A Scriptural Prank

One day while I was serving my mission, my companion told me that he knew the name of the Holy Ghost.  I told him I was doubtful, but he insisted that it was Eden.  He opened his scriptures to Doctrine and Covenants, Section 80, pointed to Eden Smith’s name, and told me to look at the footnote (2a).  I did so and was surprised to see that it indicated that Eden Smith was indeed the Holy Ghost.  I found this very confusing and worked on puzzling out this mystery for a minute or two before finally figuring out what was going on (much to my companion’s amusement).  I’ve shared the image below and will let you do the same.

11 comments for “A Scriptural Prank

  1. Not a prank. Eden is the place where the Holy Ghost is ever fully present. It is the place that we are hoping to return to. Sometimes God hides the obvious in unusual places that those with eyes to see, may see.

  2. So did Ruggles Eames and Micah B. Welton get paired together or did they decline their callings altogether?

  3. As a missionary, when other missionaries asked what I thought about obscure doctrinal questions, my go-to response was to tell them that a great answer could be found in Alma 37:11.

  4. I guess this is meant as a joke and that everyone can see that the Holy Ghost footnote is for Section 79, from the reference to the Comforter in verse 2, and not to Section 80 where the name Eden Smith is found.

  5. When I was a deacon I liked the scripture that a deacon should be the husband of one wife. At leastwe can explain this one.

  6. I’m glad you appreciated it, D. Also, clever way to show you were paying attention, lastlemming. From what I can find, Ruggles Eames didn’t go through with his mission but Micah B. Welton did serve one or two short missions with Eden Smith prior to the date given to this revelation.

  7. Elder McConkie wrote this about chapter heading, footnotes, etc.:

    [As for the] Joseph Smith Translation items, the chapter headings, Topical Guide, Bible Dictionary, footnotes, the Gazeteer, and the maps. None of these are perfect; they do not of themselves determine doctrine; there have been and undoubtedly now are mistakes in them. Cross-references, for instance, do not establish and never were intended to prove that parallel passages so much as pertain to the same subject. They are aids and helps only. (Mark McConkie, ed. Doctrines of the Restoration: Sermons and Writings of Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1989], 289-90 emphasis added)

    I found this at http://scripturalmormonism.blogspot.com/2016/05/bruce-mcconkie-on-fallibility-of.html.

  8. It’s not so much a mistake in the footnotes as an amusing misdirection made possible by having two very small sections on the same page.

  9. Not exactly a prank, but as a missionary in the 60’s we were encouraged to memorize a scripture a week. A popular verse to learn by heart was: “And Jesus wept.” I still remember it.

    I also enjoyed memorizing verses from the OT Book of Ecclesiastes. Probably not the MP’s favorite religious book, but it is great literature.

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