered much of the northern half of the earth. As a result, much of the earth that is now underwater was dry land. One such area that was dry then but is submerged now is the Bering Strait, which today separates Asia and North America. The Indians, following the animals that they hunted, wandered across this land, a distance of about 50 miles (80 kilometers). By 12,500 years ago, Indians had spread throughout the New World and were living from the Arctic in the north all the way to southern South America. World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verse 20: Therefore I command you, my son Helaman, that ye be diligent in fulfilling all my words, and that ye be diligent in keeping the commandments of God as they are written.

Note: Helaman should have been practicing animal sacrifice.

Exodus 20:24 An altar of earth you shall make for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. In every place where I record My name I will come to you, and I will bless you.

 

Verse 21: And now, I will speak unto you concerning those twenty-four plates, that ye keep them, that the mysteries and the works of darkness, and their secret works, or the secret works of those people who have been destroyed, may be made manifest unto this people; yea, all their murders, and robbings, and their plunderings, and all their wickedness and abominations, may be made manifest unto this people; yea, and that ye preserve these interpreters.

Note: Plates were never used for record keeping by the Jews.

Jeremiah 36:4 Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah; and Baruch wrote on a scroll of a book, at the instruction of Jeremiah, all the words of the LORD which He had spoken to him.

 

Verse 22: For behold, the Lord saw that his people began to work in darkness, yea, work secret murders and abominations; therefore the Lord said, if they did not repent they should be destroyed from off the face of the earth.

Note: The BOM author used the pre-flood situation of the earth from the Old Testament.

Genesis 6:5-7 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them."

 

Verse 23: And the Lord said: I will prepare unto my servant Gazelem, a stone, which shall shine forth in darkness unto light, that I may discover unto my people who serve me, that I may discover unto them the works of their brethren, yea, their secret works, their works of darkness, and their wickedness and abominations.

Note: God doesn't need a stone to know the sins of human beings.

1 Kings 8:37-40 "When there is famine in the land, pestilence or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers; when their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is; whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple: then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men), that they may fear You all the days that they live in the land which You gave to our fathers."

 

Verses 24-25: And now, my son, these interpreters were prepared that the word of God might be fulfilled, which he spake, saying: I will bring forth out of darkness unto light all their secret works and their abominations; and except they repent I will destroy them from off the face of the earth; and I will bring to light all their secrets and abominations, unto every nation that shall hereafter possess the land.

Note: The word "interpreters" replaced the word "directors" in the original 1830 version.

 

Verse 26: And now, my son, we see that they did not repent; therefore they have been destroyed, and thus far the word of God has been fulfilled; yea, their secret abominations have been brought out of darkness and made known unto us.

Note: God will make His salvation known unto human beings.

Psalm 98:2 The LORD has made known His salvation; His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations.

 

Verse 27: And now, my son, I command you that ye retain all their oaths, and their covenants, and their agreements in their secret abominations; yea, and all their signs and their wonders ye shall keep from this people, that they know them not, lest peradventure they should fall into darkness also and be destroyed.

Note: The word "peradventure" is an archaic English word.

Webster's Dictionary: Peradventure, archaic for chance.

 

Verse 28: For behold, there is a curse upon all this land, that destruction shall come upon all those workers of darkness, according to the power of God, when they are fully ripe; therefore I desire that this people might not be destroyed.

Note: Becoming a polytheistic pagan will provoke the wrath of God.

Jeremiah 44:7-8 Now therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: Why do you commit this great evil against yourselves, to cut off from you man and woman, child and infant, out of Judah, leaving none to remain, in that you provoke Me to wrath with the works of your hands, burning incense to other gods in the land of Egypt where you have gone to dwell, that you may cut yourselves off and be a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth?

 

Verse 29: Therefore ye shall keep these secret plans of their oaths and their covenants from this people, and only their wickedness and their murders and their abominations shall ye make known unto them; and ye shall teach them to abhor such wickedness and abominations and murders; and ye shall also teach them that these people were destroyed on account of their wickedness and abominations and their murders.

Note: Specific sins of the nations were made known by God in Deuteronomy chapter 18.

Deuteronomy 18:24-28 "Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled), lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you.

 

Verse 30: For behold, they murdered all the prophets of the Lord who came among them to declare unto them concerning their iniquities; and the blood of those whom they murdered did cry unto the Lord their God for vengeance upon those who were their murderers; and thus the judgments of God did come upon these workers of darkness and secret combinations.

Note: The word "combinations" is a modern word.

Webster's Dictionary: Combination, from the Late Latin combinatus.

 

Verses 31-32: Yea, and cursed be the land forever and ever unto those workers of darkness and secret combinations, even unto destruction, except they repent before they are fully ripe. And now, my son, remember the words which I have spoken unto you; trust not those secret plans unto this people, but teach them an everlasting hatred against sin and iniquity.

Note: Specific sins of the nations were made known by God in Leviticus chapter 18.

Leviticus 18:24-29 "Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled), lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you. For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people.

 

Verse 33: Preach unto them repentance, and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ; teach them to humble themselves and to be meek and lowly in heart; teach them to withstand every temptation of the devil, with their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Note: The name and title of Jesus Christ is strictly New Testament.

Webster's Dictionary: Jesus, from the Latin Iesus, from the Greek Iesous.

Webster's Dictionary: Christ, from the Middle English Crist, from the Greek Christos.

 

Verse 34: Teach them to never be weary of good works, but to be meek and lowly in heart; for such shall find rest to their souls.

Note: The BOM author plagiarized the New Testament.

Matthew 11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls

 

Verses 35-37: O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God. Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever. Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

Note: Helaman should have been practicing animal sacrifice.

Exodus 24:4-5 And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD. And he rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the LORD.

 

Verses 38-39: And now, my son, I have somewhat to say concerning the thing which our fathers call a ball, or director--or our fathers called it Liahona, which is, being interpreted, a compass; and the Lord prepared it. And behold, there cannot any man work after the manner of so curious a workmanship. And behold, it was prepared to show unto our fathers the course which they should travel in the wilderness.

Note: The compass was not invented until long after the Old and New Testament eras.

Chinese and Mediterranean navigators probably first used magnetic compasses to guide their ships in about the 1000's or 1100's. These compasses were simple pieces of magnetic iron, usually floated on straw or cork in a bowl of water. In about the 1300's, the compass card was marked off into 32 points of direction. During the following years, navigators learned more about deviation or variation of compasses in various parts of the world, and came to use magnetic compasses with greater accuracy. World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verses 40-41: And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day. Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey;

Note: The compass was not invented until long after the Old and New Testament eras.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

 

Verse 42: Therefore, they tarried in the wilderness, or did not travel a direct course, and were afflicted with hunger and thirst, because of their transgressions.

Note: The BOM author used the Egypt exodus from the Old Testament.

Exodus 15:22-24 So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people complained against Moses, saying, "What shall we drink?"

 

Verses 43-44: And now, my son, I would that ye should understand that these things are not without a shadow; for as our fathers were slothful to give heed to this compass (now these things were temporal) they did not prosper; even so it is with things which are spiritual. For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land.

Note: The promised land was in the Middle East not America.

Exodus 3:8 So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.

 

Verses 45-47: And now I say, is there not a type in this thing? For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise. O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever. And now, my son, see that ye take care of these sacred things, yea, see that ye look to God and live. Go unto this people and declare the word, and be sober. My son, farewell.

Note: By faith Christians will desire heaven over anything on the earth.

Hebrews 11:15-16 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

Note: Mormons are focused on building their kingdom upon the earth.

Strangers and the Christian world marvel at the "Mormons" talking about temporal things. Bless your souls, two thirds of all the revelations given in this world rest upon the accomplishment of this temporal work. We have it to do. We can't build up Zion sitting on a hemlock slab singing ourselves away to everlasting bliss; we have to cultivate the earth, to take the rocks and elements out of the mountains and rear temples to the Most High God; and this temporal work is demanded at our hands by the God of heaven, as much as he required Christ to die to redeem the world, or as much as the Savior required Peter, James and John to go and preach the gospel to the nations of the earth. This is the great dispensation in which the Zion of God must be built up, and we as Latter-day Saints have it to build. We are obliged to build cities, towns and villages, and we are obliged to gather the people from every nation under heaven to the Zion of God, that they may be taught in the ways of the Lord. We have only just begun to prepare for the celestial law when we are baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.-JD 16:268-269, October 8, 1873. Prophets, Discourses of Wilford Woodruff (W. Woodruff)

MAIN INDEX

BIBLE INDEX

HINDU INDEX

MUSLIM INDEX

MORMON INDEX

BUDDHISM INDEX

WORD FAITH INDEX

WATCHTOWER INDEX

MISCELLANEOUS INDEX

CATHOLIC CHURCH INDEX