Today's Favorite Verse: 3 Nephi 5:20
"I am Mormon, and a pure descendant of Lehi. I have reason to bless my God and my Savior Jesus Christ, that he brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem, (and no one knew it save it were himself and those whom he brought out of the land) and that he hath given me and my people so much knowledge unto the salvation of our souls."
This chapter is a brief commentary made my Mormon, that compiled the records of the Nephites into the Book of Mormon. I always love to hear his voice inserted among the text and stories he is sharing. It really caught my eye to see the phrase that he was a "pure descendant of Lehi".
I sat and pondered on what that meant it, Mormon died around 385 AD so that was about 985 years since Lehi and his family came to the promised land in the Americas. They must have had a written genealogy for him to state that fact. I would have to trace all my lines back to 1031 AD, and see they converge to just one family, in order to say I was a pure descendant of anyone. That would be amazing. Even when I took my DNA test I wasn't a pure anything.
I think this verse also shows that there were other groups of people who's blood was mixed among them. I know when Lehi came he brought Zoram, Laban's servant, and Ishmael's family. I would almost think this party of people would be included when you say your of pure blood. It would be like me saying I'm a pure descendant of the pilgrims, with no other blood. The other group mentioned are the people of Zarahemla or Mulekites. Mulek was the son of the king Zedekiah that fled when Babylon conquered Jerusalem in 586 BC. They were a separate group unknown to the Nephites until around 200 BC. The Jaredites are mentioned that came over at the time of the tower of Babel but that whole race killed themselves out. The Mulekites having found their last survivor Coriantumr. I just don't think these were the only race of people on this land. The others are probably implied with the groups they support. The Lamanites sure do multiple and outnumber the Nephites very quickly between battles.
So it appears that genealogy was important to the Nephites. Mormon was very proud of the fact he was of pure blood. I need to relate this to my day. I know they had temples, did they do baptism for their dead like I do? I know Mormon was a keeper of their records. Ammaron having given him this charge, after hiding "all the sacred engravings concerning this people", in a cave in the hill called Shim. Mormon moved them afterwards to a cave inside the Hill Cumorah. He only buried the gold plates outside of it. There are recorded histories of early church leaders testifying to having visited the cave full of records. As I sit and ponder on this cave I cannot help but think of the Granite Mountain Vault, where we store our records. I can't visit that cave either! Inside is a history or our people, the genealogy of humankind. It also has copies of all the temple records, wouldn't that be considered sacred engravings too?
Someday when those records are available to us, it will be an amazing experience to see all of them added to the records we are compiling today. I'm sure they will all be included in the book of life, presented to the Lord. I sure would love to assist in data entering them.
Day 358 Tami Fitzgerald Harris