Saturday, June 13, 2015

Too Many Nicknames

In my book, Unique Stories and Facts from LDS History,” I mention that Main Street in Salt Lake City, which was actually known as East Temple Street during pioneer times, was dubbed “Whiskey Street” because of all the saloons. What else was it known by?
A)                 Perdition Street
B)                 Hades Street
C)                 Hell Street
D)                 Devil Street

Yesterday’s answer:
(A) Moroni
The question is often asked, “How did the records that Mormon gave to Moroni about 385 AD and that the Angel Moroni gave to Joseph Smith in 1827 AD get to the Hill Cumorah in New York?
     If the last battle was fought in Veracruz, Mexico, then Moroni must have carried the records to New York after the final battle at Ramah/Cumorah in Mesoamerica. The final battle was 385 AD; Moroni’s last entry was 421 AD. That makes 36 years from the time of the last battle to Moroni’s last dated entry. During the 36 years, he abridged the Jaredite record that we know as the Book of Ether; he finished the record of his father, Mormon; and he wrote material under his own name, which is the last book in the Book of Mormon.
     Furthermore, he tells us that he did not make himself know to the Lamanites because they killed everyone who did not deny Christ; and he refused to deny Christ. After abridging the Book of Ether, Moroni very probable hid up, in the Mesoamerica Cumorah, the 24 gold plates from which he abridged the Jaredite record and then carried the abridged portion of the record to New York. He had ample time. His motivation to distance himself from the Lamanites is adequate.
     One evidence of Moroni’s wandering is a statement by Elder Franklin D. Richards of the Council of the Twelve. The incident he spoke of occurred at the temple-site dedication of the Manti Temple on April 25, 1877. Early that morning, Brigham Young had asked Warren S. Snow to go with him to the temple hill. According to Snow:
      We two were alone; President Young took me to a spot where the temple was to stand; we went to the southeast corner, and President Young said: “Here is the spot where the Prophet Moroni stood and dedicated this piece of land for a temple site, and that is the reason why the location is made here, and we can’t move it from this spot.”
Ensign, January 1972, 33; Joseph L. Allen, Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon (Orem, Utah: S.A. Publishers, Inc., 1989), 351.
A little more on this story:
The question still remains, would Moroni have been able to survive a trip of several thousand miles through strange peoples and lands, if he did transport the record?
     Such a journey would be no more surprising than the trip by Lehi’s party over land and by sea halfway around the globe. As a matter of fact, we do have a striking case of a trip much like the one Moroni may have made. In the mid-sixteenth century, David Ingram, a shipwrecked English sailor, walked in 11 months through completely strange Indian territory from Tampico, Mexico, to the St. John River, at the present border between Maine and Canada. His remarkable journey would have been about the same distance as Moroni’s and over essentially the same route. So Moroni’s getting the plates to New York even under his own power seems feasible.

“Man Alone,” Christian Science Monitor (June 1, 1967), 16; John L. Sorenson, An Ancient American Setting For The Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1985), 44-45.

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