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The Keystone of Our Religion

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1 hour ago, Kevin Christensen said:

How about this?

https://bookofmormoncentral.org/blog/4-ways-the-new-maya-discoveries-may-relate-to-the-book-of-mormon

It's also important to be a bit reflective on what goes on to define scientific communities, and what we ought to reasonably expect from different communities. 

We're not playing the same game by the same rules.  There are overlaps and intersections, but the overall paradigm involves different sets of rules and concerns and questions and problem fields.  In the secular world, angels and books are against the rules and out of the question.

One of the main lessons I have learned from reading Coe's occasional comments over the years is that we cannot expect them be as authoritative on the Book of Mormon as they are within their specialties, that if there is anything plausible or remarkable, they would be the ones to tell us for sure.  For instance, with Dehlin, he claimed that a lack of brass helmets and iron arrowheads disproved the Book of Mormon, despite neither of them appearing in the text.  Coe claimed that since the Great Mother is important in Mesoamerica, and that the Hebrews were strict monotheists, that the contrast obviously discredited the Book of Mormon.  To me it demonstrated that Coe has not read Patai's The Hebrew Goddess, or Dever's Did God Have a Wife? or Daniel Peterson's "Nephi and His Asherah."   And there is much more.

FWIW,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

The paradigms framework works well for some applications, but not for science.  How would you distinguish between a difference in operating paradigms and complete psuedo science?  I'm thinking of the anti vax community as an example.  Or the anti GMO crowd.  Find someone really invested in those movements and they will show you plenty of "evidence" to support their claims that might look scientific to some people.  

I think the burden of legitimacy from a scientific perspective is on the group that claims that their evidence is valid.  Their claims should be tested and tried to see if they stand up to scrutiny or are more insular and only legitimate for insiders of that group.  When the later is true, then you know that what they are doing, it isn't science.   When it comes to science, replication, testing, peer review, and standing up to scrutiny are essential. 

When it comes to traditions and religion, then those ideas don't need to be accepted by everyone.  Science is different, it needs to stand up to skepticism and testing or else it fails.  There is no legitimate science that just operates by different rules.  Either those rules and that paradigm is a legitimate one scientifically, or it isn't.  On this idea, I have a much more black and white view of things.  

 

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29 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Bwahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Oh wait, you are serious?

The Book of Mormon is almost embarrassingly thick with the words and teachings of Christ and his name is plastered all over it in excess of anything Paul ever did and most of it was not taken from the gospels. Other then the modified Sermon on the Mount and Jesus giving them portions of Malachi it is not a copy. Have you read the book? If not, I highly recommend.

Yeah I think like at least every other page has some kind of revelation on it from Jesus Christ so I'm not sure what he's talking about haha

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5 hours ago, Oliblish said:

The BOM records the teachings of prophets over a period of hundreds of years.  Yet temple marriage and forever families are not even mentioned once.  There is no mention of the three degrees of glory. 

Were the Nephites taught about these things?  What was it like to be a member of the church at this time?  Were they able to be sealed to their families?  If so, I would think this would have at least been mentioned in the writings of the prophets of the day.

 

4 hours ago, Oliblish said:

.................................................Yes, the Book of Mormon mentions families, temples and the word "seal".  But it does not talk about eternal families or temple marriage.

Temple rites are always sacred and so not openly discussed, not in the Bible, and not in the Book of Mormon.  Yet it is all there by implication, between the lines as it were.  I have covered that briefly for the Bible online at https://www.quora.com/Does-the-Bible-mention-anything-about-eternal-families-like-the-LDS-church-teaches/answer/Bob-Smith-3106 .  That does not even mention non-LDS G. Lloyd Carr, “Is the Song of Songs a ‘Sacred Marriage’ Drama?” JETS, 2 (June 1979):103-114; cf. S. N. Kramer, The Sacred Marriage Rite: Aspects of Faith, Myth, and Ritual in Ancient Sumer (Bloomington: Indiana University, 1969).

Others have shown in detail how the BofM covers the same temple territory:

1 Nephi 1:1-3 outlines what is to come -- Plan of Salvation sequence; Creation (born of goodly parents), Fall (many afflictions), Atonement (highly favored of the Lord), and Veil (goodness and the mysteries of God); Joe Spencer, An Other Testament, 42; Neal Rappleye, “Nephi the Good: A Commentary on 1 Nephi 1:1-3,” MormonInterpreter Blog, Jan 3, 2014, online at http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/nephi-the-good-a-commentary-on-1-nephi-11-3/#more-4490 .  This then is fleshed out in detail from 1 Ne 1 - 2 Ne 33,

Creation (1 Nephi 1–18)    Foundation
Fall (1 Nephi 19–2 Nephi 5)    Division
Atonement (2 Nephi 6–30)    Redemption
Veil (2 Nephi 31–33)         Conclusion

Moreover, Neal Rappleye observes that Nephi only began his record after building a temple (2 Ne 5:16,28-30).

See also Book of Mormon Central, “What Does the Book of Mormon Teach about the Temple? (2 Nephi 5:16),” KnoWhy # 309,  May 5, 2017, online at https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/what-does-the-book-of-mormon-teach-about-the-temple

Book of Mormon Central, “How Do the Book of Moses and Book of Mormon Help Us Understand the Endowment? (1 Nephi 11:1),” KnoWhy # 396, January 4, 2018, online at https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/how-do-the-book-of-moses-and-book-of-mormon-help-us-understand-the-endowment

Jeff Lindsay, “Ancient Temple Themes in the Book of Mormon,” FAIRBLOG, Dec 26, 2013, online at 
http://www.fairblog.org/2013/12/26/ancient-temple-themes-in-the-book-of-mormon/ , also posted on Mormanity.blogspot.com, Dec 20, 2013, online at http://mormanity.blogspot.com/2013/12/ancient-temple-themes-in-book-of-mormon.html

Jeff Lindsay, “The Temple in the Book of Mormon,” The Nauvoo Times, Dec 20, 2013, online at http://www.nauvootimes.com/cgi-bin/nauvoo_column.pl?number=101961&author=jeff-lindsay

Neal Rappleye, “1 and 2 Nephi as a Temple Text,” Meridian Magazine, April 12, 2015, online at https://ldsmag.com/1-and-2-nephi-as-a-temple-text/

D. John Butler, Plain and Precious Things: The Temple Religion of the Book of Mormon’s Visionary Men (Amazon Digital Services eBook, 2012).

Kevin Christensen, “The Temple, the Monarchy, and Wisdom: Lehi's World and the Scholarship of Margaret Barker,” in David R. Seely, John W. Welch, and JoAnn H. Seely, eds., Glimpses of Lehi's Jerusalem (Provo: FARMS, 2004), 449-522.

Then we have this from clarkgoble in 2017, on this board,

Quote

Rites in Alma 13. "...are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such." (13:3) "Therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified, and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb." (13:3) Cleansing and purity is part of the ritual -- likely on part tied to the High Priest description in Lev 16. "...these ordinances were given after this manner, that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God, it being a type of his order, or it being his order, and this that they might look forward to him for a remission of their sins..." (13:16) Rite involves looking forward. While this could just be how the Nephites interpreted Lev 16 and other parts of the Law of Moses as typology for Christ, it sounds like it goes beyond this. Also "entering into his rest" is typological of crossing the Jordan into Israel at time of Moses. // Ps 95:10-11.  http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/69003-baptism-mentioned-in-book-of-mormon-isaiah-passage/?page=3#comment-1209721339

Hugh Nibley had long ago discerned that Alma 8:8 - 13:31 contained a wealth of temple esoterica.  He found, for example, Alma 9:19,23 and 32:35 "light and knowledge," and 12:9 "mysteries of God," 12:2 "cherubim and flaming sword," etc., indicative.  However, he did not choose to publish a detailed comparison, for obvious reasons.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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51 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

The paradigms framework works well for some applications, but not for science.  How would you distinguish between a difference in operating paradigms and complete psuedo science?  I'm thinking of the anti vax community as an example.  Or the anti GMO crowd.  Find someone really invested in those movements and they will show you plenty of "evidence" to support their claims that might look scientific to some people.  

I think the burden of legitimacy from a scientific perspective is on the group that claims that their evidence is valid.  Their claims should be tested and tried to see if they stand up to scrutiny or are more insular and only legitimate for insiders of that group.  When the later is true, then you know that what they are doing, it isn't science.   When it comes to science, replication, testing, peer review, and standing up to scrutiny are essential. 

When it comes to traditions and religion, then those ideas don't need to be accepted by everyone.  Science is different, it needs to stand up to skepticism and testing or else it fails.  There is no legitimate science that just operates by different rules.  Either those rules and that paradigm is a legitimate one scientifically, or it isn't.  On this idea, I have a much more black and white view of things.  

 

You realize that I am quoting about paradigms based on Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, one of the hundred most important and influential books published in the 20th century?

And I personally have tested the Book of Mormon in original ways, and have kept up with arguments by both defenders and skeptics.  The range of my reading includes Coe, and qualifies me to knowledgably comment.

I notice that you have not commented on the evidence you asked for.  In this case, LiDar surveys and the content of the Book of Mormon.  LiDar revolutionized the archeology overnight.

What you have done instead is to use anti-vax as a paradigmatic metaphor to justify dismissing defenders of the Book of Mormon.  The metaphor does all your intellectual work.  What should do the work, according to Kuhn are testability, experiment, depth and breadth of explanations and consistency with other information, fruitfulnes, and future promise.  You talk about being scientific, but offer only rhetoric and labeling.

A black and white view of things also corresponds to Position 2 of The Perry Scheme for Cognitive and Ethical Growth.

Just saying.  FWIW,

Kevin Christensen 

Canonsburg

Edited by Kevin Christensen
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3 hours ago, pogi said:

Thanks for clarifying.  You are taking this from an outside-of-the-faith perspective - that makes more sense.  I recognize that the outside esteems revelation less than we do on the inside, but lets be honest, they don't really esteem the Book of Mormon either, despite the evidence.  So, I don't know if our keystone should be based on outside perspectives.  

It will be dismissed for the same reasons the Bible is dismissed.  The miraculous.

3 hours ago, pogi said:

I guess I see it differently.  That is not how I approached my mission anyway, nor how I approach conversion today.  I never talked about evidence for the historicity of the BoM on my mission.  Not once.  I ALWAYS asked how they felt when they read it and prayed about it.  I have never met someone who has converted based primarily on archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon.   Prayer was always my ace in the hole, and the only means of true conversion to the gospel.  An intellectual conversion can never match the power of a spiritual conversion.  For me, the Book of Mormon has always been supporting evidence - another testament, but my primary evidence has always been personal revelation.

You missed my meaning entirely (again).  Missionaries hand the BofM to contacts and ask them to read it.  They do not talk about archeology or theology.  And they are not qualified to do so in any case.  The BofM is primary.  The HS is secondary.  I just assumed that you understood that. You must take me for a complete idiot to suppose that I would add an archeological component to LDS missionary work.  Some visitors centers do have some artifact displays, but they are unable to discuss it intelligently with guests, and they cannot even get the cuneiform script right side up in those displays.  Your comments here are preaching to the choir to no good purpose.

You also seem to be unaware that the testimony you seek has to be about something.  Without the BofM, what is that testimony going to entail?  You consider the HS most important, and of course it is, but it all starts with the BofM.  You also seem  blissfully unaware of the vociferous attacks on the BofM and the omnipresence of such on the internet.  Things have changed markedly since you were out tracting.

3 hours ago, pogi said:

The Book of Mormon is nothing more than a book of revelation.  Without revelation it is worthless paper and ink.

Even given the Book of Mormon, we depend upon revelation for its correct interpretation.  We are not the only sect who believes in it after all.  Revelation is key.  It is the foundation of everything. 

Revelation is only "everything" to a certain class of believers, pogi.  Secular Westerners are unlikely to give any credence to such an irrational suggestion.  They put their trust in modern science and logic.  They class your fervent belief as superstition.  And this will be more and more the case as the years go by.  Only scholars are capable of carrying on a rational debate about the matter, and only in that sense will Latter-day Saints garner respect among the cognoscenti.  Perhaps that will trickle down to the hoi polloi.  Otherwise both Bible and Book of Mormon will be held in utter derision by more and more people.  Which is great for a hearty laugh, or for the "Book of Mormon" musical.

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2 hours ago, SettingDogStar said:

Yeah I think like at least every other page has some kind of revelation on it from Jesus Christ so I'm not sure what he's talking about haha

I once read through marking mentions of Jesus and God and the Holy Ghost and found one chapter that made no mention of them. It was in the Alma war chapters if I remember right.

Edited by The Nehor
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6 hours ago, pogi said:

Even given the Book of Mormon, we depend upon revelation for its correct interpretation.  We are not the only sect who believes in it after all.  Revelation is key.  It is the foundation of everything. 

Unwritten, un-witnessed revelation is just another nice idea. You need a people sustaining and preserving the written word by covenant, which is how the Lord fulfills His promises through His children and their agency.

In 3 Nephi 11, Jesus proclaims His gospel: “Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world. And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning… I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world… I give unto you power… and the gates of hell shall not prevail against [you].” He subsequently proclaims His doctrine, and all He says and does after Chapter 11 supports and fulfills the aims of the gospel, calling it the fulness of the gospel in Chapters 16 and 20.

The Bible once contained the fulness of the gospel (1 Nephi 13:24, “Thou hast beheld that the book proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew; and when it proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew it contained the fulness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record; and they bear record according to the truth which is in the Lamb of God”). The Book of Mormon was prepared to bring it back: “…thy seed …shall write many things which I shall minister unto them, which shall be plain and precious; and …these things shall be hid up, to come forth unto the Gentiles, by the gift and power of the Lamb. And in them shall be written my gospel, saith the Lamb, and my rock and my salvation.” (1 Nephi 13: 35, 36).

If there were no Book of Mormon to come forth for whatever reason, and hence no record of the Nephite prophecies pertaining to the Restoration (which were also presumably lost from the Bible), the world would still be in a Great Apostasy. Reformers and inspired restorationists do not dispensation heads make, but those who possess and are called to fulfill the promises as written in the uncorrupted books of remembrance (this is why the Laban’s plates were so essential in connection with Nephite prophetic authority). Thus, the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion.

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3 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

It will be dismissed for the same reasons the Bible is dismissed.  The miraculous.

You missed my meaning entirely (again).  Missionaries hand the BofM to contacts and ask them to read it.  They do not talk about archeology or theology.  And they are not qualified to do so in any case.  The BofM is primary.  The HS is secondary.  I just assumed that you understood that. You must take me for a complete idiot to suppose that I would add an archeological component to LDS missionary work.  Some visitors centers do have some artifact displays, but they are unable to discuss it intelligently with guests, and they cannot even get the cuneiform script right side up in those displays.  Your comments here are preaching to the choir to no good purpose.

You also seem to be unaware that the testimony you seek has to be about something.  Without the BofM, what is that testimony going to entail?  You consider the HS most important, and of course it is, but it all starts with the BofM.  You also seem  blissfully unaware of the vociferous attacks on the BofM and the omnipresence of such on the internet.  Things have changed markedly since you were out tracting.

Revelation is only "everything" to a certain class of believers, pogi.  Secular Westerners are unlikely to give any credence to such an irrational suggestion.  They put their trust in modern science and logic.  They class your fervent belief as superstition.  And this will be more and more the case as the years go by.  Only scholars are capable of carrying on a rational debate about the matter, and only in that sense will Latter-day Saints garner respect among the cognoscenti.  Perhaps that will trickle down to the hoi polloi.  Otherwise both Bible and Book of Mormon will be held in utter derision by more and more people.  Which is great for a hearty laugh, or for the "Book of Mormon" musical.

I truly don't understand why secular westerners and the learned cognoscenti are even being considered when discussing the keystone which establishes the integrity of our religion.    According to the Book of Mormon, a marvelous work and a wonder will bring to perish the wisdom of the wise and learned.  It also states that the small and simple things shall confound the wise. The integrity of our religion is not established via their respect.   So, let the scholars cary on with their rational debate...  In the meantime, a marvelous work will be performed by the simple and the meek - those whose ears and hearts are open to receiving the pleasant word of God through revelation. 

We seem to be speaking past each other in terms of what we mean by "primary" and "secondary" (and probably most everything else too).  You are speaking in terms of chronology - this happens first, this happens second...  I am speaking in terms of primary importance to the integrity of our religion.  In those terms, I stand firm that revelation comes before the Book of Mormon. 

If you want to keep the BoM in the keystone place, I am fine with that if that works for you and others, so long as we can all agree that revelation is in the foundation.  I have a different perspective but can respect why you and others want to keep it there.  No, I don't think you are a complete idiot. On the contrary, I think you are quite bright and I'm sorry if I said something that made this discussion seem personal.

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

I truly don't understand why secular westerners and the learned cognoscenti are even being considered when discussing the keystone which establishes the integrity of our religion.    According to the Book of Mormon, a marvelous work and a wonder will bring to perish the wisdom of the wise and learned.  It also states that the small and simple things shall confound the wise. The integrity of our religion is not established via their respect.   So, let the scholars cary on with their rational debate...  In the meantime, a marvelous work will be performed by the simple and the meek - those whose ears and hearts are open to receiving the pleasant word of God through revelation. 

Perhaps that is all that we need, pogi, and there are certainly those out there in large numbers who agree with you 100%.  And that plays right into the hands of those who want an uneven playing field.  Mainstream christianity has done something very similar in opting for the same ole same ole, tried and true irrational approach.  They lie to themselves and claim that they can prove the existence of God, they can prove the Resurrection, etc, which merely displays their ignorance for all to see.  And Bart Ehrman is not impressed:

 

1 hour ago, pogi said:

We seem to be speaking past each other in terms of what we mean by "primary" and "secondary" (and probably most everything else too).  You are speaking in terms of chronology - this happens first, this happens second...  I am speaking in terms of primary importance to the integrity of our religion.  In those terms, I stand firm that revelation comes before the Book of Mormon. 

If you want to keep the BoM in the keystone place, I am fine with that if that works for you and others, so long as we can all agree that revelation is in the foundation.  I have a different perspective but can respect why you and others want to keep it there.  .............................

You continue to misread me.  Perhaps this comment from C. S. Lewis (a favorite of Elder Maxwell) will help clarify that there are other, much broader considerations to be accounted for.  Monomania will not serve us well.

Quote

"To be ignorant and simple now --not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground --would be to throw down our weapons, and to betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defence but us against the intellectual attacks of the heathen."  C. S. Lewis

LIkewise, Austin Farrer (cited by Lewis and Maxwell):

Quote

“Though argument does not create conviction, the lack of it destroys belief. What seems to be proved may not be embraced; but what no one shows the ability to defend is quickly abandoned. Rational argument does not create belief, but it maintains a climate in which belief may flourish.”  Farrer, “Grete Clerk,” in "Light on C. S. Lewis" compiled by Jocelyn Gibb (Harcourt and Brace, 1965).

If we follow your approach, we essentially shoot ourselves in the foot and leave ourselves defenseless.  Of course the Holy Spirit is the most important (for the umpteenth time), but that doesn't help us get people to even consider that possibility.  The first step is to get them to read the BofM.  That at least gives them something to pray about.  They can now go to the internet and discover all the reasons why reading the BofM is ridiculous and pointless.  You need to acknowledge that.

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17 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Bwahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Oh wait, you are serious?

The Book of Mormon is almost embarrassingly thick with the words and teachings of Christ and his name is plastered all over it in excess of anything Paul ever did and most of it was not taken from the gospels. Other then the modified Sermon on the Mount and Jesus giving them portions of Malachi it is not a copy. Have you read the book? If not, I highly recommend.

My point is that the words of Christ in the BOM are very limited compared to the bible.....it contains about 20 chapters,  3rd Nephi from around chapter 11 to chapter 30. And most of these chapters were lifted directly from the Bible...Malachi 3 and 4, Isaiah 54 and Matthew 7.   We don't really learn anything new  about Jesus or his teachings from 3rd Nephi. 

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22 minutes ago, snowflake said:

My point is that the words of Christ in the BOM are very limited compared to the bible.....it contains about 20 chapters,  3rd Nephi from around chapter 11 to chapter 30. And most of these chapters were lifted directly from the Bible...Malachi 3 and 4, Isaiah 54 and Matthew 7.   We don't really learn anything new  about Jesus or his teachings from 3rd Nephi. 

When I read His words closely, especially His prophecies and His references and vouching for the records which were yet to be compiled into the Book of Mormon and those books of the tribes yet to come forth, and the means by which these things are to be accomplished, I find a fulness of the gospel and many plain and precious things that were lost from the Bible. it seems that a good portion of these, such as the prophecies of Joseph and others, came from the brass plates and needed to be miraculously preserved as opposed to those corrupted versions going forth from the Jews to the Gentiles. There were also a lot of things He did as well, including expression of the sealing power.

Edited by CV75

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10 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Perhaps that is all that we need, pogi, and there are certainly those out there in large numbers who agree with you 100%.  And that plays right into the hands of those who want an uneven playing field.  Mainstream christianity has done something very similar in opting for the same ole same ole, tried and true irrational approach.  They lie to themselves and claim that they can prove the existence of God, they can prove the Resurrection, etc, which merely displays their ignorance for all to see.  And Bart Ehrman is not impressed:

You continue to misread me.  Perhaps this comment from C. S. Lewis (a favorite of Elder Maxwell) will help clarify that there are other, much broader considerations to be accounted for.  Monomania will not serve us well.

LIkewise, Austin Farrer (cited by Lewis and Maxwell):

If we follow your approach, we essentially shoot ourselves in the foot and leave ourselves defenseless.  Of course the Holy Spirit is the most important (for the umpteenth time), but that doesn't help us get people to even consider that possibility.  The first step is to get them to read the BofM.  That at least gives them something to pray about.  They can now go to the internet and discover all the reasons why reading the BofM is ridiculous and pointless.  You need to acknowledge that.

I don't think we are communicating well.  You feel misunderstood, I feel misunderstood, perhaps it is best if we move on to better things.  I am not even entirely certain if we aren't debating different issues altogether.  I certainly am not suggesting that revelation is all we need.  By suggesting that revelation is of primary importance I am not diminishing or negating anything else. I absolutely think there is a place for scholarly and rational apologetics.  If you agree that revelation is of primary importance ("most important") over the BoM, I am not sure why you chose to engage me at all,  Because that is my only point.  

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

I don't think we are communicating well.  You feel misunderstood, I feel misunderstood, perhaps it is best if we move on to better things.  I am not even entirely certain if we aren't debating different issues altogether.  I certainly am not suggesting that revelation is all we need.  By suggesting that revelation is of primary importance I am not diminishing or negating anything else. I absolutely think there is a place for scholarly and rational apologetics.  If you agree that revelation is of primary importance ("most important") over the BoM, I am not sure why you chose to engage me at all,  Because that is my only point.  

I'm not sure how we could have the religion we do without the Book of Mormon (the importance of revelation notwithstanding). How would our religion have come forth without it? For example(s): After the First Vision, what angel would have visited and instructed Joseph Smith, and with what message? Where else is Joseph Smith's mission foretold, and how else would he understand his role in the bigger scheme (of the earth's seven seals of temporal economy)? Where else would Joseph Smith have gotten the ideas to pray which resulted in the restoration of the priesthood, keys and certain doctrines if not through the translation process and content? How would he have cultivated his prophetic gifts and focused his attention to receive direction about what to expect of and do in this dispensation? Why wasn't the Church organized or missionary work started without it?

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

I don't think we are communicating well.  You feel misunderstood, I feel misunderstood, perhaps it is best if we move on to better things.  I am not even entirely certain if we aren't debating different issues altogether.  I certainly am not suggesting that revelation is all we need.  By suggesting that revelation is of primary importance I am not diminishing or negating anything else. I absolutely think there is a place for scholarly and rational apologetics.  If you agree that revelation is of primary importance ("most important") over the BoM, I am not sure why you chose to engage me at all,  Because that is my only point.  

My only response is that the Pentecostal Churches certainly put revelation first, but that doesn't make them LDS.  The belief that the Holy Spirit is a member of the Gottheit shows its importance, but it doesn't tell us what that means in context, which is crucial.  The Book of Mormon is the context, which makes it primary.  Unlike the Holy Spirit, one can hold a BofM in his hands, just as Joseph Smith could hold the golden plates in his hands, or his wife Emma could move the plates around the house in a cheesecloth.  This real world connection is primary and a matter of substance, whereas the connection to the HS is not.  The same applies to the contents of the BofM.  One can read a plethora of detail there, which can be evaluated by real world considerations.  Science cannot be brought to bear on the HS, but it certainly can on the BofM.  Indeed, JAHS has just presented a thread on this board which relies on substantive evidence of BofM geography -- http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/71950-evidences-of-the-book-of-mormon-old-world-geography/?tab=comments#comment-1209911245 .  The HS is clearly the most important, and so is God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ.  Saying so, however, misses the point in this conversation, because any Roman Catholic or Evangelical Christian could agree on that, which means that the claim is not diagnostic of anything but general christianity.  And where does that get us?

 

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3 hours ago, snowflake said:

My point is that the words of Christ in the BOM are very limited compared to the bible.....it contains about 20 chapters,  3rd Nephi from around chapter 11 to chapter 30. And most of these chapters were lifted directly from the Bible...Malachi 3 and 4, Isaiah 54 and Matthew 7.   We don't really learn anything new  about Jesus or his teachings from 3rd Nephi. 

There are more words of Christ in 3 Nephi that those that correspond to Bible chapters.  And those who don't consider them, or the Temple context for 3 Nephi and the enormous difference that makes (see Welch's Illuminating the Sermon at the Temple and the Sermon on the Mount, for starters)  or the other chapters of the Book of Mormon that contain revelation from Christ, are not likely to learn anything new.  The reason why some don't learn anything new is explained in the Bible, with the parable of the sower, and the seed, and the difference in yield depending on the soil and nurture and time.  But I have learned a great deal.  So the "we" does not apply to me.  I've gotten a far better yield from the same seed.

Robert nicely linked several important studies of temple issues, which contain a great deal that is new.  And what does the Bible say about the afterlife?  Not nearly as much as the Book of Mormon.  Is Jesus the son of the God of Israel, or, is he the God of Israel?  How about the words to the sacrament prayers, or baptismal prayers, or priesthood ordinations, or the identity of the "other sheep" or what about the expectation that the Lord would come.  What about the gathering of Israel in the latter days?  What about apostasy after the Lord's coming?  What about the name of the church?  What covenants should we make and to what end?  What constitutes the gospel?  What is the firm foundation on which we should build?  What does it mean to have "fullness of joy"?  What is the place of the gentiles?  Can they be numbered with Israel?  How?  And elsewhere in the Book of Mormon are many things that confirm, clarify, and extend much that is in the Bible.  As well as important prophesy about the Bible (see 1 Nephi 13) and an explanation when things were lost and how, and the different means by which the information will be restored both by the Book of Mormon and other texts coming through the gentiles after.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

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7 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

My only response is that the Pentecostal Churches certainly put revelation first, but that doesn't make them LDS.  The belief that the Holy Spirit is a member of the Gottheit shows its importance, but it doesn't tell us what that means in context, which is crucial.  The Book of Mormon is the context, which makes it primary.  Unlike the Holy Spirit, one can hold a BofM in his hands, just as Joseph Smith could hold the golden plates in his hands, or his wife Emma could move the plates around the house in a cheesecloth.  This real world connection is primary and a matter of substance, whereas the connection to the HS is not.  The same applies to the contents of the BofM.  One can read a plethora of detail there, which can be evaluated by real world considerations.  Science cannot be brought to bear on the HS, but it certainly can on the BofM.  Indeed, JAHS has just presented a thread on this board which relies on substantive evidence of BofM geography -- http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/71950-evidences-of-the-book-of-mormon-old-world-geography/?tab=comments#comment-1209911245 .  The HS is clearly the most important, and so is God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ.  Saying so, however, misses the point in this conversation, because any Roman Catholic or Evangelical Christian could agree on that, which means that the claim is not diagnostic of anything but general christianity.  And where does that get us?

I think language is as much an eternal principle as the "voice of the Spirit" and "groanings which cannot be uttered". God had Adam name the animals and keep a book of remembrance from the start, seemingly after the pattern He uses to rule and judge out of the books in heaven. Thought-to-paper is rudimentary creation, bringing heaven to earth, passing it along without reinventing the wheel of eternal progress. Oral tradition and history have proven inadequate for keeping the children of the kingdom on track, and as we see, even the written word must be miraculously preserved and correctly translated before anyone can even get barely motivated to get additional legitimate revelation from them.

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1 hour ago, CV75 said:

I'm not sure how we could have the religion we do without the Book of Mormon (the importance of revelation notwithstanding). How would our religion have come forth without it? For example(s): After the First Vision, what angel would have visited and instructed Joseph Smith, and with what message? Where else is Joseph Smith's mission foretold, and how else would he understand his role in the bigger scheme (of the earth's seven seals of temporal economy)? Where else would Joseph Smith have gotten the ideas to pray which resulted in the restoration of the priesthood, keys and certain doctrines if not through the translation process and content? How would he have cultivated his prophetic gifts and focused his attention to receive direction about what to expect of and do in this dispensation? Why wasn't the Church organized or missionary work started without it?

Where else? Revelation! The Book of Mormon is nothing more than a record of revelations. Revelation is the beginning, the means, and the end witness of all truths.  No scripture would exist without revelation.  The BoM's primary purpose is to act as a second witness of Christ.  For that reason it is essential, but it does not trump revelation which is the ultimate witness of Christ and the primary source for the truths in the Book of Mormon.  The Book of Mormon IS revelation.  There is no difference.  By asking which is more important, perhaps we are being ridiculous.  It is like asking which is more important, revelation or revelation?

Without revelation, the Book of Mormon would be useless.  We would simply turn into another fallen Book of Mormon sect because we wouldn't be able to properly interpret it. 

Edited by pogi

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42 minutes ago, pogi said:

Where else? Revelation! The Book of Mormon is nothing more than a record of revelations. Revelation is the beginning, the means, and the end witness of all truths.  No scripture would exist without revelation.  The BoM's primary purpose is to act as a second witness of Christ.  For that reason it is essential, but it does not trump revelation which is the ultimate witness of Christ and the primary source for the truths in the Book of Mormon.  The Book of Mormon IS revelation.  There is no difference.  By asking which is more important, perhaps we are being ridiculous.  It is like asking which is more important, revelation or revelation?

Without revelation, the Book of Mormon would be useless.  We would simply turn into another fallen Book of Mormon sect because we wouldn't be able to properly interpret it. 

But my question was more in line with, “How would the revelations for the restoration that came forth in consequence of the Book of Mormon have otherwise come forth?” We would have a new history in contradiction to how God said it would come to pass, and that in the form of a broken promise. In other words, how could God not do what He said He would do with it, and not make it the focal point of the Restoration in fulfillment of His promises to Joseph and his descendants in behalf of all Israel and His great promises to the Gentiles (in other words, to all mankind, the living and the dead; “should not a people seek unto their God for the living to hear from the dead?”)?

I think it is safe to assume it is the keystone for fallen sects as well. I don’t think that’s the point. It is baked-in to the fulfilled prophecies and revelations of the restoration, whether others have apostatized from them or not. And it remains Another Witness of Jesus Christ to them as well, albeit relatively useless in relation to what the Lord has actually done with it.

There is another thread about regression: The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion, but no: revelation is the keystone because it brought forth the Book for Mormon, but then no: prophets are the keystone of our religion because they received the revelations, but then no: God is the keystone of our religion because He gives the revelations to the prophets, but then no: I am the keystone of our religion because non-persons cannot receive revelation, perceive religion, or say something like “keystone of our religion”.

...and if there is no difference, then the Book of Mormon is even more so the keystone of our religion. :)

Edited by CV75

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1 hour ago, CV75 said:

But my question was more in line with, “How would the revelations for the restoration that came forth in consequence of the Book of Mormon have otherwise come forth?” We would have a new history in contradiction to how God said it would come to pass, and that in the form of a broken promise. In other words, how could God not do what He said He would do with it, and not make it the focal point of the Restoration in fulfillment of His promises to Joseph and his descendants in behalf of all Israel and His great promises to the Gentiles (in other words, to all mankind, the living and the dead; “should not a people seek unto their God for the living to hear from the dead?”)?

I think it is safe to assume it is the keystone for fallen sects as well. I don’t think that’s the point. It is baked-in to the fulfilled prophecies and revelations of the restoration, whether others have apostatized from them or not. And it remains Another Witness of Jesus Christ to them as well, albeit relatively useless in relation to what the Lord has actually done with it.

There is another thread about regression: The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion, but no: revelation is the keystone because it brought forth the Book for Mormon, but then no: prophets are the keystone of our religion because they received the revelations, but then no: God is the keystone of our religion because He gives the revelations to the prophets, but then no: I am the keystone of our religion because non-persons cannot receive revelation, perceive religion, or say something like “keystone of our religion”.

...and if there is no difference, then the Book of Mormon is even more so the keystone of our religion. :)

Which would be more profitable and key to the integrity and success of the church in the long-run, a Book of Mormon with no continuing revelation, or continuing revelation with no Book of Mormon?

It seems this question has been asked before:

Quote

 

Ezra Taft Benson

We are admonished to “seek out of the best books words of wisdom” (D&C 88:118). Surely these books must include the scriptures. Alongside them must be the words of the Presidents of the Church. The Lord said of the President of the Church, “His word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth” (D&C 21:5). These books make up what has been referred to as “the Lord’s library”—namely the standard works and the various volumes that contain the words of the different Presidents of the Church. Of the latter volumes, that which would be of greatest importance to you would be the words of the current President of the Church, for his words are directed to our day and our needs. (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.137-138)


Wilford Woodruff

I will refer to a certain meeting I attended in the town of Kirtland in my early days. At that meeting some remarks were made that have been made here today, with regard to the living oracles and with regard to the written word of God. The same principle was presented, although not as extensively as it has been here, when a leading man in the Church got up and talked upon the subject, and said: “You have got the word of God before you here in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants; you have the written word of God, and you who give revelations should give revelations according to those books, as what is written in those books is the word of God. We should confine ourselves to them.” When he concluded, Brother Joseph turned to Brother Brigham Young and said, “Brother Brigham I want you to take the stand and tell us your views with regard to the written oracles and the written word of God.” Brother Brigham took the stand, and he took the Bible, and laid it down; he took the Book of Mormon, and laid it down; and he took the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and laid it down before him, and he said: “There is the written word of God to us, concerning the work of God from the beginning of the world, almost, to our day.” “And now,” said he, “when compared with the living oracles those books are nothing to me; those books do not convey the word of God direct to us now, as do the words of a Prophet or a man bearing the Holy Priesthood in our day and generation. I would rather have the living oracles than all the [p.23]writing in the books.” That was the course he pursued. When he was through, Brother Joseph said to the congregation: “Brother Brigham has told you the word of the Lord, and he has told you the truth.”  (Conference Report, October 1897, p.22)

It seems I am in good company when Joseph Smith himself who said that the BoM was the keystone of our religion agreed that continuing revelation is even of greater worth and value. 

Edited by pogi

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16 hours ago, pogi said:

Which would be more profitable and key to the integrity and success of the church in the long-run, a Book of Mormon with no continuing revelation, or continuing revelation with no Book of Mormon?

It seems this question has been asked before:

It seems I am in good company when Joseph Smith himself who said that the BoM was the keystone of our religion agreed that continuing revelation is even of greater worth and value. 

I am approaching this from the standpoint that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion, and revelation is, let’s say, the foundation. Neither takes anything away from the other.

This is consistent with what Joseph Smith taught, a favorite of mine: “The fundamental principles of our religion is the testimony of the apostles and prophets concerning Jesus Christ, that he died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended up into heaven; and all other things are only appendages to these, which pertain to our religion. But in connection with these, we believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost, the power of faith, the enjoyment of the spiritual gifts according to the will of God, the restoration of the house of Israel, and the final triumph of truth.” Let’s add the Book of Mormon, since it is key to the restoration of the house of Israel, and the final triumph of truth as well as the testimony of the apostles and prophets. None of the appendages takes anything away from the foundational testimony, and the testimony takes nothing away from the appendages.

But the testimony is the foundation, not the revelation; rejected revelation does not a testimony make. Asserting that “the true keystone of our religion is revelation” ignores Joseph Smith’s explanation, which is consistent with Christ’s explanation to Peter, that the fundamental principle (i.e. the foundation) is actually the testimony of the apostles and prophets, not the revelation that the faithful leverage into their testimony.

So to answer your question directly, continuing revelation will not occur without sustaining the Book of Mormon and recognizing it for what Joseph Smith said it is, which in no way suggests we are to confine ourselves to its text in opposition to Moroni 10:5.

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On 6/13/2019 at 6:56 AM, snowflake said:

My point is that the words of Christ in the BOM are very limited compared to the bible.....it contains about 20 chapters,  3rd Nephi from around chapter 11 to chapter 30. And most of these chapters were lifted directly from the Bible...Malachi 3 and 4, Isaiah 54 and Matthew 7.   We don't really learn anything new  about Jesus or his teachings from 3rd Nephi. 

Most of 20 chapters and then you list 4?

As to the last sentence in your post: Uh........no.

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On 6/11/2019 at 2:39 PM, Valentinus said:

This is patently false. Christianity could not have survived all the deaths of the original apostles and Jesus's death without the Spirit to guide them. @3DOP, @MiserereNobis and @Spammer...am I off base on this?

The ancient church was not a vessel to bring about Mormonism. Mormonism is a response to 19th century American social and religious culture.

Valentinus...long time...good to see you...

Yes, you are off base. "Patently false" is too strong. Your evidence is a little weak. Those unfamiliar with true Catholic history won't be persuaded by the survival of "Christianity". They aren't overly fond of the "Christianity" that survived to the times of the Restoration. Let me recommend a book. The Liturgical Year, Easter, Part 3, Dom Prosper Gueranger. We are in the octave of Pentecost right now. Yesterday was Friday in the Octave. Great stuff on the fecundity of the Three Persons and how the Holy Ghost does outside the Godhead what the Father and Son did inside the Godhead. I don't have time to flesh it out. I love you for the sentiments...but...sorry for the conclusion.

God love you,

Rory 

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3 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Most of 20 chapters and then you list 4?

As to the last sentence in your post: Uh........no.

There’s literally new revelation from Christ to man on nearly every other page. I mean wha about the vision of the brother of Jared? Nephi’s vision? Not to mention the countless “thus saith the lord” statements on almost every page. I mean come on haha did snowflake read the Book?

Edited by SettingDogStar

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7 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Most of 20 chapters and then you list 4?

As to the last sentence in your post: Uh........no.

 

3 hours ago, SettingDogStar said:

There’s literally new revelation from Christ to man on nearly every other page. I mean wha about the vision of the brother of Jared? Nephi’s vision? Not to mention the countless “thus saith the lord” statements on almost every page. I mean come on haha did snowflake read the Book?

I think you're being a bit unfair to Snowflake's point.

He didn't say there was no revelation in the Book of Mormon.  Only that it doesn't provide very many new doctrines not already found in the Bible.  And that's as it should be.  It's the second witness of Christ.  They should and do mostly contain the same teachings.

But we know there are some truths it restored and clarified vs the Bible too.

Our focus on the Book of Mormon is a fairly recent thing if we look at Church history.  While belief in its restoration and inspired nature have always been a keystone of our faith, the early Church focused on New Testament and D&C for most doctrine.

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1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

 

I think you're being a bit unfair to Snowflake's point.

He didn't say there was no revelation in the Book of Mormon.  Only that it doesn't provide very many new doctrines not already found in the Bible.  And that's as it should be.  It's the second witness of Christ.  They should and do mostly contain the same teachings.

But we know there are some truths it restored and clarified vs the Bible too.

Our focus on the Book of Mormon is a fairly recent thing if we look at Church history.  While belief in its restoration and inspired nature have always been a keystone of our faith, the early Church focused on New Testament and D&C for most doctrine.

Well said.

Out of curiosity, what would you say are the main doctrinal differences or clarifications the BoM makes in relation to the Bible?

Also curious, when it is said that the BoM is written for our day, what do you feel the BoM provides for "our day" that the Bible doesn't?

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