Comments about ‘Viewers react to Elder Holland's testimony and explanation the Book of Mormon’

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Published: Wednesday, May 25 2011 6:45 a.m. MDT

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Somewhere in Time, UT

Every time I read the Book of Mormon, I feel the spirit of God. Everytime I read it, I find something new that I didn't notice before. It truly is the word of God. I'm so grateful that, in this crazy world of today, we have the Book of Mormon.

I know the Book of Mormon is true for two reasons. First, I have applied the principles to my own life and have found that they are true. Second, and most importantly, I have received personal revelation from God that it is true.

I encourage all to read it and pray about it. You will find the answers to life's questions and problems within its pages.

Idaho Coug
Meridian, Idaho

We hold the Book of Mormon up as the cornerstone of our religion. I appreciate it greatly as a second witness to Jesus Christ. Given JS's comment that all outside of our testimony of Jesus Christ (I'm paraphrasing) are just "appendages" to our religion, the BofM is the uniquely Mormon testimony and declaration of Jesus Christ.

But the thing that I have found interesting is that it really does not contain any of the doctrines and practices unique to Mormonism. Certainly the entire BofM story from the Nephites to Christ's N American appearance to the process of JS bringing it forth is uniquely Mormon. And it does highlight the atonement in a way that is not done in the NT. But outside of that it's teachings seem very much an emphasis of those things taught in the NT and by mainstream Christianity.

Again, I appreciate all that it does teach. But the uniquely LDS doctrines and practices seem to stem from the D&C, PofGP and modern leaders. Whereas the BofM seems to be our special version of what is already largely taught in the Bible.

Am I missing something with that conclusion?

Provo, Ut

"I know the Book of Mormon is true for two reasons. First, I have applied the principles to my own life and have found that they are true."

What does that even mean, so far as being a point of evidence??

sandy, ut

I agree that a personal revelation that something is or isn't true can be a powerful thing. I also think that we as humans can be decieved by our "spiritual eyes" or by our own mind in thinking something is a revelation when it isn't. This is evident in mormonism and all religions. People claim all of the time to have seen a vision or the virgin Mary, or a revelation about something that turns out to be false. So I don't think we can base our entire testimony on a "feeling." We have to try to use the spirit and also use the mind god gave us. There are many very smart members of the mormon faith. There are many smart people who have been presented mormonism and rejected it. How can 2 reasonably smart people come to 2 different conclusions on the exact same matter. I know some will say 'he wasn't sincere, or he didn't pray hard enough' but I don't buy that. Maybe the church is a good organization that teaches christ and good values, but is not the 'one true church' that people think it is.

Logan, UT

Eph. 4:5

Paul teaches that there is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism."
What else would he mean? Sure sounds to me like he's saying that because there's one Lord, there's one perfectly correct way to display faith in him, and thus, there's one way to be baptized as he was-- by immersion of water and in reception of the Holy Ghost, all by one having authority. John the Baptist had that authority, which is why it's so important to believe that he restored that authority when he appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in May 1829 near the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. If these things are true, then yes, the organization is the Lord's organization. If it's not, then the Church cannot be just a good organization that teaches good values. In that case, we're deceivers and heretics. But a study of the scriptures has taught me the need for the restoration of that authority and the manner in which the Lord has, in our day, provided for one faith and the correct mode of baptism.

reading in idaho
Menan, ID

"Many are called but few are chosen." Many are presented the gospel in the same way, and many do not accept. That is agency.

We lived before we came to this earth. We came with the same spirits as we had there. Eternal families are what it is all about. "This life is the time for men to prepare to meet God." "The saving ordinances can only be performed on the earth either for ourselves or for others. it is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism." Found only in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ."

sandy, ut

I do not believe Joseph and Oliver received the priesthood from John the baptist and Peter, James, and John as claimed. The earliest mention of this supposed event that happened in 1829 was in 1834. David Whitmer admits this. Furthermore, the book of commandments (the original doctrine and covenants) printed in 1833 makes no mention of this event. Such a huge event in the restoration surely would have been mentioned in either the book of commandments, or at least in some writings of Joseph and Oliver. It simply isn't there. Joseph went back and added it into the 1835 D & C as if it had been in the earlier version (book of commandments). Furthermore, there was no mention of the priesthood on the date the church was organized. Again, such a monumental event (the visitation of 4 beings to give priesthood) would have been recorded by those around Joseph and Oliver if nothing else. Nothing exists. Whitmer would have known, as he was one who was close to Joseph. I never heard that an Angel had ordained Joseph and Oliver to the Aaronic Priesthood until the year 1834... I don't believe that John the Baptist ever ordained Joseph..

Syracuse, UT

But the natural man receiveth not the thing of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

That is the only way we can know. Once you receive the "spiritual manifestation" that something is true, you can then say that you "know" that it is true. It is as if it is liquid sureity running through your veins.

The Book of Mormon does this and once you receive the manifestation, it is pure joy to read again and again.

Fred Vader
Oklahoma City, OK

Brahmabull asked: "How can 2 reasonably smart people come to 2 different conclusions on the exact same matter[?]"

The same way reasonably smart people come to different conclusions about:

- politics;
- sports teams;
- fashion;
- the economy and how to fix it;
- etc.

There are many reasons some people haven't received an answer about the truthfulness of the BoM, you named a couple. IMHO, could also be that they haven't been answered "yet"; could be they were answered but are in denial; could be that their hearts are closed and they refused the answer before it came; could be they are not spiritually ready for the consequences of such an answer (i.e. not ready to act on the answer); could be they took no thought save it was to ask, rather than studying it out in their mind; etc.

But the best part is, if you really haven't received an answer, or the answer you received was that "it isn't true", then you have nothing to worry about. God won't hold you accountable for what you do not know, or for something contrary to what he told you; again, just my humble opinion.

weightless skittles
Hewitt, Texas

Testimony and faith are like mustard seeds, as Alma the Younger, prophet in the Book of Mormon states. They must be "planted", meaning that you need to look and search out in your mind and heart then, pray to know more. You need to begin to act on those feelings as they begin to grow. A testimony and having faith that the Book of Mormon is another Testament of Jesus Christ and His dealings with our Father's children here on earth comes by that growing faith and works such as reading the Book of Mormon, the Bible, the Doctrine and Covenants and listening to the words of living prophets today. Then, pray with a sincere desire to know for yourself. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints give their testimony to help others know of their beliefs that the restored church of Jesus Christ is here. That testimony is also a reinforcer for themselves as well. All who believe in Jesus Christ and try to keep his commandmants are followers of Him. We beleive that the Savior has restored the ordinances, priesthood,and revelation to His church today through living prophets.

sandy, ut

Fred - I completely agree with you. You make some very good points. Lately I have been wondering about that - what makes a mormons claims more valid than say a methodist, catholic, or lutheran? Clearly they have had some type of spiritual witness that what they believe is correct. You don't have 500 million catholics without them having some type of spiritual experience to lead them to that church. And you can't dismiss their experiences and then turn around and claim your experiences are more valid or true than theirs. I just think we (mormons) put too much emphasis on believing this is the 'one true church'. I personally believe there many paths to god, mormonism included but not the only way. In my opinion god would not have his 'one true church' on earth and only give access to .02% of the world population. Yes, that is 1/5 of 1%. So if my math is correct (which it may not be) that is 1 in 500 people on the planet is mormon. Not exactly bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man if mormonism is the only truth. Just a thought.

Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT


"one true church"

The official doctrine is "...the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased..." (D&C 1:30)

This does not mean other churches do not have truth. The phrase "one true church" lacks the fullness of meaning.

sandy, ut

Utes fan: I understand that phrase, however you can't say what is doctrine in the church anymore. It is hard to define. That same doctrine and covenants that you quoted revealed in the word of wisdom that drinking beer is ok, and eating meat in large amounts is not ok. Now, as we sit today, beer is not ok to drink, and eating meat in any amount is ok. So Joseph's prophecy on that is ok to dismiss and say "well the current prophet says..."? You can't have it both ways. Either Joseph was speaking for god, or he wasn't. Polygamy was a DOCTRINE but recently Gordon B. Hinckley declared that it is "NOT DOCTRINAL" so you have just a couple of examples of direct contradictions. Mormon doctrine is hard to pin down, other than the basic atonement, godhead, etc. teachings. So to qualify that one statement by Joseph in the doctrine and covenants as "doctrine" is not really valid.

Fred Vader
Oklahoma City, OK


Not sure I agree entirely with your second post @ 11:46. I do agree that there may be many paths to find a belief in God, but I believe there is only one path to return to live with God, in his presence eternally. Even Christ himself taught that there would be few who find the path.

As Christ taught: "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

For me, I believe the LDS church has that strait and narrow path. And because of the narrowness of the way, many struggle to get on, or stay on, the path.

Idaho Coug
Meridian, Idaho

Brahmabull - you make some difficult but very valid points. I am starting to recognize that many more members than perhaps the general membership suspects struggle with some or all of the points you (and posters like Mormoncowboy) tend to raise. The question I have thought hard about for myself is how long can I continue as an active member and still harbor these types of questions and concern?. I know there is some room in the church for different testimonies but there is a limit. There are certain fundamental things that you really need to believe or active, healthy membership becomes unsustainable after a point.

Provo, UT

It is extremely presumptuous and rude of LDS faithful to pre-judge and condemn anyone and everyone who does not receive "an answer" to the Book of Mormon.

It is tantamount to calling us liars, and presumes you can know anything about what another person felt, intended, expected, or ignored in our experience with investigating the LDS Church and the BOM.

I am here to tell you all that I did everything (and I mean everything) required by "Moroni's promise" and I did it for many years, and I got nothing.

It is extremely off-putting when LDS play their game: tell investigators there is something wrong with THEM if they don't get "the right answer".

Let me repeat my "beyond a shadow of a doubt" testimony: I got nothing.

Without "the spirit", we must use our brains. And any rational examination of the Book of Mormon will raise one's suspicions that it was a product of the 19th century, not an ancient document at all. More importantly, it tells a story of a bloodthirsty bully of a "Jesus" who destroys innocent people and threatens survivors (see 3 Nephi 9-10).

That is just wrong.

Huntsville, UT

" If you pray about it, you'll know that it is true."


When you make such a statement (as written in the BOM), you are telling those who pray about it that there is ONLY ONE ANSWER and if they don't get THAT ANSWER then they weren't sincere enough.

The BOM is a book. Nothing more, nothing less. It isn't even all that good a read (and yes, I've read it many times as a former Mormon).

I prayed and prayed and prayed and NEVER received the "revelation" that the book was true. Why not? Because it's ONLY a book.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Cats | 8:12 a.m. May 25, 2011
Somewhere In Time, UT

I encourage all to read it and pray about it. You will find the answers to life's questions and problems within its pages.


Yes - especially the book of Mosiah, King Benjamin's teachings of the poor, the sick and the needy.

3 Nephi - and the righteous having "all things in common".

And the warnings to us in the latter-days about letting commerical interests taking control over our Govenment and taking away our freedom -- focusing on material things, shunning the poor, the needy and the Elderly -- and civil discontent due to political ideologies, and finally Class warfare turning to bloodshed between the holier-than-thou, wicked haves vs. the heathen have-nots.

Spoiler: the unbelieveing heathen have-nots are saved and win in the end.

Temple City, CA

I acknowledge that many unique LDS doctrines come from the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, but the most basic and fundamental doctrines of the Latter-day Saints come from the Book of Mormon: the atonement, the first principles of the Gospel; the natures of the priesthood, prophecy, scripture, and personal revelation; the eternal nature of mankind and the reason for existence; equality of the races and genders; and the natures and attributes of the Godhead.

The doctrine of polygamy is elaborated in the Book of Mormon (showing it to be an occasional and temporary practice), and the Word of Wisdom is put into perspective (whether "mild drinks" mean "beer" is inconsequential).

The Book of Mormon clearly establishes the truth and validity of the Restoration.

Why some don't feel the validity of Moroni's promise is between them and God. I have discovered its validity, and the Book of Mormon is not ONLY a book; it's scripture.

moniker lewinsky
Taylorsville, UT

"Others NOT YET a part of the LDS Church said that they were impacted by the book's message as explained in the video."
"Not yet"??? Really? Quite presumptious if you ask me. I'm skeptical about all these supposed non-members who were touched by Holland's words. But let's just put that skepticism on the back burner for a moment.
Since this article clearly lacked a diversity of reaction to Holland's tearful plea for an end to questioning, let me just say: Me thinks [Holland] doth protest too much. Saying something with tears pouring down one's face might influence certain types of people. But it doesn't influence critical thinkers who have non sequiter on their radar.

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