Nephi, the first author of The first Book of Mormon, began the record by introducing himself, then submitting his credentials in order to help validate the authenticity of his account. (Nephi 1: 2 – “Yea, I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians.”)
When Nephi’s father Lehi and his family left Jerusalem for the “Promised Land”, they carried with them records of the Jews, which were written on the plates of brass, which Nephi got from Laban. Nephi and the following prophets followed the “learning of the Jews” in the Book of Mormon narrative. In other words, the Book of Mormon follows Hebrew traditions.
A Fascinating Conversion Story
Mr. Robert Kay, is a Cohen and descendant of the Tribe of Levi. He is also well trained in Hebrew tradition and the “learning of the Jews.” Rob has given me permission to tell his conversion story.
Kay discovered the Book of Mormon when he was fifteen years old and immediately recognized the Hebraisms evident in the book. He studied it for three years and then found and joined the Church. He found the work to be authentic and profound.
Kay’s understanding of the Book of Mormon from a Jewish and Hebrew viewpoint is immeasurable. He shares great wisdom and insights at many Book of Mormon conferences and on his website: Mormon Yeshiva,
My relationship with Mr. Kay
Robert Kay is a friend of our daughter, McKaylee, and her husband Scott Sims. Scott works with Robert who is an insurance adjuster helping people with problems in disaster areas. After becoming familiar with some of his essays I was intrigued with his insights and invited him to Fountain Green to give a fireside; it was fascinating. The theater was full, and everyone I talked to was intrigued with what he shared. Our daughter, Karie, drove all the way from Hobble Creek Canyon to hear him.
Voices From the Dust
Several months ago, Kay released a three volume adaptation of the Book of Mormon, named “Voices From The Dust.” This set in no way replaces the original Book of Mormon but acts as a companion for deeper comprehension from a Jewish and Hebrew understanding.
Robert used the 1840 edition of the Book of Mormon, which is the last one Joseph edited before his martyrdom. Quoting from his EDITION NOTE: “This work is a Hebrew Roots adaptation of the 1840 Joseph Smith translation of the Book of Mormon diligently compared edited and revised to reflect the Hebrew foundation of the text.”
The formatting of the books are Kay’s. For me it was most fascinating because I found it to align perfectly with the Lord’s definition of truth: “And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come;” (D&C 93:24)
I wrote an article on the science and translation of “And It Came to Pass.” which is repeated often in the Book of Mormon.
I found that my research lines up perfectly with the ancient Hebrew Kabbalah meanings of these phrases and their tying to the Adamic language:
Things as they are aligns with “And now it came to pass…”
Things as they were aligns with “And it came to pass…”
Things as they are to come aligns with “And it shall come to pass…”
Rob Kay’s Hebrew Adaptation
I share three quotes from Rob Kay’s “Hebrew adaption;” the highlighting is mine.
From 3 Nephi 23: on page 209 of his volume 3:
27 And now it came to pass
28 that when Yeshoshua had said these words he said unto them again
29 after he had expounded all the scriptures unto them
30 which they had received
31 he said unto them
From 3 Nephi 19: on page 192 of volume 3:
12 And it came to pass
13 that when they had all knelt down upon the earth
14 he commanded his talmidim [disciples]
15 that they should pray
16 and behold they began to pray
17 and they did pray unto Yeshoshua calling him
18 their Adon and their Elohiym
From 3 Nephi 20: on page 198 of his volume 3:
6 ‘And it shall come to pass’ says the Father
7 ‘that the sword of my justice
8 shall hang over them at that day
9 and except they repent
10 it shall fall upon them’ says the Father
11 yes even upon all the nations of the Goyim’ [Gentiles]
13 And it shall come to pass
14 that I will establish my people
15 O house of Isra’el
16 and behold this people will I establish in this land
17 unto the fulfilling of the covenant
18 which I made with your father Yacov
19 and it shall be a New Yerushalayim
20 and the powers of heaven shall be
21 in the midst of this people
22 Yes even I will be in the midst of you
23 behold I am he of whom Moshe spoke saying
24 ‘A Prophet shall YHVH your Elohiym raise up unto you
25 of your brothers like unto me him shall you hear in all things
26 whatever he shall say unto you
27 and it shall come to pass that every soul
28 who will not hear that Prophet shall be cut off
29 from among the people’
Kay’s sectioning often begins with one of these three phrases, which for me shows the inspiration behind his adaption. I have read all three volumes and found them most inspiring and I gained a lot from the “learning of the Jews.” It is my sense that the more familiar you are with the Book of Mormon, the more profound will be your experience in reading Robert Kay’s inspired adaption from the Hebrew.
I Highly Recommend “Voices From The Dust”
Robert makes the three volumes “Voices From the Dust” (The Record Of The Nephiy – Sefer Ha-Zikkaron Am Nephiy) available at his cost on Amazon. It is also available as Kindle.
The Hebraisms as he went to the temple were profound as well. How blessed we are to have Robert Kay’s contribution – another grand witness to the divinity of the Book of Mormon, which book can do more than any other in bringing you closer to God and knowing that Jesus is the Christ:
19 that they may be persuaded
20 that Yehoshuah is the Mashiach
21 the Chosen Son of the living Elohiym
Page 342 of Volume 3, where Mormon closes with his testimony “unto the unbelieving of the Jews;” (Mormon 5:14). If you have a Jewish friend, give him Rob’s books: “Voices from the dust.” (See: Isaiah 29:4)
David W Allan