Further Evidence from the Book of Mormon for a Book of Moses-Like Text on the Brass Plates

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Abstract: Students of the Book of Mormon have long mined the Old Testament as a rich source of influence on Nephite writers. However, surprising recent finds suggest that an ancient text related to the Book of Moses may have been an especially significant influence as well. That possibility was raised in Noel Reynolds’s early analytical paper, “The Brass Plates Version of Genesis.” He found thirty-three proposed parallels between the Book of Moses and the Book of Mormon, some of which pointed to a one-way connection with the Book of Moses as the source. Our recent collaboration resulted in identifying a total of nearly one hundred parallels that cannot be readily explained based on influence from the KJV Bible, some of which further point to a text like the Book of Moses as the source for influence on Nephite writers. That prior work was not as exhaustive as we believed. Thirty-six prospective new parallels are proposed here. Finally, a reasonable challenge to the hypothesis of a Book of Moses text on the brass plates is also considered: why didn’t Book of Mormon preachers quote from the Book of Moses more directly?


Students of the Book of Mormon have often found that they can better understand the text by studying the Old Testament, an obvious source of influence on Book of Mormon writers. The Book of Mormon, for example, employs many rhetorical and poetical tools found in the Old Testament and frequently alludes to details in that text. However, few Book of Mormon students have thought to mine the Book of Moses as a tool for exploring influences on the Book of [Page 416]Mormon. After all, the Book of Moses was produced after the Book of Mormon was translated. It seemed to come not from any known document but, in the eyes of many, from the mind of Joseph Smith as he contemplated the Bible, the first fruits of his project to produce a new edition of the Bible. This new translation of the Bible was not a translation of ancient biblical manuscripts but appears to be a translation in the broad sense of “presenting it in a new way; creating it anew from one form to another, changing something old into something new.”1 Any connection between the Book of Mormon and the Book of Moses might naturally be expected to arise from Joseph’s employing language and themes he had picked up from the Book of Mormon and then applied in his translation of the early chapters of Genesis.

Here we must observe that what we call the Book of Moses is the first portion of Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible corresponding with his translation up to Genesis 6:13. That initial portion is unique in that it has been canonized as scripture for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For a detailed analysis of the origins and history of Joseph’s translation of the Bible and a discussion of what it is and what it does, see Kent P. Jackson’s definitive Understanding Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible.2 Joseph “spoke of translating and correcting [the Bible] but did not explain the process.”3 There is no evidence that he used a seer stone or the Urim and Thummim for that work. He didn’t use ancient Hebrew or Greek texts but used a King James Bible that he purchased in October 1829 (after the translation of the Book of Mormon had been completed and was being prepared for printing).4 As far as we know, Joseph did not claim that the translation of the Bible was a restoration of ancient documents or the English translation of the text of any ancient manuscript.

It is possible that some portions of his translation of the Bible restore ancient text or convey the words of ancient authors, but we [Page 417]do not know that based on what Joseph said about his methods and intent. However, when he received the revelation we know as Moses chapter 1, the text begins with this bold statement: “The words of God, which he spake unto Moses at a time when Moses was caught up into an exceedingly high mountain” (Moses 1:1). Here Joseph appears to be providing a translation of actual words once spoken to Moses unrelated to what is found in the Bible. If Moses experienced the visions of Moses 1, it is reasonable that he would have recorded it and that such an account could have been part of the brass plates, but this is speculation. When Joseph received this revelation, it is not even clear that it was related to the project of translating the Bible. However, on the same manuscript shortly after the original text of our Moses 1, Moses 2:1 also appears with the beginning of the Creation account, indicating that the translation of the Bible had begun.

What we can see is that “the early chapters of Joseph Smith’s Genesis constitute one of the greatest revelations in all of history, and they are the written source for some of the most unique teachings of the Latter-day Saint faith.”5 As marvelous as the Book of Moses is, there is no compelling reason based on what we know of Joseph’s translation of the Bible to hypothesize that something closely related to its text was on the brass plates.

The counterintuitive possibility of a profound connection between the Book of Mormon and a hypothetical brass plates text related to the Book of Moses arose from unexpected findings in a computer-assisted study of the texts in the 1980s. In 1990 Noel B. Reynolds published his textual analysis in “The Brass Plates Version of Genesis,” providing over thirty examples of intertextuality that could not be readily explained by reliance on KJV language and themes.6 Reynolds revealed a strong relationship between the two texts that was unlike the much weaker relationship between the Book of Abraham and the Book of Mormon. Most surprising, though, was the finding that several significant parallels were indicative of a one-way dependency, [Page 418]with the Book of Moses appearing to provide a rich vein of significant details that were often only alluded to in the Book of Mormon, a factor inconsistent with Joseph Smith as the author of the Book of Moses since it was translated after the translation of the Book of Mormon.

Reynolds’s early work helped explain some apparent subtle Book of Mormon allusions to the Book of Moses that I encountered while exploring the theme of rising from the dust in the Book of Mormon. This led to a paper identifying further parallels.7 After that publication, Reynolds and I collaborated directly and ultimately reported over sixty more parallels beyond Reynolds’s original thirty-three, with several new finds again supporting a one-way connection with the Book of Moses as if it were a source for allusions or wording in the Book of Mormon. The results were presented in the 2020 Tracing Ancient Threads in the Book of Moses conference8 and later published as “‘Strong Like unto Moses’: The Case for Ancient Roots in the Book of Moses Based on Book of Mormon Usage of Related Content Apparently from the Brass Plates” in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship.9

We have focused on the Book of Moses and its connections to the Book of Mormon, but what about the rest of the added or modified text that Joseph gave us in his work of translating the Bible after producing the text that became our Book of Moses? In other words, after revealing the visions of Moses in Moses 1 and then translating Genesis up to Genesis 6:13, where the Book of Moses suddenly ends, [Page 419]what about the rest of the new material from the translation work that continued as Joseph worked with numerous portions of the rest of the KJV Bible? Does it also have the connections we have found to the Book of Mormon? Based on an examination of the remaining text of the Joseph Smith translation of the Bible,10 the answer in general appears to be no, though JST Genesis 50 does provide text closely aligned with 2 Nephi 3, as we might expect, and some changes in Isaiah align with those previously given in the Book of Mormon. A detailed report is in preparation,11 but it seems that the intricate textural relationships with the Book of Mormon seen in Moses 4 and other portions of the Book of Moses do not persist in the later parts of Joseph’s translation of the Bible.

While the Book of Moses that was canonized in 1880 looks like it was rather arbitrarily selected from the translation of the Bible up to Genesis 6:13, that does not seem to be the case. Rather, it seems to have captured revealed material with a surprisingly large number of textural parallels to the Book of Mormon, though the final chapter of the Book of Moses has very few apparent connections. The numerous textual parallels with the Book of Mormon found in the Book of Moses, many of which suggest a one-way direction of influence from the Book of Moses to the Book of Mormon, represent unexpected, surprising data that may point to a connection of some kind via the brass plates.

When Reynolds and I published “Strong Like unto Moses” in 2021, we felt that we had exhausted essentially all the connections between the Book of Moses and the Book of Mormon. To my surprise, there were still more parallels to consider that often came to my attention without consciously looking for them, leading me to pursue these additional leads and methodologies with the kind encouragement of Reynolds.

Most of the new parallels are relatively simple and can be identified as distinctive language not found in the KJV Bible. Some involve combinations of concepts brought together to form a fingerprint of sorts in a single verse or short passage. One of the most recently detected [Page 420]candidates involves a combination of themes in which subtle language points to a connection that is somewhat disguised and easy to overlook. To illustrate some of the considerations involved in exploring parallels, we begin with that recent find.

Subtle Allusions: Distinguishing the Influences in the Story of Zeezrom

In identifying parallels, Reynolds and I have generally excluded language and allusions that can be taken from the KJV Bible. For example, both Genesis and the Book of Moses contain the account of the Creation, with the Book of Moses generally relying on KJV language, so the numerous references to the Creation in the Book of Mormon should not count as evidence for a connection to the Book of Moses. But in the encounter in Ammonihah of Alma2 and Amulek with the wicked lawyer Zeezrom, apparent allusions to Genesis do not adequately reveal the added meaning found when the Creation account in the Book of Moses is considered instead.

As Zeezrom is introduced, we are told that the object of Zeezrom and his fellow wicked lawyers “was to get gain” (Alma 10:32). This may be an allusion to the Book of Moses account of Cain, founder of a murderous secret combination, who killed Abel “for the sake of getting gain” (Moses 5:50).12 Amulek teaches Zeezrom who begins to tremble as he becomes aware of his guilt (Alma 11:46), perhaps echoing the trembling of Satan as Moses exposed Satan and sought to cast him out (Moses 1:12-22, with trembling in v. 21). Alma2 then steps forward and twists the knife–but with surgical precision, seeking to heal rather than injure:

Now Alma, seeing that the words of Amulek had silenced Zeezrom, for he beheld that Amulek had caught him in his lying and deceiving to destroy him, and seeing that he began to tremble under a consciousness of his guilt, he opened his mouth and began to speak unto him, and to establish the words of Amulek, and to explain things beyond, or to unfold the scriptures beyond that which Amulek had done.

Now the words that Alma spake unto Zeezrom were [Page 421]heard by the people round about; for the multitude was great, and he spake on this wise:

Now Zeezrom, seeing that thou hast been taken in thy lying and craftiness, for thou hast not lied unto men only but thou hast lied unto God; for behold, he knows all thy thoughts, and thou seest that thy thoughts are made known unto us by his Spirit;

And thou seest that we know that thy plan was a very subtle plan, as to the subtlety of the devil, for to lie and to deceive this people that thou mightest set them against us, to revile us and to cast us out

Now this was a plan of thine adversary, and he hath exercised his power in thee. Now I would that ye should remember that what I say unto thee I say unto all.

And behold I say unto you all that this was a snare of the adversary, which he has laid to catch this people, that he might bring you into subjection unto him, that he might encircle you about with his chains, that he might chain you down to everlasting destruction, according to the power of his captivity.

Now when Alma had spoken these words, Zeezrom began to tremble more exceedingly, for he was convinced more and more of the power of God; and he was also convinced that Alma and Amulek had a knowledge of him, for he was convinced that they knew the thoughts and intents of his heart; for power was given unto them that they might know of these things according to the spirit of prophecy. (Alma 12:1–7)

The use of “subtle” and “subtlety” in v. 4 echoes the role of the serpent in Genesis 3:1, who “was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.” Thus, a reader familiar with the KJV Bible can see that Alma2 might be alluding to the wicked serpent of Genesis 3. But the allusion to satanic influence through Zeezrom is vastly more pronounced when we look to the Book of Moses instead of Genesis 3:

Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him [Page 422]mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;

And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.

And now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which I, the Lord God, had made.

And Satan put it into the heart of the serpent, (for he had drawn away many after him,) and he sought also to beguile Eve, for he knew not the mind of God, wherefore he sought to destroy the world. (Moses 4:3–6)

Satan’s desire to destroy (vv. 3 and 6) has echoes in Alma 10:14, which states that the lawyers of Ammonihah also “sought to destroy” Alma2 and Amulek. An angel in Alma 8:17 also warns that wicked people in Ammonihah “do study at this time that they may destroy the liberty of thy people,” suggesting that they are pursuing satanic plots to obtain power over the Nephites and destroy their freedom and faith. Alma2 in Alma 9:19 further implies that the iniquity of the people there threatened “to destroy his [the Lord’s] people.” He then declares that “the foundation of the destruction of this people is beginning to be laid by the unrighteousness of your lawyers and your judges” (Alma 10:27). Wicked plots and combinations are afoot and seeking to destroy that which is good is a sign of Satan’s influence fully underway.

Satan’s being “cast down” (Moses 4:3) or cast out of heaven may have an ironic echo in Alma 12:4, referring to Satan’s subtle plan to cast out Alma2 and Amulek (also see Alma 8:13, 10:23, and 15:1 regarding the casting out of the righteous from Ammonihah).

Especially significant is the application of Moses 4:4, which, as Reynolds pointed out in his original paper, is one of the most influential Book of Moses passages, one that seems to be invoked many times in the Book of Mormon:13

And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.

From that short sentence, we see parallels in the lying and deceiving of Zeezrom in Alma 12:1 and again in v. 4, revealing that the devil’s [Page 423]plan was “to lie and to deceive this people,” with both “subtle” and “subtlety” (see Moses 4:5) also being used in Alma 12:4 to emphasize the allusion—not to the serpent itself but to the source that influenced the serpent, Satan.

A significant but exceedingly subtle parallel that helps distinguish something like the Book of Moses from Genesis as a possible source of textual influence involves the phrase “Satan put it into the heart of the serpent” in Moses 4:6. Rather than the serpent being the source of the temptation of Adam and Eve as in Genesis, Moses 4:6 makes it clear that Satan was the deceiver who used the subtle, crafty serpent as his tool. Satan was the instigator, the saboteur, the mastermind and would-be master, and the serpent was merely an instrument he exploited. This passage seems to inform Alma2’s declaration: “Now this was a plan of thine adversary, and he hath exercised his power in thee” (Alma 12:5). This detail reflects Moses 4 much more clearly than does Genesis 3.

Alma2 then adds further references from the Book of Moses as he warns Zeezrom and the people of Ammonihah that Satan’s plan is aimed at bringing them down to captivity, again echoing Moses 4:4, coupled with a reference to Satan’s chains (see Moses 7:26, 57).

Perhaps the most subtle aspect of the allusions to Moses 4 involves Satan’s inability to know the thoughts of God: “for he knew not the mind of God” (Moses 4:6). In contrast, and perhaps a deliberate contrast, Alma2 tells Satan’s servant, Zeezrom, that “thou hast lied unto God; for behold, he knows all thy thoughts, and thou seest that thy thoughts are made known unto us by his Spirit” (Alma 12:3). Alma2’s careful twisting of the knife has the intended effect, for Alma2’s precise exposing of Zeezrom’s secret plot convinced the increasingly guilt-ridden man “that Alma and Amulek had a knowledge of him, for he was convinced that they knew the thoughts and intents of his heart; for power was given unto them that they might know of these things according to the spirit of prophecy” (Alma 12:7). He then trembled even more—not with the anger of Satan after Moses detected and exposed him (Moses 1:21) but with genuine dread for his great guilt.

The contrast between Satan’s not knowing the thoughts or mind of God and God’s knowing and revealing the thoughts and plots of the servants of Satan to God’s authorized servants is an important but easily missed aspect of the text. It fortifies a key theme in the conflict of Alma2 and Amulek versus the wicked leaders at Ammonihah, namely, [Page 424]the contest of God’s power versus Satan’s power.14 The servants of Satan demonstrate their power with force and cruelty as they mock the power of God’s servants but the humble servants of God eventually prevail—though many believers would suffer martyrdom (still gaining victory in the end). But the issue of knowing the thoughts of others in the story of Zeezrom immediately signals God’s supremacy and Satan’s weakness when read with the Book of Moses in mind. As with many other incidents in the Book of Mormon, the contest with Zeezrom is made more meaningful when its relation to the Book of Moses is noted.

If there are significant and intentional relationships between the Book of Moses and the account of Zeezrom, what is the direction of influence? Which text gains added meaning by considering the other as a potential source? Does Moses 4 allude to Zeezrom and Ammonihah, or does it make more sense when we consider details from Alma 12? From my perspective, the flow of influence seems to be decidedly one-directional, as if the Book of Moses were being mined as a source for literary allusions rather than the other way around. Moses 4 does not seem to be written as a text that pulls together numerous bits and pieces of Book of Mormon language. Rather it reads like a mother lode of information whose scattered nuggets enrich not just Alma 12 but numerous passages of the Book of Mormon.

Some of the concepts we have considered here such as seeking for gain and Satan’s plan to lead men captive have been previously covered, but allusions showing Zeezrom as the exploited tool of Satan and other aspects connecting Alma 12:1–7 with the Book of Moses rather than Genesis alone are new. This cluster of parallels (a compound parallel) was one of the last finds in our study so far, which will be listed below as the final parallel of this study, Parallel 133.

What follows is a list of new textual connections and some updates to topics previously explored. Since ninety-seven proposed parallels were listed in our prior publication, the new proposals here will be tentatively numbered beginning with Parallel 98. Again, these parallels cannot be readily explained based on influence from the KJV Bible.

[Page 425]Parallel 98: “All things prepared,” including fruit

The creation account in the Book of Moses speaks of “all things which I [God] prepared for the use of man” in the context of the trees of the Garden of Eden—including, or especially, fruit trees:

And out of the ground made I, the Lord God, to grow every tree, naturally, that is pleasant to the sight of man; and man could behold it. And it became also a living soul. For it was spiritual in the day that I created it; for it remaineth in the sphere in which I, God, created it, yea, even all things which I prepared for the use of man; and man saw that it was good for food. And I, the Lord God, planted the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and also the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (Moses 3:9)

“All things being prepared” is arguably a pedestrian phrase that could be used naturally in numerous contexts. However, the use of such phrasing in the context of an Eden-like setting with fruit trees prepared by the Lord makes Nephi1’s use of related language seem to link to the Book of Moses:

And we did come to the land which we called Bountiful, because of its much fruit and also wild honey; and all these things were prepared of the Lord that we might not perish. (1 Nephi 17:5)

And it came to pass that on the morrow, after we had prepared all things, much fruits and meat from the wilderness, and honey in abundance, and provisions according to that which the Lord had commanded us, we did go down into the ship. (1 Nephi 18:6)

Similar language about “all things” being “prepared” is not found in the KJV, though both “prepared” and “all things” are found in Tobias 5:16 in the Apocrypha in “his son had prepared all things for the journey.”

In comparing the use of “all things prepared” in the Book of Moses to the Book of Mormon, the direction of dependency—if some form of dependency is involved—would most logically flow from the foundational account of the Garden of Eden to a later account about a garden-like region, with Nephi1 apparently using language that alludes to the fruit trees of the Garden of Eden. The Book of Moses account provides a detailed backstory that can support brief literary allusions [Page 426]in dependent works. It seems highly unlikely that Joseph Smith could dictate a text that contains brief allusions to details in a Garden of Eden account that had not yet been composed, and then later write those details in a way that gives added meaning to the earlier work through subtle intertextuality.

Parallel 99: More fruit: Covenanting with a prophet regarding a future prophet among his descendants

Parallel 89 in our original paper noted that the specific use of “fulfilled” with respect to divine covenants, as found in Moses 8:2, was also found in numerous Book of Mormon passages but not explicitly in the KJV. That verse speaks of the fulfillment of the covenants of the Lord, and further indicates that the Lord covenanted with Enoch that a future prophet, Noah, would be among the “fruit of his loins”:

And it came to pass that Methuselah, the son of Enoch, was not taken, that the covenants of the Lord might be fulfilled, which he made to Enoch; for he truly covenanted with Enoch that Noah should be of the fruit of his loins. (Moses 8:2)

An additional related parallel may be proposed in the combination of covenants being fulfilled with (1) the detailed concept of the Lord covenanting with a prophet regarding a choice prophet to be among his posterity, and (2) the specific phrase “fruit of his loins,” wording that naturally calls for comparison to 2 Nephi 3, where similar language is found:

For behold, thou art the fruit of my loins; and I am a descendant of Joseph who was carried captive into Egypt. And great were the covenants of the Lord which he made unto Joseph.

Wherefore, Joseph truly saw our day. And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off, nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light—yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom.

For Joseph truly testified, saying: A seer shall the Lord [Page 427]my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins.

Yea, Joseph truly said: Thus saith the Lord unto me: A choice seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and he shall be esteemed highly among the fruit of thy loins. And unto him will I give commandment that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren, which shall be of great worth unto them, even to the bringing of them to the knowledge of the covenants which I have made with thy fathers. (2 Nephi 3:4–7)

2 Nephi 3 is an account taken from the writings of the ancient patriarch Joseph on the brass plates that repeatedly uses “fruit of thy loins.” Verse 5 provides the Book of Mormon’s only instance of “fruit of his loins,” the precise wording in Moses 8:2.

Acts 2:30 employs “fruit of his loins,” so the phrase is not unique to Latter-day Saint scripture; otherwise, “fruit of [thy/thine/your/my/mine/our] loins” does not occur in the KJV, though Genesis 35:11 has the word “fruitful” followed by “thy loins” with 19 words in between.

Parallel 100: A “sore curse”

Todd J. Uriona kindly informed me that the threat made to Laman and Lemuel of a “sore cursing” unto the “destruction of both soul and body” (2 Nephi 1:22), with other uses of that phrase in the Book of Mormon, might represent a connection to the Book of Moses.15

According to Moses 5:56, “God cursed the earth with a sore curse, and was angry with the wicked, with all the sons of men whom he had made.” Later, in Moses 8:4, after Enoch had been taken away, “there came forth a great famine into the land, and the Lord cursed the earth with a sore curse, and many of the inhabitants thereof died.” The “sore curse” is associated with the threat of destruction or death.

The Book of Mormon uses “sore curse” or “sore cursing” five times (1 Nephi 2:23; 2 Nephi 1:22, 5:21; Jacob 2:33 and 3:3), all coming from Nephi1 or Jacob, two of the writers most reliant on the brass plates. Several of these instances carry the same connotation of death and destruction found in Moses 8:4. Neither “sore curse” nor “sore cursing” is found in the KJV. The occurrence of this phrase only in the writings of Nephi1 and Jacob is consistent with the hypothesis that it was [Page 428]contained on the brass plates, which, of course, heavily influenced both writers.

Parallel 101: Cain’s followers and the persistence of his secret combination

Both the Book of Mormon in Helaman 6:27 and the Book of Moses in Moses 5:25 suggest that Cain had followers and that the secret combination he started spread and persisted, implicitly through his followers. This connection is easy to miss, though, since the single relevant Book of Mormon verse uses different wording that appears to succinctly summarize a longer Book of Moses passage. At first glance, this wording appears to just be reciting a familiar story from Genesis. Here is the key passage from Helaman 6 in context with two preceding verses:

Now behold, it is these secret oaths and covenants which Alma commanded his son should not go forth unto the world, lest they should be a means of bringing down the people unto destruction.

Now behold, those secret oaths and covenants did not come forth unto Gadianton from the records which were delivered unto Helaman; but behold, they were put into the heart of Gadianton by that same being who did entice our first parents to partake of the forbidden fruit—

Yea, that same being who did plot with Cain, that if he would murder his brother Abel it should not be known unto the world. And he did plot with Cain and his followers from that time forth. (Helaman 6:25–27)

Helaman 6:27 tersely shares information not found in Genesis. We learn that: (1) Cain had followers, (2) the murder of Abel involved a covenant with Satan intended to protect Cain from being discovered, (3) Satan also plotted with Cain and his followers, and (4) that this secret work or secret combination persisted for an apparently long time “from that time forth.” The biblical account in Genesis 4 tells us that Cain built a city and had a son, so “followers” might be implied but not followers among his brethren that join him in a secret covenant or persist in such evil.

We learn more in Moses 5:

And it came to pass that Cain took one of his brothers’ daughters to wife, and they loved Satan more than God.

[Page 429]And Satan said unto Cain: Swear unto me by thy throat, and if thou tell it thou shalt die; and swear thy brethren by their heads, and by the living God, that they tell it not; for if they tell it, they shall surely die; and this that thy father may not know it; and this day I will deliver thy brother Abel into thine hands.

And Satan sware unto Cain that he would do according to his commands. And all these things were done in secret.

And Cain said: Truly I am Mahan, the master of this great secret, that I may murder and get gain. Wherefore Cain was called Master Mahan, and he gloried in his wickedness. . . .

And Cain was shut out from the presence of the Lord, and with his wife and many of his brethren dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bare Enoch, and he also begat many sons and daughters. And he builded a city, and he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch. (Moses 5:28–31, 41–42)

So, Cain did in fact “plot” with Satan and influenced his brethren to join him. Of course, Cain could have just killed Abel on his own, but it seems that part of Satan’s deception was leading Cain to believe that he needed protection that could be obtained by bringing others into his murderous plot, thus spreading a terrible spiritual infection. His followers included his brethren, but as the founder of a city with many children, there would also be posterity. Later in Moses 5 we learn that the secret works that Cain began persisted as Lamech, a descendant of Cain, also became “Master Mahan.” We also learn that those secret works spread among all the “sons of men”:

For Lamech having entered into a covenant with Satan, after the manner of Cain, wherein he became Master Mahan, master of that great secret which was administered unto Cain by Satan; and Irad, the son of Enoch, having known their secret, began to reveal it unto the sons of Adam;

Wherefore Lamech, being angry, slew him, not like unto Cain, his brother Abel, for the sake of getting gain, but he slew him for the oath’s sake.

For, from the days of Cain, there was a secret combination, and their works were in the dark, and they knew every man his brother.

[Page 430]Wherefore the Lord cursed Lamech, and his house, and all them that had covenanted with Satan; for they kept not the commandments of God, and it displeased God, and he ministered not unto them, and their works were abominations, and began to spread among all the sons of men. And it was among the sons of men. (Moses 5:49–52)

The Book of Moses relates a detailed story about Cain’s covenant with Satan and plot to kill his brother, including details about involving his brethren in a satanic covenant that obviously persisted and spread among his many brethren and his and their descendants. Multiple verses of Book of Moses material are alluded to in one terse Book of Mormon statement: “Yea, that same being [Satan] who did plot with Cain, that if he would murder his brother Abel it should not be known unto the world. And he did plot with Cain and his followers from that time forth” (Helaman 6:27). This looks much like an allusion to a more complete source, and chapter 5 of the Book of Moses appears to serve that role perfectly. This should qualify as one of the “one-way” connections between the Book of Moses (or rather, a proposed related text on the brass plates) and the Book of Mormon. It makes much more sense that Helaman 6:27 is alluding to a more extensive ancient account than to assume that the account in Moses 5 is a detailed expansion of a small nugget in the Book of Mormon.

Parallel 102: A record in the language of an ancestor

The Book of Moses speaks of the establishment of written records in the pure language of Adam:

And a book of remembrance was kept, in the which was recorded, in the language of Adam, for it was given unto as many as called upon God to write by the spirit of inspiration; And by them their children were taught to read and write, having a language which was pure and undefiled. (Moses 6:5–6)

Related concepts are found throughout the Book of Mormon, such as King Benjamin’s teaching his sons “all the language of his fathers, that thereby they might become men of understanding; and that they might know concerning the prophecies which had been spoken by the mouths of their fathers” (Mosiah 1:2). But the specific description of writing a book or record in the language of an ancestor is also explicitly found in the words of Nephi1. The Book of Mormon begins with Nephi1 [Page 431]declaring, “I make a record in the language of my father” (1 Nephi 1:2). In a later passage, he also writes, “it is wisdom in God that we should obtain these records, that we may preserve unto our children the language of our fathers” (1 Nephi 3:19). Nephi1’s terminology may be an allusion to the book of remembrance recorded in the language of the first father, Adam, as described in the Book of Moses.

The KJV Bible does not use the full phrase “in the language of” but does have “the language of” four times: “confound the language of all the earth” (Genesis 11:9), “according to the language of [each or every] people” (Nehemiah 13:24; Esther 1:22); and “In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan” (Isaiah 19:18). Three of these refer to spoken language, but Esther 1:22 refers to letters conveying a decree from the king that “the wives shall give to their husbands honour” (Esther 1:20) which “should be published according to the language of every people” but does not describe a lasting record.

Parallel 103: Secret combinations and getting gain, seeking power

Parallel 25, one of Noel Reynolds’s original 33 textual parallels, was the combination of “murder” and “get gain” from Moses 5:31 (“Cain said: Truly I am Mahan, the master of this great secret, that I may murder and get gain”). This is also found in Helaman 7:21 as Nephi2 condemns the people for their murders and other crimes to “get gain.” Helaman 2:8 and Ether 8:16 speak of secret combinations seeking to murder, to gain power (but not explicitly “getting gain”), and to rob or plunder. However, a related connection involving “getting gain” can also be made in other Book of Mormon verses that don’t mention murder per se but do discuss the role of secret combinations.

Moses 5:31 links “this great secret” of a satanic secret combination to getting gain. Further, Moses 5:50 mentions the motive of “getting gain” in Cain’s murder of Abel in contrast to Lamech’s reason for slaying of his son because of the oath of their secret combination: “Wherefore Lamech, being angry, slew him, not like unto Cain, his brother Abel, for the sake of getting gain, but he slew him for the oath’s sake.” The combination of “get/getting gain” and secret combinations is found in the Book of Mormon and can be noted as a further element apart from passages specifically employing the word “murder.” For example, Ether 11:15 refers to “that secret combination which was built up to get power and gain.” Likewise Mormon 8:40 refers to [Page 432]secret abominations to get gain.” Both verses refer to the destruction and bloodshed of secret combinations but do not use the word “murder” of Parallel 25.

Also consider Helaman 7:4–5 (also see v. 25) which refers to the Gadianton robbers who seek power in government “that they might get gain” and, of course, “kill.”

Further, Reynolds’s original Parallel 26, “seeking for power” involving Moses 6:15 and Alma 46:4, has a more specific variant that could be considered: “seeking for power” as a symptom of secret combinations. Moses 6:15 speaks of Satan’s dominion over men and the resulting violence and wickedness, “because of secret works, seeking for power.” While Alma 46:4, the verse originally noted as related to Moses 6:15, speaks of Amalickiah’s seeking for power, it does not specifically mention a secret combination, though that was indeed Amalickiah’s path.

“Seeking for power” is also a characteristic of the “king-men,” who are introduced in Alma 51:1–8 as elites who wanted to overthrow the Nephite government to establish rule by kings: “Now those who were in favor of kings were those of high birth, and they sought to be kings; and they were supported by those who sought power and authority over the people” (v. 8). Later their treasonous conspiracy with the Lamanites in a time of war caused great peril for the Nephites due to “the great wickedness of those who are seeking for power and authority, yea, even those king-men” (Alma 60:17). Again, the term “secret combination” is not explicitly used.

Ether 11:15, already mentioned with respect to “getting gain,” links secret combinations to the quest for both power and gain, as do passages on secret combinations in Ether 8:

And it came to pass that thus they did agree with Akish. And Akish did administer unto them the oaths which were given by them of old who also sought power, which had been handed down even from Cain, who was a murderer from the beginning.

And they were kept up by the power of the devil to administer these oaths unto the people, to keep them in darkness, to help such as sought power to gain power, and to murder, and to plunder, and to lie, and to commit all manner of wickedness and whoredoms. (Ether 11:15–16)

And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over [Page 433]the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed; for the Lord will not suffer that the blood of his saints, which shall be shed by them, shall always cry unto him from the ground for vengeance upon them and yet he avenge them not.

Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be. (Ether 8:22–23)

Also of interest is Ether 9:11, which refers to the quest for power and the quest for gain in the context of the work of secret combinations: “the people of Akish were desirous for gain, even as Akish was desirous for power; wherefore, the sons of Akish did offer them money.”

Parallel 104: “For the space of many generations”

References to generations and other measures of time are common in the Bible, but the expression “the space of many generations” is not found in the KJV. However, it occurs in both the Book of Moses and the Book of Mormon. In the Book of Moses, Enoch reports that the Lord said to him, “Look, and I will show unto thee the world for the space of many generations” (Moses 7:4). What Enoch then saw provides important context for the use of this phrase.

In the following verses, Enoch sees and prophesies that “the people of Canaan, which are numerous, shall go forth in battle array against the people of Shum, and shall slay them that they shall utterly be destroyed; and the people of Canaan shall divide themselves in the land, and the land shall be barren and unfruitful, and none other people shall dwell there but the people of Canaan” (v. 7). He also sees a land being cursed (v. 8) and then sees several other lands (v. 9), regarding which the Lord says, “Go to this people, and say unto them—Repent, lest I come out and smite them with a curse, and they die” (v. 10). Destruction, desolation, and curses are the topics associated with “the space of many generations.” That context fits the Book of Mormon use of that phrase as well.

In 2 Nephi 1, Lehi1 prophetically tells his rebellious sons that they must awake and “arise from the dust” (language expressing the need [Page 434]to repent and keep covenants), lest “a cursing should come upon you for the space of many generations; and ye are visited by sword, and by famine, and are hated, and are led according to the will and captivity of the devil” (v. 18). (That verse involves Parallel 9 with “Devil-lead-captive-his will” from Moses 4:4 but was not previously noted as support for Parallel 9, making this observation an addendum to it.)

Likewise, 2 Nephi 25:16 describes the hardships that will be faced by the Jews “after they have been scattered, and the Lord God hath scourged them by other nations for the space of many generations.” Both examples in the Book of Mormon involve negative consequences for many generations quite consistent with the context for that phrase in the Book of Moses and consistent with the hypothesis of text related to our Book of Moses being on the brass plates.

“The space of” occurs in the KJV applied to hours, days, months, and years but not generations or “many generations.” “Many generations” also occurs several times in the KJV but not in a verse with “space.”

Parallel 105: Dwelling in righteousness

The simple concept of “dwell/dwelt in righteousness,” which is not found in the KJV Bible, is found in the Book of Moses description of the society of Zion, the city established by Enoch:

And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them. (Moses 7:15)

“Dwell in righteousness” is also found in a prophecy of Nephi1 about the Zion society that will be present during the Millennium:

And because of the righteousness of his people, Satan has no power; wherefore, he cannot be loosed for the space of many years; for he hath no power over the hearts of the people, for they dwell in righteousness, and the Holy One of Israel reigneth. (1 Nephi 22:26)

In both cases, an idyllic godly society is described: one in the remote past and the other in the future. Both speak of “dwelling in righteousness.” This lacks any reason for a one-way dependency but is at least consistent with the hypothesis of something related to the Book of Moses being a source for the phrase.

[Page 435]Parallel 106: The order of God/Son of God

The “order of Melchizedek” is a biblical concept mentioned in Psalm 110:4 (“Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek”) and referred to in Hebrews 5:6, 10; 6:20; and 7:11, 17, 21. Hebrews also mentions priests “after the order of Aaron” (Hebrews 7:11). But the KJV Bible does not mention the “order of God,” a term used many times in the Book of Mormon (Alma 7:22, 8:4, 13:6, 18; 43:2; 49:30; Helaman 8:18; Ether 12:10), almost always as “holy order of God.” This can be synonymous with the “order of his Son”: “the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son” (Alma 13:1) and “there were many before the days of Abraham who were called by the order of God; yea, even after the order of his Son” (Helaman 8:18).

The Book of Moses states that “the Lord ordained Noah after his own order, and commanded him that he should go forth and declare his Gospel unto the children of men, even as it was given unto Enoch” (Moses 8:19). This, then can be called “the order of God.” The word “order” is also used in Moses 6 after Adam is miraculously baptized by the Spirit (v. 64), is given the Holy Ghost, and then is told by a voice from heaven: “And thou art after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity” (v. 67). This cannot be confused with the future mortal man, Melchizedek, but certainly refers to the Son of God. Adam’s priesthood, then, can be described as “after the order of the Son of God.” The two instances of “order” in the Book of Moses thus appear to be reasonable parallels to the Book of Mormon’s frequent uses of “order” in the sense of priesthood.

Related previous parallels include Parallel 2, “Order-days-years-eternity” based on Alma 13:7 and Moses 6:67 and Parallel 53, “(Men) ordained . . . after the order (of the Son of God or of God).” Recognizing that “the order of God/Son of God” is a meaningful parallel in its own right, Parallels 2 and 53 might best be considered more specific combinations involving this more basic concept.

Parallel 107: “After the order” + preach/declare/teach the gospel + repentance

Another example of a specific combination of terms involving the newly proposed basic parallel of “the order of God/Son of God” can be found in the language of Moses 8:19 coupled with the following verse dealing with Noah’s ordination to the priesthood and his call to preach the Gospel and repentance:

[Page 436]And the Lord ordained Noah after his own order, and commanded him that he should go forth and declare his Gospel unto the children of men, even as it was given unto Enoch.

And it came to pass that Noah called upon the children of men that they should repent; but they hearkened not unto his words. (Moses 8:19–20)

Similar elements are found in the Book of Mormon. Alma2, for example, spoke about his calling to the order of the Son of God (the priesthood) to preach and to call men to repentance:

I say unto you, that I know of myself that whatsoever I shall say unto you, concerning that which is to come, is true; and I say unto you, that I know that Jesus Christ shall come, yea, the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, and mercy, and truth. And behold, it is he that cometh to take away the sins of the world, yea, the sins of every man who steadfastly believeth on his name.

And now I say unto you that this is the order after which I am called, yea, to preach unto my beloved brethren, yea, and every one that dwelleth in the land; yea, to preach unto all, both old and young, both bond and free; yea, I say unto you the aged, and also the middle aged, and the rising generation; yea, to cry unto them that they must repent and be born again. (Alma 5:48–49)

Later in Alma 13, where Alma2 speaks extensively about the holy order of God, the combination of order, preaching, and repentance occurs again:

But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high priesthood according to the holy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent; and Melchizedek did establish peace in the land in his days; therefore he was called the prince of peace, for he was the king of Salem; and he did reign under his father. (v. 18)

Also of note is Alma 49:30:

Yea, and there was continual peace among them, and exceedingly great prosperity in the church because of their heed and diligence which they gave unto the word of God, which was declared unto them by Helaman, and Shiblon, [Page 437]and Corianton, and Ammon and his brethren, yea, and by all those who had been ordained by the holy order of God, being baptized unto repentance, and sent forth to preach among the people.

The repentance mentioned here is the repentance of the preachers in this case, though they would obviously be preaching that to their audiences. The “continual peace” they helped bring about is likely a reference to Melchizedek as mentioned in Alma 13:18.

Parallel 108: On bearing testimony

In our prior work, Parallel 68, “Angels bearing testimony,” explored Book of Mormon parallels involving angels coupled with “bearing testimony” as found in Moses 7:27. However, a more basic parallel could have been noted from the simple phrase “bear testimony” as found in Moses 7:62: “And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten. . . .”

The term “bear testimony” does not occur in the KJV, though Revelation 1:2 speaks of John “who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.” In the Greek, a single verb (μαρτυρέω, martyreō) translated as “bear record” applies to both “the word of God” and “the testimony of Jesus Christ,” so this is not using a form of “bear testimony” per se.16 For example, the New King James Version (NKJV) has “who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw,” indicating that John was bearing record to the testimony of Jesus. The KJV Bible has instances of those who “bare record” or “bare witness” (our modern verb “bear” is spelled “bare” in the KJV for both present and past simple tenses) but not who “bear testimony” or related forms.

Members of the Church are sometimes surprised to learn that the phrase “bear testimony,” though intelligible English that is sometimes used in a variety of secular contexts, is not commonly used in other faiths and is often viewed as a unique characteristic of the Latter-day Saint faith. A recent search on Google of “bear testimony” showed six [Page 438]of the top ten results were from the Church website or websites about the Church, while the three videos shown were also all Church videos.

The concept of sharing one’s witness for Christ or the truthfulness of the scriptures is certainly not unique to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but our preference for the term “bear testimony” as a statement of faith and even personal revelation does seem relatively peculiar to our religion. How did we come to use this phrase so heavily?

Our use of “bear testimony” may derive from the language used in the highly influential “Testimony of the Three Witnesses,” which, after describing the witnesses’ June 1829 experience regarding the gold plates shown to them by an angel sent from God, states that they (the witnesses), “bear testimony of these things.” The language in their declaration draws heavily upon language from the Book of Mormon, especially language from 2 Nephi. In fact, the passage in 2 Nephi that triggered the request of the Three Witnesses to serve as witnesses commands them to “bear testimony”:

Wherefore, at that day when the book shall be delivered unto the man of whom I have spoken, the book shall be hid from the eyes of the world, that the eyes of none shall behold it save it be that three witnesses shall behold it, by the power of God, besides him to whom the book shall be delivered; and they shall testify to the truth of the book and the things therein.

And there is none other which shall view it, save it be a few according to the will of God, to bear testimony of his word unto the children of men; for the Lord God hath said that the words of the faithful should speak as if it were from the dead.

Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to bring forth the words of the book; and in the mouth of as many witnesses as seemeth him good will he establish his word; and wo be unto him that rejecteth the word of God! (2 Nephi 27:12–14)

The event behind the “Testimony of the Three Witnesses” occurred in June 1829 as the Book of Mormon was nearly completed. Their statement seems to draw upon the words of Nephi1, especially those near the end of 2 Nephi.17

[Page 439]The editors of the Joseph Smith Papers provide a footnote in presenting the “Testimony of the Three Witnesses” in Joseph Smith—History:

The earliest copy of the testimony that follows is found in the printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon, in the handwriting of Oliver Cowdery. Cowdery likely was the author of the statement, given his writing abilities and similarities between the document and Cowdery’s 1829 correspondence to JS [Joseph Smith] and Hyrum Smith. The copies of the “Testimony of Three Witnesses” and the “Testimony of Eight Witnesses” that follow match the versions in the second edition of the Book of Mormon.18

Royal Skousen, however, objects to the assumptions behind this conclusion, arguing that Joseph Smith could have been the author,19 though the emphasis on language including and near 2 Nephi 27 is consistent, in my opinion, with Oliver Cowdery’s penning the “Testimony” using recently recorded language.20

Regardless of who authored the “Testimony of the Three Witnesses,” it seems clear that this memorable and influential document incorporates significant amounts of Book of Mormon language, including the term “bear testimony,” which in turn, due to its relationship with the Book of Moses, might have been related in its original language to a text on the brass plates.

For this paper, Noel Reynolds kindly shared his thoughts on the language of the brass plates and of Nephi1’s writings:

Nephi1 may have felt compelled to write his small plates in “the language of the Egyptians” because that was the language of the brass plates (the Nephites’ “holy scriptures”), and he wanted this new writing to be seen as an extension and additional witness of the revelations and teachings [Page 440]contained therein. Egyptian would seem to be the most likely original language for the five books of Moses for two reasons: 1) Moses was raised in the house of Egyptian royalty and almost certainly benefitted from the educational system the Egyptians provided the children of the elite, so Egyptian was his native language; and 2) Egyptian script was likely the only writing system Moses knew. Nephi1 probably had been writing his large plates in Hebrew. Later contributors seemed to have used the evolving Nephite vernacular in maintaining that record down to the time of Mormon. Because the West Semitic alphabet had borrowed signs from Egyptian hieratic, the Nephites might easily have continued to borrow such signs for an evolving Nephite language, producing by Mormon’s time a script that they called “reformed Egyptian.”21

Scholars today generally accept the argument that Hebrew language and script emerged after 900 BC, three or four centuries after Moses. The Israelites in Old Testament times did not call their language Hebrew but Canaanite or the language of Canaan (see Isaiah 19:18). Canaanite was a West Semitic language of which Phoenician, Ammonite, Moabite, Edomite, and Hebrew were likely mutually intelligible dialects that adapted the Phoenician alphabet in their scripts. The Israelites were the first speakers of Canaanite to develop a standardized script for their spoken language that could be used in writing substantial textual material. The standardization was not realized until the seventh century BC.

On the other hand, there may not be anything in Hebrew, Egyptian, or related languages that would clearly move a translator to preferentially choose “bear testimony” over similar English wording such as “bear record,” “give testimony,” “bear witness of,” “testify of,” etc.,22 so the English verbiage may simply reflect translator choice rather than unique expressions in an ancient language. Thus, once the choice of “bear testimony” in 2 Nephi 27:13 was set—whether based on Joseph Smith’s dialect or through the emerging model of Early Modern English influence (beyond the influence already in the KJV)—it would become enshrined in the famous “Testimony of the Three Witnesses” [Page 441]and then apparently go on to set the basic testimony-related verbiage widely used in the Church. Nevertheless, we’ll at least consider the possibility that the common wording of “bear testimony” in the Book of Moses and the Book of Mormon may reflect a specific choice among various ways of expressing the concept, such that the English translation (with inspired consistency) may be able to reflect a hypothesized influence of the brass plates on the testimony-related language of the Book of Mormon, and possibly reflect the influence of the small plates on the language of the rest of the Book of Mormon.

The relationship of the “Testimony of the Three Witnesses” from late June 1829 suggests that the authors were familiar with the text of 2 Nephi up to at least 2 Nephi 31.23 This is consistent with timelines for the translation of the Book of Mormon from John W. Welch 24 and also from Eldon Watson.25 Welch’s analysis identifies 22 June 1829 as the date for translation of 2 Nephi 28–31.26 Then the final two chapters of 2 Nephi are shown as completed on 23 June, when Welch adds, “About this time, the manifestation of Moroni2 was given to the Three Witnesses, as prompted by the translation of 2 Ne. 27:12–13.” 27 Then Jacob, Enos, Jarom, Omni, and the Words of Mormon were translated from 24–28 June 1829.28 “The Testimony of the Three Witnesses” may have been penned around this time or shortly thereafter.

“Bear testimony” was also used by Mormon, perhaps influenced by his reading of Nephi1’s writings. While it is widely assumed that the Words of Mormon were written at the end of Mormon’s translation work as an explanation for his addition of Nephi1’s small plates to the end of his abridgement of the large plates, an important study by Clifford Jones provides significant evidence that the “our current Words of Mormon in the Book of Mormon was originally a second chapter of the book of Mosiah following an initial chapter that was part of the lost 116 pages.” 29 This breakthrough in understanding the Book [Page 442]of Mormon resolves several questions and enhances our understanding of the remarkable internal consistency in the text and in the plausibility of the account of its origins.

Recognizing the Words of Mormon was written before the abridgement of all the large plates text in our current Book of Mormon helps us appreciate the influence of the small plates more fully and the unity of the Book of Mormon message. The text crafted by Mormon from the large plates can be understood to have been influenced by the earliest writers of the Nephite records via the small plates of Nephi1. Some of earlier writers’ familiarity with and emphasis on records from the brass plates may have led to Mormon’s further use of such material, including verbiage related to the Book of Moses. For example, Mormon uses “bearing down in pure testimony” (Alma 4:19) in describing Alma2’s efforts to preach to the Nephites, an interesting variation of “bear testimony,” which he also uses:

And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfill and to do the work of the covenants of the Father, which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him. (Mormon 7:31)

While the phrase “bear testimony” is not common outside the Church today, numerous examples of it can be found in religious writings both in the Early Modern English era and in Joseph Smith’s day, making a variety of sources possible for the term “bear testimony” if it actually simply reflects a translator’s choice.

It remains unclear whether the Book of Mormon influenced the translation choice of “bear testimony” in the Book of Moses or whether ancient language on the brass plates provide a discernible connection between the modern inspired translations of the Book of Mormon and our Book of Moses. The uncertainties and alternate possibilities make this a relatively weak parallel, yet one with practical relevance and some potentially interesting issues for further exploration.

Parallel 109: Carried away/caught up (by the Spirit of the Lord)

Parallel 76 in our prior work was “Caught up/away to an exceedingly high mountain,” based on related language in Moses 1:1 (“Moses was caught up into an exceedingly [Page 443]high mountain”) and 1 Nephi 11:1 (“caught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly high mountain”). However, another relationship between Nephi1’s experience and the text of the Book of Moses is found in Moses 6:64, which describes how Adam, apparently in the absence of other priesthood holders, was caught up by the spirit of the Lord and carried into the water to be baptized:

And it came to pass, when the Lord had spoken with Adam, our father, that Adam cried unto the Lord, and he was caught away by the Spirit of the Lord, and was carried down into the water, and was laid under the water, and was brought forth out of the water. (Moses 6:64)

Thus, I propose an additional parallel involving being “caught away” by or in “the Spirit of the Lord.” However, Acts 8:39 has a similar concept that occurred after Philip had performed a baptism: “And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more.” Philip was moved to some other location. But the spiritual experience reported here is that of the eunuch, who went away rejoicing in his baptism. Being “caught away” by the Spirit to encounter the Lord or receive a sacred ordinance may make the relationship between the Book of Mormon and the Book of Moses more interesting.

Moses 6:64 also shows that “caught away” and “carried down” can both reflect the action of the Spirit to move people either physically or in vision.

While “carried away” is used heavily in the KJV, it is usually about people being carried away into captivity or physical objects being moved that are not done by the work of the Spirit. However, two relevant verses in Revelation need to be considered. One of these is directly relevant to prior Parallel 76, “Caught up/away to an exceedingly high mountain,” which we had missed because it doesn’t use “carry away” or “carried away” verbatim but “carried me away”:

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. (Revelation 17:3)

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy [Page 444]Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. . . . (Revelation 21:10)

Thus, Parallel 76 needs to be recognized as substantially weaker due to a relatively directly related phrase in the New Testament as a potential source that Joseph Smith could have chosen as the translator. However, for understanding the potential relationship between the brass plates and the Book of Mormon, the lack of this language in the Old Testament still leaves open the possibility that the wording of Nephi1 may have been influenced by material related to our Book of Moses on the brass plates.

Parallel 110: Enoch and the Three Nephites “caught up into heaven” and able to see the things of God

Parallel 64 in our previous paper was “Commanding the earth and the power of the word,” based on several Book of Mormon parallels to language in Moses 7:13, where Enoch resisted enemies with miraculous power when he “spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled.” An important and extensive parallel that was overlooked involves the Three Nephites, who also had a similar power that they used to escape from their enemies in which “they did smite the earth with the word of God” (3 Nephi 28:20).

The Three Nephites in the Book of Mormon were disciples of Christ who were translated in some way, giving them special powers and allowing them to continue ministering on earth with their identities hidden from the world. In several ways, they have similarities to the great prophet and seer, Enoch, who was translated without tasting death.

Consider first the passage in the Book of Moses that explains how Enoch became able to see the things of God:

And the Lord spake unto Enoch, and said unto him: Anoint thine eyes with clay, and wash them, and thou shalt see. And he did so.

And he beheld the spirits that God had created; and he beheld also things which were not visible to the natural eye; and from thenceforth came the saying abroad in the land: A seer hath the Lord raised up unto his people. (Moses 6:35–36)

Later Enoch and the righteous society he led, the City of Zion, were literally translated away from the earth:

And Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt [Page 445]in the midst of Zion; and it came to pass that Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, Zion is Fled. (Moses 7:69)

While the text does not expressly say that Enoch was “caught up” into heaven, that expression is used to describe righteous people who were brought to join Zion:

And Enoch beheld angels descending out of heaven, bearing testimony of the Father and Son; and the Holy Ghost fell on many, and they were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion. (Moses 7:27)

With that background in mind, we can consider the account of the Three Nephites in 3 Nephi 28 who were likewise temporarily “caught up into heaven” (3 Nephi 28:13, cf. v. 36). In fact, their divine ascent, their translated state, their ministry and its fruits (bringing people to unite with the Church of God), and their special powers, including the power of seership or being able to see the things of God, as well as the power to smite the earth to resist enemies, are described in 3 Nephi 28 in a way that seems to reflect awareness of the description of Enoch in Moses 7:

And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words, he touched every one of them with his finger save it were the three who were to tarry, and then he departed.

And behold, the heavens were opened, and they were caught up into heaven, and saw and heard unspeakable things.

And it was forbidden them that they should utter; neither was it given unto them power that they could utter the things which they saw and heard;

And whether they were in the body or out of the body, they could not tell; for it did seem unto them like a transfiguration of them, that they were changed from this body of flesh into an immortal state, that they could behold the things of God.

But it came to pass that they did again minister upon the face of the earth; nevertheless they did not minister of the things which they had heard and seen, because of the commandment which was given them in heaven.

And now, whether they were mortal or immortal, from the day of their transfiguration, I know not;

[Page 446]But this much I know, according to the record which hath been given—they did go forth upon the face of the land, and did minister unto all the people, uniting as many to the church as would believe in their preaching; baptizing them, and as many as were baptized did receive the Holy Ghost.

And they were cast into prison by them who did not belong to the church. And the prisons could not hold them, for they were rent in twain.

And they were cast down into the earth; but they did smite the earth with the word of God, insomuch that by his power they were delivered out of the depths of the earth; and therefore they could not dig pits sufficient to hold them.

And thrice they were cast into a furnace and received no harm.

And twice were they cast into a den of wild beasts; and behold they did play with the beasts as a child with a suckling lamb, and received no harm.

And it came to pass that thus they did go forth among all the people of Nephi, and did preach the gospel of Christ unto all people upon the face of the land; and they were converted unto the Lord, and were united unto the church of Christ, and thus the people of that generation were blessed, according to the word of Jesus. (3 Nephi 28:12–23)

3 Nephi 28:13 recalls 2 Corinthians 12:2–4, where Paul writes of “one caught up to the third heaven” (v. 2) and “such a man” who “was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words” (vv. 3–4). This is related to seeing the things of God, but it is not the same and also lacks other elements of the parallel. However, 3 Nephi 28:15 has “whether they were in the body or out of the body, they could not tell,” much like “whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth” of 2 Corinthians 12:3. This suggests a relationship, perhaps arising from the process of translation into English, however that was done.

Though the relationship to 2 Corinthians 12 weakens the parallel, other elements leave a possible basis for considering relationships between the wording of the Book of Mormon account and the story of Enoch.

Thus, in addition to an update to Parallel 64, a new parallel is proposed involving the Three Nephites and Enoch, with the combination [Page 447]of being “caught up into heaven” and being able to see the things of God.

Parallel 111: “Angels descending out of heaven”

Moses 7:27, where “Enoch beheld angels descending out of heaven, bearing testimony of the Father and Son,” was used in our prior paper for Parallel 66, “The ‘powers of heaven’ and heavenly ascent and descent” and for Parallel 68, “Angels bearing testimony.” A related parallel may also be proposed for the precise wording of “angels descending out of heaven,” though, of course, from where else but heaven would angels descend? Nevertheless, given that Moses 7:27 already provides evidence of influence on Book of Mormon authors, the use of this phrase in a dramatic scene in 3 Nephi might also be worth considering:

And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them. (3 Nephi 17:24)

In addition to mentioning angels descending, Moses 7:27 has (1) angels bearing testimony, (2) the Holy Ghost falling on many people, and (3) people caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion. This remarkable scene has relevance to the context of 3 Nephi 17, where Christ prays to the Father with a remarkable spiritual outpouring. The multitude did “bear record” (like “bearing testimony”) of the miracles they witnessed (vv. 15, 16, 25). They were filled with joy that implicitly indicates the outpouring of the Spirit (v. 17), an outpouring so strong that they were overcome (v. 18), and then the fire that encircled the children as angels ministered to them (v. 24), which is also indicative of the Holy Ghost. They were not said to be caught up into heaven, but, surely, they were surrounded by and experienced the powers of heaven. Thus, given the context, it seems possible that the specific language of “angels descending out of heaven” in 3 Nephi 17:24 is yet another reference to a dramatic passage in the Book of Moses that already seems to have influenced other passages of the Book of Mormon.

Nevertheless, there are similar biblical parallels to consider, though all have some degree of difference:

[Page 448]And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. (Genesis 28:12)

And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. (Matthew 28:2)

And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. (John 1:51)

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. (Revelation 21:10)

Despite these similarities, the similarities in context and the sharing of an exact phrase may indicate a meaningful relationship between the Book of Moses and the Book of Mormon that is not entirely explainable as borrowing from the Bible.

For related Book of Mormon passages, consider 1 Nephi 11:30, where Nephi1 “beheld the heavens open again, and I saw angels descending upon the children of men; and they did minister unto them,” reflecting further intertextuality with 3 Nephi 27:24 since both state that angels “did minister unto them.” Also consider the descent of Christ in 3 Nephi 11:8, where the Nephites “saw a Man descending out of heaven” but initially thought He was an angel. We are told in the previous chapter that, in the account of his visit, He would be “showing his body unto them, and ministering unto them” (3 Nephi 10:19). There may be relationships between these passages that include reference to the scene Enoch saw in our Moses 7:27. The verb “minister” is not used anywhere in the Book of Moses, though it is a reasonable way to describe the angelic ministry of “bearing testimony” to them in Moses 7:27.

In 1 Nephi 12:6, Nephi1 also reports seeing “the Lamb of God descending out of heaven” and ministering to future Book of Mormon peoples.

1 Nephi 11:7 also has “thou shalt also behold a man descending out of heaven, and him shall ye witness; and after ye have witnessed him ye shall bear record that it is the Son of God.” The man in 1 Nephi 11:7, of course, is the Son of God as in 3 Nephi 11, and this verse further invokes the Moses 7:27 concept of bearing testimony of what is witnessed. This also occurs in 3 Nephi 11, where the descent of Christ [Page 449]is followed by the affirmations that the witnesses did “bear record” of what they saw and experienced:

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. (3 Nephi 11:15)

Nephi1’s visions relate to what Lehi1 saw when he was “carried away in a vision” in which he “saw the heavens open” and then “saw one descending out of the midst of heaven” (1 Nephi 1:8–9), just as Nephi1 did.

While divine descent and bearing record in 1 Nephi 11:7 do not directly fit with prior Parallel 68, “Angels bearing testimony,” the combination of “bear record”/“bear testimony” and the descent of heavenly beings could be considered as a variant of or further combination for the proposed new parallel, “Angels descending out of heaven.”

Parallel 112: “Drawn away” after him (Satan)

Moses 4 describes the cunning or “subtle” work of Satan in tempting others using those he had drawn away to tempt and destroy people:

And now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which I, the Lord God, had made. And Satan put it into the heart of the serpent, (for he had drawn away many after him,) and he sought also to beguile Eve, for he knew not the mind of God, wherefore he sought to destroy the world. (Moses 4:5–6)

Here “subtle” is the modern spelling of “subtil” from KJV Genesis 3:1, bearing the meaning of sly, shrewd, cunning, or crafty.

Being “drawn away” by temptation, as in Moses 4:6, is found in James 1:14: “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” Acts 20:30 has related language: “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” Likewise, Acts 5:37 has “After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him.” Deuteronomy 30:17 has “But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them.”

[Page 450]While the action of drawing away in Moses 4:6 has parallels in the KJV, a potentially more interesting parallel may occur in the Book of Mormon:

Now this Amlici had, by his cunning, drawn away much people after him; even so much that they began to be very powerful; and they began to endeavor to establish Amlici to be king over the people. (Alma 2:2)

Recognizing “cunning” as a reasonable synonym for “subtle,” makes Mormon’s account seem to apply Moses 4:5–6 to insinuate that Amlici was acting like Satan, using his cunning to draw away many after him. It is an example of a later text using language in a well-known story to add additional meaning through the allusion.

The next verse, Alma 2:3, also speaks of “all those who had not been drawn away after the persuasions of Amlici,” again indicating how his “persuasions” (like cunning temptation) had drawn away many.

Consider also the words of King Mosiah2 expressing his concern about the succession crisis before him, as the people wanted his son Aaron to be king, while Aaron had gone off on a long mission to the Lamanites:

And now if there should be another appointed in his stead, behold I fear there would rise contentions among you. And who knoweth but what my son, to whom the kingdom doth belong, should turn to be angry and draw away a part of this people after him, which would cause wars and contentions among you, which would be the cause of shedding much blood and perverting the way of the Lord, yea, and destroy the souls of many people. (Mosiah 29:7)

Here Mosiah2 refers to a characteristic of Satan found in the Book of Moses, the anger he causes that leads to war and bloodshed: “in those days Satan had great dominion among men, and raged in their hearts; and from thenceforth came wars and bloodshed” (Moses 6:15). He then uses language like “he had drawn away many after him” in Moses 4:6 and finally warns that this could destroy many souls, again following the concluding phrase Moses 4:6: “he sought to destroy the world.” The allusions to the Moses 6:15 concepts coupled with parallels to Moses 4:6 strengthen the case for a relationship to the Book of Moses in this verse, and one in which the Book of Moses seems to guide a later author who alludes to background information [Page 451]from a well-known text, rather than the Book of Mormon account acting as a source for the Book of Moses.

Likewise, Ether 7:4 tells us that the wicked Corihor “drew away many people after him” and in Ether 9:11, we read that “the people of Akish were desirous for gain, even as Akish was desirous for power; wherefore, the sons of Akish did offer them money, by which means they drew away the more part of the people after them.” The latter verse also relates to new Parallel 103, “Secret combinations and getting gain, seeking power.”

Parallel 113: “All things manifest” by the Spirit/Holy Ghost

The Book of Moses, like the Book of Mormon, indicates that long before Christ came, prophets were calling people to have faith in Christ, repent of their sins, be baptized, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost leads to personal revelation, even to the point that its recipients “may have all things made manifest,” as Noah preached:

Believe and repent of your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, even as our fathers, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost, that ye may have all things made manifest; and if ye do not this, the floods will come in upon you; nevertheless they hearkened not. (Moses 8:24)

While “all things” occurs in some verses with the word “manifest” in the KJV, it is not in the sense of revelation from the Spirit:

For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. (1 Corinthians 15:27)

But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things. (2 Corinthians 11:6)

But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. (Ephesians 5:13)

Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. (Hebrews 4:13)

However, the Book of Mormon has the combination of “all things” and “manifest” through the Spirit:

[Page 452]And I, Nephi, said unto them: Behold they were manifest unto the prophet by the voice of the Spirit; for by the Spirit are all things made known unto the prophets, which shall come upon the children of men according to the flesh. (1 Nephi 22:2)

And we, ourselves, also, through the infinite goodness of God, and the manifestations of his Spirit, have great views of that which is to come; and were it expedient, we could prophesy of all things. (Mosiah 5:3)

Somewhat related concepts are found in Mosiah 8:17 (by seers “shall all things be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be made manifest”) and Ether 4:7 (“in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord . . . then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations”).

Parallel 114: “The power of the Lord was upon him”

Moses 8:18 describes the divine power that came upon Noah, protecting him from those who sought to take away his life: “There were giants on the earth, and they sought Noah to take away his life; but the Lord was with Noah, and the power of the Lord was upon him.”

Similar language is used by Nephi1 in describing future Gentiles who would be threatened but spared by the power of God that was with them:

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles who had gone forth out of captivity did humble themselves before the Lord; and the power of the Lord was with them. And I beheld that their mother Gentiles were gathered together upon the waters, and upon the land also, to battle against them. And I beheld that the power of God was with them, and also that the wrath of God was upon all those that were gathered together against them to battle. (1 Nephi 13:16–18)

Nephi1 thus refers to a people facing violence from others who were spared because the power of God was with them, and that the wrath of God then came upon their enemies. This pattern has a relationship with Moses 8, for not only does the power of God spare Noah from the wicked people who seek to slay him, but God is angered by [Page 453]the wickedness he sees and resolves to destroy the wicked (Moses 8:26–30).

A similar pattern with related language occurs again in Nephi1’s writings:

And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all the nations of the Gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God.

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.

And it came to pass that I beheld that the wrath of God was poured out upon that great and abominable church, insomuch that there were wars and rumors of wars among all the nations and kindreds of the earth. (1 Nephi 14:13–15)

Again, there is the threat of destruction by the wicked, but the covenant people are spared by the power of the Lord upon them, or rather, “the power of the Lamb of God” that “descended upon” them, essentially “arming” them with the protective “power of God,” and then came “the wrath of God” upon their enemies.

Nephi1 again mentions the power of God as protection when his brothers threaten to kill him:

And now it came to pass that when I had spoken these words, they were angry with me, and were desirous to throw me into the depths of the sea; and as they came forth to lay their hands upon me I spake unto them, saying: In the name of the Almighty God, I command you that ye touch me not, for I am filled with the power of God, even unto the consuming of my flesh; and whoso shall lay his hands upon me shall wither even as a dried reed; and he shall be as naught before the power of God, for God shall smite him. (1 Nephi 17:48)

Nephi1 is filled with the power of God—it is literally upon him or with him, and it not only is protecting Nephi1 but will smite his brethren if they attempt to harm him. This is quite like the pattern in Moses 8: the threat from the wicked, the power of God upon a righteous man to protect [Page 454]him, and the threat of destruction of the wicked. But what makes this passage from Nephi1 especially interesting and likely a deliberate allusion to Noah is the basic setting of 1 Nephi 17, which Nephi1 reminds us of in the following verse:

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto them that they should murmur no more against their father; neither should they withhold their labor from me, for God had commanded me that I should build a ship. (1 Nephi 17:49)

Nephi1’s task in this scene is to build a ship (see 1 Nephi 17:8–19), another improbable ark that the wicked would mock. It is his brethren’s refusal to help him and their murmuring about building a ship that leads to Nephi1’s rebuke and to their threat on his life. Noah had not yet begun his ark when his life was threatened and spared by the power of God upon him, but this does not diminish the power of Nephi1’s allusion to Noah, the famed builder of an ark, when he describes the power of God upon him while building his “ark” and threatened by the dangerous “giants” in his own life, Laman and Lemuel.

The pattern may also be seen in Alma 17, as Ammon and the sons of Mosiah2 begin a dangerous mission to the Lamanites: “Therefore they separated themselves one from another, and went forth among them, every man alone, according to the word and power of God which was given unto him” (v. 17). When Ammon sees wicked men scattering the flocks of King Lamoni at the waters of Sebus, this power gives Ammon joyful confidence, who says to himself that “I will show forth my power unto these my fellow-servants, or the power which is in me” (v. 29). This “mighty power” both protected Ammon from being slain and enabled him to smite these enemies (v. 36).

In Alma 18, the servants of King Lamoni tell him of Ammon’s “great power” (v. 1) and that “we do not believe that a man has such great power, for we know he cannot be slain” (v. 2). The question before King Lamoni and his servants becomes how Ammon could have such great power, and what is the source of that power (vv. 8, 13, 20–22), which Ammon explains comes from God (v. 35). In Alma 19, the King and the Queen are converted and fall in spiritual rapture, as do the servants of King Lamoni and then Ammon himself. Yet a relative of one of the men that Ammon had killed is at the scene and when he seeks to slay Ammon, he is struck dead, again showing the “great power” that was protecting Ammon (vv. 22–24). The power of God upon the preacher Ammon both protects him and slays those trying to kill him.

[Page 455]In the KJV, “the power of the Lord” occurs once in Luke 5:17 where it is described as being present but not with or upon people:

And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.

One recent translation, the Expanded Bible (EXB, published in 2011), has “The power of the Lord was upon him to heal people” for Luke 5:17.

“The power of God” occurs several times in the KJV, but not as a power that comes upon people to protect them from physical destruction. The most closely related passage may be 1 Peter 1:5, where Peter writes to saints “who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” Also see 2 Corinthians 13:4: “For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.”

In discussing the power of the Lord/God/Lamb of God, Nephi1 uses language more closely aligned with Moses 8 and uses it with related context, making this a reasonable candidate for influence from the Book of Moses. Invoking language unique to the Book of Moses from the story of Noah, especially in the context of Nephi1’s quest to build a ship in 1 Nephi 17, is the type of allusion one might expect of an ancient Israelite prophet and scribe like Nephi1, while it would seem unlikely for the account about Noah in the Book of Moses to have worked in a random phrase from Nephi1’s record. The dependency here makes sense if understood as going from the plates of brass to Nephi1 versus from Nephi1’s words to the Book of Moses.

Similar language occurs later in the Book of Mormon as well. For example, in Jacob 7, featuring the encounter between Jacob and Sherem, the power of the Lord comes upon people but for different reasons:

And it came to pass that when I, Jacob, had spoken these words, the power of the Lord came upon him, insomuch that he fell to the earth. And it came to pass that he was nourished for the space of many days. . . .

And when the multitude had witnessed that he spake these things as he was about to give up the ghost, they were [Page 456]astonished exceedingly; insomuch that the power of God came down upon them, and they were overcome that they fell to the earth. (Jacob 7:15, 21)

More consistent with the theme of protection of the righteous and the smiting of the wicked seen in 1 Nephi and Moses 8 is a passage in Alma 14 when Alma2 and Amulek are threatened with death while in prison in Ammonihah:

And the chief judge stood before them, and smote them again, and said unto them: If ye have the power of God deliver yourselves from these bands, and then we will believe that the Lord will destroy this people according to your words.

And it came to pass that they all went forth and smote them, saying the same words, even until the last; and when the last had spoken unto them the power of God was upon Alma and Amulek, and they rose and stood upon their feet.

And Alma cried, saying: How long shall we suffer these great afflictions, O Lord? O Lord, give us strength according to our faith which is in Christ, even unto deliverance. And they broke the cords with which they were bound; and when the people saw this, they began to flee, for the fear of destruction had come upon them.

And it came to pass that so great was their fear that they fell to the earth, and did not obtain the outer door of the prison; and the earth shook mightily, and the walls of the prison were rent in twain, so that they fell to the earth; and the chief judge, and the lawyers, and priests, and teachers, who smote upon Alma and Amulek, were slain by the fall thereof. (Alma 14:24–27)

Another scene of deliverance of a prophet thanks to the power of God being with him occurs when Nephi2 is spared from prison:

And it came to pass that when Nephi had declared unto them the word, behold, they did still harden their hearts and would not hearken unto his words; therefore they did revile against him, and did seek to lay their hands upon him that they might cast him into prison.

But behold, the power of God was with him, and they could not take him to cast him into prison, for he was taken by the Spirit and conveyed away out of the midst of them. (Helaman 10:15–16)

[Page 457]Parallel 115: “Seeking to take away life”

The previous parallel involves the last phrase from Moses 8:18. Immediately before that phrase, another phrase occurs that uses wording often found in the Book of Mormon: “they sought Noah to take away his life.” The concept of interest here is the combination of the verb “seek” + “to take away” + possessive + “life” as an action of the wicked. While the scriptures abound with tales of wicked people seeking to slay others, outside of Moses 8, this specific combination seems to only be found in Nephi1’s writings.

In the early stages of preparing this paper, this was considered as a possible parallel with the Book of Moses after searches of “seek/sought” + “take away . . . life” showed no matches in the Bible. However, Reynolds has noted similar language occurs in the KJV Bible.30 Reynolds noted that Elijah twice complains to the Lord that “the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away” (1 Kings 19:10 and 14). While it is not precisely the same as “seek” + “take away” + possessive + “life,” it was close enough to let the KJV seem to be a reasonable source for the wording.

Nevertheless, after discovery of the previously discussed new parallel, “the power of the Lord was upon him” based on the immediately following phrase in Moses 8:18 that Nephi1 seemed to apply to make a deliberate allusion to Noah, the case was strengthened for the earlier phrase in that verse also being on Nephi1’s mind.

Reynolds saw a deliberate parallel between 1 Kings 19:10, 14 with 1 Nephi 1:20: “even as with the prophets of old, whom they had cast out and stoned and slain. And they also sought his [Lehi1’s] life that they might take it away” (1 Nephi 1:20).31 Here Nephi1 uses same the pattern as in 1 Kings 19 with “seek/sought” + possessive + “life” + “take it away,” and it is reasonable to see the account of Elijah’s influencing Nephi1’s language. Is it possible that a similar but slightly different pattern related to Moses 8:18 could have influenced the use of slightly [Page 458]different language elsewhere in Nephi1’s writing? Though it may be tenuous, that possibility is considered here.

There is a slight difference in language with Moses 8, though, in that Moses 8 has giants seeking Noah to take away his life, rather than seeking to take away Noah’s life. Apart from that, Nephi1’s use of related language seems to closely follow Moses 8:18. Other than 1 Nephi 1:20, other passages use similar language:

  • In 1 Nephi 2:1, the Lord tells Lehi1 in a dream that the wicked people in Jerusalem “seek to take away thy life.”
  • In 1 Nephi 2:13, Nephi1 says that his brothers Laman and Lemuel “were like unto the Jews who were at Jerusalem, who sought to take away the life of my father.”
  • In 1 Nephi 4:11, Nephi1 writes that Laban “had sought to take away mine own life; yea, and he would not hearken unto the commandments of the Lord; and he also had taken away our property.”
  • 1 Nephi 4:28 reports that “[Laman, Lemuel, and Sam] fled from before my presence; for they supposed it was Laban, and that he had slain me and had sought to take away their lives also.”
  • In 1 Nephi 7, we read that Laman and Lemuel “sought to take away the life of my father” (v. 14) and then “they sought to take away my [Nephi1’s] life” (v. 16).
  • In 1 Nephi 17:44, Nephi1 tells his brethren that the “Jews also sought to take away his [Lehi1’s] life; yea, and ye also have sought to take away his life.”
  • In 2 Nephi 1:24, speaking of Nephi1, Lehi1 tells his oldest sons that “ye sought to take away his life.”
  • 2 Nephi 5:2–4 twice has “they did seek to take away my life.” Indeed, that repeated phrase appears to mark an inclusio or, more specifically, the opening and closing phrases of a chiasmus with steps of (A, A’): “they did seek to take away my life,” (B, B’): “murmur/murmured against me,” (C, C’): younger/elder brother + “rule over,” (D, D’): trial/afflicted + “because of him,” and the central (E): “let us slay him.”
  • In 2 Nephi 5:19, Nephi1 reminds us that Laman and Lemuel “sought to take away my life.”

The context of some of these passages may point to additional elements in Moses 8 that reinforce the possibility of meaningful [Page 459]connection. Immediately after the statement about giants seeking the life of Noah in v. 18, we read that “the Lord . . . commanded him [Noah] that he should go forth and declare his Gospel unto the children of men.” This fits 1 Nephi 2:1, as listed above, for immediately before the statement about the wicked seeking to take away Lehi1’s life, the Lord tells Lehi1 that “thou hast been faithful and declared unto this people the things which I commanded thee.” In 1 Nephi 2:13, we also read that “Neither did they [Laman and Lemuel] believe that Jerusalem, that great city, could be destroyed according to the words of the prophets.” This could resonate with the imminent destruction of the wicked by the Flood as expressed in the verse preceding Moses 8:18: “if men do not repent, I will send in the floods upon them” (v. 17).

The episode in 1 Nephi 7 is also interesting. In v. 13, Nephi1 reminds his brethren that “the word of the Lord shall be fulfilled concerning the destruction of Jerusalem; for all things which the Lord hath spoken concerning the destruction of Jerusalem must be fulfilled.” With language like Moses 8:18, 1 Nephi 7:14 states that the Jews of Jerusalem “sought to take away my life.” In v. 14, Nephi1 also writes that “the Spirit of the Lord ceaseth soon to strive with them” due to their rejection and persecution of the prophets. This phrase echoes the words of the Lord to Noah in Moses 8:17: “My Spirit shall not always strive with man.” That phrase is also found in Genesis 6:3 several verses before raising the threat of the Flood. However, Moses 8:17 makes it clear that destruction is what looms when the Spirit ceases to strive with man, for it ends with “if men do not repent, I will send in the floods upon them.” Destruction or perishing in Jerusalem is the explicit threat to Nephi1’s wicked brothers if they rebel and return to that city in 1 Nephi 7:15. 1 Nephi 7:13–15 thus nicely parallels Moses 8:17–18 with the Spirit’s ceasing to strive with man due to wickedness, destruction looming as a result, and a prophet’s life being sought.

Nephi1’s indictment of Laman and Lemuel results in their anger, followed by binding Nephi1, “for they sought to take away my life” (v. 16). But Nephi1 prays to the Lord for deliverance, asking the Lord to “give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound” (v. 17). The miraculous aid by being given strength from the Lord is a theme related to Moses 1 and the strength of Moses, as discussed below in Parallel 129, “A servant of God ‘receiving strength’ to defeat an opponent” and Parallel 130, “A servant of God ‘receiving strength’ after a divine encounter.”

[Page 460]Parallel 116: Left to oneself, weak

Moses was made strong by the Lord, the topic of Parallel 34, “The strength of Moses,” but after his vision in Moses 1, he was physically weak:

And the presence of God withdrew from Moses, that his glory was not upon Moses; and Moses was left unto himself. And as he was left unto himself, he fell unto the earth. And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man. (Moses 1:9–10)

This may have a parallel with Mormon 2:26:

And it came to pass that when they had fled we did pursue them with our armies, and did meet them again, and did beat them; nevertheless the strength of the Lord was not with us; yea, we were left to ourselves, that the Spirit of the Lord did not abide in us; therefore we had become weak like unto our brethren.

Mormon writes that they were “left to ourselves” and thus had become “weak like unto [the Lamanites],” meaning left to their natural strength. Being weak when left to themselves without the power of God could be an allusion to Moses’s being weak after the glory of God had left him, when even after physically recovering, he still only had his “natural strength like unto man,” even as the Nephites in Mormon 2:26 were then no different in strength than the natural man.

As an aside, the weakness that can follow a dramatic spiritual experience like that of Moses 1 is also reflected in 1 Nephi 1:7 following a vision Lehi1 had, after which “he returned to his own house at Jerusalem; and he cast himself upon his bed, being overcome with the Spirit and the things which he had seen.”32 It is also reflected in various scenes where the people or a prophet are overcome by the Spirit and fall to the earth as Moses did (Jacob 7:21, Mosiah 4:1, 27:18; Alma 36:7, 10, 11; 3 Nephi 1:17, 17:18, etc.) and is found, for example, in Joseph Smith’s First Vision account (Joseph Smith—History 1:20).

[Page 461]Parallel 117: Crowned at the right hand of God

The parable of the goats and sheep in Matthew 25:31–46 illustrates the segregation of the righteous and the wicked using the contrast behind the right and left hands of Christ. Christ comes in his glory and then “shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left” (v. 33). The righteous are invited to come unto him and inherit the kingdom of God. In contrast, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire” (v. 41). After having been temporarily gathered to the right or the left, those on both sides receive their eternal reward: “And these [who were on the left] shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (v. 46).

The Lexham Bible Dictionary reminds us of the various uses of “right hand” in the Bible:

References to the right hand in Scripture refer either literally to most people’s dominant hand or metaphorically to prominence and strength. In patriarchal blessings, the preferred blessing was given with the right hand (Gen 48:17–20). To speak of someone’s right hand is to speak of their power (Exod 15:6, 12; Pss 18:35; 20:6; 63:8; 98:1). Oaths are also accompanied by a raised right hand (Isa 62:8; Rev 10:5–6). To sit at someone’s right hand is to sit in the place of honor (Psa 45:9; 80:16; 110:1; Acts 2:33; Heb 1:3). When Jesus returns, believers will be placed at His right side (Matt 25:31–33).33

“In contrast, sitting at someone’s left side sometimes metaphorically indicates the place of disfavor” (Matthew 25:41; Mosiah 5:10).34

Matthew 25’s parable of the goats and the sheep indicates the approval of the righteous by having them be placed at the right hand of Christ, in contrast to the wicked who are placed at his left. But this does not plainly indicate that the righteous dwell with him or stay with him at his right hand, just as the wicked don’t dwell with him at his left.

A related description of the segregation of the righteous and the wicked occurs in the Book of Moses, but here being at the right hand of God and Christ is not contrasted with (briefly) being placed at Christ’s left hand, but with being cast away in chains of darkness:

[Page 462]And he heard a loud voice; and the heavens were veiled; and all the creations of God mourned; and the earth groaned; and the rocks were rent; and the saints arose, and were crowned at the right hand of the Son of Man, with crowns of glory; And as many of the spirits as were in prison came forth, and stood on the right hand of God; and the remainder were reserved in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day. (Moses 7:56–57)

The difference is subtle, but in the Book of Moses the contrast seems to be between lasting states, with the wicked being cast away into darkness for a long period of time until final judgment (when they will continue to be remote from God), while the already resurrected righteous, freed from the “prison” of death, are crowned at the right hand of Christ and stand on the right hand of God. This suggests that they enter his presence and remain metaphorically at his right hand. The contrast is not between approval or disapproval on the right or left hand of Christ temporarily, followed by lasting reward or punishment but between being crowned at and standing at the right hand of God versus being sent away in chains of darkness.

The concept of the segregation of righteous and wicked to the right or left hand of God also occurs in Mosiah 5:8–10, as King Benjamin explains that those who take the name of Christ upon them and are obedient to the end will be “found” at the right hand of God, while others will be found on the left. Here being at the right hand is a symbol of approval on the day of judgment, as in Matthew 25.

Elsewhere in the Book of Mormon, the righteous appear to be placed eternally at the right of Christ, without a contrast to the wicked on the left. For example, in speaking to Alma1, the Lord says:

For it is I that taketh upon me the sins of the world; for it is I that hath created them; and it is I that granteth unto him that believeth unto the end a place at my right hand. For behold, in my name are they called; and if they know me they shall come forth, and shall have a place eternally at my right hand. (Mosiah 26:23–24)

This is similar to Moses 7:56–57, where Enoch beheld the time when righteous spirits “came forth, and stood on the right hand of God” for what appears to be their eternal reward.

Alma2 also speaks of the temporary but also implicitly eternal [Page 463]segregation of the wicked from the righteous, with the righteous receiving an eternal inheritance at the right hand of God:

And now I say unto you, all you that are desirous to follow the voice of the good shepherd, come ye out from the wicked, and be ye separate, and touch not their unclean things; and behold, their names shall be blotted out, that the names of the wicked shall not be numbered among the names of the righteous, that the word of God may be fulfilled, which saith: The names of the wicked shall not be mingled with the names of my people;

For the names of the righteous shall be written in the book of life, and unto them will I grant an inheritance at my right hand. And now, my brethren, what have ye to say against this? I say unto you, if ye speak against it, it matters not, for the word of God must be fulfilled. (Alma 5:57–58)

A contrast between the eternal states of the righteous and the wicked, with the righteous being at the right hand of God, is also made by Mormon:

And the bodies of many thousands are laid low in the earth, while the bodies of many thousands are moldering in heaps upon the face of the earth; yea, and many thousands are mourning for the loss of their kindred, because they have reason to fear, according to the promises of the Lord, that they are consigned to a state of endless wo.

While many thousands of others truly mourn for the loss of their kindred, yet they rejoice and exult in the hope, and even know, according to the promises of the Lord, that they are raised to dwell at the right hand of God, in a state of never-ending happiness. (Alma 28:11–12)

Parallel 118: “Write the words” of spoken scripture

This prospective parallel is shared with hesitancy since it involves a simple expression, “write the words,” that is common and natural in English and may simply reflect a natural word choice in translating related concepts. However, it may be slightly more interesting in light of the context of writing words of prophecy or scripture that have been spoken.

Moses 2 begins with “And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto [Page 464]Moses, saying: Behold, I reveal unto you concerning this heaven, and this earth; write the words which I speak.”

Related Book of Mormon passages come from Nephi1, Alma2, and Christ in his ministry to the Nephites:

For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written. (2 Nephi 29:11)

But behold, I have somewhat to prophesy unto thee; but what I prophesy unto thee ye shall not make known; yea, what I prophesy unto thee shall not be made known, even until the prophecy is fulfilled; therefore write the words which I shall say. (Alma 45:9)

And it came to pass that he commanded them that they should write the words which the Father had given unto Malachi, which he should tell unto them. And it came to pass that after they were written he expounded them. (3 Nephi 24:1)

The exact phrase “write the words” does not occur in the KJV, but closely similar passages do come from Jeremiah:

Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. (Jeremiah 30:2)

Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day. (Jeremiah 36:2)

This is a minor parallel and may represent overreach but may still be worth consideration.

Parallel 119: “As many as will”

While it may not be a significant parallel, the phrase “as many as will” is found in both the Book of Mormon and the Book of Moses but not the KJV.

In Moses 5:9, after an angel had told Adam that the sacrifices he has been making are a similitude of the sacrifice of the Son of God, [Page 465]the Holy Ghost falls upon Adam, and we are told that the Holy Ghost “beareth record of the Father and the Son, saying: I am the Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning, henceforth and forever, that as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will.” The simple phrase “as many as will” is easily overlooked but is essential in indicating the majestic scope of the Gospel: the blessings of salvation through the Atonement of Jesus Christ are available to all mankind, even as many as will receive Christ and the blessings He brings.

The Book of Mormon uses this phrase as well, though will is not used as a verb that can mean “to desire,” but as a modal auxiliary verb coupled with another verb. This difference may increase the chance that the apparent parallel is a random coincidence or an artifact of translation rather than a meaningful relationship between the documents but may still be worth noting.

Immediately after prophesying about the Crucifixion of the Messiah, Nephi1 uses the phrase “as many as will,” though not about being saved but about Christ manifesting himself to those who believe in him:

Behold, they will crucify him; and after he is laid in a sepulchre for the space of three days he shall rise from the dead, with healing in his wings; and all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the kingdom of God. Wherefore, my soul delighteth to prophesy concerning him, for I have seen his day, and my heart doth magnify his holy name.

And behold it shall come to pass that after the Messiah hath risen from the dead, and hath manifested himself unto his people, unto as many as will believe on his name, behold, Jerusalem shall be destroyed again; for wo unto them that fight against God and the people of his church. (2 Nephi 25:13, 14)

Jacob uses the phrase in the sense of gaining salvation and of the mercy of God, though this mention does not occur in the context of a direct allusion to the sacrifice of Christ and will is followed by a negation:

And how merciful is our God unto us, for he remembereth the house of Israel, both roots and branches; and he stretches forth his hands unto them all the day long; and they are a stiffnecked and a gainsaying people; but as many [Page 466]as will not harden their hearts shall be saved in the kingdom of God. (Jacob 6:4)

The KJV uses “as many as” many times, but not with “will.” Perhaps the most relevant verse is John 1:12: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

Parallels 120–124: Combinations with forms of “remnant of the seed”

Finally, we consider some combinations related to a pervasive theme in the Book of Mormon pertaining to remnants of the seed of various individuals. The discourse on the theme of a “remnant” is part of the Book of Mormon’s complex and nuanced treatment of covenants, as Noel Reynolds has demonstrated.35 With respect to the visions and prophecies of Nephi1 and Lehi1, Reynolds wrote:

If an explication of the past and future fulfillment of the covenant God made with Lehi and his descendants was not part of Lehi’s first visions, it is clear that it was a part of the great vision received separately by both Lehi and Nephi at the first camp in the wilderness. Book of Mormon discourse regarding the Abrahamic covenant tends to focus on (1) the prophesied scattering and gathering of Israel (the remnant prophecy) and (2) on the ways in which the kindreds of the earth will be blessed through Abraham’s seed. A key element in this story is an account of the role the Gentile nations will play. In the last days, the fullness of the gospel will be established among the Gentiles, who will then take the gospel to scattered Israel, bringing them “to the knowledge of the true Messiah”—the means by which they will finally be “grafted in” or “gathered together” in the last days (1 Ne. 10:14).

Nephi’s own visions provided him with the same perspective on the long-term salvation history of all peoples. In the vision Nephi received at the first camp in the wilderness, for instance, he was shown the future coming of Christ, the apostasy and destruction of the descendants of Lehi, [Page 467]and the eventual restoration of the gospel to the Gentiles, who in the last days would, in turn, bring the gospel to the scattered remnants of the house of Israel, who would then finally believe in Jesus Christ, repent, and be gathered in—fulfilling the promises of the Abrahamic covenant (see 1 Ne. 11–15). The first prophets in the Book of Mormon also understood that the Lord’s promise to their branch of Israel was an extension of the part of the Abrahamic covenant that indicates Abraham’s descendants will bless all people: “Wherefore our father hath not spoken of our seed alone but also of all the house of Israel, pointing to the covenant which should be fulfilled in the latter days, which covenant the Lord made to our father Abraham, saying: In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed” (1 Ne. 15:18, emphasis added).36

A reviewer of this paper kindly pointed out that the Abrahamic covenant mentioned above is an unconditional covenant which is not terminated by our apostasy. This is what is likely meant when the Book of Moses speaks of an “unalterable decree” in v. 52 in the following passage from Moses 7, with other language of interest in bold:

And the Lord could not withhold; and he covenanted with Enoch, and sware unto him with an oath, that he would stay the floods; that he would call upon the children of Noah; And he sent forth an unalterable decree, that a remnant of his seed should always be found among all nations, while the earth should stand; And the Lord said: Blessed is he through whose seed Messiah shall come; for he saith—I am Messiah, the King of Zion, the Rock of Heaven, which is broad as eternity; whoso cometh in at the gate and climbeth up by me shall never fall; wherefore, blessed are they of whom I have spoken, for they shall come forth with songs of everlasting joy. . . .

And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto [Page 468]a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem. (Moses 7:51–53, 62)

A few parallels have already been noted that employ language from some of these verses, including Parallel 71, “Gathered from the four quarters of the earth”; Parallel 84, a compound parallel with (a) New Jerusalem, (b) gathered from four quarters of the earth, (c) cleansed through blood of the Lamb, and (d) fulfilled covenants; and Parallel 108, “On bearing testimony.” Here I propose some further compound parallels.

First, however, note that another passage on the hypothesized brass plates version of Genesis could be the source for the “remnant” language of Moses 7 based on a statement from Captain Moroni1 about a prophecy made by the great patriarch Jacob or Israel inspired by the coat that he gave to Joseph:

Moroni said unto them: Behold, we are a remnant of the seed of Jacob; yea, we are a remnant of the seed of Joseph, whose coat was rent by his brethren into many pieces; yea, and now behold, let us remember to keep the commandments of God, or our garments shall be rent by our brethren, and we be cast into prison, or be sold, or be slain.

Yea, let us preserve our liberty as a remnant of Joseph; yea, let us remember the words of Jacob, before his death, for behold, he saw that a part of the remnant of the coat of Joseph was preserved and had not decayed. And he said—Even as this remnant of garment of my son hath been preserved, so shall a remnant of the seed of my son be preserved by the hand of God, and be taken unto himself, while the remainder of the seed of Joseph shall perish, even as the remnant of his garment. Now behold, this giveth my soul sorrow; nevertheless, my soul hath joy in my son, because of that part of his seed which shall be taken unto God.

Now behold, this was the language of Jacob. And now who knoweth but what the remnant of the seed of Joseph, which shall perish as his garment, are those who [Page 469]have dissented from us? Yea, and even it shall be ourselves if we do not stand fast in the faith of Christ. (Alma 46:23–27)

We are left to wonder if Enoch penned or spoke language related to the “remnant of his seed” that influenced Jacob and Moses, or if Jacob’s words influenced Moses in writing the account of Enoch, or if some other pathway may have connected these records. In any case, there may be at least two passages on the brass plates dealing with the remnant of somebody’s seed that might have influenced Book of Mormon writers.

This prophecy of Jacob that is lost from our modern Bible but apparently available on the brass plates, and likely in a version of Genesis, does not focus on merely the survival of one’s posterity, but on that remnant also being saved, “taken unto God,” and thus being a source of joy. This aspect of the “remnant” theme is also found in the Book of Mormon.

The KJV has “remnant” many times, but not combined with “seed” except for Revelation 12:17: “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” This symbolically describes the battle between the righteous and the forces of evil in the last days but does not closely fit the themes or combinations considered here.

Parallel 120: Covenant + remnant of the seed

The unalterable decree regarding the remnant of Enoch’s seed in Moses 7:53 appears to be an extension of the covenant the Lord makes in Moses 7:52, so the two concepts are naturally connected. We see this language combined in the Book of Mormon.

In 1 Nephi 13, we read of a covenant like that in Moses 7. Here the Lord has covenanted with Lehi1 that his seed should not be destroyed and would continue to have the promised land for their inheritance. And then come references to the remnant of Lehi1’s seed in discussing future blessings to them:

Nevertheless, thou beholdest that the Gentiles who have gone forth out of captivity, and have been lifted up by the power of God above all other nations, upon the face of the land which is choice above all other lands, which is the land that the Lord God hath covenanted with thy father that his seed should have for the land of their inheritance; [Page 470]wherefore, thou seest that the Lord God will not suffer that the Gentiles will utterly destroy the mixture of thy seed, which are among thy brethren.

Neither will he suffer that the Gentiles shall destroy the seed of thy brethren.

Neither will the Lord God suffer that the Gentiles shall forever remain in that awful state of blindness, which thou beholdest they are in, because of the plain and most precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, whose formation thou hast seen.

Wherefore saith the Lamb of God: I will be merciful unto the Gentiles, unto the visiting of the remnant of the house of Israel in great judgment.

And it came to pass that the angel of the Lord spake unto me, saying: Behold, saith the Lamb of God, after I have visited the remnant of the house of Israel—and this remnant of whom I speak is the seed of thy father—wherefore, after I have visited them in judgment, and smitten them by the hand of the Gentiles, and after the Gentiles do stumble exceedingly, because of the most plain and precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, which is the mother of harlots, saith the Lamb—I will be merciful unto the Gentiles in that day, insomuch that I will bring forth unto them, in mine own power, much of my gospel, which shall be plain and precious, saith the Lamb.

For, behold, saith the Lamb: I will manifest myself unto thy seed, that they shall write many things which I shall minister unto them, which shall be plain and precious; and after thy seed shall be destroyed, and dwindle in unbelief, and also the seed of thy brethren, behold, these things shall be hid up, to come forth unto the Gentiles, by the gift and power of the Lamb. . . .

And it came to pass that I beheld the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the book of the Lamb of God, which had proceeded forth from the mouth of the Jew, that it came forth from the Gentiles unto the remnant of the seed of my brethren.

And after it had come forth unto them I beheld other [Page 471]books, which came forth by the power of the Lamb, from the Gentiles unto them, unto the convincing of the Gentiles and the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, that the records of the prophets and of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are true. (1 Nephi 13:30–35, 38–39)

In 1 Nephi 15, Nephi1 writes, “And at that day shall the remnant of our seed know that they are of the house of Israel, and that they are the covenant people of the Lord” (1 Nephi 15:14). Later Mormon may be paraphrasing Nephi1 in Mormon 7:10: “And ye will also know that ye are a remnant of the seed of Jacob; therefore ye are numbered among the people of the first covenant.”

Jesus Christ in 3 Nephi 21:4 says,

For it is wisdom in the Father that they should be established in this land, and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed, that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled which he hath covenanted with his people, O house of Israel.

Parallel 121: Remnant of the seed + the rock

This parallel is the combination of Moses 7:52, 53, or more specifically “remnant of his seed” + “the Rock of Heaven,” a title for the Messiah. We find related language first in 1 Nephi 13, as cited in the discussion of Parallel 120, as Nephi1 describes how the scriptures that the Gentiles will bring forth, including the Book of Mormon, will bless the seed of his brethren, the Lamanites, with the convincing power of those records. Excluded from the quotation of 1 Nephi 13:30–39 cited above were verses 36 and 37, which tell us that this prophecy is declared by “the Lamb, and my rock and my salvation”:

And in them shall be written my gospel, saith the Lamb, and my rock and my salvation. And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be. (1 Nephi 13:36–37)

[Page 472]Those who accept the Rock are found to be beautiful upon the mountains, perhaps resonating with Moses 7:53: “whoso cometh in at the gate and climbeth up by me [the Rock of Heaven] shall never fall.” Those who climb up by the Rock rather naturally stand upon the mountains, or Mount Zion. As Moses 7:53 and 1 Nephi 13:37 both express, how “blessed are they” (see Parallel 125).

The combination of “rock” and “remnant of the seed” occurs again 1 Nephi 15:

And many generations after the Messiah shall be manifested in body unto the children of men, then shall the fulness of the gospel of the Messiah come unto the Gentiles, and from the Gentiles unto the remnant of our seed—And at that day shall the remnant of our seed know that they are of the house of Israel, and that they are the covenant people of the Lord; and then shall they know and come to the knowledge of their forefathers, and also to the knowledge of the gospel of their Redeemer, which was ministered unto their fathers by him; wherefore, they shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer and the very points of his doctrine, that they may know how to come unto him and be saved.

And then at that day will they not rejoice and give praise unto their everlasting God, their rock and their salvation? Yea, at that day, will they not receive the strength and nourishment from the true vine? Yea, will they not come unto the true fold of God? (1 Nephi 15:13–15)

In both cases, there is discussion of the remnant of the seed of key figures and the prospect that the seed will be saved as they accept the Gospel of Christ, the Rock.

Parallel 122: Gathering of scattered remnants with modern scripture

In the passages from Nephi1 in the previous parallel, the coming forth of the great converting tool of the Book of Mormon, the voice from the dust that had been literally buried in the earth for many centuries, seems directly related to the prophecy in Moses 7:62 that “truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten.” This further strengthens the relationship between Moses 7 and Nephi1’s writings about the future conversion of a remnant of Lehi1’s [Page 473]seed. It is the record of the Nephites in the Book of Mormon that is said to and does play a key role in bringing many of the scattered House of Israel into Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. The truth that was brought “forth out of the earth” (Moses 7:62) is a key tool for reaching and converting the remnant of the seed of Joseph and Jacob, as Nephi1 prophesied in 1 Nephi 13 and 15.

2 Nephi 30 also has this theme of the Book of Mormon blessing the remnant of Lehi1’s seed and bringing them joy, while also explicitly using the verb “gather” that is also found Moses 7:62:

And now, I would prophesy somewhat more concerning the Jews and the Gentiles. For after the book of which I have spoken shall come forth, and be written unto the Gentiles, and sealed up again unto the Lord, there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written; and they shall carry them forth unto the remnant of our seed.

And then shall the remnant of our seed know concerning us, how that we came out from Jerusalem, and that they are descendants of the Jews. And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them; wherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers.

And then shall they rejoice; for they shall know that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a pure and delightsome people.

And it shall come to pass that the Jews which are scattered also shall begin to believe in Christ; and they shall begin to gather in upon the face of the land; and as many as shall believe in Christ shall also become a delightsome people. And it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall commence his work among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, to bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth. (2 Nephi 30:3–8)

The work of gathering the scattered remnants of the seed of Israel enabled by the Book of Mormon will commence among all nations, consistent with the statement in Moses 7:52 about the remnant of the seed of Enoch to be found among all nations and with the prophecy [Page 474]in Moses 7:63 about the gathering being done among the four quarters of the earth. Some of those who are gathered will be blessed to take part in the preparations for the New Jerusalem, our next related parallel.

Parallel 123: “Remnant of the seed” + “gather in from the four quarters of the earth”

Parallel 71, “Gathered from the four quarters of the earth,” was previously recognized in six verses of the Book of Mormon. However, the significance of its combination with “remnant of the seed” was overlooked and is presented here as a separate compound parallel. Consistent with the themes in Moses 7, it is presented in the context of the Restoration in the Book of Mormon:

Surely he hath blessed the house of Jacob, and hath been merciful unto the seed of Joseph. And insomuch as the children of Lehi have kept his commandments he hath blessed them and prospered them according to his word. Yea, and surely shall he again bring a remnant of the seed of Joseph to the knowledge of the Lord their God.

And as surely as the Lord liveth, will he gather in from the four quarters of the earth all the remnant of the seed of Jacob, who are scattered abroad upon all the face of the earth. And as he hath covenanted with all the house of Jacob, even so shall the covenant wherewith he hath covenanted with the house of Jacob be fulfilled in his own due time, unto the restoring all the house of Jacob unto the knowledge of the covenant that he hath covenanted with them.

And then shall they know their Redeemer, who is Jesus Christ, the Son of God; and then shall they be gathered in from the four quarters of the earth unto their own lands, from whence they have been dispersed; yea, as the Lord liveth so shall it be. Amen. (3 Nephi 5:21–26)

Here the concepts of covenants fulfilled pertaining to the remnant of one’s seed and the future gathering them in from all over the earth with the aid of restored knowledge resonate beautifully with Moses 7. This also occurs in the words of Christ in 3 Nephi 16, which recalls related passages from 1 Nephi 13 and 15 on the role of the sacred writings brough forth by the Gentiles:

[Page 475]And I command you that ye shall write these sayings after I am gone, that if it so be that my people at Jerusalem, they who have seen me and been with me in my ministry, do not ask the Father in my name, that they may receive a knowledge of you by the Holy Ghost, and also of the other tribes whom they know not of, that these sayings which ye shall write shall be kept and shall be manifested unto the Gentiles, that through the fulness of the Gentiles, the remnant of their seed, who shall be scattered forth upon the face of the earth because of their unbelief, may be brought in, or may be brought to a knowledge of me, their Redeemer.

And then will I gather them in from the four quarters of the earth; and then will I fulfill the covenant which the Father hath made unto all the people of the house of Israel. (3 Nephi 16:4, 5)

3 Nephi 20 also invokes the concept of fulfilling ancient covenants by gathering the remnants from the four quarters of the earth. Here, though, instead of the “four quarters of the earth,” the Lord recites the four cardinal directions:

And verily, verily, I say unto you, that when they shall be fulfilled then is the fulfilling of the covenant which the Father hath made unto his people, O house of Israel. And then shall the remnants, which shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth, be gathered in from the east and from the west, and from the south and from the north; and they shall be brought to the knowledge of the Lord their God, who hath redeemed them. (3 Nephi 20:12–13)

These great blessings to the remnants of Israel that are gathered include the possibility of being involved with the majestic New Jerusalem that is to come, another apparent parallel to consider.

Parallel 124: Gathered remnants and the New Jerusalem

The Lord’s revelations to Enoch recorded in Moses 7:51–53, 62 gave Enoch hope that many of his posterity would be saved as the message of the Gospel would be spread around the world in the latter days, aided with revelation or angelic ministry (“righteousness will I send down out of heaven” in v. 62) coupled with the power of the Book of Mormon (“truth will I send forth out of the earth” in v. 62). Some of [Page 476]those fortunate descendants would then take part in the preparations for building a New Jerusalem (v. 62). Related themes are found in both 3 Nephi 21 and Ether 13. We consider 3 Nephi 21 first:

For it is wisdom in the Father that they should be established in this land, and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed, that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled which he hath covenanted with his people, O house of Israel; (3 Nephi 21:4)

But if they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance;

And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem. And then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem. And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst.

And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day, even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people, yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem. Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people, with the Father to prepare the way whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name.

Yea, and then shall the work commence, with the Father among all nations in preparing the way whereby his people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance. And they shall go out from all nations; and they shall not go out in haste, nor go by flight, for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward. (3 Nephi 21:22–29)

Later, Moroni2 records the teachings of Ether regarding the New [Page 477]Jerusalem. It is possible that Ether specifically mentioned the seed of Joseph, but this may be Moroni2’s editorial interpolation in addition to reciting history about Joseph, Egypt, and Jerusalem. In any case, the expression “the remnant of the seed of Joseph” is consistent with influence from the brass plates as Moroni2 expresses Ether’s teachings and their implications.

And [Ether taught] that a New Jerusalem should be built upon this land, unto the remnant of the seed of Joseph, for which things there has been a type. For as Joseph brought his father down into the land of Egypt, even so he died there; wherefore, the Lord brought a remnant of the seed of Joseph out of the land of Jerusalem, that he might be merciful unto the seed of Joseph that they should perish not, even as he was merciful unto the father of Joseph that he should perish not.

Wherefore, the remnant of the house of Joseph shall be built upon this land; and it shall be a land of their inheritance; and they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, like unto the Jerusalem of old; and they shall no more be confounded, until the end come when the earth shall pass away.

And there shall be a new heaven and a new earth; and they shall be like unto the old save the old have passed away, and all things have become new. And then cometh the New Jerusalem; and blessed are they who dwell therein, for it is they whose garments are white through the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who are numbered among the remnant of the seed of Joseph, who were of the house of Israel. (Ether 13:6–10)

While the KJV Bible mentions the future New Jerusalem (Revelation 3:12 and 21:12), it is not in the context of the remnant of the seed of Joseph or anyone else. The Bible also uses the phrase “blessed are they” several times, but that phrase in Moses 7:53, plus the use of “remnant” language from Moses 7:52, and (with respect to 3 Nephi 21) the gathering language parallel to Moses 7:62, adds to the probability that the references to the New Jerusalem in the Book of Mormon are more closely connected to the Book of Moses than to the two related verses in Revelation.

The covenants made to the fathers about the remnant of their seed will be fulfilled as the Restored Gospel sweeps the earth like a flood [Page 478]and brings great cause for rejoicing on both sides of the veil. How great the blessing, though, for those who can participate in the glory and joy that will come with the New Jerusalem, one of many potential meaningful parallels between the Book of Moses and the Book of Mormon.

Parallel 125: Agents unto themselves

While the Book of Moses and the Book of Mormon both clearly teach the concept of agency as a gift of the Lord to man (Moses 4:1–4; 2 Nephi 2, etc.), the Book of Moses and the Book of Mormon use different terminology. The Book of Moses speaks of the “agency” of man (Moses 4:3) while that word is absent in the Book of Mormon. It also teaches that “it is given unto [man] to know good from evil; wherefore they are agents unto themselves” (Moses 6:56), while “agent” also is not employed in the Book of Mormon. However, what we overlooked in previous analysis was what should have been an obvious relationship between the Book of Moses’s nouns “agency” and “agent,” and the Book of Mormon’s verb “to act.” Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines “agent” in its first definition as “An actor; one that exerts power, or has the power to act; as, a moral agent.”37 “Agent” and “act” are both related to the Latin verb agere (past participle actus) meaning “to set in motion, drive, drive forward” and thus “to do, perform.”38 With that relationship in mind, the connection between the Book of Moses and the Book of Mormon becomes significant. 2 Nephi 2, for example, combines two adjacent concepts from Moses 6:56: “to know good and evil” and being “agents unto themselves”:

And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given. (2 Nephi 2:26)

[Page 479]Likewise, 2 Nephi 10:23 tells us “remember that ye are free to act for yourselves.”

Alma 12:13 is related, indicating that through their transgression, Adam and Eve were in a state of “knowing good from evil” in which they were able “to act according to their wills and pleasures, whether to do evil or to do good.”

Helaman 14:30 conveys a similar concept: “whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free.”

Related language using the verb “to act” or the nouns “agent,” or “agency” is not found in the KJV Bible. The Doctrine and Covenants might be proposed as a related source given the presence of “I gave unto [Adam] that he should be an agent unto himself” in Doctrine and Covenants 29:35.

Work on the Book of Moses had begun in June 1830 and was finished by February 1831.39 Section 29 of the Doctrine and Covenants is based on a revelation given to Joseph Smith in September 1830, and the language related to the Book of Moses there likely draws upon the language of an already translated portion of the Book of Moses rather than the other way around.40 Doctrine and Covenants 29:35 refers to Satan’s rebellion, as in Moses 4:1, and then follows a reference to Satan’s demand of the Lord from Moses 4:1, “wherefore give me thine honor,” but using this language in Doctrine & Covenants 29:36: “for [the devil] rebelled against me, saying, Give me thine honor, which is my power.” The identification of God’s honor as his power likely comes from Moses 4:3, which gives a recapitulation of Satan’s rebellion indicating that Satan sought “that I [God] should give unto him mine own power.” These verses occur in the context of a longer passage, Doctrine and Covenants 29:31–40, that also reflects several Book of Moses themes also found in the Book of Mormon, such as the relationship between the spiritual and the temporal (Parallels 18 and 54), the result of sin bringing man to be subject to the will of the devil (Parallel 4), and the basic concept of human agency.

Parallel 126: The rock + “blessed are they”

The Lord gives “the Rock of Heaven” as one of his titles in Moses [Page 480]7:53, and of those who climb up by him, he says, “blessed are they.” As noted in discussion of Parallel 122, 1 Nephi 13:36–37 has “the Lamb, and my rock and my salvation” immediately followed by “And blessed are they.”

“Blessed are they” is common in the KJV, occurring, for example, in the Psalms (84:4, 106:3, 119:2) and the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:4, 6, 10), but does not occur in any chapter with the word “rock,” though “blessed” is combined with “rock” in the phrase “blessed be my rock” in 2 Samuel 22:47 and Psalm 18:46, both referring to the God of “my salvation.”

While this parallel is weak on its own since the Lord as the Rock and the phrase “blessed are they” occur in the KJV, their occurrence together in a single verse in 1 Nephi 13, as in Moses 7:53, and amid other language related to Moses 7 (see Parallels 120–122) increases the probability of a meaningful connection.

Parallel 127: Swallowed up in water

In Moses 7:42, Enoch sees that Noah and his posterity would be “saved with a temporal salvation.” That is explained in the next verse: “Wherefore Enoch saw that Noah built an ark; and that the Lord smiled upon it, and held it in his own hand; but upon the residue of the wicked the floods came and swallowed them up” (Moses 7:43). “Swallowed up” occurs several times in the KJV, but not in the context of being swallowed by water except once in a figurative sense:

Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters. Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me. (Psalm 69:14–15)

Otherwise “swallowing up” is done by:

  • the earth (Numbers 16:30–34, 26:10; Deuteronomy 11:6; Psalm 106:17, Revelation 12:16),
  • people such as armies or enemies (2 Samuel 17:16, 20:19–20; Job 5:5, 6:3, 20:15; Psalm 35:25, 56:2, 57:3, 124:3; Proverbs 1:12; Isaiah 49:19, Jeremiah 51:34, Lamentations 2:5, Ezekiel 36:3, Ecclesiastes 10:12; Hosea 8:7–8, Amos 8:4),
  • serpents (Exodus 7:12)
  • fire (Psalm 21:9),
  • a great fish (Jonah 1:17),
  • [Page 481]wine (figuratively in Isaiah 28:7),
  • sorrow (2 Corinthians 5:4), etc., and
  • the Lord, who will “swallow up death in victory” (Isaiah 25:8; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:54).

In the Book of Mormon, “swallowed up” frequently refers to water in a literal sense. “Swallowed up in the depths of the sea” occurs in 1 Nephi 18:10, 15, and 20, in scenes involving the threat of destruction to Lehi1’s family in a great storm as they sailed to the promised land on their ship when Lehi1’s wicked sons rebelled and bound Nephi1 with cords, followed by miraculous deliverance when they repented and freed Nephi1. Lehi1 later reminds his family how they were mercifully spared by the Lord and “not swallowed up in the sea” in 2 Nephi 1:2.

Alma2’s poetic description of his conversation in Alma 36 is like Moses 7:42–43 in that it combines the contrast between being delivered by the Lord and being “swallowed up” by waters:

And I know that he will raise me up at the last day, to dwell with him in glory; yea, and I will praise him forever, for he has brought our fathers out of Egypt, and he has swallowed up the Egyptians in the Red Sea; and he led them by his power into the promised land; yea, and he has delivered them out of bondage and captivity from time to time. (Alma 36:28)

Nephi2 makes a similar allusion to the Exodus, contrasting deliverance and swallowing up:

Therefore he was constrained to speak more unto them saying: Behold, my brethren, have ye not read that God gave power unto one man, even Moses, to smite upon the waters of the Red Sea, and they parted hither and thither, insomuch that the Israelites, who were our fathers, came through upon dry ground, and the waters closed upon the armies of the Egyptians and swallowed them up? (Helaman 8:11)

Ether 2:25 also employs related language in describing the Jaredite exodus, as the Lord warns the brother of Jared of the difficulty of their ocean voyage in which the vessels will periodically be “swallowed up in the depths of the sea.”

Seven of the eighteen occurrences of forms of “swallow up” in the Book of Mormon involve literal water, in contrast to one of the fifty [Page 482]occurrences in the Bible invoking the sea figuratively. That verse does significantly weaken this parallel, but it may still be worth consideration.

Parallel 128: The threat of withering in the divine presence + being left without strength

The word “wither” is often used in the KJV to describe damage to plants such as grass or fruit or physical afflictions to some humans such as a withered hand. But both the Book of Mormon and the Book of Moses use it in a different sense.

Moses uses “wither” to describe what would happen to a mortal human if physically or “naturally” in the presence of God without special protection. He uses that term immediately after mentioning his own loss of strength resulting from his dramatic experience of being in the presence of God:

And the presence of God withdrew from Moses, that his glory was not upon Moses; and Moses was left unto himself. And as he was left unto himself, he fell unto the earth. And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself: Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed. But now mine own eyes have beheld God; but not my natural, but my spiritual eyes, for my natural eyes could not have beheld; for I should have withered and died in his presence; but his glory was upon me; and I beheld his face, for I was transfigured before him. (Moses 1:9–11)

In 1 Nephi 17 while at Bountiful, Nephi1 is trying to build his ship without the aid of his belligerent brothers, who now turn on him and try to kill him. Nephi1 is filled with the power of God, so much so that his body had no strength, but with that power, he warned his brothers that they would wither if they touched him:

Behold, my soul is rent with anguish because of you, and my heart is pained; I fear lest ye shall be cast off forever. Behold, I am full of the Spirit of God, insomuch that my frame has no strength.

And now it came to pass that when I had spoken these words, they were angry with me, and were desirous to throw me into the depths of the sea; and as they came forth to lay their hands upon me I spake unto them, saying: In the name [Page 483]of the Almighty God, I command you that ye touch me not, for I am filled with the power of God, even unto the consuming of my flesh; and whoso shall lay his hands upon me shall wither even as a dried reed; and he shall be as naught before the power of God, for God shall smite him. . . .

Now they durst not do this lest they should wither before me, so powerful was the Spirit of God; and thus it had wrought upon them. (1 Nephi 16:47–48, 52)

Nephi1’s words may be informed by the vision of Moses, who would have been consumed or would have “withered” away in God’s presence were it not that “the glory of God was upon Moses; therefore Moses could endure his presence” (Moses 1:2). He still lost strength because of such power and glory being upon him after God’s support was removed (Moses 1:9–10). Filled with the Spirit and power of God insomuch that his frame had no strength, even to the consuming of his flesh, Nephi1 echoes the account of Moses and reflects the divine presence such that to touch him will result in withering and being smitten by God.

Parallel 129: A servant of God “receiving strength” to defeat an opponent

In Parallel 34, “The strength of Moses,” we have already explored the allusion to the strength of Moses that Nephi1 made in urging his brothers to be “strong like unto Moses” (1 Nephi 4:2), apparently related to Moses 1:10, 20–21, 25. Verse 25 is especially relevant for the Lord promises to make Moses “stronger than many waters,” which nicely fits 1 Nephi as Nephi1 will later take his people cross many waters. However, a related concept was overlooked in our prior works. Moses was not said to be strong on his own but twice is said to have “received strength” as he called upon God to overcome Satan (Moses 1:20–21).

The theme of a servant of God “receiving strength” from God to defeat an opponent occurs frequently in the Book of Mormon. Examples begin in the writings of Nephi1. A few verses after Nephi1 told his brethren to be “strong like unto Moses,” he writes that “having received much strength of the Lord,” he was able to restrain Zoram (1 Nephi 4:31). Later, despite being overcome with his worries, he was able to deal with his contentious brothers after he “had received strength” (1 Nephi 15:6). It is possible that Nephi1 was alluding to the divine strength that Moses received.

With language that is less directly related but with a similar concept, [Page 484]1 Nephi 7, as discussed above in Parallel 115, “Seeking to take away life,” involves Nephi1 praying to the Lord to “give [Nephi1] strength” that he might burst the bands that had just been applied by his two brothers who “sought to take away [his] life” (vv. 16–17).

The KJV Bible states that Abraham’s wife, Sarah, “received strength to conceive” (Hebrews 11:11) and says of a lame man, when healed by Peter, that “his feet and ancle bones received strength” (Acts 3:7). Revelation 5:12 says that “the Lamb was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength and honour, and glory and blessing.” The concept here is somewhat diluted by the six other nouns being received. None of these examples are explicitly about defeating an enemy or opponent.

Parallel 130: A servant of God “receiving strength” after a divine encounter

As discussed in Parallel 129, the concept of “receiving strength” does occur in the KJV Bible. As a result, some examples of “receiving strength” in the Book of Mormon may be attributable to KJV influence. However, the scenario in Moses 1:10 in which Moses “after the space of many hours . . . received again his natural strength like unto man” seems to be reflected in two descriptions of Alma2’s miraculous conversion involving three days of unconsciousness after chastisement by an angel of God and a subsequent divine vision when he turns to Christ:

And he caused that the priests should assemble themselves together; and they began to fast, and to pray to the Lord their God that he would open the mouth of Alma, that he might speak, and also that his limbs might receive their strength—that the eyes of the people might be opened to see and know of the goodness and glory of God. And it came to pass after they had fasted and prayed for the space of two days and two nights, the limbs of Alma received their strength, and he stood up and began to speak unto them, bidding them to be of good comfort. (Mosiah 27:22–23)

Then he explained that he had been born of God. Further details of his experience, including seeing a vision of God, are given in his later, more intricate account in Alma 36:

Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses [Page 485]of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there. But behold, my limbs did receive their strength again, and I stood upon my feet, and did manifest unto the people that I had been born of God. (Alma 36:22–23)

Parallel 131: Repent + “this is the plan of salvation/redemption” + Only Begotten Son

While “mine Only Begotten Son” forms Parallel 20 and the “plan of salvation/redemption” is Parallel 13, a related compound parallel involves the use of related phrases and further similarities when Alma2, while teaching about the Lord’s power and authority or priesthood to an audience in Ammonihah, says,

But God did call on men, in the name of his Son, (this being the plan of redemption which was laid) saying: If ye will repent and harden not your hearts, then will I have mercy upon you, through mine Only Begotten Son; (Alma 12:33)

Compare this to Moses 6:62 and other verses in Moses 6:

And they were preachers of righteousness, and spake and prophesied, and called upon all men, everywhere, to repent; and faith was taught unto the children of men. (Moses 6:23)

But God hath made known unto our fathers that all men must repent. And he called upon our father Adam by his own voice, saying: I am God; I made the world, and men before they were in the flesh. And he also said unto him: If thou wilt turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, and believe, and repent of all thy transgressions, and be baptized, even in water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men, ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, asking all things in his name, and whatsoever ye shall ask, it shall be given you. (Moses 6:50–52)

And hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment. And now, behold, I say unto you: This is the plan of salvation unto all men, through the blood of [Page 486]mine Only Begotten, who shall come in the meridian of time. (Moses 6:61–62)

Here both Moses 6:62 and Alma 12:33 declare “this is/being the plan of salvation/redemption,” couple it with “mine Only Begotten,” and associate it with God’s calling upon men to repent.

Parallel 132: God “conversed” with man

Moses 6:22 states that Adam “was the son of God, with whom God, himself, conversed.” The verb “converse” does not occur in the KJV. But God and angels “converse” with man in the Book of Mormon. For example, Alma2 in Alma 12:30, in yet another apparent allusion to Moses 6, says:

And they began from that time forth to call on his name; therefore God conversed with men, and made known unto them the plan of redemption, which had been prepared from the foundation of the world; and this he made known unto them according to their faith and repentance and their holy works.

Examples of angels who “converse” with men include Alma 9:21, 12:29, 19:34, and Helaman 5:39.

God speaks to man in the Bible, but “converse” may have too familiar a sense for the KJV translators. However, in Exodus 25:22, the Lord tells Moses that, “And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat.”

Parallel 133: A tool of Satan (the serpent or Zeezrom), seeking to destroy with lies and deception

This compound parallel was presented in detail in the introduction of this paper. The account of Zeezrom versus Amulek and Alma2, especially in Alma 12:1–7, has multiple parallels with Moses 4:3–6, suggesting that Alma2’s apparent reference to Genesis 3 in using “subtle” and “subtlety” to describe Zeezrom’s plot and Satan’s devices is much better understood as being influenced by the Book of Moses rather than the KJV Bible. Many insights derive from this approach.

Addenda to Parallels in Prior Publications

The following parallels were previously published, but additional information has come forward relative to those parallels.

[Page 487]Parallel 9: “Devil-lead-captive-his will”

As noted earlier in the discussion of Parallel 104, “For the space of many generations,” 2 Nephi 1:18 offers newly recognized support for Parallel 9, which deals with the concept of the devil leading men captive according to his will. 2 Nephi 1:18 has the warning that “a cursing should come upon you for the space of many generations; and ye are visited by sword, and by famine, and are hated, and are led according to the will and captivity of the devil.” In fact, this verse should replace the previously reported 2 Nephi 2:27 in the listing of supporting verses, for while 2 Nephi 2:27 has the important terms “devil” and “captive,” it lacks explicit mention of “led” and “will.”

On the other hand, a relevant verse in the New Testament has been noted that somewhat weakens Parallel 9. While it does not have “lead” or “led,” other aspects of the parallel are found in 2 Timothy 2:26: “And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

Perishing in their sins + fear: addendum to Parallel 56, “Perished in their sins”

Related to prior Parallel 56, “Perished in their sins,” the combination of that term with “fear” offers another parallel to consider. Mosiah 15:26 has “But behold, and fear, and tremble before God, for ye ought to tremble; for the Lord redeemeth none such that rebel against him and die in their sins; yea, even all those that have perished in their sins ever since the world began.” Compare that verse to Moses 7:1, where Enoch states that “many have believed not, and have perished in their sins, and are looking forth with fear, in torment, for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God to be poured out upon them.” (The latter phrase with “fiery indignation” is part of Parallel 73.)

Since the same verses are involved here as in Parallel 56, this might best be considered as an addendum for Parallel 56 rather than a new parallel.

Parallel 63: Wisdom, mercy, and justice in Jacob’s exclamations in 2 Nephi 9

Parallel 63 involves the Book of Mormon’s use of terms from a phrase in Moses 6:61: “all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment.” This is part of a longer passage that is given meaningful context in the following verse, Moses 6:62: “This is the plan of salvation unto all men.” An additional possible connection may be found in [Page 488]Jacob’s exclamations in 2 Nephi 9. After referring to “the merciful plan of the great Creator” (v. 6), he periodically rejoices in various attributes of God that emphasize his greatness. These exclamations are “O the wisdom of God, his mercy and grace!” (v. 8); “O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape” (v. 10); “O how great the plan of our God!” (v. 13); “O the greatness and the justice of our God!” (v. 17); “O the greatness of the mercy of our God, the Holy One of Israel!” (v. 19); and “O how great the holiness of our God!” (v. 20).

Wisdom, mercy, and justice, three of the elements in Moses 6:61, are found in Jacob’s exclamations about the greatness of God, along with another reference to the plan of salvation of Moses 6:62. The closing attribute, the holiness of God, is cited in Moses 6:57, shortly before the phrase in v. 61 that may have inspired some of Jacob’s exclamation. The “holiness of our God” in 2 Nephi 9:20 is immediately followed by “For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it.” This may be another echo of Moses 6:61, which also refers to the Comforter “which knoweth all things” immediately before the phrase of interest in Parallel 63.

2 Nephi 9, already laced with many apparent references to the Book of Moses (see Parallels 1, 18, 21, 24, 35, 43, 44, 46, 78, 79), may also be considered as possible further support for Parallel 63 through the language of Jacob’s exclamations, though they are not all together in a single verse.

Parallel 76: Now weaker

As noted above, Parallel 76, “Caught up/away to an exceedingly high mountain,” is weaker than previously recognized due to a relevant verse in the New Testament that was not previously noticed:

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. . . . (Revelation 21:10)

While using “carried” instead of “caught,” the concept is similar enough that it provides a reasonable alternative source for the Book of Mormon’s terminology in Parallel 76.

Parallel 96: More combinations with “full of grace and truth”

It was previously noted that in the Book of Mormon, the phrase “full of grace and truth,” while used in John 1 as well as Moses 7:11, was used [Page 489]in 2 Nephi 2:5–6 in combination with other phrases from the Book of Moses. Other similar examples could have been noted. For example, Alma 9:26 speaks of “the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, equity, and truth” followed in v. 28 by a reference to the captivity of the devil, possibly related to Parallel 9, “Devil-lead-captive-his will”:

And now for this cause, that ye may not be destroyed, the Lord has sent his angel to visit many of his people, declaring unto them that they must go forth and cry mightily unto this people, saying: Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is nigh at hand; And not many days hence the Son of God shall come in his glory; and his glory shall be the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, equity, and truth, full of patience, mercy, and long-suffering, quick to hear the cries of his people and to answer their prayers. And behold, he cometh to redeem those who will be baptized unto repentance, through faith on his name.

Therefore, prepare ye the way of the Lord, for the time is at hand that all men shall reap a reward of their works, according to that which they have been—if they have been righteous they shall reap the salvation of their souls, according to the power and deliverance of Jesus Christ; and if they have been evil they shall reap the damnation of their souls, according to the power and captivation of the devil. (Alma 9:25–28)

A further example not previously mentioned occurs in Alma 5:

Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me.

And moreover, I say unto you that it has thus been revealed unto me, that the words which have been spoken by our fathers are true, even so according to the spirit of prophecy which is in me, which is also by the manifestation of the Spirit of God.

I say unto you, that I know of myself that whatsoever I shall say unto you, concerning that which is to come, is true; and I say unto you, that I know that Jesus Christ shall come, yea, [Page 490]the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, and mercy, and truth. And behold, it is he that cometh to take away the sins of the world, yea, the sins of every man who steadfastly believeth on his name.

And now I say unto you that this is the order after which I am called, yea, to preach unto my beloved brethren, yea, and every one that dwelleth in the land; yea, to preach unto all, both old and young, both bond and free; yea, I say unto you the aged, and also the middle aged, and the rising generation; yea, to cry unto them that they must repent and be born again.

Yea, thus saith the Spirit: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand; yea, the Son of God cometh in his glory, in his might, majesty, power, and dominion. Yea, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, that the Spirit saith: Behold the glory of the King of all the earth; and also the King of heaven shall very soon shine forth among all the children of men. (Alma 5:46–50)

Verses 46 and 47 point to new Parallel 113, “All things manifest by the Spirit/Holy Ghost,” followed by v. 48 which refers to Christ as “full of grace, and mercy, and truth.” Verses 48 and 49 also speak of the Son of God and the “order” after which Alma2 was called, pointing to Parallel 53, “(Men) ordained . . . after the order (of the Son of God or of God).” This relates especially well to Moses 8:19. The language about the King of heaven in v. 50 may relate to Moses 5:53 with “I am Messiah, the King of Zion, the Rock of Heaven.”

Why Didn’t Book of Mormon Preachers Quote from the Book of Moses More Directly?

A reviewer of this paper offered an insightful objection to the possibility of the brass plates containing much of the text of our Book of Moses:

One thing that makes me uncertain about the Book-of-Moses-on-the-plates-of-brass idea is that it seems that every apostate in the Book of Mormon, including those who are conversant in the scriptures, is an anti-Christ, denying the coming of Christ (Jacob 7:1–2; Mosiah 12–13; Alma 21:7–9; 30:12–17). They seem to treat the doctrine of Christ as a non-scriptural oral tradition passed down through the Nephite leaders. Yet the doctrine of Christ is exceedingly [Page 491]clear in the Book of Moses. And when Nephite prophets invoke biblical proofs for the coming of Jesus, instead of quoting from the clear teaching in the Book of Moses, they cite fairly vague passages or types from other parts of the plates of brass (1 Nephi 19:10; Alma 33:11–20).41

This is an excellent point. There are clear teachings about the coming of Christ that were not quoted by Book of Mormon preachers when that might have been convenient had similar prophecies been common knowledge to the Nephites. However, even if a Book of Moses text were on the brass plates, the information in such a hypothesized text may not have been common knowledge at all or even available to the typical Nephite. It is possible that the text may have been viewed as a particularly sacred text not to be widely shared, especially with nonbelievers.

Our current Book of Moses has two warnings about not showing portions of the text to others except those that believe (see the end of both Moses 1 and Moses 4). Might it be possible that if the brass plates contained a related text, that it also had such warnings and was viewed—unlike other “books of Moses” and perhaps a basic Genesis account—as a particularly sacred text with advanced mysteries not meant to be shared widely? If so, perhaps it was unavailable to most Nephites, and certainly would not have been suitable for quoting to apostates. Lehi1 seems to have learned much about Satan through reading the brass plates after they were acquired from Laban, in contrast to what he had learned from common religious knowledge of his day (see 2 Nephi 2:17). Surely, he must have been familiar with the basic Genesis account throughout his life, but with the brass plates in hand he now seems to have had access to previously “hidden” information. A text related to the Book of Moses on the brass plates might have been the source for that added understanding on the nature of Satan.

Sacred knowledge that was not widely published but shared only with some believers is not a new proposal. We find echoes of that in the ancient concept of sealed records and mysteries, in the Latter-day Saint Temple, etc. But if something like the Book of Moses were considered a sacred text not to be shared widely, there still must be a mechanism for Laman and Lemuel to have familiarity with at least Moses 4:4 since, as Reynolds’s original paper points out, they allude [Page 492]to that passage when they condemn Nephi1 as if he were satanic.42 This can be explained by Lehi1’s teaching them those principles after he acquired the brass plates in the years before Laman and Lemuel made an allusion to Moses 4:4 in criticizing Nephi1. Lehi1 was certainly comfortable with using concepts and language from Moses 4 in his teachings to his sons in 2 Nephi 2. Thus, it may still be plausible for Lehi1’s sons to have heard or even read passages from the brass plates, while later Nephite prophets would have not disseminated that text to the public.

The lack of discussion about Enoch in the Book of Mormon raises related questions.

It is possible that a hypothetical text related to the Book of Moses on the brass plates lacked some portions of our current text, or that our text might be related to two or more different ancient sources, and that it contains interpolations or revelations not related to what was on the brass plates. We know so little and are engaging in degrees of speculation in trying to understand why some portions of the Book of Moses seem to be integral to the Book of Mormon and why others seem relatively neglected. However, there is certainly something unexpected going on in the connections that can be seen between the two texts, and that compels consideration of possible causes beyond the natural assumption that Joseph Smith was simply importing Book of Mormon language into the Book of Moses.

Conclusion

Despite much that we don’t know about Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible and the canonized portion of that work that is now our Book of Moses, it is remarkable that apparent one-way connections between the Book of Moses and the Book of Mormon exist, and that so many connections, some with explanatory power, occur.

While a few previously identified parallels now seem weaker, more have been strengthened and 36 new potential parallels have been proposed since the publication of nearly one hundred parallels between the Book of Moses and the Book of Mormon. The surprisingly large “signal” in the Book of Mormon that seems to echo language and themes of the Book of Moses raises many questions such as why and how this would occur.

Many related issues may merit further exploration. This includes [Page 493]the possible relationship between the parallels we have proposed and other ancient sources including rabbinical literature, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and other early Jewish and Christian literature. The implications of various models for the translation methods of Joseph Smith (e.g., tight vs. loose control, or the role of Early Modern English) may also be worth exploring. It may also be helpful to further explore the differences between the Book of Abraham and Book of Moses relative to intertextuality with the Book of Mormon. The relevance of ancient scribal methods and traditions, a topic richly explored by Noel Reynolds,43 may also bear fruit in understanding how a hypothesized brass plates text closely related to the Book of Moses would have been applied by Nephite scribes.

In all such pursuits, the unique nature of the Book of Moses needs to be considered, but much is still unknown about its background, its purpose, and, of course, its genesis.44

Despite the need for much more work, several tentative conclusions can be offered regarding the possibility of a brass plates version of Genesis related to the Book of Moses that may have influenced some Book of Mormon writers. In his initial 1990 publication sharing thirty-three possible textual parallels between the Book of Moses and the Book of Mormon, Noel Reynolds was already surprised at the density of the relationships in the tiny Book of Moses text that were not readily explained by biblical borrowing, especially given that much of the Book of Moses is like the KJV Bible or directly overlaps. His thirty-three parallels reported in 1990 became ninety-seven in our 2021 joint publication, and with thirty-six further proposed parallels here, we now have 133 proposed parallels. Some may be weak and some may have alternate explanations, but in many cases, there are [Page 494]parallels that seem to have explanatory power as the details in the Book of Moses help add meaning and context to related passages in the Book of Mormon, and sometimes support a one-way direction of influence with the Book of Moses appearing as a plausible source, but “impossibly” dictated after the Book of Mormon translation was complete.

I hope that these proposals will encourage ongoing research into the relationship between the Book of Moses and the brass plates.

[Author’s Note: Many thanks to Noel Reynolds for support and encouragement. I would also like to thank Kent P. Jackson, Godfrey Ellis, Allen Wyatt, Alan Sikes, Robert F. Smith, Matthew Bowen, and John S. Thompson.]


1. Kent P. Jackson, Understanding Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University [BYU]; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2022), 31–32. See also Robert J. Matthews, “A Plainer Translation”: Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible: A History and Commentary (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1985), 168–69.
2. Jackson, Understanding.
3. Jackson, Understanding, 37.
4. Kent P. Jackson, “Joseph Smith’s Cooperstown Bible: The Historical Context of the Bible Used in the Joseph Smith Translation,” BYU Studies 40, no. 1 (1970): 41–70, byustudies.byu.edu/content/joseph-smiths-cooperstown-bible-historical-context-bible-used-joseph-smith-translation.
5. Jackson, Understanding, 39.
6. Noel B. Reynolds, “The Brass Plates Version of Genesis,” in By Study and Also by Faith: Essays in Honor of Hugh W. Nibley on the Occasion of His Eightieth Birthday, 27 March 1990, edited by John M. Lundquist and Stephen D. Ricks (Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies [FARMS]; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1990), 2:136–73. This was republished as Noel B. Reynolds, “The Brass Plates Version of Genesis,” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 34 (2020): 63–96, journal.interpreterfoundation.org/the-brass-plates-version-of-genesis/.
7. Jeff Lindsay, “‘Arise from the Dust’: Insights from Dust-Related Themes in the Book of Mormon (Part 1: Tracks from the Book of Moses),” Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 22 (2016): 179–232, journal.interpreterfoundation.org/arise-from-the-dust-insights-from-dust-related-themes-in-the-book-of-mormon-part-1-tracks-from-the-book-of-moses/.
8. Noel B. Reynolds and Jeff Lindsay, “‘Strong Like unto Moses’: The Case for Ancient Roots in the Book of Moses Based on Book of Mormon Usage of Content Apparently from the Brass Plates,” (lecture, Tracing Ancient Threads in the Book of Moses Conference, Provo, UT, 19 September 2020), interpreterfoundation.org/conference-talks-strong-like-unto-moses-the-case-for-ancient-roots-in-the-book-of-moses-based-on-book-of-mormon-usage-of-content-apparently-from-the-brass-plates/.
9. Jeff Lindsay and Noel B. Reynolds, “‘Strong Like unto Moses’: The Case for Ancient Roots in the Book of Moses Based on Book of Mormon Usage of Related Content Apparently from the Brass Plates,” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 44 (2021): 1–92, journal.interpreterfoundation.org/strong-like-unto-moses-the-case-for-ancient-roots-in-the-book-of-moses-based-on-book-of-mormon-usage-of-related-content-apparently-from-the-brass-plates/.
10. Kenneth Lutes and Lyndell Lutes, eds., Joseph Smith Translation: Every Revision in the Old and New Testaments, rev. 3rd ed. (self-pub., Brigham Distributing, 2019).
11. Jeff Lindsay and Noel B. Reynolds, “Examining Book of Mormon Connections to the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible After Genesis 6:13: Is the Book of Moses Connection to the Book of Mormon Unique?,” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, forthcoming (2025).
12. Matthew L. Bowen, “Getting Cain and Gain,” Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 15 (2015): 115–41, journal.interpreterfoundation.org/getting-cain-and-gain/.
13. Reynolds, “Brass Plates Version,” Interpreter, 69–70.
14. “Whether or not they [Alma and Amulek] actually had great power given to them is a central theme in this particular Book of Mormon story.” John S. Thompson, “Restoring Melchizedek Priesthood,” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, forthcoming (2024).
15. Todd J. Uriona, email correspondence, August 2022 to January 2023.
16. See the interlinear analysis of Revelation 1:2, “Textus Receptus,” Blue Letter Bible, Blue Letter Bible Ministry, blueletterbible.org/kjv/rev/1/2/t_conc_1168002. Also see “Strong’s G3140—μαρτυρέω (martyreō),” Blue Letter Bible, Blue Letter Bible Ministry, blueletterbible.org/lexicon/g3140/kjv/tr/0-1/.
17. Jeff Lindsay, “To Bear Testimony: Insights on a Popular Latter-day Saint Phrase and Its Connections to Modern Scripture and Early Modern English,” Arise from the Dust (blog), 21 April 2023, arisefromthedust.com/to-bear-testimony-insights-on-a-popular-latter-day-saint-phrase-and-its-connections-to-modern-scripture-and-early-modern-english/.
18. “History, circa June 1839–circa 1841 [Draft 2],” p. 25n77, Joseph Smith Papers, josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-circa-june-1839-circa-1841-draft-2/31#foot-notes.
19. Royal Skousen, “Who Authored the Three-Witness Statement?”, Times and Seasons (blog), 1 June 2012, archive.timesandseasons.org/2012/06/who-authored-the-three-witness-statement/.
20. Lindsay, “To Bear Testimony.”
21. Noel B. Reynolds, email correspondence, 21 December 2023.
22. An inference based on information about related expressions in Hebrew and Egyptian provided by Robert F. Smith, email correspondence, April 2023.
23. Lindsay, “To Bear Testimony.”
24. John W. Welch, “Timing the Translation of the Book of Mormon: ‘Days [and Hours] Never to Be Forgotten,’” BYU Studies Quarterly 57, no. 4 (2018): 10–50, byustudies.byu.edu/article/timing-the-translation-of-the-book-of-mormon-days-and-hours-never-to-be-forgotten/.
25. Elden J. Watson, “Approximate Book of Mormon Translation Timeline,” eldenwatson.net (blog), April 1995; eldenwatson.net/BoM.htm.
26. Welch, “Timing the Translation,” 48.
27. Welch, “Timing the Translation,” 48.
28. Welch, “Timing the Translation,” 49.
29. Clifford P. Jones, “That Which You Have Translated, Which You Have Retained,” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 43 (2021): 1, journal.interpreterfoundation.org/that-which-you-have-translated-which-you-have-retained/.
30. Noel B. Reynolds, “The Nephite Metaphor of Life as a Probation: Rethinking Nephi’s Portrayal of Laman and Lemuel,” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 57 (2023): 231–80, journal.interpreterfoundation.org/the-nephite-metaphor-of-life-as-a-probation-rethinking-nephis-portrayal-of-laman-and-lemuel/.
31. Reynolds, “Nephite Metaphor,” 252.
32. Some writers see significant temple or endowment themes in Lehi1’s experience. See, for example, D. John Butler, Plain and Precious Things: The Temple Religion of the Book of Mormon’s Visionary Men (self-pub., 2012), 43–45.
33. John D. Barry et al., eds., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016), s.v. “Right Hand.”
34. Barry et al., Lexham Bible Dictionary, s.v. “Right Hand.”
35. Noel B. Reynolds, “Understanding the Abrahamic Covenant through the Book of Mormon,” BYU Studies Quarterly 57, no. 3 (2018): 40–74, byustudies.byu.edu/article/understanding-the-abrahamic-covenant-through-the-book-of-mormon/.
36. Reynolds, “Abrahamic Covenant,” 56.
37. Noah Webster, ed., An American Dictionary of the English Language (New York: S. Converse, 1828), s.v. “agent” and s.v. “act,” webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/Agent; webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/act.
38. Douglas Harper, ed., Online Etymology Dictionary, s.v. “agent,” last modified 16 September 2022, etymonline.com/word/agent. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, s.v. “act,” last modified 15 September 2022, etymonline.com/search?q=act.
39. Jackson, Understanding, 3–4.
40. Jackson, Understanding, 157–59.
41. Comment by anonymous peer reviewer, 28 March 2024.
42. Reynolds, “Brass Plates Version,” 30.
43. Noel B. Reynolds, “A Backstory for the Brass Plates,” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 53 (2022): 199–254, journal.interpreterfoundation.org/a-backstory-for-the-brass-plates/; Noel B. Reynolds, “Lehi and Nephi as Trained Manassite Scribes,” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 50 (2022): 161–216, journal.interpreterfoundation.org/lehi-and-nephi-as-trained-manassite-scribes/; and Noel B. Reynolds, “The Last Nephite Scribes,” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 53 (2022): 95–138, journal.interpreterfoundation.org/the-last-nephite-scribes/.
44. See Jackson, Understanding. Also see Kent P. Jackson, “The Visions of Moses and Joseph Smith’s Bible Translation,” in “To Seek the Law of the Lord”: Essays in Honor of John W. Welch, ed. Paul Y. Hoskisson and Daniel C. Peterson (Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2017), 161–70, reprinted at interpreterfoundation.org/books/to-seek-the-law-of-the-lord-essays-in-honor-of-john-w-welch-2/.
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Cite this article as:
Jeff Lindsay, "Further Evidence from the Book of Mormon for a Book of Moses-Like Text on the Brass Plates," in The Interpreter Foundation, June 28, 2024, https://journal.interpreterfoundation.org/further-evidence-from-the-book-of-mormon-for-a-book-of-moses-like-text-on-the-brass-plates/.
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About Jeff Lindsay

Jeffrey D. Lindsay recently returned to the United States after almost nine years in Shanghai, China. Jeff has been providing online materials defending the Church for more than twenty years, primarily at JeffLindsay.com. His Mormanity blog on Church-topics began in 2004 and was recently converted to ArisefromtheDust.com. He is currently vice president for The Interpreter Foundation and Executive Editor of Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship. Jeff has a PhD in chemical engineering from BYU and is a US patent agent. Jeff has been a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers since 2014. Every year since 2015 he has been named as one of the world’s leading intellectual property strategists on the IAM 300 Strategy List by IAM Media Group in the UK. He is currently president of Planet Lindsay, LLC, assisting a variety of clients with intellectual property and innovation. From 2011 to 2019 he was the head of Intellectual Property for Asia Pulp and Paper in Shanghai, China, one of the world’s largest forest product companies. Formerly, he was associate professor at the Institute of Paper Science and Technology (now the Renewable Bioproducts Institute) at Georgia Tech, then went into R&D at Kimberly-Clark Corporation, eventually becoming corporate patent strategist and senior research fellow. Jeff served a mission in the German-speaking Switzerland Zurich Mission. He and his wife Kendra are the parents of four boys and have fourteen grandchildren. They are both serving as ministering specialists for African immigrants in the their community and are learning Swahili. Jeff is active in Rotary International and also serves as a board member for Hope and Help Together, a community organization in Appleton, Wisconsin, which works to assist refugees and immigrants in the Fox Cities region.

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