Comments about ‘Book of Mormon goes 'under the knife' in new humanist 'Bible'’

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Published: Tuesday, Jan. 15 2013 3:25 p.m. MST

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Tyler D
Meridian, ID

The motivation behind this effort appears to be an attempt to answer the question, “Do we have to believe in magic and superstition in order to follow the example of great men like Jesus and other sages throughout history?” My personal view is “no, we do not” so from that perspective this may have a lot of appeal (in separating the wheat from the chaff, so to speak).

On the other hand, given the vast library of ethical (far superior to the barbarism found in the some of these “unedited” books) and even spiritual teachings found outside of these works, I can’t help but wonder “why go there?” If believing in supernatural stories gives people comfort and provides the motivation to change their lives for the better, why undertake a project that may be perceived as disrespectful to what they cherish?

West Jordan, UT

I found this article interesting and can't wait to read their results. I would love also to see what their collection of the worst quotes would be from all the works.

That being said...One of the trends in our society is to completely separate our public life from God. I understand that desire as there are many interpretations and morals codes derive thereof.

However...The very basic tenant of our existence as a republic and national entity is our belief that the rights that we are afforded in the constitution and the subsequent Bill of Rights (and Amendments) is that these rights are INALIENABLE. That word is a very important part of our history.

The US Declaration of Independence states that God Himself bestowed our rights and liberties upon us. Not man. This protects us.

These are natural rights... not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government.

I believe that there is a movement, nefarious by some, ignorance by most, meant to undermine that concept. Once undermined, then all the rights we now enjoy become LEGAL right. That is to say... bestowed on us by a given legal system.

Spanish Fork, UT


The point you bring up is understood with some differences you might consider:

The abridgement of the Book of Mormon record was done by a prophet of God who had seen Christ and knew of His divine work.

The humanists are seeking to remove information about the devine Sonship of Christ by dispelling the miracles that seem unbelievable. Such an effort distorts truth in much the same way politics and influencing public perception does.

There are differences of context when the dialog of the Book of Mormon is rearranged for the purpose of providing a doctrinal response to a different religion that chooses to remove Christ and God from scripture. Such a response removes the essence and meaning of each scriptural text meaning for the reader.

South Jordan, UT

i'm fine with people doing what they please, and I even find it kind of flattering that they have recognized the BoM as a good book of ethical guidelines, but but as just good books of ethical guidelines all these books have failed their purpose.

Terrie Bittner
Warminster, PA

It's interesting that anyone wishes to emulate a book apparently written for a rather insulting purpose (if you're a Native American). The trouble with taking a scripture out of context or time frame is that it is then subject to misinterpretation. To understand the scriptures, you have to read them all and study the complete message. When people read these statements out of context, with no understanding of the situation or complete meaning,and they know little of the faith that offers it, they come to inaccurate conclusions about the faith--and that leads to persecution, in many cases. If you want to understand a religion, read the complete books of scripture and learn their teachings from believers who can help you understand context.

Layton, UT

There are definitely passages in the book of mormon that make me wince, and the one quoted as one of the worst is definitely one that qualified in my mind too.

Interesting that the Book of Mormon is being considered at this global level, good for them. I agree it contains a great deal of wisdom--even words of life.

A Wise Guy
Spokane, WA

Or perhaps, Thomas Jefferson's work was just one way he had to study the Bible. Perhaps he didn't intend to change it all. It is the practice of many scholars to examine things by pulling our groups or parts of it to look at in a different order. I have underlines in my Bible. That doesn't mean I don't believe the part I didn't underline!!!

Bluffdale, UT

James E. Talmage broke up the Book of Mormon into chapter and verse. Some of these should not have been broken. Try reading two verses as one or two chapters as one verse. You can get a perspective closer to the 19th century students of scripture.

I don't find any fault in reading scripture out of the original context if you find truth in it.

Twin Sister

No Esquire. Actually, and ironically, this is exactly what these Humanists are doing when they choose to chop up the Bible, Book of Mormon, and other inspired writings, and then THEY are calling evil good and good evil and putting darkness for light and light for darkness.

Suburbs of SLC
Cottonwood Heights, UT

When I was trying to put myself through the process of finding out if the Book of Mormon was true, something much like this helped me the most. I was exhausted from leaders and advisors telling me how to read the Book of Mormon ('Underline every time it says 'Jesus Christ,' or 'Lord'; Mark everything related to the Atonement; Mark everything related to repentance, etc). So, when I decided I was sick of those experiments, I picked up a completely blank copy, read it as fast as I could, and only marked the verses I really, really liked. There was no rhyme or reason as to why I liked them, just ones that struck me as particularly great on a really fast read through.

For me, that was what it took for me to actually give the book of chance. It didn't in and of itself convince me the book was true, but it helped me lose some of my biases against it by helping me see that, if nothing else, there was a lot of good in it. That gave me the time and the right attitude I needed to eventually find out it is true.



"What ever happened to the statement " The Book of Mormon is the most perfect book written, and a man will come closer to God, through it, than any other." Dissecting it will not make it less so."

How can it be the most perfect book written when it's been changed and edited countless times?

very concerned
Sandy, UT

Impossible, taking miracles, faith, prayer, the afterlife, revelation, the existence of a superior being, spirituality, etc. out of scriptures. It's akin to claiming there is common photosynthesis without light. To take the Godhood of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father out of the equation would require cutting out the heart of the scriptures.

Either Jesus Christ was who He said He was (so many times and in so many ways) or He was a fraud - a huge fraud. One cannot separate His divinity from His wisdom. It is the same with the Book of Mormon. With its claims, either it is true or it is a grand hoax. There is no in-between when taking the whole of its words and teachings. Some would have us believe otherwise, but the black and white of the printed word will not allow it to the sincere person. The logic follows with Joseph Smith as well, either a prophet or a liar.


My favorite Thomas Jefferson quote:

"A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for a second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of society is reduced to mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering."

Doesn't sound like a modern-day atheist.
Sounds like a prediction that has come true today....

USS Enterprise, UT

To "On the other hand" I hate to tell you this, but organized anti-religion has caused more deaths than organized religion.

How many millions have been killed in the last century alone by Communists in their anti-religious political takeovers?

very concerned
Sandy, UT

I've read only a little of the other religion's scriptures, so I don't claim to be an expert in them. I'm a little more familiar with the Book of Mormon and the Bible. They are overflowing with references to the spiritual side of life. They talk of Christ, His Godhood, His miracles, His superior teachings, His grace, His atonement, His resurrection. Without these, the Book of Mormon and the Bible are mere shadows of religion.

I am glad that there are books that are superior to our current (natural man's) knowledge. Else what would we strive for? What *truths* would guide our lives for the better.

Humanists and athiests can tear apart the Book of Mormon. It’s a free country. They may even have “joy for a season”, but in the end, they can’t stop the word of God from visiting the whole earth and from declaring the divine Sonship of Jesus Christ and the existence of an omniscient and omnipotent Father in Heaven.

MiddleofNowhere, Utah

This is my favorite Thomas Jefferson quote:
I hold to the precepts of Jesus, as delivered by himself, to be the most pure, benevolent, and sublime which have ever been preached to man. I adhere to the principles of the first age; and consider all subsequent innovations as corruptions of this religion, having no foundation in what came from him . . . If the freedom of religion guaranteed to us by law in theory, can ever rise in practice under the overbearing inquisition of public opinion, truth will prevail over fanaticism, and the genuine doctrines of Jesus, so long perverted by his pseudo-priests, will again be restored to their original purity. This reformation will advance with the other improvements of the human mind, but too late for me to witness it." Thomas Jefferson, 1820

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

I once attended a lecture by an atheist who spoke about the Sermon on the Mount and what it meant to him. It was very insightful and nobody felt offended. I think what Jefferson and others saying is that there is something of great value in the scriptures, even for those who do not believe in the supernatural. I would hope my Mormon friends see this move by the Humanists to include selections of their scripture in their library as being in that vein.

Herbert Gravy
Salinas, CA

I thought Thomas Jefferson died in 1826 on the same day that John Adams did. Exactly 50 years after the Declaration of Independence?

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

I like what President Marion G. Romney told religious educators:
“When I drink from a spring I like to get the water where it comes out of the ground, not down the stream after the cattle have waded in it. … I appreciate other people’s interpretation, but when it comes to the gospel we ought to be acquainted with what the Lord says.”

That goes for humanists' editing.

MiddleofNowhere, Utah

@ Herbert Gravy,
He did, the article just says that his book of abridged scripture was published in 1858.

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