The Book of Moroni Chapter 9 Critique
The second epistle of Mormon to his son Moroni. Comprising chapter 9.
Setting: Both the Nephites and
the Lamanites are depraved and degenerate—They torture and murder each
other—Mormon prays that grace and goodness may rest upon Moroni
forever. About A.D. 401.
Verse 1: My beloved son, I write unto you again that ye may know that I am yet alive; but I write somewhat of that which is grievous.
Note: Pre-Columbian writing systems used pictures not letters.
Renowned epigrapher David Stuart writes about the differences in
content between the monumental hieroglyphical texts of Yaxchilan and
those of Copan: "The major themes of the known Yaxchilan monuments are
war, dance, and bloodletting rituals, with several records of
architectural dedicatory rites." Most of the records of wars and dances
accompany scenes of the rulers, who are featured prominently in all of
the texts.” Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 2-4: For behold, I have
had a sore battle with the Lamanites, in which we did not conquer; and
Archeantus has fallen by the sword, and also Luram and Emron; yea, and
we have lost a great number of our choice men. And now behold, my son,
I fear lest the Lamanites shall destroy this people; for they do not
repent, and Satan stirreth them up continually to anger one with
another. Behold, I am laboring with them continually; and when I speak
the word of God with sharpness they tremble and anger against me; and
when I use no sharpness they harden their hearts against it; wherefore,
I fear lest the Spirit of the Lord hath ceased striving with them.
Note: Pre-Columbian natives were polytheistic pagans.
Bodily sacrifice was commonplace in dedication rituals, whether in
bloodletting or sacrificing a war victim, one of the many sacrificial
rituals employed in Mesoamerica and perhaps during war the chief's
daughter just for good luck . Sacrifice specifically represents a
returning of life to the Earth and deities, who were seen as
life-providers for the Mesoamerican people. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 5-6: For so exceedingly
do they anger that it seemeth me that they have no fear of death; and
they have lost their love, one towards another; and they thirst after
blood and revenge continually. And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding
their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to
labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to
perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the
enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God.
Note: Unlike Mormons, Christians will not seek revenge.
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for
it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give
him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans
Verses 7-10: And now I write
somewhat concerning the sufferings of this people. For according to the
knowledge which I have received from Amoron, behold, the Lamanites have
many prisoners, which they took from the tower of Sherrizah; and there
were men, women, and children. And the husbands and fathers of those
women and children they have slain; and they feed the women upon the
flesh of their husbands, and the children upon the flesh of their
fathers; and no water, save a little, do they give unto them. And
notwithstanding this great abomination of the Lamanites, it doth not
exceed that of our people in Moriantum. For behold, many of the
daughters of the Lamanites have they taken prisoners; and after
depriving them of that which was most dear and precious above all
things, which is chastity and virtue— And after they had done this
thing, they did murder them in a most cruel manner, torturing their
bodies even unto death; and after they have done this, they devour
their flesh like unto wild beasts, because of the hardness of their
hearts; and they do it for a token of bravery.
Note: Cannibalism was not a practice of Pre-Columbian pagans.
In Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica the most common forms of slavery were
those of prisoners of war and debtors. People unable to pay back a debt
could be sentenced to work as a slave to the person owed until the debt
was worked off. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 11-15: O my beloved son,
how can a people like this, that are without civilization— (And only a
few years have passed away, and they were a civil and a delightsome
people) But O my son, how can a people like this, whose delight is in
so much abomination? How can we expect that God will stay his hand in
judgment against us? Behold, my heart cries: Wo unto this people. Come
out in judgment, O God, and hide their sins, and wickedness, and
abominations from before thy face!
Note: Pre-Columbian natives were pagan polytheists.
The traditional Mayas generally assume the moon to be female, and the
moon's phases are accordingly conceived as the stages of a woman's
life. The Maya moon goddess wields great influence in many areas. Being
in the image of a woman, she is associated with sexuality and
procreation, fertility and growth, not only of human beings, but also
of the vegetation and the crops. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 16-20: And again, my
son, there are many widows and their daughters who remain in Sherrizah;
and that part of the provisions which the Lamanites did not carry away,
behold, the army of Zenephi has carried away, and left them to wander
whithersoever they can for food; and many old women do faint by the way
and die. And the army which is with me is weak; and the armies of the
Lamanites are betwixt Sherrizah and me; and as many as have fled to the
army of Aaron have fallen victims to their awful brutality. O the
depravity of my people! They are without order and without mercy.
Behold, I am but a man, and I have but the strength of a man, and I
cannot any longer enforce my commands. And they have become strong in
their perversion; and they are alike brutal, sparing none, neither old
nor young; and they delight in everything save that which is good; and
the suffering of our women and our children upon all the face of this
land doth exceed everything; yea, tongue cannot tell, neither can it be
written. And now, my son, I dwell no longer upon this horrible scene.
Behold, thou knowest the wickedness of this people; thou knowest that
they are without principle, and past feeling; and their wickedness doth
exceed that of the Lamanites.
Note: Pre-Columbian civilizations would never exist with continual warfare.
Contemporary with Teotihuacan's greatness was that of the Maya
civilization. The period between 250 CE and 650 CE was a time of
intense flourishing of Maya civilized accomplishments. While the many
Maya city-states never achieved political unity on the order of the
central Mexican civilizations, they exerted a tremendous intellectual
influence upon Mexico and Central America. The Maya built some of the
most elaborate cities on the continent, and made innovations in
mathematics, astronomy, and calendrics. The Mayans also evolved the
only true writing system native to the Americas using pictographs and
syllabic elements in the form of texts and codices inscribed on stone,
pottery, wood, or highly perishable books made from bark paper.
Verses 21-22: Behold, my son, I
cannot recommend them unto God lest he should smite me. But behold, my
son, I recommend thee unto God, and I trust in Christ that thou wilt be
saved; and I pray unto God that he will spare thy life, to witness the
return of his people unto him, or their utter destruction; for I know
that they must perish except they repent and return unto him.
Note: Jesus Christ was unknown in pagan Pre-Columbian America.
Yopaat was an important Maya storm god in the southern Maya area that
included the cities of Copán and Quiriguá during the Classic period of
Mesoamerican chronology (c. 250–900 AD). Yopaat was closely related to
Chaac, the Maya rain god. Yopaat is depicted as bearing a flint weapon
that represents a thunderbolt. Yopaat was held responsible for
especially violent lightning storms, that were believed to cause
earthquakes. He was often represented with a snake in place of one leg,
demonstrating a close relationship with K'awiil, another Maya deity
with similar attributes. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 23-25: And if they
perish it will be like unto the Jaredites, because of the wilfulness of
their hearts, seeking for blood and revenge. And if it so be that they
perish, we know that many of our brethren have deserted over unto the
Lamanites, and many more will also desert over unto them; wherefore,
write somewhat a few things, if thou art spared and I shall perish and
not see thee; but I trust that I may see thee soon; for I have sacred
records that I would deliver up unto thee. My son, be faithful in
Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to
weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his
sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and
his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal
life, rest in your mind forever.
Note: Pre-Columbian writing systems used pictures not letters.
The Maya writing system (often called hieroglyphs from a superficial
resemblance to the Ancient Egyptian writing) is a logosyllabic writing
system, combining a syllabary of phonetic signs representing syllables
with logogram representing entire words. Among the writing systems of
the Pre-Columbian New World, Maya script most closely represents the
spoken language. At any one time, no more than around 500 glyphs were
in use, some 200 of which (including variations) were phonetic.
Verse 26: And may the grace of
God the Father, whose throne is high in the heavens, and our Lord Jesus
Christ, who sitteth on the right hand of his power, until all things
shall become subject unto him, be, and abide with you forever. Amen.
Note: God the Father and Jesus Christ were unknown among pagan Pre-Columbian natives.
The Maya world was populated by a great variety of deities,
supernatural entities and sacred forces. The Maya interpretation of
deities was intrinsically tied to the calendar, astronomy, and their
cosmovision. The importance of a deity, its characteristics, and its
associations varied according to the movement of celestial bodies. The
priestly interpretation of astronomical records and books was therefore
crucial, since the priest would understand which deity required ritual
propitiation, when the correct ceremonies should be performed, and what
would be an appropriate offering. Each deity had four manifestations,
associated with the cardinal directions, each identified with a
different colour. They also had a dual day-night/life-death aspect.
WORD FAITH INDEX
CATHOLIC CHURCH INDEX