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The Lords Challenge To Critics


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I would like to see how the critics of the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants feel about this one, what can they come up with. In the doctrine and covenants the lord revealed to Joseph Smith this revelation.

1 BEHOLD and hearken, O ye elders of my church, who have assembled yourselves together, whose prayers I have heard, and whose hearts I know, and whose desires have come up before me.

2 Behold and lo, mine eyes are upon you, and the heavens and the earth are in mine hands, and the riches of eternity are mine to give.

3 Ye endeavored to believe that ye should receive the blessing which was offered unto you; but behold, verily I say unto you there were fears in your hearts, and verily this is the reason that ye did not receive.

4 And now I, the Lord, give unto you a testimony of the truth of these commandments which are lying before you.

5 Your eyes have been upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and his language you have known, and his imperfections you have known; and you have sought in your hearts knowledge that you might express beyond his language; this you also know.

6 Now, seek ye out of the Book of Commandments, even the least that is among them, and appoint him that is the most wise among you;

7 Or, if there be any among you that shall make one like unto it, then ye are justified in saying that ye do not know that they are true;

8 But if ye cannot make one like unto it, ye are under condemnation if ye do not bear record that they are true.

9 For ye know that there is no unrighteousness in them, and that which is righteous cometh down from above, from the Father of lights.

(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 67:1 - 9)

The same goes for the Book of Mormon. Can they produce something like it even remotely? I would give them way more time to produce such a thing, Like double 6 months or more, instead of the 3 months that the Prophet Joseph Smith used to translate the Plates. If these revelations are of men then men can write ones like them again. If they are of God they will testify for themselves.

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I always thought this was a weird game the Lord played to help authenticate Joseph Smith's revelations. I would think there would be easier ways to prove this to the saints.

Though if Joseph were a fraud it is a strange way for him to reply to doubts about the revelations. What if someone did produce a revelation equal to what Joseph was doing? He obviously had great confidence in his abilities and believed no one else had his talent.

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I would like to see how the critics of the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants feel about this one, what can they come up with. In the doctrine and covenants the lord revealed to Joseph Smith this revelation.

1 BEHOLD and hearken, O ye elders of my church, who have assembled yourselves together, whose prayers I have heard, and whose hearts I know, and whose desires have come up before me.

2 Behold and lo, mine eyes are upon you, and the heavens and the earth are in mine hands, and the riches of eternity are mine to give.

3 Ye endeavored to believe that ye should receive the blessing which was offered unto you; but behold, verily I say unto you there were fears in your hearts, and verily this is the reason that ye did not receive.

4 And now I, the Lord, give unto you a testimony of the truth of these commandments which are lying before you.

5 Your eyes have been upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and his language you have known, and his imperfections you have known; and you have sought in your hearts knowledge that you might express beyond his language; this you also know.

6 Now, seek ye out of the Book of Commandments, even the least that is among them, and appoint him that is the most wise among you;

7 Or, if there be any among you that shall make one like unto it, then ye are justified in saying that ye do not know that they are true;

8 But if ye cannot make one like unto it, ye are under condemnation if ye do not bear record that they are true.

9 For ye know that there is no unrighteousness in them, and that which is righteous cometh down from above, from the Father of lights.

(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 67:1 - 9)

The same goes for the Book of Mormon. Can they produce something like it even remotely? I would give them way more time to produce such a thing, Like double 6 months or more, instead of the 3 months that the Prophet Joseph Smith used to translate the Plates. If these revelations are of men then men can write ones like them again. If they are of God they will testify for themselves.

We know in advance that anything one may come up with you will just declare it to be inferior.

I for one am not impressed. These words gain a false sense of importance merely by being written in faux old English.

More inspired is easy to come by:

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:

The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,

Hath had elsewhere its setting,

And cometh from afar:

Not in entire forgetfulness,

And not in utter nakedness,

But trailing clouds of glory do we come

From God, who is our home:

Heaven lies about us in our infancy!--Wadsworth

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought

I summon up remembrance of things past,

I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,

And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste:

Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,

For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,

And weep afresh love's long since cancelled woe,

And moan the expense of many a vanished sight.

Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,

And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er

The sad account of fore-bemoan

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I would like to see how the critics of the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants feel about this one, what can they come up with. In the doctrine and covenants the lord revealed to Joseph Smith this revelation.

It seems to me this is most likely a revelation particularly suited for that place and time and those people answering their need rather than some universal test because, as has been noted, quality of literature is a very subjective quality indeed.

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Qur'an

Sunnah (from hadith)

Nahjul Balagha

Avesta

Vedas

Upanishads

Bhagavad Gita (in the Mahabharata)

various Puranas (Vishnu Purana, Shiva Purana, Skanda Purana, Linga Purana, Garuda Purana, Matsya Purana, etc.)

Tantras (including Kularnava Tantra)

sutras, and their commentaries

Vachanas

Adi Granth

Purvas (12 angas including Acarangasutra and Sutrakritanga, 34 angabahya including Uttaradhyayana Sutra and Kalpa Sutra. Also: Upasakdasanga Sutra, Dashavaikalika Sutra, and Nandi Sutra)

Purvas (small number; reject most Shvetambara Purvas)

Samadhishataka of Pujyapada; Tattvarthasutra of Umasvati

Tattvarthasutra

Other separate books of Jain Canon: Sanmatitarka, Gomattasara, Jayadhavala, Adipurana, Dvatrimshika, Aptamimamsa, Mulacara, Ratnakarandasravakacara, Sagaradharmamrita Jainism

Pali Tripitaka

Jataka stories (semi-cannonical)

Visuddimagga or Path of Purification (semi-cannonical)

Questions of King Milinda (semi-cannonical)

Chinese Tripitaka

Tibetan Tripitaka

Lotus Sutra (Saddharma-Pundarika)

Sukhavativyuha Sutras

Meditation on Buddha Amitayus (Amitayur Dhyana Sutra)

Garland Sutra (Avatamsaka Sutra)

Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines (Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita Sutra)

Sutra of Hui Neng (Platform Sutra)

Lankavatara Sutra

Mahaparinirvana Sutra; Surangama Sutra Buddha; Golden Light Sutra (Suvarnaprabhasottama)

writings of Nagarjuna, Shantideva, Aryadeva, Vasubandhu, Dharmakirti, Gyalwa Longchenpa, Sakya Pandita, Milarepa, and Lama Tsongkhapa

Mulamadhyamaka Karika and Precious Garland

Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life (Bodhisattvacharyavatara)

Hevajra Tantra; Kalacakra Tantra; Guhyasamaja Tantra

Tibetan Book of the Dead (Bardo Thodol)

Five Classics: Book of Songs; Book of History; Spring and Autumn Annals; Book of Ritual; I Ching (Book of Changes)

Four Books: Analects; the Great Learning; the Doctrine of the Mean; the Mencius

Tao Te Ching

Chuang-tzu

Treatise on Response and Retribution (T'ai-Shang Kan-Ying P'ien)

Tract of the Quiet Way (Yin Chih Wen)

Kojiki

Nihon Shoki

K-oki

Ofudesaki

Mikagura-uta

Michi-no-Shiori

Johrei

Goseigen

Nectarean Shower of Holy Doctrines

Song of the Angel

Holy Sutra for Spiritual Healing

Divine Teachings of Kyososama

Chun Boo Kyung

Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah

Book of Certitude (Kitab-i-Iqan)

Hidden Words of Baha'u'llah

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf

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"Arcana Coelestia" by Swedenborg?

"The Silmarillion" J.R.R Tolkien?

The Koran?

The Tao-te Ching?

The Pahlavi Texts?

I second Tarski on the books mentioned for actual truth value.

The reality is that religious texts don't present any new knowledge, they don't give us anything that could not have come from the writers by natural means. They really didn't require divine inspiration to produce... (e.g. the bible has bad math, geography, science, and gets many cultural practices of the day and age wrong)

Now envisioning special relativity and the movement of celestial bodies enough to be able to precisely predict their paths? THAT should be some kind of divine inspiration... unfortunately, the people who came up with these things hog all the glory and are more likely to claim that God doesn't even exist at all. Selfish enlightened bastards.

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While I am a BOM believer, I have always thought this argument was pretty poor, i.e. if you think you could write a book like the BOM then try!

There are PLENTY of books that rival the complexity and style of the BOM. I just don't think that is a good test.

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There are PLENTY of books that rival the complexity and style of the BOM. I just don't think that is a good test

Are you saying the Lord's test was poorly conceived? :P I find it odd the Lord would even suggest such an odd way to authenticate his revelations.

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Well William E McLellin tried it and didn't do so good. Is it really a week argument? It is not just about the book of Mormon, all can try to mimic the revelations of the doctrine and covenants. Truth stands on its own. The lord left this message to everyone. It applies to its time but it will stand the test of time. From what I know there has only been one person that has responded to this revelation and that was William E. McLellin. Now about the argument that if someone makes one that people will just reject it anyway. I donâ??t know what to tell you. If you do I will not respond to it negatively or positively but I will let it stand on its own. Just think, if you really produce something really good just think of all the support that you can have from the other critics. Let people decide individually, surely we have plenty of opposition. Joseph smith said that the Book of Mormon would testify of itself. From what I know it is the only book on the earth were it holds the promise that if we pray about it with a sincere heart that we can know of its truthfulness by the power of the holy ghost. If this is the work of Satan then he put the wrong words in at the end asking everyone to pray to God to see if it is truth.

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1. And behold, the day doth come that none shall be able to stand and all shall bow. For as the light of the sun doeth surely return to descend upon the earth in radiance so shall the Son of God return to light the minds of men.

2. He shall reign over the nations in glory and wisdom and none shall deny his power and sovereignty. Verily, every man shall confess and every voice praise his name.

3. Yeah, and it shall come to pass that darkness and shadow shall flee and uncertainty dissolve upon his return. For behold, on that great day there shall be naught that doubt in the land and wavering there shall be none. His promise shall be fulfilled, yeah every jot and tittle. The wicked shall mourn but the righteous shall rejoice. For his voice will be as the voice of a loved one long forgotten and then remembered in joy. Yeah, even the voice of the Son begotten of the everlasting Father.

4. And now I say unto you my brethren; lest ye be born again and repent of your sins, ye shall be filled with sorrow. For He shall open the book of life and thy name shall not be found therein.

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...

Vedas

...

Bhagavad Gita (in the Mahabharata)

...

Tibetan Tripitaka

...

Meditation on Buddha Amitayus (Amitayur Dhyana Sutra)

...

Tibetan Book of the Dead (Bardo Thodol)

...

The above are some good stuff. :P

That's about all I have to contribute to this thread. (That, and perhaps the addition of the writings of J. Krishnamurti).

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1. And behold, the day doth come that none shall be able to stand and all shall bow. For as the light of the sun doeth surely return to descend upon the earth in radiance so shall the Son of God return to light the minds of men.

2. He shall reign over the nations in glory and wisdom and none shall deny his power and sovereignty. Verily, every man shall confess and every voice praise his name.

3. Yeah, and it shall come to pass that darkness and shadow shall flee and uncertainty dissolve upon his return. For behold, on that great day there shall be naught that doubt in the land and wavering there shall be none. His promise shall be fulfilled, yeah every jot and tittle. The wicked shall mourn but the righteous shall rejoice. For his voice will be as the voice of a loved one long forgotten and then remembered in joy. Yeah, even the voice of the Son begotten of the everlasting Father.

4. And now I say unto you my brethren; lest ye be born again and repent of your sins, ye shall be filled with sorrow. For He shall open the book of life and thy name shall not be found therein.

I said that I would not respond negatively or positively if someone did come up with something but we already have that in all scriptures. Lets come up with something new.

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Out of all of those wonderful books that have been listed, how many of them fit this part of the challenge from the OP?

I would give them way more time to produce such a thing, Like double 6 months or more, instead of the 3 months that the Prophet Joseph Smith used to translate the Plates.

In our haste to punch holes in his argument, we may not have read his argument very closely.

Sargon

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Writing that much in three months is not that difficult, especially when a lot of it is from the bible, and the real investment is how much time you spend putting it together in your head.

I think there is a thread that addresses this very same topic. Surely, I have written more for school in less time. I fancy that some people have written more volume in less time just in this forum.

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Sons of God , Christine Mercie

Ye are God's, Annalee Skarin

To God the Glory, "" ""

Temples of God, "" ""

Secrets of Eternity, "" ''"

Celestial Song of Creation, "" ""

Man Triumphant, "" ""

Beyond Mortal Boundaries, "" ""

Book of Books, "" ""

Written with a pen dipped in heaven.....Sealed by the Holy spirit of God.

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It's one thing to put together in your mind a general story line for something like the Book of Mormon. It's a far different text to put together a well edited manuscript you never wrote on paper. The first time persons see your manuscript on paper was as you dictated it to scribes. Perhap's if the book isn't of God Satan inspired Joseph Smith. Or Joseph Smith was a great genius that had abilities that we can't find in other fraudsters.

I believe Mark Hoffmann had the ability to fake revelations. I doubt he could have produced a Book of Mormon in the manner Joseph Smith did. I doubt even that master forger did any completed text without seeing it on paper first. Did he do any documents completely in his head, and put them down on paper right the first time?

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Qur'an

Sunnah (from hadith)

Nahjul Balagha

Avesta

Vedas

Upanishads

Bhagavad Gita (in the Mahabharata)

various Puranas (Vishnu Purana, Shiva Purana, Skanda Purana, Linga Purana, Garuda Purana, Matsya Purana, etc.)

Tantras (including Kularnava Tantra)

sutras, and their commentaries

Vachanas

Adi Granth

Purvas (12 angas including Acarangasutra and Sutrakritanga, 34 angabahya including Uttaradhyayana Sutra and Kalpa Sutra. Also: Upasakdasanga Sutra, Dashavaikalika Sutra, and Nandi Sutra)

Purvas (small number; reject most Shvetambara Purvas)

Samadhishataka of Pujyapada; Tattvarthasutra of Umasvati

Tattvarthasutra

Other separate books of Jain Canon: Sanmatitarka, Gomattasara, Jayadhavala, Adipurana, Dvatrimshika, Aptamimamsa, Mulacara, Ratnakarandasravakacara, Sagaradharmamrita Jainism

Pali Tripitaka

Jataka stories (semi-cannonical)

Visuddimagga or Path of Purification (semi-cannonical)

Questions of King Milinda (semi-cannonical)

Chinese Tripitaka

Tibetan Tripitaka

Lotus Sutra (Saddharma-Pundarika)

Sukhavativyuha Sutras

Meditation on Buddha Amitayus (Amitayur Dhyana Sutra)

Garland Sutra (Avatamsaka Sutra)

Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines (Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita Sutra)

Sutra of Hui Neng (Platform Sutra)

Lankavatara Sutra

Mahaparinirvana Sutra; Surangama Sutra Buddha; Golden Light Sutra (Suvarnaprabhasottama)

writings of Nagarjuna, Shantideva, Aryadeva, Vasubandhu, Dharmakirti, Gyalwa Longchenpa, Sakya Pandita, Milarepa, and Lama Tsongkhapa

Mulamadhyamaka Karika and Precious Garland

Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life (Bodhisattvacharyavatara)

Hevajra Tantra; Kalacakra Tantra; Guhyasamaja Tantra

Tibetan Book of the Dead (Bardo Thodol)

Five Classics: Book of Songs; Book of History; Spring and Autumn Annals; Book of Ritual; I Ching (Book of Changes)

Four Books: Analects; the Great Learning; the Doctrine of the Mean; the Mencius

Tao Te Ching

Chuang-tzu

Treatise on Response and Retribution (T'ai-Shang Kan-Ying P'ien)

Tract of the Quiet Way (Yin Chih Wen)

Kojiki

Nihon Shoki

K-oki

Ofudesaki

Mikagura-uta

Michi-no-Shiori

Johrei

Goseigen

Nectarean Shower of Holy Doctrines

Song of the Angel

Holy Sutra for Spiritual Healing

Divine Teachings of Kyososama

Chun Boo Kyung

Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah

Book of Certitude (Kitab-i-Iqan)

Hidden Words of Baha'u'llah

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf

What? Thats all you got MC?

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something tells me that if God really were speaking through scripture there, he wouldn'nt have to defend himself like that. I've noticed that about the BOM so far - there's this sort of twitchiness in the details about the writings as if certain things had to be accounted for. I know we see some of that in Kings, but then it was just saying that the whole thing was recorded in the annals, not "wherefore I am only able to write so much, yea, even this much, knowing that the Lord hath placed aside a fullness upon my record for later times" or something cheesy like that.

sounds like Joseph Smith was just trying to cover himself up. Besides, hypothetically speaking, if you're a con man preparing to start a new religion, you need lots of planning time to know what you're doing. Finalize that in your head, and the rest should come pretty easily.

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The reality is that religious texts don't present any new knowledge

Depends on how you define "knowledge" I would say.

1. And behold, the day doth come that none shall be able to stand and all shall bow. For as the light of the sun doeth surely return to descend upon the earth in radiance so shall the Son of God return to light the minds of men.

2. He shall reign over the nations in glory and wisdom and none shall deny his power and sovereignty. Verily, every man shall confess and every voice praise his name.

3. Yeah, and it shall come to pass that darkness and shadow shall flee and uncertainty dissolve upon his return. For behold, on that great day there shall be naught that doubt in the land and wavering there shall be none. His promise shall be fulfilled, yeah every jot and tittle. The wicked shall mourn but the righteous shall rejoice. For his voice will be as the voice of a loved one long forgotten and then remembered in joy. Yeah, even the voice of the Son begotten of the everlasting Father.

4. And now I say unto you my brethren; lest ye be born again and repent of your sins, ye shall be filled with sorrow. For He shall open the book of life and thy name shall not be found therein.

That's actually kind of nice. <_< Good start, how about some 300, 400? (lds.org doesn't list the number of the page so I'm guessing) more pages of it. :P

I said that I would not respond negatively or positively if someone did come up with something but we already have that in all scriptures. Lets come up with something new.

I am not sure that there is reference to "something new" in the challenge. And certainly the BoM has a great deal of 'not something new' in it...with some interesting variations, of course.:unsure:
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The "If JS was not a prophet, could he have done _______?" argument is weak because Christ warns us that a false prophet will show great signs and wonders.

Matthew 24:24

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

So the fact that that type of argument shows up in a "revelation" is an indication to me that it's not really a revelation.

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The "If JS was not a prophet, could he have done _______?" argument is weak because Christ warns us that a false prophet will show great signs and wonders.

So the fact that that type of argument shows up in a "revelation" is an indication to me that it's not really a revelation.

Ye shall know them by their fruits.

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Man can write all kinds of things, false prophets and false christs can try to decieve. Lucifer can teach truth or quote scripture when it suits his purposes. But one thing he cannot do and that is teach the truth by the Spirit of truth. The problem is explained in the following:

(D&C 50:2-23) "Behold, verily I say unto you, that there are many spirits which are false aspirits, which have gone forth in the earth, deceiving the world.

And also Satan hath sought to deceive you, that he might overthrow you.

Behold, I, the Lord, have looked upon you, and have seen abominations in the church that profess my name.

But blessed are they who are faithful and endure, whether in life or in death, for they shall inherit eternal life.

But wo unto them that are deceivers and hypocrites, for, thus saith the Lord, I will bring them to judgment.

Behold, verily I say unto you, there are hypocrites among you, who have deceived some, which has given the adversary power; but behold such shall be reclaimed;

But the hypocrites shall be detected and shall be cut off, either in life or in death, even as I will; and wo unto them who are cut off from my church, for the same are overcome of the world.

Wherefore, let every man beware lest he do that which is not in truth and righteousness before me.

And now come, saith the Lord, by the Spirit, unto the elders of his church, and let us reason together, that ye may understand; Let us reason even as a man reasoneth one with another face to face.

Now, when a man reasoneth he is understood of man, because he reasoneth as a man; even so will I, the Lord, reason with you that you may understand.

Wherefore, I the Lord ask you this questionâ??unto what were ye ordained?

To preach my gospel by the Spirit, even the Comforter which was sent forth to teach the truth.

And then received ye spirits which ye could not understand, and received them to be of God; and in this are ye justified?

Behold ye shall answer this question yourselves; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto you; he that is weak among you hereafter shall be made strong.

Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?

And if it be by some other way it is not of God.

And again, he that receiveth the word of truth, doth he receive it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?

If it be some other way it is not of God.

Therefore, why is it that ye cannot understand and know, that he that receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth it as it is preached by the Spirit of truth?

Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together.

And that which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness.

The point is we can write words that mimic the scriptures but unless they are given by the Spirit of truth they are not of God and God will not acknowledge what He has not given.
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Man can write all kinds of things, false prophets and false christs can try to decieve. Lucifer can teach truth or quote scripture when it suits his purposes. But one thing he cannot do and that is teach the truth by the Spirit of truth. The problem is explained in the following:The point is we can write words that mimic the scriptures but unless they are given by the Spirit of truth they are not of God and God will not acknowledge what He has not given.

I think another point of this quote is that it is the Lord that ordains one that will write or speak His words.

Any written word can be comprehended whether it is of God or Satan, by one test. Does it glorify God and expand His kingdom.

Man has misinterpreted God's word enough, Satan has other things to do.

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