Talk:Alma 37:1-47

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Verse 37:23: Gazelem[edit]

I found the quote on "Gazelem" interesting. Is there a link or a source someone can provide to back this up? --Matthew Faulconer 07:06, 11 Dec 2005 (UTC)

Here are some cross-references from Al Case's website here:

Gazelem. I don't know the interpretation of this word. It appears to be used as a title or name-type. Such names were substituted in modern revelations to hide the identities of various Church leaders until it was safe to reveal who the revelations were speaking of, (then the real names were added in brackets in later publishings). (See D&C 104:20-34, etc., for an example.) I cite this because the name "Gazelem" was the name used for the identity of Joseph Smith. (See D&C 78:9; D&C 82:11; and D&C 104:26, D&C 104:43, and D&C 104:45-46.)

I'm guessing we'd have to find an historical D&C to see Gazelem in these verses....

Here a clip from Bryan Richard's website:

This reference to Gazelem is confusing. If he is a prophet, contemporary to the early Nephites, who was given a Urim and Thummim, then there must have been two sets of interpreters among them. The other set of interpreters were the ones given to the Brother of Jared. They were later buried with the plates and used to translate the Book of Mormon (See Ether 3:23; D&C 17:1). Another possibility is that Gazelem is not a proper name but a title for a seer. Thirdly, the name may be a reference to Joseph Smith, who was referred to in the D&C as Gazelam when code names were used to conceal the identity of those referred to in the revelations. The following quotes are helpful.
  • “The word Gazelem appears to have its roots in Gaz - a stone and Aleim, a name of God as a revelator or interposer in the affairs of men. If this suggestion be correct, its roots admirably agree with its apparent meaning-a seer.” (George Reynolds, A Dictionary of the Book of Mormon, p. 92)
  • “This may well be a play on words. Is Gazelem the seer stone or the servant? It is difficult to tell from the passage and depends very much on the placement of a comma in the sentence. Perhaps it could refer to both. It is interesting to note that when Jesus called Simon Peter to the ministry he said: ‘Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is, by interpretation, a seer, or a stone’ (JST, John 1:42). Though this name or title of Gazelem may be used in regard to any seer who utilizes seer stones, it seems in this instance to be a direct reference to Joseph Smith the Prophet.” (McConkie and Millet, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, vol. 3, p. 278)
  • Bruce R. McConkie:
“Strange and unusual names were placed by the Prophet in some of the early revelations so that the individuals whom the Lord was then addressing would not be known to the world. The purpose for keeping these identities secret from their enemies having long since passed, the true names are now found in the Doctrine and Covenants.
“Two of the names which identified the Prophet himself were Gazelam and Enoch. (D&C 78:9; D&C 82:11; D&C 104:26, D&C 104:43, D&C 104:45, D&C 104:46.) Presumptively these and other names used at the same time have particular meanings, which are not now known to us.
“With reference to the name Gazelam, it is interesting to note that Alma in directing Helaman to preserve both the Urim and Thummim and the plates containing the Book of Ether, says that such record will be brought to light by the Lord's servant Gazelem, who will use ‘a stone’ in his translation work. (Alma 37:21-23.) It may be that Gazelem is a variant spelling of Gazelam and that Alma's reference is to the Prophet Joseph Smith who did in fact bring forth part at least of the Ether record. Or it could be that the name Gazelem (Gazelam) is a title having to do with power to translate ancient records and that Alma's reference was to some Nephite prophet who brought the Book of Ether to light in the golden era of Nephite history.” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 307-8)

--RobertC 12:00, 19 Dec 2005 (UTC)

bringing to light secret works[edit]

It may be that there really ins't any interesting answer to my question--that the Lord was saying it is important that their secret works be brought into light but he meant it only in a general sense and then Alma is telling Helaman that the particulars of the oaths and secrets should not be shared because they can corrupt people. I feel like though that there may be something more interesting going on here. I'm just not sure what. --Matthew Faulconer 08:06, 14 Mar 2006 (UTC)

Matthew, I think this is a great question. However, I think it is more relevant to verse 21 since that's the only verse that mentions manifesting the secret works "unto this people". I think the other verses only mentions the Lord discovering the secret works. This difference seems to help your general works vs. specifics oaths distinction, which I think makes sense. --RobertC 12:25, 14 Mar 2006 (UTC)

Verses 37:11-15[edit]

Rob, I took out "latter-day" in the phrase "latter-day scriptures" because when I read the lexical note, to me the implication was that maybe there were other cases of "one eternal round" in the scriptures even though it only occurred 4 times in latter-day scripture. When I checked though I didn't find any other occurrances of this phrase. Maybe you want to emphasize that this is only in Latter-day scripture. In that case maybe you could add something back in like that.

--Matthew Faulconer 04:54, 16 Nov 2005 (UTC)

PS I found the one eternal round stuff kind of interesting. Still not sure I have a good idea of what it means. In my mind the phrase means something like God's plans all fit together perfectly. Not sure where I am getting this from though so I didn't put this on the commentary page.

Verse 37:38: Liahona[edit]

This interesting word is Hebrew with an Egyptian ending. It is the name which Lehi gave to the ball or director he found outside his tent…L is a Hebrew preposition meaning ‘to,’ and sometimes used to express the possessive case. ‘Iah’ is a Hebrew abbreviated form of ‘Jehovah,’ common in Hebrew names. ‘On’ is the Hebew name of the Egyptian ‘City of the sun’…L-iah-on means, therefore, literally, ‘To God is Light’; or ‘of God is Light.’ That is to say, God gives light, as does the Sun. The final ‘a’ reminds us that the Egyptian form of the Hebrew name ‘On’ is ‘Annu’, and this seems to be the form Lehi used.” (G. Reynolds and J. Sjodahl, Commentary on the Book of Mormon)