Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Two Exoduses?

The Book of Omni (Book of Mormon)
Behold it came to pass that Mosiah discovered tha the people of Zarahemla came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon. And they journeyed in the wilderness, and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered them, and they had dwelt there from that time forth. (Omni 15-16)
This passage bothered me, and bothers me. There was something funny about it and I couldn’t put my finger on it. I suppose I found it peculiar enough that it supposedly happened once that Jews (not known as a seafaring people) crossed over the oceans and came to North America, but then that it happens again? This is seriously testing my credulity. That is to say how gullible does one have to be?
But there is something deeper here. And this is that God would want his people separated in this manner. Sure there was the Diaspora, and Jews were scattered all over the Babylonian empire, and the Roman Empire later. Yet they were phenomenally connected with each other throughout this time, and even today. Christians confess belief in the communion of saints. To this day there is a oneness and affinity that is inexplicable across borders wherever the word of God is heard. God holds his people together in a community. When the Israelites left Egypt they went as a community. There was one mass Exodus from Egypt. And the people who went into exile did not find themselves utterly cut off from those left behind.
But the Book of Mormon posits at a minimum two exoduses now. If I remember right there may even be a third. And these people are totally cut off from each other, so as to not even know of the others, and cut off from their brethren that go into exile in Babylon. Ostensibly they leave the community because it has become to corrupt for their pious little souls. But what does that say concerning Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah? What does that say concerning the family of Jesus through which salvation comes to the world? Why do these people have to leave Judah and separate themselves from the rest of the people of God in such drastic measures to enjoy the faith?
Sorry but I am beginning to wonder why one reading this story bothers to ask if it is true, has God not given us a brain?


Steve Martin said...

Any Mormon who has a brain and who has an ounce for integrity ought question this stuff.

But they won't because they've been sucked down that rat hole of lies by the devil himself, and they like it there.

Jonathan said...

What must the Hebrews think about the brazen rewriting of their history by Slick Joe Smith?

Frank Sonnek said...

here in brasil to be in the company of fellow Lutherans is a wonderful thing to behold.

I just yesterday had my first visit with our new pastor. we spent almost 4 hours (!) talking about deep theological subjects (christ, christ, christ, christ, repeat), and never even was there a hint of even a minor disagreement on anything at all in the bible. all in portuguese!"

I laughed learning that the second use of the law that we call curb is called brake! here in portuguese.

Only the Holy Spirit could create such unity across cultures. It helps alot to be Lutheran and only have one single doctrine that is taught in your church....

Bror Erickson said...

Jews tend to be more hostile to Mormons, if possible than to Christians. Especially given that Mormons like to grab names from Holocaust lists and do the "baptize the dead" ceremony. Not that Jews think there is anything to it, it is just insulting. And it is insulting. Let the dead rest.

Jonathan said...

Well, to follow up, I was reading in 1 Kings about some of the early Hebrew monarchs' forays into merchantile navy fleets. Seems they got pretty good at navigating around the Med, or at least paid other sailors to do it. And they even made it all the way out to Tarshish apparently.

Now, I'm not saying that validates ol' Slick Joe Smitty's tale of high seas voyages to the new world, mind. But, at least I can see where the heck he might have come up with the idea of a bunch of wayward Hebrews on a Gilligan's Isle-like adventure.