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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chapter 1 Notes from "Thorns of Glory"

Greetings Tennis Shoes Fans!

It occurred to me many readers enjoy the chapter notes in the various Tennis Shoes books. Thorns of Glory will be no different in providing occasional scholarly disgressions. I thought fans might enjoy the Notes from Chapter 1.

Until October 1 those who purchase any Tennis Shoes Gift Set off Amazon or www.frostcave.com will receive a free copy of two BOOKS: Passage to Zarahemla and Escape from Zarahemla (the Gift Sets total 1-5 or 6-10 in book in audio or book form. The free copies are books, not audio books.) NOTE: Book 11, Seers and Sorcerers, is still only offered independently of the Gift Sets. I offer these two free books from the "Passage Series" because many readers still aren't aware that the "Passage Series" and "Tennis Shoes Series" are interconnected. One must read Passage and Escape before diving into Tennis Shoes Book 12: Thorns of Glory. ALL my books, audio books, DVDs, etc., are AUTOMATICALLY AUTOGRAPHED. For links to purchase various Gift Sets from Amazon, see the end of this post.

And shucks, I'll offer ANOTHER perk. Times can be financially challenging for authors between books, so for all customers of Amazon or Frost Cave who purchase anything, I will obligingly send them (via email attachment) a copy of the Prologue and Chapter One of Thorns of Glory. But there's a catch. Unlike the first offer of automatically sending two free books with the purchase of a Tennis Shoes Gift Set, to receive the Prologue and Chapter One of Thorns of Glory, after buying any product you must send me an email request for the chapters at cheimerdinger@gmail.com, basically saying, "Hey, I bought one of your books or DVDs today! Please email me the Prologue and Chapter One." I have to do this because many customers have never read my books and aren't even LDS, so they wouldn't appreciate (and might even be put out) seeing a Tennis Shoes chapter in their inbox. Thanks to everyone for their support!

Here's the Chapter Note:

Notes to Thorns of Glory Chapter 1:

There are three separate and distinct records mentioned in the Book of Mormon that were written in the era of the Jaredites, or those people who came to the New World shortly after the Lord confounded the languages of humankind at the Tower of Babel, or as it's simply called by Ether (and by Moroni in his abridgement of Ether) the "great tower" (Eth 1: 3, 22).

The best known of these records is the "Book of Ether." This record is an abridgement of what was surely a much longer record compiled by Ether, the last great prophet of the Jaredites. The Book of Mormon tells us that the Book of Ether first came into Nephite hands in the days of King Limhi in about 122-121 B.C. It was found by 43 explorers who had been dispatched by Limhi to find their land and city of origin called Zarahemla. Limhi's objective was to beseech their brethren in Zarahemla to liberate them from a bitter slavery that had been inflicted upon them by the Lamanite tribes who dominated that territory. Instead of finding Zarahemla, these explorers found a northern landscape covered with dry bones, cankered armaments, and ruined buildings. They also discovered 24 gold plates with engravings that no one among the people of Limhi could read. We later learned that these 24 plates contained the history of the Jaredites authored by the Prophet Ether (Mosiah 8:7-12, 21:25-29, Ether 1:1-2).

When Ammon stood before King Limhi, he assured him that his own King Mosiah in Zarahemla was endowed with the gift of seership, as well as possessing sacred interpreters that could decipher the 24 gold plates. It is likely that after King Mosiah completed his translation that the unabridged Book of Ether was as sacred and important to Nephites and other Christians of that generation as the Book of Mormon is to us.

The least known of the Jaredite records is a large stone, or stelae, that was carried to the land of Zarahemla, possibly from former Jaredite territories along the Gulf Coast, in the days of King Mosiah I. The engravings on this stone told the story of the last surviving Jaredite king, whose name was Coriantumr. It also offered a short history of those who had "come out from the tower at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people." The scriptures tell us that this Jaredite record was interpreted by King Mosiah I using the "gift and power of God" (Omni 1:20-22). It's a strong presumption, based on later statements by Ammon in Mosiah Chapter 8, that God's gift and power came from the "Interpreters," which we know today as the Urim and Thummim. It's possible that these "Interpreters" were different seerstones, but it seems unlikely.

The most fascinating record of the Jaredites is undoubtedly the record that has come to be known as the book or vision of Mahonri Moriancumr. The name of the prophet from the Book of Ether—Mahonri Moriancumr—is not mentioned in the Book of Mormon. Instead, the Book of Mormon only refers to him as the brother of Jared (Jared being the first king of the Jaredites after his group of ocean voyagers arrived in the New World, and after the brother of Jared and all his sons had refused the monarchy). The name Mahonri Moriancumr was mentioned by Joseph Smith, Jr. as the name of the brother of Jared in Kirtland, Ohio while he was giving a name and a blessing to the newborn son of Elder Reynolds Cahoon ("The Jaredites," The Juvenile Instructor, [1 May 1892], p. 282 n.).

The vision and words recorded by Mahonri Moriancumr have long been identified as the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon, or that portion of the Book of Mormon which Joseph Smith was commanded not to translate, and which is generally believed to have comprised approximately two-thirds of the width of the gold plates that were recovered by Joseph Smith from the Hill Cumorah. In other words, comparatively few people in world history have ever read this volume. According to the scriptures, the brother of Jared was given this great vision because of his exceeding faith—a faith so powerful and unique that information could not be kept from him. Jesus Christ Himself visited Mahonri Moriancumr and gave him very specific instructions regarding the vision he had seen:

             Beyond, thou shalt not suffer these things which ye have seen and heard to go forth unto the  world, until the time cometh that I shall glorify my name in the flesh; wherefore, ye shall treasure up the thing which ye have seen and heard, and show no man.
            And behold, when ye shall come unto me, ye shall write them and shall seal them  up, that no one  can interpret them; for ye shall write them in a language that they cannot read.
            And behold, these two stones which I give unto thee, and ye shall seal them up also with the  things which ye shall write.
            For behold, the language which ye shall write I have confounded; wherefore I will cause in my own due time that these stones shall magnify to the eyes of men these things which ye shall write. (Eth 3: 21-25)

 The stones in question are undoubtedly the Urim and Thummin which Joseph Smith found buried with the plates of the Book of Mormon. Again, to suggest that the Lord was referring to other stones seems unnecessary, and produces far more questions than it answers. Such as, where and when would Mosiah have received these other interpreters? If Moroni had two sets of interpreters—those used by Joseph Smith and Mahonri, as well as a second set used by Mosiah I and handed down through the generations of Nephite prophets, what happened to them? Why would God offer up two sets of interpreters to the Nephites? Where did Moroni leave Mosiah's other interpreters, if not with the gold plates? It seems clear that the same "interpreters" are being referred to in both the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Mormon.
 
The subject matter of Mahonri's vision may not be unique in its nature compared to visions given to other great prophets in the history of the world. But the brother of Jared was granted the unique privilege of permanently recording this vision, whereas other prophets, including John the Revelator, were forbidden to write it so that it might one day come down to future generations. What John wrote in his book Revelation was also written by commandment, but a portion of John's vision was withheld from the world to be revealed at a later time, according to the faith and preparation of the children of men (D&C 93:6-7).

Even so, it seems that only Mahonri Moriancumr was entrusted to write a complete vision containing the detail and breadth of his subject matter. Even from the brief description provided in the Book of Mormon, we are given only a hint of the overpowering glory of its contents:

             (The Lord) showed unto the brother of Jared all the inhabitants of the earth which had been, and  also all that would be; and he withheld them not from his sight, even unto the ends of the earth (Eth 3:25).

Lehi's son, Nephi, added this description of the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon while explaining the words on this subject found in Isaiah 29:11-12: 

            And it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall bring forth unto you the words of a book, and  they shall be the words of them which have slumbered. And behold the book shall be sealed; and in the book  shall be a revelation from God, from the beginning of the world to the ending thereof. . . .Wherefore the book  shall be kept from them. . . . For the book shall be sealed by the power of God, and the revelation which was  sealed shall be kept in the book until the own due time of the Lord, that they may come forth; for behold, they  reveal all things from the foundation of the world unto the end thereof (2 Nephi 27:6–8, 10). 

The brother of Jared and his descendants were expressly commanded to safe keep his written record, but forbidden to ever read it. It was not to come forth "unto the children of men until after that (Jesus Christ) should be lifted up upon the cross; (Eth. 4:1)." It is humbling to imagine the overpowering curiosity of so many generations of faithful Jaredites, and later Nephites (who presumably came into possession of the record, and its interpreters, in the days of King Mosiah I, likely by the hand of the Jaredite prophet Ether in his old age), who apparently never succumbed to a temptation to read or examine its engravings, but instead preserved it carefully and passed it down until after Jesus Christ showed himself to the Nephites in the flesh. At this point it was translated in the Nephite language, probably by Nephi the son of Nephi, one of the Savior's special disciples and the presiding High Priest of the Nephites, using the Urim and Thummin. We are told that:

             (The Savior) did expound all things, even from the beginning until the time that he should  come in his glory—yea, even all things which should come upon the face of the earth, even until the elements should  melt with fervent heat, and the earth should be wrapt together as a scroll, and the heavens and the earth  should pass away; And even unto the great and last day, when all people, and all kindreds, and all nations  and tongues shall stand before God, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil. (3 Nephi 26:3–4)

The original record of Mahonri Moriancumr, as well as the translation of Nephi, was then passed down by prophets until it came into the hands of Mormon and his son, Moroni, who were the last men in the Nephite dispensation to read this vision. We are told that Moroni transcribed the vision word for word onto the gold plates of his father, and then sealed them within the record by some mechanism (often presumed to be a surrounding sheet of gold alloy). And there they remain, and will remain, until the world is ready to receive them.
 
I'm still writing away on this behemoth novel called Thorns of Glory. Look for more excerpts in the near future!

To purchase anything from Frost Cave, go to www.frostcave.com. (Note: You must register before making a purchase. This is turned around from Amazon where you can basically order something and THEN register in the process. Register FIRST, then order on www.frostcave.com.) ALL BOOKS AUTOGRAPHED, but signed to the name of a specific buyer only if indicated on order (or via email). For all FrostCave stuff on Amazon ORDER HERE.

For the Amazon link for Tennis Shoes Gift Set 1-5
For the Amazon link for Tennis Shoes Gift Set 6-10.
For the Amazon link for Tennis Shoes Gift Set 1-5 AUDIO
For the Amazon link for Tennis Shoes Gift Set 6-10 AUDIO

 @ Copyright 2013, Chris Heimerdinger

3 comments:

  1. Hmmm...for those of us who have bought your books as they came out and then I bought the CD version to listen to on trips in the car, we are waiting...maybe not so patiently for the new book! I did purchase Escape to Zarahemla for my Kindle, do you have a date yet for your "Thorns of Glory" release?

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  2. Hi, Chris. I just finished reading all 11 Tennis Shoes books again, hoping against hope that volume 12 would be out by the time I completed volume 11. Alas, I must wait a while longer. Please don't delay. Get'er done so we all can enjoy the conclusion of this latest story line. Don't rush it and make it less than wonderful, but do keep working on it as quickly as you can. In the meantime, I'll get Escape from Zarahemla for my Kindle so that Volume 12 will make sense, as you have said. Thanks for a wonderful ride.

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  3. Hello Where can i find thorns of glory?

    ReplyDelete