“Draw Near Unto Me with Their Mouth”

Brant Gardner

Literary: Verse 25 reprises Isa. 29:13

13 ¶ Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

In this case, there are few changes in Isaiah’s text. The major change comes in verse 24 where the words are reset from the Israelite context to a modern one. The admonition is shifted from an straying Judah to an apostate gentile world.

Variant: It is interesting that the few changes in the text from Isaiah in the KJV are consistent with dictation, and probably not a dictation from a source that is being read precisely. Notice the addition of an “s” to “heart(s)” and “toward(s).” This shift cannot come from the written text, and has no informational purpose. It is consistent only with a shift from the more formal language to a more colloquial reading - again consistent with the dictation to Oliver. While we cannot be certain whether it was Joseph or Oliver who added the “s” in each case, the presumption would be that it was Joseph.

Assuming Joseph as the one who added the “s,” he either was not directly reading from a KJV text, or simply read from habitual use rather than with precision. The addition of the “s” to “heart” in particular is due to an attempt to pluralize “heart” to match with the plural idea of “people.” That change could occur only if Joseph were mentally processing the information is some manner rather than reading with precision.

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon