(1969 — 1999)
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John Sorenson proposes a plausible chronology for the Jaredites based on what is known of ancient American cultures through archaeology.
John Sorenson offers a survey and interpretation of the evidence that the wheel was known in the New World before the arrival of European explorers in the early sixteenth century. He discusses Mesoamerican and Old World wheeled figurines, wheels and movement in Mesoamerican belief, and the similarities between figurines in the New World and the Old.
John Welch discusses Nephi's commandment to his son Jacob that a record be kept on the small plates. Welch delineates the obligations entailed in Nephi's commandment and suggests that descendants of Jacob—Enos, Jarom, Omni, Amaron, Chemish, Abinadom, and Amaleki—felt a strong sense of duty to see that it was fulfilled.
From 1921 to 1922 B. H. Roberts wrote three papers that listed parallels between the Book of Mormon and the second edition (1825) of Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews. Roberts constructed the possible argument that the Book of Mormon relied upon Ethan Smith's book. John Welch responds to that claim by addressing the issues Roberts raised and by listing over eighty differences between the two works.
John Welch considers what records were brought together to form the book of Ether and examines which parts of the book might have been composed by Moroni. He looks for paraphrases included in the book and seeks to discover what influenced Moroni's rendition of the Jaredite story. He concludes that stating comprehensively who wrote the book of Ether is no simple matter.
John Welch argues that all possible chiasms are not equal. It is necessary for commentators on the Bible and other texts to recognize that degrees of chiasticity exist from one text to the next. To further that end, Welch proposes fifteen criteria for appraising examples of chiasmus in literature.
There is good evidence that most legal systems in the ancient Near East distinguished between crimes of theft and robbery. A thief was a local person who stole from his neighbor and was dealt with judicially, whereas robbers were outsiders who attacked in open force and were dealt with militarily. John Welch explores the extent to which similar legal and cultural perceptions of thieves and robbers are evidenced in the Book of Mormon.
John Welch displays the overall chiastic structure of Alma 36, suggests a detailed analysis of the text, traces the strands of repetition that weave paired sections tightly together, assesses the chapter's degree of chiasticity, and compares the words and phrases of Alma 36 with the two other firsthand Book of Mormon accounts of Alma's conversion. He suggests that there are many spiritual and intellectual implications to this study.
John Gee provides an overview of how the Book of Abraham came to be in the possession of Joseph Smith, and how it was translated by the Prophet. Gee also discusses three aspects of the book that had doctrinal impact on the restoration, particularly in relation to doctrines of premortal existence.
John Gee recounts the history of the Joseph Smith papyri, their discovery, travels, and eventual translation. Particular attention is devoted to the reconstruction of the papyri and their relationship to the Book of Abraham. The origin and contents of the Book of Abraham and the Kirtland Egyptian Papers are also discussed.
Although much attention has been paid to those who have possessed the Joseph Smith Papyri in modern times, relatively little attention has been paid to the ancient owners of the papyri. This lecture examines the ancient owners, the world in which they lived, and their contact with the Book of Abraham.
Stories about Abraham circulated in ancient times and were continued into the medieval period. Many of these accounts were then lost and have come to light only recently. John Tvedtnes examines several such stories— ranging from creation accounts to the attempted sacrifice of Abraham— and shows how they support the Book of Abraham.