A puzzling feature of the description of the gold-colored metal plates, on which the Book of Mormon text was written, was the thickness of the sealed portion. The unsealed plates could be turned like the pages of a book, but the sealed plates were bound together by some means (which was never actually described by witnesses) whereby the individual leaves could not be separated from each other and read. David Whitmer, one of the witnesses privileged to actually see the plates, estimated the sealed portion to constitute about one half of the total number of leaves, while Orson Pratt, who did not personally see the plates but wrote about what eyewitnesses had told him, estimated the sealed portion to be two thirds of the total.1 The overall thickness of the sealed and unsealed portions together was estimated as ranging from four (Martin Harris’ version) to six inches (Orson Pratt’s version).2 The unsealed portion produced what is now 531 pages of text in the Book of Mormon, so presumably, the sealed portion, if translated, would produce approximately that same amount or more.
This short essay suggests a possible explanation for why the sealed portion of the ancient plates was as thick as reported by witnesses, and what other texts might have been contained within that portion in addition to that which is already known.
Identifying the False Prophet of the Book of Revelation
The phrase “false prophet” is mentioned three times in the Book of Revelation (see 16:13, 19:20 and 20:10). The phrase draws particular attention to itself because its singular form distinguishes it from the plural phrase “false prophets” which Jesus warned against and which is found in six different New Testament passages. Since John himself refers to the “many false prophets” in 1 John 4:1, his use of the singular term in Revelation, preceded by the word “the,” suggests he is referring to one man who is the most famous and dangerous of all false prophets who would threaten Christianity. John appears to expect the reader will naturally identify one false prophet among many anonymous and generic ones because of the former’s superior notoriety.
My interpretation of certain key verses of Revelation 9 is based on these assumptions: First, John is aware that his audience readers extends beyond the seven churches he names in Chapters 1, 2 and 3. He’s aware that the Lord has chosen him to fulfill the role that the Book of Mormon prophet Nephi prophesied he would fulfill, as I set forth in Part 1 of this essay. He knows that prior to the Millennium, his revelation will be the world’s only available scripture describing Earth’s entire history. Therefore, the events set forth in his narrative won’t be trivial or obscure ones; rather, they’ll be momentous, enormously consequential ones which can be identified after they’ve occurred.
In the latter part of this essay, I will propose that certain words written by John in the ninth chapter of the Book of Revelation refer to Hitler’s rise, Hitler’s conquest of Europe and the Normandy Invasion in which the forces of good combined to liberate the Jewish and Christian world from tyranny and destruction. I’ve never heard anyone express most of the views contained below, but I have heard and read a great number of views reaching different conclusions. For proof of this, one might visit biblehub.com and read the various interpretations of Revelation Chapter 9 from a host of biblical scholars. The uniqueness of my interpretations, and especially the fact that I interpret scriptures the LDS Church has declined to interpret, motivate me to explain why I presume to venture into this doctrinal territory.