28 October 2012

Jarom writes a few words about the Lamanites (who love murder and drink the blood of beasts)

The fifteen-verse Book of Jarom was, as you might expect, written by Jarom, who was the son of Enos, who was the son of Jacob, who was the son of Lehi, who was a descendant of Joseph, who was the son of Jacob (aka "Israel" in the Bible). The purpose of Jarom's little book is to tell you about that.
Now behold, I, Jarom, write a few words according to the commandment of my father, Enos, that our genealogy may be kept. Jarom 1
Or at least that's what the first verse says.

But by the second verse, Jarom does a complete Romney, changing his mind. He's engraved his words on plates for the benefit of the Lamanites.
And as these plates are small, and as these things are written for the intent of the benefit of our brethren the Lamanites... 2a
Which was really nice of him.

He's not going to tell us about his prophesying or his revelations, though. Which was also nice of him. (If you've read any of the previous books of the Book of Mormon, you've heard it all many times over. Jesus will be born centuries in the future and everyone must believe in him--even before he exists--or go to hell.)
...wherefore, it must needs be that I write a little; but I shall not write the things of my prophesying, nor of my revelations. For what could I write more than my fathers have written? For have not they revealed the plan of salvation? I say unto you, Yea; and this sufficeth me. 2b
Jarom says that much needs to be done among his people, because of the hardness of their hearts, the deafness of their ears, the blindness of their minds, the stiffness of their necks, and the fullness of their bladders. But so far, at least, God has been exceedingly merciful to them by not killing them all.
Behold, it is expedient that much should be done among this people, because of the hardness of their hearts, and the deafness of their ears, and the blindness of their minds, and the stiffness of their necks; nevertheless, God is exceedingly merciful unto them, and has not as yet swept them off from the face of the land. 3
And yet not all Nephites were hard, deaf, blind, stiff, and full. There were many that received revelations and had communion with the Holy Spirit -- five or so centuries before the Holy Spirit was supposedly given to Christians at Pentecost.
And there are many among us who have many revelations, for they are not all stiffnecked. And as many as are not stiffnecked and have faith, have communion with the Holy Spirit, which maketh manifest unto the children of men, according to their faith. 4
I'm not sure what Jarom meant in verse 3, though. Because now, in verse 5, he says the Nephites are perfect, observing the sabbath, avoiding blasphemy, and obeying exceedingly strict laws.
And now, behold, two hundred years had passed away, and the people of Nephi had waxed strong in the land. They observed to keep the law of Moses and the sabbath day holy unto the Lord. And they profaned not; neither did they blaspheme. And the laws of the land were exceedingly strict. 5
Next Jarom tells us about the Lamanites (indigenous Americans) -- they loved murder and drank the blood of beasts.
And they were scattered upon much of the face of the land, and the Lamanites also. And they were exceedingly more numerous than were they of the Nephites; and they loved murder and would drink the blood of beasts. 6
"The Lamanites ... loved murder and would drink the blood of beasts." Jarom 6

But the Nephites were ready for them. Their kings and leaders were mighty men with faith in Jesus. And they fortified their cities (cities that left no evidence of their existence).
And it came to pass that they came many times against us, the Nephites, to battle. But our kings and our leaders were mighty men in the faith of the Lord; and they taught the people the ways of the Lord; wherefore, we withstood the Lamanites and swept them away out of our lands, and began to fortify our cities, or whatsoever place of our inheritance. 7
And the Nephites, like the good proto-Mormons that they were, multiplied exceedingly.
And we multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land. 8a
And became exceedingly rich, building up their military Romney style.
and became exceedingly rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war -- yea, the sharp pointed arrow, and the quiver, and the dart, and the javelin, and all preparations for war. 8b
But the Nephites were bad once again and needed to be threatened by the prophets. Pre-believe in Jesus or be destroyed.
And it came to pass that the prophets of the Lord did threaten the people of Nephi, according to the word of God, that if they did not keep the commandments, but should fall into transgression, they should be destroyed from off the face of the land. 10
Wherefore, the prophets, and the priests, and the teachers, did labor diligently, exhorting with all long-suffering the people to diligence; teaching the law of Moses, and the intent for which it was given; persuading them to look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come as though he already was. And after this manner did they teach them. 11
And it came to pass that the Nephites made the right choice. They pricked their hearts with the word that had yet to be written, continually stirring up a bit of repentance.
And it came to pass that by so doing they kept them from being destroyed upon the face of the land; for they did prick their hearts with the word, continually stirring them up unto repentance. 12
And it came to pass again after 238 years of all manner of wars and such like for the space of much time.
And it came to pass that two hundred and thirty and eight years had passed away -- after the manner of wars, and contentions, and dissensions, for the space of much of the time. 13
With that said, Jarom wrote no more, for the plates were small. (But be sure to check out the plates of Nephi at your local library. where you can read the writings of kings, or those which they caused be written or whatnot.)
And I, Jarom, do not write more, for the plates are small. But behold, my brethren, ye can go to the other plates of Nephi; for behold, upon them the records of our wars are engraven, according to the writings of the kings, or those which they caused to be written. 14
So Jarom delivered his plates to his son Omni, who will be writing the next exciting book in the Book of Mormon: The Book of Omni.
And I deliver these plates into the hands of my son Omni, that they may be kept according to the commandments of my fathers. 15
See you then.

3 comments:

TWF said...

What a shame. If only we had bigger plates, maybe then the story wouldn't seem so strange.

Stephen said...

And it came to pass that I, Nehpets, wondered exceedingly about Joseph Smith's use of the word "expedient", for it meseement to be a word of surpassing modernity. And, Lo: it came to pass that I, Nehpets, did look up this word in the Gospel of Merriam-Webster and found that the first known use was in the 14th century. The Book is a marvelous work and a wonder to be using language that won't be invented for hundreds of years and will have to be translated from the Reformed Egyptian.

From the Gospel of Merriam-Webster:
Origin of EXPEDIENT
Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin expedient-, expendiens, present participle of expedire to extricate, prepare, be useful, from ex- + ped-, pes foot — more at foot
First Known Use: 14th century
Steve Weeks

Bukko Canukko said...

Well of COURSE Joe Smif would use onnathem modern 14-Century words. He was magically translating them from the original Rewormed Egypt'em, and he had to put it in words that suckers -- whoops, I mean "saints" -- from these latter days could understand. That Reformed Egyptian language had SO many words for concepts that modern people cannot comprehend. Why, I've read scholarly texts based on the many preserved writings from that language that say the RefEg'ees had more than 100 words for "con man" alone