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Would You Stay Lds If It Was Found That The Bom Was Not Historical?

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Has anyone ever read the original 1830 Edition of the BoM? I finally found mine that was lost. Of course it's only a copy that I purchased for around. $25.00. I've not read very much yet. But was interested to know what others think. It's in chapter form so easier to read, for me anyway. But see the necessity of putting it in scripture form.

Yes, I have. I got the feeling it was put together in a rush or worse, a chaos (especially having read only the latest and most polished editions up to that point). I could really empathize with the crazy times and conditions Joseph Smith must have worked under. I still sensed the power of God in its development and message.

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Joining this discussion late, as I am in the habit of doing. Probably something to do with the time difference.

The question is, would I stay LDS if it was found that the BoM was not historical. The answer is definately not. There would be no point. The implications of a non-historical Book of Mormon are enormous and catastrophic for the corporate church and the actual church (the Saints). I believe it would ultimately result in the death of the church (both of them - though the corporate church would probably hang on longer) - as is slowly happening in the CofC.

For me, I would continue my Christian faith and probably attend the local Church of England in my village.

We're in the minority... but there are a few of us Brits on here. I feel your pain about time differences :)

If the history of its publication remained accurate but some of the events within the words were not, would that change things? I know that's an unlikely thought process, but does Nephi have to have existed, or does Joseph have to have not created it fraudulently?

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Very interesting. I suppose it's understandable - all of them were converts and so raised on the Bible, plus they had 'live' revelation and clarification of doctrine on a (sometimes) daily basis in the 1830s. It must have been an exciting time.

Jeff Lindsay speculated that this is one of the reasons so many presumptions were made about the Book of Mormon that didn't have a basis in the text. If you quickly read it once and didn't come back to it it would be easy to make several presumptions that lead to an incorrect belief. A land north and south with a narrow neck... it's only when people started studying it and trying to map it that you realise they cover distances that are too small to be hemispheric.

I do wonder why God didn't correct that though... it could have saved a lot of bother and trouble.

I have never had a problem easily seeing the hemispheric model work. Most people dont really study it out themselves but rely on one or few opinions that have no real factual value. There is nothing in the text that supports the most southern Lamanite lands were relatively close to the northern reaches of Nephite territory mentioned in the book. I guess if one could define "exceedingly great distance" as a few hundred miles then he could get duped into believing the limited geography models. Speaking of absolutes, there are very few instances in the BoM where distances are sort of figured out. We know it was about 21 days travel from Zarahemla to the border or area south into Lamanite territory. Zarahemla was south of Bountiful and that was south of the land Desolation. Thus, Lamanite lands in the south were probably in the 200-450 mile range away from Zarahemla. Zarahemla was centrally located in the land southward and was some distance from the narrow neck which led into the land northward. Of greater importance though, no distance, or hint of it, is mentioned as to how far away the land of Cumorah was from Zarahemla or any of the lands spoken of in the BoM. Whether it was 100 miles or 2,000 miles, or greater, the text doesnt specify.

Speak8ng of physical evidence, there is ample evidence that the ancient inhabitants used the entire north and south American continents to traffic and trade with each other. Travel for them was no problem. After all, we are speaking of a people who migrated half way around the globeto even get to the Americas. If they could travel that great distance, why do so many assume the entire events in the BoM happened in this area roughly 300 miles wide by 400 miles long?

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If the history of its publication remained accurate but some of the events within the words were not, would that change things? I know that's an unlikely thought process, but does Nephi have to have existed, or does Joseph have to have not created it fraudulently?

Mormon wrote it from the records available to him. He made made comments on the reliability of the records - 3 Ne 8 1 And now it came to pass that according to our record, and we know our record to be atrue, for behold, it was a bjust man who did keep the record.

His comment implies to me that he had less confidence in other records, e.g. in the book of Mosiah.

.

Edited by cdowis

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snapback.pngJeremyOrbe-Smith, on 16 January 2013 - 10:00 PM, said:

"I question and doubt the Church every day, just like I question and doubt pretty much everything else I can think of. (I guess I'm just not a trusting sort of guy.) It seems to me that questioning everything -- and I mean everything -- is the only way to get a little closer to a reliable, workable paradigm."

Perhaps I am misreading this, but I cannot live my life like that. Reminds me of the undecided voter in the presidential election who basically said he will make his decision in the voting booth.

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I have never had a problem easily seeing the hemispheric model work. Most people dont really study it out themselves but rely on one or few opinions that have no real factual value. There is nothing in the text that supports the most southern Lamanite lands were relatively close to the northern reaches of Nephite territory mentioned in the book. I guess if one could define "exceedingly great distance" as a few hundred miles then he could get duped into believing the limited geography models. Speaking of absolutes, there are very few instances in the BoM where distances are sort of figured out. We know it was about 21 days travel from Zarahemla to the border or area south into Lamanite territory. Zarahemla was south of Bountiful and that was south of the land Desolation. Thus, Lamanite lands in the south were probably in the 200-450 mile range away from Zarahemla. Zarahemla was centrally located in the land southward and was some distance from the narrow neck which led into the land northward. Of greater importance though, no distance, or hint of it, is mentioned as to how far away the land of Cumorah was from Zarahemla or any of the lands spoken of in the BoM. Whether it was 100 miles or 2,000 miles, or greater, the text doesnt specify.

Speak8ng of physical evidence, there is ample evidence that the ancient inhabitants used the entire north and south American continents to traffic and trade with each other. Travel for them was no problem. After all, we are speaking of a people who migrated half way around the globeto even get to the Americas. If they could travel that great distance, why do so many assume the entire events in the BoM happened in this area roughly 300 miles wide by 400 miles long?

Perhaps because the bigger we allow the geography to be, the harder it is to account for the problems of most civilisations in America being accounted for and the Nephites not being one of them. If it's a limited geography somewhere in the rainforest (or as a sub-culture of the Maya), then it makes it easier to say "we haven't found it yet."

The ideal model to make the Book of Mormon more historically viable we need the following to be have happened:

- Nephites/Mulekites a group of Jews who largely kept to themselves as a community in a limited region. Marriage and children were in the covenant. This way they retain their 'whiteness,' have minimal cultural/linguistic impact on the natives and eventually disperse in small groups or die out.

- Laman, Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael need to have quickly mingled with the dominant natives who were there before them. They could have become leaders of the (perhaps) less sophisticated locals (just like the Amulonites did when they defected). Although perhaps getting leadership (and perpetuating the myth that the Nephites were stealing their land) over time they gave up their language, ethnicity, customs and religious practice so they left little discernible imprint on American natives.

It becomes a lot easier to account for very little evidence of Israelites in Mesoamerica if the Nephites lived in a small corner of it before getting wiped out.

That's why I think the limited geography model is popular.

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Perhaps because the bigger we allow the geography to be, the harder it is to account for the problems of most civilisations in America being accounted for and the Nephites not being one of them. If it's a limited geography somewhere in the rainforest (or as a sub-culture of the Maya), then it makes it easier to say "we haven't found it yet."

The ideal model to make the Book of Mormon more historically viable we need the following to be have happened:

- Nephites/Mulekites a group of Jews who largely kept to themselves as a community in a limited region. Marriage and children were in the covenant. This way they retain their 'whiteness,' have minimal cultural/linguistic impact on the natives and eventually disperse in small groups or die out.

- Laman, Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael need to have quickly mingled with the dominant natives who were there before them. They could have become leaders of the (perhaps) less sophisticated locals (just like the Amulonites did when they defected). Although perhaps getting leadership (and perpetuating the myth that the Nephites were stealing their land) over time they gave up their language, ethnicity, customs and religious practice so they left little discernible imprint on American natives.

It becomes a lot easier to account for very little evidence of Israelites in Mesoamerica if the Nephites lived in a small corner of it before getting wiped out.

That's why I think the limited geography model is popular.

Limited geography viewers lack faith 8n my opinion. You are correct Ibelieve in your summation. My own views are so drastically different than what most people believe. Too many are swayed by mens technology and learning to see the broader picture. My opinion is that the Mayans were the Jaredites. Most of Nephite stories in the BoM happened in South America. Cumorah- definately in New York.

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This last sentence... Pretty strong, but would question its accuracy although I have no evidence to counter. So he never quoted king Benjamin when preaching service? Or Alma when talking of the resurrection? How about Mormon when discussing infant baptism?

All of Lecture on Faith and no references to the BoM?

I've read all of those repeatedly, and I don't recall a single instance of a BofM quotation by Joseph Smith. He referred to the existence of the BofM a few times in the context of its being another witness of the truth. And of course we know he made the famous assertion about it being the most correct of any book on earth and that a man can get closer to God by abiding by its precepts than any other book. But Joseph Smith taught from the Bible and from his ongoing revelations; and only commented upon BofM subjects rarely, if extant textual evidence is an accurate indicator....

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Mormon wrote it from the records available to him. He made made comments on the reliability of the records - 3 Ne 8 1 And now it came to pass that according to our record, and we know our record to be atrue, for behold, it was a bjust man who did keep the record.

His comment implies to me that he had less confidence in other records, e.g. in the book of Mosiah.

.

Perhaps his preference was for sources that maintained a narrative and taught Godly principles rather than for perfect history.

Sorensen (in Mormon's Sources) discusses Alma 47. The story of: "Amalickiah uses treachery, murder, and intrigue to become king of the Lamanites" and he makes the point that the story must have been found by Mormon on some 'debriefing' document from a Lamanitish dissenter.

...at many points he (Mormon) goes into considerable detail about obscure events and circumstances. A prime example is the account of the assassination of the Lamanite rebel leader Lehonti and of the Lamanite king, as told in Alma 47. It is unreasonable to think that those anomalous scenes were ever recorded in such detail in the official Nephite annals. We are not given as much as a hint of anyone who was an eyewitness of those events and who might have relayed the story to a Nephite record keeper... We are left to infer that he (Mormon) had the advantage of writings by unacknowledged participants whose records are very unlikely to have found a place on the plates of Nephi.

Even the account itself would be difficult to imagine as anything beyond hearsay. The killing of the king could have been relayed by the king's servants who fled to join the nephites, but then those servants have left and wouldn't have known what happened in the court with the Lamanites queen in the following few days that took Amalikiah into power. Equally, earlier in the chapter, who's blabbing on the events of Onidah (given only Amalikiah and his servant know about the poisoning of Lehonti)?

The whole of Chapter 47 sounds like a bit of an urban myth about the evil Amalikiah's coup that Mormon found somewhere and included as a message... or maybe even used creative license! Either way, it's probably even worse history practice than WW Phelps' Zelph account in History of the Church.

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Limited geography viewers lack faith 8n my opinion. You are correct Ibelieve in your summation. My own views are so drastically different than what most people believe. Too many are swayed by mens technology and learning to see the broader picture. My opinion is that the Mayans were the Jaredites. Most of Nephite stories in the BoM happened in South America. Cumorah- definately in New York.

Fair enough - given I believe some slightly 'unconventional' things about various aspects of OT/BoA/BoM I've no problem with the same. As long as it helps us be more Christlike and follow his teachings it doesn't really matter.

There is, after all, one key condition placed on who inherits eternal life. Are we goats or sheep?

31 ¶When the aSon of man shall come in his bglory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all anations: and he shallbseparate them one from another, as a cshepherd divideth hisdsheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his aright hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his aright hand, Come, yebblessed of my Father, cinherit the dkingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an ahungred, and ye bgave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a cstranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye avisited me: I was in bprison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee asick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have adone it unto one of the bleast of these my cbrethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the aleft hand, bDepartfrom me, ye ccursed, into everlasting dfire, eprepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an ahungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the aleast of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into aeverlasting bpunishment: but thecrighteous into dlife eeternal.

He will take the nations of the earth and those who live a life of service and exemplify Christ (from all nations) are those who go into life eternal. I must remind myself of that more often. If any of the books we have help us be more like Christ and serve God by serving others, it really matters little what the books origins and geographies are.

Matthew 25 is a chapter I should consider a whole lot more than I do: Don't delay, use your time wisely and productively, treat people with love and kindness.

I believe the message of Matthew 25 has been sent by God to every nation. The Golden Rule exists in every culture and nation. Confucian, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, Mormon... even Humanist/Atheist. This, ultimately, is the message He says he will judge us on.

The Book of Mormon is true primarily because it testifies of Christ and helps me be more like him. It works on me. Lehi's blessings. Nephi's Lament. King Benjamin's sermon. Ammon's service. Alma and Amulek's messages to the poor and the proud. Christ's re-emphasis of the pure messages he gave in Jerusalem. I read them and it works.

We all need a sacred text that influences our behaviour, the way we treat others and ourselves. The Book of Mormon is one of mine.

Edited by canard78

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At the outset, please understand that what I'm about to say means no disrespect to Tacenda. I can tell she's a good-hearted soul and I wouldn't want her to take any offence. But I'm going to say what I feel I must say.

After reading Tacenda's original post (above), I got a strange and familiar feeling that took some deep thought to get my thinking on the matter into sharper focus. After a while, it hit me! The premises of the above questions are, in their own way, a lot like the questions the adversary asked the Lord as his forty day and night fast was coming to a conclusion. His questions were subtley designed to get the Saviour to begin to question the surety of his testimony of his own divinity and mission.The devil's goal was to get the Lord to act on any doubts he might have to prove that he, in reality, actually did doubt himself. I paraphrase:

"If you are who you say you are, turn these stones to bread to prove you are the Son of God." "If you are who you say you are, jump off the pinnacle of this temple and land safely below to prove you really are the Son of God."

If the Lord had acted out on those requests, it would prove there were actual doubts -- or at very least show that he had some degree of insecurity in his sense of himself -- because each challenge began with the words "if you are."

While not strictly analogus, and though surely not intentional, the questions in Tacenda's original post track along the same lines and produce the same challenges to doubt as the devil's questions did to the Lord. Here's what I mean: (Please excuse my use of literary license so as to more cogently make my points.)

1. "Do these attributes" (i.e. best church to raise families, best people, best neighbors, happiest contenances "make you think you would stay LDS, no matter what?"

Interpretation: 'Even if one day it's proven the Church isn't true, I bet I can get some of you to admit you'd stay just because it's such a great organization.'

Answer the above question and doing so makes it seem you may have doubts the Church is true, and it could just be that it's actually only the Church's dynamic people and organization that makes it seem that it might be true).

2. (Would you stay in the Church), "even if the church is like any other Christian church" (i.e, just another human organization).

Answer the above question and it might seem you're ready to entertain the notion that the Church may be just like any other church (i.e. without authority and continuing revelation).

3. (Would you stay in the Church if it proved to be false), "or would you leave and find another church or become Athiest?"

Answer the above question and you'll seem to admit you may harbor doubts that the Church is true, or may even have doubts as to the very existence of God himself.

4. "My personal opinion is that if the church ever determined that the BOM wasn't historical but wanted to continue to have a Christ centered church, (somewhat like the RLDS aka Community of Christ church did) I believe I would stay LDS!"

Assent to the above statement and you'll seem to admit that the Book of Mormon may just prove to be a pack of many, many lies and that you'd remain "LDS" even if the whole Church is built on a foundation of lies,

To put things in even sharper perspective, just imagine the Lord himself being asked similarly loaded questions concerning the truth (or supposed non-truth) of his divinity.

I know many of you will think that I ought to "lighten up" on this one. But the above words of warning go out only to those who have a received a confirming witness of the Spirit that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the Lord's one and only true Church. When you know the Church is true, it's best not to entertain "if" questions like these, even if it's just for "fun."

The trouble with asserting that there even is a "one and only true church" (religion) is that the evidence of the rest of the world and history does not bear this out. To believe that you are among "the chosen", and that the rest of the world wanders in some degree of darkness and error, is that the evidence of THEIR testifying denies this dogmatic assertion that you hold. You have to accept that what "God" tells them is not really "God" speaking, it is to a more or less degree the adversary deceiving them. Yet the vast number of people in the world do receive witnesses that they are blessed when they do good; they are "on the right track"; they get answers to prayer; they believe in the religion of their fathers; they believe in no religion at all yet believe in "God"; they remain open to the concept of "God"; they do good and try to make the world better by doing good; they do not demand that others be mistaken "in a great many things" in order to validate their own religion, etc. and etc.

The core problem with Mormonism is the very same core problem of ALL the "Abrahamic" religions: exclusivity. The modern LDS Church is distancing itself from dogmatism, and is striving for "ecumenism". I believe that this is the only direction the Church can move and survive, if it does survive as a growing, evangelical religion at all....

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Has anyone ever read the original 1830 Edition of the BoM? I finally found mine that was lost. Of course it's only a copy that I purchased for around. $25.00. I've not read very much yet. But was interested to know what others think. It's in chapter form so easier to read, for me anyway. But see the necessity of putting it in scripture form.

I like the 1830 best; Hugh Nibley did also, and I am a fan of the late professor. The 1830 is "the most correct" of all the editions of "the most correct book on earth", imho. How could it not be? Warts and blemishes aside, of course; because a lot of grammatical errors have been corrected since the 1830 ed. I don't care about any of those; what book in this world has any business being perfect? Other changes were made to the BofM since the 1830; changes that I find unjustified. They are not many. But the implication of those changes is that Joseph Smith got some things wrong the first time, which I find untenable....

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We're in the minority... but there are a few of us Brits on here. I feel your pain about time differences :)

If the history of its publication remained accurate but some of the events within the words were not, would that change things? I know that's an unlikely thought process, but does Nephi have to have existed, or does Joseph have to have not created it fraudulently?

For me yes, Nephi has to have existed. It's either all or nothing. Untruths contaminate truths, and in my view the two cannot co-exist in the way you suggest.

Some will say that I am holding the BoM to a higher standard than many Christians hold the Bible. Maybe that is so, but it is supposed to be the "most correct book". If most correct actually means "hardly correct at all" then our faith in anything is vain.

The RLDS started to move away from the historicity of the BoM many years ago and it got them nowhere. They have rebranded a number of times, even changed their name and the church's mission statement, but to no avail. People aren't fools.

Nice to hear from a fellow Brit. There are a few of us on here - I like to think of us as the leaven of the loaf :)

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...

Question: If we have to place our trust solely on spiritual experience, what if someone prays to know that the Book of Mormon is true and gets no answer, what does that mean?

Or, if someone prays for confirmation, after studying it out in their mind, that the book is NOT true and does get a spiritual witness... what then?

Do we simply presume they are either insincere or deceived?

That's the rub, isn't it? There is no way to break the deadlock of differing "answers". The dogmatic believer either way has to assume that the other person is deceived by the devil. An outsider can look at both and determine that "answers" are self-generated: more or less what that person wants to be, for whatever complex of reasons. Only a belief that all religions are man-made can reconcile the differences. Man-made religion allows for "God" to work in all of them, and outside of them: this is a wider view of "God's work" that squares with an expanding metaphysical/religious view of the universe/existence....

Edited by Questing Beast

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I have never had a problem easily seeing the hemispheric model work. Most people dont really study it out themselves but rely on one or few opinions that have no real factual value. There is nothing in the text that supports the most southern Lamanite lands were relatively close to the northern reaches of Nephite territory mentioned in the book. I guess if one could define "exceedingly great distance" as a few hundred miles then he could get duped into believing the limited geography models. Speaking of absolutes, there are very few instances in the BoM where distances are sort of figured out. We know it was about 21 days travel from Zarahemla to the border or area south into Lamanite territory. Zarahemla was south of Bountiful and that was south of the land Desolation. Thus, Lamanite lands in the south were probably in the 200-450 mile range away from Zarahemla. Zarahemla was centrally located in the land southward and was some distance from the narrow neck which led into the land northward. Of greater importance though, no distance, or hint of it, is mentioned as to how far away the land of Cumorah was from Zarahemla or any of the lands spoken of in the BoM. Whether it was 100 miles or 2,000 miles, or greater, the text doesnt specify.

Speak8ng of physical evidence, there is ample evidence that the ancient inhabitants used the entire north and south American continents to traffic and trade with each other. Travel for them was no problem. After all, we are speaking of a people who migrated half way around the globeto even get to the Americas. If they could travel that great distance, why do so many assume the entire events in the BoM happened in this area roughly 300 miles wide by 400 miles long?

A Hemispheric Model makes geographic hash of the BoM. A modern army can at best hike 50 miles a day on improved surfaces. It would take hiking 50 miles a day every day for about a third of a year just to cover the distances from New York; New York to Santiago; Chile.

It is estimated that it took 7 years for the Lehites to migrate from the old world to the new. It is nowhere mentioned that it took that long for the Nephite and Lamanite armies took that long just to meet.

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The trouble with asserting that there even is a "one and only true church" (religion) is that the evidence of the rest of the world and history does not bear this out. To believe that you are among "the chosen", and that the rest of the world wanders in some degree of darkness and error, is that the evidence of THEIR testifying denies this dogmatic assertion that you hold. You have to accept that what "God" tells them is not really "God" speaking, it is to a more or less degree the adversary deceiving them. Yet the vast number of people in the world do receive witnesses that they are blessed when they do good; they are "on the right track"; they get answers to prayer; they believe in the religion of their fathers; they believe in no religion at all yet believe in "God"; they remain open to the concept of "God"; they do good and try to make the world better by doing good; they do not demand that others be mistaken "in a great many things" in order to validate their own religion, etc. and etc.

The core problem with Mormonism is the very same core problem of ALL the "Abrahamic" religions: exclusivity. The modern LDS Church is distancing itself from dogmatism, and is striving for "ecumenism". I believe that this is the only direction the Church can move and survive, if it does survive as a growing, evangelical religion at all....

It's not to be expected that a man who has not received revelation from God as to which church represents his one true, authorized religion could ever understand the mind, heart and spirit of one who has received such revelation. It's only natural that a man who has not, as yet, received such confirmatory inspiration could ever think but that one who has received revelation is anything but a fool. Please read and carefully absorb the plain meaning of the following quote from Paul (please take especial note of my annotations in parentheses):

9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him (when Paul says here that the heart of man cannot know and understand the things of God, he's referring to men left to their own devices, without the aid of heavenly revelation).

10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spiritsearcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God (obviously, he's speaking here of the principle of divine revelation, whereby man can know and understand the things of God).

11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God (Paul is here teaching that a man can know the things of man without special revelation, but man cannot know the things of God without the spiritually illuminating inspiration that comes from the true God).

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God (Paul here reiterates that the spirit of the world cannot plumb the depths of the knowledge of God, but when one receives the Spirit of God by revelation, he can learn many glorious truths because God freely gives his enlightenment to those with living faith in him and his Son).

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth (you, for example, are one of these men who relies on the wisdom of man to inform your thinking), but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual (the Holy Ghost is the primary truth revealer to man).

14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God (without your receiving revelation, it's only natural and understandable that you don't understand where I'm coming from): for they are foolishness unto him (so you can understand why I'm not offended that you seem to believe my thinking is foolish): neither can he (i.e. a man without revelation) know them, because they are spiritually discerned (because I am a man who has learned of the things of this world by the spirit of man, I understand why you think as you do, but because you have not, as yet, received tha Spirit of revelation, you will not be able to understand the mind and heart of yours truly till you do).

15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man (again, I'm able to understand why you think and believe as you do, but you will never be able to understand the reasons why I think and believe as I do until you receive revelation from on high).

16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him (without the Spirit of God, a man cannot receive instruction from God)? But we have the mind of Christ (those who receive revelation from God have the blessed oportunity to think, feel and act as Christ himself thinks, feels and acts.

So until you receive revelation from God yourself, you will never be able to comprehend why I think and believe as I do; but I understand why you think and believe as you do, because once upon a time I was like you.

Edited by teddyaware

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It becomes a lot easier to account for very little evidence of Israelites in Mesoamerica if the Nephites lived in a small corner of it before getting wiped out.

Let's think about it. Their language was unrecognizable relative to Hebrew, they were separated from the Jewish culture by a thousand years and thousands of miles, etc. We should not be looking for "jews" or Israelites in mesoamerica, but for Nephites and their culture. One example is the use of towers in religious practices.

Question: If we have to place our trust solely on spiritual experience, what if someone prays to know that the Book of Mormon is true and gets no answer, what does that mean?

Or, if someone prays for confirmation, after studying it out in their mind, that the book is NOT true and does get a spiritual witness... what then?

Do we simply presume they are either insincere or deceived?

In a recent talk by a General Authority, he indicated that, for him, it took several years to finally get an answer. Too often we look at Moroni 10:4-5 and forget Alma chapter 32.

BTW, are you a duck or a goose?

Edited by cdowis

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It's not to be expected that a man who has not received revelation from God as to which church represents his one. true, authorized religion, could ever undertand the mind, heart and spirit of one who has received such revelation. It's only natural that a man who has not, as yet, received such confirmatory inspiration could ever think but that one who has received revelation is anything but a fool.

...

So until you receive revelation from God yourself, you will never be able to comprehend why I think and believe as I do; but I understand why you think and believe as you do, because once upon a time I was like you.

I never said you are a fool for believing that your religion is exclusively "God's one and only true religion upon the face of the whole earth"; or, as Joseph Smith put it: "...the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased..."

And why do you assume that I have not received "revelation from God myself"?

Resorting to Paul is fine for all those who agree with Paul. But as I said, there are billions of other religionists and non-religionists who live good lives: measuring "good" by the very same definitions of behavior (living by "the golden rule" for instance), who are left out of "saving grace" until they join THE religion being asserted to be "God's only true and living church". None of those assertions can be verified by anyone as superior over the rest: no deal breaker is on offer from "God". If you believe in your dogma, so too does the Muslim (and s/he over the breakaway sects of Islam too), the Jew (ditto) and any number of other dogmatic and exclusive "brands" of the "Abrahamic" religions. Right in our midst we have the FLDS sects, which categorically are denied any validity by the mainstream LDS Church; while the numerous sects that fall under "FLDS" disagree with each other too.

So pointing out that I have not received "the witness" you have begs the question: is such a witness even valid? If ONE is, then ALL the rest of the world is doomed for not knowing. But if NONE of them are, then "receiving a witness" means no more than a stepping stone along the way for that person. A living faith is a growing one: one that accepts that "God", being Infinite, cannot possibly be contained by a dogma no matter what that dogma is.

"God" works inside and outside of all religions; that fits the evidence of contemporary and ancient history. Dogmatic fundamentalism separates people: "God" working inside and outside of all religions ultimately unites people. Unity is of "God", disunity breeds ignorance and ultimately wars; often in the name of religion - all the Abrahamic religions take their turn at making religious war and justifying it. As Paul says, God is not a maker of confusion: but if Paul's definition of confusion is everything outside of his primitive Christianity, then Paul is proposing divisive doctrine; and I do not believe that "God" ever promoted anything to separate people, when essentially the only difference in their cultures, societies and civilizations is the manner of their religious practices....

Edited by Questing Beast

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That's the rub, isn't it? There is no way to break the deadlock of differing "answers". The dogmatic believer either way has to assume that the other person is deceived by the devil. An outsider can look at both and determine that "answers" are self-generated: more or less what that person wants to be, for whatever complex of reasons. Only a belief that all religions are man-made can reconcile the differences. Man-made religion allows for "God" to work in all of them, and outside of them: this is a wider view of "God's work" that squares with an expanding metaphysical/religious view of the universe/existence....

As the 'friend of Mormonism,' Mark Twain said: "The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also."

When the rapture guys all sold their homes a couple of years ago for that TV preacher's campaign I chuckled from accross the ocean. Then realised plenty of Mormons from UK 160 years ago had been even more extreme.

The safety of certainty is a reassuring fortification.

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Mark Twain was among the smartest men ever to walk this planet. And your pointing out the parallel of early (Millennial) Mormonism to current fundamentalists is very apt....

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I never said you are a fool for believing that your religion is exclusively "God's one and only true religion upon the face of the whole earth"; or, as Joseph Smith put it: "...the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased..."

And why do you assume that I have not received "revelation from God myself"?

Resorting to Paul is fine for all those who agree with Paul. But as I said, there are billions of other religionists and non-religionists who live good lives: measuring "good" by the very same definitions of behavior (living by "the golden rule" for instance), who are left out of "saving grace" until they join THE religion being asserted to be "God's only true and living church". None of those assertions can be verified by anyone as superior over the rest: no deal breaker is on offer from "God". If you believe in your dogma, so too does the Muslim (and s/he over the breakaway sects of Islam too), the Jew (ditto) and any number of other dogmatic and exclusive "brands" of the "Abrahamic" religions. Right in our midst we have the FLDS sects, which categorically are denied any validity by the mainstream LDS Church; while the numerous sects that fall under "FLDS" disagree with each other too.

So pointing out that I have not received "the witness" you have begs the question: is such a witness even valid? If ONE is, then ALL the rest of the world is doomed for not knowing. But if NONE of them are, then "receiving a witness" means no more than a stepping stone along the way for that person. A living faith is a growing one: one that accepts that "God", being Infinite, cannot possibly be contained by a dogma no matter what that dogma is.

"God" works inside and outside of all religions; that fits the evidence of contemporary and ancient history. Dogmatic fundamentalism separates people: "God" working inside and outside of all religions ultimately unites people. Unity is of "God", disunity breeds ignorance and ultimately wars; often in the name of religion - all the Abrahamic religions take their turn at making religious war and justifying it. As Paul says, God is not a maker of confusion: but if Paul's definition of confusion is everything outside of his primitive Christianity, then Paul is proposing divisive doctrine; and I do not believe that "God" ever promoted anything to separate people, when essentially the only difference in their cultures, societies and civilizations is the manner of their religious practices....

As a Latter-day Saint, I believe much of what you've said here. For example, the Book of Mormon clearly indicates that prior to the time of Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the true gospel, the Lord inspired and empowered people regularly. Here's a sampling from our scriptures demonstrating the point, starting with Nephi's great vision. In this portion of the vision, Nephi is shown the establishing of the European Gentiles in the New World:

,

13 And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters.

14 And it came to pass that I beheld many multitudes of the Gentiles upon the land of promise; and I beheld the wrath of God, that it was upon the seed of my brethren; and they were scattered before the Gentiles and were smitten.

15And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain.

16 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles who had gone forth out of captivity did humble themselves before the Lord; and the power of the Lord was with them.

17 And I beheld that their mother Gentiles were gathered together upon the waters, and upon the land also, to battle against them (the American Revolution).

18 And I beheld that the power of God was with them (the New World Gentiles), and also that the wrath of God was upon all those that were gathered together against them to battle.

19 And I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles that had gone out of captivity were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations.

20 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that they did prosper in the land; and I beheld a book (the Holy Bible), and it was carried forth among them. (1 Nephi:13)

The foregoing needs little explaination. So now I continue with another quote from the Doctrine and Covenants (another LDS book of scripture)

79 Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.

80 And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose... (D&C 101)

So here we learn God established the Constitution of the United States by inspiring wise men whom God sent from the pre-existence to earth at that time to establish a great land of freedom.

The Lord rains down wisdom from heaven upon all men, regardless of race or background, through the light of Christ, who "is the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world."

The point of my previous post is that there are higher revealations God has in store for men than the ones that come by means of the light of Christ. I testify that one of those higher revelations of truth is that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord's one true Church. Anyone can know the truthfulness of what I've just testified to, if they follow the way prescribed by the Lord to obtain such.

Edited by teddyaware

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Let's think about it. Their language was unrecognizable relative to Hebrew, they were separated from the Jewish culture by a thousand years and thousands of miles, etc. We should not be looking for "jews" or Israelites in mesoamerica, but for Nephites and their culture. One example is the use of towers in religious practices.

I'm happy to be corrected if needed. So do we know what language they would have been using in speech or on the plates 600BC? We know Lehi/Nephi wanted the plates to maintain their language/writing. When they met the mulekites they make a big deal of re-teaching their original language. They also say, several times, that they kept the Law of Moses. Is there any evidence of Old world language, writing or practice in Mesoamerica? The English language has evolved massively over the years but we can still trace words back to multiple influences. Norse, Saxon (over 1000 years ago), Greek, Welsh (celtic). We also have religious and cultural practice from pre-Christian era. My point is that if there is little of this sort of Old World influence on Mesoamerica then one should presume the Law of Moses keeping Israelites from Jerusalem kept to themselves in a small corner somewhere and Laman & co quickly assimilated and stirred up the locals to persecute the locals to chase out these foreign invaders with strange practices.

BTW, I'd not heard that towers as evidence (I'm aware of them in the BoM), where can I read more?

In a recent talk by a General Authority, he indicated that, for him, it took several years to finally get an answer. Too often we look at Moroni 10:4-5 and forget Alma chapter 32.

I agree. I depend on Alma 32 more these days. As mentioned elsewhere, I know the principles work.

It took my mum about 30 years too (despite being a convert). But what if someone prays and gets a negative? Do we just presume they are wrong?

BTW, are you a duck or a goose?

Lol, a duck (see the sig). Why?

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Mark Twain was among the smartest men ever to walk this planet. And your pointing out the parallel of early (Millennial) Mormonism to current fundamentalists is very apt....

If the Jackson county gathering theology is correct we may one day be asked to do the same. Now that would be interesting...

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It's not to be expected that a man who has not received revelation from God as to which church represents his one. true, authorized religion, could ever undertand the mind, heart and spirit of one who has received such revelation. It's only natural that a man who has not, as yet, received such confirmatory inspiration could ever think but that one who has received revelation is anything but a fool. Please read and carefully absorb the plain meaning of the following quote from Paul (please take especial note of my annotations in parentheses):

9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him (when Paul says here that the heart of man cannot know and understand the things of God, he's referring to men left to their own devices, without the aid of heavenly revelation).

10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spiritsearcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God (obviously, he's speaking here of the principle of divine revelation, whereby man can know and understand the things of God).

11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God (Paul is here teaching that a man can know the things of man without special revelation, but man cannot know the things of God without the spiritually illuminating inspiration that comes from the true God).

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God (Paul here reiterates that the spirit of the world cannot plumb the depths of the knowledge of God, but when one receives the Spirit of God by revelation, he can learn many glorious truths because God freely gives his enlightenment to those with living faith in him and his Son).

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth (you, for example, are one of these men who relies on the wisdom of man to inform your thinking), but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual (the Holy Ghost is the primary truth revealer to man).

14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God (without your receiving revelation, it's only natural and understandable that you don't understand where I'm coming from): for they are foolishness unto him (so you can understand why I'm not offended that you seem to believe my thinking is foolish): neither can he (i.e. a man without revelation) know them, because they are spiritually discerned (because I am a man who has learned of the things of this world by the spirit of man, I understand why you think as you do, but because you have not, as yet, received tha Spirit of revelation, you will not be able to understand the mind and heart of yours truly till you do).

15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man (again, I'm able to understand why you think and believe as you do, but you will never be able to understand the reasons why I think and believe as I do until you receive revelation from on high).

16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him (without the Spirit of God, a man cannot receive instruction from God)? But we have the mind of Christ (those who receive revelation from God have the blessed oportunity to think, feel and act as Christ himself thinks, feels and acts.

So until you receive revelation from God yourself, you will never be able to comprehend why I think and believe as I do; but I understand why you think and believe as you do, because once upon a time I was like you.

I see scripture... What's that I see mingled into it? Nevermind :)

Are you presuming that those who claim revelation in contradiction to yours haven't really received revelation? Speaking as someone who has also had spiritual witnesses of truth and guidance about leadership and family questions, I have some questions for you:

If a Bishop and Stake President receive revelation in the same week about the same person, but different callings, is one of them not doing it right?

If a dating couple go to the temple to pray about marriage and get different answers is the woman listening to the spirit and the guy listening to his heart?

If a member resigned his membership and says he prayed to know if it was the right thing to do and got a confirmation that it was (in the same manner as the spiritual witness within the church) would you believe them?

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Spiritual experiences happen on the inside of us. We then choose what meaning we give it.

Picture this- we have all had this experience I am sure.

You are on a winding mountain road, going up and down and around and round through heavily wooded forest, and suddenly as you come over the crest of a hill, the forest disappears and you see a magnificent vista of white-capped mountains, incredible geological formations, and the entire valley below- you can see maybe 20 miles in all directions! Beautiful!! Everyone in the car suddenly exclaims the same thing.

Is that "inside their heads" or is it "objectively beautiful"?

Do you ever doubt that it is indeed "beautiful"?

Can you be mistaken that it is "beautiful"?

Did you "choose" to call it "beautiful", or is the beauty just part of what it is?

I think that God's verification is in the experience, much like beauty is in the experience. There is no choice involved.

beautiful-landscapes-11.jpg

Edited by mfbukowski

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