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Bernard Gui

Did Joseph Smith Teach from the Book of Mormon?

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Reading in the Joseph Smith papers, I came across this quote from a discourse by Joseph Smith recorded in a letter by a non-Latter -day Saint journalist, Matthew L. Davis. Can anyone else see what I see regarding the title of this thread?

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“....I believe in the fall of man, as recorded in the Bible; I believe that God foreknew everything, but did not foreordain everything; I deny that foreordain and foreknow is the same thing. He foreordained the fall of man; but all merciful as He is, He foreordained at the same time, a plan for redemption for all mankind....”

Quote

“Mathew Livingston Davis (1773-1850) was a journalist. Remembered for his long association with Aaron Burr, Davis was a Washington correspondent for the New York Enquirer at the time the Prophet gave this discourse.” https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/words-joseph-smith-contemporary-accounts-nauvoo-discourses-prophet-joseph/1840/5-february

Yes, I am aware of Ephesians 1.

Edited by Bernard Gui

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And this....https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/words-joseph-smith-contemporary-accounts-nauvoo-discourses-prophet-joseph/1840/5-october#_edn5

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....the Melchisadeck Priesthood comprehends the Aaronic or Levitical Priesthood [3] and is the Grand head, and holds the highest Authority which pertains to the Priesthood the keys of the Kingdom of God in all ages of the world to the latest posterity on the earth and is the channel through which all knowledge, doctrine, the plan of salvation and every important matter is revealed from heaven. Its institution was prior to "the foundation of this earth or the morning stars sang together or the Sons of God shouted for joy," and is the highest and holiest Priesthood and is after the order of the Son [of] God,....

 

Edited by Bernard Gui

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I've read in a number of places (can't cite sources so please don't ask) that Joseph rarely taught from the BoM. I don't know how true that is, but it would certainly seem odd if it is true.

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None of his contemporaries taught much from the Book of Mormon. They regarded the Book of Mormon as the converter and the sign of the restoration and Joseph Smith's call, but taught out of the Bible (and in the Deseret/Utah period, also heavily out of Doctrine and Covenants). While this seems odd to us today, they saw it more as a tangible sign and witness of the restoration than a source of doctrine or teaching stories. The Bible and the published revelations were seen as the main source of content for talks.

One exception to this in the Utah period: quoting Jacob 2:30 re: God's default setting being monogamy, unless he commands otherwise (and he has commanded otherwise for them). 

There are also a couple of late references in JoD (1880s) to D&C 84 re: the Church being under condemnation for treating the BoM lightly. Amazingly, this wasn't emphasized until the Benson administration in the 1980s. 

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IIRC somebody argued that the early Saints didn't use the BOM much but Richard Bennett argued they were well familiar with it and IIRC correctly one of his arguments is that fact that look at how many early saints were named after BOM people and they wouldn't do that if they didn't know they existed

 

here's an article you may find interesting

https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/coming-forth-book-mormon/book-mormon-among-saints-evolving-use-keystone-scripture

Edited by Duncan

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30 minutes ago, Duncan said:

IIRC somebody argued that the early Saints didn't use the BOM much but Richard Bennett argued they were well familiar with it and IIRC correctly one of his arguments is that fact that look at how many early saints were named after BOM people and they wouldn't do that if they didn't know they existed

here's an article you may find interesting

https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/coming-forth-book-mormon/book-mormon-among-saints-evolving-use-keystone-scripture

I think they were very familiar with it. I think close to every member had read it (they were all 1st generation members, being converts), and it was a key to the conversion for most. But, they didn't feel the same way we do about preaching from it or quoting it. For them, including Joseph Smith, that's what the Bible and the published revelations were for. The Book of Mormon was for convincing people that the Church had been restored and that the restoration events were underway.  

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4 hours ago, rongo said:

None of his contemporaries taught much from the Book of Mormon. They regarded the Book of Mormon as the converter and the sign of the restoration and Joseph Smith's call, but taught out of the Bible (and in the Deseret/Utah period, also heavily out of Doctrine and Covenants). While this seems odd to us today, they saw it more as a tangible sign and witness of the restoration than a source of doctrine or teaching stories. The Bible and the published revelations were seen as the main source of content for talks.

One exception to this in the Utah period: quoting Jacob 2:30 re: God's default setting being monogamy, unless he commands otherwise (and he has commanded otherwise for them). 

There are also a couple of late references in JoD (1880s) to D&C 84 re: the Church being under condemnation for treating the BoM lightly. Amazingly, this wasn't emphasized until the Benson administration in the 1980s. 

Actually, a great deal of attention was given to the Book of Mormon beginning in the late 1940s due to the extensive writings of Hugh Nibley in the Improvement Era in 1948 and thereafter.  Nibley's An Approach to the Book of Mormon was even the Melchizedek Priesthood Manual in 1957.

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4 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Actually, a great deal of attention was given to the Book of Mormon beginning in the late 1940s due to the extensive writings of Hugh Nibley in the Improvement Era in 1948 and thereafter.  Nibley's An Approach to the Book of Mormon was even the Melchizedek Priesthood Manual in 1957.

Yes, but nowhere near the attention given by the rank-and-file following President Benson using the bully pulpit of his office. That was his signature contribution as president. 

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39 minutes ago, rongo said:

Yes, but nowhere near the attention given by the rank-and-file following President Benson using the bully pulpit of his office. That was his signature contribution as president. 

Yes, but Pres Benson was recommending that members read it, whereas Nibley had emphasized the scholarly understanding of it.  Two quite different approaches, even though both are entirely valid.  All of that attention has reversed the old tendency to ignore the book.

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6 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I've read in a number of places (can't cite sources so please don't ask) that Joseph rarely taught from the BoM. I don't know how true that is, but it would certainly seem odd if it is true.

On a Roman Catholic forum, zerinus replied to Bart Burk back in Jan 2008 on that very issue:

Quote

He quotes most often from the Bible for the same reasons that I do here. He was often challenged that his doctrines were not biblical; so he quotes from the Bible to prove that they were.

In those days the Book of Mormon was not divided into chapters and verses, so he couldn’t exactly quote chapter and verse numbers. But he does occasionally make indirect references to its contents. Here is an example:

We would say to the brethren, seek to know God in your closets, call upon him in the fields. Follow the directions of the Book of Mormon, and pray over, and for your families, your cattle, your flocks, your herds, your corn, and all things that you possess; ask the blessing of God upon all your labors, and everything that you engage in. Be virtuous and pure; be men of integrity and truth; keep the commandments of God; and then you will be able more perfectly to understand the difference between right and wrong—between the things of God and the things of men; and your path will be like that of the just, which shineth brighter and brighter unto the perfect day.

This refers to the following verses in the current edition of the Book of Mormon:

Alma 34:

17 Therefore may God grant unto you, my brethren, that ye may begin to exercise your faith unto repentance, that ye begin to call upon his holy name, that he would have mercy upon you;

18 Yea, cry unto him for mercy; for he is mighty to save.

19 Yea, humble yourselves, and continue in prayer unto him.

20 Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks.

21 Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening.

22 Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies.

23 Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness.

24 Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.

25 Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.

26 But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.

27 Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.

Interestingly, in the same passage he makes indirect references to other biblical passages as well, notably this one:

Proverbs 4:

18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

Joseph Smith was a great scriptorian, and his entire thought patterns were configured around the word of God. It was woven into his very soul, so that whatever he said had scriptural undercurrents running through them.

zerinus  https://forums.catholic.com/t/did-joseph-smith-ever-quote-from-the-book-of-mormon/98274/2 .

 

Edited by Robert F. Smith

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