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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?
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
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.
I haven't been on this board for a long time, but I just finished reading _The Lincoln Hypothesis_, and I was wondering how many others had and how many others were persuaded of the truth of the author's inferences. Just a few claims from the book: Abraham Lincoln checked out the Book of Mormon and read it, leading up to the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln's son died, and he began carrying around a pocket New Testament. He used a term from the BoMormon: "instrument in the hands of God," on at least five different occasions, to describe himself after having read the BoMormon. Lincoln returned the BoMormon to the Library of Congress only a week after he signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln's first name, Abraham, was not a coincidence, just as Joseph Smith's name was not a coincidence. Lincoln had his own Hyrum, who was a target of an assassination attempt along with Lincoln. A miracle occurred after Lincoln covenanted with God that he would commit the United States to liberty, giving the North its first major victory. One Congressman said Lincoln's face "shined like a prophet," as he spoke of the North and South's need to repent and how God's will was that we have a land of liberty. Multiple dog ears were found on Lincoln's BoMormon, marking a passage in Isaiah that suggested that God would heal the land after repentance. Lincoln, when he was sworn in for his second term, had his hand on that verse in Isaiah. Lastly, Joseph Smith specifically said we needed new Amendments to control mobs and end slavery, which is what Lincoln brought about. I think I got much of what I found persuasive listed. Anyone else read it? Should the Church be jumping on board this "hypothesis" and support that Lincoln was doing the work Joseph Smith failed at when he was running for President, i.e. bringing the U.S. to repentance via a covenant with God and special amendments to the Constitution? For a used copy: https://www.alibris.com/search/books/isbn/9781609078638