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Book Of Mormon Historicity And Temple Recommends


mms

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The TR interview asks:

"Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?"

Recently, the church put out a press release in its newsroom entitled "Approaching Mormon History" that stated:

"It is often asked, for example, how the Church can reconcile the authenticity of the Book of Mormon with the absence of archeological proof. This difficulty is inherent in all religious history and illustrates how spiritual matters are best verified by spiritual means."

"Church President Gordon B. Hinckley, also interviewed by Helen Whitney, similarly expressed the need to take Church history literally. Articulating the difficulty of finding middle ground between myth and reality, President Hinckley said of the foundational story of Mormonism that â??it's either true or false. If it's false, we're engaged in a great fraud. If it's true, it's the most important thing in the world.â? "

These statements seem to compel the conclusion that those who believe that the BOM is inspired but not historical, are not with the church on the issue (which I think is undisputed, anyway).

Of course, many groups working against the Church teach that the BOM is not historical. Does this mean that those who do not believe in the historicity of the BOM should not get their recommends because they sympathize with the groups to the extent they teach that the BOM is not historical-which is a teaching contrary to the teachings of the Church ?

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The TR interview asks:

"Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?"

These statements seem to compel the conclusion that those who believe that the BOM is inspired but not historical, are not with the church on the issue (which I think is undisputed, anyway).

I agree. Such should not get a recommend unless they are still trying to believe.

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Why would you want one if you don't believe?

Good question --- but I think that the matter can be tested quite easily.

The next agreeable LDS who goes for a TR can copy and recite the following

to his Bishop, and see if the recommend is still forthcoming:

1. I do not believe that there was a great battle of Nephite extinction in Manchester, NY, as

is depicted in the Hill Cumorah Pagent held there each year.

2. I do not believe that Cowdery, Pratt, Peterson and Whitmer went to convert real

Lamanites, when they went across the Missouri into Indian Territory in 1831

3. I do not believe we will ever dig up Zarahemla, nor a single Nephite artifact.

4. I do not believe that Indians converted to Mormonism will have their skins grow lighter.

5. I do not believe that Joseph Smith had the golden plates beside him when he translated

6. I do not believe that there ever was a Zelph, nor that he was a white Lamanite

7. I do not believe that Joseph Smith ever had the BoM's Liahona in his possession

8. I do not believe that the seer stone(s) or the diamond lens spectacles were the urim & thummim

9. I do not believe that the drawings we have of Nephite characters are true copies from any plates

Technically speaking, those 9 points should NOT be a factor in the granting of a TR.

Anybody game to try it -- and see what happens?

UD

.

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Why would you want one if you don't believe?

I have recently encountered a number of people (with whom many on this board may be familiar) who believe much of the Church to be true, and believe the BoM to be the inspired word of God, but simply not a book of actual history. So they would like TR's to be able to obtain the blessings of the Temple, as they indeed believe that it is a Holy place in which the work of God is carried out.

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I would suppose that if you went to the Bishop/SP and told them that you believed in the Restored Gospel with all of your heart and had a tesimony of everything. You were worthy, sincere and truely orthodox in except for a personal lack of faith in the literal historality of the BoM...you found it to be inspired scripture...but you could not accept that is is literal history.

I suspect that you'd stand a good chance of getting a temple recommend.

Regards,

Six

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I would suppose that if you went to the Bishop/SP and told them that you believed in the Restored Gospel with all of your heart and had a tesimony of everything. You were worthy, sincere and truely orthodox in except for a personal lack of faith in the literal historality of the BoM...you found it to be inspired scripture...but you could not accept that is is literal history.

I suspect that you'd stand a good chance of getting a temple recommend.

Regards,

Six

Where I guess it might become a problem, is where the BoM overlaps the D&C. The D&C depicts

the BoM as a literal, authentic ancient history ---- thus, my point about whether or not the

"four missionaries to the Lamanites" actually went to "Lamanites" (or just to Asian Amerinds).

The more the historicity of the BoM is questioned (or denied), then the more certain parts of

the D&C are questioned --- and, sooner or later, THAT will be a problem for any TR-seeker.

UD

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Where I guess it might become a problem, is where the BoM overlaps the D&C. The D&C depicts

the BoM as a literal, authentic ancient history ---- thus, my point about whether or not the

"four missionaries to the Lamanites" actually went to "Lamanites" (or just to Asian Amerinds).

The more the historicity of the BoM is questioned (or denied), then the more certain parts of

the D&C are questioned --- and, sooner or later, THAT will be a problem for any TR-seeker.

UD

Perhaps. I suspect that the average Bishop or Stake President will be unfamiliar with some of the supposed internal incongruities you seem to see. Most Latter Day Saints...like most people of faith do not delve as deeply as you into Mormon theological structure.

Regards,

Six

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Perhaps. I suspect that the average Bishop or Stake President will be unfamiliar with some of the supposed internal incongruities you seem to see. Most Latter Day Saints...like most people of faith do not delve as deeply as you into Mormon theological structure.

Regards,

Six

No doubt you are correct in your estimation.

I myself did not even know the difference between "historicity" and "historiography" before I

went to college....

Uncle "But God knows such things, and there's always a chance that He might tell the Bish" Dale

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I wonder if I would I be able to get a TR (assuming I was LDS, of course!) if I suggested that the ancient Nephite battle being depicted in the BoM might have happened well over 12,000 years ago just before the onset of the last Ice Age; when the great civilization (in the times of 'Noah') went down in the flames of warfare and 'waves' (all that water again) - and that 'some' of the survivors ended up in the Americas - as these areas were in fairly close proximity to the 'heart' of the civilization that was completely wiped out?

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I wonder if I would I be able to get a TR (assuming I was LDS, of course!) if I suggested that the ancient Nephite battle being depicted in the BoM might have happened well over 12,000 years ago just before the onset of the last Ice Age; when the great civilization (in the times of 'Noah') went down in the flames of warfare and 'waves' (all that water again) - and that 'some' of the survivors ended up in the Americas - as these areas were in fairly close proximity to the 'heart' of the civilization that was completely wiped out?

Maybe -- if you added in some talk of "Enoch," the sealed plates, and an admonition not

to delve too deeply into the mysteries.

Uncle "Oh, and one other thing -- don't mention the prophecies of Edgar Cayce either" Dale

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Though he doesn't mention the TR, Elder Holland says people who don't believe in BoM historicity definitely have a place in the Church.

[You say] there are stark choices in beliefs about the origins of the book. Explain why there's no middle way.

... If someone can find something in the Book of Mormon, anything that they love or respond to or find dear, I applaud that and say more power to you. That's what I find, too. And that should not in any way discount somebody's liking a passage here or a passage there or the whole idea of the book, but not agreeing to its origin, its divinity. ...

I think you'd be as aware as I am that that we have many people who are members of the church who do not have some burning conviction as to its origins, who have some other feeling about it that is not as committed to foundational statements and the premises of Mormonism. But we're not going to invite somebody out of the church over that any more than we would anything else about degrees of belief or steps of hope or steps of conviction. ... We would say: "This is the way I see it, and this is the faith I have; this is the foundation on which I'm going forward. If I can help you work toward that I'd be glad to, but I don't love you less; I don't distance you more; I don't say you're unacceptable to me as a person or even as a Latter-day Saint if you can't make that step or move to the beat of that drum."

From the PBS interview.

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Though he doesn't mention the TR, Elder Holland says people who don't believe in BoM historicity definitely have a place in the Church.

From the PBS interview.

And this statement by him has what status precisely?

1. Is he speaking on behalf of the COJCOLDS?

2. Is he just speaking on behalf of Elder Holland, despite the 'we'?

3. Or is he trying to do (1), but (since he is imperfect) only 'speaking as a man' and hence really doing (2) after all?

Or what?

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And this statement by him has what status precisely?

1. Is he speaking on behalf of the COJCOLDS?

2. Is he just speaking on behalf of Elder Holland, despite the 'we'?

3. Or is he trying to do (1), but (since he is imperfect) only 'speaking as a man' and hence really doing (2) after all?

Or what?

He is speaking as a living witness of Christ and one who is responsible for safeguarding the doctrines of the church in this generation. Why don't you ask him? He's still alive.

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Why would you want one if you don't believe?

For once I agree with Thinking, why would anyone want to go to the Temple and make sacred covenants if they believed that the Book of Mormon, The Church, and the Temple itself was a fraud? As for Elder Holland's remarks to the PBS mockumentary (sorry I couldn't resist) I believe what he was saying was that if someone was struggling with their faith we do not summarily cast them off. We are to try to do the following:
(D&C 81:5) "Wherefore, be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees."
The Book of Mormon is the "keystone" of our religion...if you take it away then all of our claim to a restoration would fall with it.
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1 Do you have faith in and a testimony of God the Eternal Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost?

2 Do you have a testimony of the Atonement of Christ and of His role as Savior and Redeemer?

3 Do you have a testimony of the restoration of the gospel in these the latter days?

4 Do you sustain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelatpr and as the only person on the earth who possesses and is authorized to exercise all priesthood keys? Do you sustain members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators? Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local authorities of the Church?

5 Do you live the law of chastity?

6 Is there anything in your conduct relating to members of your family that is not in harmony with the teachings of the Church?

7 Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

8 Do you strive to keep the covenants you have made, to attend your sacrament and other meetings, and to keep your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel?

9 Are you honest in your dealings with your fellowmen?

10 Are you a full-tithe payer?

11 Do your keep the Word of Wisdom?

12 Do you have financial or other obligations to a former spouse or children? If yes, are you current in meeting those obligations?

13 If you have previously received your temple endowment:

Do you keep the covenants that you made in the temple?

Do you wear the garment both night and day as instructed in the endowment and in accordance with the covenant you made in the temple?

14 Have there been any sins or misdeeds in your life that should have been resolved with priesthood authorities but have not been?

15 Do you consider yourself worthy to enter the Lord's house and participate in temple ordinances?

For some strange reason I can't find any question about the "Historicity" of any of the Scriptures here. :P

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For once I agree with Thinking, why would anyone want to go to the Temple and make sacred covenants if they believed that the Book of Mormon, The Church, and the Temple itself was a fraud?

Many people, even believing LDS, have Temple recommends but don't perform proxy ordinances. They are primarily useful for attending the weddings of friends and family. Also, each Stake in our Temple district is having a special meeting in the seldom-used upper assembly room of the Los Angeles Temple. I was glad to be able to attend this meeting, which was surely a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many of us in the room (the only people in the room who had previously been there were those who attended the dedication 50 years ago!).

So there are two reasons at least one person who doubts the historicity of the Book of Mormon would want a Temple recommend.

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? I have not come across any mention of the Liahona ever being in his possession. Please clarify.

D&C 17:1

1 Behold, I say unto you, that you must rely upon my word, which if you do with full purpose of heart, you shall have a view of the plates, and also of the breastplate, the sword of Laban, the Urim and Thummim, which were given to the brother of Jared upon the mount, when he talked with the Lord face to face, and the miraculous directors which were given to Lehi while in the wilderness, on the borders of the Red Sea.

Some people understand this verse to mean that the Liahona (referred to as "directors") was also with the plates in Cumorah.

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? I have not come across any mention of the Liahona ever being in his possession. Please clarify.

GADV *

* Go ask Dan Vogel

Uncle "David Whitmer doesn't even seem to be sure if the table had a tablecloth, let alone a liahona" Dale

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JNClone:

And this statement by him has what status precisely?

1. Is he speaking on behalf of the COJCOLDS?

2. Is he just speaking on behalf of Elder Holland, despite the 'we'?

3. Or is he trying to do (1), but (since he is imperfect) only 'speaking as a man' and hence really doing (2) after all?

Or what?

He is speaking as a living witness of Christ and one who is responsible for safeguarding the doctrines of the church in this generation. Why don't you ask him? He's still alive.

I was asking The Monk, who posted the Holland quote as an answer to the OP. Presumably The Monk may or may not have an answer to my question, which seems a reasonable one address to him.

Is your answer supposed to correspond to my 1,2 or 3? Or to some other answer? Or are you just trying to tell me that it is irreverent and inappropriate for me to ask ANY question about the status of Elder Holland''s statement?

Just come right on out and say what you mean, please.

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Technically speaking, those 9 points should NOT be a factor in the granting of a TR.

Anybody game to try it -- and see what happens?

Point #3 would cause me to question more deeply a person's belief in the BOM. I would then ask if they believed Zarahemla and/or the Nephites really existed. That is the key to whether or not one believes if the BoM is what it claims to be. All the other points are too broad given the possible explainations.

For some strange reason I can't find any question about the "Historicity" of any of the Scriptures here.

That's because you don't apply the questions to actual beliefs. Not believing in the historicity of the BOM comes into conflict with questions 3,4, and 7.

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JNClone:

I was asking The Monk, who posted the Holland quote as an answer to the OP. Presumably The Monk may or may not have an answer to my question, which seems a reasonable one address to him.

Is your answer supposed to correspond to my 1,2 or 3? Or to some other answer? Or are you just trying to tell me that it is irreverent and inappropriate for me to ask ANY question about the status of Elder Holland''s statement?

Just come right on out and say what you mean, please.

It corresponds to your #1.

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That's because you don't apply the questions to actual beliefs. Not believing in the historicity of the BOM comes into conflict with questions 3,4, and 7.

The whole concept of historicity is meaningless, whether it's the events portrayed in the Book of Mormon or what I ate for dinner last Friday.

"We should not fall into the trap created by memory and expectation of supposing that the physical past and future have any real existence. Only the present moment actually exists, and every moment of the present has its own unique pattern of past and future.

The often unrecognized problem here is that the initial conditions of an indeterminate event cannot be recovered after it has occurred. We must therefore admit any and all initial conditions which might have led to the observed result, although our common sense strives to create an illusory certainty about the causes of events by imputing reverse causal connections. History is bulls**t; it is as indeterminate as the future."

- Peter Carroll,
Liber Kaos

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