Were the editors of the Book of Mormon index prejudiced?

OK Readers! Another question in my Formspring inbox! This question was asked anonymously almost three weeks ago. Sorry it took me so long, but this question required me to find ponder the scriptures before I could answer. OK.  Here’s the question:

In the index of the Book of Mormon, the last in-text reference to “Anger” refers to Lamanites in Moroni. Were the editors of the index prejudiced?

If you look up “anger” in the 1981 version of the index of the Book of Mormon (which is the latest index version as far as I know), you will find three references, which are given in the order they appear in the BOM text.  The third reference refers to Moroni 9:3, which talks about how Satan is influencing the Lamanites and filling them with anger.

Ok, I have to admit that I’m not sure I really understand the question.  The BOM text says that the Lamanites were angry, so pointing that out in the index doesn’t seem to be an indication that the indexers were prejudice.  A full text search of the BOM for the the word anger reveals 54 references to the word anger.  Maybe the indexers were prejudice against Lamanites because they chose to include this reference instead of one of the other 51 references?  I don’t know.  This seems like a pretty weak argument to me.

Were the indexers prejudice?  Maybe – but if I were looking for evidence of prejudice in the church, there are a few other elephants in the room I’d want to deal with first.

Anonymous, if I’ve misunderstood your question, let me know in the comments.  Everyone else:  let’s have some more questions!!!  Ask Me Anything!!!

4 comments to Were the editors of the Book of Mormon index prejudiced?

  • Anonymous

    I asked the question, but it wasn't meant to be a serious question… more like poking fun at a mistake(?) in the BoM index. Here's the verse:

    3 And now behold, my son, I fear lest the Lamanites shall destroy this people; for they do not repent, and Satan stirreth them up continually to anger one with another.

    Are you sure that the people who Satan stirs up to anger are the Lamanites? As I've read it, it's the Nephites that are being "stirred up to anger." The "they" and "them" are the Nephites and the Lord is using the Lamanites to destroy the Nephites because the Nephites do not repent.

    However, in the index, it says, "Satan stirs Lamanites up continually to a."

  • Ren

    Have you ever looked anything up scriptures.lds.org that was different than what's in your hardcopy scriptures? That's happened to me a couple of times with footnotes.

  • @Anonymous – AH – ok I get what you're saying now. When I read the verse, my understanding is that it WAS the Lamanites that were getting angry, although I'd just read the index, so that might have colored my lenses a little bit. Good question. There are definitely a few places in the BOM where pronouns are thrown around without much care. I'm pretty curious about who you are, though.

  • @Ren – I haven't had that experience, although I am aware that the footnotes change every so often. Within the past week I was just listening to a podcast somewhere (Mormon Expression maybe?) where an LDS apologist was talking about the footnote from one of the Isaiah Chapters in the Book of Mormon where the 1981 footnote made a big deal about the phrase "all the ships of the sea & all the ships of Tarshish" or something like that because it included a phrase that wasn't in the King James Version, but it WAS included in some other versions that had been found somewhere. Mormons used to go nuts about this footnote and say "OMG!! SEE? That proves the BOM is true!!!" In the podcast, they were discussing how the most recent scholarly thinking is that this isn't the case at all, and that this footnote has been removed from newer versions of the scriptures.

    I've never really used the cross references much in my personal studies, but I do really enjoy the Greek or Hebrew clarifications that show up once in a while. I wouldn't mind seeing a few more of these in the footnotes.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>