Stunning Palmyra revelation - lost 116 pages - Nauvoo Temple era doctrine was from much earlier!

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kirtland r.m.
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Stunning Palmyra revelation - lost 116 pages - Nauvoo Temple era doctrine was from much earlier!

Post by kirtland r.m. »

Hold on to your hats folks, Nauvoo Temple era doctrine was known by the Prophet Joseph much earlier than antis and others would have us believe. Some interesting doctrinal questions are answered here as well.

Early in 1830 a young man named Fayette Lapham, visited Joseph Smith, Sr. to learn more about the much rumored but still unpublished Book of Mormon. Lapham would years later publish an account of their interview that, while occasionally garbled, relates enough inside information about the finding of the plates to verify that the interview occurred. After recounting to Lapham the Book of Mormon’s coming forth, Joseph, Sr. then described Lehi’s journey to the New World and related several of the book’s other narratives. Lapham’s account details one of these in particular, a narrative that beautifully embodies the Book of Mormon’s complex use of Exodus typology and other threads of the Hebrew Bible—namely, the narrative of the Nephites finding the Jaredite interpreters.

The trouble is, the Book of Mormon, as it came off the press after Lapham’s conversation with Father Smith, has no such story. How the Nephites acquired the Jaredite interpreters is never described in our Book of Mormon text and has been identified by several scholars as one of the great questions it raises but does not answer.

They are just there, in the possession of King Mosiah the Second, before Limhi’s people find the twenty-four Jaredite plates.

In the story as Lapham recounts it from Joseph Smith, Sr. is that sometime after the people have arrived in the New World, they’re traveling and they’re being led by the Liahona. And the Liahona leads them to this strange object, and the guy who finds it doesn’t know what it is. So they have a tabernacle, which shows you that they’re in between temples, which would’ve only been the case either when they first arrived in the New World and had not yet built a temple or during the exodus Mosiah led from the Land of Nephi, where they had a temple, to Zarahemla where they would build a temple. He brings this object into the tabernacle and immediately the voice of the Lord asks him a question, presumably from behind the veil covering the Holy of Holies where the Lord’s presence was understood to dwell. And the voice asks him, “What is that in your hand?” And Lapham says the man responded that “he did not know but that he had come to inquire” – those are Lapham’s exact words. So the Lord tells the man to take this object and put it on his face, and then to cover his face with animal skins. And when he does, he’s able to see anything supernaturally, it’s the interpreters. At that point the Liahona actually stops working; the Liahona, which led him to the interpreters, is actually now replaced by the interpreters. This would explain not only how the Nephites get the interpreters, but also why the military expeditions in the book of Alma ever uses the Liahona for guidance.

The story is loaded with biblical freight. The question – “What is that in your hand?” – is actually in Exodus 4, where Moses is at the burning bush on Sinai, when he’s first called as a prophet, and the thing in his hand is his staff. This is his experience of first entering the presence of God. The veiling of his face is related to Moses coming down from Sinai after the giving of the Ten Commandments, and his face is glowing from the presence of God. And so he veils his face so that the others won’t encounter that glory that’s reflected from him.

The animal skins, particularly badger skins, are explicitly said in the books of Moses to be needed to handle some of the sacred objects. When the temple relics were transported they were to be wrapped in badger skins. One of the veils of the temple was actually to be made from badger skins.

The story also has interesting resonances with the story of the Brother of Jared getting the interpreters in the first place from the Lord. On the mount Shelem the Brother of Jared and the Lord have a dialogue, which specifically mentions the veil. The Lord puts forth his hand to touch the stones that the Brother of Jared has brought. This initiates a series of questions from the Lord, starting with why the Brother of Jared has fallen to the ground and what he had seen. After the Brother of Jared’s faith and knowledge, he is admitted into the Lord’s presence, where he’s told that he’s now redeemed from the Fall, which puts the story of Adam and Eve as part of the backdrop. And then the Brother of Jared is given knowledge that can’t be shared with others, and so it’s put into the sealed portion of the gold plates.

This same theme of receiving the interpreters and talking with the Lord through the veil is present in both the story of the Brother of Jared and the story recounted to Fayette Lapham by Joseph Smith, Sr. Talking to the Lord through the veil, having these questions and this dialogue, by which the characters in question are tested, ultimately taking on the attribute of divine sight and entering the presence of the Lord.

On the question of “why” – why did the Nephites have temples? What in the Nephite world was a temple for? I think we tend to read the Book of Mormon and see the people therein in a similar way we tend to read the Old Testament, thinking that the temple for them was just about sacrifices. But here in the temple, the story of Aminadi, the tabernacle, with the story of Joseph, Sr. apparently about Mosiah 1, we have other temple themes. These aren’t about sacrifice, but about the revelation of higher knowledge and learning how to come into the presence of God, accessing knowledge from Him and becoming like Him.

The lost 116 pages are actually the earliest scripture of the Restoration. The rest of the Book of Mormon was translated after the lost pages. And the first revelation that we have, recorded from Joseph Smith, Jr., is Doctrine and Covenants 3, given in response to the loss of the 116 pages. So we’re missing the earliest scripture of the Restoration, but when we look and see some of the clues to what was in it, it is already anticipating things that some people, including previously myself, considered to be a later development in Nauvoo-era Mormonism and thus not present in the Book of Mormon. And yet what we see from the clues is that “Nauvoo Mormonism,” “temple Mormonism,” is original and literal Mormonism – it’s the very faith propounded by Mormon in his book, beginning with its lost opening, the Book of Lehi. Piercing the Veil: Temple Worship in the Lost 116 Pages ... -116-pages

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Re: Stunning Palmyra revelation - lost 116 pages - Nauvoo Temple era doctrine was from much earlier!

Post by Wolfwoman »

Oh yes, I learned about this from Don Bradley! He has a whole book on the lost 116 pages. (I have not read it yet though.)

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Re: Stunning Palmyra revelation - lost 116 pages - Nauvoo Temple era doctrine was from much earlier!

Post by GüdFüdDude »

Saw Don Bradley as a speaker at last year's (2022) fall BOM evidence conference

He's also listed as a board advisor to the Mormon Transhumanist Association

Very strange combo of interests.

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