Ether 3

 

A Confirming Covenant Witness

      Mormon 8 -- Moroni


 

 

Ether 3:1 They Called the Mount Shelem Because of Its Exceeding Height:

 

     According to Hugh Nibley, one of the things that argues for an easterly course of travel is the mention of a mountain of "exceeding height" which stood near the point of Jaredite embarkation (Ether 3:1). There is no such mountain on the Atlantic seaboard of Europe, but many points of "exceeding height" can be found on the Asiatic shore. [Hugh Nibley, The World of the Jaredites, p. 182]

 

Ether 3:1 Shelem:

 

     The brother of Jared went forth to a mountain "which they called the mount Shelem, because of its exceeding height" (Ether 3:1). According to Hugh Nibley, the word Shelem means "high, safe, secure." The word shalom is derived from that. Remember, shalom means you're safe. Shalom is a ladder, a high place." If you're going to a high place, it is a safe place, a secure place, a shelem. The brother of Jared went to the highest mountain around. Moses did the same thing. Lehi and Nephi did the same thing. So again this is a pattern. [Hugh W. Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon, Semester 4, p. 271]

 

Ether 3:1 Shele(M):

 

     According to Hugh Nibley, Jaredite proper names have a peculiar ring of their own. Their most characteristic feature is the ending in "m". This is called mimation and is actually found among the most ancient languages of the Near East, where it was followed by the later nunation, or ending in "n," the most characteristic feature of classical Arabic and also of Nephite proper names. The correct use and sequence of mimation and nunation in the Book of Mormon speaks strongly for the authenticity of the record, for the principle is a relatively recent discovery in philology. It may be illustrated by the only Jaredite common nouns known to us, curelom and cumom, and the only adjective, shelem, applied to a mountain 'because of its exceeding height" (Ether 3:1). It is interesting that the original meaning of the best known of Semitic roots, SALAM, may be "a high place" (Arabic sullam, ladder, stairway, elevation) with the idea of safety, and hence peace, as a secondary derivation. [Hugh Nibley, The World of the Jaredites, p. 242]

 

Ether 3:1 The mount which they called . . . Shelem because of its exceeding height (Illustration): One of the major clues to the location of the Jaredites on the coast of East Asia is the reference to a mountain of "exceeding height." There appear to be many such peaks along the Chinese coastline, virtually all of which are located either around the Gulf of Chihli or south of the Yangtze River. Map VII identifies these peaks and shows their proximity to the proposed routes of the Jaredites into East Asia] [Randall P. Spackman, The Jaredite Journey to America, pp. 57-58, unpublished]

 

Ether 3:1 Shelem:

 

     According to Catherine Thomas, the word shelem has three main Hebrew consonants forming a root word that spans a wide spectrum of meanings: peace, tranquility, contentment, safety, completeness, being sound, finished, full, or perfect. Shelem (and shalom) signify peace with God, especially in the covenant relationship. It also connotes submission to God, which we see in the Arabic words muslim and islam. In particular, shelem has reference to the peace offering of the law of sacrifice, which corresponds to the seeking of fellowship with God,78 and thereby has a relationship to the meanings of the at-one-ment; that is, shelem, fellowship, sealing, and at-one-ment have an obvious relationship. When the brother of Jared carried the stones in his hands to the top of the mount, whether or not a temple peace offering is implied, he sought a closer fellowship or at-one-ment with the Lord. Therefore, the mount is called shelem because of its exceeding height (see Ether 3:1), not because shelem means great height, but rather that it suggests a place that is suitably high for temple activity. [M. Catherine Thomas, "The Brother of Jared at the Veil," in Temples of the Ancient World, F.A.R.M.S., pp. 390-391]

 

Ether 3:1 Jared . . . Did Molten out of a Rock Sixteen Small Stones; and They Were White and Clear, Even as Transparent Glass:

 

     Why did Joseph Smith use the word "molten out of rock" in Ether 3:1, when obviously the word should have been "quarry"? According to Roy Weldon, the brother of Jared made sixteen small stones out of one large rock. The fact that they lost their consistency and became clear like glass shows that they were melted and not quarried. The early Babylonians in Sumer and Akkad knew the art of smelting both ores and stones. [Roy E. Weldon, Book of Mormon Deeps, Vol. III, p. 303]

 

     According to Randall Spackman, a common technique for refining glass in the latter half of the second millennium B.C. was to melt the raw materials in a crucible and let the crucible cool. When the glass had hardened, the crucible and all scum and sediment were then knocked off, and the refined glass was crushed and re-fused. . . . The earliest glass was always opaque, like stone. . . however 2nd millennium B.C. glasswork reached a significant level of art . . . with the refinement of transparent glass and, on rare occasions, colorless glass. Thus the simple description in Ether 3:1, "Jared . . . did molten out of a rock sixteen small stones, and they were white and clear, even as transparent glass," could not be more in context. [Randall P. Spackman, The Jaredite Journey to America, p. 101, unpublished]

 

Ether 3:1 They Were White and Clear, Even As Transparent Glass:

 

     Joseph Smith described the interpreters (which later generations have termed Urim and Thummim) as "two transparent stones set in the rim of a [silver] bow fastened to a breastplate."79 The term "transparent" is used only two other times in the scriptures--in the descriptions of the glowing stones used by the Jaredites (see Ether 3:1) and of the streets of gold of the New Jerusalem that John saw descending from heaven (see Revelation 21:21). In both cases, the full description is "as . . . transparent glass." In this connection, it is interesting to note that the heavenly city has foundations made of twelve precious stones and also twelve gates of pearls (see Revelation 21:19-21). This reminds us of the twelve stones in the high priest's breastplate, and indeed, John noted that the names of the twelve tribes were inscribed on the twelve gates (see Revelation 21:12), just as the names of the tribes were inscribed on the two stones worn by the high priest (see Exodus 28:9-12). John further wrote that the heavenly Jerusalem had "the glory of God; and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal" (Revelation 21;11).80 Because the heavenly Jerusalem will be lighted by the glory of God, it will have no night and will need neither sun nor moon (see Revelation 21:23-25). The heavenly city is very much like the residence of God and the future celestialized earth, as described in Doctrine and Covenants 130:6-9." A globe like a sea of glass and fire . . . a great Urim and Thummim . . like unto crystal."

     It is also interesting to note that in Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Exodus 19:17, Mount Sinai, when the Lord's presence was upon it, is described as being "transparent like glass." [John Tvedtnes, The Book of Mormon and Other Hidden Books: Out of Darkness unto Light, pp. 203-204]

 

Ether 3:1 Transparent Glass:

 

     Ether 3:1 states that the stones were white and clear, even as transparent glass." According to Randall Spackman, any given glass composition "can exist in different energy states dependent upon its structure." . . . Williams has noted that "one of the most striking features of luminescent emission [is] that it occurs for most substances in the spectral region where the crystal or glass is transparent." Whatever the physical properties of the sixteen small stones, through the faith and action of the brother of Jared and the intervention of the Lord, the stones shone in the dark with sufficient luminescence that the Jaredites were willing to enter the barges and set forth across the Pacific. [Randall P. Spackman, "The Jaredite Journey to America, p. 130, unpublished]

 

Ether 3:1 Glass:

 

     Glass is mentioned in Ether 3:1: "And they were white and clear, even as transparent glass." Critics have claimed this to be too early (Tower of Babel) for the invention of glass. However according to Roy Weldon, modern discoveries make this objection easy to answer today, but a few years ago it would have been necessary to accept this statement on faith alone, for there was little actual evidence available to the scientist.

     According to the Encyclopedia Americana, glass objects were manufactured as early as 3000 B.C. The University of Chicago has a pale green cylinder of glass dating from this period. [Roy E. Weldon, Book of Mormon Deeps, Vol. III, p. 302]

 

Ether 3:3 And for These Many Years We Have Been in the Wilderness:

 

     According to Hugh Nibley, one of the things that argues for an eastern course of travel for the Jaredites is the great length of the journey: "for this many years we have been in the wilderness" (Ether 3:3). Such a situation calls not only for vast expanses to wander in, but a terrain favorable to cattle-raising nomads and a region "in which there never had man been" (Ether 2:5), conditions to which the Asiatic rather than the European areas conform. [Hugh Nibley, The World of the Jaredites, p. 181]

 

Ether 3:6 The Lord stretched forth his hand and touched the stones one by one with his finger (Illustration): The Brother of Jared Sees the Finger of the Lord. [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gospel Art, #318]

 

Ether 3:13 Behold, the Lord Showed Himself unto Him:

 

     According to Morgan Tanner, the theophany of the brother of Jared, in which he sees the finger of the Lord, parallels the story of Moses. The brother of Jared goes up a mountain to pray (Ether 3:1; cf. Exodus 3:1-3); see the finger of the Lord (Ether 3:6; cf. Exodus 31:18); fears the Lord (also meaning "held in awe"; Ether 3:6; cf. Exodus 3:6); sees the whole spirit body of the Lord (Ether 3:13, 16-18; cf. Exodus 33:11); learns the name of the Lord (Ether 3:14; cf. Exodus 3:14); and, finally, receives a symbol of power and authority (ether 3:23; cf. Exodus 4:1-5). The unique aspect of the story of the brother of Jared is his extended revelation concerning the nature of God, who appeared to him in a spirit body "like unto flesh and blood" (Ether 3:6). [Morgan W. Tanner, "Jaredites," in Daniel H. Ludlow, S. Kent Brown, and John W. Welch selection eds., To All the World: The Book of Mormon Articles from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, F.A.R.M.S., p. 131]

 

Ether 3:14 Behold, I Am He Who Was Prepared from the Foundation of the World to Redeem My People:

 

     [See the commentary on Mosiah 4:6]

 

Ether 3:14 I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people (Illustration): The Council in Heaven. "I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ." Artist: Robert T. Barrett. [Thomas R. Valletta ed., The Book of Mormon for Latter-day Saint Families, 1999, p. 615]

 

Ether 3:15 Never Have I Showed Myself unto Man:

 

     In the account of the Lord revealing himself to the brother of Jared, we find the Lord saying, And never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man believed in me as thou hast" (Ether 3:15). The Book of Mormon student might be confused about such a statement in light of the biblical accounts of the patriarchs. However, Kent Jackson notes that when the Lord appeared in ancient times, he did so as the Father, and when he gave revelation to prophets, he spoke of the mortal mission of Jesus Christ in the third person, with the words of and from the perspective of God the Father, as though Jesus Christ were someone else. . . . The appearance to the brother of Jared is the first recorded manifestation of Jehovah in which he appeared and identified himself as the Son.

     The uniqueness of this situation lies in the fact that Jehovah appeared to Mahonri Moriancumer in his role as Jesus Christ -- rather than as the Father. Never before, as far as we can tell from the scriptures, had Jesus Christ shown himself unto man. (and interestingly, nowhere else in the scriptures do we have a clear example of Jehovah appearing as Jesus until his coming in the flesh. As Moroni reported, "Having this perfect knowledge of God, he could not be kept from within the veil; therefore he saw Jesus" (Ether 3:20. To the brother of Jared, Christ revealed his complete nature: God who would become Man--Jehovah, the Father, who would become Jesus, the Son.

     Perhaps the unprecedented nature of this appearance is a reason why the Lord commanded that the account not be made known in the world until after his mortal ministry (Ether 3:21). [Kent P. Jackson, "Never Have I Showed Myself Unto Man," F.A.R.M.S., 1991]

 

Ether 3:15 Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? (Illustration): Chart: "Does Christ Have a Body?" Source: Susan Easton Black, Finding Christ through the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1987), 52-56. [John W. & J. Gregory Welch, Charting the Book of Mormon: Visual Aids for Personal Study and Teaching, F.A.R.M.S., Chart #52]

 

Ether 3:15 Never Have I Showed Myself unto Man:

 

     According to Kent Jackson, we know from the scriptures that others had seen God, yet the Lord stated to the brother of Jared: "Never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man believed in me as thou hast." Several explanations have been given for this passage,81 but perhaps the following discussion will explain the Lord's statement.

     The brother Jared was speaking with Jehovah, "the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, . . . the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning." (Mosiah 3:5,8; see also Alma 11:39) Having been endowed by Elohim with infinite power, glory, and authority, Jehovah is the Father. He is God who spoke and still speaks to the prophets, who designed and reveals laws for the blessing of his people, and who directs the affairs of mortals on earth.

     We know also that Jehovah is the same being who later came into the world as Jesus Christ. He became a being of dual nature.

     The Father [that is, Elohim] has never dealt with man directly and personally since the Fall, and he has never appeared except to introduce and bear record of the Son.82

     President Smith also taught: "The Father has honored Christ by placing his name upon him, so that he can minister in and through that name as though he were the Father; and thus, so far as power and authority were concerned, his words and acts become and are those of the Father."83

     Since Jehovah is empowered with the fulness of Elohim and is commissioned to speak in his behalf, he stands in the place of the Father and speaks the Father's words. Thus when he appeared in ancient times he was the Father, filling in every way the role of God. When giving revelation to prophets, he spoke of the mortal mission of Jesus Christ in the third person-that is, with the words of and from the perspective of God the Father, as though Jesus Christ were someone else. This explains Jehovah's discussion of Christ in the book of Moses and in many other scriptures.84

     It seems from the scriptures that with one exception, in all the recorded manifestations of Jehovah prior to his birth in the flesh, he appeared in his role as God the Father, speaking the words of the Father. The exception is this appearance to the brother of Jared in Ether 3. He said:

           Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters. And never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man believed in me as thou hast. (Ether 3:14-15.)

 

     It appears that the uniqueness of this situation, brought about because of Mahonri Moriancumer's unparalleled faith, was the fact that Jehovah appeared to him in his role as Jesus-whereas to others he had shown himself as the Father.

     In fact, nowhere else in the scriptures do we have an example of Jehovah appearing in his role as Jesus until his coming in the flesh. As Moroni reported, "Having this perfect knowledge of God, he could not be kept from within the veil; therefore he saw Jesus; and he did minister unto him." (Ether 3:20, emphasis added.) To the brother of Jared the Lord revealed his complete nature: God who would become Man. Perhaps that is a reason why he commanded that the account of the appearance not be known in the world until after his mortal ministry. (Ether 3:21) [Kent P. Jackson, "Christ and the Jaredites," in Studies in Scripture: Book of Mormon, Part 2, pp. 252-254]

 

Ether 3:21 Ye Shall . . . Show It to No Man:

 

     According to John Welch, even though we find the account of the brother of Jared in chapter 3 of the book of Ether, it is unclear whether Ether ever read the account of the brother of Jared. First of all, the brother of Jared was commanded by the Lord to "show it to no man" (Ether 3:21). Second, the language the brother of Jared wrote it in was "confounded" (Ether 3:24). And third, the Lord provided "these (two) stones" as the only apparent means by which men would see the things which the brother of Jared wrote (Ether 3:23-24).

     Since the Lord had forbidden the brother of Jared to allow his words to go forth unto the world until after He had come in the flesh (Ether 3:21, 4:1), there is reason why Ether may not have been privy to their content in detail.

     Moroni, however, appears to have known from firsthand experience the impact these words had upon a reader because he said "thou hast not made us mighty in writing like unto the brother of Jared, for thou madest him that the things which he wrote were mighty even as thou art, unto the overpowering of man to read them." (Ether 12:24) [John W. Welch, "Preliminary Comments on the Sources behind the Book of Ether," F.A.R.M.S., 1986, p. 5]

 

Ether 3:22 Ye Shall Write Them and Shall Seal Them Up:

 

     As a testament to the happenings that occurred between the Lord and the brother of Jared, the Lord commanded the brother of Jared to "write them and . . . seal them up" (Ether 3:22). According to Warren and Palmer, the custom of sealing important documents is ancient. Cylinder seals are small solid or hollow cylinders of stone or ceramic that are engraved with a design. They were no doubt used extensively by the scribes. They served as signatures. Rolling the seal over a wet clay tablet makes clear the nature of the design. Its use was a Mesopotamian trademark, even though its use spread to Anatolia, Egypt, Cyprus, and Greece. Figure 4-3 shows a cylinder seal impression from Mesopotamia (see illustration).

     Use of the cylinder seal also spread to Mesoamerica, and many such cylinder seals have been found throughout Mexico. Figure 4-4 shows a cylinder seal that has been found at the Hill Vigia (the proposed hill Ramah/Cumorah) in the state of Veracruz, Mexico (see illustration). [Bruce W. Warren and David A. Palmer, The Jaredite Saga, ch. 4, unpublished]

 

Ether 3:22 Ye shall write them and shall seal them up (Illustration): Cylinder seals [Bruce W. Warren and David A. Palmer, The Jaredite Saga, ch. 4, unpublished]

 

Ether 3:23 These Two Stones Will I Give unto Thee:

 

     The Lord told the brother of Jared to record "the things which ye have seen and heard" but not to let them go forth unto the world "until the time cometh that I shall glorify my name in the flesh" (Ether 3:21. In order to accomplish this, the Lord commanded:

           ye shall write them and shall seal them up, that no one can interpret them; for ye shall write them in a language that they cannot be read. And behold these two stones will I give unto thee, and ye shall seal them up also with the things which ye shall write. . . . wherefore I will cause in my own due time that these stones shall magnify to the eyes of men these things which ye shall write. (Ether 3:22-24)

 

     According to Reynolds and Sjodahl, these "two stones," which are also known as the Interpreters (Ether 4:5; Mosiah 28:20) and Urim and Thummim (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith 2:52; Doctrine and Covenants 17:1) were, as we read here, entrusted into the care of Moriancumer, before he descended from the ever memorable scene of his vision and revelations. They were delivered to him with the sacred records that were to be kept, and thus be hidden from the eyes of the world, until they, in the due time of the Lord, were to come forth. The purpose of the Stones is stated to be to magnify, that is to say, to make clear "the things which ye shall write."

     According to the Doctrine and Covenants (17:1), the Sacred Instruments deposited in the Hill Cumorah and delivered to the Prophet Joseph, was the Urim and Thummim received by the Brother of Jared on the Mount. When the Prophet Joseph received the Stones, September 22, 1827, they were framed in silver bows and fastened to a breastplate (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith 2:35). From the Doctrine and Covenants 130:8-9, where God is said to dwell on a globe which is a Urim and Thummim, and that the Earth is to be sanctified and made immortal--made like unto a crystal and will be a Urim and Thummim to the inhabitants thereon--we conclude that that was the nature of the Stones. They were crystals. The Prophet Joseph Smith further adds to our information that the white stone mentioned in the Revelation 2:17, will become a Urim and Thummim to each who receives one, and that a white stone will be given to everyone who is privileged to come into the Celestial Kingdom. On the stone a new name is written. By this means things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms, even all kingdoms, will be made known. [Reynolds and Sjodahl, Commentary on the Book of Mormon VI:87] [See the commentary on Mosiah 8:13; Mosiah 28:20; see also Appendix B of this volume]

 

Ether 3:24 These Stones Shall Magnify to the Eyes of Men These Things Which Ye Shall Write:

 

     Ether 3:24 states that the stones (or Urim and Thummim) given by the Lord to the brother of Jared would "magnify to the eyes of men these things which ye shall write."

     According to Randall Spackman, one of the most attractive, recent suggestions is that Urim is derived form the Assyrian u'uru, meaning "to send forth" and related to the noun urtu, meaning "a divine decision." Thummim may be related to the Assyrian noun tamatu, meaning "an oracle." Therefore the two terms might constitute a Hebrew hendiadys, a combination of "two formally co-ordinate terms--verbs, nouns, or adjectives--by 'and,'" which terms "express a single concept in which one of the components defines the other." The order of the terms is immaterial. Given the foregoing approach, the phrase "Urim and Thummim" could read as meaning "a divine decision in answer to a question" or "sacred answer," denoting the use to which the object was put. [Randall P. Spackman, The Jaredite Journey to America, p. 127]

 

     According to Tom Cryer, the joining of heaven (the spiritual) and earth (the material) is shown by a heaven based triangle pointing downwards, manifesting God's focus upon man, and merging with an earth based triangle pointing upwards manifesting man's focus upon God. This merge forms a hexagram or a six-pointed star. This shape is known as the Magen David "Shield of David" or Seal of Solomon. The uniting of the two directions symbolize the blending of the physical with the spiritual. The interlaced triangles as seen on the flag of Israel is a sign of the Messiah, or Son of God.

     Some Jewish historians have suggested that the ancient sign of Judaism originated by interlocking two crystals each in the form of an equilateral triangle. These crystals were two special stones called seerstones or interpreters or the Urim and Thummim, which is Hebrew for "lights and perfections" (see illustration). The sixteenth century Chilam Balam book from Yucatan refers to "the three cornered precious stone of grace" as being born "when the earth was submerged, when there was neither heaven nor earth." (Makenson) A pair of overlapping triangles crown the central circle of the Aztec calendar. A scepter used by Xipe Totec, an Ancient Mexican Deity, was "a staff with two triangles and a circular section through which he looks to see the futures." (Burdland:102) [Tom Cryer, Visual Sermons, pp. 68-69]

 

Ether 3:24 These (two) stones shall magnify to the eyes of men these things (Illustration): Artist's conception of the Divine Spectacles of the Urim and Thummim; Star of David, Capernaum, Israel; Mayan Star of David, Copan, Honduras [Tom Cryer, Visual Sermons, pp. 68-69]

 

Ether 3:24 These (two) stones shall magnify to the eyes of men these things (Illustration): Various Concepts of the Urim and Thummim and the Breastplate. Various concepts which have been advanced regarding the possible appearance of the Urim and Thummim, and the Breastplate. Figure 23. Various Mesoamerican sculptures appearing to involve spectacles. [Glenn A. Scott, Voices from the Dust, p. 124]

 

Ether 3:25 [The Lord] Showed unto the Brother of Jared All the Inhabitants of the Earth Which Had Been, and Also All That Would Be:

 

     The idea of a heavenly being showing a mortal "all the inhabitants of the earth" (Ether 3:25) is not without precedent. Midrash Rabbah Exodus 40:2 notes that as Moses was about to descend from the mountain, God "brought him the book of Adam and showed him all generations that would arise from Creation to Resurrection, each generation and its kings, its leaders, and prophets."85

     Terrance Szink, of the Department of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University, suggests that Moses also received the urim and thummim with the records on Mount Sinai. The sacred oracle, first mentioned in Exodus 28:30 appears in such a way as to hint that it already existed before the high priestly clothing with which it became associated was made.

     Szink also suggests that the tables of stone given to Moses on the mountain may not have been prepared by God at that time but may have been hidden there earlier, under the Lord's direction, by a prophet charged with protecting the ancient records.86 The fact that the two tables had been "written with the finger of God" (see Exodus 31:18: 32:15-16; compare Deuteronomy 4:13; 5:22; 9:9-11) does not mean that he wrote them at the time that he spoke with Moses on the mount. After Moses broke the two tables (see Exodus 323:19; Deuteronomy 9:15-17), the Lord did not simply write up another set but had Moses prepare the new tables (see Exodus 34:1,4). Moses then spent forty days with the Lord, during which time the prophet, not the Lord, wrote on the tables (see Exodus 34:28-29). [John Tvedtnes, The Book of Mormon and Other Hidden Books: Out of Darkness unto Light, pp. 129-131] [See the commentary on 1 Nephi 14:26; 2 Nephi 27:7]

 

Ether 3:25 He Showed unto the Brother of Jared All the Inhabitants of the Earth Which Had Been, and Also All That Would Be:

 

     Monte Nyman notes that both Moroni and Nephi commented on the contents of the sealed part of the plates; they both gave similar testimonies that supplement each other. Nephi, quoting Isaiah, said that the sealed portion contained "a revelation from God, from the beginning of the world to the ending thereof" (2 Nephi 27:7; see v. 10). Moroni described the sealed portion more specifically, saying it contained the vision shown unto the brother of Jared of "all the inhabitants of the earth which had been, and also all that would be . . . unto the ends of the earth" (Ether 3:25). Thus the sealed portion will establish once and for all that God does know all things from the beginning and has revealed them periodically to his prophets so that the people will not give credit to idols or men for his great works on the earth (see 1 Nephi 19:23; 20:3-7; Isaiah 48:3-7). [Monte S. Nyman, "Other Ancient American Records Yet to Come Forth," in Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, vol. 10, num. 1, 2001, pp. 57,58]