Part 12: Ether 1-7
The introduction to this series on internal consistency in the Book of Mormon is found in part 1 here.
This part covers the Book of Ether. The history of the Jaredite plates have already resulted in references from other books to Ether (see items 21 and 44 in previous parts of this series). This part contains more examples of links to other books as well as perhaps the most complex example of internal consistency (item 95).
94. Ether 1:3 and Mosiah 28:17 — the contents of the Jaredite record
In Ether 1:3, Moroni tells us that the first part of the Jaredite record “speaks concerning the creation of the world, and also of Adam, and an account from that time even to the great tower.” This was also described in Mosiah 28:17
17 Now after Mosiah had finished translating these records, behold, it gave an account of the people who were destroyed, from the time that they were destroyed back to the building of the great tower, at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people and they were scattered abroad upon the face of all the earth, yea, and even from that time back until the creation of Adam.
95. Ether 1:6-32 and Ether 6-11 — Thirty Jaredite Kings
This item is pretty remarkable as a standalone example of internal consistency. In Ether 1:6-32 we are given the genealogy of the Jaredite kings. Later, in Ether 6-11, we get a more detailed account of all these people in reverse order, since the genealogy started from last (Ether) and went to the first (Jared). All are included in the text and it is 100% consistent with the genealogy given in Ether 1. In addition, other Jaredite and non-Jaredite names are given in the text between the mention of ten of the kings. Non-Jaredite individuals are only mentioned in the five places in the narrative where Moroni breaks from the Jaredite history. In fact, aside from the visionary experience of the brother of Jared, Christ is only mentioned in these interjections. The only possible inconsistency in all of this is a variant spelling of the name “Shiblon/Shiblom” in Ether 1:11-12 and Ether 11:4-9. Of course, this “error” could easily be explained by a later transcription error that was not caught, which begs the question of why an error like this would not have been caught had the dictation been created from carefully prepared notes.
Below is a table which lists the name of the Jaredite king in the left-most column, followed by a list of “mingling names” which appear between the first mention of that king and the next king, the number of “mingling names” associated with that king, and a list of Moroni’s five interjections in the right hand column. “Mingling names” which appear in the interjections are listed in italics.
|Name (Reference)||“Mingling names”||# of “mingling names”||Interjections from Moroni|
|Jared (1:6-33)||“Brother of Jared”, Nimrod,
Moriancumer, Shelem, Moroni, Mosiah,
Israel, John, Gilgah, Mahah, Orihah, Pagag
|12||(2:9-12); (3:17-20); (3:25-6:1):|
|Orihah (6:14, 27, 30; 7:1-2)||0|
|Kib (7:3)||Corihor, Nehor, Moron, Jared, Shule||5|
|Shule (7:7-27;8:1)||Ephraim, Nehor, Kib, Noah, Moron,
Cohor, Nimrod, Omer
|Omer (8:1; 9:1-14)||Jared, Heth, Esrom, Coriantumr,
“daughter of Jared”, Akish, Kimnor, Cain, Shim, Ablom, Nimrah, Emer
|Shez (10:1-4)||Shez (his son)||1|
|Com (10:31-34; 11:1-3)||Amgid||0|
|Shiblon/m** (11:4-9)||“Brother of Shiblom”||1|
|Moron (11:14-18)||“Descendant of the brother of Jared”||1|
|Ether* (11:23; 12-15)||Coriantumr, Moroni, Moses, Alma,
Amulek, Nephi, Lehi, Ammon, three
disciples, “brother of Jared”, Zerin, Israel,
Joseph, Abraham, Cohor, Corihor, Shared,
Gilgal, Heshlon, Akish, Moron, Lib, Agosh,
Shiz, Shurr, Comnor, Ogath, Ramah,
* Chapter 1 states this person was a descendant of the previous name.
** Notice that Ether 1 mentions “Shiblon” and Ether 11 mentions “Shiblom.”
Note that names in italics in the second column from the left are found in Moroni’s interjections.
96. Ether 4:3 and Mormon 6:6 — “hide them up again in the earth”
In Ether 4:3
1 And the Lord commanded the brother of Jared to go down out of the mount from the presence of the Lord, and write the things which he had seen; and they were forbidden to come unto the children of men until after that he should be lifted up upon the cross; and for this cause did king Mosiah keep them, that they should not come unto the world until after Christ should show himself unto his people.
2 And after Christ truly had showed himself unto his people he commanded that they should be made manifest.
3 And now, after that, they have all dwindled in unbelief; and there is none save it be the Lamanites, and they have rejected the gospel of Christ; therefore I am commanded that I should hide them up again in the earth.
“them” in the bold part is referring to the record of the vision of the brother of Jared. It can either mean the 24 plates that were found by the people of Limhi and later brought to Mosiah or it can refer to Mosiah’s translation of them. Even though verse 1 says that Mosiah kept them, there is no reason to believe that he buried them in the earth. But the “again” indicates that they have been hidden in the earth at some point before. When?
The answer is found in Mormon 6:6
knowing it to be the last struggle of my people, and having been commanded of the Lord that I should not suffer the records which had been handed down by our fathers, which were sacred, to fall into the hands of the Lamanites, (for the Lamanites would destroy them) therefore I made this record out of the plates of Nephi, and hid up in the hill Cumorah all the records which had been entrusted to me by the hand of the Lord, save it were these few plates which I gave unto my son Moroni.
The “few plates” that he gave to Moroni were the plates of Mormon. The Jaredite plates and Mosiah’s translation were most likely among the plates that Mormon hid in the hill Cumorah. So they had indeed been hidden in the earth once before.
97. Ether 7:5 and Ether 14:6 — “the land of Moron”
Ether 7:5 talks about
the land of Moron where the king dwelt.
This is the only mention of the land of Moron before Ether 14. Apparently, this is the capital where the king lives. In Ether 14:6 the land of Moron is mentioned for the second time:
And he came forth to the land of Moron, and placed himself upon the throne.
This is consistent with the brief description of Moron seven chapters earlier.
End of Part 12
As we finish up part twelve, let’s take a look at our updated arc diagram below. Each arc represents a detail that would need to be recalled by the author during the course of the dictation.
Jeff Markham has been an avid student of the Book of Mormon his entire life. He recently joined the FairMormon group. He has practiced radiology in the Dallas, Texas area since 2011, having obtained his undergraduate education at Brigham Young University (B.S. in 2000), a medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA (M.D. 2005), and post-graduate training in diagnostic radiology and neuroradiology at University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, TX. He served as a full-time missionary in the Germany Hamburg Mission from 1996-1998. His favorite callings include teaching primary and early morning seminary. He lives in the Dallas area with his wife and children. He blogs at BookofMormonNotes.com.