1 Nephi 13:1–3
1 And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld many nations and kingdoms.
2 And the angel said unto me: What beholdest thou? And I said: I behold many nations and kingdoms.
3 And he said unto me: These are the nations and kingdoms of the Gentiles.
While seeing things in a vision makes an impression, it may not always be the best way to receive information. In this case, the vision showed something, but to make sense of it required and explanation. It is very likely that Nephi’s description of the dialogue with the angel is an accurate description of what occurred during the vision. Nephi would be shown something, and then it had to be explained to him. Continue reading
The colorization of old black and white photographs has become more popular in recent times. See this collection of historic photographs, now retouched in full color, including the raising of the American flag at the Battle of Iwo Jima, Audrey Hepburn, Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, Che Guevara, Charlie Chaplin, Salvador Dalí, Charles Darwin, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, George Orwell, Ernest Hemingway, and more. The color added to these iconic images helps bring them to life, as if they were taken by a modern camera today. The digital technique seems to be gaining in popularity.
I’ve tried my hand at colorizing old photographs of Oliver Cowdery (presumably) and David Whitmer in the past, with some success. I thought I’d round out the collection by doing the same work to an old photograph of Martin Harris, the last of the Three Witnesses. Continue reading
1 Nephi 12:1–5
1 And it came to pass that the angel said unto me: Look, and behold thy seed, and also the seed of thy brethren. And I looked and beheld the land of promise; and I beheld multitudes of people, yea, even as it were in number as many as the sand of the sea.
2 And it came to pass that I beheld multitudes gathered together to battle, one against the other; and I beheld wars, and rumors of wars, and great slaughters with the sword among my people.
3 And it came to pass that I beheld many generations pass away, after the manner of wars and contentions in the land; and I beheld many cities, yea, even that I did not number them.
4 And it came to pass that I saw a mist of darkness on the face of the land of promise; and I saw lightnings, and I heard thunderings, and earthquakes, and all manner of tumultuous noises; and I saw the earth and the rocks, that they rent; and I saw mountains tumbling into pieces; and I saw the plains of the earth, that they were broken up; and I saw many cities that they were sunk; and I saw many that they were burned with fire; and I saw many that did tumble to the earth, because of the quaking thereof.
5 And it came to pass after I saw these things, I saw the vapor of darkness, that it passed from off the face of the earth; and behold, I saw multitudes who had not fallen because of the great and terrible judgments of the Lord.
The chapter break created in 1879 camouflages the context for these battles. Separated from the previous verses, these simply discuss military actions. However, the context following immediately upon the heels of 1 Nephi 11:34–36 is the war for humankind’s souls. 1 Nephi 11:34 is explicit: “and after [Christ] was slain I saw the multitudes of the earth, that they were gathered together to fight against the apostles of the Lamb.” This places even the apparently secular battles of 1 Nephi 12:1–5 in the greater context of the spiritual battle. Continue reading
When the Book of Abraham was first published in March 1842, the title of the work, as it appeared in the Times and Seasons, read thusly: “A TRANSLATION Of some ancient Records that have fallen into our hands, from the Catecombs of Egypt, purporting to be the writings of Abraham, while he was in Egypt, called the BOOK OF ABRAHAM, written by his own hand, upon papyrus.” A look at the manuscripts of the Book of Abraham shows that this explanatory “title,” as it were, for the Book of Abraham dates to the earliest stages of the book’s production. Our earliest (surviving) manuscript for the Book of Abraham, which Brian Hauglid designates Ab1, and which the scholars at the Joseph Smith Papers Project date to “Summer–Fall 1835,” reads: “Translation of the Book of Abraham written by his own hand upon papyrus and found in the CataCombs of Egypt.” Continue reading
Useful steps when thinking about any difficult or disconcerting issue are to state the components of the issue as clearly as possible, and combine them in a way that is logically and mathematically justified.
Such an issue is the recent claim that an 1816 scriptural-style history of the War of 1812 entitled The Late War between the United States and Great Britain (LW) had an influence on the Book of Mormon. Continue reading