Friday, February 17, 2017

Mormon 4: Death and Judgment

War, bloodshed, same old story, yada yada yada.

A Dubious Prophetic Assertion
Mormon hasn't read the scriptures he's been compiling very carefully, which he gives away in verse 5:
But, behold, the judgments of God will overtake the wicked; and it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished; for it is the wicked that stir up the hearts of the children of men unto bloodshed.
Okay, the first part I get:  you can't outrun your punishment.  But the second part doesn't sound right.  I mean sure, in some cases, like the current case of the Nephites, the wicked are punished by the wicked.  But this is certainly not one of God's immutable procedural rules.

I mean, when Nephi zapped his brothers, was that not punishment?  When God zapped Sherem and struck Korihor dumb was that not punishment?  When Ammon hacked off the arms of the sheep thieves, was that not punishment?  When God destroyed basically the entire American continent because of the rampant wickedness...was that not punishment?

Bad Writing Alert
Verse 18 is evidence of poor writing (or, to be fair, poor translation from the original Reformed Egyptian):
And from this time forth did the Nephites gain no power over the Lamanites, but began to be swept off by them even as a dew before the sun.
"Swept off" speaks to a swift, harsh motion.  But "as a dew before the sun" implies...gradual, gentle evaporation?  I mean, "as a dew before the sun" is a halfway decent turn of phrase, but the imagery clashes like it's the work of—and I'm just spitballing here—a writer who has benefited neither from a wealth of experience nor from the services of a proper editor.

He might as well have written, "they began to be vacuumed up by them even as tresses before a blowdryer."


  1. So does god inspire or just allow the wicked to punish the wicked? What if the wicked are trying to harm the righteous? My understanding of church doctrine is that god allows wicked people to do bad things to good people so those acts can be held as a witness against those bad people at the final judgment. Right?

  2. That is right. Which means that the righteous are punished for their righteousness too.

    1. Yeah, God has apparently no qualms about hanging out plennnnty of brutal punishments. Kind of strange for a guy who's supposed to be so loving, right?