Words of Them… Slumbered (2018)

From 2 Nephi 27: The Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep.

For behold, ye have closed your eyes, and ye

Have rejected the prophets; and your rulers, and the seers

Hath he covered because of your iniquity. And it

Shall come to pass that the Lord God shall bring forth

Unto you the words of a book, and they shall be the words

Of them which have slumbered. 


The second book following Words of the Faithful,

out of the promises in the Book of Mormon (2 Nephi 27),

Available on Kindle and Paperback.


From the Scribe’s Introduction:

Having left our friends at the Tower’s destruction, and the Jaredites to their barges or vessels, so concluded Words of the Faithful. I was myself unsure whether some new tale would follow their after-labors, having finished in May 2017 the story as far as Pengolodh would tell. And so published a few months later, however knowing it was incomplete.

For a twentieth text in the “Ancient Words” was delivered in early June, and I struggled to translate one word in particular: Rugus. I later guessed it was a name, and this Rugus was involved in a trade: he for a small thing fashioned to catch a bird’s claw. Moreover, as I came to some sense of the text, it was clear the trader was Nazgul, and he received Ifariel’s falcon catch in joy. This twentieth text was excluded from Words of the Faithful, being, it seemed, set apart from its tales. It is included here, and begins these promised Words.

Having published Words of the Faithful, and watching it puzzle and encourage some few readers, I rested from a long and emptying labor. Then came November. I was urged once again to begin writing, recognizing in the telling wise Pengolodh’s style and lore. Our time was now too short, it seemed, for me to enjoy any lengthy vacation from writing these promised tales. So through the winter months—November and December, through January and February into this year 2018—I wrote down his astonishing tale.

What you read was written by hand, as given here, in a single draft (just as Words of the Faithful was composed). While writing the English tale, sometimes I also was delivered short passages; and these I’ve included, being, I suppose, some literal words of them that have slumbered. While I don’t claim to understand all that is currently happening, in their world (or in our own!), it is clear that our good companions in the world of spirits, even among monsters, are not inactive, nor cowards.

I’m not going to tell you this reading will be easy. Pengolodh is a lore master, after all. The narrative moves back and forth across ages, circling to further develop scenes; often with only a slight indication (but always given, so pay attention!). And it draws on published texts, without explicit reference. I offer footnotes when appropriate, and sometimes add a long dash — to mark transitions in narrative time. Take it slow, but don’t stop, for as you move ahead in the text, your understanding of the earlier narrative should improve. And read aloud, when in doubt. Finally, if you have neglected the Silmarillion, you can ignore it no longer, if you wish to understand this tale. The Book of Mormon also may be read again, without bringing any harm to ourselves.

Few friends have asked, “Are you serious?” An elf, Book of Mormon, Manwë, and so on? Really? I’m sure others wanted to ask. So, let me answer: Yes. Really. I wrote what I was told (but kept some private); and this time as before, I encountered many words I had never heard before, or ever considered using.   But trusting my source, I learned words like clatchet, suzerain, embouchure, proctor, prodst, and so on. I say this not to convince anyone of the truth of what is written, but to show a little of how the telling proceeded. Rapidly, hand written, exhausting, full of surprises, and with gratitude. Not automatic nor in a trance, but more as a scribe. Better, more careful and diligent scribes they could have found; but perhaps I was eccentric and desperate enough to keep up the project, amid our world’s demands and failures. And yet the tale remains incomplete, I suppose.

Gift Idea? A new BOOK? Obviously.


What?  Another book?  Yes…

So, you want to get your old grand-dad a book for Christmas?  But don’t want to ruin his illusion of a tightly run, monetarily efficient church, that nonetheless only helps widows by dispensing Sacred Funds, say, by giving him the Book of Mammon?  And maybe you don’t want to utterly destroy your auntie’s illusion about a Restored Church/Priesthood, and cure her of a fascination with the Bible and the assistance it provides to her reading of the Book of Mormon, say, by giving out the Cultural History of the Book of Mormon?  Well, friend, have I got a book for you!


A new book, even.  Well, sort of a book.  A libretto in Five Acts, for a maybe-forthcoming Opera, called City of Saints.  It begins in Missouri, near the end of the Mormon War, and takes you through the very-suitable-for-opera love and power struggles at Nauvoo, concluding with the everyone-dies scene at Carthage!

You can purchase it for 15 U.S. dollars from Amazon.  Yes, for the equivalent of two hours cashiering at Toys ‘R Us (pre-tax), you can have (or give away) perhaps as many as 10 Hours of reading pleasure!  That’s a 5:1 ratio of Pain to Pleasure.  And, boy will City of Saints give you or that special someone on your list some pleasure!    To establish the credibility of that ratio, I provide the following PDFs from the book itself, a mere sample of the entire text you could have on your shelf as soon as you send Amazon the digital equivalent of 15 U.S. dollars!

From Act 1:


From Act 5:




On The Tradition of a “Small and Large Plates” Division

One of the more controversial findings from my study The Abridging Works is that the tradition of Small Plates of Nephi and Large Plates of Nephi is, well, just tradition.  The evidence against this traditional division is considerable, as I argue in an essay in the same book.

What do I think is more correct?  The “Small Plates” are called “The Plates of Jacob” and Nephi seems to not ever mention the size of plates.  What about the reading of Nephi which finds “ministry plates” and “reign plates”?  Clearly this division could not have come about until he was well into his reign; I think the textual evidence indicates Nephi engraving plates for at least three different records; and that the start-and-stop nature of 1 Nephi through 2 Nephi 5 is a symptom of Nephi’s re-writing; and also, more importantly, of the fact that these plates were not originally part of Mormon’s “Abridging Plates,” that is, of the “Golden Plates”.

That is one outcome of reading in a way presented in The Abriding Works: What is now called 1 Nephi and the first parts of 2 Nephi were not, it seems, part of the “small account” which Mormon attached to his record.  Where did they come from, then?

I cover in The Abridging Works the historical and textual evidence for a second acquisition of plates from Cumorah.