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Tacenda

Is Moroni 10:4 worded wrong?

50 posts in this topic

Moroni 10:4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

I saw someone comment on FB about this. What do you all think? This brings back memories of when I was in a Primary Presidency years ago and we centered a primary activity on this scripture and reading the BoM and getting the families involved. When we reached the goal, we planted a pine tree near the church building. It's probably huge now. But back then the way this scripture is worded went right over my head. Does it bother anyone that it states to pray to know if the things are not true? Or does the next sentence take care of it?

 

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The wording says: "prove it wrong".  I guess.  I don't see that as any less valid.

I think it amounts to saying "prove it's true", except from the other side.

On one occasion in my life, I made a decision that I took to the Lord in prayer, and was shown that it was not correct, or "not true."  I do suppose that if a person who was investigating the Church decided that the Book of Mormon was not true, and took it in all faith to the Lord, he or she would ask "I've decided that the book is a fiction and has nothing to do with you.  What do You say about it?"  And I expect that the Lord would somehow manifest to that person that they were wrong about it.  

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It should have been edited to say what it means a long time ago. The "not" clearly should be taken out. However, it is such a central scripture, it's next to impossible to do so now.

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Posted (edited)

8 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Moroni 10:4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

I saw someone comment on FB about this. What do you all think? This brings back memories of when I was in a Primary Presidency years ago and we centered a primary activity on this scripture and reading the BoM and getting the families involved. When we reached the goal, we planted a pine tree near the church building. It's probably huge now. But back then the way this scripture is worded went right over my head. Does it bother anyone that it states to pray to know if the things are not true? Or does the next sentence take care of it?

 

It's worded perfectly. When I first read the Book of Mormon as a means to learn for myself whether or not it's the word of God, a powerful and clearly discernible spirit of light, truth, wisdom, goodness and profound love continuously flooded into my heart and  mind. By the time I read my way to the end of the book, this experience of continually communicating with the Spirit of the divine and being powerfully impressed with the book's spirit of inherent goodness and light, I was already quite convinced it was indeed the word of God. So when I arrived at the end of the process, implementing Moroni's  promise was simply a way to further confirm what I already knew to be true. In effect, I had prayerfully studied out the issues concerning the Book of Mormon's divine authenticity in my own mind and arrived at the conclusion it was true. Therefore, I looked upon Moroni's promise as a divinely-appointed method to determine, through a final outpouring of divine revelation, if the iconclusion I had already arrived at was somehow incorrect.

If someone can read the entire Book of Mormon without once receiving spiritual impressions as to its truthfulness, it's unlikely such a person is ready or even able to receive a divine witness from God. Perhaps their time will come later.

Edited by Bobbieaware
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7 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Moroni 10:4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

I saw someone comment on FB about this. What do you all think? This brings back memories of when I was in a Primary Presidency years ago and we centered a primary activity on this scripture and reading the BoM and getting the families involved. When we reached the goal, we planted a pine tree near the church building. It's probably huge now. But back then the way this scripture is worded went right over my head. Does it bother anyone that it states to pray to know if the things are not true? Or does the next sentence take care of it?

I first read this when I was 13 years old. I just took it as old-fashioned language. When I prayed, I asked "Is it true?" and got an affirmative spiritual witness. I must admit I already had a sense that it is true, but felt that something so significant warranted my following through. I can only say that after 46 years, having a manifestation by the power of the Holy Ghost (versus having a sense that it is true) has kept me out of a LOT of trouble!

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My 26 year-old mission companion (who wrestled with testimony issues) actually really liked the negative that is in the English version of Moroni 10:4. I had never noticed it, but he pointed out that there is a psychological difference between praying to learn if something is not true vs. is true. He was mad that the German translation does not have this negative (and, in fact, most do not. They actually should, since that is a simple grammatical item that should have been gotten right).

Interesting. 

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Thanks for the great feedback!

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Posted (edited)

9 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Moroni 10:4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

I saw someone comment on FB about this. What do you all think? This brings back memories of when I was in a Primary Presidency years ago and we centered a primary activity on this scripture and reading the BoM and getting the families involved. When we reached the goal, we planted a pine tree near the church building. It's probably huge now. But back then the way this scripture is worded went right over my head. Does it bother anyone that it states to pray to know if the things are not true? Or does the next sentence take care of it?

 

My take for what its worth:  It's just the vernacular of Joseph's time to say it this way.  I don't believe he is asking the reader to ask if these things are NOT true but asking if these thing are not TRUE...hopefully that makes sense.

Edited by Johnnie Cake
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9 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Moroni 10:4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

I saw someone comment on FB about this. What do you all think? This brings back memories of when I was in a Primary Presidency years ago and we centered a primary activity on this scripture and reading the BoM and getting the families involved. When we reached the goal, we planted a pine tree near the church building. It's probably huge now. But back then the way this scripture is worded went right over my head. Does it bother anyone that it states to pray to know if the things are not true? Or does the next sentence take care of it?

This is essentially a matter of usage of speech. I am not faulting you for pointing this out, but reading things very literally in present day English usage is the same type of thing that gets Evangelist and other modern Christian sects off track. They sometimes will take one phrase by Paul and build a whole theology of once saved, always saved out of it regardless of the rest of scripture. 

Here I think all we are dealing with is an old English figure of speech. I believe it is somewhat common in older English to ask questions in the negative rhetorical. That is what this scripture is doing. Here is a common example: "is that not true?" or "is that not so?" You will find that type of rhetorical commonly in old English, and so you find it in the BoM. It was the way Englishmen spoke. What we hear is the question asking to test the truth of the matter or even expecting us to agree to the assertion - commonly the questioner expects the answer to be a given in the affirmative. Of course in the BoM application the questioner is sincere in asking the reader to take the issue to God in prayer, so it doesn't really matter. I pray in the affirmative and the negative, but in my personal experience I only expect God to answer in the affirmative or not at all. In other words to receive a "no" answer, I ask in the negative, but this is the rare prayer. I might ask, for example, if the Lord does NOT want me to do something. If I get a positive response to that question, then obviously I won't do it, as my negative question was positively affirmed. My experience is this type of question is rarely answered. I believe the Lord expects us to know or find out what is wrong. 

In short you understand what is being asked in this scripture, as do other English speakers because this type of question continues to be used in modern English although to a much lesser extent than in colonial days.

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It is worded rather negatively...but I don't think it changes the meaning of the scripture.  It wouldn't hurt though to take out "not" to clarify.

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

Thanks for the great feedback!

I like the fact that you planted a tree!!

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12 hours ago, Stargazer said:

The wording says: "prove it wrong".  I guess.  I don't see that as any less valid.

I think it amounts to saying "prove it's true", except from the other side.

On one occasion in my life, I made a decision that I took to the Lord in prayer, and was shown that it was not correct, or "not true."  I do suppose that if a person who was investigating the Church decided that the Book of Mormon was not true, and took it in all faith to the Lord, he or she would ask "I've decided that the book is a fiction and has nothing to do with you.  What do You say about it?"  And I expect that the Lord would somehow manifest to that person that they were wrong about it.  

That is exactly what happened to me. I couldn't see how the BoM could possibly be true because I had believed the deceptions that I had read in all the anti literature I had been given. I was challenged by a bishop to just read the BoM and pray about it anyway, to see if it was true or not. I was given a strong testimony that it is indeed true contrary to my belief that it was all false straight from the source of all truth. I wanted to know how it could possibly be true, even though I had found evidence showing other wise. I was told that is the reason I am to study it for my whole life and I would see how it could true regardless of what I had been led to believe. At the time it seemed like such a paradox, now in hindsight I can easily see the deceptions I had been led to believe were true, and it is no longer a paradox for me anymore, but it took a long time to logically figure out what God had told me what is true so long ago.

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15 hours ago, William Jones said:

It should have been edited to say what it means a long time ago. The "not" clearly should be taken out. However, it is such a central scripture, it's next to impossible to do so now.

Or it says exactly what it means to say.

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18 minutes ago, Calm said:

Or it says exactly what it means to say.

There have been changes in the past to clear up confusion, right? For example, God was changed to Son of God and Benjamin to Mosiah, to name a few of the substantive changes. Also, as mentioned above, it was changed when translated into other languages.

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If someone wants to edit it to avoid confusion, no problem in my view, but readers being confused is different than it saying something different.

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18 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Does it bother anyone that it states to pray to know if the things are not true?

Eh, maybe a little, but I understand what Moroni meant and it was just his way of saying that we should consider the things he was talking about and asking our Father to gI've us his assurance of the truth on those issues.

It all works out the same way in the final analysis.

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19 hours ago, Stargazer said:

On one occasion in my life, I made a decision that I took to the Lord in prayer, and was shown that it was not correct, or "not true."  I do suppose that if a person who was investigating the Church decided that the Book of Mormon was not true, and took it in all faith to the Lord, he or she would ask "I've decided that the book is a fiction and has nothing to do with you.  What do You say about it?"  And I expect that the Lord would somehow manifest to that person that they were wrong about it.  

It's great that one does not have to pray about the Bible. Truth does not depend on what you feel about
it.  When you compare the Bible with the Book of Mormon, you will already have your answer.  The author
of the Book of Mormon created a nice catch-22 situation ... one is forced to admit it is true or be labelled as
not being sincere enough, lacking intent, and not having faith in Christ.  What a booby trap.

Jim

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7 minutes ago, theplains said:

It's great that one does not have to pray about the Bible. Truth does not depend on what you feel about
it.  When you compare the Bible with the Book of Mormon, you will already have your answer.  The author
of the Book of Mormon created a nice catch-22 situation ... one is forced to admit it is true or be labelled as
not being sincere enough, lacking intent, and not having faith in Christ.  What a booby trap.

Jim

How do you know the Bible is true?

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1 hour ago, theplains said:

It's great that one does not have to pray about the Bible. Truth does not depend on what you feel about
it.  When you compare the Bible with the Book of Mormon, you will already have your answer.  The author
of the Book of Mormon created a nice catch-22 situation ... one is forced to admit it is true or be labelled as
not being sincere enough, lacking intent, and not having faith in Christ.  What a booby trap.

Jim

Anyone that afraid of being labeled by others for disagreeing with them will lead a sad and unfulfilling life. They better avoid going outside.

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7 hours ago, theplains said:

It's great that one does not have to pray about the Bible. Truth does not depend on what you feel about
it.  When you compare the Bible with the Book of Mormon, you will already have your answer.  The author
of the Book of Mormon created a nice catch-22 situation ... one is forced to admit it is true or be labelled as
not being sincere enough, lacking intent, and not having faith in Christ.  What a booby trap.

Jim

Well now, what makes you think one doesn't have to pray about the Bible?  You just assume it's the word of God because others think so, and the book itself claims it?  What evidence do you have that the Bible is the word of God?  Archaeology?  Sorry, just because Jerusalem is mentioned in the Bible, and there are other correlations in geography and history, that isn't evidence for God, let alone the divinity of Jesus Christ.  It's clear that Jesus was a historical figure, but even that isn't evidence that Jesus was the Son of God.  You can't prove that Jesus was resurrected, and you can't prove any other miracle recounted in the Bible.  It's fine if you want to believe in the divinity of the Bible as a matter of faith, but you don't know that it's true.  

I got news for you, relying upon archaeology for proof could lead you to the conclusion that there is only one god, Allah, and Mohammed is his Prophet.  There's just as much archaeological evidence for the Koran as there is for the Bible. 

Now, I've posted this fact in this forum before, but I don't have time to search it down and re-post it here, but I did not know the Bible was the word of God until I got a testimony of the Book of Mormon.  That's because the Book of Mormon testifies of the divinity of the Bible.  And having obtained a spiritual reveal of the BoM's veracity as the Word of God, one is compelled to accept the Bible likewise.  

To put it in mathematical terms, if A = B and B = C, then A = C.

If you destroy my testimony of the Book of Mormon, then I lose the Bible as a divine document.  And vice versa.

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16 hours ago, theplains said:

It's great that one does not have to pray about the Bible. Truth does not depend on what you feel about
it.  When you compare the Bible with the Book of Mormon, you will already have your answer.  The author
of the Book of Mormon created a nice catch-22 situation ... one is forced to admit it is true or be labelled as
not being sincere enough, lacking intent, and not having faith in Christ.  What a booby trap.

Jim

That is manifestly untrue, Jim, and the Brethren seem to accept the sincerity of other great religious leaders, and they visit them, participate with them in important symposia, etc.  There seems to be no proviso that they must accept the Book of Mormon as true.  Interfaith friendships are genuine, and I have met any number of fine, deeply faithful people of other religious persuasions, and have learned a lot from them.  That includes died-in-the-wool anti-Mormons, with whom I have had very pleasant associations for long periods.  I not only found it a pleasure to exchange views with Rob Bowman on this board, for example, but found him to be even more cordial and authentic in person.  Sincerity has many facets, but is the bottom line in all such friendships.  I have gotten the impression from you over the years on this board, that you are a very sincere person.  A genuine man of faith.  In fact we have many such participants on this board with good hearts.  I am sure that you would agree with me that Rory is one such.  Has anyone even hinted that he must accept the Mormon faith in order to be considered sincere?  Of course not.  We already know him to be a man of great faith and sincerity, whom I fully expect to see in the Celestial Kingdom -- provided I can manage to get there myself . . .

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