Showing posts from August, 2015

The Book of Mormon In History and As History

The first video on this post is that of Paul Senll, wherein he describes where the events and people described in Book of Mormon most likely took place and lived. Senll's model is an updating of Sorenson's and this presentation is a great explanation of it.
Once the setting is set, the second video is that of Brant Gardner, who I think, along with Mark Wright, is doing the best writing on the Book of Mormon's historicity. If the Book of Mormon is the translation of an ancient text, readings based on 19th century American culture will only give us understanding of it's 19th century American translation layer. But what about the original cultural context of the gold plates(?), the original setting in time and place?
In this post, once Senll sets the place, Gardner then uses it as a lens through which to read the book, with illuminating results. For those who understand Mesoamerica  AND the Book of Mormon, the two cannot be separated form each other. They are telling the…

The Book of Mormon and Ancient Calendars

The following post contains no original ideas on my part. They were taken from Mark Alan Wright, via conversation on a message board. Much of this post is quoted verbatim.

The Classic period Maya had a number of calendrical cycles, but they probably didn't obsess about them as cycles any more than we think of our own repeating cycles of days and months and years. Recent scholars have openly acknowledged that past Maya archaeologists were often more obsessed with time reckoning than the ancient Maya themselves were.
One of their primary cycles was the 260 day cycle that combined 13 numbers with 20 named days (like we cycle the numbers 1-30 with seven named days) that roughly approximates 9 months. Modern scholars have nicknamed it tzolk'in since we don't know the ancient name for this cycle. According to Mark Wright, this cycle may be attested to in Omni 1:21 when it states that Coriantumr dwelt with the people of Zarahemla for "nine moons", which is a fitting tra…

The Book of Jacob: Polygamy and Social Stratification

The following post is taken from Brant Gardner's A Social History of the Early Nephites. This post is my regurgitation.

In the Book of Jacob, the Nephite prophet, Jacob, gives a sermon in which he decries the twin evils of his day:

Wherefore, I must tell you the truth according to the plainness of the word of God. For behold, as I inquired of the Lord, thus came the word unto me, saying: Jacob, get thou up into the temple on the morrow, and declare the word which I shall give thee unto this people. 

And now behold, my brethren, this is the word which I declare unto you, that many of you have begun to search for gold, and for silver, and for all manner of precious ores, in the which this land, which is a land of promise unto you and to your seed, doth abound most plentifully. 

And the hand of providence hath smiled upon you most pleasingly, that you have obtained many riches; and because some of you have obtained more abundantly than that of your brethren ye are lifted up in the pride…