There are 2 thoughts on ““He Is a Good Man”: The Fulfillment of Helaman 5:6-7 in Helaman 8:7 and 11:18-19”.

  1. “goodly” – if this word is taken out, the statement is meaningless, we are all born of parents. Its significance is that it is the antecedent of “therefore” – everything following hinges on the parents being goodly. But the statement is also meaningless if the word is taken to mean: kind, of good disposition, etc. – after all, what has kindness got to do with the opportunity of being taught? Poverty prevents and riches enable. Education requires a certain amount of wealth to afford foregoing labour in order to provide scribal tutoring/learning. There is one other place in the Book of Mormon where the word
    ‘goodly’ is used:
    Mosiah 18:5 -7
    Now, there was in Mormon a fountain of pure water, and Alma resorted thither, there being near the water a thicket of small trees, where he did hide himself in the daytime from the searches of the king.
    And it came to pass that as many as believed him went thither to hear his words.
    And it came to pass after many days there were a goodly number gathered together at the place of Mormon, to hear the words of Alma.
    Since numbers cannot be good or kindly, “goodly” must mean: of sufficience in the sense of abundance. Hence Nephi is saying that his parents had abundance. This is a major theme that continues on into the narrations provided by Mormon and Moroni. But it is the reason why Nephi was taught somewhat in all the learning of my[his] father. Note that it is not “we”, and that he was “taught … the learning of my father”, not that his father taught him. In both examples of “goodly”, the word is used as an adjective. The root word is “good” which can have either of 3 uses:
    a) as an adverb, in which case it denotes a particular reading of the verb: I feel good.
    b) as an adjective, in which case it denotes the character of the modified noun; a good person.
    c) as a noun, it which case it denotes:
    In economics, a good is a material that satisfies human wants and provides utility, for example, to a consumer making a purchase. A common distinction is made between ‘goods’ that are tangible property (also called goods) and services, which are non-physical. Commodities may be used as a synonym for economic goods but often refer to marketable raw materials and primary products. Although in economic theory all goods are considered tangible, in reality certain classes of goods, such as information, only take intangible forms. For example, among other goods an apple is a tangible object, while news belongs to an intangible class of goods and can be perceived only by means of an instrument such as print, broadcast or computer. (Wikipedia)
    A noun can by converted to an adjective or adverb by adding a suffix, in this case “ly” which converts the meaning to “being like”, “characterized by”. e.g. fairly, complete-ly, great-ly, able-ly, boistrous-ly, strong-ly, happi-ly, funni-ly, like-ly, friend-ly
    Again, in the LDS hymn “Carry On”, there is the phrase “in this goodly land”. Finally, Joseph Smith can not be characterized as unable to write a letter and still be held up as an example of “correct” English, nor is the quote to be considered as prophetic. So the weakness of the inclusion of “goodly” in the analysis of good, which is good, lies in the fact that it is taken out of context. One has to take into consideration the attached word “therefore” in the analysis, but it wasn’t, it was left dangling.
    So if Nephi’s parents are characterized by “goods”, then they are characterized as having material hence being wealthy. Then there is the narrative of Lehi’s calling and escape without his wealth – and the Laban episode certainly confirms that his parents were – loss of wealth was a sore point with Laman and Lemuel which stretches through even the history of their descendents and was the basis of accusing Nephi, and descendants, of being robbers.

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