Comments about ‘Embracing the power of the Book of Mormon’

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Published: Thursday, Jan. 5 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

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atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@Charles
"I am completely convinced that no amount of physical evidence would be sufficient for the naysayers"

I read the book of mormon, prayed about it, even joined the LDS church. I even wanted it to be true since I had a crush on an LDS girl... but I never got to a point where I could believe it. There just was insufficient evidence for it as far as I'm concerned and I left the church to be honest about my belief (or lack thereof). I'm sure there are some for whom no amount of evidence would be sufficient... but there are plenty of people for whom there is some sort of threshold that would be sufficient. In my case, if the plates (existed/were still on earth) were around and verifiable that they are indeed legitimately from the time period claimed and translated correctly, that would be sufficient. Without them I require much more evidence because let's face it... regardless of what the truth is, "the plates were taken away" doesn't pass the sniff test and seems too convenient. I'm not trying to convince you that the church is wrong, just that doubters have legitimate reasons for skepticism.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

To alt134:

Here is the problem I have with your assessment. Since, our Heavenly Father knows the hearts of all of his children then the following scenerio proves why the plates are not here.

For instance whatever happened to the first 116 pages of the Book of Mormon. They were stolen, thus if Joseph Smith had retranslated those pages and the person who stole the pages rewrote different information on the sheets, it would prove the Book of Mormon to be false.

Now regardless whether the plates were still on earth think of this. You say it is too convienent to have them go. Why? Wouldn't they be safer in the hands of God then in the hands of man? Anything man makes can be stolen sooner or later. So just say they were here for all to see. They are stolen and since they have the original manuscript, they can say that this or that means this and what Joseph Smith states is false. After all you need is someone with the correct skill to do it. Then the Book of Mormon falls. No, they are safe from the crude hearts and where they will soon be provided.

Full-on double rainbow
Bluffdale, UT

John Dehlin did a podcast/interview with Dr Coe a couple of months ago. Dr. Coe concluded that the BOM is a work of fiction. Very interesting podcast.

@Charles
the greater outdoors, UT

@atl: I appreciate your response and honesty. However, what you are doing is dictating to God how you will believe Him. From my experience, it never works when I tell God, "I'll do or believe what you want me to after you show me a sign." In fact, the Bible, of which we don't have any original letters as written by those who wrote them, condemns those who seek after signs or conditions of belief.

What physical evidence do we have a Jesus living? I don't know anyone who lived with Jesus. I don't know anyone who knew Joseph and Mary. How do we know that the translations we have of the Bible are correct? What originals do I have to compare them against?

How many versions of the Bible do we have?

Where are the tablets from Moses?

Where is the cross that Jesus died on?

Where is Jesus?

Where is God?

The scriptures teach us that we must ask in faith, nothing wavering. By your own admission, you were wavering and looking for a sign. The sign is the answer received by the Comforter promised by Jesus to bring all things to our remembrance.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

It is strange that the Book of Mormon gives great detail of the many different metal coins that were in circulation, but not one coin has been discovered or found even though the Book of Mormon times are only a few thousand years ago; on the other hand there have been coins several thousand years old discovered from real past civilizations.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@Bill in Nebraska
"They were stolen"
No evidence of that.

"You say it is too convienent to have them go. Why?"
If it were a hoax you would make the plates conveniently disappear so that nobody could use them to prove you wrong.

"They are stolen and since they have the original manuscript"
Joseph Smith would have the second manuscript and the second set of plates. That would be quite sufficient evidence. Speaking of which... him translating one set of plates, losing the manuscript, and then having a second set of plates to translate is also convenient in an 'if this were a hoax I'd make this claim' sort of way (why not translate both sets in the first place?).

Besides, if the plates were stolen and presented with the manipulated manuscript to attack Joseph Smith there's still the fact that Joseph Smith found those plates (their existance would be amazing in itself) and eventually somebody else would be able to translate them. They'd likely be in the Smithsonian with experts studying them if not under church protection and Joseph Smith could be vindicated if his reputation was somehow destroyed.

FDRfan
safety dictates, ID

I think it is time to move way past the question: "Is the Book of Mormon true?"
It is. Now is the time to expound on its teachings, messages and warnings concerning societies and governments.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@Charles
"However, what you are doing is dictating to God how you will believe Him. "

From your perspective it looks that way since you believe the LDS church is God's church. From my perspective, I'm dictating to the church how it is that I'd believe them. Think of it this way: you don't believe the Catholic church to be true, so there is something you would need them to have for evidence in order for you to believe that they are right or at least closest to being right. That'd be you questioning the Catholic church, not God.

"the Bible,... condemns those who seek after signs or conditions of belief."

There's a lot of denominations, something has to be present to distinguish which you or I believe to be most correct.

"The scriptures teach us that we must ask in faith, nothing wavering"

That could be a No True Scotsman logical fallacy ("everyone gets this answer and if you didn't that means you just weren't doing it right"). Really there's nothing stopping every church from claiming that and some do (it's common among born-agains), Moroni's promise is just a more explicit version of it.

(4th comment)

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

Alt134:

Actually there is proof of the 116 pages being stolen. Stolen by Martin Harris' wife and some compradres. I don't hold with your arguments. The thing is they would not be in the Smithsonian. The Church would never have allowed them out of their site. In fact, I doubt if they would have ever been presented to the public to see. The fact is the Book of Mormon must be taken on faith and faith alone. The same is true of the Bible. Sure there are evidences of both that are concrete but yet there are still many who don't believe the Bible any more than they believe the Book of Mormon.

I agree with @Charles that you are looking for a sign to prove your belief. The Doctrine & Covenants which is modern day revelation tells us flat out that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as a WHOLE is the only true and living Church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. You are looking for a sign to prove that point. I have received from anything beyond this earth definitive proof that this is true.

sharrona
layton, UT

@Charles How do we know that the translations we have of the Bible are correct? What originals do I have to compare them against?
We have accurate well- preserved Copies of the original text. There are some 5,700 early N.T. MS, and they contain all or nearly all of the original text . The original text can be reconstructed 99% accuracy. There is a distinction between the text and the truth of the text. While we have 99% of the original text, 100 % of the truth comes through.

And The Articles of faith Original Edition, #8. We believe in the Word of God recorded in the Bible; we also believe the Word of God recorded in the Book of Mormon, and in all other good books.

but,A great portion of 3 Nephi seems to be "borrowed and lifted" from the KJV Bible. Stan Larson also found that 3 Nephi holds exactly the same sort of errors that are unique to the 1769 version of the KJV Bible Joseph Smith owned.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

%Bill in Nebraska, You state: I agree with @Charles that you are looking for a sign to prove your belief.

So many times the argument you make is repeated by believing Mormons, but it is difficult to understand your thinking or logic; because it is contrary to Mormon or Christian believe that man is created in the image of god and god made all things for man's benefit to study, understand, manage and use. That is why man can establish truths through science because god and the universe is physical and true. Otherwise, the logic, or way of thinking, that you propose is superstition and has no true roots in the believe in a god of truth and reality. That is why there are so many different religions and church. Because they, the same as you, all try to convince others to accept their favorite believes by claiming that they must believe without prove and not to seek signs. With that logic one could claim any believe as their religion.

Searching . . .
Orem, UT

Metamoracoug:

The Popul Vuh was received orally from Mayan descendants and transcribed by Spanish priests. That would give it a richness where the written Mayan was limited. It was also centuries later than the purported Nephite writings. Still, to make any of this possible you need to find the connection between Reformed Egyptian and written Mayan. The experts aren't with you there.

Bill:
If the golden plates are safer in heaven than hidden on earth, then why bury them in Cumorah for over 1000 years instead of keeping them in heaven. In fact, considering translation process (the plates weren't even present) why have the plates at all? If God could give Joseph the words to write in the seer stone, why not give them from some tree bark hidden under a rock in Guatemala? It would have been less work for Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni.

KC Mormon
Edgerton, KS

skeptic
The Book of Mormon does not actually say a single word about coins. Yes in 1981 a chapter heading was added saying that the Nephite coins were described however that chapter heading is not a part of the Book of Mormon but a later addition to let people know the idea about the chapter. A close reading actually sounds more like a system of weights and measures. If that is actually what was used (as was used by many American cultures) no coins should be found because they did not use coins.
A question for all skeptics if a Book of Mormon artifact was to be found how would most archaeologists look upon it? Because they hold to the idea that there was no Middle Eastern people who came to the Americas before the Spanish they would call it a hoax. So the proof would then be discounted by each of you because it was a hoax even though it in fact was not.

Robbie512
PROVO, UT

When we ask if the Book of Mormon is true, we are not wondering whether or not it teaches true principles, but whether or not it has a divine origin. There are a lot of books that teach truth, but that, in and of itself, does not make it divine. That being said, I believe this question can only be answered by a spiritual witness. But it is difficult (if not impossible) to know for sure whether such feelings and impressions come from God or from oneself. Hence, I dont think there is any way to know for sure if the Book of Mormon is true, but isnt that the point of faith?

@Charles
the greater outdoors, UT

@atl: I believe this is my 4th as well and I've enjoyed our 'conversation'. I'd discuss it with you further but through the Dnews there is no way to be in contact. Oh well.

I do believe the LDS church is the Lord's church on the earth. However, my comments come straight from scriptures in the Bible, not Moroni's challenge or any other place. It's what Christ taught as recorded in the Bible.

No one is asking you to believe the church, you are being asked to read, study, ponder and pray if the Book of Mormon is the word of God. If it is, then the rest of the dominoes fall into place. Read the last 2 paragraphs from the Introduction page.

And in reality, the question of the true church is either with the Catholics or the LDS; no other churches come into play. Either the Catholics have the authority from the beginning or their was a need for a restoration as the Bible tells us.

As long as you are dictating to God how you will believe then you will never come to know the truth.

Again, all Bible verses that teach truth. Good luck.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

@Charles says:

"you are being asked to read, study, ponder and pray if the Book of Mormon is the word of God. If it is, then the rest of the dominoes fall into place. Read the last 2 paragraphs from the Introduction page. "

---

But what happens if we do all the above and the answer is the opposite of the one YOU think we should get?

Then, of course, "all the dominoes" fall into place, but they fall into the opposite place and tell us the opposite of what they tell you (i.e.; that the whole shebang is not true).

What then?

Mormoncowboy
Provo, Ut

Bill:

Any confirmation under the sun, including the Holy Ghost, would be a "sign". The sign seeking that is criticized in the scriptures is that of witchcraft.

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

What was the resurrection if not a "sign"? Why did Jesus see the need to perform public miracles, if not to provide "signs"? We can go on and on, but the fact is, your religion lacks the meaningful manifestation of visible signs. So instead you contrive this emotional response that can only be viewed in isolation, and defended subjectively through singular "personal experiences". When that fails, you then simply resort to quoting scriptures whose authority rests in circular logic.

Stay the Course
Salt Lake City, utah

Cowboy
what do you make the the miracles performed and their converting power? How about those Sadducees how well did it work for them? The point is faith is not maintained by miracles never has never will

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

No Cowboy: There is no made up stuff. As I've said before you rely on your natural man which is an enemy to God. You do not rely on the spiritual man which much more in line with the wishes of God. Over and over through out the scriptures the Savior, Jesus Christ, states: "If you love me keep my commandments." Those commandments contain that we are to read and study the scriptures and to worship the only true God. The serpent in the wilderness was not a sign. All one had to do was look at it and they were saved from the firey serpents. The Lord has also said, if you want to know the truth all you have to do is ask me after you have studied it out in your mind, pondered it and then ask with a contrite spirit and a broken heart. This is not a sign as you put it. What you and others want is exactly that is a sign. Something beyond the Holy Ghost to tell you it is true. Those who seek physical proof will NEVER know the truth of the BOM or the LDS Church.

Uncle Charles
Where freedom and liberty reign, utah

---

Ranchhand: your emphasis is misplaced. It's not about me, it's about what Christ and His apostles have said. They aren't my words, they are Christ's. It's His method of learning and coming to the truth, not mine.

But let's not be coy.

You were a member of the LDS church.
You served a mission.
You embraced the behavior of homosexuality.
You lost your way and left the LDS church.
You also don't believe in Christ and God any longer.

And yet you pose on these pages as one who is interested in finding a true answer. You know the way to Christ. You just choose not to go there.

The path is narrow and straight is the way and FEW be there that find it. We knew the plan BEFORE we came to earth. We were to be obedient to the things commanded and follow the teachings of Christ.

God knew that the overwhelming MAJORITY of His children would not return to His presence. What love!

Cowboy: read John 4:48, Matt. 12:39, Matt. 16:4; Luke 11:29, John 20:24-31

How many saw the miracles that Jesus performed but still didn't believe?

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