Why Did Riplakish Construct a Beautiful Throne?
The story of Riplackish in Ether 10 places the building of elaborate thrones in America very early in pre-Columbian times. Archaeology confirms that the earliest culture in Mesoamerica was building elaborate, stone thrones in the second millennium BC. Learning about these thrones and what they symbolized provides insight into the story of Riplakish.
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Why Would Zerahemnah Not Swear an Oath to Moroni?
After attacking Moroni and having his scalp removed by a Nephite soldier, the Lamanite commander Zerahemnah eventually agreed to an oath of peace. Moroni invoked the name of God in the brief covenant-making ceremony, which was standard procedure for ratifying a covenant or oath in the ancient Near East. The action of Moroni’s soldier who lifted up the Lamanite commander’s scalp also makes perfect sense from an ancient perspective. His pronouncement closely follows a pattern of oath-making…
Why Did Nephi Rely on Earlier Testimonies of Christ?
When speaking out against the people of Zarahemla for their sins, Nephi symbolically brought them to trial. He called ancient prophets against them as witnesses to remind them that they had rejected the laws of God. This is an example of an ancient practice called a “prophetic lawsuit.” Even though, in this case, Nephi had to stand alone against the corruption that surrounded
How Could Shiz Move and Breathe After Being Beheaded?
During the final Jaredite battle, when Coriantumr cut off the head of Shiz, Shiz “raised up on his hands and fell; and after that he had struggled for breath, he died” (Ether 15:31). When someone is decapitated through the base of the skull, certain muscles in the arms and legs contract, as does the rib cage. This caused Shiz to raise up on his hands, and caused his rib cage to expand and contract automatically, making it sound like Shiz was “struggling for breath.” This is a reminder, both…
Why was Abinadi Scourged with Faggots?
The story of Abinadi suffering “death by fire” has most often evoked images of the prophet burning at the stake. Yet the Book of Mormon curiously describes Abinadi as being “scourged . . . with faggots,” suggesting he was instead beaten with bundles of burning sticks. Though it may seem strange, there is compelling evidence for a similar practice among the Aztecs, as well as the more contemporary Maya and other Native American cultures throughout the Americas. Despite knowing the terrible…