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Comments about ‘Mormon Media Observer: The Book of Mormon: The true medium’

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Published: Monday, May 30 2011 6:30 a.m. MDT

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kem
Windham, Maine

Amen!

Full-on double rainbow
Bluffdale, UT

I agree that 2 Nephi 2 or Alma 42 are good chapters but what about all the New Testament direct quotes and allusions? You've got to take the good with the anachronistic.

Mormoncowboy
Provo, Ut

Comparing The Book of Mormon to a doctoral dissertation is about as "apples and oranges" as things get. To put it into perspective and compare the Book of Mormon to other books based on either fiction, or philosophy, or religion, etc, from the same time period - the fact that a book was produced consisting of nearly 529 some odd pages, isn't inherently remarkable.

Secondly - I am not certain how extraordinary either 2 Nehpi 2, or Alma 42 are. They are basically treatise on the atonement, and to mind bespeak an inquiring mind that was largely unsatisfied with the grace/mercy rhetoric of the protestant traditions. While the BoM stresses the concept of repentance in these chapters, the concept of redemption through the Atonement still leaves the reader with the confusing paradigm that "sin" can be exchanged for grace through repentance, and is therefore a divinely tradeable commodity. Furthermore, there is little discussion on what repentance is, beside a "ceasing from all sin". At the end of the day we are left with an even more layered concept that is ultimately unsatisfying. Why was there an (unmovable) punishment affixed, for example. Thus, the simplicity of "grace alone" is no worse.

Cats
Somewhere in Time, UT

Well said. The idea that an ignorant farm boy from upstate New York could have written such a profound work on his own is absurd. The book has so much truth and depth for anyone who is willing to read it and ponder it's profound truths.

I know the BofM is true for two reasons. First, the principles found within it which I have applied to my own life. But, more importantly, the fact that I have prayed and received personal revelation from God as to its truthfullness.

I invite everyone to read it and test it. Only if you are unafraid of truth can you find it. You will find comfort to your soul.

FDRfan
Sugar City, ID

I share your testimony of the Book of Mormon and pray for political leaders who base their governmental philosophies on its precepts. I dont pretend to argue that those who disagree with me are wrong but I would like to see it referenced more in Utahs politics. As far as I know Harry Reid is the only Mormon politician that claims to be influenced by it. The presumption is supposed to be that the others are also but Im not convinced that it is so. In my opinion, political philosophy is shaped by socio-economic status, and overwhelmingly trumps religion. Somehow, Mormon Democrats are questioned on their faith and patriotism. I would like to see a Republican show me how the Book of Mormon influences their political views.

Western Story Teller
Pahrump, NV

Thank you so much for being honest in your struggles to produce something significant! I too have experienced the struggle to 'get it to a point' where it is perfect only to find more significant information that puts additional turns into the premise. I would like very much to communicate with you about this type of struggle - "to know when it is finished," so to speak.
And yes, the marvel of the Book of Mormon being created (translated)by Joseph Smith under such dire circumstances is mind boggling and could have only been done with heavenly intervention! We are pansies today compared to what they had to struggle with - and yet some have the audacity to criticize the efforts and accomplishments as though they could have done better.

bwoods
Tucson, AZ

Bravo, Bro. Williams! A most excellent article and point.

Best wishes on completing your dissertation.

MarieDevine Divine-Way
Kansas City, MO

The Book of Mormon holds the keys of the gathering. 2 Nephi 29 and Moses have that key. It gives politics the right to call religions to correction according to the written word of God, without interfering with religion. It says that God spoke to all nations the same word. There is one God over all the earth and He did not give conflicting information. None are to make images, all are to follow the law of God (the books of Moses) as Jesus confirmed. Muhammad was sent with the word for mostly Christians and Jews to follow the whole Bible, Torah and Gospel and all God sent down to them.

At a time when we face jihad-holy war we MUST lift up the written word of God for our nation to become one with God. Muhammad confirms Joseph Smith Jr. and he confirms Muhammad (D&C 20:10)

There is only one commanded Lord's Day of rest, the 7th day-Saturday. (Exodus 20:8-11) Obedience will unite people of America and world in true brotherhood. All religions need correction and would make any scholarly paper you write of extreme relevance.

OC64
Edmonton, AB

Everyone talks about Joseph Smith as if he was unitelligent and/or unable to read and write. The reality is that he was a very intelligent man and a great communicator. I don't know if he wrote the Book of Mormon or "translated" the book of Mormon. I do know that even if he did not have much formal schooling he was smart and articulate.

FDRfan
Sugar City, ID

We need to get past trying to convince the world that the Book of Mormon is true and asking them to read it. Showing how it applies in every day life and how it provides answers to society"s problems will encourage people to read it.

Cats
Somewhere in Time, UT

Dear FDRfan: I think that small-government and lower taxes are certainly examples of ways the BofM influences conservatives. 50% taxation is defined in the BofM as BONDAGE. Conservatives also believe in liberty. That is also a major theme in the BofM. Conservatives also believe in doing good works and charitable giving based on FREE AGENCY--not government forced redistribution of income. Senator Bennett even wrote a book about how he had been influenced by the Book of Mormon.

FDR established big government, obscene tax rates and even threw people in jail who refused to RAISE their prices to fit government enforced price systems. THAT WAS BONDAGE! Clearly there weren't a lot of Book of Mormon principles in that.

JM
Lehi, UT

Great article.
2Nephi2&9, when understood in context (with DC88 &93 and other DC, Biblical and BoM passages) we gain an understanding of the purpose of life, the existence of evil and suffering and the direction we should take to find eternal happiness etc. Joseph's translations and Revelations give information so profound that I think even us LDS don't yet fully understand. Through Joseph and other prophets Jesus has trumped all philosophy and physics.

Joseph was smart through the Spirit of God, but if I remember correctly Emma claimed he couldn't write a coherent letter. Yet, the scriptures given through him have stood through almost 200 years of attack. Many have dedicated their lives to discrediting the BoM. All have failed. They are here on the DN, day in and out, fabricating, twisting, and failing, always failing to stand against the BoM. Everything they throw at it falls, and ends up supporting Joseph's claims. Then they are left to pretend they are LDS to sow their seeds of doubt, or to simply lie.

The BoM is a miracle. It changes many lives, and it is true.

NightTrader
Colonia, Yap, FSM

Good article. Believe what you will about its origins, mankind could do well to live by the principles taught in its pages!

brokenclay
Scottsdale, AZ

2 Nephi 2 anachronisms:
v. 3 -- "fulness of time" (Galatians 4:4)
v. 4 -- "the same, yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8)
v. 5 -- "by the law no flesh is justified" (Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16)
v. 6 -- "full of grace and truth" (John 1:14)
v. 7 -- "offereth himself a sacrifice for sin" (Hebrews 9:26)
v. 8 -- "layeth down his life . . . " (1 Peter 3:18)
v. 9 -- "firstfruits" (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23)
v. 9 -- "intercession" (Hebrews 7:25)
v. 9 -- "they that believe in him shall be saved" (Acts 16:31)
v. 13 -- "no law . . . no sin" (Romans 5:13)
v. 27 -- "the great Mediator" (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 8:6; 9:15; 12:24)
v. 29 -- "to captivate, to bring you down to hell" (Matthew 11:23)
v. 30 -- "I have chosen the good part" (Luke 10:42)

I found 13 anachronisms in this supposed 6th century B.C. chapter just from a cursory read. This can be replicated with virtually every chapter in the BoM. The Mormon answer to this is a divine dictation theory of inspiration, which is completely foreign to the Bible and results in huge problems in itself.

Idaho Coug
Meridian, Idaho

Whether the Nephites actually existed or not may not be proven objectively in this lifetime. But this person pretending to be LDS agrees that the book has influenced millions to better their lives and become more like Christ. Which is why I believe it exists in the first place. Whether you believe in it's supernatural origins certainly impacts your relationship with the LDS Church. But, regardless, it does contain teachings that can improve individuals and families.

FDRfan
Sugar City, ID

Cats
We should be able to discuss these things without getting so angry. The Book of Mormon also says some things about education, attitudes about riches, class distinctions, concern about the welfare of your fellow beings, etc. I did not know about Senator Bennett's book and I look forward to reading it. I hope that it did not have anything to do with his being defeated so soundly for being too liberal. I hope we can, in another article, discuss some of the differences between Democrats and Republicans on issues health care, education, role of government, etc.

redhat
Fairfax Station, VA

While there is uncertainty as to the source of the BOM, there is no question that St. Paul's words are included before St Paul was even born.

To get to the truth of the source of the BOM every thinking Mormon must confront that undeniable fact, and either accept the simple explanation that it was copied into the BOM from the Bible or come up with some complicated theory- eg God can do anything so he can give the ancient prophets the same words as Paul or the words sounded the same to JS so he went to a Bible" etc etc. Mormon apologists fill books with these mind boggling theories when the simplest explanation is usually the most probable-Sorry!

brokenclay
Scottsdale, AZ

I would like to do some theological expansion on Mormoncowboy's comment on the BoM conception of the atonement. What he had to say was insightful and I agree wholeheartedly; I just wanted to take it in a little bit different of a direction.

In my view, given the LDS doctrinal framework, their view of the atonement seems to me to be morally repugnant. Jesus is simply a man, not qualitatively different from you or I. How is it that this mere man could justly bear the punishment that was due me?

Let's do a thought experiment on this. Let's say that a man was convicted of murdering your brother. He is to be given the death penalty. But you step up to the judge and tell him that you will bear the death penalty for him, if he accepts. The judge agrees to this arrangement. The murderer, of course, agrees as well. You are put to death, and the murderer goes free. Tell me, in what sense can it be said that justice was done in this case?

The obvious answer is that this is not justice, but a complete travesty of real justice.

brokenclay
Scottsdale, AZ

Now, the traditional Christian answer to this moral dilemma down through the millennia is the doctrine of our Union with Christ, which is also the New Testament's answer to the problem. That is to say, in some real way we have been united with Christ and we have become one (though not ontologically one) through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And thus, in the words of the great English theologian John Owen, "It is no unrighteousness, if the hand offend, that the head be smitten. But Christ is our head; we are his members."

The Mormons cannot claim this answer to their problem, because their other doctrines preclude it. They reject the Trinity; therefore the Holy Spirit cannot be said to unite us with Christ in any real way. They make the Son into a mere man; no mere man can be united with all of the members of the Church. To be "united in purpose" is gravely insufficient for atonement, for then the atonement is no more just than the thought experiment I gave above, where all of the parties were also "united in purpose."

Rejection of orthodox doctrine has grave implications in other areas.

Iggle
Salt Lake City, UT

"In my view, given the LDS doctrinal framework, their view of the atonement seems to me to be morally repugnant. Jesus is simply a man, not qualitatively different from you or I. How is it that this mere man could justly bear the punishment that was due me?"

Jesus was/is divine. He was sinless. He was all-powerful and able to take on all of our sins. That is the LDS view ... not what you said it was. I and many other LDS people have felt the power of Christ's sacrifice in our lives.

With all respect, your "different direction" is not the right direction. And you should probably save melodramatic phrases like "morally repugnant" and "complete travesty" for incidents and actions that really deserve them. If this is what you believe deserves those phrases, then the world must not have many problems.

The BOM also explains in several places how the atonement can redeem those who died "without the law," meaning those who died without a knowledge of Christ. That is a key component of LDS doctrine.

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