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  Sunday, November 09, 2003

Book of Mormon Verse of the Day:  I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.  1 Nephi 1:1 (1981 ed.).

1830 edition version: minor punctuation changes.  In BoM 1830, verses 1 and 2 are presented as one paragraph and verse 1 ends with a semicolon, the sentence running on to the end of verse 2, which ends with a period in both BoM 1981 and BoM 1830.

MIW Modern English version of 1 Nephi 1:1-3:  Having been highly favored of the Lord with a knowledge of His goodness and His mysteries, I proceed to make a record in the language of my father.  He was a good father, and taught me both the language of the Egyptians and the learning of the Jews.  I make this account by my own hand and according to my own knowledge, and I know that it is true.

Comments:  The 1830 edition is worth a glance to see the original punctuation, paragraphing, and chapter breaks.  These have all been modified freely in the modern editions or simply eliminated (e.g., parapraphs).  Sentences are often only dimly discernible in BoM 1830, whereas the modern edition versification often adds periods at the end of arbitrary verse breaks where none existed in the original.  In other words, the modern edition makes it look like the author used understandable sentences.  Consider, for example, the initial word of the first sentence of each of the 48 paragraphs in chapter 1 of the 1830 edition (which covers chapters 1 through 5 of the modern edition):  I, For, And, And, And, And, And, Therefore, And, And, For, And, And, And, And, And, And, And, And, And, And, And, And, And, For, And, And, And, And, And, Now, And, And, And, And, And, And, And, And, And, And, And, And, And, And, And, And, And.  (I might have missed an "and" somewhere in there.)

Contrast your own perusal of this material from the 1830 edition with the following comments by an LDS literary critic extolling the superlative qualities of the Book of Mormon as literature:  Could any of Joseph Smith's more illustrious contemporary authors have written the book?  I don't believe that Emerson, Hawthorne, Melville, Thoreau, and Whitman, colossal writers that they were, together could have written the Book of Mormon.  Robert A. Rees, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and the American Renaissance, Dialogue Vol. 35, No. 3 (Fall 2002), p. 110 (emphasis in original). 

I think Rees, a retired UCLA English professor, is exaggerating a bit in defense of the faith.  But his article (which I came across posted at the Kolob Network) deserves a good read, as does Rees' bio and fascinating personal statement posted at the LDS Euro Project.  He is currently the Director of Education and Humanities at the Institute of HeartMath (their home page has another, shorter bio of Prof. Rees). 10:03:03 AM      

Milestone:  This site cracks the Top 100 at the Radio Community Server for the first time, coming in at number 90 for November 8. 12:10:22 AM      

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