Jared’s brother, astounded, falls to the ground. The brother of Jared’s great faith could keep nothing from him, and thus he received a sure knowledge of God. It discusses the full context of Alma’s words, the Jaredite secret combinations and their oaths, Gazelem’s seer stone, and the Nephite interpreters. See Don Bradley, “Piercing the Veil: Temple Worship in the Lost 116 Pages,” FairMormon.org, 2012, https://www.fairmormon.org/conference/august-2012/piercing-the-veil-temple-worship-in-the-lost-116-pages. Joseph Smith (Liverpool, UK: Printed by J. Tompkins for Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Parley P. Pratt, 1841), 640, col. 1. They were given to the Jaredites as a warning. He embarks on a quest to find the 16 Jaredite stones, but it is a trail filled with danger and challenges. (3) The reign of Shiblon, ~23 generations from Jared: his brother (who is not named) caused that the prophets should be put to death (Ether 11:4–8). According to Alma, the fulfillment of this prophecy is one of the purposes of the interpreters. all their secret works and their abominations. The exciting journey of faith in16 Stones comes to life in a time fraught with persecution. It’s possible Gazelem found his stone at the seashore. [Page 87]yea, and all their signs and their wonders ye shall retain from this people, The function of this seer stone sounds similar to what is known about the translation of the Book of Mormon. The words of Alma to his son Helaman include Alma chapters 36 and 37.10 Chapter 36 is a beautiful retelling of Alma’s conversion, including personal exhortations to Helaman, formed as an ancient chiasm.11 In Alma 37, Alma instructed Helaman regarding certain artifacts, “sacred things” he would be charged with preserving: the plates of brass, the 24 Jaredite plates, the brother of Jared’s “interpreters” which Alma called “directors,”12 and the Liahona. Perhaps these words of the Lord that Alma quoted were part of Omer’s dream.50 The Lord may have instructed Omer to take Gazelem and the others with him and promised Omer “I will prepare unto my servant Gazelem, a stone.”51 Those people who fled with Omer to the seashore may have been the righteous servants to whom Lord revealed the secret combinations through Gazelem: “That I may discover unto my people which serve me (Omer and his people) — that I may discover unto them the works of their brethren (Jared and Akish), yea, their secret works, their works of darkness, and their wickedness and abominations.”52. This edition is used for the passages quoted from the Book of Mormon throughout this article. Mosiah2 had used the interpreters to translate the Jaredite plates and publish them to the Nephites. And why does Alma refer to him? Besides the time of Jared and Akish, there are five other times when secret combinations are mentioned, which are also candidates for when Gazelem lived: (1) The reign of Heth, 8 generations from the original Jared: “Heth began to embrace the secret plans again of old,” killed his father, and commanded his people to kill the prophets (Ether 9:26–29). Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. … And they [the secret combinations] were kept up by the power of the devil, 11. yea, their secret abominations have been brought out of darkness therefore the Lord said ‘Tis so; and who can dispute it?”, Brigham Young and Willard Richards included an index to the 1841 edition of the Book of Mormon which had the entry: “Gazelem, a stone, (secret).”. The description of the 16 stones the brother of Jared put in each end of the barges shares similar wording with the description of Gazelem’s stone — “Thus the Lord caused stones to shine in darkness, to give light unto men, women, and children, that they might not cross the great waters in darkness.”53 When the Lord said he would prepare for Gazelem “a stone which shall shine forth in darkness unto light,”54 perhaps he was drawing a parallel that had deep cultural meaning for the descendants of those who crossed the sea with lighted stones. The stones looked like clear glass. Gazelem was a servant of the Lord, whose revelations were recorded on the Jaredite plates. that the word of God might be fulfilled which he spake, saying: He embarks on a quest to find the 16 Jaredite stones from the Book of Mormon, but … This article is an attempt to determine who Gazelem was, placing the burden of proof on the text of the Book of Mormon instead of the myriad subsequent interpretations or applications of the name. and Jared put it into the heart of Akish. The story of Noah and the flood would have been relatively recent history for the Jaredites, who had departed from the “great tower, at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people” (Ether 1:33). 56. I include them here to demonstrate that there is no consensus among them, and sometimes there isn’t a consensus within them. It was “forbidden to come unto the children of men until after that [Christ] should be lifted up upon the cross. For the righteous Jaredites (who presumably kept the records), knowledge of these specific conversations between Jared and his daughter, the secret meetings of Akish and his kindred, and the specific oaths they used would have required revelation from the Lord.42 The detailed record of their deeds corresponds with Alma’s description: when the Lord “saw that his people began to work in [Page 99]darkness,” he declared that he would “discover to (his people) the works of their brethren … all their secret works and abominations.”43, Close reading of the events that led to the first Jaredite secret combinations, coupled with a close look at Moroni’s commentary therein, leads to the dating of Gazelem’s lifetime sometime within the generations surrounding the reign of Jared and Akish.44. Upcoming Movie on Trail of Book of Mormon artifact. The interpreters may not have been explicitly mentioned in the original Jaredite quotation here. Why would the Lord reveal these things to Gazelem through his own stone and not the interpreters given to the brother of Jared? Alma 37:23. With the Interpreters, Mosiah 1 translated the large Jaredite stone (Mosiah 1:20), and his grandson King Mosiah 2 also had the gift of translation to interpret the 24 Jaredite plates (Mosiah 21:28). that I may discover unto them the works of their brethren, The question then becomes, who was he? He told King Limhi: I can assuredly tell thee, O king, of a man that can translate the records; Most likely, the phrase here in Alma 37:23, “my servant Gazelem,” intends to say that the name of the servant was Gazelem. 32. therefore they have been destroyed. Action & Adventure. The words revealed to Joseph were then dictated to his scribe.20 The seer stone that the Lord prepared for Gazelem was similarly a stone which would “shine forth in darkness unto light.”21, [Page 93]Thus the Jaredite record describes three different types of sacred stones which had divine functions: the sixteen stones that the brother of Jared asked the Lord to touch with his finger to give light to the Jaredite barges,22 the two stones that the Lord gave to the brother of Jared on the mount (the “interpreters” or “directors”),23 and the seer stone of Gazelem. Did Gazelem have access to the interpreters? Ether 6:3; see also Ether 3:4. A prophecy concerning Joseph Smith already exists in the Book of Mormon, in 2 Nephi chapter 3, and it mentions his given name “Joseph” explicitly. Therefore, the Lord spoke these words when the Jaredite secret combinations existed. Mackay and Frederick, Joseph Smith’s Seer Stones, 105–106. The Lord revealed to them “all the secret works” of their brethren. Shining stones are not unique to the book of Ether. 7. In 1830s Missouri, James vows to protect the people of his village after it is attacked. that they know them not, Ether 3:21–4:7, Mosiah 8:12–18, Mosiah 28:11–19, D&C 17:1, JS — H 1:35. 2014. William Wines Phelps, “The Funeral Sermon,” MS, 13 June 1866, Church History Library. 23. After the death of Mormon, his son Moroni wrote a history of the Jaredite people, using the twenty-four plates as his source (Header to the Book of Ether). 58. Jared’s brother goes a mountain called Shelem, and makes sixteen clear stones out of molten rock; he carries them up the mountain, cries out in humility, and asks the Lord to touch the stones so that they emit light. The secret combinations that Alma referred to were in the Nephites’ past — the Jaredite secret combinations. but in all things hath forbidden it from the beginning of man. Richard E. Turley Jr., Robin S. Jensen, and Mark Ashurst-McGee, “Joseph the Seer,” Ensign, October 2015, 49–54; Michael Hubbard MacKay and Gerrit J. Dirkmaat, From Darkness Unto Light: Joseph Smith’s Translation and Publication of the Book of Mormon (Provo, UT and Salt Lake City: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, and Deseret Book, 2015); Roger Nicholson, “The Spectacles, the Stone, the Hat, and the Book: A Twenty-first Century Believer’s View of the Book of Mormon Translation,” Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 5 (2013): 121–90. Alma apparently saw how the interpreters fulfilled this prophecy and inserted his comment into the middle of the original quotation. Whether Gazelem refers to the servant or the stone is unclear. [Page 95]which otherwise could not be known. “While we do not yet have Ether’s full record, we do have what may be a fragment from that account in the prophecies of Alma when he entrusted these records to his son Helaman.” (Matthew Roper, “A Fragment from the Unabridged Record of Ether,” http://etherscave.blogspot.com/2014/10/a-fragment-from-unabridged-record-of.html, September 19, 2017). Note that Alma used past tense: “the Lord saw that his people began.” In light of the circumstances of these verses (Alma’s giving the Jaredite record to Helaman), this statement is clearly a reference to Jaredites and their secret combinations, as written on the Jaredite plates. See Helaman 6:24, Moses 5:29. and also the destruction of the people of Nephi. Phelps reconstructed his funeral sermon in 1855. He points out that these prophecies and words he quotes have already been fulfilled “thus far,” including the use of the interpreters. One line of reasoning is that our knowledge of the name Gazelem began when early Latter-Day Saints became familiar with the Book of Mormon. Gazelem was a seer in their past, not the future. This article will also interpret Gazelem to be the name of the servant. The Lord says that Jared’s brother’s faith let him see that the Lord will indeed become flesh and blood, he asks if he saw more than his finger. Jesus shows the brother of Jared a marvelous vision of all the inhabitants of the earth, and a comprehensive history of the world and humanity. The word “directors” was replaced with “interpreters” in the 1920 LDS edition of the Book of Mormon. (Ether 8:8–9). Helaman 6:22–26. Alma was summarizing the Lord’s interactions with the Jaredites — how he responded to their wickedness. This included the revelations that had been received by Gazelem through his seer stone. Given all this, the strongest possibility is that Alma quoted directly from the Jaredite plates, the same records he was entrusting to Helaman. If the Lord revealed the oaths proximate to the same time they happened in Jaredite history, the association between Alma’s discussion with Helaman and these historical events is strengthened. After introducing the history of the Jaredites’ secret combinations, it appears that Alma quoted two scriptural passages.17 His source text is not available to us.18 Neither did Alma specify where the words came from. They were spoken to the Jaredites. But he's convinced to pursue a more reasonable approach, and takes on a quest to find an artifact from the Book of Mormon-one of the 16 Jaredite stones-to prove to the world that the book and his beliefs are true. (Ether 8:19)41. After Christ came, “he commanded that they should be made manifest”. unto every nation which shall hereafter possess the land. 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