Existence Does Not Equal Veracity
King Benjamin's advice to his sons contains some oddities:
O my sons, I would that ye should remember that these sayings are true, and also that these records are true. And behold, also the plates of Nephi, which contain the records and the sayings of our fathers from the time they left Jerusalem until now, and they are true; and we can know of their surety because we have them before our eyes.This verse makes complete sense until Mosiah throws in that bizarre line at the very end. Apparently, to him, seeing something is believing that something has divine origins. I mean, I have a copy of American Psycho sitting in my bookshelf. Because I can see that book with my physical eyes, does that mean that Patrick Bateman actually killed all those people?
The Old "Traditions of Their Fathers" Problem
Verse 5 discusses what would become of Mosiah and his peeps if they didn't have the scriptures. The second half of the verse, ironically, seems to apply very well to modern day Mormonism:
...we should have been like unto our brethren, the Lamanites, who know nothing concerning these things, or even do not believe them when they are taught them, because of the traditions of their fathers, which are not correct.Gasp! An entire group of people who are blind to the truth and resist it when confronted with it because of the false customs of their ancestors? How horrible! Those people live in such pitiable ignorance!
Passing the Torch...and the Sword and the Liahona
When Benjamin selected his son Mosiah to be the next king, he also entrusted him with a few Mystical Mormon Metals. Mosiah is to keep the plates of Nephi, the sword of Laban and the Liahona. The Liahona doesn't serve any purpose anymore because nobody's trying to go anywhere, but for some reason it's been an heirloom for the last four hundred years. The sword of Laban has no spirtual significance and it seems odd that it continues to be mentioned despite the fact that the records have supposedly been abridged for optimum doctrinal density.
I half expected Benjamin to also entrust his son with some elven cloaks and the phial of Galadriel, too.