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pogi

The Keystone of Our Religion

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25 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

So do we, and more of them than you ūüėõ

I doubt that.

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6 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

You're now getting into the individual pieces of the arch.  Think about this:

When anti-Mormons attack us, what is the #1 thing they attack?  The validity of the BoM.  Think about why they do that.

I think it is more Joseph Smith they attack. I suspect that is a strategic move on the part of the Devil. To attack the Book of Mormon coherently (admittedly not all such attacks are coherent) you have to look at the text and that is a dangerous move. Getting people to read hyperbole, deceptions, and vile slanders about Joseph Smith is safer. Less likely for that pesky Holy Ghost to show up and start testifying.

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5 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

You're now getting into the individual pieces of the arch.  Think about this:

When anti-Mormons attack us, what is the #1 thing they attack?  The validity of the BoM.  Think about why they do that.

The reason I am getting into the individual pieces of the arch is to show that each could serve as the keystone for the same reasons that the Book of Mormon is said to be the keystone.

I think the reason they attack the BoM the most is because of the statements we have made about it being the keystone - "if it is false, it all crumbles".  They see it as a critical target to destroy our testimonies because we have made it a target for them.  Also, because it is accepted as a historical document, it is easier to attack than a Book of modern revelation. 

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5 minutes ago, pogi said:

The reason I am getting into the individual pieces of the arch is to show that each could serve as the keystone for the same reasons that the Book of Mormon is said to be the keystone.

I think the reason they attack the BoM the most is because of the statements we have made about it being the keystone - "if it is false, it all crumbles".  They see it as a critical target to destroy our testimonies because we have made it a target for them.  Also, because it is accepted as a historical document, it is easier to attack than a Book of modern revelation. 

Think about what you just said. Let me re-word:

"The keystone isn't the keystone because if you remove another stone that is not the keystone, then the arch will crumble as well."  Yes, removal of other stones may cause the arch to crumble.  But that doesn't mean the keystone is not a keystone.

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18 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Critics attack dogmatic claims about BoM historicity, especially when they aren't supported by actual scientific evidence.  But you have to look at the actual substance of the critiques to understand that.  

I'm getting a distinct impression that many on this board are of the opinion that the BoM is not actually a factual book. It's merely a book of fables which teach good principles.  Nothing more.

Sorry.  I'm not one of them.

And, much of the BoM IS SUPPORTED by actual scientific evidence -- specifically some claims that have been used by such critics to discount the historicity of the BoM.  Obviously, there is a lot we do not yet have proof of.  But so what?  We have some and we don't have all.  That is true of much of archaeology.

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1 minute ago, Carborendum said:

I'm getting a distinct impression that many on this board are of the opinion that the BoM is not actually a factual book. It's merely a book of fables which teach good principles.  Nothing more.

Sorry.  I'm not one of them.

And, much of the BoM IS SUPPORTED by actual scientific evidence -- specifically some claims that have been used by such critics to discount the historicity of the BoM.  Obviously, there is a lot we do not yet have proof of.  But so what?  We have some and we don't have all.  That is true of much of archaeology.

I have no problem with someone having a belief in the BoM as ancient history.  Its important to recognize that some interesting parallels with antiquity can be mined for meaning.  However, the fields of science are clearly not in support of this view.  The scientific community in any subject, archaeology, history, anthropology, linguistics, DNA, you name it, none of them would agree with any assertions that science supports any claims for historicity for the BoM.  

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48 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

We don’t offer just salvation. All you need for salvation is to not deny the Holy Ghost and the gospel and the church that teaches it are actually dangerous in that respect. We are the only ones offering exaltation and the method Christ laid out to receive that gift.

There is a twisted juxtaposition of venerating Christ while holding his teachings as mere tools.

First, I stated that the "church" is just a tool. I never said the "teachings of Christ" are a tool.

Second, would you agree or disagree that Jesus is the pearl and the church is the box? If you agree that Jesus is the pearl, does the pearl have reduced value if it isn't in the box? If Jesus isn't the pearl of great price, what has greater value than Jesus?

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5 minutes ago, pogi said:

The reason I am getting into the individual pieces of the arch is to show that each could serve as the keystone for the same reasons that the Book of Mormon is said to be the keystone.

I think the reason they attack the BoM the most is because of the statements we have made about it being the keystone - "if it is false, it all crumbles".  They see it as a critical target to destroy our testimonies because we have made it a target for them.  Also, because it is accepted as a historical document, it is easier to attack than a Book of modern revelation. 

The keystone is laid last, which the Book or Mormon wasn't--it was laid down after the First Vision and the restoration of the priesthood but before the restoration of the sealing and other keys. So the metaphor has its limitations. The revelations, testimonies, keys and ordinances that get us closer to God are only as good as the fulness of the gospel as we live it (hence "the most correct book"). But without it (the fulness), both that which came before and that which came after its publication (as in looking at the location of a keystone within an arch) would not hold together.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

First, I stated that the "church" is just a tool. I never said the "teachings of Christ" are a tool.

Second, would you agree or disagree that Jesus is the pearl and the church is the box? If you agree that Jesus is the pearl, does the pearl have reduced value if it isn't in the box? If Jesus isn't the pearl of great price, what has greater value than Jesus?

This is why He is called the chief cornerstone for the whole building. His restored religion is the archway above the straight and narrow path and the Book of Mormon the keystone for that.

Edited by CV75

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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Yes, for centuries  millions of Christians received testimonies of Christ, many presumably through witness of the Holy Ghost.

Kind of going along with the OP which was questioning the value of the BoM being the "keystone" of our religion, I also wonder about the value of the "Gift" of the holy ghost that is only received after baptism/confirmation.

All people have the light of Christ. All people can be guided by the promptings of the holy ghost, gift or not. The "Gift" which is said to be a "constant companion" isn't really "constant". It's conditional. Even with the gift, the HG will come and go based on a person's worthiness, receptiveness etc. So is there really anything more "constant" about it than any other person has access to?

I bristle every time I hear people talking about having a testimony of the Church, and how the Church is necessary for salvation. Jesus is necessary for salvation. The church is only a tool. It's like the parable of the Pearl of Great Price. People often mistake the box as the gift.

Yes and no. I agree with you that the church is a temporary structure and has really nothing to do with salvation, at least as offices and hierarchy go. However I do believe that it is required to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. Whether that consists of an angel or an authorized minister I don’t care, but since the church (or at least I hope) has authorized ministers then this is the only place we can receive authorization to receive the gift. However the laying on of hands does not immediately give us the gift, but it is the opening up of the way. Joseph Smith was clear that you cannot posses the Gift of the Holy Ghost unless you receive the laying on of hands.

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8 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

First, I stated that the "church" is just a tool. I never said the "teachings of Christ" are a tool.

Second, would you agree or disagree that Jesus is the pearl and the church is the box? If you agree that Jesus is the pearl, does the pearl have reduced value if it isn't in the box? If Jesus isn't the pearl of great price, what has greater value than Jesus?

In that analogy the gospel is the pearl and the church is the box. You were also referring to teaching which also would be part of the pearl. The box are the church programs and buildings and camp outs and what have you, the administration that helps others to see and benefit from the pearl which is the gospel itself.

Incidentally I am pretty confident Jesus would tell you there is a being greater then him.

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17 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

I'm getting a distinct impression that many on this board are of the opinion that the BoM is not actually a factual book. It's merely a book of fables which teach good principles.  Nothing more.

Sorry.  I'm not one of them.

And, much of the BoM IS SUPPORTED by actual scientific evidence -- specifically some claims that have been used by such critics to discount the historicity of the BoM.  Obviously, there is a lot we do not yet have proof of.  But so what?  We have some and we don't have all.  That is true of much of archaeology.

Is your testimony going to crumble if the church comes out and says it is more revelation and not historical, somewhat like they did with the BoA? 

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, SettingDogStar said:

Yes and no. I agree with you that the church is a temporary structure and has really nothing to do with salvation, at least as offices and hierarchy go. However I do believe that it is required to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. Whether that consists of an angel or an authorized minister I don’t care, but since the church (or at least I hope) has authorized ministers then this is the only place we can receive authorization to receive the gift. However the laying on of hands does not immediately give us the gift, but it is the opening up of the way. Joseph Smith was clear that you cannot posses the Gift of the Holy Ghost unless you receive the laying on of hands.

And while the priesthood was restored before the Book of Mormon was published, Joseph Smith was translating it and knew what was expected from reading it. This led to John the Baptist's visit.

if we liken the scriptures to ourselves, and see what the Lord said to us about the Book or Mormon (in the Book of Mormon and D&C), it will be the keystone Joseph Smith said it is. We receive the Holy Ghost from the laying of of hands about as well as we receive the fulness of the gospel from the Book of Mormon.

Edited by CV75

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Just now, Tacenda said:

Is your testimony going to crumble if the church comes out and says it is more revelation and not historical, somewhat like they did with the BoA? 

They did not say that. They just do not take a position on the papyrus. They have not said that the narrative in the translated Book of Abraham is dubious nor have they stopped quoting it as scriprture.

As for me, if President Nelson communicates that the narrative in the Book of Mormon may not have happened I am out. Not sure where I will go or what I will do but I would be done. Same thing if he said Jesus is not the Messiah or that the Priesthood is an organizational tool and not actual divine power and there are lots of red lines of that nature.

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2 hours ago, pogi said:

We have all heard this quote.  The concept of the Book of Mormon being the keystone of our religion has been taught throughout the history of our church.  I have never really thought twice about it until yesterday when it was taught in Young Men's.  I don't know why this occasion was different from any other, but for the first time the idea seemed strange and didn't make much sense to me.  The idea has been so thoroughly reinforced in the history of our church, from the prophet of the restoration onward; but I wonder if this teaching has reached almost creedal status without any one really questioning it. 

When we say that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion, we are suggesting that without the keystone, the rest of the arch (religion) would crumble.  But why do we teach this?  Would it really crumble without the Book of Mormon?  What if the church was restored through Joseph Smith and there were no gold plates, no translation, no Book of Mormon... why couldn't the restoration work without it?  What principle, doctrine, or ordinance do we find in the Book of Mormon that could not have been revealed in some other way and recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants?

To clarify, I am not suggesting that the Book of Mormon is not significant.  It is.  I believe that it is everything else that Joseph said about the book in the above quote. But, isn't the real keystone of our religion revelation?  Isn't that the stone that holds everything else in place?  Remove that and everything crumbles - including the Book of Mormon as it was translated through a revelatory process.  

The only attempt to defend the teaching has been this - if the book of Mormon is true, then Joseph was a prophet, and if Joseph was a prophet the restoration and everything that came from it is true.  If it is false, then it is all false.  In this way, the attempt is made to place the Book of Mormon in the place of the keystone as if everything leans on it.  But, if you think about it, we could place any other variable in that equation in its place and it would be just as true.  For example, we could say - if Joseph was a prophet, then the restoration is true along with everything that comes from it, including the Book of Mormon, therefore Joseph Smith is the keystone.  Or we could say - if the restoration is true, then Joseph Smith was a prophet, and the Book of Mormon is true, etc.

It seems clear to me that the true keystone of our religion is revelation.  Remove the Book of Mormon and the restoration would still have been possible with revelation. Remove revelation, and it all crumbles. 

Thoughts?

Thought provoking OP. I've never really cared for that position of Joseph Smith. Personally, I view Christ as the keystone of our religion. He did say He is the door. In the passover sacrifice He is represented by the blood on the lintel of the door. Without the door lintel, there would be no door through which to pass or in an arch there would be no passage without the keystone. Could I believe in the Church without the BoM? Yes, I could, and actually did for a number of years before gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon. But from a scriptural standpoint the Book of Mormon is the other side of the door. Without the rod of Joseph, the scriptures are incomplete and more difficult to understand. I don't believe the OT is so plain as the BoM. In that sense it might be said that the BoM is more than just a keystone, it is a whole side of the doorway - so I guess it depends on one's perspective - funny though that JS didn't seem to preach much out of the BoM...

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26 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

Think about what you just said. Let me re-word:

"The keystone isn't the keystone because if you remove another stone that is not the keystone, then the arch will crumble as well."  Yes, removal of other stones may cause the arch to crumble.  But that doesn't mean the keystone is not a keystone.

I am suggesting that the justification for it being the keystone could be applied to almost anything.  I am asking what distinguishes the BoM as the keystone other than the fact that is what has always been taught?  Why couldn't anything else serve in its place? Ultimately, do we really even need a keystone, placing one book of revelation above another? 

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If Joseph had no Book of Mormon, without which he could not claim to be a Prophet, which led to the Doctrine and Covenants, that gives us our foundation. Without that foundation, and his many visions, the restoration of the Priesthood, then no need¬†for new Apostles. Then he would have been nothing more that a new minister, a very young minister who few would listen, saying he understands the truth of the Bible. This would mean no converts from other lands, the gathering of the Saints, no identity as ‚ÄĚGod‚Äôs, Prophets, Apostles, or chosen people‚ÄĚ. It would just be one of many Churches, or movements, and likely a small Church in New York, that almost no one ever heard even knew existed. For an example, just about 200 miles north of me is a place called, ‚ÄúField of the Woods‚ÄĚ, it was a Church founded on many of our beliefs, and they barely have 1,000 members, and a tiny little Church, as most are just family members of the original members,¬†who don‚Äôt attend. You can look it up on the internet, under ‚ÄúField of the Woods‚ÄĚ. I have been there many times in my youth, because their is a massive hill with the Ten Commandments in stone. Of course our Church took us there, but told us not to believe the tenants written on large marble stones, about their beliefs. Also¬†without the Book of Mormon, we would be that tiny Church. We also would not be debating on this forum, most of those here would not even have the same parents, the same husbands and wives, the same friends, and most who are members would still be lifing¬†in other countries, members of other Churches, or none at all.¬†

So, it is the ‚ÄúKeystone of our Religion‚ÄĚ, and as we are taught without it, our Faith will fail. In fact, if I were to learn or believe the Book of Mormon is not the Word of God, I would indeed be devastated. But, I would also stop posting here, and be looking for another Church the following Sunday, or just no longer believe in the God I have come to know.¬†

Anyway, my take on it. 

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8 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

They did not say that. They just do not take a position on the papyrus. They have not said that the narrative in the translated Book of Abraham is dubious nor have they stopped quoting it as scriprture.

As for me, if President Nelson communicates that the narrative in the Book of Mormon may not have happened I am out. Not sure where I will go or what I will do but I would be done. Same thing if he said Jesus is not the Messiah or that the Priesthood is an organizational tool and not actual divine power and there are lots of red lines of that nature.

I agree. If the Book of Mormon was said to not be historical I’m jumping ship, or at least laying low for awhile to see how things turn out. If they kept going down that path the RLDS took then I’d be sure they were in an apostasy and would await and seek another restoration. The Book of Mormon IS historical, no matter what anyone but God says.

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5 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

They did not say that. They just do not take a position on the papyrus. They have not said that the narrative in the translated Book of Abraham is dubious nor have they stopped quoting it as scriprture.

As for me, if President Nelson communicates that the narrative in the Book of Mormon may not have happened I am out. Not sure where I will go or what I will do but I would be done. Same thing if he said Jesus is not the Messiah or that the Priesthood is an organizational tool and not actual divine power and there are lots of red lines of that nature.

How much studying in Gospel Doctrine is spent on the BoA or I should say, PoGP vs. Bible, BoM, D&C? Not nearly as much from my experience. But yet it seems our whole church stands on it, as far as exaltation.

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6 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

How much studying in Gospel Doctrine is spent on the BoA or I should say, PoGP vs. Bible, BoM, D&C? Not nearly as much from my experience. But yet it seems our whole church stands on it, as far as exaltation.

The Brethren are very careful and cagey about teaching much of the material in the PoGP because they are the closest thing we have to temple texts outside of the temple. A lot of damage could be done by teaching them badly. It is also the source of those private ‚ÄúGospel Intellectuals‚ÄĚ classes and cults of personality that gather to instruct each other on how to get the Second Comforter or Calling and Election made sure or whatever that always seem to end in adultery and apostasy.

It also is usually integrated into the Old Testament class since most of it goes narratively in the Old Testament and rest goes in the D&C class. There has been no backing up on the validity of the texts or their status as the word of God.

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11 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

How much studying in Gospel Doctrine is spent on the BoA or I should say, PoGP vs. Bible, BoM, D&C? Not nearly as much from my experience. But yet it seems our whole church stands on it, as far as exaltation.

Not at all. Perhaps you need to reread Revelation... just suggesting. The thing is people don't seem to believe what it says. They read right over it.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

The Brethren are very careful and cagey about teaching much of the material in the PoGP because they are the closest thing we have to temple texts outside of the temple. A lot of damage could be done by teaching them badly. It is also the source of those private ‚ÄúGospel Intellectuals‚ÄĚ classes and cults of personality that gather to instruct each other on how to get the Second Comforter or Calling and Election made sure or whatever that always seem to end in adultery and apostasy.

It also is usually integrated into the Old Testament class since most of it goes narratively in the Old Testament and rest goes in the D&C class. There has been no backing up on the validity of the texts or their status as the word of God.

Good to know, thanks for your patience. I'm really such a kindergartner when it comes to scriptures. Or maybe not even that far!

6 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

Not at all. Perhaps you need to reread Revelation... just suggesting. The thing is people don't seem to believe what it says. They read right over it.

I don't belong in these threads where scripture is spoken, usually because I lack so much in this area. I will take a look at Revelation! 

Edited by Tacenda

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10 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

The Brethren are very careful and cagey about teaching much of the material in the PoGP because they are the closest thing we have to temple texts outside of the temple. A lot of damage could be done by teaching them badly. It is also the source of those private ‚ÄúGospel Intellectuals‚ÄĚ classes and cults of personality that gather to instruct each other on how to get the Second Comforter or Calling and Election made sure or whatever that always seem to end in adultery and apostasy.

It also is usually integrated into the Old Testament class since most of it goes narratively in the Old Testament and rest goes in the D&C class. There has been no backing up on the validity of the texts or their status as the word of God.

I think there is a good point in there. However I would counter with the fact that Joseph openly published it in the newspaper at the time (Times and Seasons right?). It's canonized scripture and should be treated just as equally along side our other scriptures. Though it is often forgotten or pushed to the side because the word "Kolob" is in it and that has become somewhat of either a joke or a swear word in the church haha

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, pogi said:

I am suggesting that the justification for it being the keystone could be applied to almost anything.  I am asking what distinguishes the BoM as the keystone other than the fact that is what has always been taught?  Why couldn't anything else serve in its place? Ultimately, do we really even need a keystone, placing one book of revelation above another? 

According to Joseph Smith, yes, we need the most correct book, or the fulness of the gospel, a testament and tangible fulfilment of God keeping His earthly promises to an ancient remnant of Joseph who are linked to Ephraim and the Gentiles in the last days, in preparation for His Second Coming. There is no other way to fulfill the law of two witnesses (Judah and Joseph). Without that, there is no fulfillment of all His promises in the way He said they would be, even those to Abraham. It is the answer to 2 Nephi 29, and in the future, its sealed portion is the answer to 2 Nephi 27 (especially verses 6, 7, 10, 11, 29).

Edited by CV75

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1 minute ago, SettingDogStar said:

I think there is a good point in there. However I would counter with the fact that Joseph openly published it in the newspaper at the time (Times and Seasons right?). It's canonized scripture and should be treated just as equally along side our other scriptures. Though it is often forgotten or pushed to the side because the word "Kolob" is in it and that has become somewhat of either a joke or a swear word in the church haha

The book of Moses is actually supposed to only be for believers. It says so in the text. We are a little late on that front. The Times and Seasons in Nauvoo published the Book of Abraham and the Book of Moses. The Book of Moses was also published in England in a pamphlet called ‚ÄúThe Pearl of Great Price‚ÄĚ and was published in a church paper in Missouri but the paper‚Äôs name escapes me at the moment.

I treat it equally and, in many cases, as a on a higher level then much of the Bible and even the Book of Mormon. It is not a good starting place for investigators though except for its teachings on the Plan of Salvation sequence going from Premortality to the Kingdoms of Glory.

While I believe that Kolob is an actual stellar body its use in the text is incidental compared to illustrating a more important principle. One I am not sure I understand entirely yet.

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