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The Annotated Book of Mormon : I Nephi : 11


11:1 For it came to pass after I had desired to know the things that my father had seen, and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me, as I sat pondering in mine heart I was 1caught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly high mountain, which I never had before seen, and upon which I never had before set my foot. [1] Acts 8:39: ...the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip...
11:2 And the Spirit said unto me: Behold, what desirest thou?  
11:3 And I said: I desire to behold the things which my father saw.  
11:4 And the Spirit said unto me: Believest thou that thy father saw the tree of which he hath spoken?  
11:5 And I said: Yea, thou knowest that I believe all the words of my father.  
11:6 And when I had spoken these words, the Spirit cried with a loud voice, saying: Hosanna to the Lord, the most high God; for he is God over all the earth, yea, even above all. And blessed art thou, Nephi, because thou believest in the Son of the most high God; wherefore, thou shalt behold the things which thou hast desired.  
11:7 And behold this thing shall be given unto thee for a sign, that after thou hast beheld the tree which bore the fruit which thy father tasted, thou shalt also behold a man descending out of heaven, and him shall ye witness; and after ye have witnessed him ye shall 1bear record that it is the Son of God. [1] John 1:34: And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
11:8 And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me: Look! And I looked and beheld a tree; and it was like unto the tree which my father had seen; and the 1beauty thereof was far beyond, yea, exceeding of all beauty; and the whiteness thereof did exceed the whiteness of the driven snow. [1] Lucy Smith:‘It was exceedingly handsome, insomuch that I looked upon it with wonder and admiration. Its beautiful branches...’ (p. 58)
11:9 And it came to pass after I had seen the tree, I said unto the Spirit: I behold thou hast shown unto me the tree which is precious above all.  
11:10 And he said unto me: What desirest thou?  
11:11 And I said unto him: To know the interpretation thereof--for I spake unto him as a man speaketh; for I beheld that he was in the form of a man; yet nevertheless, I knew that it was the Spirit of the Lord; and he spake unto me as a man speaketh with another.  
11:12 And it came to pass that he said unto me: Look! And I looked as if to look upon him, and I saw him not; for he had gone from before my presence.  
11:13 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the great city of Jerusalem, and also other cities. And I beheld the city of Nazareth; and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a 1virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white. Topic: Anachronistic Concepts
[1] The doctrine of the Virgin Birth was introduced to the Christians via a mistranslated verse (Isaiah 7:14) in the Greek Septuagint. Since both the Septuagint and the New Testament arose long after the Lehites left Jerusalem, it is significant that the Book of Mormon repeats this error.
11:14 And it came to pass that I saw the heavens open; and an angel came down and stood before me; and he said unto me: Nephi, what beholdest thou?  
11:15 And I said unto him: A virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins.  
11:16 And he said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God?  
11:17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.  
11:18 And he said unto me: Behold, 1the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh. Topic: Textual Changes
[1] 1830 version: ...the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of God...
11:19 And it came to pass that I beheld that she was carried away in the Spirit; and after she had been carried away in the Spirit for the space of a time the angel spake unto me, saying: Look!  
11:20 And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms.  
11:21 And the angel said unto me: Behold 1the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the 2meaning of the tree which thy father saw? Topic: Textual Changes
[1] 1830 version: ...the Lamb of God, yea, even the Eternal Father...

[2] Lucy Smith:‘I...inquired...the meaning of the fruit that was so delicious.’ (p. 58)

11:22 And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the 1love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things. [1] Lucy Smith:‘He told me it was the pure love of God, shed abroad in the hearts of all those who love him...’ (p. 59)
[1] Romans 5:5: ...the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts...
11:23 And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul.  
11:24 And after he had said these words, he said unto me: Look! And I looked, and I beheld the Son of God going forth among the children of men; and I saw many fall down at his feet and worship him.  
11:25 And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God.  
11:26 And the angel said unto me again: Look and behold the condescension of God!  
11:27 And I looked and beheld the Redeemer of the world, of whom my father had spoken; and I also beheld the prophet who should prepare the way before him. And the Lamb of God went forth and was baptized of him; and after he was baptized, I beheld the heavens open, and the 1Holy Ghost come down out of heaven and abide upon him in the form of a dove. [1] John 1:32: ...I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
11:28 And I beheld that he went forth ministering unto the people, in power and great glory; and the multitudes were gathered together to hear him; and I beheld that they cast him out from among them.  
11:29 And I also beheld twelve others following him. And it came to pass that they were carried away in the Spirit from before my face, and I saw them not.  
11:30 And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked, and I beheld the 1heavens open again, and I saw angels descending upon the children of men; and they did minister unto them. [1] John 1:51: ...Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
11:31 And he spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked, and I beheld the Lamb of God going forth among the children of men. And I beheld multitudes of people who were 1sick, and who were afflicted with all manner of diseases, and with 2devils and unclean spirits; and the angel spake and showed all these things unto me. And they were healed by the power of the Lamb of God; and the devils and the unclean spirits were cast out. [1] Matthew 4:24: ...and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.

Topic: Anachronistic Concepts
[2] The ancient Jews had no doctrine of demons and possession. While protection against evil spirits was of great concern to their pagan neighbours, beginning with the Sumerians from earliest times, the Jews themselves initially had no such notion of evil spirits as separate, individual beings. When devils are mentioned in the Old Testament, they usually refer either to rival gods to Yahweh, or as agents of Yahweh himself designated for an evil task (Judges 9:23, I Samuel 16:14).

It is only after the Jews were exposed to Persian religion that the concept of evil spirits, inferior to, and in opposition to God developed. This may be due to the influence of Persian Zoroastrianism on Judaism, which teaches that God (Ahura-Mazda) is opposed by a powerful force (Angra-Mainyu, or Ahriman). The development of Jewish demonology is reflected in the extrabiblical literature of the inter-testamental years, but is not present in the Old Testament itself.

The words that Nephi uses to describe demons in this verse (i.e. as 'unclean spirits') appear a number of times in the New Testament. The New Testament writers themselves derived the phrase from popular Jewish religion, as reflected in contemporary Rabbinic literature.

11:32 And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; 1yea, the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record. Topic: Textual Changes
[1] 1830 version: ...yea, the everlasting God was judged of the world...
11:33 And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the 1cross and slain for the sins of the world. Topic: Anachronistic Concepts
[1] Crucifixion was unknown to the Jews of 600 BC. This method of torture appears to have been invented among the Persians. Indeed, the earliest reference to Crucifixion is from Herodotus, who places it at the start of the Persian period, sometime after 600 BC. From there, it appears to have spread to the Phonecians, Egyptians, the Grecian colonies, the Carthaginians and finally to the Romans, who practised it with great abandon, until it was outlawed by Constantine in the fourth century AD.

The phrase that Nephi uses to describe crucifixion, 'lifted up on a cross', comes from the New Testament (John 3:14, John 12:32.34).

11:34 And after he was slain I saw the multitudes of the earth, that they were gathered together to fight against the 1apostles of the Lamb; for thus were the twelve called by the angel of the Lord. [1] Revelation 21:14 ...and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
11:35 And the multitude of the earth was gathered together; and I beheld that they were in a large and spacious building, like unto the building which my father saw. And the angel of the Lord spake unto me again, saying: Behold the world and the wisdom thereof; yea, behold the house of Israel hath gathered together to fight against the 1twelve apostles of the Lamb. [1] Revelation 21:14 ...and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
11:36 And it came to pass that I saw and bear record, that the 1great and spacious building was the pride of the world; and it fell, and the fall thereof was exceedingly great. And the angel of the Lord spake unto me again, saying: Thus shall be the destruction of all 2nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, that shall fight against the 3twelve apostles of the Lamb. [1] Lucy Smith:‘...I asked my guide what was the meaning of the spacious building which I saw. He replied, "It is Babylon, it is Babylon, and it must fall."’ (p. 59)
[2] Revelation 7:9: ...all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues...
[3] Revelation 21:14 ...and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

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