Do you find the name First Voices Journal interesting? We were hoping that you might find it interesting enough to keep reading. Simply stated its purpose involves the past, present and future of the First Peoples of the Americas. The people indigenous to the Americas before the Europeans began to arrive here are otherwise known as First Nations, Native Americans or American Indians. The primary voices of this journal represent The People. We were also influenced by the Talking Stick tradition of the Cherokee and other nations where all have an opportunity to communicate to others the thoughts, knowledge and wisdom handed down from the elders.
In determining a means that we might provide the message that this journal carries we considered several different titles. After a lot of thought and prayer we chose this one. It is an interesting name (First Voices Journal) for a journal that you may not find anywhere else. We are bringing information that men and women hundreds of years ago gave their lives to preserve for their descendants.
Several factors brought us to the conclusion that this was the proper name for this journal. We were drawn to several quotations from the ancient records translated in 1829 by the power of the Great Spirit. It was printed and presented to the world as the Book of Mormon. This record contains a partial, mostly religious history of those people the Europeans discovered here in the Americas.
As you read below the title it says, “…in the land of their first inheritance. . .” (Mosiah 10:13). Putting aside for the moment any discussion of where the natives of this land came from or how they got to the Americas, we are told in these ancient records that the Great Spirit promised this land to them over 2500 years ago.
North, Central and South America are the lands promised to The Peoples of the Americas in these records as well as in Biblical records. “The blessings of thy father have prevailed above [proved to be greater] the blessings of my progenitors [ancestors] unto the utmost bound [farthest point] of the everlasting hills [from their homeland]:” (Genesis 49:26) Jacob, called Israel at this time, speaking prophetically to his son Joseph before his death while they lived in Egypt. The reality in our mind is that this land was covenanted (promise made, contract agreed to) to the Native peoples and one day it will be theirs again as the Great Spirit has promised. The promise, however, contains a contingency: ‘Inasmuch as they keep God’s Commandments.’
Secondly, we are prompted to consider the voice of those people who have gone on before us. “I speak unto you as the voice of one crying [pleading] from the dust [the grave, the earth]. . .” (2 Nephi 33:13) It seems strange that we would literally hear a voice speaking from the dust, but it is a powerful event when we do have that experience. What is it exactly? Do we not hear our ancestors speak in the wind? Do we not hear their voices in the ancient teachings? Have you ever considered the fact that unknown to us that there was a written history of the ancestors of the natives of the Americas? Why would that be so unlikely? The artifacts and archaeology of the Americas reveal a high level of sophistication of the indigenous cultures over the many centuries. Let us consider for a moment of another example, the Dead Seal Scrolls. Much of what has been on the parchments discovered in the 1940’s has verified biblical writings of the ancient prophets in Israel. For example, people who were never thought to exist (such as the Hittites) were shown to have had a part in Israel’s history.
There is much to be learned yet. Through the ages of time the Great Spirit has not changed nor has the fact that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world as the Messiah, the Holy One of Israel.
Please read on with an open, prayerful mind and feel free to contact us to both share and request more information.