Year of Maroni

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Zosimus
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Year of Maroni

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Tonight marks the first day of the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese lunar calendar. In ancient Siam this was called the year of Marong. In Thailand, even today, the fifth year in the lunar cycle is referred to as the Year of Marong. (source)

"Marong is a Siamese word used in their astrological or astronomical works. It is applied to a man who can by supernatural means assume any shape he pleases. A Buddhist Priest of Siam acquaints me that it is a title bestowed on a military chief - and also signifies a person who can preternaturally change his appearance” (source)

Marong was a title given to military leaders. For example, the founder of the first kingdom on the Malay Peninsula was named Marong. His son, the founder of the Kingdom of Siam according to some accounts, also inherited the title Marong. (source)

So get this...

A variation of the Siamese military title 'Marong' is Maroni. M-A-R-O-N-I

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The above is taken from Samuel Rafinesque's "The American Nations".

Guess who was Samuel Rafinesque's mentor?

Samuel Latham Mitchell (source), the guy Martin Harris visited in 1828 (two years before the publication of the Book of Mormon) to show the transcript of ancient hieroglyphic letters taken from the Golden Plates.

And how did Joseph Smith spell the name of the last person to engrave upon the Golden Plates? M-A-R-O-N-I

Image

It could be:
  1. A coincidence
  2. More data to support the claim that Joseph Smith was the world's greatest guesser, not easy to guess the exact spelling of a title for military leaders that would have been contemporaneous with Captain Maroni.
  3. Another thing to suggest that the author of the Book of Mormon was riffing off things being discussed only in very tight academic circles in the 1820s
  4. Evidence that the Book of Mormon is a historical text or pseudo-historical text set on the Malay Peninsula.
Happy year of Maroni everyone!
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Re: Year of Maroni

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Zosimus wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2024 4:06 am
[*]Evidence that the Book of Mormon is a historical text or pseudo-historical text set on the Malay Peninsula.[/list]
So, in Joseph Smith--History 1:34, when Moroni tells Joseph Smith, "He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang," he was telling Joseph Smith this while they were both in Asia?
"It’s ironic that the Church that people claim to be true, puts so much effort into hiding truths."
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Re: Year of Maroni

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Dr. Shades wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2024 11:25 am
Zosimus wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2024 4:06 am
[*]Evidence that the Book of Mormon is a historical text or pseudo-historical text set on the Malay Peninsula.[/list]
So, in Joseph Smith--History 1:34, when Moroni tells Joseph Smith, "He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang," he was telling Joseph Smith this while they were both in Asia?
Before the translation even started, Joseph sent Martin Harris off with the transcript. Martin first stops to meet Luther Bradish, a Palmyra native, who also happened to be America's leading expert on Egypt and the literary agent for both James Fenimore Cooper and Washington Irving. In other words, someone who would have had an interest in publishing books about native Americans (Cooper) and buried pirate treasures and pseudo-histories of New York (Irving). Bradish knew Grandin. Richard Bennett goes as far as to suggest Bradish was the "friend" that had a keen interest in the 116 pages.

Anyway, Harris goes on to NYC after meeting Bradish to show the transcript to Mitchell:

"He [Harris] carried the engravings from the plates to New York— shewed them to Professor Anthon who said that he did not know what language they were—Told him to carry them to Dr. Mitchell. Doctor Mitchell examined them and compared them with other hieroglyphs—thought them very curious—said they were the characters of a nation now extinct which he named."

So one of America's most respected academics, had told Martin Harris that the characters were legit, and he even told him the name of the nation (now extinct) that they came from. You'd have to read Bennett's research on this, but his idea in summary is that Mitchell saw in Harris' story a way to promote his theory that NY was inhabited by Malays, and a great battle a few dozen miles from Manchester NY had driven the Malay Native Americans to extinction.

As Bennett concludes:

"Finally, and almost certainly, [Samuel Mitchell] saw in these characters additional evidence for his own richly developed theories on the extinct “delicate” Australasian race that had been destroyed by the more ferocious Tartars somewhere in upstate New York not far from where Harris lived in Palmyra."
(source)

Given the validation Mitchell gives to Smith via Harris, the Book of Mormon could then be an attempt by Joseph to expand on Mitchell's theory. Its the story of Malays in NY (as Mitchell had described to Harris) and the source from whence they came (Asia).

If the idea of an Asian Rajah being a character in an American spiritual epic seems outlandish, we only need to look to the hero of the second most popular buried scripture in the early church. James Strang had named his Mormon prophet Rajah Manchou. He chose two unmistakably Asian names for his American prophet. Strang was certainly thinking (maybe also inspired by Mitchell's hypothesis) that the Nephites came from a place where kings are called rajahs. These rajahs then buried their metal plates in New York.
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Re: Year of Maroni

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Zosimus wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2024 2:45 pm
Given the validation Mitchell gives to Smith via Harris, the Book of Mormon could then be an attempt by Joseph to expand on Mitchell's theory. It’s the story of Malays in NY (as Mitchell had described to Harris) and the source from whence they came (Asia).
So, there was a city of Jerusalem, ruled by a king named Zedekiah, in Malaysia as well as Israel?
"It’s ironic that the Church that people claim to be true, puts so much effort into hiding truths."
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Re: Year of Maroni

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Dr. Shades wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2024 4:39 pm
So, there was a city of Jerusalem, ruled by a king named Zedekiah, in Malaysia as well as Israel?
According to the Malay annals, Maroni was from the eastern Roman Empire which included Jerusalem.
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Re: Year of Maroni

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Zosimus wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2024 11:16 pm
Dr. Shades wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2024 4:39 pm
So, there was a city of Jerusalem, ruled by a king named Zedekiah, in Malaysia as well as Israel?
According to the Malay annals, Maroni was from the eastern Roman Empire which included Jerusalem.
But Moroni lived and died over a thousand years after Lehi left Jerusalem. He had no connection to Malaysia.
"It’s ironic that the Church that people claim to be true, puts so much effort into hiding truths."
--I Have Questions, 01-25-2024
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Re: Year of Maroni

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Dr. Shades wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2024 7:58 am
Zosimus wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2024 11:16 pm
According to the Malay annals, Maroni was from the eastern Roman Empire which included Jerusalem.
But Moroni lived and died over a thousand years after Lehi left Jerusalem. He had no connection to Malaysia.
Marong/Maroni is a title, given to military leaders (source). There were more than one. One was the founder of Kedah, the first civilization on the Malay Peninsula dated to the 6th century BC (source). Another was the founder of Siam. And there have been others.

Maroni (note the variation in spelling within the original Book of Mormon manuscript and Joseph Smith History) from the Book of Mormon may have been another.

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Re: Year of Maroni

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Zosimus wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2024 10:15 am
Marong/Maroni is a title, given to military leaders (source).
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; . . ."
Name, not title. No connection to Malaysia.
"It’s ironic that the Church that people claim to be true, puts so much effort into hiding truths."
--I Have Questions, 01-25-2024
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Re: Year of Maroni

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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.
Dr. Shades wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2024 6:48 am
(source).
No connection to Malaysia.
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.
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