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Comments about ‘Defending the Faith: Does the Book of Mormon contain the 'fulness' of the gospel?’

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Published: Thursday, May 15 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

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1.96 Standard Deviations
OREM, UT

I think a more simplified way to address this (weak) criticism is in the Book of Mormon. Christ gave the definition of His gospel in 3 Nephi 27:13-16. Here it is (summarized due to word constraints):

13 Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me..

14 And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; [...] that I might draw all men unto me, [...] even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works [...]

15 And for this cause have I been lifted up; [...] I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.

16 [...] whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.

The whole BOM certainly has a fulness of the gospel, just like D&C says.

sew
Herriman, UT

Nephi explains the purpose of his writing early on while explaining what is meant by "fulness."

(Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 6:4)
4 For the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved.

Also, it is likely that we do not find evidence of temple ordinances, etc. in the Book of Mormon because they were never practiced in the Americas. The Book of Mormon is the record of a people "crying from the dust".

caleb in new york
Glen Cove, NY

if all points had come neatly wrapped in the Book of Mormon, there still would have been a need for Joseph Smith, because there still would have been a need to translate the Book of Mormon into English and for someone to be the President of the church.

dalefarr
South Jordan, Utah

So it all comes down to what "fullness of the gospel" means. Each side uses a different definition. I appreciate Daniel's explanation.

AT
Elk River, MN

Denver Snuffer has written some great stuff on this topic. Go to his blog and search for "fullness".

get her done
Bountiful, UT

More words do not make more truth.

USAlover
Salt Lake City, UT

The "fullness of the Gospel" is actually very simple. The fullness of the Gospel is:

1. Christ is the Son of God
2. He atoned for our sins and overcame death with Resurrection.
3. If we have faith, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure in faith to the end we have every hope of Salvation.

Period. Everything else is simply an appendage to this truth. It's all we "really" need to know and do. Like the Jews of old, even Mormons like to make things more complicated than they need to be. After all, we have to fill those 3 hour blocks with entertaining stuff...

The Wraith
Kaysville, UT

I've always felt this was one of the weakest arguments against the Book of Mormon. There are just so many other arguments to be made and this is just so flimsy. How do you define "fullness" anyway? How can you say some doctrine or another isn't in the book when scripture is so open to interpretation? It's better to stick with more powerful criticisms.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

The ambiguous term “fullness of the gospel” is unique to Mormon preaching. The closest New Testament language comes to that phraseology that I know of is Paul writing to the Romans that he would come to them in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.

Bifftacular
Spanish Fork, Ut

I appreciate articles like this and agree with it. But to me, the underlying foundation is not the logic (important for sure) but the testimony that comes to one's heart/spirit from reading and studying the Book of Mormon. And where does that undeniable feeling come from? Particularly to the tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands) of new converts that have never previously heard of the LDS church and/or the Book of Mormon? It can only come from one of two sources: God or Satan. And it does come from somewhere, it is not an answer to deny that that overwhelming testimony/feeling is felt or exists - and not just in passing. If someone wants to argue it comes from Satan, I'd genuinely love to hear their reasons why.

New Yorker
Pleasant Grove, UT

Then there's the rest of the Book of Mormon still to come from the sealed portion.

Verdad
Orem, UT

Correction: Noel Reynolds served as a mission president some years ago. He's currently serving as a TEMPLE president.

The Wraith
Kaysville, UT

@Bifftacular

"It can only come from one of two sources: God or Satan."

There is, of course, a third source: the human mind. Now obviously those who sincerely believe will dismiss this. However, if another person claimed that they had an overwhelming powerful experience that they knew came from god and that experience told them the Book of Mormon was wrong and their (insert any religion here) was the only true religion you would probably say that feeling was all in their head. This is the real problem with basing a religions claims of truthfulness on feelings - every religion makes the same claim. The human mind is a powerful thing.

Dave54321
Sandy, UT

In 3 Nephi 11, Jesus explains what his doctrine is:

38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.

39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.

40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.

Faith, repentance, baptism, humility...anything more "cometh of evil".

Michigander
Westland, MI

The KJV Bible AND the Book of Mormon TOGETHER contain the fullness of the everlasting gospel. Neither alone contain the fullness. This is the faith and doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ (WHQ: Monongahela, Pennsylvania).

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Of course not,
How could it, and why should?

That would put Mormons right on par and absolutely no differnet that when Nephi said in 2 Nephi 29: "A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible."

Why else should we have "Living Prophets and Apostles"?
Why else should we have "General Conference"?
Why else should we have "Revelation"?

Speaking of which --
Article of Faith
9: We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

I pity those who reject continuing revelation,
and do not believe or look forward to having the other half - 2/3's of Book of Mormon.

Fulness? indeed...

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

There seems to be a lot of fullness going around here. Many religions are certain they know what fullness is and some are even convinced they are the only ones who have it. It seems that some things will never change.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"The "fullness of the Gospel" is actually very simple. The fullness of the Gospel is:

1. Christ is the Son of God
2. He atoned for our sins and overcame death with Resurrection.
3. If we have faith, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure in faith to the end we have every hope of Salvation."

USALOVER, So, "very simply" you are saying that the "fullness of the Gospel" is also found in Methodist, Catholics, Baptists, and virtually every other Christian sect?

Danite
Salt Lake City, UT

@sew,

While you are correct that we don't really see any explicit evidence about temple ordinances in the Book of Mormon, that's not to say they didn't have them. 4 Nephi is where we could expect to see them implemented but what we get is simply the results of a temple coventeded people. It has been understood that the 40 day ministering of Christ in Acts is all about the temple....

Greenwich Time
Salt Lake City, UT

Occam's razor holds that a simpler answer, like 1.96 Standard Deviations' below, is more likely correct. An examination of the etymology of the English word "gospel" (and of the New Testament Greek word from which it was translated) shows that "gospel" simply means "good news". So wherever the word "gospel" appears in the English New Testament, one can insert "good news". Doing that demonstrates that the New Testament relates the "good news" of Jesus's birth, death, atoning sacrifice, and resurrection, and the benefits we can derive therefrom through repentance and baptism. It's clear that the Book of Mormon also relates the "good news" of Jesus's birth, death, atoning sacrifice, and resurrection, and the benefits we can derive therefrom through repentance and baptism. In that regard, the New Testament and the Book of Mormon are totally in line one with the other. Through the years, humans have added a gloss of additional meanings to the word "gospel" that were not present in its earlier and original use. So the claim that the Book of Mormon, or any other book of scripture, does not contain the "fullness" of any of that subsequently added gloss is of no consequence.

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