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The Brass Plates

In LDS speak we, from time to time, speak of the coming forth of the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon at a future time. For those relatively well informed, they marvel and hope for the future day when the full visions of the Brother of Jared, Nephi, and others are fully laid out before us.

What is not so much talked about, but is plainly set forth and prophesied of in a few places in the Book of Mormon (see Alma 37:3-4 and 1 Nephi 5:17-19), is the coming forth of the Brass Plates to all nations at some future date. The Brass Plates, for those unaware, was the records Lehi and his family brought with them to the American continent that contained the following:

"They contain the record of the Jews down to the days of Zedekiah, including the genealogies of the people and the prophecies of the holy prophets, among which are the words of Isaiah and portions of Jeremiah.

They contain, in their perfect form, the law of Moses and the five books of Moses–Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

They contain the writings of Joseph who was sold into Egypt, than which few have been greater, and on them is found the mysteries of God and the commandments he has given to the children of men.

They contain books of holy scripture of which the world does not dream, including the writings of Zenock, Neum, And Zenos." (Bruce R. McConkie, "The Doctrinal Restoration." published in The Joseph Smith Translation: The Restoration of Plain and Precious Things, edited by Nyman and Millet, pp. 16-17)

What is exciting about this is the ever-growing scholarship from the non-LDS and the LDS community on the apostasy of the Jews, especially on what is termed the "second temple period" or the "postexilic period" (about 530 BCE to 70 AD). The infiltration of the 'Deuteronomists' or the 'Jehovist' during this time of Jewish history resulted in the purging and editing of much of what was in the Old Testament. For example, the responsibility of Israelite Kings having priestly power is purged from the Old Testament but is heavily implied in many stories found therein. The Priestly writers and the Deuteronomists came to favor the Priestly tradition instead of the tradition that had sacral kingship and priesthood proliferated widely among the Israelites. Another example would be the obvious contradictions of a few instances where it says a man cannot see God or receive visitations, but hints of an earlier tradition show that they did happen.

The implication of this is interesting. In short, there are prophecies of the 'Bible' coming forth in an undefiled form at some future date in the Book of Mormon. Elder McConkie explains it well:

"What interests us more than the books included on the brass plates is the tone and tenor and general approach to the gospel and to salvation that they set forth. They are gospel oriented and speak of Christ and the various Christian concepts which the world falsely assumes to have originated with Jesus and the early apostles." (Ibid, p. 17)

Compare that to these statements from non-LDS scholars:

“Jesus as Melchizedek can now be seen as the key to the New Testament, and the implication of this is that Melchizedek’s temple was the world of the first Christians.” - Margaret Barker ("Temple Theology: An Introduction", p.5)

"The original tradition upon which these later traditions are thought to have been based [(speaking of the Deuteronomist, Jehovist, and Priestly tradition)] was richer than any of its three major later derivatives... It now seems likely that [our present (the Bible/Old Testament)] text has suffered more from losses than from glosses." - Rev Dr. Horace D. Hummel (quoted in John L. Sorenson's "Nephite Culture and Society", p. 31)

The narrative of apostasy becomes abundantly clear here and we can see that Temple Theology is what Christ restored in the New Testament. As a Mormon, we also claim that apostasy occurred again about a century after Christ's death and that Temple Theology has been restored once again today.


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