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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Provo, Ut


That is my whole point! You "say" a lot things, none of which you can verify. You borrow phrases like "the natural man", which have no inherent meaning, and then encapsulate within that label anything you disagree with, and act as though you have made a point. Ultimately, "the natural man" in you paradigm, is anything that doesn't operate from the a priori that The Book of Mormon is a true book, and that your Church leaders are real Prophets. That Bill, is called circular logic. Your arguments depend on your conclusions, rather than lead to your conclusion.

As for "signs", you are now arguing semantics. All that anybody requires is some objective evidence, call it "signs" or "witnesses", it is all the same. There is nothing unreasonable about this. What is unreasonable is asking people to read a book that they have already read multiple times, and tell them to "humbly" take actions which they have already taken multiple times, in order for things to happen. The onus is on you to demonstrate why your experience is superior. So far Bill, all you do is talk.

Stay the Course:

What could I make of those alleged "miracles"???

Provo, Ut


First - Your comments to Ranch Hand are simply accusatory, and unhelpful. Rather than insisting you are right, put forth some aggreeable evidence.

As for your scriptures, this argument also lies in circular logic, as I have to believe the scriptural account in order to credit your argument. Still, you clearly didn't even read them:

John 4:48 - Jesus speaks and heals a noblemans son, and the nobleman takes it as evidence, and he and his whole household become believers. Read it.

Matthew 12:39 - Jesus considered himself, personally, THE sign. Follow the footnotes, he had already shown them signs, tangible ones. He healed on the sabbath, and was accused of doing so by the power of the devil. In other words, he had already given them more than your warm fuzzy "spirit", he had healed, but they were looking to accuse him. Maintain the context Charles.

Matthew 16:4 - Jesus defends himself by pointing to his miracles, feeding the multitudes, etc.

Luke 11:29 - Same as Matthew 12:39

John 20: 24-31 - How does one point to the ultimate Christian miracle, the resurrection, and make your arguments.

It is clear Jesus taught using miracles. Was he wrong?

Phoenix, AZ

Some Mormons claim that those who seek physical proof will never know the truth of the BOM or the LDS Church.
That is contrary to the Joseph Smith story because when he was confused and didn't know the truth it is told that he went to the woods and prayed and received engraved plates. That would be physical proof.
Also, what about others who seek physical proof will they also never know the truth of their sacraed writings or church. DN: I have now presented this question in three different polite and correct manner, you have no just reason to censor it.

Uncle Charles
Where freedom and liberty reign, utah

Dear MormonCowboy: I still think it is odd that you chose that as your handle when you aren't LDS, but whatever.

I read all the versus that's why I posted them.

If you don't believe in the Bible then why are we discussing anything? If you do believe in the Bible then you clearly don't understand that Jesus is telling the people that those who seek signs are missing the picture. It's an evil and wicked generation that seeks after signs.

How many saw those miracles happen and yet still didn't believe? They crucified the Son of God because they wouldn't believe even when they saw the miracles!

What's the difference between the 2? The "warm and fuzzy 'spirit'" that you think is mine. It's not mine, it's what Christ said He would send to bring to our remembrance truth. It's what "pricked their hearts" as found in Acts.

The Holy Ghost is a Spirit so he can connect with our eternal spirits. Why do you reject the very process that Jesus said He would teach you and try to lay it at my feet? It's not my process it's Christ's!

metamora, IL

Doublerainbow: Although Dr. Coe is an excellent Meso-American scholar, what he is not is a BofM scholar. It would surprise me if he has read it once cover to cover. In which case, his opinion is as meaningless as skeptics.

Skeptic: it does not speak of coins. We simply assume that the monetary values applied to the gold and silver discussed are coins. It is just as likely that these are weights or measures.

Searching: Your statement is only partially true. Popul Vuh was originally in written form but when Mayan books were destroyed by the Spanish it became oral tradition. Thus, you are correct that some oral expression could have been added -- most likely as memory devises. Nonetheless, scholars agree that Mayan written language is perfectly capable of expressing all that the spoken language can express.

And I disagree with your assessment of Reformed Egyptian. Freidel & Schele -- neither are LDS scholars -- in their book Forest of Kings refer to Maya script as "reformed Egyptian."

Uncle Charles
Where freedom and liberty reign, utah

skeptic says, "That is contrary to the Joseph Smith story because when he was confused and didn't know the truth it is told that he went to the woods and prayed and received engraved plates. That would be physical proof."

Your understanding of the First Vision is incorrect. Joseph read James 1:5 in the Bible and did go out to pray --- to ask God directly for knowledge. The answer wasn't engraved plates, it was a visitation from God and Jesus Christ.

The golden plates came later.

Let me ask you and Cowboy a question: If you believe in the Bible and pray like Smith did based on reading of James 1:5-6, how would you get an answer from God?

Christ said the knowledge would come from the Holy Ghost so how would you get an answer? If it's not a "warm and fuzzy", then what is it? How does the answer from God come to us?

Ranch: you claim you got a different answer, well how did you get any answer? A voice, vision, angel, what?

Many of you reject the Holy Ghost as the method of answers so it'll be great to have your answer.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

Mormoncowboy: You have stated on many occassions that you are a returned missionary, that you have taught Sunday School and the such. Now you come out against and state it is circuliar reasoning. No, everything we have said is verified by scripture. The signs given are what has been repeated by prophets. Those signs of the second coming of the Lord are the son turning blood red, the killing of two prophets in Jersulem who lie in the streets three days and then are raised as everyone can see them, wars and rumors of wars, and the most damaging of all who are skeptics the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All was foretold by John. Some are already coming to pass and others are forth coming. These are signs of his coming. However, those WHO SEEK signs are what are called evil and wicked. Those are they that will perish at the second coming of the Lord. I don't seek after these signs nor do I seek waiting for something to happen. I know the prophesies as well as you do. The coming forth of the BOM was foretold, yet many of you deny its existance.

Stay the Course
Salt Lake City, utah

Cowboy you use the point of a circular argument too much it seems to be your answer to disbelieve anything

Searching . . .
Orem, UT


Unless it was written as a novel, the Popul Vuh, like all myths, especially creation myths, was oral in origin. I'd like to know how descriptively rich written Mayan was capable of being. What source would you suggest?

I don't have immediate access to "The Forest of Kings" so I can't comment on the quote you offer, but I would bet that the authors in no way imply that Mayan was influenced by Egyptian hieroglyphics. I know that originally scholars felt that there was a similarity in the way that they would be read, but even that proved to be false. Could you provide the text of the quote?

I'm also not sure what your original post was implying: is written Mayan supposed to be reformed Egyptian, influenced by reformed Egyptian, or is reformed Egyptian influenced by ancient Mayan? I see very little similarity between Joseph Smith's "caracters" and Mayan. And if Nephi was trying to conserve space and etching time on the plates, Mayan was certainly not the way to go.

very concerned
Sandy, UT

As for your scriptures, this argument also lies in circular logic, as I have to believe the scriptural account in order to credit your argument. . .

One simply cant (or shouldnt) dismiss the testimonies/witnesses of millions, plus the testimony of the three witnesses and the eight witnesses who actually saw the plates. The Lord did provide witnesses who never denied their testimony. In addition, there was Joseph Smiths ultimate witness of giving his life for it. He could have easily (at almost any point) backed down and avoided all the hassles and danger, but he didnt. He acted, taught, sacrificed, prophesied, preached, and demonstrated courage as a prophet should.

I do agree though that the resurrection (along with the atonement) could be construed as signs, which many ignore. Of course, they were so much more than signs. They were monumental, earth-changing miracles. And plenty of other signs have been given that point toward them.

Weiser, ID

It seems as though so many people are trying to target the Book of Mormon to try to convince themselves that it is false. They may think that if they can convince themselves that it isn't true, then the guilt or the Spirit that is trying to draw them back to the fold might go away. Stop kicking against the pricks and come back, we love you and miss you! The Book of Mormon was written by ancient prophets and it contains the gospel of Jesus Christ and testifies of His reality. You know this because it keeps nagging you and nagging you everytime it is talked about or written about.

Searching . . .
Orem, UT


I think most readers would agree that I've been critical of the BoM in my comments. However, I don't see how you can characterize my comments, or those of any other critic in this discussion, as trying "to convince [myself] that it is false" anymore than your comments are you trying to convince yourself that it is true. My purpose here is to point out problems that in the claims about the BoM such as your have. You make a claim that should be verifiable, because it deals with what should be a physical, ancient culture writing a physical record. To date, there is no consensus within or without the church as to where this culture existed. Therefore, it is up to debate.

ADN, I'm doing what you're doing: responding to comments that I believe are misleading in the hopes of setting things straight, but mine discards the claims for supernatural influence and relies on logic and reason.

Fred W. Anson
Lake Forest, CA

A little help please! This article states:

"Even Joseph Smith used the Bible far more than he used the Book of Mormon in his sermons."

I have yet to find a single sermon in which Joseph Smith preached from the Book of Mormon at all. True, there are passing references and verbiage that eludes to it but never a direct citation from the Book of Mormon that I have found.

And I have asked many, many, many Mormon Studies Scholars about this and had this verified by them.

So what is Mr. Peterson referring to here?

Your assistance is appreciated in advance.

Thank you.

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