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Scripture. This, however, is a digression, and is only said by the way.
Now to return. The conclusion is reached that the statement and argument in the “Outlines” comes in conflict with statements in the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon says that nine years after a certain sign of the birth of Christ had been given, the Nephites began to reckon their time from that event, the sign of Christ's birth.-III Nephi 2: 8. There was given them also a sign of His crucifixion, viz., tremendous earthquakes, and tempests to be followed by three days of darkness.
And now it came to pass, if there was no mistake made by this man (the one who kept the Nephite records), in the reckoning of our time, the thirty and third year had passed away, and the people began to look with great earnestness for the sign which had been given by the Prophet Samuel, the Lamanite; yea, for the time that there should be darkness for the space of three days over the face of the land. And it came to pass in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month, in the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land. (III Nephi).
Then follows a description of the earthquakes and the three days darkness which was the sign to them of Messiah’s crucifixion. But this is said to have occurred in the thirty-fourth year, in the first month, and on the fourth day of the month from the time the sign of Messiah's birth, and hence Jesus must have been thirtythree years and three days old (for since the Nephites reckoned their time from the day the sign of Christ's birth was given, they reckoned from one day before His birth, which is here dropped) instead of just thirty-three years old-a discrepancy of three days.
There are two things which make it impossible for any opponent of the Book of Mormon to gain any advantage by this seeming discrepancy:
First: He must prove that there was no mistake made by the Nephite historian who kept the Nephite records at that time; for the correctness of the time fixed in Mormon's abridgement of III Nephi for the appearance of the sign of Messiah's crucifixion as being in the thirty-fourth year, first month, and fourth day of the
month, from the sign of Christ's birth, is predicated upon, “'if there was no mistake made by this man [the recorder],” then the time was thirty-three years and four days. But who may at present determine absolutely whether there was or was not a mistake in his reckoning?
Second: The objector must make it clear, beyond the peradventure of a doubt, that the Nephite method of computing time is identical with ours before he can establish his contradiction. Can he do that? We allow 365 days for every year, except that every fourth year we add one day to make up the difference which accumulates during the four years between civil and astronomical time. Did the Nephites do the same? Or did they follow the Hebrew method, or the Egyptian? Or did they have a system of their own? From the best authorities it would appear that the Mexicans, descendants of the Lamanites, allowed 365 days to the year, but every 52 years they added 13 intercalary days, which practically reduced their system to the same as that followed by us, only the intercalary days were not added until the lapse of 52 years, whereas we add an intercalary day ever four years. But was this a custom of the Nephites or of the Lamanites only? It is impossible to tell.
Until the objector to the Book of Mormon can show absolutely what the method of the Nephites was for computing the year, and then can prove by comparison of data that there is a conflict between the statements and the argument made in the “Outlines" and the Book of Mormon, he will not make anything by this particular objection, either to the Book of Mormon or to the argument set forth in the “Outlines."
And now in conclusion, a word upon this closing paragraph of the communication here considered. Namely, that the gentleman who brings forth these old objections to the Book of Mormon "has it within his power to do us harm by publishing these statements from our books.” You must pardon me, but I don't believe it. I am a strong believer in Paul's doctrine that men can do nothing against the truth, but for it. That is, the efforts of men against the truth under the providences of God will be turned ultimately to its advantage, whatever of temporary inconvenience in the interim may have to be endured. The publication of these supposed
contraditions in our books will but advertise the work, lead men to investigate it whose attention, perhaps, would not otherwise be attracted to it; and investigation means being brought in contact with “Mormonism," and will afford opportunity for the spirit of the Lord to whisper to the hearts of such men and women that the work is divine, and thus the work of the ministry would be helped. Neither the gentleman in question nor any other man can harm this work, or the Book of Mormon. These old objections have been urged time and again during the last three-quarters of a century, but the Book of Mormon still holds its ground uninjured by the assaults made upon it; unharmed by objections made to it. It is being published in a constantly increasing number of nations, and is being accepted by the honest in heart, to whom the Spirit of God is bearing testimony that the book is true, and of divine origin.
BY NEPHI ANDERSON, AUTHOR OF ‘ADDED UPON," "MARCUS KING,
LIFE OF THE NORWEGIAN FISHERMAN.
During the following months, Harald served his apprenticeship to the calling of a fisherman. The fall fishing was good, and Uncle Erik was on the sea most of his time. Harald was with him, as they sailed from fjord to fjord, following the fish in their movements. During these trips, Harald received a share in the catch, the proceeds of which gave him more money than he had ever had before. Two weeks prior to Christmas, he sent the most of it to his grandmother, telling her to use it for her comfort -not by any means to save it, as he was going to earn more.
Preparations for the trip to Lofoten, now occupied most of the time of the inhabitants of Nordland. Harald entered enthusiastically into the work. His uncle was a line fisher, and his greatest anxiety was to secure the required amount of small herring for bait. For this purpose, they sailed in the wind, and rowed during still weather in and out of every corner, following every indication of herring. It was nearly time to start for Lofoten before they had secured enough.
On shore, there was life also. Lines and nets must be repaired; the boats overhauled; chests, ropes, sails, oars, and the hundred and one other needed articles must be looked after. Hired help had to be engaged. The women folks were kept just
as busy. The house was alive with their clatter, their gossip, their laughter, their singing, as they worked. Stacks of fladbrod must be baked; loaves of black ryebread, and cakes of wheat-flour were to be baked in the brick oven; the men's clothing must be patched and mended; great, thick stockings and mittens, knit. The girls worked until perspiration stood upon their rosy faces; the mother oversees, and prepares and packs. The grandmother, if there be one, sits in the corner, out of the way, and knits.
The Christmas holidays were celebrated in the usual Nordland manner, and then, about the middle of January, all were ready for Lofoten. Just before starting, Harald received a package from grandmother, containing a pair of thick stockings and a pair of woolen mittens. The mittens for the Lofoten fisherman's use, should have two thumbs, so that when one side becomes wet, it can be slipped off the hand, and turned around to the dry side; but, of course, grandmother knew nothing about such a contrivance. They were warm and serviceable, even if they had but one thumb each. With the package came a letter, and within the letter was another letter written very neatly on a piece of smoother, white, birch-bark. It read as follows:
VANGEN, January 10, 18— Friend Harald Einersen:
Grandmother often comes to see me. She is well, as we all are. Nordland must be a strange country, and the fishing at Lofoten very interesting. Will you not write and tell me all about your trip to the islands?
THORA BERNHARD. Harald certainly would. He provided himself with writing material, and from Lofoten sent a long letter to Thora. This is the communication:
KASTFJORD, LOFOTEN, January 30, 18–
will begin my answer to you, telling you about my trip hither, and what I have done so far. We left Sandstad, on January 20. A large crowd of fishers gathered at Uncle Erik's place preparatory