Journal of Discourses 16:156 “And when the Lord was about to have the Book of Covenants given to the world it was thought wisdom, in consequence of the persecutions of our enemies in Kirtland and some of the regions around, that some of the names should be changed, and Joseph was called Baurak Ale, which was a Hebrew word; meaning God bless you.” – Orson Pratt, Ogden, August 16, 1873
Job 32:6 “And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion.”
Our LDS reference today is an example of how Joe Smith used one legitimate Hebrew word, barachel, to inject falsehoods into Mormon sacred cannon.
Here are a few facts about the circumstances –
The reference above is an excerpt from a sermon by Orson Pratt explaining how they used pseudonyms for Mormon leaders when compiling the Doctrine and Covenants. Specifically D&C 78:1, 9; for more info on the particulars, see our article ‘Mormon Dilemma 516, Code Names’.
As noted in article mentioned above, they changed these names in the 1921 edition, and then also placed them into D&C 103, and 105. For an extensive look at the list of code names and how they’ve changed over time, see Book of Abraham Project, LDS History.
Bottom line: the Church has changed this Doctrine and Covenants passage to accommodate various needs for the timeframe in which they were living.
If the D&C is considered ‘sacred’, why are they changing it?
Why would they need pseudonyms if their work was from God?
What do these passages mean for the Mormon today, and how do they bring LDS members closer to Jesus? Moreover, why did Smith change the meaning of this Hebrew word if he was really a godly prophet?
The Hebrew word barachel is listed in the Bible two times. You can find it in Job 32:2, 6.
The transliteration for barachel is bārakʾēl (Strong’s #1292), and is in reference to the father of one of Job’s friends. In Hebrew, names carry more significance than they do in Western cultures. A name denotes the identity of who the person is in their community, and how God sees them as a person.
Simply put, this word tells us barachel was a man blessed by God, or he blessed God by paying homage to Him.
This is another example of how cults will take one word, or a verse out of context to build a doctrine upon it to confuse, and mislead people.
Ask the Mormon you know what they think about this!
With Love in Christ;