Evidence and proof. Michael Ash has written that "Proof is in the eye of
the beholder". I find this claim troubling for many reasons but let me give
just one. An interesting study can be found in the journal of
Applied Cognitive Psychology, volume 24, pages 899-908, "Can Fabricated
Evidence Induce False Eyewitness Testimony?" The results
showed that when people are exposed to false information their beliefs, memories
etc can be influenced. Even to the extreme case of giving false eyewitness
testimony when there are real consequences for an innocent person.I
have stated before that LDS apologists are not to be trusted. One example for me
saying this is the map of Moroni's travel from Meso-America to New York. It is
used to show that Joseph Smith considered a limited geography theory, but that
map includes the Kinderhook plates which are known to be fraudulent. Apologists
know this but do it anyway. This is only one example of how false information is
presented by apologists. Proof is not in the eye of the beholder.
The psychology study mentioned above covers this quite well.
Soccer dad today, so quick sources:Metals: Check MikeA articles on-Nephis
bow, liahona ( "machined" iron surviving Mesoamerican cankering), BoM
evidences today (includes steel for JS meant steeled, thus many hardened metal
American artifacts suffice), also search anachronisms, rust and canker, metals
in the BoM on FAIR and Jeff Lindsey, and just saw PBS History of American Indian
Achievement episode1 shows Indigenous Peoples coming from ME, and IP most
advanced metalworkers in world.LANGUAGE: with truth comment (and our
linguist knows languages disappear, especially when Nephite culture and writing
were intentionally destroyed (if Muslims likewise destroyed Copts, Egyptian
would be replaced by Arabic)) Check FAIR and Mikes DN Reformed Egyptian
(briefly discusses Mesoamerican Hebrew)Also BoM evidences Reformed
Egyptian exclusive, didnt speak Hebrew, "altered" Hebrew writing
according to different speech. Nephites absorbed into larger Mulekites who spoke
different language (probably also married surrounding cultures). BoM says later
renegades taught Lamanites (also intermarried) unfamiliar Nephite language (for
communication).Critic waits for : ):New Light: "Anthon
Transcript" Writing Found? Reformed Egyptian: Language of My Fathers
POSSIBLE LINEAR SCRIPT FROM PRECLASSIC MEXICO Ricks Aazzz,
check Mike-Great Lakes weather, plants on FAIR (Wade Miller etc)@Magajuwin enjoyed your heeding prophets comment, see JM above.
@think man, thank you I agree with you. I have tried following the
path but hated being subjected to liars and theives and say I must follow them
because god put them in their callings. I wondered how someone can say
devolvement about my people in this site and deseret let them get away with it.
I can only surmise that racial profiling is an okay beleif, marry only your own
kind and not anyone beneath your money level. this is racial profiling. So
stealing and lying in the name of God is okay as long as you are rich and white
you are perfect. This is what I refuse to obey. Many have confused what truth
and reality is all about. I will continue to walk the Red Road, because the one
that the BofM followers say to follow makes me evil for following my peoples
teaching? When they do not know what we believe. Truth, honesty, helping the
poor, accepting others as humans and abhor wasitu. which means those who steal
and take and care nothing about human lives. We value a human life not matter
how they live or what they believe.
Re: Thank you for your response. I have read it several times, and I am not sure
what will be required from me to understand it. I am not sure what you want we
to understand from your writings. Your passion is admirable, but I really don't
understand what I am to think about your response. I just am not capable of
understanding your thoughts. Keep up you work, and thanks for responding to my
"Proof is in the eye of the beholder" certainly allows a varied
perception of reality.
Re: Mormoncowboy | 9:03 a.m. March 21, 2011 As for 2 Nephi 2:11-16 -
Lehi states that there must be "OPPOSITION" in all things. In other
words, choice, good for evil, bitter for sweet, etc. He does not say that there
must be "contradiction" in all things. Opposition refers to two or
more competing forces which push against each other. Contradiction is logical
dillema based on competing ideas, where both cannot mutually exist. Either the
Church is true, or it is not.Agreed. 2 more examples; Faith/Reason
and Science/Religion. Re: Searching . . . | 9:25 a.m. March 21, 2011
Lehi was given a miraculous compass on which the writing was updated
periodically to guide his family through Arabian peninsula.It could
be speculated that Lehi & family set sail from Yemen. If you watch enough of
History International, youll eventually learn that there has been a trade route
from Mecca to Sanaa Yemen for sometime. Further, there was a Jewish community in
Yemen from 1000 BC to 600 AD.
truth: obviously the Lehites spoke and could write in Hebrew when they first
arrived. Language does change over time, but not as drastically as you infer.
Chaucer's English would be nearly impossible for us to understand spoken today,
but merely difficult to read. Written language tends to consistency
over time. Egyptian hieroglyphics took nearly 3000 years to evolve to Demotic
script. The change enabled scribes to write more quickly using cyphers rather
than the elaborate glyphs originally intended as monumental text.Reformed Egyptian would be based on demotic or hieratic from the brass plates.
Writing reduces language flux. Reading and writing were exclusive skills in most
early cultures. Culture tend to stick to one codex. The BoM codex should have
lasted from 600BC to 400AD. Lamanites would also know it as they were one nation
until 350AD. The earliest writing found in America are the Olmec hieroglyphs.
Mayan is based on that. The oldest writing on portable media are the American
Codices. The Dresden Codex is a good example of these. It is written in Mayan
Hieroglyphs, matching the monumental text. Demotic cyphers are much easier to
write. Why change to something more complex? Where is the reformed_Egyptian?
@Azzzzz, luckily youre not a weekly Critic committed to changing. Evidences like
eyewitnesses, impossible OW/NW details, geography etc; names, dates, Manassehs
DNA, Jews with IP markers/morphology, detailed religion etc; Mesoamerican
written gold plates; etc(mountains) arent enough for them. Theyd demand
substantiality like prove Nephi wore buckskin and what Mesoamerican
weather/season Alma (from NY town Alma?) planted his garden during AND prove an
extinct minority grew neas, corn, European wheat, Japanese silkworms, linen etc.
(No! Weve piped, Ceiba silk, neas, etc arent the dance, and corn grown doesnt
prove Alma did it, and plants related to and possibly degenerated from wheat
prove nothing (degenerated here meaning previously cultured but degenerating,
like Cortez, from Christian culture, but put gold above humanity (unlike
Montezuma with his slaves and bowl of warm human hearts).@Magajuwin please
forgive misspellings. MichaelM: my familys multiracial, APdiscusses
1976 instruction, explains interracial akin to rich marrying poor etc, perfectly
ok; crucial only to marry within religion. Antis edit. @JoggleWang,
just saw comments REASAP. Seems Joggle wants religion without
religion, believes Mormonism because it stands after 200years of extreme
scrutiny, plus, HPower and living forever logically provable, Atheism? Not,
0scrutiny : ) CheckJM scrutiny of lies Dec2009-Apr2011 : )
I'd like to see the plates that Joseph Smith says he translated the Book of
Mormon from "Reformed Egyptian" to English. IF the Book of Mormon was
a record of some peoples in the Americas, where are the plates? And no, please
don't give me the excuse that Joseph Smith had to give them back to an angel.
That is the best "the dog ate my homework" excuse that I used to
accept but since I decided to rely on evidence and logic rather than just my
heart and feelings, I can no longer accept that there is or even was any such
set of gold plates with ancient writings and especially since there is NO
evidence of any people that roamed even a small area in the Americas that the
Book of Mormon claims to be a history of. There certainly are some
very good principles contained in the Book of Mormon by which we should conduct
our lives, but it has become clear to me after studying it, teaching from it and
"testifying" of it that it is a work of fiction and that no such
peoples of Lehi or Jaredites ever existed.
Truth, If they wrote on brass plates in reformed Egyptian I'd like to see
examples of reformed Egyptian inscribed on ruins or even other plates.
@JMIt seems to me you don't even read all the comments nor do you
understand the challenges presented. Read my second comment and you will see
that I stated what it would take for me to believe ANY religious belief. Your
faith can't overcome the challenges. They are obviously there, but instead of
responding to them with reason and certain (undisputible) evidence...you accuse
critics of purposeful lies, posing, forging, misinformation, fabrications
etc,....which is no defense of your assertions and claims at all. You ignore
much of what is said and then you make false accusations toward critics because
your defense is_weak. Why does it matter as to the reason why any of
us are here? Is there a rule that I missed that says critics aren't allowed
here!? It doesn't really matter whether anybody is seeking the truth or not. I
freely admit I'm not seeking or expecting the truth here, but if it presents
itself....I will recognize it. I will at least consider information, but first
"the challenges" and lack of evidence must be overcome. It hasn't! I freely admit I'm here to challenge the Mormon version the_truth!
RE: sundancejediI find your namecalling offensive and am suprised
the DN even allowed it since it added nothing.RE: Everybody Wang
Chung TonightThere is no evidence that the nephites or lamanites
spoke or wrote hebrew or egyptian in daily converstions and writings.So your expectation are in error and are basd on assumptions.We
only know the nephites record keepers wrote in aform desribed as reformed
egyptian NOT egyptian, that the brass plates they brought with them
were written in egyptian and Lehi could read them and passed onthat
knowledge.the mulekites who came at about same time as Lehi's
family, had lost thierlanguage by the time they werefound a couple hundred years
later by the nephites.The lamanites devolved quickly into tent
dwellers who wore loin cloths. there is no evidence they had any system of
preservation for language or history, etc.We KNOW thre were more
advanced civilzations in americas, and that theyWere quite populous, the mound
builders were believed toHaveNumbered over 4.5 million.and those who
came after, their remnants live in a more devolved primative state.this is all fact.That doesn't make them less human just less
JM, I would accept evidence of Hebrew or Egyptian writing in
Mesoamerica. Another would be if a Native American language showed good
linguistic evidence of Hebrew or Egyptian loanwords -- solid patterns of
correspondence, not piecemeal lists of similarities. I would also accept a
steel weapon, shield or any other implementation that showed steel/iron work.JM, now please tell me what evidence you would accept that your beliefs
are in error.
@ Jm you have not spelled my name correctly. It is an accurate name given
to me passed down for generations. So no need to Answer someone who cares not
for true names.@ truth. You have no scientific proof of devolvement. It
has come to name calling and I am suprised that deseret has allowed such things.
I am proud to be a true American Indian that shows true meaning of life. The so
called life that you say is good is nothing but abhorrent to my people.
Stealing,deceit,gold,lies, take,take, take and use up spit out and throw away.
saying nuclear power is clean. put down and crush so you can look all
powerful.Saying that we are evil because our skin is dark. Mine will never turn
white. this I am greatful for. We do not toss people aside because of our
beliefs, or say don't marry beneath you, or marry of same race. This is the
truth you love. No thank you. you cannot handle truth. You deny it and make it
up along the way to suit your ego. no I will not follow.
JM,Here is what I would like to see evidence for:Is there
evedence for a tropical or a temporal climate in the book of mormon?Is there evidence that the plants and animals listed are new world species?You have asked what I would like to see evidence of, and I feel those
would be good starting points, of course anything you choose to present would be
great. Thanks for you enthusiasm.
Members of the Quorum of Twelve have indicated numerous times that the BoM is
not a History book. Very simple. It didn't happen.
Busy week, lots of good comments, and many of the same anti-Mormon tactics : )
(sorry, but we might as well be honest about what you are doing here).@Megajuwin I just did a search for your comments, and for "JM" and
didn't find what I was hoping for, an answer to my questions on first page.@weekly Critics: Again, you claim there is no substantial evidence,
I've asked several times for what evidence would change your lives, i never get
an answer. Again, what more do you expect? The Spirit witnesses,
evidence supports, even proves the BoM miraculous. You again claim
feelings cant be trusted, but offer no proof for your faiths. That
worries me. Feelings are the only way to know anything crucial, like murder is
wrong. Its impossible to drag you to happiness or up the sacred
mountain with evidence, you know that, and, as Mike points out, no matter how
much evidence, it will neither save nor convince the hardened heart. I think a big step for all critics would be admitting to yourselves that you
really arent here seeking truth. And, with the lies, posing, forging,
misinformation, fabrications etc, youre purposely leading from truth.
Northern,I was not attempting, nor did I, take anything out of
context. I agree that while your addition does "soften" the concept,
it is clear that church leaders HAVE preached "against interracial
marriage".Regardless, if church leaders, including church
presidents do say things that are "unflattering" to church image, or
turn out to be blatantly wrong, we hear the chorus of "they were speaking
as fallible men".So in the end, what does it really matter?I would certainly classify most LDS church leaders as very wise men who
give good advice. Much like my grandfather might.
the truth-Your grasp of vocabulary and spelling prowess are
certainly indicative of your "devolved" state. That is simply the
RE: Michael_MThe truth is NEVER offensive nor erroneous.People who live primately devolved socially and culturally from more advanced
state..It is scientific truth.As you move from society
in item and disttance you people living more priamtiely as move away.As peol move aaw3y forman enlighten state they devlovle, as embrace false
ideolgies ans philosophies,, as as embrace satiflying fleshly desrires over
other things, as value education less ans less, if they method preserving
languge histopry culture etc, people devolve, even in
our society from gangs, to hippie communes, you can the truth of it.I find sreading ignorance offernsive whihc what you are doing,I
find you taking things out context from preithoommanuals offensive,and social scientist can tell there is greater chance of success in
marrigage, the more you have in common.
JoeBlow:I would love to put the President Kimball's comment into
context. He also said, "A couple HAS NOT committed sin if an
Indian boy and a white girl are married, or vice versa. It isn't a transgression
like the transgressions of which many are guilty. But it is not expedient.
Marriage statistics and our general experience convince us that marriage is not
easy. It is difficult when all factors are favorable. The divorces increase
constantly, even where the spouses have the same general background of race,
religion, finances, education, and otherwise." (Teachings of Spencer W.
Kimball, p.302-303) He simply was providing sage advise to the
culture of his time on giving marriage the best possibility for success. Divorce
is an ugly thing! It's also important to understand that his comments were not
official doctrine of the Church - just a recommendation. There is more
explaination as one continues to read; you'll find it isn't about race.It's amazing how some are using the entire bag of tricks on the message board
this week. Just about everything Michael Ash pointed out about critics is being
demonstrated right here - and then some!
Vone writes "I have never once in my life heard any preaching against
interracial marriage by any leader of the church."This year
(2011) the official curriculum for the young men is the Aaronic Priesthood 3
(34822) manual. The lesson beginning on page 127 includes this:We
recommend that people marry those who are of the same racial
background..."I hope that clears it up for Vone. We are in the
21st century now and this is still taught to young LDS men.
Vone writes "I have never once in my life heard any preaching against
interracial marriage by any leader of the church."We are
unanimous, all of the Brethren, in feeling and recommending that Indians marry
Indians, and Mexicans marry Mexicans; the Chinese marry Chinese and the Japanese
marry Japanese; that the Caucasians marry the Caucasians, and the Arabs marry
Arabs. (Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 303)
Magaju win:wow there are some ridiculous statements in that comment,
I have never once in my life heard any preaching against interracial marriage by
any leader of the church. Tithing does go you buying land for building churches
and temples, however, it does not go to building commercial buildings that is
all done by the various commercial arms of the church. Tithing is not meant for
the poor it is to build and maintain the church, fast offerings are meant for
the poor and needy and that is exactly what they are used for.All I
have to say about the proof thing is I don't need it and I believe that the
church is true. However even if I am wrong I know that it is because of the
teachings in the Book of Mormon I am a better more charitable slow to anger
person. I never had any interest in the bible or Jesus Christ until I started
reading from the Book of Mormon, it turned my life around so I dont need proof,
I know I am better because of it.
Magaju win: What is the history of your people? How did your people come to
live on the American continent? What do your people believe?
I believe Magaju win has a very good complaint. The Mormon church encourages
and supports geneology and ancestral search, but at the same time they label the
American Indian and purloin them of their true indentity and geneology.
We beleive in a great being and equality to all. Women are treated as sacred not
to rule over. The cheifs were the poorest because they helped the tribes people.
Mormon leaders are locked in their ivory towers and cannot be touched or talked
to. Woman cannot disagree or they are labeled unworthy. you teach against
interracial marriages? This is from god? No it is not. We did not do this
because this is how we learned to get along and stop wars. Only mormons talk of
superiority and who is degenerate. Pay tithing, But it goes to buy more land and
building Malls, not back into helping the poor. Truth Money is the root of all
evil. Take land and destroy a way of life in the name of god because you are
helping them better themselves. How by your lies and deciets. How is that good.
We live by honesty. We do not take and use and then toss away. Degenerates to
those who do not follow your teaching. This is not from God! who is really the
Then there are pictures of things like the Dead Sea Scrolls. At first one might
think they are ruined, yet somehow they've been able to unravel them and read
them. There might have been such records for the American continent, but
because some records were kept on metal plates, it seems their value was more in
the material the records were made of rather than for the content that was
written on them. Yet, the use of metal plates in ancient America seems to be
coming forward when once there were those who scoffed at the idea.
For any who doubt there is any evidence to support the BookofMormon, what if you
are given a handful of clues that are hundreds of years old, would you be able
to pinpoint the location these clues lead to? Then would you be able to explain
the history of the people that lived there, how they came to live there, how was
their government formed, and what did these people believe.As it is,
there are ruins throughout North and South America, but at best people can only
guess what the history of these people might be, how they came to the Americas,
and what these people believed.The Book of Mormon is a record of
people who lived somewhere in the Americas. (My opinion is they lived fairly
close to where the record was buried.) Yet, to date not much is known about the
history of the Americas to even be able to compare what we learn from the Book
of Mormon. One thing I question is, why dont we know more of the history of
this continent than what is presently known? Many things seem to be coming
forward, but what does any of it mean?
the truth said :"we know the_lamanites quickly dengerated and would
probably developed their own language, and may have_not had any formal written
language, and they're the group that survived"The thought that
America's living indigenous people are from degenerate ancestors is offensive in
the 21st century. Proof is not in the eye of the beholder but erroneous
understanding most certainly is. The people who developed the
written languages, architecture and artwork, astronomy and mathematics found in
Meso-America never disappeared. It took the Spanish 170 years to gain control
over their lands. Between 1966 and 1990 up to 200,000 of these people died or
disappeared in the genocide of a civil war, but the people are still there.When will the 19th century notion of a fallen and degenerate people be
discarded? Scientific research and data no longer supports this offensive
description of degenerate ancestors. DNA shows the living people being from real
ancestors who should be acknowledged for their own accomplishments, without
adding in the fictional influence from Near Eastern mythical ocean
migrations.It is time for a paradigm shift in the direction of
Everybody Wang Chung Tonight | 1:36 p.m.Very, very insightful! The
critique applies to certain posters here, as well.
Bill, if you really believe my post last week was an attempt to mock you, then
you missed my point entirely. By changing a few of your words, it's easy to see
how closely your argument in favor of your perception of truth resembles the
position of other faiths and their perception of truth. Believers
in the Qur'an are utterly convinced that this book was verbally revealed to the
Prophet Muhammad through the angel Gabriel, just as you are entirely convinced
that the BoM was revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith by the angel Moroni. In
fact,the conviction of a Muslim regarding the truthfulness of the book is so
powerful that they are willing to die to protect that belief.The
fact remains...both books cannot be truth in the absolute sense, and your
testimony of truth simply does not trump their testimony of truth, regardless of
whether or not Islam has living prophets.
Alberta, agreed that of the regular posters no one is changing their mind. I do
know personally, that finding out about the unsavory side of church history can
be a catalyst to leaving the church. There is a reason you dont hear about some
of the things posted here at church. When it seems like man is calling the shots
behind the scenes and not Godwell that destroys faith. I am happy that the
church brings you happiness and perspective in life. I have no doubt that you
would make a great neighbor. However I disagree with the people who stand up in
church and say that they would remain a member even if it wasnt true. One last thoughtIf mormoncowboy proclaimed himself a prophet I could be
convinced to pay him tithing. Oh, probably not 10% but wed figure something
These comment show that few truly understand the priciple of faith, and why it
necessary,and really it begins when you understand why we here, that this is mortal probation,We are not here to prove to
God we will do waht is right, when have evidence, that proves nothing but will we do what is right, make the right choices, keep his
commandments, believe his word whether from him or his prophets,thqt is the true test.Peole still make wrong choices even with
evidence, evidence does not change who you really are,and this all
finding oput who you really are, and are you worthy for greater progression,faith is paramount.--RE: Everybody Wang Chung
Tonight Why would you expect to find hebrew or egyptian?Do you know for a fact what they spoke and wrote daily in either of those two
languages? we don't know, your expectations are based on
assumptions.we know the_lamanites quickly dengerated and would
probably developed their own language, and may have_not had any formal written
language, and they're the group that survived,the_nephites kept
record in_what's describe as_a "reformed egyptian",so_they
developed their_own written language after a_time.
Bill: Rephrasing one's comments in an opposing or conflicting context is a
powerful way urging the commenter to see his arguments from outside his belief
system. I don't believe Weber Graduate intended it as mocking (I could be
wrong), so I'd invite you to put away your "sticks and stone"
dismissal of his comment and try looking at it again. Can you say that if
someone of a different religion (Muslim, Catholic, or some denomination claims
modern revelation) said those words to you, that you would agree with them?
Would you call them on their logic? There is a great deal of fear
within the church of looking at things outside the Mormon perspective. From
experience, I know the discomfort that arguments and evidences that don't fit
the paradigm can cause. Pressure from investment into the program (time, money,
culture, family, etc.) kept me from looking at issues logically. Like many
members, I would put it on the back-burner until some rationalization would help
me explain it away. I assume many who read these articles are looking for
similar rationalizations. I hope they decide to look deeper.
I have had my disbelief strengthened by these articles and the comments. I had
read some things I was sure were distortions or out right lies by
"anti" mormons. But I've come here and found out they were true, just
rationalized away by the faithful. My wife (raised Mormon) didn't know many
things discussed in these forums. She too didn't believe they were true.
Anyway, I enjoy reading these articles and lok forward to them. Mormons are
nice people once you get them to stop thinking you want home teachers dropping
in and calling.
It would be cool if they found an ancient ninja settlement somewhere in the
Western Hemisphere. This comment is not meant to indicate anything other than
the fact that I like ninjas (as portrayed in pop culture, as opposed to actual
ninjas), and that I think it would be cool if we found a nest or infestation had
occured in the Americas in pre-colombian days:)
The proof that Mr Ash is showing is the Lack of Disproof.There is a
possibility that words had different meanings in other times.There is a
possibility that described geography changed by quake or floodThere is a
possibility that DNA markers disappeared. There is a possibility that
Golden plates were moved to another continent to be found.There is a
possibility that we have just not dug in the right places to unearth massive
civilizations.And, I cant refute any of his possible
explanations.But, as a thinking man, I find the collection of things
that must happen to make the BOM story believable, highly improbable.But hey, I could be wrong.
Part IIMike wrote, "If humans had incontrovertible secular
evidence for the existence of God, they would be unable to freely choose whether
or not to accept God."So God exists, but He's not going to give
any evidence. And then when I don't believe in him, He's going to punish me for
not believing in Him despite the lack of evidence?There's something
odd about Ash's post. Take another look at his two reasons for not giving
evidence.Point 1: If you gave someone evidence, they could still
just reject it.Point 2: If you gave someone evidence, it would destroy
their agency because they'd be unable to reject it.So which is it?
Can someone reject evidence, or can't they? He's rested his case on two points
that contradict each other. Is this really the best that Michael Ash
Evidence for the Book of Mormon? At last! Unfortunately, Ash then spends the
entire column making excuses for why we shouldn't expect evidence. That's always
a bad sign. If he had the evidence, he would rely on it. Instead, there's tap
dancing.Mike states, "Im unconvinced that any critic would
convert because of some alleged proof.This is not quite right. When
I deconverted, it was not because I had 'hardened my heart'. In fact, I spent
years making excuses for the church and trying to shoehorn the facts into my
narrow religious belief. Only when I realised that it had no evidentiary basis
did I abandon the religion I'd invested so much in. I will change my
mind if the facts require. One would be evidence of Hebrew or Egyptian writing
in Mesoamerica. If Ash has this evidence, let him say so.I might say
that Ash's presumption may be based on his own attitude. I wonder what evidence
he'd accept that his beliefs are in error. I hope he shows up in comments,
because I'd really like to ask him that one question.
Milk BeastReading Mikes articles seems to be a "hobby" for the
same few that seem to read and commentReally they neither help or hurt.
Going along with Mikes current article, the believers that post still seem to
believe those that don't continue not to believe so no real change in my
opinionNot a single comment I have read on the negative side against the
LDS church has chipped away at my testimony it is still completely intact
Weber Graduate and others" You took what I said last week and basically
mocked it with the Quran. The problem is that the Muslims do not believe in
living prophets or modern revelation. I do so you mock was basically just that
a mock, which meant nothing.The first principles and ordinances of
the Gospel of Jesus Christ are:Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,
Repentance, Baptism by immerision for the remission of sin and then the laying
on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost.Mormoncowboy asked who he
should have faith in. Jesus Christ but by his own comments he has put his faith
in man just as many of the critics have. Faith is the belief in things that are
unseen yet are true. Until one is fully willing to submit to the Lord, putting
your faith in man instead will garner you nothing. Just as Josha stated:
"...as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord".The
Holy Ghost WILL testify of the truth of the Book of Mormon is one is broken
hearted, humble, meek and willing to submit to the Lord. Otherwise all comes
through the adversary.
@cvalI believe you are mistaken in your assumption. Those who take
an honest, objective, scientific approach to evidence most often do not intend
to diminish the value of faith. Rather, many will admit that faith indeed has
much value in society and is an important requisite for human hope. But having
faith that something is true doesnt necessarily make the object of that faith a
fact. Furthermore, I find it troubling that when challenging
supernatural claims, its entirely convenient to brand people who favor
scientific protocols as "naysayers" or "haters" out to
diminish the value of faith. Such action creates a clever prejudice and diverts
attention away from the debate.There are those who are quick to cite
absolute faith as a replacement for reason, which does nothing but diminish the
value of reason in favor of a rigid code of faith.
The Milk Beast,Just my two cents, but I think anything that
challenges sane people to think and study positive events and excercise our God
given brains and reason is good for the individual and society as a whole. If
the Book of Mormon is real history and not fiction then there will be evidence
of proof of its being. It is a natural law of God's creations. If it is not a
true history, then it is best to know that and adjust accordingly. God is truth,
and God can only be truely worshiped and accessed through truth.
Full Rainbow,I agree. Mike is, and has been, taking a beating on a
weekly basis for a long time. I have to wonder if his articles are helping or
cval, We all place that evidence in the context of what we already know or
believe to be true in relation to the evidence we have already discovered? Lectures on Faith, Q. What is the Father? A. He is a personage of glory
and of power. (5:2.)Brigham Young (JOD v 1 p 49-50): "The Lord
fills the immensity of space. What saith the Psalmist[139:7-10]? Whither shall I
go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? me. They changed
their view. Blessed are thou Simon Bar-jo-nah for Flesh and Blood
hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father(God is Spirit) which is in
heaven.(Mt 16: 16-17) Jesus clearly states, God the Father does not have a body
of flesh and blood. By faith he forsook Egypt not fearing the wrath
of the king: for he endured as seeing him(God)who is invisible.(Heb 11:27).
Faith in an exalted man is misplaced faith.
How can it be as Mr. Ash states that: "proof is in the eye of the
beholder". Proof is evidence of truth, or proof is truth: or it is not
proof. If as Mr. Ash states it is what the beholder wishes to see, then it is
not proof; it is just different opinions, wishes, desires, etc of people with
their heads in the clouds. It is meaningless, and it proofs nothing. I hope we
can all come back down to earth and continue the search for proof of the Book of
For the Lord to provide "proof" would violate the First Principle of
the Gospel... Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He has, however provided lots of
evidence. The beauty and challenge of evidence is that it is often
open to interpretation, so we look for more evidence that makes our case either
stronger or weaker. We all place that evidence in the context of what we
already know or believe to be true in relation to the evidence we have already
discovered.Funny how similar this is to the scientific model of
searching for evidence to support or refute our theories that the naysayers are
so quick cite in their efforts to diminish the value of Faith.
I wonder if this article was inspired because Mike's ideas (apologist in
general) keep getting hammered in this comment section. I'll bet it was somewhat
@Charles, spot on! his logical must apply both ways. DNA research shows that
native americans come from northeast asia. the church changed the intro of the
BOM in 2007, completely destroying 180 years of prophetic doctrine that the
lamanites are the principal ancestors of the american indians.modern
egyptology scholarship also concludes that the book of abraham is a hoax.yet mormons will hold on to their preconditioned psychological+emotional
response (what they call a "testimony") to their dying day in the face
of all proof against what they've been indoctrinated to believe in.finally and most importantly, the fossil record, dna, archeology and
anthropology disprove the old testament claim that the first homo sapien
offspring appeared a mere 6-7000 years ago. all evidence shows it was more like
200,000 years ago.but by all means remain a slave to a corporation
bleeding you of your time and money because of a good feeling you get when you
hear something nice (the identical feeling you get when you watch e.g. a disney
Absolute "proof" of the BoM does not exist, just as absolute
"disproof" of the BoM does not exist. Conversely, there is no absolute
proof or disproof of the existence of elves. As a result, discussions about
proof regarding supernatural claims must be examined in terms of
probabilities.The scientific world typically examines claims of
proof using levels of confidence, or how frequently an observed phenomena can be
measured and if it contains the parameter that's being investigated as
determined by the confidence level or a confidence coefficient. Since there is no scientific evidence of the supernatural, including the
supernatural claims behind the BoM, it can be confidently concluded that such
"proof" is reasonably low, just as the confidence level of the
existence of elves is quite low and therefore improbable. The
belief that such proof indeed exists is more likely the result of regimented
religious ritual and symbolic cultural practice and customs that condition the
mind to accept such improbabilities. Such ritual can induce powerful brain
responses that promote very real "spiritual" experiences for people.
The reliance on "faith" is a rather effective method of
conditioning that serves to perpetuate the belief in improbable
Bill:Yes, I doubt very much the things contained in the Bible - and
you guessed it, for the same reasons too! And that goes for any superstition
purported as actual history from ancient literature. Still, your comment
illustrates perfectly the problems with religious epistemology. As per your
argument, I could never become convinced because I lack the a priori of
believing in the first place. This is generally the end of the road conversation
on the dichotomies of faith. You will insist that I must have "faith",
or "desire", or I must be "sincere", etc. While you can drum
up all of the scriptures in the world which support these adjectives, you can't
even be sure what that means. Have faith in what? Desire what? Sincere in what
way? Your own lack of clarity on these various issues then causes you to spin
illogical arguments like your opening statement. I won't be able to clearly
evaluate evidence unless I accept your conclusion first. Like Pascals Wager, you
argue as though faith is one dimensional - while ignoring the dillema
illustrated by your own founder. In which of all these Churchs
(faiths/texts/traditions), shall I place my faith?
If an "innocent" man were called int a "Church Court" and
everyone in that court "felt" like he was guilty, not taking any
concern for the facts or proof of the event, the man is guilty. Convenient way
of looking at things isn't it!
Great Article Mike best one you have done in my opinion since I started to
follow your articles
No matter what the facts reveal, they support my position and strengthen my
testimony. So, I may be wrong - but I'm never in doubt.
To the critics: Mr. Ash is just about to present to you some of the so called
physical proof that can actually prove the feasibility of the Book of Mormon.
This means that what the Book of Mormon states were here such as metals, barley
and other things have been found. That the mesoamerican module closely
resembles everything mentioned in the Book of Mormon and has been located in
that area, yet you the critic will still not believe it. You will pass it off
as wishful thinking and everything else. That is why you don't have the eyes to
see or the ears to hear just as Christ has indicated about many of the leaders
of Jeruselem. Until you are willing to become submissive as a small child you
will never receive the answer you want or the spirit to testify of its truth.Just as Naham and Bountiful are in exactly the right spots pertaining to the
Arabian pensisula as told in the Book of Mormon, you still can't see. The
heavens have been opened to revelations today just as they were in the days of
old since 1820 when they appeared to Joseph Smith.
The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.~~Benjamin FranklinIf your religion....or any religion could stand up to all scrutiny and
provide absolute certainty then I would have to accept it as true, but since no
religion can do that without the use of faith or subjective religious
experiences....than I remain unconvinced. If a belief can't survive challenges
to reasonable arguments then it deserves my skepticism or disbelief. Although
some arguments cannot be logically excluded from being true, they very often can
be excluded from being very likely true. This amount of contrary evidence makes
belief unreasonable. If the only alternative you have to challenges is to
ridicule and blame the person for not being spiritual enough (or some such
thing)....rather than the source....then it is you who is so blind as to not
see. When strong evidence to the contrary is denied in favor of self-induced
religious experiences based on a predetermined need, desire, or simply because
you want it to be true. ....then I find it impossible to be convinced based on
people interpreting an already hoped for religious experience....as a
revelation....or from God!
Sorry for the tangent away from Ash's article. Mention was made about the Mormon
concept of hell, and I thought I'd elaborate on that. In the Old Testament,
every reference to 'hell' is the Hebrew word sheôwl which means hades, the
world of the dead or the grave. There is nothing in the use of sheôwl to
imply eternal burnings in literal fire. In the New Testament, there are three
Greek words translated as 'hell'. Haides means the place of departed souls or
the grave. Geenna refers to a valley near Jerusalem in which refuse was burned,
and this valley is the source of the metaphor about fire. Tartaroo refers to
the deepest abyss of Hades or to an incarceration in eternal punishment.
Biblical references to Hell refer to the grave or to the world of the dead in
which the spirits will receive God's punishment.Revelation 20:12-13
brings out that Hell will give up its dead, implying that hell is temporary.
That hell refers to Haides or Geenna. The New Testament also refers to Tartaroo,
which Mormons refer to as "outer darkness" in which there is no
Per Bill in Nebraska, Peter saw all of the miracles and when Christ asked
"Who Do You Say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the
Son of God." Christ then stated, "That it wasn't man that told him
this but the Holy Ghost." Actually, But do men say ye that I am, And
Simon Peter answered and said ,Thou art the Christ the Son of the Living God,
And Blessed are thou Simon Bar-jo-nah for Flesh and Blood hath not revealed it
unto thee, but my Father(God is Spirit) which is in heaven.(Mt 16: 16-17) Jesus
clearly states, God the Father does not have a body of flesh and blood. God is
Spirit (John 4:24)
If, as Michael states in his article that evidence doesn't matter, then you have
to wonder why Mormon apologists even exist. Nearly universally, they all seem to
follow a general pattern of stretching any evidence beyond recognition to fit
the Book of Mormon (or Pearl of Great Price). But they conclude by stating that
there is no need for physical proof of the divinity of the Book of Mormon
because its divinity can only be confirmed spiritually. That is
where I scratch my head. If the divinity of the Book of Mormon can only be
proved spiritually, then why are they wasting such time, effort and brain cells?
Why even defend Mormonism from an intellectual stand point? They could and
should just post a huge sign that says: "Just Pray". It seems that any
approach to justify faith with material evidence is a slap in the face and a
severe contradiction to the very religion they are attempting to defend.
Cats,Don't you think your comment was "ridiculing" of
Boise's comment? If so, then aren't you guilty of the exact same thing you are
accusing Boise of?
Mormoncowboy: Since you don't believe the Book of Mormon to be true then no
convincing will ever convince you otherwise. Just as I said last week, no
physical proof will EVER bring someone to Christ. The Bible is very clear on
this as witnessed by his own assertion and the miracles he performed. He was
still said to be a man with a devil.The ministering of angels isn't
always visible and may not be only spirits. Until you fully understand that
there is no way anyone is going to be able to describe to YOUR satisfaction what
it is.How do I know Jesus Christ lived or died? You tell me, and
the answer to that is by the Holy Ghost. There is no proof anywhere except the
Bible to the fact he even was a person. How about Moses? Only in the Bible but
no where in Egyptian History is his name ever mentioned. The same for any
prophet in the Old Testament. Therefore, to go with your ascertain the Bible
must also be false until someone can prove those as well to you.The
Spirit tells you the difference and reveals all truth. PERIOD.
Cats,Will you please have someone explain the irony of your last
post to you?
Dear BoiseSuperBlue: Thank you for your post. One can always try ridicule. It
is the last bastian of those who have no intelligent counter arguments.
SundanceJedi:Thank you!While the banter back and forth
seems fruitless, I still sense that there is value in continued conversation.
Despite Ash's lack of confidence, I am confident that good evidence and good
argument does in fact persuade.
Brokenclay:With regards to citing the story in Luke 16, you either
missed the point or are deliberately trying to twist the argument. The point
is, again, when a person has decided to reject the gospel, not even the dead, or
angels, or signs can convince them otherwise. Nor will any of the proofs that
you and your associates on these boards demand. Only the Holy Ghost can truly
convert - and for me this was in a very personal way that cannot be ignored nor
denied.I have a testimony of the living Christ and his gospel. I
did not receive my testimony from physical proof. I didn't need it. In fact,
President Hinckley once said about testimony, "It is something that cannot
be refuted. Opponents may quote scripture and argue doctrine endlessly. They can
be clever and persuasive. But when one says, 'I know,' there can be no further
argument."And one final note, I know no Mormon who has rejected
the doctrine of Hell. The scriptures provide great detail on those who are
eligable. Luke 16 is a very good description as well.
MormoncowboyYou should compose a collection of your DN posts. I
find them truly eloquent, well thought out and very quotable. Keep them up!
Proof may be in the eye of the beholder, but that doesn't make that claimed
proof fact nor does it make that proof true! No, Mr. Ash....it's merely
admirably impossible for critics and skeptics to be open to
practitioner-promoted claims for some supernatural concoction for which there
should be evidence and yet against which all the evidence points. Possibilities
do not equal fact and although some evidence may seem plausible on the surface
to some....it can often be reasonably refuted by others. This typically stems
from a higher standard of evidence for the claims made by the religious. Many
theists and apologetics seem to lack that inner sense of logical discrepancy
that sets a "wait a minute, that doesn't make sense!" alarms ringing
in many of us. It has nothing to do with "truly hardened hearts against
Joseph Smith". The problem simply lies in the lack of certain and absolute
evidence within the source. Emotionalism is not a substitute for the truth. The
request for proof is thrown out as a challenge because the burden of proof lies
with the claimant. Untrue excuses for lack of acceptance ignores that the
evidence is truly insufficient.
Mike is back! The last article didn't really develop any new ideas or say much
of anything. This one was excellent! Judging from the number of comments which
are so strongly worded form both sides, it appears Mike hit a raw nerve with
some. Isn't it interesting how there doesn't appear to be much middle ground
for the folks writing the comments. He's either got a halo or horns. I've
never met him, but I suspect he's a pretty normal middle class dad who puts on
his pants one leg at a time. Peace to all who read this. (So sorry I will not
be able to respond to any flames sent my way, I just have 30 minutes during
lunch to read a little news and then it's back to work!)
Hi Bill:I don't recall that Laman and Lemuel ever saw angels,
largely because I don't think Laman and Lemuel ever existed. Incidentally, part
of why I doubt their existence is the incredulousnes of the narratives about
them. After they "saw" angels, what proof would they yet require. Does
it make sense that they would have doubted being censured by an Angel? Doubtful.
Rather they're actions don't make sense in the context. Interestingly most
Mormons notice this very thing, and yet draw the conclusion that "seeing an
angel doesn't convert". I find this rational quite odd. Why did Joseph
Smith trust the visit from Moroni then - and why do we put so much stock into
it? Certainly if seein an angel didn't build faith, then there would be little
restriction behind limiting such occurences, yet God seems quite protective of
angelic ministrations. One of the key's of the Aaronic Priesthood is the
Ministering of Angels, but why if such a thing is unnecessary. Listen to your
own assertion. You are suggesting that a visit from angels would be of little
religious benefit. It's nuts Bill.
RE: brokenclay I high;y doubt you witness form spirit not to belive
the BOM.Satan and his followers want to do all they can to lead
all he can away from the truth.And Satan can be very convincing.Witnwes from the spirit does not always come right away, but the spirit
testifies to you when you are ready.There is no scientific truth
that contradict anything in the scriputures.There are contradictiy
theories of men, and there are contradicory ideas of men.The BOM is
a translation, which includes a modern english translation of names, this means you will NOT find "zarahemla" or "nephi" an
ancinet artifacts, nor would you even find hebrew,Even
the plates of brass, contianing the books of moses and many other ancient
prophets that lehi brough with him were written in egyptian!The
nephites built in wood not stone,the lamanites were tent dweller in loin
clothsIf you want find evidence you need to be looking for the right
Allen: Good catch. I don't have a reference. I was going by what I heard in
institute, seminary, and gospel_doctrine whenever polygamy was brought_up. My
bad. To tell the truth, I don't believe it happened either.Others:
This article has helped clarify some things for me. While I am looking for
direct proofs that point primarily to the BoM, the faithful seem to be looking
for evidence that confirms their faith. It needn't be incontrovertible, only a
remote tie that can confirm their belief. As I started questioning these
evidences, they felt increasingly like justifications, which I eventually
dismissed as I no longer had a faith to defend.Mr. Ashe's
description of the "Nephi slept here" conversation beautifully
illustrates this difference. For the faithful, there would be no question that
it would build faith. To a non-believer, of course there would be questions. Why
would you not place the time, the morphology, context, authenticity, etc.?
Scientists are not trying to prove a religion true. They're trying to uncover
history. In short, what to JM and Cat are "mountains of evidence," to
me are only faith promoting stories. Until they show something solid.
"Only one sect can be right."How about if I modify
that.At MOST, only one sect can be right.You must leave
open the very real possibility that NO ONE is right when it comes to religion.
cats/calmoriah,Thanks again for adding absolutely nothing to this
Think about the scenario that is facing Mormons today. There are multiple
different LDS sects. Each claims to be the right one; each claims to believe the
BoM and have spiritual witness of its truth. But each sect rejects the other
sects as heretical and corrupt. Only one sect can be right. A spiritual witness
cannot arbitrate this dispute, for all claim the same spiritual witness. Do you
believe the SLC LDS Church, because it's the largest? No, for this is simply an
argumentum ad populum. The dispute must be settled otherwise.Let me
expand the scenario. Various other Christian groups and people, like myself,
claim to have a witness of the Spirit, as well. But my witness tells me not to
believe the BoM. Only one of us can be right, for the Holy Spirit does not lie
or make mistakes. A spiritual witness is an important, even necessary component,
but it must always be accompanied by other necessary components. There are many,
many deceiving spirits in the world today. We must be very certain that the
spirit we are listening to is the one true Spirit.
The great conceit of those who seek for signs is that any sign given and
received will be sufficiently convincing of anything great.
I appreciate the comments from thoughtful, non-attacking folks on this board on
whether the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction or a book of God. I also
appreciate the THOUGHT that goes into some of the comments that use logic and
reason to come to a conclusion about truth. Using our hearts and feelings to
find truth isn't going to lead us to finding the truth. Using logic, thought
and reason and examining the evidence will lead us to truth. Truth is black and
white and doesn't care about feelings. I appreciate JohnnyLingo's
comments about the need to read the Book of Mormon and really see and look at
its contents. I spent 30 years of my life studying the Book of Mormon in
seminary, on a mission, institute classes and as a family and as a Gospel
Doctrine teacher. I quoted Moroni's promise to LDS and non LDS folk probably
over 1,000 times and have read, studied, and prayed about the Book of Mormon
over 25 times. Yet, I know that without seeing any EVIDENCE of it being a book
of God that it is instead a book of fiction.
It amuses me when Mormons use Luke 16 to prove a point, but then simultaneously
reject the doctrine of hell (unless you want to say that the rich man was a son
of perdition; but saying this will cause more problems for a Mormon than it
solves).The bottom line is that a true prophet's words must conform
to previously received revelation. Revelation is often confirmed by miracles,
though not always. Even false prophets produce miracles to try to draw the
faithful away. It may be that the Lord raised up Joseph Smith to test his people
-- to see whether they would remain faithful to him, discerning the deception
(Deuteronomy 13:1-4). Christians must not abandon previously received
revelation, even if they receive a miracle telling them to do so (like an angel
appearing, or a spirit giving a burning feeling in the heart). Mormonism is
polytheistic; this alone is grounds to reject it, even if the Book of Mormon
offers a confirming miracle. We must be careful which spirits we open our hearts
to, lest we be deceived. Test the spirits. Do not believe every spirit. The
Scripture is very clear on this matter.
I recall one example of this week's theme in the story of the Rich Man and
Lazarus the Begger in Luke chapter 16. When both had died and Lazarus looked
across the great gulf which separated him from paradise, he asked Father Abraham
if he could go back and warn his five brothers. To this, Abraham responded,
"They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them." The Rich Man
then asked, "Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead,
they will repent," to which the response was "If they ahear not Moses
and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the
dead."Jerusalem stands today, and yet millions still refuse any
belief in God. There is no reason why this would be any different with Book of
Mormon lands. That is simply not the way God works.
To the critics:This is exactly the same thing I stated last week.
As Mormoncowboy so well stated Laman and Lemeul saw angels. They even heard the
voice of the Lord and saw many miracles while in the Arabian Desert but still
fell. Why because without the confirming testimony of the Spirit, it availeth
one nothing. Sure Otis is right millions may flock to the Church but until they
receive confirmation of the Spirit they will NEVER be fully converted.Yes, Peter saw all of the miracles and when Christ asked "WHO DO YOU SAY
I AM?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of God."
Christ then stated, "That it wasn't man that told him this but the Holy
Ghost." That is what converted Peter yet he still would deny the Christ
before he was fully converted.The other is that those critics of the
Book of Mormon who keep saying there is no proof have been proven wrong several
times over. It has even been said that the scholarship of the apologists is
actually defeating the critics so again Charles is wrong. Nothing in science is
going to prove or disprove the Book of Mormon.
Thanks Mike, another great article. I appreciated how you discussed the purpose
of faith, in spite of all the powerful evidence. There are those who
will always deny, even noonday light in the middle of their night. So, as Mike
points out, we must still seek. Troy was thought to be mythic for
years, but when evidences were discovered, it didn't change any lives.And, BoM evidences are more proving than many things the critics believe, yet
this clearly doesn't save them. There is always room for doubt, even among those
seeing Jesus with their eyes. Clearly, those straining at gnats and
swallowing anti-Mormon camels here can always find justification for disbelief.
And that's how it's meant to be, even though it is reaching a point where they
must abandon logic to deny the BoM, still, anyone is free to doubt anything. We
must seek higher things. @Megajuwin, it's an honor to
have the views of a Lakota with a testimony. Where do you believe the BoM
took place?How do Lakota fit in with that? Is it offensive
when people misuse information trying to prove you are not descended from BoM
@searching "Joseph Smith was threatened by an angel with a sword to
institute polygamy or die."The historical evidence that Joseph
Smith did say that an angel with a sword threatened him is based on weak
historical evidence. There is no known primary record that Joseph Smith did say
that, and the statements about the angel and sword were made many years later.
It is true that LDS General Authorities and religious teachers have referred to
the story of an angel and sword, but those men weren't living during the life of
Joseph Smith, and the question, then, is where did they get their information. I
personally have never accepted that story, because it is based on weak
historical evidence and thus susceptible of being an inaccurate story.
It sounds like the real problem is lack of faith not scientific evidence. Why
not just stick to faith then rather than twisting yourself into a pretzel about
what science does or does not support?
Michael Ash,I think you are being a little disingenuous here. For
example, in your book Shaken Faith Syndrome, you state that many LDS find that
their testimonies are weakened or destroyed by certain scientific findings,
certain items in Church history or something else they may have read. So,
certain evidence can lead someone away from the Church, but certain evidence
will never bring someone to the Church?You are giving me a headache
with all of your contradictions and mental gymnastics.Also, I would
bet you my life if archeologists found Zarahemla, tens of millions (if not more)
people would immediately flock to the Church. You're kidding yourself if you
You can only find things where you look. If you are trying to find your
"lost keys", but you never look in the drawer in your spouse's
nightstand, then you cannot claim that your keys are either "in your
spouse's nightstand" or "absolutely not" in your spouse's
nightstand -- unless you personally actually LOOK in your spouse's nightstand
for your FIRSTHAND witness of what you find in your spouse's nightstand. I'm afraid that in most cases of religion, people don't look (seek) all
possibilities. If someone "sees" the Book Of Mormon, but doesn't
"read" its contents, then they may not ever truly "see"
what's inside the book. But this is the part that many people fail to do...
because it requires "effort" on the reader's part, and that is to
accept the "challenge" that one of the supposed authors of the BoM
provided to see if it is a "true book" (see Moroni 10:3-5) and I mean
go look it up, and then you can still determine in your own heart, without
polluted influence, what this book means to you... personally to you.
Cats,Aren't you suppossed to be at a wedding in Hawaii? Are you
there now? If so, go enjoy the beach!
Dear Mr. Ashe: Some of the above posts are absolute "proof" of
everything you have stated in your article. Again, there are none so blind as
those who will not see. Sad.
It seems the search for real material evidence to support the Book of Mormon has
resorted to the juvenile excuse of: we can't find or prove it, but; you wouldn't
believe us no how, no way, anyway. But it is true and God is going to punish
"I should note two important points regarding the nature of evidence and
the necessity of faith. First, Im unconvinced that any critic would convert
because of some alleged proof because I doubt that any proof could ever satisfy
those who have truly hardened their hearts against Joseph Smith."Although I don't like the us versus them black and white mentality of Ash, I
think there is some truth to this statement. Joseph Smith did some truly
inexplicable things that I would characterize of evil. It would take a
significant amount of evidence supporting the Book of Mormon to overcome the
piles of evidence demonstrating that Joseph wasn't what he claimed to be. I
personally know dozens of people that have gone from fully active, believing
Mormon to non-believer and even anti-Mormon based on a study of the available
scientific evidence. I do not know of a single person that has converted to
Mormonism because of some scientific proof, rather converts typically describe
spiritual or social reasons for conversion, which is fine, but let's not pretend
that it's something that it isn't.
Dear Mr. Ashe: This is a really excellent article. And...it is true, there are
many who, if God himself came down and told them the truth, they would NOT
believe. Faith requires humility and willingness to listen to the spirit.
There are mountains of evidence that support the BofM and the Gospel of Christ
if one has the humility to listen. Unfortunately, there are none so blind as
those who will not see.Keep up the good work.
It is the Mormon conundrum: If the BoM events actually happened, it had to have
happened somewhere; yet, because of the miraculous nature of the BoM advent, if
any direct evidence is found, then faith and agency are compromised.The children of Israel were guided by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of
fire by night and led on dry ground through the Red Sea. Peter lived
with Christ during His three year ministry and witnessed many miracles.Laman and Lemuel saw and received counsel from an angel.Lehi was
given a miraculous compass on which the writing was updated periodically to
guide his family through Arabian peninsula.Joseph Smith was
threatened by an angel with a sword to institute polygamy or die.It
seems that God has often acted in ways that take away agency and diminish faith.
You'll notice that in many of these examples, followers were capable of choosing
anyway. The conundrum tends to look more like an excuse. If the BoM is
historical, there should be proof. Don't complain that it's questioned; that is
the nature of learning. If it is strong enough, the proof will be
Then why all this talk of gaining testimonies, and personal revelation?
Mormonism is principly about bridging the gap, via direct communion with God -
reading the Book of Mormon and recieving a "witness" of it, etc. Secondly, what an asinine set of assumptions of the "critics".
There is a highly naive theme among Mormons, perhaps most religions, that those
who do not accept the weak "evidences" could not be persuaded by
greater evidence. It is absurd to suggest such a thing. Rather, the obligation
rests with those who would demand religious conformance, to offer good reason as
to why. Extra-scriptural references within old world artifacts, referring to
Nephi, would indeed be significant - from this critics point of view. As for 2 Nephi 2:11-16 - Lehi states that there must be "OPPOSITION"
in all things. In other words, choice, good for evil, bitter for sweet, etc. He
does not say that there must be "contradiction" in all things.
Opposition refers to two or more competing forces which push against each other.
Contradiction is logical dillema based on competing ideas, where both cannot
mutually exist. Either the Church is true, or it is not.
You have made an excellent and essential point with regard to the importance of
personal testimony and the fact that "proving the gospel" to be true
would be contrary to the Plan of Salvation.Thank you.
Poof only in the eyes of the beholder. So when one teaches facts that is
produced by lies and false information it is truth. while one who goes by
scriptures and truth and does not destort the prophets words or christ words
they are the Liars? No truth is not wishy washy it is factual and can be
proven, but not by so called scholars who want to make themselves look good and
hide truths so they can force all others to believe in what they say or else.
This is not from god but from the other one. As I have stated before you will
fall and all will be destroyed because you puff yourselves up and Our people
will have the gospel given to us because of the pride in your hearts. We are
silently waiting and by the looks of it, it will not be to long to wait.