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Faith

Viewers react to Elder Holland's testimony and explanation the Book of Mormon

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  • IrishLDS Castleknock, Dublin
    June 8, 2015 9:31 a.m.

    @ Vanka ... "So far, Moroni's promise was a false promise. I despise lies." The promise doesn't say when you will know ... just that you will know. I know. But it wasn't the first time I read, or prayed or lived the BoM. So keep trying and maybe study, fast and pray about how to feel and recognise the spirit ... because it is possible to know ... without knowing you know. The promise extends to knowing that Christ is (Moroni 10:7) which is something very special and sacred.

  • IrishLDS Castleknock, Dublin
    June 8, 2015 9:02 a.m.

    @ Idaho Coug ... "the BofM seems to be our special version of what is already largely taught in the Bible ... Am I missing something with that conclusion?"

    Yes. The BoM teaches crucial things about Christ not taught by those who believe only in the Bible. It connects a true testimony of Christ with the gathering of Israel and the covenants that brings that about ... starting with baptism (e.g. 3 Nephi 5:24-26; 21:9-11). Indeed, it bears the testimony of Christ the world needs - by restoring many plain and precious truths lost or taken from the Bible (e.g. 1 Nephi 13:40-41; 2 Nephi 3:11-12). It actually expands our understanding of the atonement and the plan of salvation beyond that known to those who read only the Bible. Yes, it repeats some of what is in the Bible. But it also restores some truths and expands others. It is not superfluous - nor is it really only a second witness. It is the new covenant for these last days (D&C 84:54-61) to prepare those willing for Christ's glorious return. Have a look at D&C 18 & 20 to see the importance of this book to this work.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    May 29, 2011 6:27 p.m.

    sg,

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

    I married the most beautiful, remarkable woman on the face of the planet. She dearly wants to be sealed in the LDS Temple. I love her with all my heart, and I want to do what will make her happy. But I hold my integrity and my conscience in such high regard, I will not join a Church unless I know it to be of god. She knows this about me and respects it, just as I respect her beliefs.

    If LDS apologists (or any member) would just give me good reason to believe the BOM is true, or if god would give me the answer Moroni promises, I would drag the missionaries down to the font and get baptized.

    But I have received no affirmative answer. I have no historical, rational, empirical, or other valid reason to believe the LDS Church is "true", despite my decades of study, prayer, and yearning.

    Often my posts may come across bitter, and some have used that as evidence that I have not been "sincere" - another way to judge and condemn me. So far, Moroni's promise was a false promise. I despise lies.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    May 28, 2011 11:23 a.m.

    To Skeptic: No, I don't think I'm that special. People who study our Heavenly Father through books and only books based on science only are not as well educated as you make them out to be. Jesus Christ has already testified that THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS is the only "true and living church on earth". There are millions around the world who believe this including many Scholars who are Latter Day Saints. What sets us apart is that we KNOW because the Holy Ghost has told us. You ridicule me because of my belief and faith in this. Why, because you want to sit in a big spacious building built upon the prospects of man or is it just selfishness. I know because as I have tested the waters and received my own personal witness I know you can to but it is entirely up to you. No man or scholar can tell you what to believe but I guess in your response that is what you want me to believe. I trust our Heavenly Father and I put more trust in HIM than in men who think they know.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 28, 2011 10:57 a.m.

    %Bill in Nebraska: Thank you for your reply. I don't know you, so may be you are the smartest man in the world. But I have spend a life time surrounded be smart people (some Mormons) who have dedicted their lives to their god. Including Catholic priests who have earned their Phds studying god. They don't believe the same as you do. So are you smarter than they are, or is it that god cares for you more than the others so much more that he gives you what others can't have. Or is it more likely that you don't know either, you have just found something that you choose to believe and you like to tell others that you do know because it makes you feel special and above others who don't share your believes, but have their own choosen believes, and realize that they do not know, but choose to believe. Does this sound about right, or are you and the other Mormons like you really that special.
    Thx.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    May 28, 2011 9:44 a.m.

    To skeptic: The way I know is for you to find out for yourself. No one man is going to be able to tell you that yourself. No one on this board will tell you how they know except that the Holy Ghost has so testified to me and millions others. Since, you are skeptic on this only you can find out for yourself. As has been said many times over to you, ponder, read it out in mind and then with a sincere heart, with real intent ask God. By the way my God is the same God of Islam, Jewish, Catholic, Protestant and others. They just don't know it just as you don't realize it.

  • sg newhall, CA
    May 28, 2011 9:41 a.m.

    Vanka,

    As a convert of over 40 yrs I have to commend you in your openness and frankness. You are refreshing. I have to agree with you. Your journey is yours alone. I will NOT judge you or even attempt to analyze your process and present location on the eternal scale. You haven't received an answer. That to me is a simple reason and you alone will know when you will know. I commend you for supporting your wife as you do. God bless you. May the rest of us discontinue the need to analyze or find reason(s) why or why not Vanka hasn't received a witness. That is one aspect of the Mormon culture/community that I have never understood, the need to find a reasonable explanation as to the whys and why nots and basically pass a judgment. Leave it be no? At the end of the day, it will not be up to us. What do we say to those those are born into the church and then decide for themselves that this religion and church is not for them? What are our actions? Ostracism. Very unfortunate and true.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 28, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    %Bill in Nebraska, you state: "He is the only one on EARTH ordained and set apart to be the mouthpiece of the Lord. Just because some don't believe it doesn't mean it isn't true".

    Well, just because some do believe it doesn't make it true either. And if you are going by the numbers to support your choosen believe; then you are way out numbered: by the billions; and not only in the numbers, but in devotion, learning, history, etc. So what makes you so right and all others so wrong. Is your god a different god than the world's god. Is there any real logic or reality for you to believe that you know. Please help us to understand. Thx.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    May 27, 2011 12:47 p.m.

    To Idaho Cougar:

    Here is the best and unique question of all. Do you believe in Revelation? IF not then none of questions will ever be answered to your satisfaction. That is really the whole point of all of your discussion. Do you believe that the First Presidency and the Quroum of the Twelve are Prophets, Seers and Revelators? Every question I have ever been concerned about has been answered by the readings of the Prophets, whether the Bible, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, Pearl of Great Price or articles written in the Ensign. Of such I have come to the solid conclusion that as Joseph Smith so stated, "If the Lord commands it, do it". The President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints speaks for the Lord to all the WORLD. He is the only one on EARTH ordained and set apart to be the mouthpiece of the Lord. Just because some don't believe it doesn't mean it isn't true. Therefore, when he speaks he speaks for the Lord. Yes, there are times when it is strickly opinion but it is up to US, singually to determine that.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    May 27, 2011 12:45 p.m.

    Hello JM. You have made the comment many times that people here are only posing as LDS or are posting under multiple names. Maybe you should call out who that is in your opinion. I think many who have made critical comments have been pretty transparent about their intent.

    For myself, I have been LDS since birth. I love much about the church. And I struggle greatly with many points of history, doctrine and practice. I'm sure that confusion comes across as overly negative at times. Probably because that is honestly the way I feel about those issues at times. I think others have been equally open.

    I appreciate your supportive comments just as I appreciate critical viewpoints. They both reflect the frustrating position I feel I am in.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    May 27, 2011 12:07 p.m.

    But anti-Mormons, you've been caught lying many times, and that's just on the DN, also posing as LDS, it's no wonder we don't trust you : ) : ).

    The BoM stands powerfully, as always. And there is so much evidence for its unique, miraculous, and profound nature that those fighting it must increasingly scramble for new ways to attack. We see some of those new methods here, mixed with the old fabrications.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    May 27, 2011 8:31 a.m.

    To ClarkHippo and others,

    I recognize that the BofM teaches certain things that we believe and live by in the LDS Church today. My point was that MUCH of our doctrines and practices stem from resources post-BofM. We often say the BofM contains the "fullness of the everlasting Gospel" and yet so much of what is unique to Mormonism comes from other sources. Personally, I would prefer a church that was based soley from the BofM. Most of the more troubling teachings come from other scripture or leader teaching. The heart of BofM teaching is general Christianity with an atonement emphasis. Frankly, one of the reasons so many early leaders left the church was due to the way teachings seemed to quickly veer off so differently from the BofM. The church in 1842 was very different from the church in 1830 and it really through some for a loop.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 27, 2011 7:53 a.m.

    If Joseph Smith having many wives was not for the purpose to raise up seed; then what was the purpose. Did other members of Joseph Smith's family practice polygamy.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 26, 2011 11:17 p.m.

    [Did Joseph [Smith] 'raise up seed'?" Yes. ]

    Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought the vast majority of his wives didn't have children with him.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    May 26, 2011 11:15 p.m.

    @Rocketman

    You said, "I never assume that God wont fully bless Mormons in this life and onward..."

    I greatly respect your opinion, but I must say I feel it is a minority opinion. Critics of the LDS Church frequently jump on stories such as Utah being #1 in anti-depressant use or being #1 in personal bankruptcy filing. They also delight in stores such as Brian David Mitchell, Mark Hacking and Mark Hoffman. In their view, God is condemning and punishing Mormons.

    You also said - "In the end, what does love (the greatest commandment) and not judging others, have anything to do with whether a man translated a book?"

    Mormons could ask the same question to those who continually attack them in both words and actions.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 26, 2011 9:12 p.m.

    %DN: please explain how it is that the Mormon Church encourages geneology work, but if there is mention, or inquiry of Joseph Smith' off spring (seed) you censor the question. Is there something taboo about asking about his children.

  • Rocketman Sausalito, CA
    May 26, 2011 9:08 p.m.

    I'm one of those who sincerely read and prayed about the BOM and came to a different conclusion. Its always disheartening when orthodox LDS leaders and members conclude that different conclusions are any more than that. Its also disheartening when they minimize the sincere faith and beliefs of others. I never assume that God wont fully bless Mormons in this life and onward, but they do assume that God wont fully bless the billions of the rest of us unless were ultimately baptized into their church and believe their unique beliefs. The background of the BOM is not easy: ancient Jews in America, no DNA footprint, no archaeological trace of vast cities and civilizations, translated with a rock in a hat, plates taken to heaven by an angel, etc, etc. It would thus seem in order to give the rest of us a little slack. In the end, what does love (the greatest commandment) and not judging others, have anything to do with whether a man translated a book?

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    May 26, 2011 7:27 p.m.

    @IdahoCoug 8:40

    You said, the thing that I have found interesting is that it really does not contain any of the doctrines and practices unique to Mormonism.

    First off, the Book of Mormon in and of itself is unique to Mormonism. The idea of Christs church existing in the New World as it did in the Old World is an idea you likely wont find in any Christian denomination.

    Second, if you are looking for specific teachings and doctrine in the Book of Mormon, here are just a few.

    - The Tree of Life vision and its many symbols can easily be applied to today (1 Nephi 8, 11 & 12)

    - Columbus, the Pilgrims and those who founded America were inspired of the Lord (1 Nephi 13:12-13)

    - Adams transgression allowed man to exist (2 Nephi 2:22-25)

    - Jesus was crucified in part because of priest crafts (2 Nephi 10:3-5)

    - It is not a sin to seek after wealth, so long as it is used to build up the kingdom of God. (Jacob 2:18-19)

    - Infant baptism is not the will of the Lord (Moroni 8:11-14)

  • Frodo Orem, UT
    May 26, 2011 4:34 p.m.

    If the Book of Mormon inspires you, if it makes you want to be a better person, if it gives you a warm, comforting feeling, then that's wonderful. Truly. It's a valid spiritual path, because it is enlightening and edifying to you, and leads you to do good. Hooray.

    But, must it work the same way for everyone?

    Consider that many of us learn in different ways. Some are visual learners. Others retain only what they write down. Some have to hear information spoken. Some can only learn really well by doing.

    What if our spirits are similar?

    Perhaps we, as immensely diverse and individual souls, obtain spiritual truths through different means? Perhaps our loving Heavenly Parents are patient and loving enough to teach spiritual truths through a myriad of texts, traditions, experiences, and ideologies. Maybe there is more to the Gospel than any of us presently comprehend.

    If the BoM does it for you, that's great. But that doesn't give you license to make others feel ashamed, unworthy, or insincere, by insinuating that they lack your superior spiritual sensitivity.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    May 26, 2011 4:24 p.m.

    @ RanchHand: The Book of Mormon makes it clear that Christ was the Messiah, the Son of God; His followers belonged to His organization.

    An integral part of the "Jewish religion" that Christ followed was that the Messiah would come. The Bible makes it clear that Jesus considered Himself to be the Messiah, and the Book of Mormon confirms that.

    The truthfulness of the Book of Mormon confirms the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith, hence confirming the Messia, hship of Christ, the organization of His Church, and its restoration.

    Your declaration that Christ was a Jew seems to be a non-sequitur, but I would like to point out that if He weren't a Jew, He couldn't have been the Messiah, because virtually all prophecy makes it clear that the Messiah would be a Jew (from the tribe of Judah).

    I believe, as you seem to do, that Christ was reaffirming the truthfulness of the previously existing religion (in its purest form, uncorrupted by a politicized priesthood), not establishing a new one. I believe that He has done the same thing in modern times, and that's the Restoration.

    He obviously had an organization which has been restored.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 26, 2011 12:59 p.m.

    Jeff | 1:55 p.m. May 25, 2011

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

    ---
    Christ was a Jew. He lived and believed the Jewish religion. His FOLLOWERS were simply another Jewish sect (like the Pharisees and Sagicees).

    Since Christ never established a church (or religion) there was never a need for a "restoration". Hence, there is no "truth and validity" for the BOM to prove.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    May 26, 2011 11:26 a.m.

    @ Mormoncowboy: You wonder why I think it is inconsequential whether or not beer was acceptable according to the Word of Wisdom, given that section 89 allows that "barley...[is] useful for mild drinks, as also other grain."

    First, it's inconsequential because the discussion is on the Book of Mormon, not the Word of Wisdom.

    Second, once the question of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon is established spiritually for the reader, other questions about LDS practice are able to fall into place, making them of less consequence.

    Third, like ancient dietary laws, the Word of Wisdom is "adapted" to the time and circumstances of contemporary believers. While mild beer and wine may have been acceptable in 1832, they are not today. The question is, therefore, inconsequential.

    Finally, you and others raise the question about why it is important to establish the truth of any given religion. Logically speaking, there can never be more than one true religion on earth at one time (one or none are the only logical possibilities). The Book of Mormon is the best proof of the LDS claim. The Word of Wisdom circa 1832, though wonderful, is of less consequennce.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    May 26, 2011 11:00 a.m.

    Arlin Nusbaum wrote, "'The doctrine of polygamy is elaborated in the Book of Mormon.' Yes, to do what?" I think the doctrine is very clear: Each man should have one wife unless the Lord specifically commands otherwise.

    The reason given to the Nephites was to "'Raise up seed.' Did Joseph [Smith] 'raise up seed'?" Yes.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    May 26, 2011 10:52 a.m.

    Kateybug,

    You wrote: "When I've read it while struggling and giving into temptations, I have felt nothing while reading it."

    I have not struggled with or given into any temptations. Ever. But still nothing.

    I have been a "dry Mormon" most of my life. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't use profanity, I attend LDS religious meetings regularly with my active LDS wife, I support her in the payment of tithes and offerings... and on and on.

    There is nothing to "tweak", and quite frankly, your suggestion that I am somehow unworthy of God's "spirit" because of some unknown, hidden sins and transgressions is offensive.

    You say it took Brigham Young 2 years of studying, reading and prayer? I have spent over 20 years. Still nothing.

    But all I get from self-righteous do-gooders like you is more condemnation: "It must be something YOU are doing wrong, Vanka. You need to repent, or tweak something, or humble yourself..." yada, yada.

    I really get tired of that blind condemnation of me just because I haven't gotten "the right answer". Spare me your self-righteous judgment. I got nothing.

  • Ross Madison, AL
    May 26, 2011 9:40 a.m.

    The Book of Mormon is a gift from God, to the people on the earth in the last days before the Savior returns. The gift is given with such love and concern for all of Gods children on the earth, it is a guide for successfully navigating the world we find ourselves in, but also for partaking of the infinite and eternal atonement of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon came from God our Heavenly Father who loves us all and wants us to live so we may be prepared to meet him, and live as he lives forever with our families. What a precious gift, such a treasure. The inhabitants of the earth will one day know of the great love for us in the book, but until then we lovingly invite all to come to the Book of Mormon, and find the great gift God has prepared for you in our day.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 26, 2011 9:37 a.m.

    "To complicate matters more, most people who are born will not even know that this is what they are supposed to be doing in spite of a vast missionary force of nearly 50,000 (25,000 companionships) world-wide."

    Or they were born in the year 1500.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 26, 2011 9:29 a.m.

    "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.
    "

    Or it just might not be true.

  • SpringvilleEd SPRINGVILLE, UT
    May 26, 2011 9:20 a.m.

    Hi again. With all the love and concern that a mortal can feel, I pray that you will feel the spirit as I write this. The missionaries go out into the world with the advice from our leaders to "not bash" with investigators and our friends of other faiths. Frankly, the LDS members are of the mindset that Satan loves accusing and arguments. It drives the spirit of the Holy Ghost away. He wants love and Charity (the pure love of Christ) to be operable. We as members of the church, are advised the same. So, on a venue such as this board certainly different points of view are very welcome. However, LDS standards say that we are to teach where there is the spirit or not to teach at all.
    That said, LDS welcome the inquisitive mind and patiently with charity can answer most questions about our faith.
    May love of the Savior abound.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    May 26, 2011 9:12 a.m.

    Rather than debate why some people dont get an answer, the larger question is why is this whole exercise necessary. As per Abraham 3:25-26, the purpose of this life is to see if we will keep commandments. Fair enough! However, through the restoration we learn one little catch. In order to keep the commandments we have to know what they are (1 Nephi 4:14-17), and in our day that means we all have to participate in this religious scavenger hunt for the true Church. To complicate matters more, most people who are born will not even know that this is what they are supposed to be doing in spite of a vast missionary force of nearly 50,000 (25,000 companionships) world-wide. This is Gods perfect plan?? Of course, we have salvation for the dead which by reasonable estimations should account for over 99% of the worlds ordinance work.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    May 26, 2011 9:07 a.m.

    Kateybug:

    Your advice comes in the same vein of Fred Vaders "humble opinion", which in fact was anything but humble! So now you are suggesting that we need to take the plan even further than a scavenger hunt, as we also have to be living the commandments taught in Mormonism (at least to some obscure standard) before God will grant us the blessing of a witness to know which commandments we should be keeping. Bear in mind, that beyond generally established societal virtues (honesty, do no harm to others, etc) most of what constitutes commandments in any religion is idiosyncratic, and therefore not at all obvious.

    With all due respect to Brahmabull, I am doubtful as to how much supernatural experiences play into the membership of the various world faiths. Perhaps some seek it in the context of their upbringing, and therefore interpret human experience in the context of their religious paradigms. Still we cannot ignore the culture/regional correlations to membership rates - which suggest that culture and where one lives has the greatest impact on religious affiliation. For most faiths growth appears to be concentrated in "hot spots" with this cultural regional influence. Not the only variable, but significant.

  • SpringvilleEd SPRINGVILLE, UT
    May 26, 2011 9:00 a.m.

    I am going to say a bit about reactions to Elder Holland's testimony. If you read the comments you will see them as positive and not so much. Remember, Saints, that Elder Boyd K Packer (member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles)said that w/o an understanding of the pre-mortal existence it is difficult to make out the "second act" our mortality here on earth. We need an understanding of the 3 acts to put it together. The LDS doctrines, covenants, ordinances etc. are for those that are the gathered house of Israel. Those individuals if righteous and endure to the end will inherit the Celestial Kingdom. Those who "choose" to ignore these works of the spirit have another kingdom to inherit. It is up to each individual. There is no antagonism, as some may feel as they comment about "the one and only true church." Really, it is or it isn't. My question to all is, "is the Lord a God of confusion or order?" God bless

  • Kateybug Riverton, UT
    May 26, 2011 8:56 a.m.

    Brahmabull,

    Your argument yesterday about Joseph Smith said polygamy was doctrine, but Pres. Hinckley said it was not doctrinal and therefore the LDS church is full of contradictions, respectfully is not a valid argument. Back in Joseph's day when he received the commandment of polygamy--it WAS doctrine. But since 1890, after the U.S. government made polygamy illegal and our church believes in obeying the laws of the land, then no--polygamy was no longer doctrinal. It doesn't mean our church is full of contradictions, it only means that sometimes the Lord sees fit to make changes in His church and we need to be able to accept those changes. Whether we accept it immediately or after prayer, it matters not, as long as we accept His changes. Also, Utes Fan is correct on your question about the LDS church being the "only true church". PRes. Hinckley said, "Bring all the good your faith has with you and let's see if we can add to it." We recognize that all churches have some truth--just not all of it like we have and that's why we invite others to learn about us.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    May 26, 2011 8:52 a.m.

    Jeff It was mild drinks made from barley. That sounds like beer to me! In any case, Im interested to understand what makes it inconsequential in your estimation.

    To All Rather than debate why some people dont get an answer, the larger question is why is this whole exercise necessary. As per Abraham 3:25-26, the purpose of this life is to see if we will keep commandments. Fair enough! However, through the restoration we learn one little catch. In order to keep the commandments we have to know what they are (1 Nephi 4:14-17), and in our day that means we all have to participate in this religious scavenger hunt for the true Church. To complicate matters more, most people who are born will not even know that this is what they are supposed to be doing in spite of a vast missionary force of nearly 50,000 (25,000 companionships) world-wide. This is Gods perfect plan?? Of course, we have salvation for the dead which by reasonable estimations should account for over 99% of the worlds ordinance work. Sounds like process redundancy or a massive production defect rate with rework.

  • Arlin Nusbaum Modesto, CA
    May 26, 2011 8:37 a.m.

    @Idaho Coug, "does not contain any of the doctrines and practices unique to Mormonism." Very astute!

    @uteslogan, "Paul teaches that there is 'one Lord, one faith, one baptism.'" The baptism Joseph & Oliver received before there was a church was correct. The one they received after they started their church was what?

    @reading Idaho, "Found only in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ." Which gospel? The one in the BoM or D&C?

    @Eddie, "It is as if it is liquid sureity running through your veins." But do you follow it?

    @Jeff, "The doctrine of polygamy is elaborated in the Book of Mormon" Yes, to do what? "Raise up seed." Did Joseph "raise up seed"?

  • Kateybug Riverton, UT
    May 26, 2011 8:36 a.m.

    Vanka,
    I was born and raised OUTside of Utah by a very active Mormon mom and a "Sunday Only" Mormon dad. I've been active my entire life (I'm in my 40's). I've read The Book of Mormon countless times and it's been my experience that when I've read it while struggling and giving into temptations, I have felt nothing while reading it. When I've struggled with temptations and made every effort to shun them, I've felt very strongly it's a true book of scripture. Maybe take a deeper look at your life, tweak things that might not be right in the eyes of the Lord and try again. Only you and the Lord knows your heart and your true intentions. Someday you will know. Look at Brigham Young--it took him 2 years of studying, reading and prayer before he knew The Book of Mormon was true and what Joseph Smith, Jr. was preaching was true. Most importantly--do NOT ever give up! You will be blessed if you never give up trying!

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    May 25, 2011 10:57 p.m.

    "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.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    May 25, 2011 1:55 p.m.

    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.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 25, 2011 1:38 p.m.

    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.

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

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 25, 2011 1:16 p.m.

    " 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.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    May 25, 2011 12:54 p.m.

    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.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    May 25, 2011 12:45 p.m.

    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.

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    May 25, 2011 12:37 p.m.

    Brahmabull:

    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.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 25, 2011 12:21 p.m.

    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.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    May 25, 2011 11:56 a.m.

    @Brahmabull

    "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.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 25, 2011 11:46 a.m.

    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.

  • weightless skittles Hewitt, Texas
    May 25, 2011 11:32 a.m.

    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.

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    May 25, 2011 10:54 a.m.

    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.

  • Eddie Syracuse, UT
    May 25, 2011 10:35 a.m.

    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.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 25, 2011 10:33 a.m.

    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..

  • reading in idaho Menan, ID
    May 25, 2011 10:15 a.m.

    "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."

  • uteslogan Logan, UT
    May 25, 2011 9:52 a.m.

    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.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 25, 2011 8:58 a.m.

    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.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    May 25, 2011 8:52 a.m.

    "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??

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    May 25, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    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?

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    May 25, 2011 8:12 a.m.

    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.