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Hello Gramps,

I was studying this morning and I read about something that was interesting to me, though not terrible important.  What are cureloms and cumoms?  It’s in Ether chapter 9 verse 19.  I know they were animals, but I was wondering if there is anything further known about them?  Like what language the Jaredites were using. I see similarities in previous words in our doctrine.  Urim and Thummim the im is plural right?  Light(s) and Truth(s).  Also Elohim, God(s).  I’m just rambling now I guess.  They are probably completely different languages.  Any input you may have would be great, always trying to learn more!

Damon

 

Answer

 

Dear Damon,

The Urim and Thummim are both plural words from Hebrew meaning  lights and perfections.  There are several references to them in the Old Testament, The Book of Mormon and The Pearl of Great Price.  The brother of Jared used them in receiving revelations as recorded in Ether 3:23.

“And behold, these two stones will I give unto thee, and ye shall seal them up also with the things which ye shall write.”

These are the same ones that Joseph Smith received and used in the translation of the Book of Mormon.  In the Doctrines and Covenants 17, the Lord states:

“1 Behold, I say unto you, that you must rely upon my word, which if you do with full purpose of heart, you shall have a view of the plates, and also of the breastplate, the sword of Laban, the Urim and Thummim, which were given to the brother of Jared upon the mount, when he talked with the Lord face to face, and the miraculous directors which were given to Lehi while in the wilderness, on the borders of the Red Sea.”

Joseph Smith returned the Urim and Thummin to the angel along with the plates.  Joseph Smith also had and used a seer stone, which was not the the Urim and Thummim.  In Doctrines of Salvation volume 3, page 225, President Joseph Fielding Smith indicated that it was this seer stone that was on the altar of the Manti Temple when the building was dedicated and is now in the possession of the Church.

Elohim is also Hebrew and is plural for Eloah (God).

Evidently the animals that are referred to in Ether 9:19, cureloms and cumoms were unknown to the Nephites or at least to the Prophet Joseph Smith.  Concerning the identification of these animals, Hugh Nibley in his book, “Lehi in the Desert and the World of the Jaredites”  gives the following explanation:   ‘”They have plenty of iron, accarum and andanicum,’ says Marco Polo of the people of Kobian….but the fact is no one knows for sure what accarum and andanicum are.  Marco knew, of course but since the things didn’t exist in Europe there was no western word for them and so all he could do was to call them by their only names.  It is just so with the cureloms and cumoms of Ether 9:19.  These animals were unknown to the Nephites, and so Moroni leaves the words untranslated, or else though known to the Nephites, they are out of our experience so that our language has no name to call them by.  They were simply breeds of those ‘many other kinds of animals which were useful for the food of man.”‘

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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