Saturday, December 3, 2011


1. Omni tells us up front that he's just keeping track of the chain of custody (O 1).  Did he even understand the record he was keeping?  From O 2, I doubt it.  This reads like a secular intrusion into a profoundly sacred book, with none of the hot buttons words or themes previous recordkeepers have touched on.

2. The series of recordkeepers that follows is interesting.  They are meticulous to record that they were duly given the small plates and kept them (because they were in the family), but none sounds like a temple writer at all, or even very spiritual.  None says he was a priest or talks about his ministry.  Abinadom (O 11) charmingly shrugs that he doesn't know of any revelation or prophecy.  I wonder if these plates were handed down within the family, but the keepers were apostate or "inactive" or just not very inspired men.  I wonder if there were spiritual fireworks, but they were just going off elsewhere, outside the blood descendants of Nephi?

3. When spiritual fireworks do again enter the record, it's with some guy, apparently from another family, named Mosiah (O 12).  Mosiah's in Lehi's mold, flees because he's warned in a dream, then is led by prophesying.  Mosiah flees the Nephites, but he has the brass plates (O 14) -- does that mean he was connected with the royalty of the Nephites?  Did he steal them, like Nephi did?  If Mosiah was already a king, that might help explain his assuming kingship over the combined people of Zarahemla (O 19); he might have seemed the natural choice.

4. O 25 the small plates end on the theme of seed -- I have no more seed, so I'm handing over these plates to someone else.

5. Why does Amaron mention Zeniff's party?  Is it because he had a brother among them, and that brother might have been expected to be the next record keeper, so making mention of him would legitimize the brother if the small plates came into his possession, and he started up with "Now behold, I am Bob, the brother of Amaron..."  Only he never did, and the small plates were finished.

6. Amaron's farewell sounds wholly secular, and tired.


  1. When I think of the series of so-called uninspired men that are evident here in the book of Omni, I don't necessarily think of them as uninspired, but rather being completely and thoroughly overwhelmed with the process of day-to-day living in survival in the new land and leading people in perilous circumstances.

    I think probably what they're conveying is they have not received any revelation or prophecy that extends the knowledge that their forefathers have already given us. It's not really until the exodus to the people of Zarahemla and the times when King Benjamin and Mosiah set up shop there, that the visionary qualities begin to resume.

    Really, it seems to me that what we're dealing with is the sheer survival of making it through day in and day out of the first several generations after coming to the New World.

  2. It occurred to me that one of the reasons for this part of the Book of Mormon is to show that the record actually was handed down and preserved, just as the Lord promised it would be. The preservers may not have added anything to it, but they didn't lose it and they didn't take anything away. They were as faithful as they could be, and it was enough.