In The Cavity of a Rock

In The Cavity of a Rock
Father Lehi

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Peculiar People Illustrations blog

I have recently put together another blog just to display my artwork.  I will try to update it regularly with new Book of Mormon related artwork.  Because I am in the process of moving from Utah to Arizona so it will probably be a week or so before I can update either of these blogs.  I hope you enjoy the newly established blog and my Book of Mormon insights artwork...enjoy

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Name Moroni in Mayan Stone pt.2

Moroni burying the plates
After showing the origins of the name Moroni in Mayan stones Dr. Robert Pate then offers an interesting but speculative theory on Moroni. Shortly after the death of his father Moroni states that he was alone and would write more if he had more room on the plates but he can’t because he has no ore to make more plates and can’t get more because he is alone. Moroni then went on to finish his father section of the Book of  Mormon (Mormon 8:5-Mormon 9:37) which was about 7 more pages followed by the book of Ether which is 31 pages and then does his own account (the book of Moroni) which is 13 pages. This total’s up to 51 more pages to complete what we know of as the Book of Mormon. We know that we have only a portion of the sealed plates, roughly one third of the plates (531 pages worth). This would mean that there was still roughly double that amount that were written to complete the other two thirds of the “golden plates” after Moroni finished his portion.

 We know that the sealed portion contain the writings of the brother of Jared which were written in a confounded language (ether 3:24) and the sealed interpretation thereof (Ether 4:5). This includes the vision of the brother of Jared of the history of the earth from the beginning to the end. So if we add it all up we have the 51 finish pages of the Book of Mormon plus the sealed portion roughly 1062 for a total of 1,113 pages written after Moroni says that he is out of ore and is alone and has basically run out of room on the plates. What changed to allow his situation to all of the sudden be able to add about 1,113 pages. How did he get more ore? It sounds like he was no longer all alone.

Dr. Pate professes that in order for Moroni to have stumbled into 50-pounds of gold that he would have stumbled into friendly Nephites but even more so he would have to have become the King of this group of people in order to obtain that amount. He states that he realized how this took place when he stumbled across “The Rulers of Tikal” (Michel 1989). He said, there was a section about Frog Sky Mah K’ina who due to the name Mah K'ina could easily be our Moroni.  And look at the years he was the ruler, 406 AD to about 426 AD. Moroni was still making entries into the Book of Mormon through about 421 AD.

Angel Moroni appears to the boy Joseph Smith jr.
He then goes on to state that according to the history shown in stele 31 at Tikal that Frog Sky Mah K’ina came to power in Long-Count date, which is 19 November, 406 AD. His predecessor was Ruler 9 which is Curl Nose and his successor was Ruler 11, Stormy Sky. Ruler 9 was the father of Ruler 11. Ruler 10, Mah K’ina, just shows up in between these two and somehow obtains the throne. This is accounted for because the Maya practiced primogeniture. The closest male descendant became king-(this dates back to Nephi). Dr. Pate supports his theory about kingship with Mormon Moroni’s father. Mormon states he was a direct descendent of Nephi (Mormon 8:13). He also states that it is very possible that
Mormon was a king because the not only does he refer to the Nephites as “my people” but because the Lamanite king communicated directly with Mormon which is something he wouldn’t have done if Mormon were not the king (Mormon 6:2-3). If this is the case, being a pure descendent of Nephi, Maya primogeniture would make Moroni the next king. He could walk into town and declare who he was showing the records the sword of Laban and his Nephite armor and this would allow him to obtain kingship especially since he and his father were known from Cumorah.

Since reading Dr. Robert Pates book "Mormon Names in Mayan Stone" and writing these last two blog posts it has been pointed out to me that understanding of Mayan heiroglyphics has grown in leap and bounds.  Although the last two posts are completely speculative theories there are interpretations that Dr. Pate has since come to understand that he was incorrect.  His theory is still interesting none the less although I would suggest reading Dr. Jerry Ainsworths theory as well...there is no doubting their passions to gain a better understanding of the Book of Mormon.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The name Moroni in Mayan Stone pt.1

So I recently finished reading Dr. Robert Pate's book "Mormon Names in Mayan Stone".  I have to admit that I like this book a lot but it seems like I may be missing some of the basic understanding on Mayan glyph reading that may have allowed some of these ideas to sink in a bit easier.  There are a few sections that I really liked especially the portion on the different versions of the name Moroni.  Here's briefly what Dr. Pate had to say about the Mayan interpretations of the name Moroni. 

In Guatemalan geography and history one finds two villages named Almolonga by the Spaniards, which Recinos (1953, 127n) says the Mexicans called Atmulaunca from the word moloni. As we know, the Nahua people did not use the letter “R” in their spoken language, Nahuatl. They were aware of the letter and the sound but they did not like the people or the language of the people who used the letter “R”. Bernardino de Sahagun wrote that the Aztec people referred to the people who used the “R” in their language as those who spoke with a “barbarous tongue”. This may have referred to some Chinese intrusion. The Chinese do an “R” for “L” switch on their spoken language. It has been documented that the Chinese were in the Americas. The only question is how soon. The evidence would indicate that it was prior to Lehi’s arrival. We know that the Chinese sailors frequented the Americas. We have also seen the “L” for “R” among the Chorti Maya branch of the Cholan group of Maya. Thus, Moloni is exactly Moroni.

 Bernardino de Sahagun
Moloni (Moroni) has reference to the hot water thermals in volcanic regions and translates into Mek’ina or “hot water” in Quiche.  Thus, we have two forms of the name Moroni, one from Nahuatl and one from Maya, Moloni and Mek’ina’ respectively. The Mek’ina form shows up in the Hopi language of Arizona where mukina means “to warm up”. It is the Mek’ina form of Moroni that we find extensively in Maya stone. 

Now that we have a basic understanding of the Moloni and Mek'ina interpretation for the name Moroni in part 2 of this post you will get to see Dr. Pates speculative theory on the golden plates and how Moroni was able to finish writing what we know as the Book of Mormon and the remaining sealed portion which is twice the size of the Book of Mormon even though just prior to all of this he states that he is running out of room on the plates, and is all alone and has no ore to make more plates.  I know it sounds like quite the mystery but when taken into context this theory will spark your interest....stay tuned for part 2.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Further Light and Knowledge on Christ's visit to the Americas

So we know that the pinnacle of the Book of Mormon takes place in 3rd Nephi Chapter 11 when the Savior visits the Americas thus fulfilling the prophecy he made previously while dwelling among his apostles in Jerusalem, when he stated in John 10:16,

"other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."

In that statement he was speaking of his children who were the natives here in the America's and as far as I know probably elsewhere too. I have come to an absolute love of the account of the Savior's visit in 3rd Nephi as have many million other people. I just thought that I would give a few tid-bits of added insight that may get over looked when we read through the events that lead of to this account and the actual account itself.

Starting with the catastrophic events that lead up to the Saviors visit we read of not only an apostasy of the people but a great storm that eventually brought much destruction. Although there is a lot of speculation of whether this was caused by a vol canoe or earthquakes or probably both, we do know that in places where cities once stood they had now been covered by earth. Other great cities were completely buried in the sea, and many others burned including the great city of Zerahemla only to be rebuilt later. The common misconception is that as soon as these destruction's took place they were immediately followed by three days of darkness which lead directly into the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Unfortunately this is not the case. Further study of these breathtaking chapters shows that in 3 Nephi 8:5 it states,

"And it came to pass in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land."This verse lets us now that the year 34 (from which the sign had been given according to Samuel the Lamanite) in the first month and fourth day there arose a storm. So this great storm arose in the beginning of the year, on the first month. Now if we examine 3 Nephi 10:18 it states,

"And it came to pass that in the ending of the thirty and fourth year behold, I will show unto you that the people of Nephi who were spared, and also those who had been called Lamanites, who had been spared, did have great favors shown unto them, and great blessings poured out upon their heads, insomuch that soon after the ascension of Christ into heaven he did truly manifest himself unto them."

From this verse we see that Christ did not appear unto those who had been spared until the ending of the 34th year. This would have allowed the people not only a greater part of a year to start rebuilding cities but also to marvel at the destruction and the previous voice of the Lord that they heard explaining the destruction during 3 Nephi 10. Thus we see that in Chapter 11 when Christ appears they are in this same manner of "marveling and wondering one with another". So although there was great destruction that was followed by three days of darkness, the Savior did not appear unto the remaining Nephites and Lamanites until end of the year.

The second added insight that I would like to share takes place immediately upon Christ descending to the Temple of Bountiful. In 3 Nephi 11: 13-15 it states,

"And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto them saying: Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side , and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet: and this they did do going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record that it was he of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come."

So in this verse we see that every single soul of those who were spared and at the temple in Bountiful did go forth and take the time to feel the prints in the Saviors hands and feet and in his side until they could bear record and know with a surety that this was the Lord of whom the prophets had spoken. So the next question is how many people where there that day that had this opportunity? Well in the end of 3 Nephi 17 this question is answered for us in verse 25 which says,

"And the multitude did see and hear and bear record; and they know that their record is true for they all of them did see and hear, every man for himself; and they were in number about two thousand and five hundred souls: and they did consist of men, women, and children."

So if we break the amount of people down with the time line, supposing that on average each person took about 15 seconds to feel the prints in his hands, feet and side and multiplying that by the 2500 people and dividing it by 60 twice to break down minutes and hours. It roughly comes to about 10 hours and 45 minutes that the Savior stood there allowing everyone there to feel the prints and to know for sure that this was the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When compared to most of our average 8 hour work days we realize that even something as small as allowing people to feel the prints from the nails was quite an accomplishment that when read in the correct context allows the reader to gain added insight and a better perspective for the love that the Savior has for each and every one of us.