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Five Solas

Claim the Book of Mormon is “inspired fiction” & still be exalted to Celestial Kingdom?

Choose You This Day!  

38 members have voted

  1. 1. Grant Hardy (FAIR Presentation)

    • I’m LDS and I believe Grant Hardy is WRONG—among other things, one must affirm belief in historical “Nephites” to inherit the Celestial Kingdom
      4
    • I’m LDS and I believe Grant Hardy is RIGHT—one can believe the Book of Mormon contents to be “inspired fiction” and still inherit the Celestial Kingdom
      19
    • I’m LDS & and this poll makes me uncomfortable and/or I think the pollster is incompetent, doesn't understand Mormonism, etc.
      7
    • I’m not LDS
      8


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Peppermint Patty's thread, "Grant Hardy's Presentation on The Book of Mormon" got shut down before salgare's question to Scott Lloyd ("can one claim the BoM is inspired fiction and still be exalted?") could be clearly & concisely answered--so I thought I'd turn it into a poll. 

What do you think? 

--Erik

Edited by Five Solas
Patty, not Paddy - so embarrassed!

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Did Grant Hardy actually say that one could believe the BofM to be inspired fiction and still be exalted?  I don't recall the quote, and I was there.  Perhaps you could give us the verbatim quotation.  Otherwise your questions are based on a false claim -- unless you believe that a fictional claim is as good as a true one, and therefore any unscientific poll would be just as valid.  How about it, Erik.  Did you think this through?

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I'm just relying on the previous thread, Robert.  No, I wasn't there (Utah doesn't suit me, I only go there for family reasons).  But please feel free to make a contribution to my thread by citing whatever words you may have heard on the subject. 

--Erik

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I cannot answer the poll as there is not an option for me.

Quote

Affirm belief in historical “Nephites” to inherit the Celestial Kingdom is NOT a requirement.

One can believe the Book of Mormon contents to be “inspired fiction” and still inherit the Celestial Kingdom

Believing what God and his prophets have said about the Nephites is.
Joseph Smith met Moroni.  Therefore I either believe Joseph was lying or Moroni was a historical character.

I do believe that following the gospel restored by Joseph Smith (including his visions and revelations) is a requirement for the Celestial Kingdom. 
So doubting his visitation from the very historical Moroni (and Moses, and Elijah, and Christ) and implying a deceit to him or by him could be a bar to the Celestial Kingdom.

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I voted for the third option, even though it doesn't really fit my thoughts that great.  

In my view though, in this life we can believe the BOM is historical or not and I don't think that will impact our salvation if we are sincere and desire to keep our covenants with the Savior.  However, I don't think that anyone will inherit the Celestial kingdom while still affirming an untruth.  Therefore, if the BOM is in fact true, no one will believe that it's not in the Celestial kingdom.  They will have learned the truth sometime after death and modified their beliefs accordingly.

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27 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I voted for the third option, even though it doesn't really fit my thoughts that great.  

In my view though, in this life we can believe the BOM is historical or not and I don't think that will impact our salvation if we are sincere and desire to keep our covenants with the Savior.  However, I don't think that anyone will inherit the Celestial kingdom while still affirming an untruth.  Therefore, if the BOM is in fact true, no one will believe that it's not in the Celestial kingdom.  They will have learned the truth sometime after death and modified their beliefs accordingly.

I guess that anyone who had ever heard of the Book of Mormon and Moroni but not believe would have cause for serious reflection for a paradigm shift if he or she were to actually meet Moroni in the next life, which leaves me with the question as to just who those in spirit prison will see and will be taught by in that sphere.

Glenn

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13 minutes ago, Glenn101 said:

I guess that anyone who had ever heard of the Book of Mormon and Moroni but not believe would have cause for serious reflection for a paradigm shift if he or she were to actually meet Moroni in the next life, which leaves me with the question as to just who those in spirit prison will see and will be taught by in that sphere.

Glenn

To be sure... 

;0)

And you might take it back one step further and challenge your own assumption concerning "spirit prison"--a Mormon construct, although some say it's borrowed from the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory.  Either way, it's not Biblical (an "intermediate state" is not easily reconciled with Hebrews 9:27).

--Erik

Edited by Five Solas
parenthesis

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Personal opinion here. I'm sure that the historicity of the Book of Mormon doesn't matter to anyone's salvation, because very few people who read it care about historicity, understand what historicity is, understand the issues surrounding historicity, or why anyone would spend so much time talking about it. There is a difference between the Church's affirmation that the text is authentic and the way that the majority of members interact with the book. While I am a firm believer that history can enrich our understanding of the text, I know very few people who have a historical understanding--even if they would say that they firmly believe it to be historical.

The value of the text doesn't rely on historicity--witnessed by all of the people who derive spiritual power from it and have no understanding of history. I see that as a completely different issue from the fundamental historicity of the text. It can be absolutely historical--and that doesn't change the way that many people read the text. 

So, can one get to the celestial kingdom without an understanding of the text's historicity? Most will, even if they assert it as a matter of faith. If it doesn't require actual understanding that changes the way the text is read, those who get value out of it without reading it against history still get value out of it. 

Still, I still see a separate and important issue dealing with Joseph's integrity and essential mission. I see that as different from the spiritual impact of the text.

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55 minutes ago, Glenn101 said:

I guess that anyone who had ever heard of the Book of Mormon and Moroni but not believe would have cause for serious reflection for a paradigm shift if he or she were to actually meet Moroni in the next life, which leaves me with the question as to just who those in spirit prison will see and will be taught by in that sphere.

Glenn

The spirit world is an imaginary realm where cartoon characters, like Popeye the Sailor and SpongeBob SquarePants, seem to preach the gospel to spirits who believe they really do exist, though in reality they are nothing more than figments of imagination that exist only in God's mind. While there these imaginary spirits, who think they exist but actually don't, frequently break into song singing the following words:

"Let me take you down cause I'm going to Strawberry Fields, NOTHING IS REAL, and nothing to get hung about..."

Edited by Bobbieaware

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I declined to answer the poll, as I thought the question a bit too broad.  A few thoughts:

1. Faith in Christ is Required for Salvation

I think faith in Christ is required for salvation.  I also think "faith" requires action.  "[F]aith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone" (James 2:17).  Hence we are obligated to obey God's commandments.  Serve our fellow man.  Develop Christlike attributes.  Participate in saving ordinances.  And so on.  Further, D&C 112:20 states:

Quote

Whosoever receiveth my word receiveth me, and whosoever receiveth me, receiveth those, the First Presidency, whom I have sent, whom I have made counselors for my name’s sake unto you.

2. "Inspired Fiction" = "Rejection of The Book of Mormon as Scripture and Joseph Smith as a Prophet" 

In my view, rejecting the BoM's historicity necessarily requires rejecting the BoM's status as scripture. I don't think that a coherent good faith argument can be made otherwise. In fact, I think the "Inspired Fiction" concept sets a faith-imperiling precedent.  If we reject The Book of Mormon as not having historicity, we reject it as scripture, because The Book of Mormon presents itself as historical, not as a fable.  If we reject The Book of Mormon for what it claims for itself, then we must also reject Joseph Smith, who likewise declared it to be an actual historical document recounting the lives of actual historical people.  

3. Rejection of BOM as Scripture = Rejection of Christ

If we reject The Book of Mormon as scripture, we must also reject Joseph Smith as a liar and deceiver of the first order.  And if we do that, then rejection of the remainder of the Restored Gospel will, I think, necessarily follow, culminating in a rejection of Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

We are warned several times about the perils of rejecting Christ's messengers (emphases added):

  • "And verily, verily, I say unto you, he that receiveth my gospel receiveth me; and he that receiveth not my gospel receiveth not me"  (D&C 39:5).
  • "And wo be unto him that will not hearken unto the words of Jesus, and also to them whom he hath chosen and sent among them; for whoso receiveth not the words of Jesus and the words of those whom he hath sent receiveth not him; and therefore he will not receive them at the last day" (3 Nephi 28:34).
  • "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:48).
  • "And whoso receiveth not my voice is not acquainted with my voice, and is not of me" (D&C 84:52).

The "Inspired Fiction" folks are rejecting the words of God and the messengers of God, and they are encouraging others to do likewise.  Consider the following remarks by Elder Oaks (emphasis added):

Quote

Elder Oaks: "There is something strange about accepting the moral or religious content of a book while rejecting the truthfulness of its authors' declarations, predictions, and statements. This approach not only rejects the concepts of faith and revelation that the Book of Mormon explains and advocates, but it is also not even good scholarship. ... The argument that it makes no difference whether the Book of Mormon is fact or fable is surely a sibling to the argument that it makes no difference whether Jesus Christ ever lived." (Historicity and the Latter-day Saint Scriptures, edited by Paul Y. Hoskisson, p. 244.)

I have yet to see the Inspired Fiction folks address this issue, which I believe is fatal to their proposal.  If The Book of Mormon can be rejected for what it claims to be, and instead construed as fiction, then so can Jesus Christ.

4. The Value of The Book of Mormon is Inextricably Linked to its Historicity

A popular refrain from the "Inspired Fiction" folks is that The Book of Mormon has value even if it is entirely fictional, just like the parables of Jesus need not be literally historical in order to have value.  However, I disagree with this comparison.   Parables have value irrespective of their historicity, I agree with that. However, Jesus Christ being the Son of God and Savior of the world only has value because of the historicity tied up with that declaration. Historicity matters when we consider various scriptural passages, such as this one: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Absent historicity, this passage has no salvific meaning or value. Without historicity, Jesus would be just another admirable fictional character, like Atticus Finch, or Samwise Gamgee, or Captain America. Jesus would be about as valuable to me as an imaginary life preserver would be to a drowning man.

In his article "Joseph Smith and the Historicity of the Book of Mormon" (published in the above volume), Kent P. Jackson asks, "what credibility could any of these sources have if the book is not historical?"  He goes on (emphasis added):

Quote

Can the Book of Mormon indeed be 'true,' in any sense, if it lies repeatedly, explicitly, and deliberately regarding its own historicity? Can Joseph Smith be viewed with any level of credibility if he repeatedly, explicitly, and deliberately lied concerning the historicity of the book? Can we have any degree of confidence in what are presented as the words of God in the Doctrine and Covenants if they repeatedly, explicitly, and deliberately lie by asserting the historicity of the Book of Mormon? If the Book of Mormon is not what it claims to be, what possible cause would anyone have to accept anything of the work of Joseph Smith and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints given the consistent assertions that the Book of Mormon is an ancient text that describes ancient events?" (Historicity and the Latter-day Saint Scriptures, edited by Paul Y. Hoskisson, pp. 137-138.)

Can a person have faith in The Book of Mormon while simultaneously rejecting The Book of Mormon as to its historicity? I don't think so. Such a concept renders Joseph Smith a fraud and a liar, and the book itself a fraud and a lie. A fictional Book of Mormon has no real power, and renders it as nothing more than a quirky self-help book. It becomes no more relevant to the salvation of men than Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins or How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. These are useful books, to be sure. For some, they are even life changing. But The Book of Mormon declares itself to be the word of God through inspired prophets.

Can a person have faith in Christ while simultaneously rejecting Christ as an actual, historical figure? I don't think so. Rejecting the historicity of Christ renders Christ a fictional role model, like Atticus Finch or Gandalf. A fictional Christ has no power to atone, no power to forgive, no power to save.

I think the Inspired Fiction folks have not really thought through the ramifications of their proposal.   The "fake but accurate," "I can reject what The Book of Mormon claims to be and what Joseph Smith represented it to be, but still accept it as scripture" type of reasoning is a fundamentally flawed line of reasoning. Elder Oaks aptly described it as "not only reject(ing) the concepts of faith and revelation that The Book of Mormon explains and advocates, but it is also not even good scholarship." This is why I find advocacy of this approach problematic. Such advocates are steering others up a spiritual blind alley; a path, I think, which sooner or later will culminate in a crisis of faith and/or a rejection of The Book of Mormon. After all, one who rejects its historicity has already rejected a substantive, even vital, part of the book. Rejecting the rest of it would seem to be just a matter of time.  I think an affirmative denial of the book's historicity will, sooner or later, become fatal to a testimony of the book. Ambivalence about historicity is perhaps possible, but affirmative denial is, I think, not compatible with an enduring and efficacious testimony of The Book of Mormon.

Consider the Title Page from an I'm-rejecting-the-historicity-of-this-book point of view:

> THE BOOK OF MORMON - AN ACCOUNT WRITTEN BY THE HAND OF MORMON

Proponents of the "inspired fiction" theory, in reading this, are compelled to say something like this: "Just kiddin! There was no such person named Mormon. He never existed. Joseph Smith lied or was deluded when he taught anything to the contrary."

> UPON PLATES TAKEN FROM THE PLATES OF NEPHI

Again, no dice. There was no Lehi, hence no Nephi, hence no Nephites or records of the Nephites. Hence no abridgment of these records. Hence no Gold Plates. Joseph Smith lied about these plates ever existing. Or he fabricated them and then actively deceived eleven eyewitnesses with faux relics.

Oh, and also, the Three Witnesses lied when they testified that "that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon." Either that, or God sent an angel with fake plates to deceive the Witnesses and the millions of people who have read their testimony. Conspiratorial lying and deception on a grand scale is, sadly, the only option for people who reject the historicity of The Book of Mormon.

> Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites—

No and no. There were no Nephites or Lamanites. From an I'm-rejecting-the-historicity-of-this-book point of view, these are lies and deceptions.

> Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel;

More lies. There were no Lamanites.

> and also to Jew and Gentile—Written by way of commandment,

More lies. From an I'm-rejecting-the-historicity-of-this-book point of view, Joseph Smith or one of his contemporaries wrote the book. Not Mormon or the Nephite prophets.

> and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation—

From an I'm-rejecting-the-historicity-of-this-book point of view, The Book of Mormon is a fraud and a lie, and hence could not be written "by the spirit of prophecy."

> Written and sealed up,

Another lie. There were no Nephites, ergo no Nephite records, hence nothing was sealed up.

> and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed—

More lies. There were no Nephites, ergo no Nephite records, hence nothing to be hidden or potentially destroyed.

> To come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof—

More lies. There were no Nephites, ergo no Nephite records, ergo nothing to be translated. From an I'm-rejecting-the-historicity-of-this-book point of view, Joseph Smith or one of his contemporaries wrote the book.

> Sealed by the hand of Moroni,

Another lie. Moroni never existed.

> and hid up unto the Lord,

Another lie. There were no Nephites, ergo no Nephite records, hence no records to be "hid up."

> to come forth in due time by way of the Gentile—The interpretation thereof by the gift of God.

More lies. There were no Nephites, ergo no Nephite records, ergo nothing to "come forth" and nothing to be interpreted.

> An abridgment taken from the Book of Ether also, which is a record of the people of Jared,

Lies upon lies. There were no Jaredites, ergo no Book of Either, ergo no abridgment of their records.

> who were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, when they were building a tower to get to heaven—

More lies. There were no Jaredites, ergo no such persons were at the Tower of Babel.

> Which is to show unto the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever—

Lies. There were no Nephites, ergo no portion of the remnant of the House of Israel have the Nephites as their fathers, ergo there is nothing which the Lord did for the non-existent Nephites. Lies, lies, lies.

> And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations—

From an I'm-rejecting-the-historicity-of-this-book point of view, the Jew and the Gentile are to be convinced that Jesus is the Christ by way of a book that purports to an ancient record, but is in fact a lie and a fraud? How "convincing" can a book fraught with lies and deceit be?

> And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.

From an I'm-rejecting-the-historicity-of-this-book point of view, how can there be "faults" in a book which is a monstrous lie? What are its faults? That it's not fraudulent enough?  From the "inspired fiction" point of view, look how many lies The Book of Mormon has piled up for itself.  

All of the above is just from the Title Page.  The "Inspired Fiction" destroys the utility of The Book of Mormon as scripture.  Ever single page of it.  This is why I simply cannot wrap my head around a fourth theory underlying the "inspired fiction" concept, which is that Joseph Smith was deluded / deceived and dishonest / fraudulent and honest / correct in his claims about the book. That makes no kind of sense whatsoever. Elder Oaks was right: "This approach not only rejects the concepts of faith and revelation that the Book of Mormon explains and advocates, but it is also not even good scholarship."

5. I Welcome the "Inspired Fiction" Folks in the Church

I think those who seek salvation, but who reject the messengers who bring it, are in serious error.  Nevertheless, as deeply flawed as their position is, I welcome such persons who buy into the "inspired fiction" meme in fellowship in the Church.  We are all of us working to improve our understanding of God and His plans for us.  It is not for me to withdraw or withhold fellowship from those who differ from me on this issue.  I also won't speculate as to their standing in the Church generally, and will instead leave such things to those who are in authority and have proper stewardship.

The "inspired fiction" approach to The Book of Mormon requires a rejection of The Book of Mormon for what it claims to be. To accept it on those grounds would be like saying "Yes, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and my Lord and Savior, even though I reject the idea that he ever actually existed." A fictional Christ does not work, and neither does a fictional Book of Mormon.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97

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17 minutes ago, Bobbieaware said:

The spirit world is an imaginary realm where cartoon characters, like Popeye the Sailor and SpongeBob SquarePants, seem to preach the gospel to spirits who believe they really do exist, though in reality they are nothing more than figments of imagination that exist only in God's mind. While there these imaginary spirits, who think they exist but actually don't, frequently break into song singing the following words:

"Let me take you down cause I'm going to Strawberry Fields, NOTHING IS REAL, and nothing to get hung about..."

I'm not sure what your post has to do with anything, Bobbieaware.  But as thread author--let me make Tom Waits in reply:

"You'll go waltzing Mathilda with me..." 

Enjoy!

--Erik

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

4. Rejection of BOM as Scripture = Rejection of Christ

Many people who believe in Christ do not accept the Book of Mormon. 

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If I were stranded on a deserted island and a Book of Mormon (without chapter headings, introductions, or modern annotations) fell from the sky, I think I would probably give it several thousands of readings. I'd probably have no clue where the setting was, I'd have some decent guesses based on mentions of elephants, horses, steel, silk etc., but wouldn't worry that much about it. Why would it matter?

Since I'm on a deserted island, I'd have nothing better to do than read and pray as the book recommends, and if I received a confirmation of its truthfulness I'd do my best to abide by the teachings. I'd hope that would be enough to be worthy of salvation.

To be honest, I'd be pretty frustrated if I were rescued by Mormon missionaries who insisted that the Book of Mormon was a historical account of Hebrews in the New World. Odd, after thousands of readings I didn't find that claim anywhere in the book, and I never concluded it was a book about America, but now all the sudden my salvation is dependent on that belief?

 

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6 minutes ago, Eek! said:

Many people who believe in Christ do not accept the Book of Mormon. 

A valid point.  I was referring to those within the LDS paradigm.

Thanks,

-Smac

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44 minutes ago, smac97 said:

A valid point.  I was referring to those within the LDS paradigm.

Thanks,

-Smac

Thanks for clarifying. 

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4 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Did Grant Hardy actually say that one could believe the BofM to be inspired fiction and still be exalted?  I don't recall the quote, and I was there.  Perhaps you could give us the verbatim quotation.  Otherwise your questions are based on a false claim -- unless you believe that a fictional claim is as good as a true one, and therefore any unscientific poll would be just as valid.  How about it, Erik.  Did you think this through?

Please give us your opinion on the question regardless of what Grant Hardy said, to ask this plainly. Robert do you believe a fully worthy orthoprax member who publicly announces they do not believe in a historical BoM, and remain with that disbelieve be Exalted in the Celestial Kingdom?

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4 hours ago, bluebell said:

I voted for the third option, even though it doesn't really fit my thoughts that great.  

In my view though, in this life we can believe the BOM is historical or not and I don't think that will impact our salvation if we are sincere and desire to keep our covenants with the Savior.  However, I don't think that anyone will inherit the Celestial kingdom while still affirming an untruth.  Therefore, if the BOM is in fact true, no one will believe that it's not in the Celestial kingdom.  They will have learned the truth sometime after death and modified their beliefs accordingly.

Do you believe there is no orthodoxy in the Mormon Church?  Do you follow the Nuanced Mormonism where its all about orthopraxy?

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6 minutes ago, salgare said:

Please give us your opinion on the question regardless of what Grant Hardy said, to ask this plainly. Robert do you believe a fully worthy orthoprax member who publicly announces they do not believe in a historical BoM, and remain with that disbelieve be Exalted in the Celestial Kingdom?

Changing the goal posts yet again, I see, salgare.  You have no shame.  An honest man would want to know why the poll questions are formulated with Grant Hardy making a declaration.  You don't care.  Your only purpose here is to sow discord and confusion, so that everyone can be like you.

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1 minute ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Changing the goal posts yet again, I see, salgare.  You have no shame.  An honest man would want to know why the poll questions are formulated with Grant Hardy making a declaration.  You don't care.  Your only purpose here is to sow discord and confusion, so that everyone can be like you.

No, I did not ask/give the poll question.  My question, that inspired the poll did not mention Grant Hardy.  But I see you are going to continue to insult me.  Is that because you dare not answer the question?

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14 minutes ago, salgare said:

No, I did not ask/give the poll question.  My question, that inspired the poll did not mention Grant Hardy.  But I see you are going to continue to insult me.  Is that because you dare not answer the question?

No.  It is simply because I've got your number and know what your stated intentions are.  You have no real interest in actual discussion here, only in making a mockery of honest engagement with the issues.  I'd like to see you repent and become an honest man.

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How much of the Bible is historical and how much is inspired fiction? Was there a Noah, an Abraham, a Moses? Was there a Daniel, an Isaiah , a Malachi ? Was there a Christ, a Peter, a Paul? Was there a creation, a flood, a Sodom ?

As for the OP , we are told one cannot be saved in ignorance. Exaltation will take place after much is revealed and not upon entering paradise. Also , I don't believe that spirit prison is a purely Mormon construct.

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5 hours ago, Five Solas said:

I'm just relying on the previous thread, Robert.  No, I wasn't there (Utah doesn't suit me, I only go there for family reasons).  But please feel free to make a contribution to my thread by citing whatever words you may have heard on the subject. 

--Erik

The speech and the subsequent Q&A were recorded and will presumably be placed on the FairMormon website.  Maybe we can go over the matter then.  In the meantime, it might be well to simply ask the question, rather than attributing such a position to Grant Hardy.  I already summed up what Hardy had to say here on this board recently, on page 1 of http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/67909-grant-hardys-presentation-on-the-book-of-mormon/ .

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10 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

No.  It is simply because I've got your number and know what your stated intentions are.  You have no real interest in actual discussion here, only in making a mockery of honest engagement with the issues.  I'd like to see you repent and become an honest man.

Thank you for not insulting me as much this time Robert.  Actually I mostly come to keep up on new issues.  Perhaps you notice I really don't hang around much and for too long.  Same is true for the trailer park actually.  It sounds to me like the Grant Hardy talk is quite significant for those here that support [insert non offensive label here] Mormonism and I'm interested to see the opinions here. 

 

 

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What about Alma 32?

Isn't the desire to believe the idea?

Do you think anyone gets converted because they heard Jesus walked on water...or the idea in which the story represents?

If literalness is the only way, most of us might as well hang it up.

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         B   if we follow their course,
             C  carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise.
      The A phrase again compares the words of Christ with the Liahona, but in reversed order. The B phrase indicates what we should do with A – follow their directions, and the C phrase gives the destination of those who do B – the promised land and a far better place, eternal life. 
       A   for so was it with our fathers; 
         B    for so was it prepared for them,
            C   that if they would look they might live; 
      A   even so it is with us.
         B   The way is prepared, 
            C   and if we will look we may live forever.
      In this last alternate, Alma personalizes the analogies of the first two. The A phrase compares the Nephite fathers (Lehi and Nephi) with Alma and his son Helaman. The B phrase indicates that God prepared the ways of direction for all of them. The C phrase compares the physical salvation of the Nephite fathers by following the Liahona with the spiritual salvation promised to all of us who will look upon Christ.
      Alma concludes his instructions with another impassioned fatherly plea that his son rise to the greatness of his calling.
      This passage indicates deliberate logical planning on the part of Alma in giving crucial instructions to his son prior to his death. This is what Alma thought would be of most worth to his son - look to Christ. It gives us insight into the Nephite mind, especially that of a powerful and gifted leader. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon and the beautiful intricacies that await in its pages for us to discover. (Thanks to Donald Parry for his marvelous edition of the Book of Mormon. Poetic Parallelism in the Book of Mormon: The Complete Text Reformatted. Maxwell Institute, 2007).
       Your comments are welcomed. 
       Here is the passage in context.
       
    • By Five Solas
      1. Read the Book of Mormon
      2.  Ask God
      3. With a sincere heart
      4. With real intent
      5. Having faith in Christ
      Failure is not an option, if you believe Moroni.  First, you must read.  Next, you must follow with prayer while meeting his remaining 3 prerequisites.  Then the truth of the Book of Mormon will be manifested to you.  Full stop.
      Therefore if the truth is not manifested, the reason is as plain as the nose on your face: One or more of the prerequisites were not met.  There is no alternate possibility.  "It’s very simple"—as President Trump is fond of saying in his press conferences.
      5 possible ways to fail, and only 5.  So here is a question:  With LDS Church growth stalling and 70+% of millennials going inactive/leaving the LDS Church by age 20 (courtesy of Mormonleaks), which of the 5 do you think represents the greatest challenge?  Or are they all equally challenging?  Or do you think it's some combination of them that present difficulty?
      And while we’re on the question, how exactly does one go about achieving the last three prerequisites?  Would any LDS seriously admonish an investigator to read the Bible first in order to attain “faith in Christ” prior to attempting the Book of Mormon?
      --Erik
      _____________________________________________
      For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
      --H.L. Mencken
    • By hope_for_things
      Where did the Book of Mormon come from.  I constantly hear this idea argued from both apologetic and critical sides.  All in an attempt to explain how Joseph could have produced the Book of Mormon.  Yet, when it comes right down to it, both sides should be able to agree on some pretty basic historical facts from the evidence.  
      Joseph Smith dictated the content of the BoM to some scribes Nearly everyone should be able to agree on that statement, and I think that really explains it in a nutshell.  I was thinking about other figures in history that are revered for things they produced.  Newton, Einstein, Beethoven, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, etc.  Do anyone else spend so much time asking where they came up with their masterpiece works?  Where did Einstein get that amazing theory of relativity?  Where did Michelangelo get that amazing statue of David.  How could they have possibly produced these things?  Where did they come from?  
      I think we spend so much time looking for evidence, trying to find parallels, seeking to understand where the BoM came from, that we are missing the answer right in front of our faces and we should all be able to agree on.  The BoM came from Joseph Smith.  This is the clear and straightforward answer that both believers and nonbelievers should be able to agree on, and its the simple answer to a highly debated question.  
    • By Robert F. Smith
      Annalee Newitz, “Most scientists now reject the idea that the first Americans came by land,” Ars Technica, Nov 4, 2017, online at https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/11/majority-of-scientists-now-agree-that-humans-came-to-the-americas-by-boat/ , with map,
      Todd J. Braje, et al., “Finding the first Americans,” Science, 358/6363 (3 Nov 2017):592-594, online at http://science.sciencemag.org/content/358/6363/592 ,
      It now appears that coming to America by boat was normal even from earliest times.  There is no longer any reason to credit the Beringia Land Bridge hypothesis, except in a much later period.
    • By Freedom
      I am looking for a list of words used in the Book of Mormon that have a different meaning today. For example 'awful' use to mean full of awe rather than bad. Thanks for the help. 
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