- Isaiah 29:4
- "And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech
shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar
spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust."
- Mormons claim this passage refers to the plates allegedly found by
Joseph Smith at Cumorah Hill, N.Y. State. A Mormon Presiding "Bishop" (1952),
LeGrand Richards, comments as follows:
- "Now, obviously, the only way a dead people could speak 'out of the ground' or 'low
out of the dust' would be by the written word, and this the people did through the Book of
Mormon. Truly it has a familiar spirit, for it contains the words of the prophets of the
God of Israel." 1
- Since the Mormons cite this passage as a prophecy of the Book of Mormon the onus
of proof rests with them.
- The following require answers:
- What proof is there from Isa. 29 that the people referred to (i.e., those who speak out
of the ground) are dead?
- Since it is "obviously, the only way a dead people could speak 'out of the
ground'", how is Gen. 4:10 to be interpreted?
- How is the term "familiar spirit" used elsewhere in Isaiah and in the Old
- Since Isaiah used the terms "speak", "speech", "voice",
"whisper" what proof is there:
- that these words refer to a book?
- that the book referred to is the Book of Mormon?
- The following information is useful:
- "Familiar spirit" is translated from the Hebrew word,
"ob", which means a necromancer 2
(the pretended power to foretell the future by communicating with the dead; magic). The
expression "familiar spirit" occurs in Isa. 8:19-20 where the practice is
condemned: "And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar
spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their
God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not
according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Under the law of
Moses death was the punishment for turning after familiar spirits. (Lev. 20:6). There is
not one passage in the Bible in which "familiar spirit" occurs with the meaning
given it by Mormons.
- Isa. 51 is a commentary on Isa. 29. The following are the points of identification:
- The subject of the prophecies is Jerusalem (Arial) or Zion. (Isa. 29:1 and Isa.
- Both passages refer to drunkenness but not with wine. (Isa. 29:9 and Isa. 51:21).
- Both passages refer to punishments of God by means of invading nations. (Isa. 29:3,7 and
- Both passages speak of Jerusalem being debased to the ground. (Isa. 29:4 and Isa.
The reason for the inhabitants of Jerusalem speaking "low out of the dust" is
not because the Book of Mormon would be discovered but because they were being
"brought down", beaten into the ground by their enemies. (Isa. 51:23). The
"whispering voice" of a necromancer is contrasted with the lifting of the voice
when Zion will again be redeemed. (Isa. 52:9).
- LeGrand Richards, A Marvelous Work and A Wonder, (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret
Book Co., 1958), p. 69. Richards was ordained as one of the "twelve apostles" of
the Mormon Church. Return
- Robert Young, Analytical Concordance to the Holy Bible, (London: Lutterworth
Press, 1965). Return