Thursday, June 13, 2013

Jarom 1: The Dudes Abide

Enos's son Jarom takes over the writing duties for a whopping fifteen verses.  Jarom is not the brightest bulb in the pack.

Jarom:  All-Around Good Dude
Why do I say that?  Take a look at verse 2:
And as these plates are small, and as these things are written for the intent of the benefit of our brethren the Lamanites, wherefore, it must needs be that I write a little; but I shall not write the things of my prophesying, nor of my revelations.  For what could I write more than my fathers have written?  For have not they revealed the plan of salvation?  I say unto you, Yea; and this sufficeth me.
So Jarom makes sure not to overly benefit his brethren the Lamanites by not writing very much about the things that can give them eternal happiness.  That, and he doesn't feel the need to write anything of importance because apparently Nephi, Jacob and Enos wrote it all.  But if those guys wrote down everything important that we need to know, why did Jarom receive those revelations and make those prophecies?  And why did all those others mentioned in verse 4 have all their revelations?  And why did the remainder of the Book of Mormon need to come forth?

God:  All-Around Good Dude
Verse 3 mentions that, despite the fact that the young American civilizations were wicked, "God is exceedingly merciful to them and has not as yet swept them off from the face of the land."  How is it merciful to simply avoid killing someone who poses no threat to you?  How can God be perfect if he's so petulantly vengeful toward those who don't follow the commandments he's not exactly efficient at disseminating?  And why should it be reassuring to believe in a god who pats himself on the back for declining to wipe out an entire civilization?

Lamanites:  All-Around Good Dudes
During our passage-of-time montage, we see little snippets of Lamanite behavior:  they "love to murder," they frequently attack the Nephites, and some of them apparently drank animal blood.  But in his brief but unabashedly negative description of the Lamanites, Joseph Smith/Jarom forgets an important aspect of writing a completely made-up story—motivations.

Why are the Lamanites like this?  They just represent some incomprehensible, barbaric evil and there's no explanation as to why they became that way.  Sure, their ancestors didn't really jive with the whole church thing and had a falling out with the Nephites' ancestors, but it's a long road from being non-religious to stabbing people through the throat and drinking curelom-blood-Gatorade.  The Lamanites are poorly and unrealistically depicted—which seems more like the effort of a first-time novelist instead of the revered text of a God-given book of holy scripture.

Thankfully, however, Jarom is pretty short-winded, and he quickly passes the plates on to his son, Omni.


  1. Wait a minute!

    "For what could I write more than my fathers have written? For have not they revealed the plan of salvation? I say unto you, Yea; and this sufficeth me."

    I say unto you, Nay. They have not, unless they wrote it in the lost 116 pages, there's no mention of the Celestial, Terrestrial, or Telestial kingdoms in the Book of Mormon. To make sure, I just checked to see if the word "celestial" is found in the Book of Mormon. It is not. There is 1 mention in the New Testament, it shows up 23 times in the D & C. That's it.

    1. A lot of the supposed saving ordinances are suspiciously absent too. In fact, has baptism even been mentioned in the Book of Mormon so far? I know temple endowments and celestial marriage haven't come up.

  2. No baptism hasn't been mentioned, and when it does finally come up in Mosiah, Alma doesn't have any authority to perform it. He baptizes himself. Plus, he doesn't give the authorized baptismal prayer.

    1. This is why, when you start a religion, you can't just make it up as you go along.