Please know that the ideas
presented below are completely mine, and thus could be completely wrong.I present them only as interesting ideas, and
certainly not asverified truth.As I have
studied the Book of Mormon, I have noticed several verses in the book that seem
to have ‘typographical’ errors, or engraving errors, contained in them.I have coined the term ‘engravo’ for these
interesting phrases.In these verses, it
appears that the man engraving the plates intended to say one thing but
inadvertently or accidentally engraved something else.How does one erase or change an error when
engraving on metal plates?Rather than
try to pound out the mistake and re-engrave the phrase (which perhaps would
have weakened the metal plate or made other words illegible), it appears that
the engravers chose to add an explanatory phrase and continue with the intended
message.Some of the explanatory or
transitional phrases, as translated into English, include, “or”, “I would speak
in other words”, “rather”, and “or rather”.In the scriptures listed below, I have CAPITALIZED the parts of the
verse that seem to identify the possible engraving error.If you have noticed other ‘engravos’ in the
Book of Mormon that I do not have listed below, please share them with me at email@example.com and I will add them
to the list, with an acknowledgment of you as the contributor.
1 Nephi 19:4 -- “Wherefore, I, Nephi, did make a
record upon the other plates, which gives an account , OR WHICH GIVES A
GREATER ACCOUNT of the wars and contentions and destructions of my
people.”Possibly, Nephi did not
want to give the impression that the record on the other plates was the only account of the wars and contentions of
his people, so he re-stated the thought by referring to it as a greater account.
Nephi 19:7 -- “Yea, even the very God of Israel
do men trample under their feet; I say, trample under their feet BUT I
WOULD SPEAK IN OTHER WORDS - they set him at naught…”Nephi apparently wasn’t totally satisfied with the phrase ‘trample under their feet’ after he
engraved it on the plates. He therefore inscribed a transitional phrase
and stated the phrase he desired.
-- “…even so if ye shall keep the commandments of my
son, OR THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD WHICH SHALL BE DELIVERED UNTO YOU BY HIM,
ye shall prosper in the land…”It
was the commandments of God, not the
commandments of his son Mosiah, that king
Benjamin wanted the people to keep.
7:8 -- “…and they [Ammon and his brethren] stood
before the king, and were permitted, OR RATHER COMMANDED, that they should
answer the questions which he should ask them.”The engraver apparently realized that ‘permitted’ was not
the correct word, it being too polite and accommodating.They were ‘commanded’ to
answer, implying compulsion and control by their captors.
“…and they carried him [Nehor] upon the top of the hill Manti, and there
he was caused, OR RATHER DID ACKNOWLEDGE, … that what he had taught to the
people was contrary to the word of God;…”It seems quite apparent that the engraver of this verse engraved
the word ‘caused’ and then realized that this word would convey the wrong
message.There is a big difference
between ‘being caused to’ and openly ‘acknowledging’.The
explanatory phrase ‘or rather did acknowledge’ makes it clear that Nehor readily admitted he
had lied to the people and that no one forced a confession from him.
“And thus ended the words of Amulek, OR THIS IS ALL THAT I HAVE
WRITTEN.”Amulek obviously didn’t
quite speaking and preaching after his wonderful discourse in this
chapter, which could have been implied from the words ‘and thus ended the
words of Amulek’.The additional
phrase ‘or this is all that I have written’ eliminates the possibility of misinterpretation.
Alma--“…placing themselves [our first parents] in a
state to act, OR BEING PLACED IN A STATE TO ACT ACCORDING TO THEIR WILLS
AND PLEASURE…”The engraver’s
explanatory phrase makes it clear that God
placed our first parents in a state to
act, that they did not have the power to place themselves in that
13:16 -- “…that thereby the people might look
forward on the Son of God, it being a type of his order, OR IT BEING HIS
ORDER, and this that they might look forward…”It appears the engraver wanted to amend
his statement concerning ‘a type’ of Christ’s order, and state that it was actually HIS order, and not
just ‘a type’ of his order!
“… and he doth suffer that they many do this thing, OR THAT THE PEOPLE MAY
DO THIS THING UNTO THEM,…”Without
theexplanatory phrase, there would
have been confusion as to whom the
pronoun ‘they’ was referring to.
“Now Ammon being the chief among them, OR RATHER HE DID ADMINISTER UNTO
THEM, and he departed from them…”It appears that the engraver did not want to give the impression
that Ammon held a higher position or status than the other missionaries,
so the initial idea of ‘chief among them’ was modified by the additional phrase ‘ratherhe did administer unto them”.
“…for, said he [Ammon], I will show forth my power unto these my
fellow-servants, OR THE POWER WHICH IS IN ME, in restoring these
flocks…”Apparently, the engraver
wanted to clarify that is was not Ammon’s own power
that restored the flocks, but the power which had been granted unto him by
the Lord.Hence, the explanatory
phrase ‘or the power which is in me’.
Alma 24:19 -- “…and thus we see that they buried their weapons
of peace, OR THEY BURIED THE WEAPONS OF WAR, for peace.”This is one of my favorite engravos in
the Book of Mormon.It seems clear
that the engraver had a momentary lapse of concentration and engraved the
word ‘peace’ when he meant to engrave ‘war’.His explanatory correction makes his
meaning clear, but also accentuates the ‘engravo’.
Alma 26:28 -- “…we have traveled from house to house, relying
upon the mercies of the world -- NOT UPON THE MERCIES OF THE WORLD ALONE
BUT UPON THE MERCIES OF GOD.”It
would not have been consistent with the teachings of the Book of Mormon to
state that these missionaries had relied upon the mercies of the world.Their reliance upon the mercies of God had
to be added in an explanatory phrase.
30:9 -- “Now if a man desired to serve God, it
was his privilege; OR RATHER, IF HE BELIEVED IN GOD IT WAS HIS
PRIVILEGETO SERVE HIM;…”The engraver apparently didn’t convey
his desired thought well in the first phrase.A rearranging
of the words in the second phrase make
the desired thought clear.
Alma 39:6 -- “…it is not easy for him to obtain forgiveness;
yea…it is not easy to OBTAIN A FORGIVENESS.”This might not be an engravo, but it
appears the engraver felt it was important to make a distinction between obtaining forgiveness
and obtaining A forgiveness.
40:2 -- “…there
is no resurrection - OR, I WOULD SAY, IN OTHER WORDS, that this mortal
does not put on immortality, this corruption does not put on
incorruption- until after the
coming of Christ.The clarifying statement
which adds emphasis to the meaning of resurrection is fairly obvious in
43:38 -- “While on the other hand, there was now
and then a man fell among the Nephites, by their swords and the loss of
blood, they being shielded from the more vital parts of the body, OR THE
MORE VITAL PARTS OF THE BODY BEING SHIELDED FROM THE STROKES OF THE
LAMANITES, by their breastplates, …”This is one of the classic engravos in the Book of Mormon.It appears the engraver engraved a
phrase that made no sense (“…they being shielded from the more vital parts
of the body…”) and needed to add a fairly long phrase to correct the error
in the first phrase.
Alma 50:32 -- “Now behold, the people who were in
the land Bountiful,
OR RATHER MORONI, feared that they would hearken to the words of Morianton…”This is another classic engravo.The engraver simply engraved the wrong
place, and corrected the misprint with an additional phrase.
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