The Book of Ether Chapter 13 Critique
Setting: Ether speaks of a New
Jerusalem to be built in America by the seed of Joseph—He prophesies,
is cast out, writes the Jaredite history, and foretells the destruction
of the Jaredites—War rages over all the land.
Verse 1: And now I, Moroni, proceed to finish my record concerning the destruction of the people of whom I have been writing.
Note: Olmec writing did not use letters but pictures.
The only Mesoamerican people known without doubt to have developed a
completely glottographic or phonetic script is the Maya, and even the
Mayan script is largely pictorial and often shows fuzzy boundaries
between images and text. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verse 2: For behold, they
rejected all the words of Ether; for he truly told them of all things,
from the beginning of man; and that after the waters had receded from
off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other
lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that
all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof;
Note: Large portions of North America are covered by deserts.
The continent's deserts are largely between the Rocky Mountains and
Sierra Madre Oriental on the east, and the rain shadow-creating Sierra
Nevada, Transverse, and Peninsular Ranges on the west. The North
American xeric region of over 95,751 sq mi (247,990 km2) includes: 3
major deserts; numerous smaller deserts; and large non-desert arid
regions; in the western United States and in northeast, central, and
northwest Mexico. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verse 3: And that it was the place of the New Jerusalem, which should come down out of heaven, and the holy sanctuary of the Lord.
Note: Past tense word “was” was used instead of “will be”.
Critics of the Book of Mormon have claimed that a variety of linguistic
anachronisms exist in it which cast doubt upon its historical
authenticity. Linguistic anachronisms in the Book of Mormon are words
that represent concepts that are not believed to have existed in the
Americas between 2500 B.C. and A.D. 400, or in the Jewish world of
Lehi's time—the period of history covered by the narrative of the Book
of Mormon. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 4-6: Behold, Ether saw
the days of Christ, and he spake concerning a New Jerusalem upon this
land. And he spake also concerning the house of Israel, and the
Jerusalem from whence Lehi should come—after it should be destroyed it
should be built up again, a holy city unto the Lord; wherefore, it
could not be a new Jerusalem for it had been in a time of old; but it
should be built up again, and become a holy city of the Lord; and it
should be built unto the house of Israel— And that a New Jerusalem
should be built up upon this land, unto the remnant of the seed of
Joseph, for which things there has been a type.
Note: The New Jerusalem will not be built but created in heaven.
Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of
heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Verses 7-8: 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.
Note: The tribe of Joseph never escaped to North America.
And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and
forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were
sealed: of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe
of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Gad twelve
thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were
sealed; of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed; of the
tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Simeon
twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were
sealed; of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed; of the
tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Joseph
twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand
were sealed. Revelation 7:4-8.
Verses 9-10: 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.
Note: Sidney Rigdon plagiarized the Holy Bible.
And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the
ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and
made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Revelation 7:14.
Verse 11: And then also cometh
the Jerusalem of old; and the inhabitants thereof, blessed are they,
for they have been washed in the blood of the Lamb; and they are they
who were scattered and gathered in from the four quarters of the earth,
and from the north countries, and are partakers of the fulfilling of
the covenant which God made with their father, Abraham.
Note: The current Jerusalem will not be restored.
“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no
more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for
the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4.
Verse 12: And when these things
come, bringeth to pass the scripture which saith, there are they who
were first, who shall be last; and there are they who were last, who
shall be first.
Note: Many perceived Saints will be last based on their lack of love for Jesus Christ.
So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the
regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you
who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the
twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers
or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My
name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. But
many who are first will be last, and the last first.” Matthew 19:28-30.
Verses 13-17: And I was about
to write more, but I am forbidden; but great and marvelous were the
prophecies of Ether; but they esteemed him as naught, and cast him out;
and he hid himself in the cavity of a rock by day, and by night he went
forth viewing the things which should come upon the people. And as he
dwelt in the cavity of a rock he made the remainder of this record,
viewing the destructions which came upon the people, by night. And it
came to pass that in that same year in which he was cast out from among
the people there began to be a great war among the people, for there
were many who rose up, who were mighty men, and sought to destroy
Coriantumr by their secret plans of wickedness, of which hath been
spoken. And now Coriantumr, having studied, himself, in all the arts of
war and all the cunning of the world, wherefore he gave battle unto
them who sought to destroy him. But he repented not, neither his fair
sons nor daughters; neither the fair sons and daughters of Cohor;
neither the fair sons and daughters of Corihor; and in fine, there were
none of the fair sons and daughters upon the face of the whole earth
who repented of their sins.
Note: Pre-Columbian natives had no knowledge of the law and sin.
Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:20.
Verse 18: Wherefore, it came to
pass that in the first year that Ether dwelt in the cavity of a rock,
there were many people who were slain by the sword of those secret
combinations, fighting against Coriantumr that they might obtain the
Note: Pre-Columbian natives did not use swords.
Cutting weapons were used by the Native Americans for combat as well as
hunting. They preferred shorter blades, and did not use long cutting
weapons, like the swords that the Europeans used at the time. Wikipedia
Verses 19-21: And it came to
pass that the sons of Coriantumr fought much and bled much. And in the
second year the word of the Lord came to Ether, that he should go and
prophesy unto Coriantumr that, if he would repent, and all his
household, the Lord would give unto him his kingdom and spare the
people— Otherwise they should be destroyed, and all his household save
it were himself. And he should only live to see the fulfilling of the
prophecies which had been spoken concerning another people receiving
the land for their inheritance; and Coriantumr should receive a burial
by them; and every soul should be destroyed save it were Coriantumr.
Note: Pre-Columbian prophecies were based on calendars.
Mesoamerican calendars are the calendrical systems devised and used by
the pre-Columbian cultures of Mesoamerica. Besides keeping time,
Mesoamerican calendars were also used in religious observances and
social rituals, such as for divination. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 22-26: And it came to
pass that Coriantumr repented not, neither his household, neither the
people; and the wars ceased not; and they sought to kill Ether, but he
fled from before them and hid again in the cavity of the rock. And it
came to pass that there arose up Shared, and he also gave battle unto
Coriantumr; and he did beat him, insomuch that in the third year he did
bring him into captivity. And the sons of Coriantumr, in the fourth
year, did beat Shared, and did obtain the kingdom again unto their
father. Now there began to be a war upon all the face of the land,
every man with his band fighting for that which he desired. And there
were robbers, and in fine, all manner of wickedness upon all the face
of the land.
Note: The Olmec civilization declined due to environmental factors.
Between 400 and 350 BCE, the population in the eastern half of the
Olmec heartland dropped precipitously, and the area was sparsely
inhabited until the 19th century. According to archaeologists, this
depopulation was probably the result of "very serious environmental
changes that rendered the region unsuited for large groups of farmers",
in particular changes to the riverine environment that the Olmec
depended upon for agriculture, hunting and gathering, and
transportation. These changes may have been triggered by tectonic
upheavals or subsidence, or the silting up of rivers due to
agricultural practices. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 27-31: And it came to
pass that Coriantumr was exceedingly angry with Shared, and he went
against him with his armies to battle; and they did meet in great
anger, and they did meet in the valley of Gilgal; and the battle became
exceedingly sore. And it came to pass that Shared fought against him
for the space of three days. And it came to pass that Coriantumr beat
him, and did pursue him until he came to the plains of Heshlon. And it
came to pass that Shared gave him battle again upon the plains; and
behold, he did beat Coriantumr, and drove him back again to the valley
of Gilgal. And Coriantumr gave Shared battle again in the valley of
Gilgal, in which he beat Shared and slew him. And Shared wounded
Coriantumr in his thigh, that he did not go to battle again for the
space of two years, in which time all the people upon the face of the
land were shedding blood, and there was none to restrain them.
Note: The Olmec civilization declined due to environmental factors.
The first Olmec center, San Lorenzo, was all but abandoned around 900
BCE at about the same time that La Venta rose to prominence. A
wholesale destruction of many San Lorenzo monuments also occurred circa
950 BCE, which may indicate an internal uprising or, less likely, an
invasion. The latest thinking, however, is that environmental changes
may have been responsible for this shift in Olmec centers, with certain
important rivers changing course. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
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