There are 4 thoughts on ““Arise from the Dust”: Insights from Dust-Related Themes in the Book of Mormon (Part 1: Tracks from the Book of Moses)”.

  1. In Table 2, the items listed as “Compound parallels 2” should have been added to above row for “Compound parallels 1” since they are found in 1 Nephi 14:7. They probably should not be listed as an independent compound parallel because I overlooked the existence of a KJV verse that uses similar language, John 12:40 (“he hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart”). John is quoting Isaiah 6:10, though the KJV of Isaiah 6:10 has “make the heart of this people fat” instead of hard.

  2. With the unfortunate deletion of the FARMS-related historic publications from the Maxwell Institute website, a number of the links given above no longer work and lack redirection to new resources. will work for non-PDF materials. For the Noel Reynolds article, “The Brass Plates Version of Genesis” and most articles for the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies and FARMS Review, try The Reynolds article is at

  3. Jeff
    Thanks for the article. The link between Nephi’s reference to the strength of Moses and the passage in the Book of Moses was a good find.
    Adding to your idea that “dust” could be Hebrew wordplay for “obscuity”, many references to “dust” in the Book of Mormon are directly related to the “grave,” a place of consummate darkness. For example:
    “Because of their grief and much sorrow, and the iniquity of my brethren, they were brought near even to be carried out of this time to meet their God; yea, their grey hairs were about to be brought down to lie low in the dust; yea, even they were near to be cast with sorrow into a watery grave” (1 Ne 18:18).
    In this verse, “lie low in the dust” is parallel with “be cast … into a watery grave.” Since the group was at sea, Nephi’s reference to lying “low in the dust” seems a little strange until one realizes that “dust” is simply a metaphor for the grave.
    On two other occasions, Lehi closely linked the concept of dust and the grave:
    “Awake! and arise from the dust, and hear the words of a trembling parent, whose limbs ye must soon lay down in the cold and silent grave, from whence no traveler can return; a few more days and I go the way of all the earth” (2 Ne 1:14).
    “And now that my soul might have joy in you, and that my heart might leave this world with gladness because of you, that I might not be brought down with grief and sorrow to the grave, arise from the dust, my sons, and be men, and be determined in one mind and in one heart, united in all things, that ye may not come down into captivity” (2 Ne 1:21).
    In both of these passages it appears that Lehi wanted his sons to arise from their spiritual graves (spiritual darkness) before he went down to his physical grave. In fact, this same meaning could be applied to multiple verses in the Book of Mormon. For example:
    “And now, my beloved brethren, all those who are of the house of Israel, and all ye ends of the earth, I speak unto you as the voice of one crying from the [grave]: Farewell until that great day shall come” (2 Ne 33:13).
    The Old Testament contains similar word association:
    “And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be” (Job 7:21).
    And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Dan 12:2).

    • Excellent points, which will also apply to the further analysis in Part 2. Yes, dust as a metaphor for the grave and destruction is an important aspect of the dust-related concepts, and your analysis of several verses is a helpful contribution–thanks!!
      Rising from the dust can refer to resurrection and overcoming the grave, but also to spiritual rebirth and God’s creative work, and it can refer to enthronement and entering God’s presence, while to return to the dust is to perish physically or spiritually, and/or to break the covenant. Many intriguing relationships found in the use of such motifs in the Book of Mormon and in ancient Near Eastern texts, including the Dead Sea Scrolls.
      Thanks again for the helpful insights!

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