Comments about ‘Defending the Faith: 'Throne vision' motif points to Book of Mormon authenticity’

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Published: Wednesday, Jan. 11 2012 8:16 p.m. MST

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Verdad
Orem, UT

I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that Dr. Peterson would have no difficulty admitting that the Quran comes from the ancient Near East.

Commonman
HENDERSON, NV

Pretty good guess for a young semi-educated young man from up-state New York to "fabricate" a record that fits so snugly into the ancient prophetic tradition. And, dear Recovering Mormon, if that were the only one maybe your comment might hold some water.

Isn't it great that we live in a country that allows us to express our beliefs freely?

sg
newhall, CA

Nice to read the comparisons. But I don't believe in the account by Mohammed. His account is nothing more than a copy of what he already knew. There is nothing prophetic or angelic about Mohammed and Islam. The Quran is replete with killing all infidels and or subjecting them to unwillful subjugation. I don't buy into Islam as a peaceful religion. Sharia law...need more be said?

Whos Life RU Living?
Ogden, UT

Why do the LDS continue to try to show "authenticity" or "evidence" to something that they are required to have faith in?

Many people use doubting Thomas and the BOM Witnesses to drive people away from finding evidence.

I guess I am just concerned about the LDS because they are not showing true faith to their God.

The LDS have the priesthood right? Show that you have FAITH and rely on the lord by not going to the hospital right after the priesthood blessing. Seems like the priesthood blessing is a show and that faith isn't really executed. If "god gave us a brain" is your response to this lack of faith, then maybe god expects people to also rely on evidence to have faith.

I would agree that the BoM is just as authentic as the Quaran.

RBN
Salt Lake City, UT

Recovering Mormon,

Dr. Peterson's account is not being offered to prove the truth of the Book of Mormon. Rather, it is being offered to prove the era during which it was written.

Full-on double rainbow
Bluffdale, UT

Why is it that many amateur apologists (fellow commentors) will say that the only way to believe in the bom is through a supernatural witness? But Mr Peterson is continually trying to give a rational reason to believe.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

Dr. Peterson's defense of Islam, the Prophet Mohammed and the Quran in the same regard as Mormonism and the Book of Mormon is interesting and perhaps productive for Mormon thought and growth. There do seem to be more similarities than differences.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@sg
"The Quran is replete with killing all infidels and or subjecting them to unwillful subjugation. "

So is the Old Testament or did you sleep through those lessons?

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

@sg
"The Quran is replete with killing all infidels and or subjecting them to unwillful subjugation. "

Just to add to what atl134 stated; So is the Book of Mormon, it gives accounts of so many killings that the rivers run blood red and dead bodies jam the river. Of course there will be those who will say those are the killed of the other's side so they don't count and they needed to be killed.

Kazbert
VAIL, AZ

I take issue with portraying Mohammed as being a prophet or as being inspired. The Quran emphatically states that Jesus was not crucified. They consider Jesus to be just a man (though they believe in His miraculous virgin birth). Anyone who denies Jesus as Redeemer (didn't die for us) cannot be called prophetic or inspired. All genuine prophets testify of Christ, and the spirit of prophecy is a witness of Christ. I support efforts to build bridges of understanding with Muslims, but the Quran was not inspired by God and should not be acknowledged as such for the sake of building those bridges. The Muslim belief that Mohammed was a prophet should be respected, but that respect does not require us to join with them in believing that he was a prophet.

Searching . . .
Orem, UT

Defending the faith? This is certainly not a strong defense. Isaiah's vision would have served as a wonderful template for creating a new throne vision. Angels? Check. God on a throne? Check. Book of Prophecy? Check. It's easy to see how Joseph Smith or others would have access to that. Any narrative needs an opening conflict to engage the reader. The BoM also needed a rationale to move a portion of the House of Israel to America, and the destruction of Jerusalem answers both. I fail to see how Mr. Petersen's article is either a proof or a defense of his faith.

Mormoncowboy
Provo, Ut

The image of God sitting on a Throne is scattered throughout both the Old and New Testament. References to Kingdoms, Crowns, Courts, Judges, Books of Life, Gates, dominions, Thrones, Concourses of Angels, etc, are the most common motifs associated with Christian thought on the setting of heaven. It would have been odd if Nephi had envisioned the Kingdom more as a family unit, rather than a Kingdom???

New Yorker
Pleasant Grove, UT

@ Kazbert,

Alma 29:8 states: "For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true." Trying to hold Mohammed to the same definition of "prophet" that we use in the LDS view of a restored church, is not fair. Mohammed was and is a prophet to his people. Out of respect to the Muslim faith, we are certainly justified in calling him the Prophet Mohammed just like someone of the Roman Catholic faith might refer to Thomas Monson as the LDS prophet.

Enola
BOUNTIFUL, UT

I never understand how anybody can find this type of apologetics useful. We already know that much of the text of the Book of Mormon was taken directly from the King James version of the Bible, so why would we be surprised find other motifs from Isaiah or revelations in the book? To call it evidence of authenticity is a stretch in my opinion. In fact, the reverse argument is just as compelling, that the throne motif is evidence that the Book of Mormon was simply manufactured using ideas and sources available in the early 1800s.

New Yorker
Pleasant Grove, UT

@ Enola,

No one who has even casually studied both the Book of Mormon and and the Bible can come to the conclusion you reach that "much of the text of the Book of Mormon was taken directly from the King James version of the Bible."

Some similarities exist. The BOM's translation is cast in a language somewhat similar to the Bible. The limited parallel accounts of the ten commandments, Isaiah, the Sermon on the Mount, etc. are necessarily somewhat similar. They would be left the way people were already familiar with them unless a change was needful (and some were). All of this parallelism by no stretch can called "much of the text."

Otherwise, the BOM and the Bible reflect two very different accounts and world-views. The Bible only hints at the antiquity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The BOM account tells of an entirely different Hebrew stream of consciousness--as different as the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and the Essenees were from each other--but altogether consistent with hints in the Bible and even other non-scriptural accepted historical documents that Joseph Smith had no access to.

Jeff
Temple City, CA

I would like to write in defense of both Dr. Petersen and Mohammed.

Petersen's thesis that a "throne vision" is one element that one might expect in an ancient text such as the Book of Mormon is certainly worth considering. There are a large number of such elements in the Book of Mormon, and each is worth considering at length. Added together they make a reasonable argument that the book is what it claims to be and is worthy of spiritual consideration.

Latter-day Saints may justly consider that Mohammed was an inspired man. It is true that we do not consider him inspired in anything he wrote about Christ, but there is much in the Quran that is beautiful, worthy, and inspiring, and much of it certainly may have originated from divine sources. Is it possible that Mohammed encountered an angel from God? Yes. Is it possible that an angel from God told Mohammed that Jesus was a mortal prophet only, and not the Son of God? No, not from a Mormon perspective. That still doesn't preclude God's using Mohammed for worthy and even heavenly purposes, though.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: The Throne vision points to Christ. Theophanies of Christ(YHWH).

"For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD(YHWH) Almighty." (Isaiah 6:5 NIV)
Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus'glory and spoke about him.(John 12:41 NIV)
Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces,(Isaiah 6:2)
The seraphim are not sinful men burdened with impure hearts. Yet as angelic beings they are still creatures, They are equipped by the creator with a special pair of wings to cover their faces in His majestic presence.

Jesus taught in the Beatitudes, Blessed are the pure in heart ,for they shall see God, None of us of us in this world is pure of heart. The problem is not our eyes but our hearts. Only after we are purified and totally sanctified in heaven will we have the capacity.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?( Jer 17:3); for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23). JS saw the KJV.

Gregg Weber
SEATTLE, WA

These disputes, disagreements, etc. should be discussed and with prayer (for those that accept it) debated. Each "church" or "belief group" has the right and obligation to put forth why they believe such. Mormon, Islam, Atheist, or any other one can name. There should be a proper, meaning with form and civil discussion, a logical, meaning pointing out errors or fallacies of logic, and a debate, meaning back and forth search for the truth with all able to write questions and answers.

This won't happen when one side, knowing deep down that they will lose, cowers in silence. Many debates on many subjects won't happen unless the fearful general is forced to the battlefield.

Mormoncowboy
Provo, Ut

New Yorker:

Only someone who has failed to even casually study the Book of Mormon would make the claim that:

"No one who has even casually studied both the Book of Mormon and and the Bible can come to the conclusion you reach that "much of the text of the Book of Mormon was taken directly from the King James version of the Bible."

Your only real grounds for this argument must rest in a dispute over how much constitutues "much". Seriously, this should be the least debatable point we could have about the Book of Mormon. Nephi makes no pretense over his enthusiasm for quoting Isaiah. In fact, you could argue that "much" of the book of 2nd Nephi is composed of Nephi quoting KJV Isaiah. Jesus re-delivers the sermon on the mount, and we could go on. Suffice it to say, even the alleged Book of Mormon authors admit that they are quoting the Bible...so, how do you figure otherwise?

Terrie Bittner
Warminster, PA

@Whos Life RU Living?: Mormons believe that God gave us our intellengence and expects us to use it. While our final decision is one of faith, Mormons also believes God expects us to do something towards getting faith and not just sit around hoping it will happen. When we have a problem to solve--and learning which church to join or if the Book of Mormon is true counts as a problem--we are taught to first study and think it through. This is one reason prospective converts are required to meet with missionaries prior to baptism. Once we've done that, we make a decision. We take that decision to God in the form of a yes or no question. He confirms or rejects our decision and we then accept His answer in faith. We don't base our testimonies on facts, but we do enjoy learning them. We're intelligent creatures. These bits of proof can help the person just starting his study be motivated to continue.

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