One year and counting: Scholarly website helping to 'increase understanding' of the Book of Mormon

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  • Heart and Mind BUENA VISTA, VA
    Dec. 26, 2016 9:31 p.m.

    Thank you to the hard work and professionalism of all the volunteers at BoMC. Many days after reading it, I have just been in awe of your excellent effort. Such a step-up in Book of Mormon support.

  • One of Vai's Cousins DC, Washington
    Dec. 25, 2016 2:29 p.m.

    I appreciate that the creators of this site seem very honest about its content and intention. It is to build and sustain testimonies of the Book of Mormon by those who already have one. That is fine. Of course it will not be peer reviewed because neutral, factual scholarship is not the intention. Those with a different conclusion, as I have, shouldn't criticize as long as this site remains honest about their intent and the lenses through which the information is published.

  • clearthink Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 24, 2016 9:10 p.m.

    Book of Mormon Central is a helpful resource, except for the way they talk about Book of Mormon Geography. The southern Mexico/Guatemala thing makes no sense. A lot of people I know have problems with that.

  • standup Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 24, 2016 3:55 p.m.

    As a lifelong student of the Book of Mormon and missionary three times, I love it tremendously and know it is true. I'm very happy about the new videos to be produced and know that any person who has "a sincere heart" will not criticize the Church for doing this; we should pay no attention to those who just want to doubt and endlessly put down what we do! I also hope very much that the videos will include scenes based on locations in the United States (New York, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, etc.). Apostle L. Tom Perry in a 2012 speech told us, "The United States is the Promised Land foretold in the Book of Mormon." In 3 Nephi 20:22 , Jesus said "This land" where he was speaking to the Nephites would also be the New Jerusalem. All sources of research are important to be included, not just former FARMS and Maxwell Institute research. The Lord never said, "Thou shalt only trust Ph.D sources as you seek a testimony of the truth." What the Holy Ghost and Joseph Smith's words teach us are the key and will never lead us astray.

  • SamL Tooele, UT
    Dec. 24, 2016 12:59 p.m.

    I look forward to my weekly Book of Mormon Central emails. I find the videos very interesting. Thank you BMC staff for your work. Thank you DN for highlighting this valuable source of information.

  • fearfullooking Maple Grove, MN
    Dec. 23, 2016 2:58 p.m.

    “Suggestions and donations are welcome through the website, Halverson said. … ‘[I]f readers would like to give financially or otherwise, we would be deeply grateful . … I can think of few causes more worthy than helping more of God's children to feast upon the words of Christ.’”

    There is a cause "more worthy" than this. Sites like this solicit donations for "worthy causes," and yet the Church is in a position to solve much worthier cause; let's following the teaching of Christ in Matt. 25, regarding those who will be found on His Right Hand at the Last Day: we must do all in our power to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, and administer to the needs of the sick and afflicted.

    It can be done: give every human being a credit/debit card for the basics for human survival, including food, shelter, clothing and health care. Cap inflation for these basics at 1.5 percent per annum to avoid superinflation.

  • Lilly Munster , 00
    Dec. 23, 2016 2:29 p.m.

    We need an analogy here.
    Square peg in round hole.
    It really, really does not work unless you force it, and pretend that it fits.

  • Manzanita Las Vegas, NV
    Dec. 23, 2016 1:49 p.m.

    @CaptainKirk

    Your list of contributors to Book of Mormon Central includes individuals with pretty impressive credentials. With this level of academic rigor being applied to Book of Mormon studies, please tell me in which non-LDS affiliated, peer reviewed publications I can read scholarly articles authenticating the historicity, archaeology, agricultural, linguistics, and similar aspects of the Book of Mormon?

    Also, you mentioned Stephen Smoot as someone whose affiliation with the project adds gravitas. Could you please confirm whether this is the same Stephen Smoot whose published position is that there is no archaeological evidence to support the large populations mentioned in the Book of Mormon, because the Book of Mormon is clearly an exaggeration rather than a literal account?

  • CaptainKirk American Fork, UT
    Dec. 23, 2016 11:20 a.m.

    "Seek learning, even by study and also by faith." D&C 88:118, 109:7, 14. One of our researchers/writers, Stephen Smoot, left us to pursue an advanced degree in Egyptology at the University of Toronto. A former research assistant, Juan Pinto, is currently a PhD candidate in Hebrew Studies at UT Austin. We are satisfied that we get the study/faith dichotomy about right.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Dec. 23, 2016 10:46 a.m.

    "Book of Mormon Central does not use the term "apologetics."
    ______________________________
    It would be more honest if it did. To undertake any academic study with integrity, one cannot predetermine the outcome as any graduate student should know. To assume Book of Mormon historicity as axiomatic is an inherent contradiction in the highest standards of academic scholarship leaving the website wide open to criticism. I suggest that Book of Mormon Central reconsider how it wishes to represent itself to users.

  • mightymite Parksville, NY
    Dec. 23, 2016 9:31 a.m.

    This is called indoctrination not scholarship. Huge difference.

  • CaptainKirk American Fork, UT
    Dec. 23, 2016 12:25 a.m.

    Book of Mormon Central does not use the term "apologetics." We perceive ourselves as faithful scholars and communicators. We believe the Book of Mormon is beautiful, miraculous, and true. It deserves our best work. We respect serious scholarship and strive for high standards of accuracy and intellectual honesty. Taylor Halverson who approves KnoWhys holds a PhD in Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity, in addition to a PhD in Instructional Systems Technology, both from Indiana University. David J. Larsen, one of our researcher/writers, holds a PhD in Biblical Studies from University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Jonathon Riley, another of our researcher/writers, holds an MA in Biblical Studies from Trinity Western in Canada. Our founder, Lynne H. Wilson, holds a PhD in Theology and American History from Marquette. Our hands on chairman, John W. Welch, was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Oxford where he read Greek Philosophy and holds a JD from Duke. Welch has been Editor in Chief of BYU Studies since 1991. Imagine the fun we have getting these accomplished scholars in a room with a bunch of 20 somethings whose expertise is hits, views, listens, likes, and shares.

  • WendyT Meridian, ID
    Dec. 22, 2016 8:40 p.m.

    I have loved reading the daily KnoWhys from Book of Mormon Central. My understanding of the Book of Mormon has drastically increased. Studying these scholarly articles have helped me to slow down in my study and to pay careful attention to the content of the scriptural text. I especially love learning more about the ancient cultures of the Near East and seeing those little cultural details show up in the Book of Mormon. The best part of Book of Mormon Central's efforts is making scholarly articles accessible to ordinary interested people by including links in the footnotes. Thank you!

  • Glen Danielsen Anaheim Hills, CA
    Dec. 22, 2016 3:38 p.m.

    "If claims to scholarship are made, the web site proprietor’s feet must be held to the fire by a diverse range of peers. From what I gather from this article, it’s already sounding more like apologetics than scholarship."

    Book of Mormon Central will not be baited into pandering to the secular, nor allow its mission to be polluted by "a wide range" of pining liberal voices. Some may spew their arrogant contempt on apologetics — that's nothing new. BMC knows exactly what they are about: a knowledgeable institute that provides FAITHFUL PERSPECTIVE.

  • Robrog8999 Washington Court House, OH
    Dec. 22, 2016 3:09 p.m.

    I absolutely love using the book of Mormon central. Its helped me to advance my studies in ways I wouldn't have been able to elsewhere.
    It goes in-depth and studies its roots and history. It provides graphs and pictures to help break it down.
    Its absolutely amazing! Its brought a renewed interest in not only reading the book of mormon, but also to study it.
    I'm so grateful for the website.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Dec. 22, 2016 2:28 p.m.

    If claims to scholarship are made, the web site proprietor’s feet must be held to the fire by a diverse range of peers. From what I gather from this article, it’s already sounding more like apologetics than scholarship. The truth will be learned sooner or later. If it’s just more apologetics in scholarship clothing, better sooner than later.

  • Zstur Provo, UT
    Dec. 22, 2016 9:16 a.m.

    Awesome! Love the Book of Mormon!

  • CaptainKirk American Fork, UT
    Dec. 22, 2016 8:59 a.m.

    Full disclosure. I am quoted in this article. An excellent piece. Just a few minor clarifications. Jack Welch did not just "start with" FARMS in 1979. He founded FARMS in 1979 along with Lew Cramer and Clark Waddoups. The three of them were young attorneys car-pooling into work in downtown Los Angeles. All Book of Mormon Central executives are volunteers, including Jack Welch, Taylor Halverson, Kirk Magleby, Ruth Schmidt, Bob Babcock, and Scott Petersen. We are moving from five KnoWhys a week to three a week in 2017. This allows us to allocate staff resources a little differently and introduce some new forms of content. Our Spanish translation and publication team is fully operational. We need more financial backing to begin publishing in Portuguese, French, and other languages important to the worldwide Book of Mormon community. Nice job, Trent Toone.