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November 26, 2022

Comments | Return to Story

MicheleJune 28, 2020

Additionally, this wasn't English we're talking about, even if arms is used in two different chapters as mentioned. We can't go by the 1828 version of Webster's dictionary, because Joseph Smith didn't use that, he translated by the power of the spirit. I often find articles which shares the actual meaning if the original words, and explains the connotations.

Rita in TexasJune 27, 2020

Kent, if the verse had said, "gathered up their arms", I would agree with you. But it clearly states, "smote off their arms". "Arms" can be used either way in English, depending on the context, and as the article states, cutting off body parts as proof of victory in battle was an accepted practice in both the ancient Old and New Worlds.

Jeff DrakeJune 26, 2020

Interesting argument, Kent. So what did people in 1830 call the upper limbs of the human body? Thanks!

Kent BucknerJune 25, 2020

I don't believe body parts were removed. The first definition of 'Arms' in Webster's 1828 dictionary is "Weapons of offense, or armor for defense and protection of the body." In other words, their weapons and/or armor were removed. In fact, not one of the definitions in Websters 1828 has anything to do with body parts but all are about weapons and war. Examples of the use of 'arm's' is in Alma 43: 11 "11 Yea, and they also knew the extreme hatred of the Lamanites towards their brethren, who were the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi, who were called the people of Ammon—and they would not take up arms..." Also, Mos. 20:24, (can you imagine going somewhere without your body parts?) Alma 27:3, Alma 53:11, 1 Ne 22:6, and there are more.



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