Dr. Shades wrote: ↑
Mon Feb 12, 2024 6:48 am
See Joseph Smith--History 1:33:
"He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni
There's confusion around timing and the messenger's name. 1:33 originally said that he gave his name as Nephi
. Can't put much weight behind what Joseph Smith History says about the messenger's name.
My bad, I should explain my response there a bit more. Hope I'm not repeating too much from the geography thread a few months ago.
There were a couple early Palmyra accounts that stated the Smiths were in search of Captain Kidd's treasure. That's mostly non-controversial and pretty well documented. So where did Captain Kidd's treasure come from? Also non-controversial. It was treasure from the Orient, from somewhere between the Straits of Hormuz, India, and Kedah, Malaysia. The name of the ship that Kidd seized, the ship with all the treasure, was the Kedah Merchant
My idea is that the Smiths were looking for Kidd's treasure from Kedah and India even after the treasure guardian (a.k.a. Maroni/Moroni/Nephi) visited Joseph Smith. Is there evidence to support this?
In 1829, a messenger from Palmyra (possibly Martin Harris) visited Joseph Smith's uncle and told him a few things about his brother Joseph Smith Sr. and his nephews Joseph Jr. and Hyrum. One of the things this messenger said was that Joseph Smith Sr. had a rod that he could use to ""tell the distance from India to Ethiopia". Why would someone from Palmyra tell Uncle Jesse this? Turns out, India and Ethiopia were known for producing some of the best diving rods and peep stones. The sources for the above can be found in "A Pathway to Prophethood: Joseph Smith Junior as Rodsman, Village Seer, and Judeo-Christian Prophet"
. In this paper there's another comment from another former Palmyra resident named Anna R. Webster Eaton that also supports the view that the Smiths were digging for treasures from the Indian Ocean:
"Bad books had much to do with the origin of Mormonism. Joe Smith could read. He could not write. His two standard volums were "The Life of Stephen Burroughs," the clerical scoundrel, and the autobiography of Capt. Kidd, the pirate. This latter work was eagerly and often perused. There was a fascination to him in the charmed lines:
My name was Robert Kidd,
As I sailed, as I sailed,
And most wickedly I did,
And God's laws I did forbid,
As I sailed, as I sailed.
At the early age of fifteen, while watching his father digging a well. Joe espied a stone of curious shape. It must have borne resemblance to the stone foot of Buddha, which Mrs. House tells us of at Bankok, Siam. All the difference, this was smaller, like a child's foot. At any rate, it has left footprints on the sands of time. "This little stone was the acorn of the Mormon oak." This was the famous Palmyra "seer" or "peek stone," with which Joseph Smith did most certainly divine. Being before instructed of his mother, he immediately set up a claim to miraculous power. In a kneeling posture, with a bandage on his eyes, so luminous was the sight without it, with the stone in a large white stove-pipe hat, and this hat in front of his face, he saw things unutterably wonderful. He could reveal, full too well, the place where stolen property, or wandering flocks could be found. Caskets of gold stored away by the Spaniards, or by his hero, the redoubtable Captain Kidd, coffers of gems, oriental treasures, the "wealth of Ormus and of Ind,"
gleamed beneath the ground in adjacent fields and woodlands."
In this comment, Ormus refers to a city near the Straits of Hormuz and Ind refers to India. It would seem that as late as 1829 the Smiths were using diving rods and stones to calculate distances from India and other points in the Indian ocean. In other words, the Smith's weren't exactly divining for Native American treasures in the adjacent fields and woodlands around Manchester and Palmyra. They were looking for treasures from Captain Kidd's Kedah Merchant.
This figure who told Joseph his name was Maroni/Moroni was different things at different points in time. As Joseph Smith Sr told Fayette Lapham in 1829, Maroni/Moroni was "a very large and tall man appeared to [Joseph], dressed in an ancient suit of clothes, and the clothes were bloody. And the man said to him that there was a valuable treasure, buried many years since, and not far from that place".
My idea is that the earliest manifestation of Maroni/Moroni was as a guardian of the treasures that came from india and Kedah via Captain Kidd's ship, the Kedah Merchant. And what was the name/title given to the military chiefs that founded Kedah and Siam? M-A-R-O-N-I. So this earliest manifestation of Maroni was indeed connected to Malaysia.
But if you are talking about the version of Moroni that we all know about from Sunday School, correct, there's no connection.