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How would Joseph Smith ensure that the Book of Mormon’s use of “remember” and “forget” is “extensive, internally consistent, and strikingly similar – in both frequency and range of meaning – to their use in the Bible”?

Biblical scholar Louis Midgley remarks how the Book of Mormon surprisingly contains over 200 words relating to “remembering” and “forgetting”. This is certainly much higher than expected if the meaning was only related to things coming in and out of memory. 

However Midgley explains the biblical meaning of these words:

To remember often means to be attentive, to consider, to keep divine commandments, or to act. The word in Hebrew thus carries a wider range of meaning than is common with the verb remember in English. Indeed, to remember involves turning to God, or repenting, or acting in accordance with divine injunctions.

Conversely, the antonym of the verb to remember in Hebrew—to forget—does not merely describe the passing of a thought from the mind, but involves a failure to act, or a failure to do or keep something. Hence, failing to remember God and his commandments is the equivalent of apostasy.

Louis Midgley – “O Man, Remember, and Perish Not” (Mosiah 4:30)

Midgley notes how the Book of Mormon uses these words in the biblical way which “captures one of the most distinctive aspects of Israelite mentality” and “shows a clear link between the ways of remembrance or forgetfulness and the blessings or cursings associated with the covenant people of God”. 

What are the odds that Joseph Smith’s dictation of the Book of Mormon would be so consistent with the Bible in this regard?


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