One thing I love about being so knowledgeable about the gospel is that one can speak intelligently about many areas of research in the world. For example a non LDS linguist professor Damon and I were discussing the great variety of languages as we played golf the other day. I explained to him that our ability as humans to use language so expressively is a distinguishing feature that belongs to no other living thing upon the earth and proves beyond doubt that man was made in a separate creation. Yes animals communicate but we are the only living things that could make known to another for example that “yesterday my grandmother crossed the road and almost got hit by a lorry”.
Damon asked me as a prominent Mormon what my view was on how all these languages came to be. I could tell that he was very impressed by my knowledge on the subject, which as a man of faith likely outranks his own.
I told him the world’s 6,000 or so languages are the result of a long history which began with a single first language known in scripture as the pure tongue of Adam. This tongue was spoken in the Garden of Eden located in the United States of America*.
Adam and the early patriarchs had this perfect language which was both spoken and written**.
Damon admitted that even linguists are aware that written language dates back some 6,000 years. I told him that this coincides perfectly with the time of Adam’s appearance on the earth.
I went on to inform him that at the time of the
the Lord confounded the languages of the people and scattered them to the four corners of the earth. As human populations migrated to new places on the planet each groups version of the language changed in different ways, until there were several languages where there was once one. Eventually there were thousands. tower of Babel
I talked to him about the many clues available to scientists on the migration of people that are available from the linguistic evidence. Damon asked me whether Mormons take the story of the
literally. I confirmed that we do. In Gen 11:1 we learn that the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech which is compatible with modern day revelation. I further clarified that a group named the Jaredites were guided by the Lord to the tower of Babel as recorded in the Book of Mormon. I told him that if the Americas story is just myth then so must be the Book of Mormon, which would be absolutely ridiculous. I could tell that he was impressed at my confidence in the record of the scriptures. tower of Babel
I mentioned further that in opposition to the Jaredites (who followed the Lord), among nonbelievers it appears that there was an intellectual retrogression, so that many peoples subsequently have been without the blessings of a highly cultured spoken and written language**. I have always felt sorry for the poor people of the world who do not have languages as highly cultured as English.
The spirit came upon me and I promised Damon in the name of the Lord that perfection in language and writing will return in the future with the full establishment of the kingdom of God on the earth**. I further clarified that as a preparation for this event we are seeing what some call an extinction crisis among many of the world’s languages. In fact it is estimated that 5,500 of the world’s 6,000 languages will no longer be spoken in the year 2100.
I gave Damon a copy of the Book of Mormon and am sure he will read it with great interest and anticipation after the great discussion we had.
I love the gospel Brothers and Sisters and look forward to the millennium where the pure undefiled tongue of Adam will be spoken once more.
Shared with the great love of your humble servant, even the Stake President, Bill Paternoster
For further edification please read the scriptures referenced in the above links