There are 7 thoughts on “The Record of My Father”.

  1. Thank you for taking your time to answer my questions and comments. I appreciate your thorough research on this article and your 116 Lost Pages article. I printed that one out and you also commented on a question I had in that article. Thanks again, Cliff, for your time and mental energy.

  2. Hi Cliff, Re: Jerry Grover’s comment on 5/5/19, if Nephi wrote the small plates in Egyptian, how did they become written in Reformed Egyptian (in order to maintain the “consistency of textual structures” as evidenced between Mormon’s abridgment and Nephi’s small plates)? Also, in Nephi’s “meaningless” conclusion of “my father dwelt in a tent”, could that have meant that Lehi dwelt in ordinances? His life revolved around “family, provisions, and tents” (all he could take in the wilderness from 1 Ne 2:4) since all we can take from our “wilderness” is family, covenants, and ordinances? I guess what you are saying is that Lehi actually wrote verses 4 and 15. Thank you for your meticulous research.

    • Jim:

      Thanks for your thoughts and questions.

      Your first question appears to assume that it would be unlikely for resumptive structures to be found both in a small-plate record written in “the language of [Lehi], which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians” (1 Nephi 1:2) and in the records of Mormon and Moroni written in a later, reformed, form of Egyptian (see Mormon 9:32). I believe you have already read the related discussion between Jerry Grover and me in the comments to another paper I wrote entitled “That Which You Have Translated Which You Have Retained.” Others who read your comment here might want to review that discussion as well. Resumptive structures are structured comments that are independent of the language in which they are written. Footnote 62 in my paper “That Which You Have Translated Which You Have Retained” refers to similar structures written in ancient Hebrew. Both this paper and that later paper also show that resumptive structures are found in the English Book of Mormon. Because these resumptive structures, like other rhetorical structures, can be written in different languages, their presence in both the small-plate record and later records doesn’t suggest that all of these records were written in a later, reformed, form of Egyptian.

      The wording of your second question appears to suggest that Nephi’s statement that his father dwelt in a tent, if taken literally, adds no meaning to his account. My paper suggests that this statement does add literal meaning. Stan Spencer’s comment (below) notes that “It also shows the purpose of the unexpected and otherwise unneeded phrase, ‘And my father dwelt in a tent’: to close Nephi’s abridgment of his father’s record and figuratively set it aside.” I believe you see an additional metaphorical possibility. You suggest that Nephi may be using the word ‘tent’ as a metaphor for ordinances. Perhaps, but I would only consider such a metaphor if other ancient passages suggest the same metaphor. I’m not yet aware of any other passage that does so.

      Finally, I’m not certain that I understand your statement that suggests that I am “saying that Lehi actually wrote verses 4 and 15.” If you are referring to 1 Nephi 2:4 and 15, I’m not saying that these verses quote Lehi. They were written by Nephi in his abridgment of Lehi’s record. They are about Lehi, but they weren’t written by him. I’m saying that Lehi’s record covered events that took place as Lehi “departed into the wilderness” (v. 4) and while Lehi “dwelt in a tent” (v. 15) in the valley of Lemuel, so Nephi’s abridgment briefly covers the same period of time in Nephi’s own words.

  3. I wonder about the comparison of textual structures from the small plates to textual structures from Mormon’s abridgment without consideration of the underlying language. Nephi wrote his original record in Egyptian, Mormon wrote in reformed Egyptian. The spoken languages were significantly different after 1000 years. The continuity of textual structures from the small plates to Mormon’s abridgment is actually evidence that the version of the small plates included in the plate stack was a reformed Egyptian version

  4. Excellent analysis. Thanks for your insightful research. The structure you pointed out makes sense. It also shows the purpose of the unexpected and otherwise unneeded phrase, “And my father dwelt in a tent”: to close Nephi’s abridgment of his father’s record and figuratively set it aside.

  5. Thanks so much for your comprehensive and careful study of this question. You have given this a lot of dedicated effort and have produced a number of most helpful new insights about how those early chapters may have been written. I will definitely keep this paper close by when and if I can ever get back to a rewrite of my 1980 paper that you cited. Thanks again.

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