Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Nephi's Mysterious Vanishing Temple, why didn't he talk about it? —ElGuapo

Even as a kid I remember thinking this was odd. I had studied Old Testament in 9th grade seminary, so I knew what a big deal the building of the temple was in the Bible. So here's Nephi, saying,

QUOTE (2 Ne 5:15-16)
15 And I did teach my people, that they should build buildings; and that they should work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.

16 And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of the temple of Solomon, save it were not built of so many precious things: for they were not to be found upon the land; wherefore, it could not be built like unto Solomon's temple. But the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceeding fine.

And then nothing more. I wrote more in my journal about my new Tuff Shed, and the Small Plates of Guapo are exceedingly small. Jacob brings it up later, but by this time it seemed—to me at least—like an afterthought. 'Where to teach the people? Well, we've got this temple here.' (My words, not his.)

QUOTE (Jacob 2:11)
11 Wherefore, I must tell you the truth, according to the plainness of the word of God. For behold, as I inquired of the Lord, thus came the word unto me, saying, Jacob, get thou up into the temple on the morrow, and declare the word which I shall give thee, unto this people.

The next mention of temples is in the land of Zarahemla (Mosiah 1:18). Different temple, right? And this is something like 400 years later, right? So what do you all make of this? Was it too sacred (not secret) to talk about? So much a part of daily life that it's implicit in the story? Covered more fully in the Lucy Harris Translation?

To be clear, I'm not suggesting it should have come up later. After Jacob, only Enos and Jarom stand between Nephi's day and the Time Warp of Omni. I'm curious why Nephi didn't talk about it more.
QUOTE (Bill Hamblin @ May 9 2006, 10:39 PM)
I notice the critics have fallen silent about the supposed absence of references to the temple in the BOM.

Nephi built a temple like unto Solomon's and then never mentioned it again in the small plates. There's not much more to say from a critical POV, is there?

QUOTE (Bill Hamblin @ May 10 2006, 10:58 AM)
I find such a claim utterly astonishing.

Then I must not have expressed it very well. My comment wasn't meant as a refutation to all the implicit "temple talk" that believing members may find in the book. I was only saying that, on the surface at least, Nephi's temple occupies only one verse in his record on the small plates.

What's been amply demonstrated to me so far in this thread is that, for the believers, there are enough implicit temple references to satisfy you concerning the matter. That being the case, though, didn't you at least find this odd at first? I'm just not hearing anyone yet acknowledge that they would have expected more to be said directly about Nephi's temple, its construction, its use, or its fate. Why is that?

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