A Seer is Greater Than a Prophet
Ammon reads King Limhi's plates but he can't translate them--Ammon tells Limhi that the king of Zarahelma (Mosiah) can translate his plates.
|8:1And it came to pass that
after king Limhi had made an end of speaking to his
people, for he spake many things unto them and only a few of them have I written in this book, he told his people all
the things concerning their brethren who were in the land of Zarahemla. ||
(8:1-3) After king Limhi had made an end of speaking
After King Limhi is done with his speech, he makes Ammon tell everyone what his people
have been up to since the time that Zeniff left the land of Zarahemla. Ammon agrees, and throws in King Benjamin's speech as a bonus.
|8:2 And he caused that Ammon should stand up before the multitude, and rehearse unto them all that had
happened unto their brethren from the time that Zeniff went up out of the land even until the time that he himself came
up out of the land. ||
|8:3 And he also rehearsed unto them the last words which king Benjamin had taught them, and explained them
to the people of king Limhi, so that they might understand all the words which he spake. ||
|8:4 And it came to pass that after he had done all this, that king Limhi dismissed
the multitude, and caused that they should return every one unto his own house. ||
(8:4-6) The plates|
Then King Limhi dismisses his people and the "multitude" go home. Lemhi brings out the
plates of his people and makes Ammon read them. After Ammon finishes reading the plates,
Limhi asks him if he can interpret languages. Ammon says he can't.
|8:5 And it came to pass that he caused that
the plates which contained the record
of his people from the time that they left the land of Zarahemla, should be brought before Ammon, that he might read
|8:6 Now, as soon as Ammon had read the record, the king inquired of him to know if he could interpret
languages, and Ammon told him that he could not. ||
|8:7 And the king said unto him: Being grieved for the afflictions of my people,
I caused that forty and three of my people should take a journey into the wilderness, that thereby they might find the land of
Zarahemla, that we might appeal unto our brethren to deliver us out of bondage. ||
(8:7-10) Twenty-four plates ... of pure gold|
King Limhi explains how he sent a search party to find Zarahemla, but they couldn't find it. They got lost in the wilderness for many days and came
upon a land of many waters, which was covered with the bones of men and beasts. Among the ruins they found 24 golden engraved plates,
breastplates of brass and copper, and rusty swords.
|8:8 And they were lost in the wilderness for the space of many days, yet they were diligent, and found not
the land of Zarahemla but returned to this land, having traveled in a land among many waters, having discovered a land
which was covered with bones of men, and of beasts, and was also covered with ruins of buildings of every kind, having
discovered a land which had been peopled with a people who were as numerous as the hosts of Israel.
|8:9 And for a testimony that the things that they had said are true
they have brought twenty-four plates which are filled with engravings, and they are of pure gold.
|8:10 And behold, also, they have brought breastplates, which are large, and they are of
brass and of copper, and are perfectly sound.
|8:11 And again, they have brought swords, the hilts thereof have perished, and the blades thereof were
cankered with rust; and there is no one in the land that is able to interpret the language or the engravings that are
on the plates. Therefore I said unto thee: Canst thou translate? ||
(8:11) They brought swords.|
Ammon finds ancient swords. If swords existed in pre-Columbian America, why is there no evidence of it today?
|8:12 And I say unto thee again: Knowest thou of any one that can translate? For I am desirous that these
records should be translated into our language; for, perhaps, they will give us a knowledge of a remnant of the people
who have been destroyed, from whence these records came; or, perhaps, they will give us a knowledge of this very people
who have been destroyed; and I am desirous to know the cause of their destruction. ||
The king of ... Zarahemla ... has this high gift from God.
Then King Limhi asks him again if he can translate, or if he knows anyone else who can.
Ammon says that the King of Zarahemla could probably do it. He's a seer, after all.
|8:13 Now Ammon said unto him: I can assuredly tell thee, O king, of a man that
can translate the records; for he has wherewith that he can look, and translate all records that are of ancient date; and
it is a gift from God. And the things are called interpreters, and no man can look in them except he be commanded, lest he should look for that
he ought not and he should perish. And whosoever is commanded to look in them, the same is called seer.
|8:14 And behold, the king of the people who are in the land of
Zarahemla is the man that is commanded to do
these things, and who has this high gift from God.
|8:15 And the king said that a seer is greater than a prophet.
(8:15-17) A seer is greater than a prophet.|
King Limhi was happy to have found a seer. Both Ammon and Limhi agreed that seers are far
superior to prophets. You see, a seer is both a revelator and a prophet. (Of course,
Joseph Smith was all three). Seers are handy to have around, because
they reveal stuff, tell secrets, light up hidden things, make things known, and make other things known that couldn't have been known otherwise.
It's a hard job.
|8:16 And Ammon said that a seer is a revelator and a prophet also; and a
gift which is greater can no man have, except he should possess the power of God, which no man can; yet a man may have
great power given him from God.
|8:17 But a seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall
all things be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and
things which are not known shall be made known by them, and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise could
not be known.
|8:18 Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh
a great benefit to his fellow beings. ||
|8:19 And now, when Ammon had made an end of speaking these words the king rejoiced
exceedingly, and gave thanks to God, saying: Doubtless a great mystery is contained within these
plates, and these interpreters were doubtless prepared for the purpose of unfolding all such mysteries to the children
of men. ||
|8:20 O how marvelous are the works of the Lord, and how long doth he suffer with his people; yea, and how
blind and impenetrable are the understandings of the children of men; for they will not seek wisdom, neither do they
desire that she should rule over them! ||
|8:21 Yea, they are as a wild flock which fleeth from the shepherd, and scattereth, and are driven, and are
devoured by the beasts of the forest. ||
And it came to pass (8:1, 4, 5)