Jump to content

Best Evidence


mapman

Recommended Posts

What do you think is the best evidence for the historicity of the Book of Mormon or the correctness of the Church?

What do you think is the best evidence that the Book of Mormon or the Church is not true?

In my opinion, I think that the Arabian evidence for Lehi's journey provides the best evidence. Joseph Smith just couldn't have known all about Arabian geography that is accurately portrayed in the Book of Mormon. Second best I think is the evidence in ancient Christianity of things like baptism for the dead and a different understanding of the temple.

The fact that there is no concrete archeological proof that the Nephites were real (though there may be some coming) seems to be a weak point.

Link to comment

My Top 5:

1. Personal Witness from the Spirit

2. The Three and Eight Witnesses of the Gold Plates (

3. Witnesses of the Book of Mormon Translation/Textual Evidence by Skousen

4. Joseph Smith's teachings of the Divine Council/Archaelogical and Textual Evidence of the Divine Council in ancient Israel

5. NHM

I think it is also excellent that the bulk of Church history comes from witnesses and those who knew Joseph Smith personally:

"Rather than reply to the revilers, Joseph contented himself with writing an account of events as he had experienced them, to which were added reports from many friends and family members. Together they constitute the bulk of the historical record, the original source material for the story of the Book of Mormon's recovery. Narrations that balk before the miraculous events and try to tell another story must suppress these sources and disregard the consistent and detailed accounts from the people who knew Joseph Smith best." (Richard L. Bushman, "The Recovery of the Book of Mormon," Book of Mormon Authorship Revisited: The Evidence for Ancient Origins, 1997)

Number 4 could really encompass Joseph Smith's insights into ancient Israel and early Christianity as a whole, but the Divine Council especially stands out to me.

Link to comment

According to Ian Barbour (Myths, Models, and Paradigms: A Comparison of Science and Religion), there are several kinds of evidence for the existence of God. I see a kind of movement from responses to external impressions regarding:

Order and creativity in the world, the

Common mythic symbols and patterns underlying most religious traditions

Key historical events that define separate traditions and bind individuals

Through the innermost experiences of the individual:

Numinous awe and reverence

Mystical union

Moral obligation

Reorientation and Reconciliation with respect to personal sin, guilt, and weakness, the existence of evil, suffering, and death, and tensions between science and faith.

Then returning to the external world as human action:

Personal dialogue (Martin Buber's I and Thou) where you begin interpret external events as God speaking to you, and you answer through your own actions.

Social and Ritual behavior

In my personal LDS context, I've experience all kinds, all of which have been important at different times, and all of which combine in my faith. Four kinds that are most involved in making an LDS theist, involve (1) how well the LDS faith fits with the common myths and symbols.

(2) In the category of key historical events, I'm personally enamored of the way that Barker's temple theology converges not only with the history and theology expressed in the Book of Mormon, but with the way her work seems to fulfill the prophesy in 1 Nephi 13:39-41. I'm also impressed with the general Old World and New World correlations. No one thing, but the emerging convergence. I like the metaphor Brant uses in his FAIR videos about "Seeing the dog." (Go watch, if you haven't.)

(3)I've enjoyed an ongoing experience of "reorientation and reconciliation" with respect to Book of Mormon issues. It's not a once and for all thing, but I've experienced so much of it in thirty five years that I take it for granted. I expect open issues to be resolved. Where others see counter-instances, I may see either open puzzles, or my own awareness of information that transforms the same information into confirming evidences.

All of that validates my initial testimony in 1973. (4) And I've personally experienced a great deal of Personal Dialogue, where my interactions with the Book of Mormon and scholarship around it seem to involve more than just me and books. I've interpreted many events as parts of an ongoing personal dialog with God.

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

Link to comment

Major Problems:

- Priesthood Ban

- Ultra-literal interpretations and applications (Ex. General Authorities championing Young Earth Creationism, the Garden of Eden literally in Missouri, etc.)

The Book of Abraham has its problems, but I think the things gotten right are too often overlooked in favor of what appears to be wrong.

Link to comment

According to Ian Barbour (Myths, Models, and Paradigms: A Comparison of Science and Religion), there are several kinds of evidence for the existence of God. I see a kind of movement from responses to external impressions regarding:

Order and creativity in the world, the

Common mythic symbols and patterns underlying most religious traditions

Key historical events that define separate traditions and bind individuals

Through the innermost experiences of the individual:

Numinous awe and reverence

Mystical union

Moral obligation

Reorientation and Reconciliation with respect to personal sin, guilt, and weakness, the existence of evil, suffering, and death, and tensions between science and faith.

I read down the list hoping in vain to find something that really stands out as evidence for the existence of a personal God. I can take anything on the list and ponder it and reponder it and I never can quite see how it counts as evidence. All of them make perfect sense in a godless universe as far as I can see.

Link to comment

The BoA. It just simply does not translate to what JS claimed it did.

"Assuming" that the discovered fragments are the "actual" BOA that Joseph translated does not make Joseph not translating it correctly.

Anti-mormons really need to stop acting like their negative "fantasy's" of mormonism are actual facts, when they are nothing more than wishful thinking and the ignoring of facts.

1. Do you really think Joseph would have written all over the "original", namely the facsimile parts?

2. Do you really think Joseph wouldn't have had the original in a more "secure" location so it didn't end up donated to a library?

3. Do you really think there weren't "more than one copy" of the Facsimiles, which is essentially the entire anti-mormon basis for assuming the fragments found are supposedly "the" BOA? I should also note in this that the fact that Joseph DID write on these copy's give indication that there were likely more than one copy, that the facsimiles found were simply stuff he worked on to help him translate the facsimile sections, not that the "rest" of the fragments with those "particular" fragments were the actual BOA.

In conclusion, as usual anti-mormon beliefs are beliefs based on wishful thinking and the ignoring of facts and logic, not actual facts and reasoning in evidence.

As well, it doesn't even address the theory that the parchments may have simply been a "catalyst" to the revelations Joseph received, and he simply assumed that what he had was the "actual" BOA. Of course, I personally don't ascribe to this theory, because I believe the facts are clear enough that the "actual" parchment of the BOA still has yet to be found, like the Plates of the BOM, that the found fragments are simply a "dime a dozen" and irrelevant, other than as to the facsimiles which are simply a visual aid, not actually the BOA.

Link to comment

Best evidence yet is Potter's "Lehi in the Wilderness - 81 evidences" book and videos.

I don't know how ANYONE can contend against that plethora of evidences. By the way, they mislabeled the book. It's actually 100's of evidences, but it's 81 statements from the BOM that have been verified with those evidences applying thereto.

Link to comment

The fact that there is no concrete archeological proof that the Nephites were real (though there may be some coming) seems to be a weak point.

Some people ask, "Where can I find the Nephite Exhibit at the Louvre? Where can I see the Lamanite Exhibit at the Smithsonian?" Before people go hunting for "Nephite" or Lamanite" artifacts, DNA and cities, shouldn't we at least define what we are looking for first?

Nephite

1)political affiliation, loyal to the Nephi dynasty,kinda like Saudi, as in ibn Saud. Jacob 1:14

2)believer in the religion taught by Nephi and his descendants, kinda like Josephite vs Brighamite. 4 Nephi 1:37

3) a blood descendant of Nephi. 3 Nephi 5:10

Lamanite

1) Anyone who is not a Nephite. Jacob 1:14

2)a blood descendant of Laman. Alma 55:4

Can someone tell me how we would identify Zarahemla given these limitations?

If I found a bowl or figurine made by a Nephite, how would I identify it as such?

Link to comment

I read down the list hoping in vain to find something that really stands out as evidence for the existence of a personal God. I can take anything on the list and ponder it and reponder it and I never can quite see how it counts as evidence. All of them make perfect sense in a godless universe as far as I can see.

My intent here was not to point out what I count as evidence for a personal God, but what I personally see as evidence for the Book of Mormon.

If someone has a shattering numinous encounter, say like Isaiah or Moses or Mohammed, or Arjuna, in which they are personally transformed and awed by the Divine presence, and feel their own contingency and dependence, overpowered with reverence by the experience of the Holy, I would imagine they never quite see how anyone could dismiss it as evidence. An outsider might dismiss it as "the effects of a frenzied mind," or a "bit of bad beef." But the insider and the outsider are not really considering the event from the same perspective, are they? Perspective, in this case as in many others, makes a huge difference.

If you are looking for coercive evidence of a personal God, that will force everyone to submit against their will and desire, you'll have to wait. If you are looking for what has counted as "cause to believe" then I find Barbour's categories very useful.

In paradigm debate, we all get to decide "which problems are more important to have solved" as part of deciding "which paradigm is better?" I've looked over a wide range of issues and have made my choices, and will continue the process. Anyone can say of Joseph Smith, "So what? Some things he may have gotten right among so many." But I have never seen any of Joseph's critics seriously account for the many.

Kevin Christensen

Bethel Park, PA

Link to comment

What do you think is the best evidence for the historicity of the Book of Mormon

The NHM altars.

or the correctness of the Church?

The fact that it produces good people.

What do you think is the best evidence that the Book of Mormon or the Church is not true?

The fact that apologists run from the evidence like God's creatures fleeing a forest fire.

(Edited to repair the delicate sensibilities of a humble apologist.)

Link to comment

What do you think is the best evidence for the historicity of the Book of Mormon or the correctness of the Church?

What do you think is the best evidence that the Book of Mormon or the Church is not true?

In my opinion, I think that the Arabian evidence for Lehi's journey provides the best evidence. Joseph Smith just couldn't have known all about Arabian geography that is accurately portrayed in the Book of Mormon. Second best I think is the evidence in ancient Christianity of things like baptism for the dead and a different understanding of the temple.

The fact that there is no concrete archeological proof that the Nephites were real (though there may be some coming) seems to be a weak point.

The facimiles. :P

Link to comment
"Assuming" that the discovered fragments are the "actual" BOA that Joseph translated does not make Joseph not translating it correctly. Anti-mormons really need to stop acting like their negative "fantasy's" of Mormonism are actual facts, when they are nothing more than wishful thinking and the ignoring of facts.

He's answering in a negative mode, meaning that he thinks the Book of Abraham is the greatest evidence against the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. While I don't agree with him, he's banking on the Book of Abraham as being the deal breaker for him. (The OP actually asked what the greatest evidence supporting Smith and the Book of Mormon was and my answer would have to be the witnesses of the plates and the angel. I also am impressed with the Arabian discoveries, including Nahom.)

The Lord has been careful not to provide PROOF of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration, and this includes the Book of Abraham. If we could produce the manuscript Joseph Smith used to get the Book of Abraham, what would happen if Egyptologists examined it and certified that Smith's translation was correct? It would surpass evidence and become proof that he was inspired, for who, back then, could translate Egyptian with any certainty? It thus behooves the Lord to withhold the source for the time being, and for the same reason He's withheld the plates. To some, this is evidence against Smith; however, if one judges the content of the book itself, it holds up very well in my opinion. Abrahamic apocrypha have popped up all over the place and most are preoccupied with the same subject matter our Book of Abraham has, namely, the creation, the works of God in the heavens and so forth. I suspect that eventually the source will pop up, but most likely not until the book is no longer moot. I also suspect there will be more than what we presently have.

It's frustrating that the Lord withholds proof, but He does it, I suspect, to keep people from condemnation. There are many who, if they saw irrefutable evidence that the Restoration was true, would still deny it and thus come under condemnation. So He limits the evidence to evidence as a matter of mercy. The Lord withheld many things from the Jews for the same reason. If He made the scriptures understandable, it would result in the condemnation of the Jews. So Nephi said he made it hard for them, precisely to keep them from the condemnation that would come upon them otherwise.

Link to comment

What do you think is the best evidence for the historicity of the Book of Mormon or the correctness of the Church?

What do you think is the best evidence that the Book of Mormon or the Church is not true?

In my opinion, I think that the Arabian evidence for Lehi's journey provides the best evidence. Joseph Smith just couldn't have known all about Arabian geography that is accurately portrayed in the Book of Mormon. Second best I think is the evidence in ancient Christianity of things like baptism for the dead and a different understanding of the temple.

The fact that there is no concrete archeological proof that the Nephites were real (though there may be some coming) seems to be a weak point.

I'm not sure what the "best" evidence is today. But I am sure that whatever it is, within the Church and it's members, it requires a great deal of cognitive dissonance. I think this may always be the case until we see the secular academic world and peer professional groups pay any real attention to the history claim promoted by the BOM. I see it as a huge challenge to get non-members adopting this same cog-dis in our fellowship efforts to joining the Church.

Link to comment

In my opinion, the best evidence against the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon is the failure of the Holy Ghost to verify its truthfulness, as promised in the book itself, after the reader has satisfied the stated preliminary requirements.

And few things are more aggravating and offensive than the accusations, inevitably made after I state the above opinion, that I must not have satisfied the stated preliminary requirements if I didn't get the answer. Don't you dare suggest such a thing. You don't know me. You don't know how hard I tried, and tried, and tried, with all my soul, to get an answer. And none came.

I can't explain how some people apparently do get the answer that they seek. Is the number of those who get the answer greater than the number of those who do not? I can't say.

Link to comment

In my opinion, the best evidence against the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon is the failure of the Holy Ghost to verify its truthfulness, as promised in the book itself, after the reader has satisfied the stated preliminary requirements.

And few things are more aggravating and offensive than the accusations, inevitably made after I state the above opinion, that I must not have satisfied the stated preliminary requirements if I didn't get the answer. Don't you dare suggest such a thing. You don't know me. You don't know how hard I tried, and tried, and tried, with all my soul, to get an answer. And none came.

I can't explain how some people apparently do get the answer that they seek. Is the number of those who get the answer greater than the number of those who do not? I can't say.

I would say that those who do not get an answer is greater than those who do, as most of the people who take the discussions do not join the church. Just for information, what do you you think the phrase "with real intent" means?

I have met and talked with many like you. I have no answer for you because I am not God. I only know what I have experienced.

Glenn

Link to comment

I'm not sure what the "best" evidence is today. But I am sure that whatever it is, within the Church and it's members, it requires a great deal of cognitive dissonance. .... I see it as a huge challenge to get non-members adopting this same cog-dis in our fellowship efforts to joining the Church.

Please use cog-dis correctly, it is not a state where dissonance has been resolved or a method by which dissonance is resolved, it is a state of dissonance...thus the name "cognitive dissonance".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...