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Liahona: “The Direction of the Lord”: An Etymological Explanation

TitleLiahona: “The Direction of the Lord”: An Etymological Explanation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsCurci, Jonathan
JournalJournal of Book of Mormon Studies
Pagination60-67, 97-98
KeywordsAncient Near East; Etymology; Historicity; Language - Hebrew; Liahona; Transliteration

The etymological meaning of the name Liahona has been touched on before, but Curci seeks to deliver a more plausible etymology than has previously been given. By transliterating the word back into the Hebraic idioms of the time of Lehi and evaluating the grammatical elements to form the name, he has settled on the meaning of “direction of the Lord.” The name is broken into three parts, and Curci argues that each part is Hebraic in origin, including the meaning and interpretation of each part. The etymological evidence regarding the name Liahona strengthens the claim that the book was written by a group of ancient Hebrews and not Joseph Smith.