Words of Mormon issues

Jerry Grover outlines the different approaches to the Words of Mormon in his discussion of his translation of the "caractors" document. Setting aside his assumptions about that translation, he provides a useful overview of the various interpretations of Words of Mormon.


The following excerpt starts on page 12. Original in blue, my comments in red.

Since the Caractors Document script is not found anywhere in the current Book of Mormon, the only other possibilities are the lost 116 pages or a portion of the plates that were not translated. 

[Jerry writes this as a fact, but it's his assumption. Based on Jerry's translation, this is a sound conclusion. However, others have proposed translations of the Caractors document that correspond to portions of the text we have. I don't have any comments on Jerry's translation per se.]

A likely location for at least the second section of the Caractors Document is the part of the untranslated portion of the remainder of Mormon’s record. 

In Words of Mormon, Mormon initially indicates that he was at the point that he was about to deliver up the record that he had been making for his son Moroni (Words of Mormon 1:1–2). He also notes the point in time in the verse—namely, that he had already witnessed “almost all the destruction of my people, the Nephites.”   

This point in time really could fit only two potential times: (1) the point in time just before the final battle, sometime between AD 380 and 384, or (2) the point in time after the final battle and prior to Mormon’s death where there were a few Nephite survivors (Mormon 6:15; 8:2–3), sometime between AD 384 and 400 (Mormon 8:6). The second point in time is the most likely, since it better fits the description of “almost all the destruction of my people.” 

[I agree with Jerry here. Another consideration: Mormon had access to all the Nephite records in the repository, which he says he moved to Cumorah circa 384. Mormon says he "began to be old... therefore I made this record out of the plates of Nephi" (Mormon 6:6). This suggests he didn't start abridging the record until after the battle at Cumorah, so Jerry's preferred time frame makes sense.]

In addition, the Caractors Document includes the date of AD 384, so it would have to have been written post AD 384 if it was part of any record created by Mormon. 

[Again, this is Jerry's translation, not a fact. I won't keep reminding readers of that, but keep it in mind.]

In Words of Mormon, Mormon then mentions that at the point in time that his abridgement reached “down to the reign of king Benjamin,” he then “searched among the records” “that had been delivered into his hands” and located a “small account of the prophets” and also “many of the words of Nephi” (Words of Mormon 1:3). 

It is clear that he did not use the “small account” in his abridgement. 

[I think Jerry means Mormon did not use the small account in his abridgment of the records up to the reign of King Benjamin, because Mormon says he searched among the records at that point. In my view (as explained below), he was searching for material regarding that time frame and he used the "small account" to guide his subsequent abridgment.]

We know that Mormon obtained the large plates of Nephi when he was twenty-four years of age (Mormon 1:3) in approximately AD 335. 

[Ammaron had given a prospective commandment. Even if Mormon fulfilled it on time, he was not commanded to abridge the records but instead to engrave "all the things that ye have observed concerning this people" (Mormon 1:3)]

He indicated that he did not get the rest of the records until sometime after AD 375 and before AD 379, based on allowing some time for intervening battles, it was likely AD 377 (Mormon 4:16, 23; 5:5). 

Thus, we can tell that Mormon completed his abridgement “down to king Benjamin” prior to AD 377. He could not have included any unique material from the “small account” (aka small plates) in his abridgement because he did not have the record up to that point in time. 

[This conclusion doesn't follow from the text. While it's true that in Mormon 4:23 he says he took the records from the hill Shim, he was engaged in active warfare and said nothing about abridging records until Mormon 6:6, after he "began to be old" as discussed above.]

It also tells us that he completed the balance of the abridgement from Mosiah sometime during the period of AD 377 to AD 384. 

[Again, that doesn't follow from the text.]

Continuing in the Words of Mormon, after noting the small account contained the records of prophets and also words of Nephi, he indicates in the present tense that the plates were “pleasing” to him because of the “prophecies of the coming of Christ,” and of the prophecies concerning “us down to this day have been fulfilled, and as many as go beyond this day must surely come to pass” (Words of Mormon 1:3–4). 

The next set of verses indicate that Mormon is going to create a “remainder of my record” and place it with the small plates: Words of Mormon 1: 5–6, 9 

5 Wherefore, I chose these things, to finish my record upon them, which remainder of my record I shall take from the plates of Nephi; and I cannot write the hundredth part of the things of my people. 

6 But behold, I shall take these plates, which contain these prophesyings and revelations, and put them with the remainder of my record, for they are choice unto me; and I know they will be choice unto my brethren. 

9 And now I, Mormon, proceed to finish out my record, which I take from the plates of Nephi; and I make it according to the knowledge and the understanding which God has given me. 

It is first necessary to look at the phrase “I chose these things, to finish my record upon them.” The 1981 version of the Book of Mormon has a footnote here that indicates “IE the things pleasing to him, mentioned in v. 4.” 

Others have interpreted this to mean that Mormon finished his record on some additional space available on the small plates or added additional plates (Ricks 1990). It is possible that both interpretations may be accommodated. 

[I agree both interpretations can work. I suggest that Mormon also meant that he would finish his abridgment (King Benjamin forward) by basing it on the small plates (finish my record based upon them), using them as an outline to show how the prophecies were fulfilled.]  

It seems clear that the first interpretation of Mormon’s concentration on prophets and prophecy as the remainder of his record is textually present through the rest of the Words of Mormon, since verses 12–18 describe king Benjamin as a “holy man” who used the sacred relic sword of Laban invoking the “strength of the lord.” These few verses discuss false Christs and false prophets and “holy prophets” who assisted king Benjamin in preaching and establishing peace in the land. 

Because the lost 116 pages of manuscript ended at the start of the Book of Mosiah, which follows the Words of Mormon, there have been various theories as to where verses 12–18 come from, since they seem to match nearly exactly chronologically and segue into the first verses in the Book of Mosiah, where one would not seem to expect a seamless transition. 

Lyon and Minson (2012) propose that these verses are, in fact, part of the Book of Mosiah and not the Words of Mormon, asserting that after the 116 pages were lost, these verses were not part of the 116 pages and were still retained by Joseph Smith. Their analysis relies primarily on the chapter notations provided by Oliver Cowdery in the Printer’s Manuscript and on Doctrine and Covenants section 10 where the Lord instructed Joseph that “You shall translate the engravings which are on the [small] plates of Nephi, down even till you come to the reign of king Benjamin, or until you come to that which you have translated, which you have retained.” 

While this theory remains a possibility, the chapter notations have other reasonable constructions that do not support the necessity of this theory (Gardner 2013). 

In addition, while Lyon and Minson apparently ignore it and Gardner does not mention it, the reliance on the interpretation of Doctrine and Covenants section 10 as meaning that the portion which was translated and “retained” must refer to a residual portion of the lost 116 pages misses the most reasonable interpretation of section 10. 

[While this is an alternative interpretation, whether it is "most reasonable" is a subjective judgment.]

Section 10 was received in May of 1829; the translation of the Book of Mormon had resumed April 7, 1829 (Bradley 2018). The most reasonable interpretation of section 10 is that the translation they were retaining is what they were currently working on and had completed. 

[While this is a plausible interpretation, I don't agree this is the most reasonable interpretation. Here is the passage: "Therefore, you shall translate the engravings which are on the plates of Nephi, down even till you come to the reign of king Benjamin, or until you come to that which you have translated, which you have retained.(Doctrine and Covenants 10:41)

In my view, the clause "which you have retained" is superfluous unless the verse is linked to something Joseph had translated but didn't retain; i.e., the 116 pages. 

It seems axiomatic that Joseph and Oliver had the complete manuscript that Joseph translated after he received back the plates and the Urim and Thummim in the fall of 1828. "Retain" connotes keeping back, not parting with, to keep from parting, etc. Thus, it is linked to something that was not retained.  

Despite Bradley 2018, the heading to Section 10 says it was received "likely around April 1829, although portions may have been received as early as the summer of 1828." Nevertheless, I agree with Bradley 2018 that at least verses 29 forward were likely received after Joseph and Oliver had completed the translation of the abridged plates and they thought they should go back and start at the beginning to retranslate the Book of Lehi. (I also think Section 10 answers the question raised by D&C 9:2; i.e., they didn't have the small plates of Nephi when they were in Harmony.) 

In response to the plan to retranslate the Book of Lehi, verse 30 says "Behold, I say unto you, that you shall not translate again those words which have gone forth out of your hands." Now we see what words Joseph had translated which he had not retained.

The verses leading up to verse 41 continue to focus on the lost 116 pages. 

38 And now, verily I say unto you, that an account of those things that you have written, which have gone out of your hands, is engraven upon the plates of Nephi;

 39 Yea, and you remember it was said in those writings that a more particular account was given of these things upon the plates of Nephi.

40 And now, because the account which is engraven upon the plates of Nephi is more particular concerning the things which, in my wisdom, I would bring to the knowledge of the people in this account— 

41 Therefore, you shall translate the engravings which are on the plates of Nephi, down even till you come to the reign of king Benjamin, or until you come to that which you have translated, which you have retained(Doctrine and Covenants 10:38–41)

Because Joseph never lost, gave away, or misplaced the material he translated starting in the fall of 1828, whatever he "retained" presumably came from his earlier translation in the spring of 1828; i.e., the part he retained when Martin Harris took the 116 pages.]

The language in Doctrine and Covenants section 10 does seem to imply that the small plates and the Words of Mormon had a text that went beyond king Benjamin; otherwise it would seem that it would have said to just translate everything instead of stopping at a certain point in time. 

[Good point. Except Amaleki said the plates were full (Omni 1:30). More likely, verse 41 is just a sort of parallelism; i.e., "come to the reign of king Benjamin" is the same thing as "to that which ye have translated, which you have retained."]

Unlike Lyon and Minson, Gardner’s position is that verses 12–18 (also verses 9–11) of the Words of Mormon are not from the original plates but is an inspired bridge from the actual Words of Mormon provided by inspiration by Joseph Smith, perhaps recognizing elements of the lost 116 pages. 

[FWIW, I have agreed with Gardner regarding verses 12-18 in the past, but now I lean more toward only verse 12 being a bridge by Joseph, with verses 13-18 being part of Mormon's abridgment of Mosiah (the part Joseph retained from Mosiah 1-2).]

In my view, this simply isn’t the way Mormon would have written this information. Mormon’s descriptions of events do not have this level of terseness until 4 Nephi, which I argue has a different structural intent than other writings, and one that does not apply to these verses. 

[We don't know how much source material Mormon had to work with regarding these events. Maybe it was the paucity of source material that led Mormon to search the records when he found the small plates of Nephi. Just as Amaleki and his immediate predecessors wrote so little, maybe the keepers of the large plates were also relatively cursory record keepers during this time period. For all we know, Mormon may have quoted verbatim from the original annals here; i.e., he couldn't write the detail he would have otherwise done because it simply wasn't available. The original record keeper might have been preoccupied in the wars, or might have been in a hurry to get to King Benjamin's address.]

These verses describe nothing short of the crucial events that led up to Benjamin’s speech. They deal with an external war with the Lamanites, an internal civil war, and a religious crisis. Compare the treatment in this synopsis with similar topics in the book of Alma. These are things that Mormon cares about deeply. They are an important part of the story of the struggle of faith that he is building. 

[It's not only a question of what Mormon was interested in, but also a question of how much source material Mormon had to work with.]

I suggest that it is so completely incongruous for Mormon to have written this synopsis that we must look to another source. 

This is a synopsis of material that should have been in the missing text from the beginning of Mosiah. It is not the way Mormon wrote about those topics. It is not the way Mormon closed chapters. 

If we are looking at textual evidence, the evidence of how Mormon constructed his chapters argues against his authorship of these verses. 

[Again, in the preceding three sentences Jerry is assuming that Mormon had plenty of source material, a fact not in evidence.]

There is another possibility that seems to have been missed, and that is that the “remainder of Mormon’s record” is what he says it is, a concentrated and likely relatively brief recounting of prophetic and revelatory events. Mormon says that he is relying on the large plates of Nephi to write this remainder. He cannot be referring to the Book of Mormon abridgement that he had already completed and was turning over to Moroni, since that was already done. The Words of Mormon are this “remainder record” (or at least the first portion). 

[This is a useful working hypothesis, but it doesn't explain what happened to the rest of Mormon's hypothetical "remainder record." Perhaps Joseph didn't translate the rest because it proceeded past the reign of Benjamin, meaning past the part he had already translated that he had retained? But why would Mormon write a "remainder record" at the end of the plates of Nephi that extends beyond the content of the plates of Nephi? That doesn't seem plausible to me.

Moreover, contrary to Jerry's assumption here, I think Mormon had not completed his abridgement when he found these small plates. He said "I searched among the records which had been delivered into my hands, and I found these plates." (WofM 1:3) It wouldn't make sense for him to be searching among the records if he had already finished his abridgement. I think he was looking for material to complete his abridgment when he found the small plates and, having read them, he chose them to "finish my record upon them" (WofM 1:5), not physically upon the small plates themselves (which were full according to Amaleki) but to use the small plates as a guide to showing how the prophecies were fulfilled.] 

Features supportive of this possibility are (1) it is concentrating on prophets or prophetic material as previously discussed; (2) Gardner points out that the Words of Mormon do not end the way that Mormon typically ends chapters (I would add that it certainly doesn’t end in the way that Book of Mormon books end); and (3) the language of D&C section 10 indicates they are to translate only to a certain point in the record. 

This is the language used at the end of each book in the Book of Mormon: 

1 Nephi: “And thus it is. Amen.” 

2 Nephi: “For what I seal on earth, shall be brought against you at the judgment bar; for thus hath the Lord commanded me, and I must obey. Amen.” 

Jacob: “Brethren, adieu.” 

Enos: “Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father. Amen.” 

Jarom: “And I deliver these plates into the hands of my son Omni, that they may be kept according to the commandments of my fathers.” 

Omni: “And I make an end of my speaking.” 

Mosiah: “And thus ended the reign of the kings over the people of Nephi; and thus ended the days of Alma, who was the founder of their church.” 

Alma: “And thus ended the account of Alma, and Helaman1 his son, and also Shiblon, who was his son.” 

Helaman: “And thus ended the book of Helaman, according to the record of Helaman and his sons.” 

3 Nephi: “Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and  deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel.” 

4 Nephi: “And thus is the end of the record of Ammaron.” 

Mormon: “And may the Lord Jesus Christ grant that their prayers may be answered according to their faith; and may God the Father remember the covenant which he hath made with the house of Israel; and may he bless them forever, through faith on the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.” 

Ether: “Now the last words which are written by Ether are these: Whether the Lord will that I be translated, or that I suffer the will of the Lord in the flesh, it mattereth not, if it so be that I am saved in the kingdom of God. Amen.” 

Moroni: “I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen.” 

Conversely, the Words of Mormon end with: "Wherefore, with the help of these, king Benjamin, by laboring with all the might of his body and the faculty of his whole soul, and also the prophets, did once more establish peace in the land."

All of the other books finish with some sort of a clear ending statement. 3rd Nephi is a bit different than the others but still ends with a final warning statement to the Gentiles. 

[But if Mormon concluded with verse 11, he used a finality similar to the end of the other books; i.e., a clear ending statement.

Verse 11: And I, Mormon, pray to God that they may be preserved from this time henceforth. And I know that they will be preserved; for there are great things written upon them, out of which my people and their brethren shall be judged at the great and last day, according to the word of God which is written. (Words of Mormon 1:11)]

The end of the Words of Mormon is markedly textually different. Whether or not Gardner’s assertion that it doesn’t end as a chapter normally does can be established, it is fairly clear that the end of the Words of Mormon does not comport with any of the ending statements of the authors who wrote in the Book of Mormon, not only Mormon. 

Gardner also argues that verses 12–18 were not written by Mormon since he would not have dealt with this material in the terse way were it part of a chapter of Mosiah, which is likely correct if one is dealing with a chapter in Mosiah. However, if Mormon had already dealt with this material in the lost 116 pages in his normal expansive way, and considering he was primarily interested in featuring some of the prophetic elements in a brief remainder record, as he stated in the Words of Mormon, this approach makes more sense. 

[Both of these working hypotheses are rational, but we simply have no way to know how Mormon may have abridged the first two chapters of Mosiah. As I suggested above, maybe the original records for these events were themselves cursory, which would explain why Mormon was searching the records for more material when he found the small plates of Nephi. If we have two missing chapters, we might think there was a lot of material in there, but it could have been more detail about the wars as Jerry assumes, but it could also have been less about wars and more about prophecies, geography, culture, and other characters and groups we know nothing about.]

The Caractors Document material is organized in a fairly brief and structured pattern, so it actually is somewhat consistent with the nature of the text in verses 12–18. 

Gardner (2011, 246) labels verses 9–18 as “bridging text” and hypothesizes that these verses represent a translation of information, but not a translation of text from the plates, and the information taken by Joseph Smith was from the first two missing chapters of Mosiah. Gardner indicates this “bridging text” allows the reader to understand the migration of the Nephites from Nephi to Zarahemla. 

[I agree this is a plausible working hypothesis.]

However, under scrutiny, these verses are not a necessary bridging text. Bradley (2018) has indicated that these verses really don’t provide much in the way of bridging, since Amaleki in the Book of Omni already provides the information (and more) of the Nephite migration to Zarahemla and discusses the conflicts under king Benjamin. 

[This is an argument in favor of verse 13-18 being from the original chapters of Mosiah; i.e., Mormon wouldn't have repeated Amaleki's information when he wrote Words of Mormon, but that information would have been in his abridgment of the Nephite records covering this time period.]

Verses 12–18 of the Words of Mormon discusses, from an historical standpoint, a war with the Lamanites led by king Benjamin and contentions among his own people. Omni 1:24 discusses the war against the Lamanites led by king Benjamin, and verses 27–28 of Omni give an example of a contention of one group of Nephites at the time of king Benjamin. 

Mormon’s reason for including the small plates at the chronological end of his record, and to feature prophecy as the final contribution to his record, is completely consistent with the Mesoamerican practice of featuring prophecy and divination as the frontpieces of a codex. 

[This assumes Mormon had completed his abridgement when he found the small plates, but as we discussed, it seems more likely he was searching among the plates for more material to use for his abridgment, rather than searching among the plates after he had already finished the abridgment and was about to die.

As for the analogy with Mesoamerican practices, nothing in the Book of Mormon is remotely similar to the content of a Mesoamerican codex, so any similarities in style seem coincidental if not illusory.]

The second portion of the Caractors Document text also includes a recitation equivalent to a Mesoamerican prophetic calendrical text. 

It is also notable that Mormon indicated that this “remainder record,” in addition to being taken from the plates of Nephi, was made “according to the knowledge and the understanding which God has given me” (Words of Mormon 1:9). 

Mormon’s statement is quite evidently reflected in the Caractors Document script as it involves complex glyph formation and placement, overall difficult organization of creative glyph structures, and sophisticated utilization of religious sacred numbers. 

Since the Caractors Document is consistent with an untranslated continuation of the “remainder record” initiated as the Words of Mormon, the next question is where would the text have been located in the plate stack, in a likely location where it would have been copied. If attached to the small plates, provided the “remainder record” was relatively brief, it may have also been represented as one of the first plates (Front Plate) in the Book of Mormon stack, if the small plates were on the top of the stack. 

We do not know if the stack was translated sequentially, since for most of the translation the plates were covered, so the plate stack order was not dictating the order of translation, and so it would not have been required to be part of the 116 lost pages just because it was on top. 

[The idea that Joseph translated the plates by reading words off a stone in a hat (SITH) while the plates were covered up defies the explanation given by Joseph and Oliver (and Lucy Mack Smith), so I don't find this argument plausible (although it is still one of multiple working hypotheses). We know from Joseph that the Title Page was the "last leaf of the plates." We also know from D&C 10 that Joseph was commanded to "translate the engravings" on the plates, and that Joseph was commanded to translate the plates of Nephi specifically, which implies he knew one set of plates from another. None of this makes sense if the plates were covered to the point that Joseph neither translated the engravings nor translated any particular set of plates.]  

Another possibility discussed by Neville (2016) is the possibility that the small plates were not in the original stack recovered by Joseph Smith but were provided later to him by divine delivery. In that case it may have served as the front portion of the individual small plate stack. 

[That is plausible, given Jerry's assumptions and his translation of the Caractors document.]

Preface to the Book of Mosiah 

As has been noted, the current Book of Mosiah lacks a preface, which would have been part of the 116 lost pages. The first portion of the Caractors Document matches the existing known chronological time frame for the Book of Mosiah, since it includes all of the principal events in the Book of Mosiah. The form of the location of the glyphs at the beginning of the Caractors Document (especially as indicated in the Broadside) has the very first characters in a sort of dropped-flag format (see figure 6), which would seem to indicate that it may be a marker of sorts, which would be consistent with differentiation of something different, like a preface. 

Based on Oliver Cowdery’s changes in the initial chapter designation of the Book of Mosiah in the Printer’s Manuscript, Skousen (1994) asserts that the current Mosiah chapter 1 is actually chapter 3, indicating that the first 2 chapters of the Book of Mosiah are missing. 

Gardner (2013, 110–15) has proposed an alternate theory that the error found in identifying chapter 3 was that Cowdery mistook the Words of Mormon to be Omni chapter 2 and the first chapter in Mosiah was mistaken as Omni chapter 3. Under Gardner’s theory we do not know how many chapters may be missing in the Book of Mosiah. 

[Both of these approaches support my view that Oliver was not the original scribe for the Book of Mosiah, which I think was translated before he arrived in Harmony. I think the scribes for Mosiah were Emma and Martin Harris (D&C 5:30). This means the translation took a little longer than the traditional timeline, which corroborates David Whitmer's statement that the translation took 8 months (Nov 1828 to June 1829).]

Skousen proposed that the Book of Mosiah began with the reign of Mosiah1, but the Caractors Document preface would indicate that the Book of Mosiah began with the departure of Mosiah1 from the land of Nephi in his 19th regnal year, although the other prefaces penned by Mormon (Alma, Helaman, 3 Nephi, 4 Nephi) are not all that specific, so the Caractors Document preface to the Book of Mosiah might be inclusive of earlier events in the reign of Mosiah but not mention them. 

Other prefaces include some calendar information; however, the nature of the Caractors Document Book of Mosiah preface appears to have more specificity and detail in the inclusion of chronological dates. This might be explained by the divine translator opting to incorporate appropriate dates into the body of the Book of Mosiah from the preface. 

It also might be that the more detailed chronology was needed in the Book of Mosiah preface since there are really three concurrent stories occurring separately and simultaneously (Zarahemla, land of Nephi, and Alma’s group). 

The first part of Caractors Document also includes chronological period endings and beginnings. The other prefaces penned by Mormon also include this information: the Alma preface includes an “account of the reign of the judges”; the book of Helaman preface references the commencement of the Coming of Christ Calendar including material “before the coming of Christ” “even down to the coming of Christ”; the 3rd Nephi preface references the beginning of a calendar period beginning when Lehi came out of Jerusalem and the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah. 4th Nephi does not have much of a preface, but the entire book appears to be the time period of the Fourth Generation prophecy (to be discussed later). 

Further evidence that the first portion of the Caractors Document is a preface as previously discussed is that the right end of the first line of the Caractors Document (the beginning of the text), which is more evident on the Broadside, is the placement of a few glyphs under the line. This would seem to be an indicator for a new section of text. Textual breaks (chapters and or prefaces) do occur in the Original Manuscript, so we know that there was some kind of indicator on the plates designating these textual breaks. It was not likely a separate glyph that indicated this break, or one would have expected a word like “chapter” or “section” to be in the translation. 

This underlinear indicator glyph grouping (which may have also extended into a margin) could be considered something like a reverse indentation. The Caractors Document does exhibit this but includes some of the washed-out characters so isn’t so obvious, but the newspaper Broadside version of the characters clearly demonstrates it. 

This possibility as a Book of Mosiah preface was not something that occurred to me originally and was not in the prior book. I have also looked at the Book of Mormon chronology of events and have made some minor changes to the date of the Coriantumr2 stone and dates of passage of small plates from record keeper to record keeper. The change to the record-keeper dates was based on Amaleki’s description of the Nephite exodus to Zarahemla, where he consistently called the group “they,” which would indicate he was not part of the exodus group but was born later in Zarahemla.

[I don't have any comment on Jerry's translation per se because it's one of several alternative translations I've seen. I really like Jerry's openness to new ideas, which I hope to emulate and hope others do as well.]

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