Site talk:SS lessons/DC lesson 5
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you must study it out in your mind--study what out?
Hi Janet, Related to your question on vv 8-9, let me see if I'm following. We could say there are two ways of reading these verses. Under the standard interpretation Oliver should have asked and then make a good effort to translate on his own. Had he done this he would have been able to. But instead he just asked and was waiting for the Lord to give him the translation. The problem w/ this interpretation is that it is hard to know what Oliver would have studied out in his mind. If he knew a little bit of reformed egyptiant that would have been one thing but if he didn't know anything what is it that the Lord is instructing him to do?
Under another reading (suggested by your question) maybe Oliver was supposed to study out in his mind whether it was the Lord's will that he translate. Is that what you mean? This interpretation seems to almost have the same issue--it is hard to know what it means to study out in one's mind what is the Lord's will. How would we know except that he tells us?
In a separate e-mail you said (I hope you don't mind me quoting your e-mail) "I wonder if the Lord was telling Oliver that he needed to ask Him if it was His will that he translate instead of just asking Joseph for permission." The problem I think with this interpretation is that verse 7 tells us that he did ask the Lord, not just Joseph. Of course, it could come down to the way he asked the Lord.
But interestingly...all 3 of these interpretations vv 7 & 8 seem not to work as well in their context as they do in the way we typically apply them. There's something odd about a scripture that makes a lot more sense when you don't read it in context :) It certainly suggests there's something more going on here than we would usually think. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. how interesting.
Any other thoughts on this?
--Matthew Faulconer 06:59, 16 December 2008 (CET)
Thanks Matthew. I found this statement that Oliver never did use the Urim and Thummin. So, if this is true, how was he ever to translate? Here is the quote: Josiah Jones "History," Evangelist 9 (1841), Pg.134 "A few days after these men appeared again, a few of us went to see them and [Oliver] Cowdery was requested to state how the plates were found, which he did. He stated that Smith looked into or through the transparent stones [Urim and Thummim] to translate what was on the plates. I then asked him if he had ever looked through the stones to see what he could see in them; his reply was that he was not permitted to look into them. I asked him who debarred him from looking into them; he remained sometime in silence, then said that he had so much confidence in his friend Smith, who told him that he must not look into them, that he did not presume to do so lest he should tempt God and be struck dead." --Janet Lisonbee 12/17/08
Perhaps Oliver was to use the rod of Aaron, his "gift", as mentioned in Section 8, verses 6-11. For "behold it has told you many things" and "whatsoever you shall ask me by that means, that I will grant unto you, and you shall have knowledge concerning it" and "ask that you may know the mysteries of God, and that you may translate and receive knowledge from all those ancient records which have been hid up, that are sacred; and according to your faith shall it be done unto you." I believe that is the means by which Oliver attempted to translate and it appears that he had previous experience with it, so it makes sense that it would be his instrument to use to translate. --Janet Lisonbee 12/18/08
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