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Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture:

Cracking the Book of Mormon’s “Secret Combinations”?

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Published by:
Interpreter A Journal of Mormon Scripture
Published:
11/27/2014
Specs:
Digest / 5.25" x 8.25"
52 pages Saddle-stitched
Category:
Religion
Tags:
apologetics, Book of Mormon, Freemasonry, lds, mormon, Mormonism, secret combinations

The Book of Mormon has been explained by some as a product of Joseph Smith’s 19th century environment. Advocates of this thesis have argued that the phrase secret combinations is a reference to Freemasonry, and reflect Joseph’s preoccupation with this fraternity during the Book of Mormon’s composition in 1828–29. It is claimed that this phrase is rarely, if ever, used in a non-Masonic context during 1828–29, and that a type of “semantic narrowing” occurred which restricted the term to Freemasonry. Past studies have found a few counter-examples, which are reviewed, but none from during the precise years of interest. This study describes many newly-identified counterexamples, including: anti-Masonic authors who use the term to refer to non-Masonic groups, books translated in the United States, legislature bills, grand jury instructions, and works which so characterize slave rebellions, various historical groups and movements, Biblical figures, and religious groups.

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