In The Cavity of a Rock

In The Cavity of a Rock
Father Lehi

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Update to Jordan Metal Plates

Well I was quite pleased to see that finally popped on a story that William Hamblin brought to my attention almost a month ago. Apparently the story was actually brought to the main stream media by reporter Robert Pigott. I am refering to my post on 3\8 that can be read at the following link:

Although they were three weeks late on the metal plates story they did add some very interesting insights and some great pictures. Its a total of over 70 codices and apparently there are portions that are actually "sealed", thats right I said "sealed"! Who in their right mind has ever heard of metal plates that had a portion of them sealed? (Go figure?)

Needless to say when I saw that I almost leaped out of my chair at work. I immediatly thought back to the book of Ether when Mormon is speaking about the vision that Ether saw. In Ether 4:4-7 Mormon states,

"4. Behold, I have written upon these plates the very things which the brother of Jared saw; and there never were greater things made manifest than those which were made manifest unto the brother of Jared.

5. Wherefore the Lord hath commanded me to write them; and I have written them. And he commnded me that I should seal them up; and he also hath commanded that I should seal up the interpretation thereof; whereore I have sealed up the interpreters, according to the commandment of the Lord.

6. For the Lord said unto me: They shall not go foth unto the Gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity, and become clean before the Lord.

7. And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith th Lord even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations, saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are."

Now we don't know what are in the Jordan metal plates or their sealed portion and we don't even know if these are legitimate plates and not a fraudulent scam. Because we do know that there are images of a menorah that have been etched in various pages according to the article and the yahoo article they have been able to translate one line so far that states, "I shall walk uprightly"--a phrase that also appears in Revelation. "While it could be simply a sentiment common in Judaism," BBC writer Robert Pigott notes, "it could here be designed to refer to the resurrection."

It will more than likely be years before we know if these plates are what they claim to be. Experts claim that it would be impossible to artifically achieve the corrosion that has built up around and on the plates. Until then, I hope that we can take versus 6 and 7 of Ether 4 to heart and remember that their is a challenge made by the Lord for the sealed portion of the Golden Plates to be revealed to us in due time depending upon our faith and actions that would bring the fullness of the Lords mysteries and revelations to mankind. I've also included the link to the yahoo news\ article below.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ancient traditions held during Easter Mass in Oaxaco Mexico testify of Book of Mormon and Christs visit to the Americas

I was reading an old newsletter I had received from Dr. Jerry Ainsworth in regards to his ongoing research for Book of Mormon lands and evidence in Mexico and Mesoamerica. I found this one particularly interesting because of its correlations with 3 Nephi and the visit of the Savior to the American continent. The following was related in regards to Dr. Ainsworth and his companion Estaban while in Mesoamerica.

After taveling in Mesoamerica for many years, I was in Oaxaca one Easter, and myself and Esteban were observing the public celebration in the town square of the city of Oaxaca. It is the same kind of celebration I have seen in the highlands of Mexico, San Cristobal de las Casas, and elsewhere. People by the thousands have wooden noise makers, called matracas, they use for this celebration. These are small noise makers that we would equate with New Year's celebration and consists of a small wood stick, that has another part at the top, so when it is whirled in a circle, a clacking sound is made.

Duing this celebration, I turned to Esteban and said, "I believe when I return to this place next year, I am going to bring some plastic matracas with me, and we can give them as gifts." He said, "Don't do it, as the people would only accept such a gift, or use it, if it was made of wood." I then asked why, and he told me the following story.

This celebration of the wooden matracas, is done in remembrance of the Catholic Easter mass in these parts of Mexico. As part of the Easter mass the priest walks down the isle with two sticks, beating them together, (making a wooden noise). When asked why he did this, the priest said, "I don't know. It was part of the Maya celebration that they had us incorporate into the mass - many many years ago. If you want to know why, you will have to ask one of the Maya Elders."

So Esteban then went to some of the older and influencial Maya Elders, and asked them why this was done, the beating of the wooden sticks during Easter mass, and what the significance was. The Maya then explained, that it was done in remembrance of a time period, which goes back before anyone can remember - when there were three days of darkness among the people - in which no fire would burn and there was no light. Since people still had to cook, eat, and conduct business, each person would carry two sticks with them, and strike them together, as they walked, making a sound, so as not to bump into other people.

If one considers that evidence, then there is evidence of the three days of darkness spoken of in 3rd Nephi previous to the coming of the Savior among people of the American continent. In 3rd Nephi 8:20-23 we can read of this same event,

20 And it came to pass that there was thick darkness upon all the face of the land, insomuch that the inhabitants thereof who had not fallen could feel the vapor of darkness;

21 And there could be no light, because of the darkness, neither candles, neither torches; neither could there be fire kindled with their fine and exceedingly dry wood, so that there could not be any light at all;

22 And there was not any light seen, neither fire, nor glimmer, neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars, for so great were the mists of darkness which were upon the face of the land.

23 And it came to pass that it did last for the space of three days that there was no light seen; and there was great mourning and howling and weeping among all the people continually; yea, great were the groanings of the people, because of the darkness and the great destruction which had come upon them.

The evidences are their to be found if we look for them and have a basic understanding of the Book of Mormon. As we find these evidences it will help in our understanding not only the ancient traditions but also the Book of Mormon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tedashii- Need It Daily Ft. PRo

I noticed I hadn't posted any of my favorite Christian hip-hop videos on here lately. This is the new one by Tedashii ft Pro called, "Need It Daily" off of the upcoming "Blacklight" album by Tedashii. The whole concept of that title blacklight is based on the way a black light can show deeper images not seen under regular light by the human eye, such as during a crime scene investigation. He is attempting to portray some of the deeper meanings and subjects of the gospel that at times seem to be avoided or not always touched on and hopes that he can convey that message in the upcoming album...I wish him the best of luck and look forward to checking it out. Until then we can all enjoy this!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Hopi Wedding Ceremony adds validity to Everlasting Covenant

In July of 1843 the prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation while in Nauvoo in regards to what is now called the “New and Everlasting Covenant”. This can be found in the Doctrine and Covenants section 132. In this revelation the Lord sets straight the laws oaths and covenants associated with the marriage covenant in the Temple of the Lord as being sealed for time and all eternity. When compared to common marriage whose words specifically state “till death do you part” this latter ceremony has an ending upon the death of either covenant maker once they pass away. The new and everlasting covenant continues beyond the grave into the everlasting eternities. When comparing the Hopi wedding ceremony with that of the new and everlasting covenant we may be pleasantly surprised at all they have in common. First we should probably look at a brief description of the steps that a young Hopi woman takes not only in the ceremony itself but also in preparation for marriage.

When a girl starts menstruating, then her mother teaches her the Hopi moral code, which is that she is to keep herself a virgin until she is married – that before marriage it is wrong, but at the time of her marriage it is right and proper. After marriage, be true to your husband as long as you live. It will make a much better marriage if a girl keeps herself morally clean. It might break up your marriage if your man finds out that your past life has been bad. Even so, you would have to spend your life in the hereafter together. (Sekaquaptewa 117, Me and Mine)

These teachings sound awfully familiar when compared to the teachings of young women in the Church. Boyd Peterson (son in law of Hugh Nibley and intended biographer) spoke of learning from his father in law of the many similarities between the Mormons and the Hopi, he also spoke of how long time Nibley family friend Bob Bennion (BYU Professor) had served his mission among the Hopi and Navajo and told about how he had once witnessed the initiation ritual of a young woman in which the Hopi priest touched each of her sense organs with a feather dipped in corn meal and blessed them that they would function properly. And one can find parallels with the language of the Mormon temple ceremony in the Hopi myths or origin which are found in Frank Waters, “Book of the Hopi”.

Hopi marriages mostly take place between autumn and winter, as is customary among the Jews. When the bride-to-be-notifies her mother, the mother takes down the whorls in her hair and ties a knot in the loosened hair on each side of the bride’s head. Previously they would have been tied in what is known as the squash blossom hair dew showing that a young woman is of the age to be married and is currently untaken, although many of the younger girls (children) have this same hair style as well. She is now called a movi, or betrothed. Her mother escorts her to her future mother-in-laws house and presents gifts of meal made from white corn. The movi is kept in this house for four days before the wedding. There, she remains out of sight, prepares meals for the groom’s family, fasts and speaks very little throughout her betrothal. From sun up to sun down she works at grinding large quantities of corn for the wedding feast. A former custom of Jewish weddings was to prepare the marriage feast for each day of the week following the ceremony. It was called the “Seven Days of Feasting” during which the “Seven Benedictions” were repeated at the table. (Gen.29:27; Judg. 14:12, 17)

While the bride is preparing the corn meal, the groom and his clan uncles and male relations weave a knotted wedding sash and two white robes coated with wet kaolin (white clay) and sometimes embroidered with “a border of an hand breadth” (Ex25:25) Like the Egyptians, the men do the weaving. On her wedding day, shortly before sunrise, the bride is wrapped in one white robe while she carries in her arms the other robe, rolled up in a scroll made of reeds. This rolled-up robe is considered a grave bundle. It is to be cared for throughout the life of the bride and is to be wrapped around her upon her death. It is the vehicle that will transport her soul to the land of the afterlife. These robes and bridal belts are worn only on ceremonial occasions. This may sound familiar to the average LDS temple goers. The extra robe is worn by the young mother at the name giving ceremony of her firstborn.

The Hopi marriage is not for this life only but extends into life after death and cannot be put asunder. This is the same teaching as the new and everlasting covenant with the marriage being performed by one in authority in the house of the Lord. As can be seen the parallels between the Hopi and Mormon marriage ceremony and covenants are many. I’d like to end this post with an interesting quote I once heard of Hugh Nibley. In responding to someone who asked about similarities between the Mormon temple endowment and the Masonic ceremony, Nibley wrote that the parallels between the Mormon endowment and the rites of the Hopi “come closest of all as far as I have been able to discover- and where did they get theirs?”

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Could King Benjamins angelic visitor have been none other than Abinadi?

In an article I recently read entitled, "Abinadi The Man and the Message" by Todd B. Parker that brought an interesting correlation between Abinadi, his message, and King Benjamin. He explained that if we compare the timelines and lives of Abinadi and King Benjamin you will notice that when King Benjamin was giving wonderful speech from the tower built at the temple, with the time when Abinadi was martyred for his preaching to the wicked King Noah and his priests, you will see that Abinadi's message to King Noah took place first. As a matter of fact, by the time that King Benjamin was giving is speech Abinadi had been dead for approximatly 36 years or so. Abinadi gave his message to King Noah in 160 BC while King Benjamin gave his speech to his people in 124 BC (approx. 36 years difference). This is commonly mistaken because we read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover we first read about King Benjamin starting in "Words of Mormon" and then with the beginning of the book of Mosiah. You don't even hear about Abinadi until you are 10 chapters into the Book of Mosiah. But upon comparison with the bottom timelines between these two Prophets you realize that Abinadi actually took place first.

With this in mind when you compare there speeches you will realize that not only do they have a lot in common you will notice there are 25 distinct things that King Benjamin taught that Abinadi had already taught in basically the same form. They both teach that God will come down; he will do miracles; he will suffer temptation; he will be called Jesus; he is the Father of heaven and earth; he will bring salvation; he will be scouged and crucified; he will overcome death; he will do these things that men can be judged; his atonement redeems those who have ignorantly sinned; those who willfully rebel will not be redeemed; all prophets declare this same message; the prophets spoke as if these things had already happened; because Israel was stiff-necked, the law was given them (the law of Moses); the law included types, or shadows, or symbols, of things to come; the prophets spake concerning his coming; Israel hardened their hearts against the prophets; the law of Moses is ineffectual without the atonement; the atonement provides eternal life for little children; salvation is in Christ, and there is no other way under heaven whereby man can be saved; the natural man is an enemy to God; the knowledge of Christ is going to spread throughout the whole word; receiving this message makes a person accountable; everybody is going to be judged; and the prophets' words stand as a testimony.

Since each one taught basically the same thing we can't help but ask the question, is there any correlation between these two prophets? Since we already know that Abinadi came first and was already dead when King Benjamin gave his speech to his people. This brings us to our next step where did King Benjamin get his information from on his speech? Well if we read in Mosiah 3:3 we see that King Benjamin was visited by an angel who stated, "Awake, and hear the words which I shall tell thee; for behold, I am come to declare unto you the glad tidings of great joy". Perhaps this angel has an affiity for these words. It's an example of the Bibles phrase "Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy". (Luke 2:10) Is it possible that this angel is none other than our friend Abinadi? They certainly teach the same things. Notice what Benjamin says, "The things which I shall tell you are made known unto me by an angel" ( Mosiah 3:2). In essence, he's saying, "I'm giving you what the angel gave me," and its almost scripted all the way through. Well, you can make your own decision there, but I think there's definitely a correlation between those two messages.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Metal Plates found in Jordan, but are they authentic?

Recently a set of about 20 books or plates surfaced, belonging to Hassan Saeda, a Bedouin farmer from Galilee who says they have been in his families possession since his great grandfather found them in a cave in Jordan a century ago.

The Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) has dismissed them saying they are of no value. They state that they are a mixture of incompatible periods and styles with out any connection or logic. Such motifs can be found in the thousands in the antiquities markets in Jordan and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Robert Feather a metallurgist with a passion for archeology, has been asked to authenticate what he believes could be one of the most exciting discoveries since the Dead Sea Scrolls. The West London Synagogue member has previously published on the Copper Scroll, the Dead Sea Scroll thought to hold the locations of the Temple treasures.

Now he is trying to establish the origins of this mysterious cache of metal books which could be linked to the Kabbalah. The Kabbalah is a set of scripture that exist outside fo the Jewish traditional scriptures. They are a set of esoteric teachings meant to explain the relationship between an eternal creator and his mortal universe. This collection consists of more than 20 early books made mostly of lead containing cryptic messages in Hebrew and Greek along with symbols such as the Menorah. In various places the Hebrew seem to be speaking of Bar Kochba the leader of the second century Judean revolt against the Romans as well as Shimon Bar Yochai who hid in a cave from the Romans for 13 years.

Undeterred Mr. Feather cites the findings of Dr. Peter Northover a metals analyst at Oxford University who has conducted tests on two samples of metals from one book and has concluded that their composition was consistant with a range of ancient lead, and that it was clear from the surface corrosion that the book was not a recent production.

Mr. Saeda's lawyer insisted that the IAA did not carry out extensive enough checks and research on the material. He also stated that after the time he has spent around them he believes them to be authentic as well. There was also a piece of leather found with the plates with the image of a crocodile that was sent for a first part of carbon dating tests that posted results dating it over 2000 years old. Feathers said that it still needs to be corraborated with other tests that are currently being conducted before he is confident with of its accuracy.

As exciting as this is the thing that sticks out the most to me is that if this is a legitimate ancient record engraved on metal plates it speaks volumes about how the ancients kept records in hopes of preserving their most important messages. It also acts as added proof along with the Copper Scroll (part of the Dead Sea Scrolls) that this was a somewhat common pratice used the same way that Nephi did when creating the plates that were used and eventually translated into the Book of Mormon. One the other hand if these do prove to be nothing more than another attempt of a Bedouin to get a fraud out on to the antiquities market in hopes for it to be sold, it does absolutley nothing as far as refuting the Book of Mormon.