atl134, just a thought and kindly...In thinking about your 'answer' (or
lack of) for the Book of Mormon... sometimes the timing is wrong, or your path
is a different one for now, or the effort may have expired too soon...I cannot
judge that, but, as with my personal prayers in search for answers to life
questions, sometimes the answer is no, not now, or get back to me on that later
when you (I) have grown a little more. Possible?I wish you peace in
your life's walk, but may I humbly suggest that in the fog of 'love' all of us
have difficulty discerning what's up and down, real or perceived. Me included.
We all see through a 'glass darkly' at times. I hope you will try the promise
in the BofM again someday, away from the influence of a hopeful relationship
hanging in the balance. I've been the 'girl' you speak of whose relationship did
not materialize during a search for conversion for someone else...I would hate
to think that my actions influenced someone else in such a way. Your sister in
Yes. There are alot anachronisms in the BoM but it has something in common with
the Koran as well as both Testaments.... violence.I find that the
Jefferson & Gnostic bibles as well as Brave New World by Huxley very pithy
& insightful. The Gadiantons/Secret combinations are my
favorites parts of the BoM. The same themes can be found in a Ludlum novel, an
episode of 24, or the X Files.
To brokenclay: Your list of anachronisms although interesting is totally
misinformed. You seem to forget that Christ is the Greek word for Messiah. Did
you ever stop to consider that text of Handel's Messiah which we sing every
Christmas is almost exclusively scripture from the Old Testament? Did you
consider that gospel of Matthew is entirely composed of fulfillment of Old
Testament prophesies and scripture?We could take any number of
chapters from Isaiah, Ezekiel, Psalms, Job, etc. and list supposed anachronisms
just as you have. The only problem is that it would show a lack of insight into
the gospel of Jesus Christ, not that the Old Testament is a fake.The
Book of Mormon is truly a second testament of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. If you
would like I can show you Old Testament scripture that matches the gospel of 2
Nephi 2. Salvation through the Messiah, the Redeemer, the Holy one of Israel,
repentance, ... it is in fact contained and fulfilled through Christ, the
Messiah. Just as Christ tried to teach the Scribes and Pharisees by their own
scriptures; but they wouldn't listen and chose instead to crucify their Messiah
... The Christ.
@CougarBlue"Charles I wonder if you have given serious
consideration to read the Book of Mormon to see if it is really true and do it
with real intent, nothing doubting, then you will find out like I and millions
of others that it is true. If you doubt or don't do it with real intent to find
out if it is true you will never find the answer. "This is
pretty much a No True Scotsman logical fallacy. The faulty assertion is "if
you do this then you'll know what I know" and then when someone gets a
different answer your response is "I guess you didn't do it right".
You know what, I wanted the Book of Mormon to be true. Really really
wanted it to be true, I went into reading it biased, hoping it would be true
because hey, I had a crush on an LDS girl who had told me at one point she'd
only marry in the church. And you know what I still got nothing saying it was
true. I'm not the only one... her eventual spouse got the same result out of
sharrona Kevin, "the JST ..is basically commentary. Does that
eliminate the ... (P.of G.P.,Moses)?KJKNo, that part has been
sustained by the Church as is therefore scripture. D&C 134 likewise was
commentary which became scripture via Common Consent.KJKThere
is none good but God". Christ deflects the man's praise.sharronaThomas said my Lord my God( John 20:28),KJKAn
emotional outburst does not sound doctrine make.sharonna(Romans 9:5,Titus 2:13 NIV) KJKKJV and others disagreesharonnaJesus answered before Abraham was born I(ego)am(eimi)(John
8:58,verse 59 they try to kill him for making himself equal to God.KJKLDS believe that Jesus was God's spokesman in the OT. He is the God of the
OT.sharonna...the doctrine of Christ and the only true
doctrine of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost(Spirit),which is
ONE God, without end. Amen(2 Nephi 31:21)clear statement,there is only one God.
KJKJn. 17:11, 20-23 show that they are one in the same way (even as)
that believers are one. I have alot more.
Interesting article, I did my dissertation for my Doctorate on the just the
opposite position. I would love the opportunity to debate the Book of Mormon on
whether it is fiction or fact. After 2 years of research I have shown it to be a
book of fiction with no historical facts. I am sure finishing your Thesis on
this subject you were challenged. Email me, forums such as U of U or another
would be fine with me.For those of you reading this, check in the
Church History Books from LDS Scholars BH Roberts, D. Michael Quinn and others.
Please contact me so we can set up a debate.
CougarBlue, Why was Jesus elevated to Godhood before proving himself in a
physical world like we all have to do?Doesn't make sense to me.
Kevin, "As far as the JST goes, it's not scripture. basically commentary.
Does that eliminate the first six + chapters of JST of Genesis or the (P.of
G.P.,Moses)?There is none good but God". Christ denies being God.
Wrong, Jesus was not denying his goodness but forcing the man to recognize that
his only hope was in total reliance on God, while encouraging the man to
consider the full identity and nature of the One he was addressing.Also:
Thomas said my Lord my God( John 20:28),Christ who is God overall(Romans 9:5
NIV),our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ(Titus 2:13 NIV) Lord(kurios)can be
the Greek N.T.word for the Hebrew: 1.YHWH 2.Adonai 3.master,sir. Context.Jesus answered before Abraham was born I(ego)am(eimi)(John 8:58,verse 59 they
try to kill him for making himself equal to God....the doctrine of Christ
and the only true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy
Ghost(Spirit),which is ONE God, without end. Amen(2 Nephi 31:21)clear
statement,there is only one God.
Charles I wonder if you have given serious consideration to read the Book of
Mormon to see if it is really true and do it with real intent, nothing doubting,
then you will find out like I and millions of others that it is true. If you
doubt or don't do it with real intent to find out if it is true you will never
find the answer. Fuzz: Christ did what you said he did, but he had
to atone for our sins by being a perfect man. In Matthew 5:48 he tells us to be
"perfect even as your father, which in Heaven is." Not until he was
resurrected and then eventually appeared to the Nephites in the Americas, (3
Nephi 12:48)did he include himself as being perfect along with his Father. He
had to go through the entire process of being born, having trials and overcoming
"all". That is progression in my mind.
sharrona He is the subject but notice the noun declension theon* is the
object which is not the same structure... KJK It is as since it is
still the predicate nominative without the definite article.sharrona,Also the context is in reference to a man not the uncreated
creator of the universe(God). KJKThis is REALLY the issue. The
indefinite article CAN'T be there because it doesn't fit YOUR theology. As far
as the JST goes, it's not scripture. The prophets have stated that anything
that isn't scripture is basically commentary. JS didn't use a Greek text to
render the JST so it's not a translation. It's simply commentary.The Bible refutes the Trinity. Rev. 3:14 says Christ is the beginning of
God's creation. 1 Cor. 8:6 refers to the Father as God and Jesus as Lord. Heb.
1:2 says that Christ is a perfect representation of God. Eph. 1:3,17, etc...
show that the Father is the God of Christ. Christ is A God, but the Father is
THE God. "Why callest thou me good. There is none good but God".
Christ denies being God.
Kevin, Acts 28:6 likewise has the same structure where "he" "is
the subject of the verb (einai) and the fact that theos(theon*) is without the
article designates it as the predicate nominative.." . The KJV renders it,
"..he is a god". Acts 9:15 and 28:4.??He is the subject but
notice the noun declension theon* is the object which is not the same structure
,Also the context is in reference to a man not the uncreated creator of the
universe(God). Context and declensions are essential in an inflected language:
the(oi)gods(Theoi)have come down to us in human form(Acts 14:11 Greek N.T.) Joseph Smith realized the correct translation,the Word was God,and that
it is devastating to Mormonism, so he changed it: In the beginning was the
gospel preached though the Son, and the gospel was the word, and the word was
with the Son, and the Son was with God, and the Son was of God(John 1:1 JST)...the love of God, because he laid down his life for us(1John 3:16
KJV)God on the cross.
brokenclayI have taken a look at your "13 anachronisms" and they
are not what you try to make them appear to be. From your post it would appear
that Joseph Smith simply took the directly from the NT that however is not the
case. For some example your first the quote from Gal.4:4 is "fulness of the
time was come" as well as the context being different. Your 7th and 8th are
simply 1 word each both of these words were used in the OT and NT so by your
standard you must discount them from the NT and claim the NT is false. Your 5th
the concept is similar however the only word in common is "sacrifice".
Your 6th again similar concept however no words in common. Your 9th again
similar concept however no words in common.I could go on but I think the
point is made similar concepts taught to two different people by the same God is
not anachronism. What would be a problem for the Book of Mormon is if the
teachings were not similar in concept. After all it is the same God.
sharrona Kevin J Kirkham said,...Jesus is the Word and the Word was with
God and the Word was[a]God. (John 1:1 NWT)Wrong. "Only sophomores in
Greek grammar are going to translate '...and the Word was [a] God.' The article
with logos, shows that logos is the subject of the verb en and the fact that
theos is without the article designates it as the predicate nominative. The
emphatic position of theos demands that we translate '...and the Word was God.'
John is not saying as Jehovah's Witnesses are fond of teaching that Jesus was
only one of many Gods. He is saying precisely the opposite." KJK - No JW. I'm a card carrying LDS. The Greek can be translated either
way. Acts 28:6 likewise has the same structure where "he" "is
the subject of the verb (einai) and the fact that theos is without the article
designates it as the predicate nominative.." . The KJV renders it,
"..he is a god". Acts 9:15 and 28:4 likewise have the predicate
nominative without the article preceding the verb and the KJV translating the
predicate nominative with the indefinate article, "a".
Kevin J Kirkham said,If one sets aside the Creeds and relies ONLY on the Bible,
we readily see who Jesus is. Isogetical interpretations If fall by the way
side,Jesus is the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was[a]God. (John
1:1 NWT)Wrong. "Only sophomores in Greek grammar are going to
translate '...and the Word was [a] God.' The article with logos, shows that
logos is the subject of the verb en and the fact that theos is without the
article designates it as the predicate nominative. The emphatic position of
theos demands that we translate '...and the Word was God.' John is not saying as
Jehovah's Witnesses are fond of teaching that Jesus was only one of many Gods.
He is saying precisely the opposite." Google, John 1:1 and the new world
translation: what do the Greek scholars really say?Kevin if you are
a JW and can really read the Greek text there are many other mis-translationsin
the NWT We could discuss like Colossians 1:16,17.
I have read and re-read the Book of Mormon my entire life. Each time I pick it
up and consult it again for guidance, I am astounded at the pinpoint wisdom
particular to the needs of the day. It is an inexhaustible supply of truth and
light. It did not come from Joseph Smith, but rather through him. Its divine
authenticity is in evidence on every page as a true witness of the mission of
Jesus Christ, the plan of salvation, the power of the priesthood, and the
establishment of Zion in the last days. Anyone with an ounce of objectivity who
examines its contents in depth with an honest heart cannot come to any other
I think the point people like the author miss is that if J. Smith was a fraud
then his education, the length of time it took him to write the BOM, etc are all
sharrona For the Greeks, the concept of the logos comprehends the
interrelationship of thought, word, matter, nature, and being and law. KJKThe Logos, per Greek philosophy was a demiurge or a being embodying
the mind and will of God.John did not mean that Christ was LITERALLY the
Greek Logos but rather gave it as a description that the Greek converts and
potential converts could use to better understand Jesus. The problem is that
historic Christianity became more and more influenced by the massive influx of
Gentiles which brought along much of their Greek paganism. Google and Youtube
have historic Christians defending this. The Creeds superseded scripture to the
point that we have another Jesus and another Gospel....hence the need for the
Restoration.Jesus is the Word and the Word was with God and the Word
was a God. If one sets aside the Creeds and relies ONLY on the
Bible, we readily see who Jesus is. Isogetical interpretations fall by the way
I needed this article today. The book is indeed both extremely complex
doctrinally and simple at the same time. I love that book, it has changed my
life. It was great reading your article and it has strengthened me on a day when
I felt the criticisms of The Book of Mormon ringing in my ears. Thank you!
Not sure I understand this eternal progression thing. Jesus is a terrible
example of this.He went from a spirit child (like us) to a God that helped
create this earth and rule over it, to becoming the only begotten in the flesh
(being half man / half God) back to being a full God.That is
progression, followed by regression, followed by a return to a previous
"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."I guess if you reject the notion that St Paul was
inspired by God when he wrote those words, it would be difficult to understand
how it could happen. It makes perfect sense to me, however. The way I see it, if
I was going to completely invent a religious text and try to pass it off as
authentic, the last thing I would do would be to include obviously copied
passages from the Bible. Honestly, I don't see what is so illogical about the
idea that God would reveal the same truths to his prophets living in different
parts of the world. Why wouldn't he? He would teach the same things to all his
prophets, and when he teaches it in English, when it's written down, it's going
to come out very similar to the English translation of his previously recorded
teachings. But I guess none of this matters if you don't believe that God can
inspire anybody, or make his truth known.
How many words are in the Book of Mormon (excluding modern chapter headings,
etc.)264,000?, 270,000?, 306,118?(Note: There are 6,604 verses in
the BOM).My Church believes the BOM is the word of God.
@ brokenclayThank you for establishing the fact that the gospel
Joseph Smith restored is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It hasn't changed, it is
the same message. The Book of Mormon isn't replacing the Bible, it is
testifying of the same message but from a different group of people living at
the same time in a different part of the world. The Bible and Book of Mormon go
hand in hand. Just like the gospels in the New Testament. I am personally
grateful for each account in the New Testament on the life and teachings of
Christ. I am equally grateful for the account from the old world and new world
on the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know both Bible and Book of Mormon to be true.
They will lead an honest seeker to know God and truth.
@ OC64Joseph Smith became smarter and smarter as he was taught from
on high. He was tutored by some of the greatest people to have ever walked the
planet. So by the end of his life, yes, he was very intellectual, and very
articulate and people loved to hear him speak. But, when he translated the Book
of Mormon he could barely write a letter (Emma's words, not mine)let alone write
the Book of Mormon. I know that the Book of Mormon to be true. So
many people will attack the messenger if they can't find fault with the message.
That has been the pattern of the unbelieving since the beginning of time.
Hey, look at that, Mormoncowboy and I agree on something in regard to
theology.Mormoncowboy said, "What the Bible 'say's' is quite
simple - but what the Bible "mean's" is frankly derived through
theological filters, notwithstanding many-a-Christians insistence on 'Bible
based Christianity'. What they really mean is a 'Church based on wha[t] I say
the Bible says'."Be careful now. You may invoke the wrath of
Ultimately I don't buy it either Fred - However, Christ once gave
sermon wherein he stated that if your "right eye offend" you should
pluck it from you so that the corruption of the eye does not spread to the
entire "body". So thematically this idea of a body made of multiple
parts, each able to sin independent of the whole, isn't entirely foreign to
Christs own teachings on the matter. Again - I'm not personally sold
on the theology, but I'm no more sold on the Bible than I am The Book of Mormon.
However, to say that the Bible doesn't teach "it" is somewhat up for
question. Still, I have no problem saying - that the greatest contribution made
by Joseph Smith to Christian thought is the willingness to acknowledge
variability and subjectivity of Biblical interpretation. What the Bible
"say's" is quite simple - but what the Bible "mean's" is
frankly derived through theological filters, notwithstanding many-a-Christians
insistence on "Bible based Christianity". What they really mean is a
"Church based on whay I say the Bible says". So it's impressive that
Joseph Smith was willing to challenge unimpeachable authority of the Bible.
I get what you're saying, Mormoncowboy. My point was that spirituality and the
supernatural exist outside the realm of rational, empirical reality. So, even
if the Book of Mormon were somehow proven to be a genuine historical document,
as is Bible to a certain extent, that would not prove the Truth of its spiritual
or supernatural claims.Basically, the search for 'evidence' that the
Book of Mormon is 'True' is not terribly important to the spiritual utility of
the book's doctrines, in my view.
Brokenclay said: "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."So simply stated, your theory is
that since you are "indwelling" with Christ, if you commit murder, and
then if Christ takes your punishment for murder, justice is served because it is
really like Christ committed the murder, since you dwell in him (i.e. part of
the same body?)? Justice is served because Christ, your co-murderer, has been
punished?So you believe that, technically speaking, the one perfect
person to ever live on this earth, that has never committed any sin, is actually
sinning every day because you are "indwelling" with him? Um, yeah,
that's what the Bible teaches. Not.
Cats had it right. Amen
"-Is the Book of Mormon True?"I disagree - this is why The
Book of Mormon is attacked and defended so intensly. It claims to be a real
history - and therefore can be proven. While technically it could never be
disproven, it can be reduced within a practical and useful probability as highly
unlikely. That's really where it stands now - which is why Ash has gone to such
great lengths to try and argue for the limitation's of current research. If The
Book of Mormon were a likely history, it would be deemed as a useful resource
for current exploration - even if it didn't lead to greater conversion
numbers.Very few religious claims in the world fall into this
category. Does God exist? How would one prove that, it is untestable. Did Christ
raise the dead, including himself? Again, we supposedly have centuries old
"eyewitness" accounts alleging that he did, but no means of testing.
Did three groups of Middle-Easterners migrate to the America's and populate the
continents here - break into two distinct warring factions, etc. That we can
test - so far no results - which is why Ash is trying to render the the BoM
-Is the Book of Mormon True?-Was Joseph Smith a True prophet?-Is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the one True
Church?Sorry, but these questions are meaningless. Such assertions
cannot be proven. In spiritual matters, there is no such thing as
'one-size-fits-all'.-Does the Book of Mormon inspire me? Does it
lead me to be more charitable, loving, and honest?-Are there any
stories from the life and teachings of Joseph Smith that likewise inspire and
edify me?-Can I become a better human being through the teachings
and service opportunities of the LDS Church?Those are some useful
questions to start asking.
Twin Lights: The Biblical Christ, Immanent and transcendent. In the beginning
was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God John 1:1. The
meaning of the Word and its significance. Word is from the Greek word Logos,
from which The we derive our word logic and all words ending in-ology:
psychology, theology and so on. For the Greeks, the concept of the logos
comprehends the interrelationship of thought, word, matter, nature, and being
and law. The Apostle John dropped a theological bombshell on the Greek
philosophers, looking on Jesus talking about Him not as an impersonal concept,
but as the incarnation(John 1:14) of the eternal Logos. Logos of God when
applied to Jesus meant far more than the Word of God more than divine
revelation, but in Jesus we have also have the reason and Mind of the Cosmos.
God is uncreated Logic in his very being and provides order, regularity, law and
intelligibility to the cosmos, not as some impersonal soul but as a personal
creator: through him all things were made, without him nothing was made that
has been made(John 1:3). Google Kenosis doctrine.
Jm - you claim on many of your posts that the so called "anti's" lie,
twist, and deceive. The problem is, you never cite any sources to counter the
information that has been presented to you. All you say is that all of the
historical information presented only supports Joseph Smith and the restoration.
Again, without giving any sources or actual information. I think that if you
actually studied mormon history, and in particular, the history of Joseph Smith
you may make a different finding. I am not saying that you would then not
believe he was a prophet. I just think you would be able to admit that there are
many facts that do not support your position. I realize there are some facts
that do support it. Unfortunately, you are only looking at one side of it.
History can change in the books, but it does not change in actuality. You cannot
simply accept any history that supports Joseph Smith, and then claim that
anything against him is made up. See that simply doesn't make sense. And when
something doesn't make sense it usually isn't true.
Re: brokenclay"The reply I got is that the Christ was sinless
and had divine superpowers as the Son (aside-- aren't we also sons because we
are brothers of Jesus?)."We are all spirit sons and daughters
of God, spirit relations of the Savior, but the difference is that Jesus Christ
was the literal, biological Son of the Father. Our Father in Heaven is not our
biological father. But for Christ, He was. That's what we mean when we say that
Christ was both a man and divine. That is why He was able to be sinless. His
title as Son has a completely meaning than our title as children of God.
Joseph Smith is a great prophet, seer, and revelator and was an instrument in
the the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ to restore the truth, priesthood, and
knowledge to the earth that had been eventially lost after the apostles were
killed after Christ's ascension. He was a great man. The author is pretty
bright and not a bad writer either. A dissertation is a mere hurdle and not the
most important document in the world. Jump it and move on. The article you just
wrote may be one of the greatest things you will write in my opinion, but I will
look forward to future articles.
Brokenclay,If you believe that the LDS view is that "Jesus is
simply a man, not qualitatively different from you or I", you are gravely
mistaken.He is the Son of God who shares with his Father all
knowledge and power and to whom has been committed the keys of judgment due to
his atonement. Because he is the great judge, I will leave to him what offering
he will or will not accept.As for the "orthodox" doctrine
of the trinity. It was produced some 300 years after Christ and the apostles.
Why is such an important doctrine finalized generations later via an effort led
by an only nominally Christian emperor?Christ taught with powerful
simplicity and (with the possible exception of John 14:9), he consistently
references the Father as a separate person, says that he obeys the Fathers will,
and otherwise distinguishes between himself and the Father. He tells his
disciples to be one as he and the Father are one.If ever there was
anyone who could (and should) have explained Trinitarian doctrine, it was
Christ. But he did not. The record he left is far different.
whistle219,You just proved Brokenclay's, Mormoncowboy's, and my
Vanka, no where in LDS doctrine does it say how the Father obtained Godhood,
only that He was once like us
Brokenclay and Mormoncowboy raise important soteriological issues that should
not be blithely swept under the rug.The LDS view of the
"purpose" of life itself undermines a meaningful atonement. For LDS,
mortal life is a "test", and all the sin and suffering of mortality
are deliberately designed by god to "give thee experience" (see
D&C122:7).According to LDS doctrine, God (the Father) and Jesus
(the Son) have achieved the level of godhood in the priesthood because they
obtained their "experience" and, of their own power, triumphed over
the sin and suffering of a mortal existence; i.e., they "passed the
test". Likewise, each mortal must "pass the test" (taste the
bitter in order to understand the sweet: Moses6:55 and 2 Nephi2:15).On this view, in what does the "atonement" consist? The
"grace" and "mercy" of god consist in depriving mortals of
the salvific power of mortal sin and suffering. As such, the so-called
atonement, on the LDS view, actually robs each mortal of their growth experience
by which they would otherwise have developed the ability to abide a higher law
(D&C88:22-24) and "earn" a higher glory.
Thank you, Mormoncowboy, for explaining that well in a civil manner. I still
disagree with the initial premise that Jesus is a "mere man" because I
believe that is not LDS doctrine, and I also speak from personal experience in
that I have felt Jesus' divine power in my life fulfilling promises he himself
made to those who believe in him, so he cannot be a "mere man." But,
enough church leaders have said enough things to make people think we actually
do believe that way, and considering we Mormons write down every single thing
our leaders say, I guess we just have to live with that criticism :)brokenclay, I misunderstood what you meant. I didn't intentionally
"side-step" it. Sorry for misunderstanding.
Brokenclay, it appears to me that you are using the Nicene creed to interpet the
Bible. Why use a man made political document to judge spiritual things? Dont
deny that you are doing this very thing because it is very apparent.
I sympathize with your dissertation challenge. Unlike the Book of Mormon, a
dissertation is a book that you write in your own words, with your own ideas.
But a dissertation doesn't have to make a world-changing
contribution (like the Book of Mormon). It just needs to be a completed work
that pleases your dissertation committee. As a friend of mine said to me as I
was working on my dissertation, "The best dissertation is the completed
dissertation."What helped me the most was asking my
dissertation chair to require weekly reports from me so that I would have a
sense of accountability for my progress. After I put this in place, my
dissertation moved along much more quickly.You might want to try
something like this with your dissertation.And, please, be kinder to
yourself about your contribution and your scholarly work. I am sure that you are
making more of a contribution with your research than you realize.
Broken clay, you forget that when you translate from one language to another,
you dont translate word for word bur thought for thought. As for saying mormons
believe that Christ is merely a man, you are way off base and have very little
knowledge of this belief. The belief that works and grace are needed as part of
the atonement gives no cause to say we think of Christ as a mere man
Mormoncowboy, thank you for the much needed illumination.In
Mormonism, man and deity are not qualitatively different, but only
quantitatively. That is, gods have graduated out of sinning and they have been
magically granted the powers to create worlds. Nonetheless, they are by nature
men. Remember the dictum, "As man is, God once was . . . "? The gods
exist temporally and spatially, and they are finite in any number of ways.The force of my example was completely side-stepped by the LDS
responders. I ask again, would this be justice? I contend that all of society
would be crying out for that judge's head, and rightly so.The reply
I got is that the Christ was sinless and had divine superpowers as the Son
(aside-- aren't we also sons because we are brothers of Jesus?). But to punish a
perfect man in place of a guilty man only exacerbates the moral problem. Indeed,
the Bible rails against such things (Proverbs 17:15). And how does the Son
having a lot of power absolve the moral dilemma? These things are not sufficient
to solve the problem; only union with Christ allows God to be merciful while
Peace, comfort and solace radiate from the pages of the Book of Mormon. I also
love the many books that make up the Bible. But the Book of Mormon brings a
remarkable ability to sort the many conflicting voices interpreting those books
(ranging from world-weary Bible as Literature professors, to snake-handling
Evangelicals spinning and spitting from a backwoods pulpit) and beckons them
join the long-hoped-for Christ-centered unity of faith The ancient
prophet Mormon worried that the gentiles would mock these humble words of
scripture. (Samuel Clemens once called it "chloroform in print.")
Yet millions have found it a brilliant witness of the Messiah. To me, every
page shines and sparkles with a miraculous divinity and truth wet with dew. The
Lord reassured Mormon, "fools mock, but they shall mourn." As we have read from it as a family it has lead us to greater peace, harmony
and love. We get along better. We are happier. Read it and see. Study it.
Pray about it. Do so and it will reveal Christ to you. His spirit and will is
like a tide of truth cleansing and renewing the living low-lands of the soul.
Brokenclay, Iggle, Jeff:What Brokenclay was asserting by the
suggestion that Christ was a "mere man" and qualitatively no
different, was that Christ, God, and the Holy Ghost - in Mormonism - are
corporeal beings like men. They are each distinctly seperate from one another.
He was not challenging the Mormon view that Christ was deity, or the Son of
God.The point of acknowledging this is inherent in his example. I
actually posted a similar example some time ago, as to why the Atonement (as
taught in Alma 42 particularly) makes little rational sense. The (Gods)
established laws with affixed punishments, and allow one of their own to serve
the sentence. While the concept of a transfer of debt sounds nice in Mormonism,
it makes not sense in the practical view of "punishment". Sure,
recompense can be transferred, but how obtuse are the Gods to demand that blood
be shed, regardless of who's blood it is. The example of the murderer used in
Brokenclay's example illustrates the point perfectly. On the other hand, if we
were all "one being" as implied in trinitarian christianity, it at
least makes theoretical sense for Christs suffering to satisfy our sins.
@ brokenclay: The Book of Mormon makes it clear that Jesus was not a mere man.
He is the Son of God in the Book of Mormon and throughout Mormon doctrinal
teaching. As the Son of God, and as a perfect human being with the divine
ability to conquer death, He was able to accept the suffering for our sins.Disagree with us if you choose, but make sure you understand our
doctrines first; and if you understand them, represent them accurately.@ redhat: Do you have the same trouble with St. Paul's use of the words of
other prophets?Anachronism is difficult to judge in translation. I
have read a translation of Sophocles Oedipus Rex that seems very modern. Does
that mean that Oedipus is a fake? Be careful not to impose your opinions of how
the Book of Mormon was translated on the way you think Joseph Smith should have
translated it. Be careful as well to note when St. Paul is quoting another
source and when his language is absolutely original. Paul didn't follow modern
standards of citation, and it's occasionally surprising to note that he's
quoting when he doesnt' tell you so.
"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
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.
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.
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!
CatsWe 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.
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
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.
Good article. Believe what you will about its origins, mankind could do well to
live by the principles taught in its pages!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bravo, Bro. Williams! A most excellent article and point.Best wishes
on completing your dissertation.
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.
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.
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.
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
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