12 Questions for Zelph

We’re happy to announce our next installment in the 12 Questions series. Our new participant is someone you’ve all heard of, and whose name is often discussed in the bloggernacle itself. Yes, that’s right — we’re going to be doing 12 questions with Zelph.

Zelph, as you all know, was a white Lamanite and a righteous man. He participated in some of the great battles of the late-era Nephite-Lamanite wars, and was a personal friend and follower of the prophet-general Onandagus. We’re very excited to get a chance to interview Zelph and get a glimpse into late Nephite culture. So please post your questions for Zelph; we will select 12 of them, and send them to Zelph for his responses.

12 comments for “12 Questions for Zelph

  1. Mark Pickering
    April 1, 2005 at 1:59 am

    How would you identify your people to a contemporary anthropologist who specialized in pre-Columbian cultures?

    Related questions:

    When did you live?

    Could your people work metal? If so, which metals?

    Was Onandagus a “Christian”?

    Were you a “Christian”?

  2. April 1, 2005 at 9:42 am

    Here’s a question: what the hell were you doing in North America??

  3. Costanza
    April 1, 2005 at 9:57 am

    Is it possible that you were an elaborate April Fool’s joke that still gives Joseph Smith laughing fits when he sees us struggling to figure out who/what you were?

  4. Jared
    April 1, 2005 at 10:01 am

    How did you feel about your name? Was it a common one?

  5. April 1, 2005 at 10:58 am

    Why is the sky blue?

  6. Frank McIntyre
    April 1, 2005 at 11:29 am

    Are you aware that some people base their lack of testimony of the BoM on you? How does it feel to be so central to some people’s belief systems?

  7. Hans Hansen
    April 1, 2005 at 12:47 pm

    Is there a Mrs. Zelph?

  8. Mark N.
    April 1, 2005 at 1:43 pm

    Is Zelph just an abbreviated form of a longer name? It wouldn’t happen to be “Zehelphrimoriancumer”, would it?

  9. Aaron Brown
    April 1, 2005 at 1:50 pm

    What can I do to guarantee that random Mormons, 100 years from now, will remember me and have meaningless conversations about me? Tell more mission stories? Anything else?

    Are people always asking you whether you spell your name with an “f” or a “ph”? Isn’t that annoying? Doesn’t everybody know that “Zelf” is a girl’s name, while “Zelph” is a guy’s name?

    Aaron B

  10. April 1, 2005 at 1:52 pm

    What’s with the White Lamanite thing? Did you still have to wear standard-issue loincloths?

    Was Onadagus a jerkweed? ‘Cause I heard he was.

  11. April 1, 2005 at 10:21 pm

    Zelph, how come you guys put everything in big mounds? That seems a little smelly.

  12. April 5, 2005 at 1:54 am

    1. How come you guys put everything in big mounds? That seems a little smelly.

    Actually it is far from it, since the alternative was leaving them out in the open. You do realize that the mounds were what buried the remains. Right?

    2. What can I do to guarantee that random Mormons, 100 years from now, will remember me and have meaningless conversations about me?

    Have a bunch of semi-famous people have some muddled recollections of you. Then make sure it has some bearing on the gospel in a fashion that anti-Mormons can appeal to you. Beyond that, I have no comments. It was dumb luck I got discovered and dumber luck you guys didn’t have a clearer description of us. Ah well, c’est la view. Your own history is far from clear itself. It’s just no one cares about you. Which gets us back to the original question I suppose.

    3. Is Zelph just an abbreviated form of a longer name? It wouldn’t happen to be “Zehelphrimoriancumer”, would it?

    Yes. And no.

    3. Is there a Mrs. Zelph?

    Yes.

    4. What’s with the White Lamanite thing?

    A bit of confusion over the word. Our people weren’t actually in any of the nations of the Book of Mormon. However as best I can make out there were a few ancestors from back in central America. You’ll excuse the vagueness since in my day we didn’t exactly have satellite maps.

    Anyway, we were minding our own business, having a war. Yes we had some vague ideas that I suppose one could call Christian. No, they weren’t the majority view. Yes we were native Americans. No we didn’t actually use the term Lamanite ourselves.

    5. Could your people work metal? If so, which metals?

    Nothing fancy myself. We mainly used flint arrows.

    5. When did you live?

    Well, here’s the problem. We didn’t exactly have calendars and there weren’t any common events I could use to pinpoint our time relative to some major event in your history. So, sad to say, I haven’t a clue when we lived. You’re really asking the wrong guy. However I am very sure I did live.

    5. How would you identify your people to a contemporary anthropologist who specialized in pre-Columbian cultures?

    It’s an interesting question. I’d say I’d put my hand out and say, “Hi. I’m Zelph.” However, being dead and all, there is little chance they’d actually see me and far less chance that the handshake would work. Maybe in the resurrection. But unless that major anti-Christ makes an appearance, I just don’t foresee that anytime soon. So I suspect the opportunity of meeting a “contemporary” anthropologist is pretty slight.

    As a turn about question, how would you go about identifying yourself to one of my neighbors?

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