PM6009: On the holy language

Now these are some words in the ancient Maratrean language which have been revealed to us. Note that the ancient Maratrean language, which was spoken in the days of Travancus and Claretta, existed in several dialects, of which the most important were the Western dialect and the Eastern dialect, but there were also several more minor dialects. The Eastern dialect was spoken in New Tradicarus and its surrounds, the lands in which the Cause had first assumed the place; these were those who followed Travancus and Claretta in the Great Exodus from Old Tradicarus, across the deserts, to the south and east, to escape the Great Persecution by the wicked Emperor. However, there Travancus had sent certain initiates on a mission to the south, down the Great River, and those initiates did not join in the Great Exodus, but remained around the southern parts of the Great River, to the west of New Tradicarus, and the language spoken by them became the Eastern dialect. Now, though these words have been revealed to us, of precisely which dialect these words form part, whether they are all common to all of them, or only to some of them, or whether the case differs for each word, that matter has not yet been revealed to us. The ancient Maratrean language is based on that of Old Tradicarus, but many new words were introduced by the Prophet Travancus, such that the tongue spoken by the Maratreans soon became near unintelligible to that spoken by the unbelievers. 

Like many languages (but unlike English), the ancient Maratrean language has grammatical gender. This means words are marked for gender, and the gender they are marked with doesn’t always literally correspond with the gender of the person or entity they refer to. For example, certain species of animals have a default gender, and it is rather arbitrary whether a particular animal species has female or male as its default gender. However, despite most nouns being marked for gender, gender agreement is largely absent–other parts of speech, such as adjectives, verbs, etc–generally aren’t marked for gender.

Taba: (male) the god of bats. Also taba, any individual bat. Note that words ending in ‑a are usually female, but this word is one of the exceptions to that general rule. The word taba is used to refer to an individual male bat, or an individual bat whose gender is unimportant. The word for a group of bats (either all male, or of mixed or unspecific gender) is tabata, whereas the word for a single female bat is tabeta, and the word for a group of female bats is tabetata. This demonstrates the general rules that words ending in ‑a take the plural ‑ata, masculine singular words ending in ‑a become feminine singular by substituting ‑eta for the ‑a, and become feminine plural by substituting ‑etata for -a.

Bacu: (male) the god of dogs. Also bacu, any individual dog. Words ending in ‑u are most commonly either masculine or neuter (and this word is no exception to that rule.) So a male dog, or a dog of unknown (or irrelevant) gender is a bacu, but a female dog is a bacùeta (the letter ù is pronounced with a w sound.) The plural of dogs (male or of mixed or unknown or irrelevant gender) is bacuta, whereas the feminine plural is bacùetata. This also demonstrates general rules  – words ending in ‑u are feminised with ‑ùeta, pluralised with ‑ta, and the feminine plural is ‑ùetata.

Fuza: (female) the goddess of foxes. Also fuza, any individual fox. fuzata, foxes. fuzus, a male fox. fuzusta, male foxes.

Trinca: (female) the goddess of cats. Also trinca, any individual cat. A male cat is a trincus. (Generally, when ‑a is a female ending, the male equivalent is ‑us.) The plural of cats (of female or non-specific gender) is trincata, whereas the masculine plural is trincusta.

Harpa: (male) the god of horses. Also harpa, any individual horse. harpata, horses; harpeta, female horse; harpetata, female horses.

Levana: (female) goddess of elephants. Also, levana, any elephant. levanata, elephants. levanus, male elephant; levanusta, male elephants.

Melacresa, (feminine), the camel goddess. melaca (feminine), camel. [This is a case where the name of the (sub)tutelary deity and the name of the animal are different, albeit related. On a more general point, using the deity name to refer to the species is something which developed among the Maratreans; in the Old Tradicarian tongue, these animal names are completely different.] melacata, camels, melacus, male camel, melacusta, male camels.

Delvina: (female) the goddess of dolphins. Also delvina, any individual dolphin. A male dolphin is a delvinus. Plurals are delvinata (dolphins), delvinusta (male dolphins).

Varalus: (male) god of whales. Also varalus, any individual whale. A female whale is a varala. Masculine/neuter plural is varalusta, female plural is varalata.

Muna: (male) the god of monkeys. Also muna, and individual monkey. A female monkey is a muneta. Plurals are munata (monkeys), munetata (female monkeys).

na: the indefinite article, equivalent to English a or an.

meva: heaven (feminine). mevata, heavens. mevua, adjective, heavenly. More generally, nouns ending in ‑a form adjectives ending in ‑ua, so tabua means (roughly) “bat-like”. A noun ending in -us also has its adjective ending in -ua. For example, varalus (whale) forms the adjective varalua (whale-like).

lovra: realm, domain, etc (feminine). So mevua lovra means heavenly realms. Which is just another way of saying meva, albeit somewhat more poetic.

micéla: beauty (feminine.) micélata: beauties. micélua, beautiful.

‑pa: derogatory particle. So bacupa would mean “bad dog” or “wicked dog” or so forth. And bacupata means “bad dogs” or “wicked dogs”. Note in forming plurals the -ta comes after the -pa. Also note that harpa is not derogatory despite ending in ‑pa, but harpapa is.

Buna: the goddess of dawn. Also buna means dawn. bunata means dawns.

Cresa: the goddess of rain. Also cresa means rain. cresata means rains.

Nuda: the goddess of night. Also nuda means night. nudata means nights.

bargum: birthplace, bargumta, birthplaces.

‑bargum: suffix to indicate a person’s birth place. So for example, Tababargum is the legendary birthplace of the god Taba.

talor: lord (masculine), talora (feminine). Hence Talor Taba (the Lord Taba), Talor Bacu (the Lord Bacu), Talora Melana (the deity of the female gendered root), Talora Buna, etc. Lords is talorta (masculine) and talorata (feminine). talorpa means “wicked lord” or “evil lord” (used to refer to Pandal, the “lords” among the usurpers, etc); the female equivalent is talorapa (used e.g. of Mornun and Bawun). And these words also form plurals, talorpata (“wicked lords”) and talorapata (“wicked female lords”).

: 2nd person pronoun (you)

ma: 1st person pronoun (I), mata (we)

cu: verb, love. So ma cu té means “I love you”

ma cu bacuta (I love dogs)

-va, possessive particle, belonging to. For example, mava (my), téva (your), talorva (belonging to the lord), tabatava (belonging to the bats), etc. So a person might say ma cu mava melacata (I love my camels).

These are words of the holy and sacred ancient Maratrean language which have been revealed to me. I hope and pray that myself, or those who walk after me, will receive further words.

For every Maratrean there exists the possibility of receiving divine revelation, and if any Maratrean claims to have received such a revelation, even the most lowly among the initiates, we should not dismiss their claims out of hand, but neither accept them without question. Each is charged with discerning for themselves; and to the Prophet-in-Council is entrusted the ultimate responsibility of discernment; but, in matters where it has not yet discharged that responsibility, or it has chosen (at least for a time) to leave the matter open, discernment is the responsibility of the individual initiate, a responsibility to exercised guided by the authoritative teaching of the Prophet-in-Council. And, considering a claimed revelation, the Prophet-in-Council may recommend by decree its acceptance or rejection; now, if it is recommended to be accepted, then it may be recited publicly by the initiates; but, with all respect and consideration to those who despite this doubt it; unless the revelation is itself decreed, its acceptance is only recommended and not binding. (A decree containing a recommendation of acceptance does not make the revelation decreed, unless the decree itself declare the revelation is not just recommended but in fact decreed; and even if it is itself decreed, those who nonetheless object to it may seek a decree of derogation exempting them from that decree.) If a revelation is decreed to be rejected, then it shall not be taught publicly, but those who continue to believe in it may do so privately. The decrees of the Prophet-in-Council in this matter are to be accepted, but they are not infallible, and so the Prophet-in-Council may later decree differently from what it decreed earlier: thus it may approve what it formerly rejected, or reject what it formerly approved, or withdraw its approval or rejection such that what was formerly either approved or rejected is now neither approved nor rejected.

The Prophet-in-Council should look with a certain favour upon anyone who claims to have received a revelation of words of the ancient Maratrean language. At the same time, they should be guided by their hearts, and if a claimed revelation repels their hearts, that should not approve it. And if to some is revealed one word, and to another some other word, such that the revelations appear to contradict, that may be the restoration of different dialects.

A person who has requested a decree of derogation in a matter of doctrine, is granted the enjoyment of that derogation prior to the decree in anticipation of the decree. (But, if a deed be prohibited, and they request a derogation from that prohibition, their request for a derogation does not exempt them.) And, no request for a decree of derogation may be rejected except after extensive consideration and consultation with the requestor, and its rejection is by decree. But the right of derogation is primarily a private right, not a public right; if two or more persons make the same request for derogation, they may exercise that right through assembling together, but they are to do so quietly, without drawing unnecessary attention to their actions. A decree of derogation affirms merely a private right, to be principally exercised privately, unless it is also a decree establishing a derogative ecclesia, in which case it then has a public character.

If an apostate or heretic or dissident or detractor or opponent (or any other such like) seeks to meet in person with the holy Prophet, or with any of the holy Councillors, the request should not be rejected except for a very grave reason.

Was Joseph Smith Jr, the founder of Mormonism, a prophet? I say he was not a true prophet; but I do believe that he received certain genuine divine revelations, but that having received some part of the message he refused to convey the rest, substituting his own fancies. Sprits of true revelation were sent on to him, and he received their word; but the false spirits also came to him, and spoke, and he received their words also; he failed to discern, and so what he produced was an admixture of truth and falsehood, more of the latter than the former, but still some of the former. And the Mormon churches today (such as the LDS and the Community of Christ, formerly RLDS) are moving further away from the truth and more on to falsehood than even Joseph Smith was – this is the Mormon apostasy.

Joseph Smith claimed to receive some words of an ancient language, the Adamic. I don’t know if this ancient language actually existed, or if the words he claimed were actually Adamic words. But the principle of the restoration of extinct languages by divine revelation is sound; but rather than continuing to labour in this principle, the Mormons have turned away from it. Smith may or may not have been right, but he was at least a little right, but his successors have become even less right than he did.

We are called to a holy script. Under the instructions of Brigham Young they produced the Deseret alphabet. If he was a true prophet he would have said–Behold, the holy alphabet revealed to us–but he did not say that. The true spirits sought to reveal to him a holy script, the restoration of an ancient script–I do not know if this was the Deseret alphabet–maybe it was, or maybe the true spirits sent him one script, but by the interference of the false spirits it became another script, which was the Deseret alphabet–but even if the latter, if he had called it holy, he would have been nearer to holiness than failing to do so. Even if he would have been wrong to do so, he would have been less than wrong than he was by not doing so. 

And what of Reformed Egyptian? LDS scholars make very little effort to reconstruct it. It is said, the Book of Mormon was written in Hebrew, but Hebrew written in an Egyptian script (Demotic? Hieratic?) rather than Hebrew writing. Well, why do their scholars not attempt to reconstruct the original Hebrew? There is a man who has sought to translate the Book of Mormon into Hebrew–the rocket scientist Tom Irvine of Alabama–but he has received no encouragement from the LDS authorities, actually, he has received discouragement from them. If they were a true religion, this is what they would do – have their scholars create the best possible translation of the Book of Mormon into Biblical Hebrew; then, their First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve would pray and receive a revelation confirming the correctness of that translation, divinely revealing it to be correct. But they will not do as such – for they are a false religion, and their failure to do this proves their falsity. And where they to do that, that might be a false revelation, but it would be far less false than the many other false revelations they have produced. (Some say, not Hebrew, but Egyptian–then, translate, into Egyptian, or Coptic, instead of into Hebrew.) In a similar way, their scholars ought to reconstruct the Reformed Egyptian script – the most logical way to write Biblical Hebrew in Hieratic or Demotic, say – and then their First Presidency and Quorum could receive a revelation confirming it – which even if false would be more true than their many other falsehoods. Or might Reformed Egyptian be in fact the Desert alphabet? If it had been, their error would have been less than it has been. Cast golden plates, and inscribe the Biblical Hebrew translation in Demotic/Hieratic/Deseret script upon them, and place them in all their temples. But they do not do any of this, for so great is their error!

So, let us not make their mistakes. Whoever receives revelation of word or script is to be encouraged, and their revelations appeal to the sense and heart and spirit of the Prophet-in-Council let them be approved. Let us translate the holy Maratrean scriptures, not only into contemporary languages – to the end of bringing many peoples speaking many tongues unto the good news of Maratrea – but also into what is considered the classical form of languages such as Hebrew, Aramaic, Chinese, Greek, Sanskrit, Tamil, Pali, Latin, Mandaic, Syriac, Ge'ez, Armenian, Arabic, Kannada, Georgian, Church Slavonic, Tibetan. The purpose of this is not per se evangelisation – since few read those languages, few will be converted by such a translation; and the few who can read those languages, almost all of them can read a modern language also, most commonly with greater ease. The point is more one of cultural enrichment, to enrich our Maratrean religious culture with those classical languages and to enrich those classical cultures with our Maratrean faith. And by doing so, certain parallels between our teachings and the classic texts of those classic languages may become apparent to us. And, if the ancient Maratrean language is sufficiently reconstructed – in any dialect – then let us translate our scriptures in to that dialect; and if the script be reconstructed, be revealed, let us transcribe the translation in that script; let us inscribe our true scripture in holy language and script upon golden plates, and enshrine those plates in our temples – thereby we will prove ourselves a religion of truth, even as the Mormons by doing the opposite prove themselves to be a religion of falsehood.

Brigham Young in Utah established an imperfect sign of the assumption of the place; he could have perfected it, instead by giving his allegiance to the evil empire, he destroyed whatever similitude of perfection it possessed. If they were of truth, they would have demanded their independence from falsehood, and worked diligently towards that aim; by failing to attempt that task, they have proven themselves to belong, not to truth, but to falsehood. 

And in those days there was an ingathering, but in the early 20th century the LDS church ceased encouraging its members to move to Utah – another sign of its apostasy. They told their converts instead to “stay and build up the work abroad” (Millenial Star 69:329) – of course, there is always a tension between the work of the call and the work of the ingathering; by responding to the call to go in, there remain less to make that call, and thereby even less may indeed respond to it. Even so, to entirely give up the plan and purpose of ingathering, to forget that the call is a call even to ingather, is to get the balance entirely wrong; we must find the right balance between the call and the response, and to forget entirely the response is not the right balance at all.

Did the events recounted in the Book of Mormon actually occur? I do not myself say that I believe in them; on the other hand, I say, if people desire them to be true with sufficient earnestness, then the glorious Maratrea will create a branch of their truth; even, if the desire be strong enough to overcome the expense, a convergent past. So, the Book of Mormon is true if and only if its believers have enough faith in it; and yet, I doubt their faith is sufficient for it to be actually true. Let me state some reasons why I so doubt.

Some LDS scholars and followers have attempted to reconstruct the geography of the Book of Mormon. Yet, the authorities of the LDS church, while they have not exactly discouraged these attempts, nor is it fair to say that they have given them any great encouragement. If they truly believed in the truth of the Book of Mormon, they would do more to encourage such research.

(Someone should establish an essay competition – for the best essay ranking the relative plausibility of the different models of Book of Mormon geography – and have the judges be Book of Mormon sceptics; indeed, Book of Mormon sceptics should be encouraged to contribute their views on the relative plausibility of different geographical models – and while their views should not necessarily be heeded, they should be at least be listened to – now, can any of my readers understand why I say this? The explanation – sceptics might be fought to treat the question impartially – they have no reason to prefer one model over another, no investment, as it were, in the question.)

What about the geography and chronology of the Travancine-Clarettan establishment? That matter has not yet been revealed to us, but speculation in that matter is to be encouraged, not discouraged. But, let me make another point–Joseph Smith saw the Book of Mormon as occurring in the northern United States, which is where he lived and established his church–for he saw a correspondence between (what he claimed to be) ancient scripture and his contemporary task. Now, the early Mormon church was not an establishment of the Cause, not even an attempt at it – but if we viewed it as some sort of dimwitted analog thereof, a very imperfect imitation – by that assumption we can learn a great deal from it. And so I will say, that wherever the place is first assumed, that is the land wherein the events of the Travancine-Clarettan establishment took place–even if only by translation–and if it be false, then if are earnest enough in our desire for its truth, it will on that account become true.

And I say, perfect your holy fraud and let it become truth. By which I mean, if a sufficiently perfect fraud be constructed, then by divine intervention, in a great and holy miracle, it will be replaced by an artefact which is entirely genuine. Or, let me say this – if enough truly desire it be true, then she will create the branch of its truth, in convergent pasts; and the more perfect the fraud, the less expensive the convergence. Behold the great and holy miracle, by which holy falsehood becomes holy truth! The mystic sacrament of transmutation!

A federative ecclesia is established by a federative agreement, between the central ecclesia and a pre-federative ecclesia. (Every organised religious body ever existing, which is not the central ecclesia, or an auxiliary or derogative or federative ecclesia, is a pre-federative ecclesia.) The agreement must be ratified by decree of the Prophet-in-Council, on behalf of the central ecclesia, and by the appropriate ruling bodies of the pre-federative ecclesia, before it enters into force; once in force, it is a binding agreement under Maratrean law (the law of heaven and the law of her Cause). A valid federative agreement must – (i) accurately recite the points of doctrinal, theological, or moral agreement between the central and the federative ecclesias, without denying the real differences of belief between them; (ii) commit the parties to friendly relations – which does not mean they will ignore their differences or refuse to speak of them, nor give up any attempt to persuade or convert each other, but rather that they will behave kindly and cordially towards one another, and grant each other freedom of religion without any persecution or defamation; (iii) commit the parties to hold fast to their belief in the points of agreement given in (i), not to waver from them, nor either to do anything to encourage the other to so waver; (iv) commit the parties to refrain from wickedness, and specify the acts of wickedness from which they will refrain, insofar as they can agree on them – which is to say, the central ecclesia commits to refrain from wickedness, as it understands it, and the pre-federative ecclesia makes as much of the same agreement as is possible for it given its moral beliefs.

The Maratrean approach to relations with other religions, and to freedom of religion, is based on the framework of the five ecclesias–central, auxiliary, derogative, federative and pre-federative–in the assumption of the place, which is Maratrean theocracy, the central ecclesia of Maratreanism is established as the state religion, but the auxiliary, derogative, federative and pre-federative ecclesias are permitted to operate. The Maratrean State extends its support to the first four ecclesial degrees, with the most support extended to the first and the least to the fourth; but to the fifth, no support is extended, only tolerance and forbearance.