"Repent ye, repent ye, and seek no more to destroy my servants whom I have sent unto you to declare good tidings." (Helaman 5:32)
- They enjoyed a time of great righteousness, richness, prosperity, and peace in the history of the Book of Mormon;
- In listing all the combined riches of the Nephites and Lamanites Mormon listed that they had much gold, silver, crops, herds, and that " ...their women did toil and spin, and did make all manner of cloth, of fine-twined linen and cloth of every kind, to clothe their nakedness. And thus the sixty and fourth year did pass away in peace." (Helaman 6:13)
- Eventually all the people, Lamanite and Nephite, became wicked and the Gadianton robbers gained power among them because "the Lord had blessed them so long with the riches of the world that they had not been stirred up to anger, to wars, nor to bloodshed; therefore they began to set their hearts upon their riches; yea, they began to seek to get gain that they might be lifted up one above another; therefore they began to commit secret murders, and to rob and to plunder, that they might get gain. " (Helaman 6:17)
- Harvesting, spinning, and weaving cloth was something that these women learned from their mothers and grandmothers. Years and years before these women were born Zeniff (a Nephite leader) ".. did cause that the women should spin, and toil, and work, and work all manner of fine linen, yea, and cloth of every kind, that we might clothe our nakedness; and thus we did prosper in the land—thus we did have continual peace in the land for the space of twenty and two years." (Mosiah 10:5)
- Linen is a material that is made out of flax. There has been some discussion among scholars about the authenticity of the Book of Mormon because flax does not grow native in the Northern Hemisphere and thus would not have been available for Lamanite and Nephite women to spin into linen. Yet John L. Sorenson in his article "Possible 'silk' and 'linen' in the Book of Mormon" explains that,
"Linen is defined as a cloth, often quite stiffish and hard-wearing, made of fibers from flax or hemp plants prepared by soaking and pounding. Although the flax plant was apparently not known in pre-Spanish America, several fabrics were made from vegetable fabrics that look and feel much like European linen. One was made from fibers (called henequen) of the leaf of the ixtle (maguey or agave plant), but fibers from the yucca and other plants gave similar results. Conquistador Bernal Diaz said of henequen garments that they were "like linen." Bark cloth, made by stripping bark from the fig tree and soaking and pounding it, was common in Mesoamerica and also has some of the characteristics of linen.So it is probable that Book of Mormon women did not actually use flax to make linen but used similar fibers to produce a material similar to linen.
- The production of flax and other materials (like silk that is mentioned in Alma 1:29) were very , very labor intensive and took months of work to produce. Since we know that at this time that both the Lamanites and the Nephites "...did have free intercourse one with another, to buy and to sell, and to get gain, according to their desire (Helaman 6:8) " it is interesting to think that perhaps both Lamanite and Nephite women worked together to make these fine-twined linens and other types of cloths. If anything they must have traded their materials back and forth between their lands.
- In Exodus 39:27- 29 it mentions that the temple robes that Aaron and his sons wore were made from linen.
- Ezekiel 44:17 also specified that priests were only to wear linen in Solomon's temple.
- In Revelation 19:8 the "Bride of the Lamb" is clothed in "fine linen" and it states "for the fine linen is the righteousness of the Saints." Also it is specified that the armies of the Lord, mentioned in Revelation 19:14, will also be clothed in fine linen.
- In Mathew 27:59 we learn that when Christ was brought down from the cross he was wrapped in a linen cloth;
- John 19:40 specifies that Christ was wound and buried in linen clothes.
“ The temple provides purpose for our lives. It brings peace to our souls—not the peace provided by men but the peace promised by the Son of God when He said, ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’” Source
- Why does Mormon mention women's production of cloth in his list of the people's riches? What does this tell us about the important role women played in Book of Mormon life and society?
- The processes of harvesting, spinning, weaving and sewing cloth require a great deal of physical labor and time comparable to any field or husbandry work that men traditionally did. Egyptian Goddesses were even sometimes portrayed as spinning and weaving. Why do you think that these processes were usually "women's work" and not men's?
- Do you think that having temples in a country, a state or a city, brings added peace to that place?
- How does temple service bring peace to your life?