Friday, October 15, 2010

The Lost Books of the Book of Mormon

October 17, 2010
by Tim Barker

A reading of the Old and New Testaments will provide reference to numerous books that are not included within our current canon of Biblical scripture.  For example, within the Old Testament, the Book of Jasher is specifically mentioned (Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1:18), as are the Book of Samuel the Seer, the Book of Nathan the Prophet, and the Book of Gad the Seer (1 Chronicles 29:29), to name a few.  In the New Testament, several epistles from Paul are referred to, including an additional letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 5:9), and possibly the Ephesians (Ephesians 3:3), and an epistle to Laodicea (Colossians 4:16).1  These and other books are cumulatively referred to as the "lost books of the Bible."  With the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Nag Hammadi texts, and other apocryphal literature, rising interest in ancient texts has led to numerous publications and republications of apocryphal literature.2  This should come as no surprise to Latter-day Saints, since forthcoming scripture is prophesied of within the scriptures (see 1 Nephi 13:38-39, 2 Nephi 29:13, D&C 93:18, Articles of Faith 1:9).  It is astonishing that so much literature has surfaced since the Gospel has been restored.  Generally, discussion of the lost books has centered on potential scripture identified within the Bible, or other old world archeaological findings; however, there are references within the Book of Mormon to additional books of scripture as well.

Friday, October 8, 2010

When was Section 132 First Revealed to Joseph Smith Jr.?

by Adam J. Christensen

It will be my attempt to provide evidence that Section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the revelation on plural marriage, was first made known to Joseph Smith in 1833, rather than in 1831, as previously believed. A general observation of the opening verse in this section indicates that this revelation was in answer to a query most likely springing from the translation of the Bible.1

Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David, and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines--
If indeed this revelation was received during the process of the translation of the Bible, it appears reasonable that it would have been later than May 6 1833, but before July 7, 1833. This two month window places Joseph in Kirtland during this time. This theory is based on 1) the revelation and how it compares against other revelations of its era, and 2) the basis that the Bible translation timeline shows that scriptures used to formulate revelatory questions were lightly handled in 1831, but that the strength of Old Testament scriptures referencing plural wives and concubines came at a later date.