Jump to content

Recommended Posts

A few months back I posted about my baptism being delayed due to my husband calling our bishop and saying that he didn't consent. That is a long story, and after being rescheduled for Feb 11th it was delayed again. Needless to say I am heart broken. I can confidently say that my husbands concerns have nothing to do with the church. I am so grateful for my ward and relief society and the amazing people Heavenly Father is putting in my life through this painful process!

My husband sent me a list of questions/topics concerning the church and doctrinal beliefs and what he believes are conflicts between the Bible and Book Of Mormon. I thought I would post them here one by one and we could process them together if that is OK. I have also enrolled in two of the free BYU classes OT 071 — Genesis & FAMLF 071Proclamation Principals. Please remember these questions come from my husband, a Christian but not supportive or believing in the BOM. These are his words and scripture quotes that he included with his emphasis added and likely not King James Version.

Husband's topic: The Bible plainly states that the gospel, with its inclusion of Gentiles, was not fully revealed until after Christ's death.

  1. Eph. 3:3-7 Paul writes "by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: whereof I was made a minister ...... (See also Col. 1:26; 1 Peter 1: 1-12; Romans 16:25-26)

However, the Book of Mormon maintains that this knowledge was had in 545 B.C.

2 Nephi 25:19 "For according to the words of the prophets, the Messiah cometh... his name shall be Jesus Christ, the Son of God. ... (v.23) For we labor... to persuade... our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

2 Nephi 26:12 "And as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews, that Jesus in the very Christ, it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God;"

2 Nephi 30:2 "For behold, I say unto you that as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord; and as many of the Jews as will not repent shall be cast off,"

2 Nephi 31:17 "For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and the Holy Ghost."

Link to comment

I love to use the concordance and Vine's Dictionary.

I realized that my husband cut and pasted much or all of his questions out of stuff by Jerald & Sandra Tanner. I found this info on FAIR LDS stating: "Mystery" denotes a knowledge available only through revelation. There is clear Biblical evidence that some before Christ knew of Jesus.

What the FAIR article does not clarify is the Tanner's specific to the inclusion of the Gentiles in the plan of salvation. But the meaning of the word 'mystery' is the significant part.

I used the concordance to look up 'mystery': Concordance: Greek word mystērion From a derivative of muo (to shut the mouth). Mysteries, religious secrets, confided only to the initiated and not to ordinary mortals. A hidden or secret thing, not obvious to the understanding. The secret counsels which govern God in dealing with the righteous, which are hidden from ungodly and wicked men but plain to the godly. In rabbinic writings: of an image or form seen in a vision or dream. In the NT it denotes, not the mysterious (as with the Eng. word), but that which, being outside the range of unassisted natural apprehension, can be made known only by Divine revelation, and is made known in a manner and at a time appointed by God, and to those only who are illumined by His Spirit.

​I'll also note that in 1:26 the word 'from' means seperation of part or a whole. Seperation of 1 thing (from fellowship). As in 2 parts that are to be 1 that are separated. Interesting huh?

Then 'saints': its moral and spiritual significance, separated from sin and therefore consecrated to God, sacred.

The sense I got when reading this was that prior to Christ the Israelite 'world' and the 'Gentile' world had no 'common' knowledge of each other in Christ. They were separated spiritually. But that ultimately now after the resurrection that the separation is not to be from each other because we are all being 'gathered in'. The separation is to be from sin and fleshly behaviors that separate us from God.

Link to comment

A great resource for questions is the FAIR organization (I may have recommended this to you already, can't remember...am trying to go to sleep shortly so will join the actual conversation tomorrow). add-on: I see you mentioned FAIR in your second post I hadn't gotten to yet.

They are happy to deal with any informational questions about the Church you may have (I should say 'we' rather then 'they'...I am a member but tend to read submitted questions late so don't answer many plus I am not the scholar many others are).

See this page to submit questions: http://www.fairlds.org/contact-fair

Edited by calmoriah
Link to comment

I'm sure the folks at FAIR can do a better job than myself, but the obvious answer is that the BOM was revealed to, and written by, Israelites. Other than perhaps natives that they may have intermingled with and converted to the gospel(thus bringing them into the gospel as proselytes, as Jews in Palestine did as well) there were not gentile nations hanging about for the gospel to be revealed to. You note that in 30:2, speaking of the Gentiles, the future tense is used. It would seem to signify that bringing the gospel to gentile nations would happen at a future date. That's probably too simple of an explanation, but it seemed to make sense to me.

Link to comment

Concerning the pre-Christian knowledge of a Messiah, you might find the work of Margaret Barker to be useful in comparison to the Book of Mormon.

Her recent talk at the Orthodox Seminary in Yonkers is a good introduction, linked at the top of the list here.


She spoke about the Book of Mormon in 2005. Her paper on that topic is linked at www.thinlyveiled.com, as are my papers discussing how her work and sources fit with the LDS scriptures.


Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

Edited by Kevin Christensen
Link to comment

Kevin, which specific papers listed here would you recommend? Thanks again.

For starters, as an introduction to her approach, from Margaret, linked on the Thinly Veiled site, try The Second Person,


and What King Josiah Reformed.


From my stuff, pointing out how nicely her approach fits with the Book of Mormon, linked on the Thinly veiled site, "The Deuteronomist De-Christianizing of the Old Testament. On her own site, try any title that sounds interesting from the papers, and look at the sections explaining Temple Theology.


Kevin Christensen

Bethel Park, PA

Edited by Kevin Christensen
Link to comment

I think the gospel not being fully revealed until after Christ's death and resurrection is referring to just that: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament and most of the Book of Mormon, these events had not yet occurred. This does not mean, however, that they were not known to these people.

I could be wrong, though. That's just how I've always understood it.

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

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Similar Content

    • By Fair Dinkum
      Biblical scholars have long known that the ending to the Book of Mark (Mark 16:9-20) is not found in the most reliable early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses and therefore conclude that this long ending is a late addition to the book and not part of the original manuscript.
      This doesn't necessarily pose any problems for the Bible but can the same be said for the Book of Mormon?
      Take Mark 16:17-18 a late addition to the Book of Mark, words that were never uttered by Jesus but added centuries after by perhaps a well meaning scribe.
      And yet we find Book of Mormon Jesus proclaiming these of same words through Mormon, words that had been added to the Book of Mark by a scribe. Words that were never uttered by Jesus in Jerusalem but were so important to Jesus that He decided to quote some random scribe and tell Mormon to pass them along to everyone reading the Book of Mormon.
      See Mormon 9:24
      But why would Jesus quote some random scribe and deem their words so important that He needed to tell Mormon to include them in the Book of Mormon?
    • By Fair Dinkum
      In 3 Nephi 22:9 we read of Jesus speaking to the surviving populations in the America's upon His appearance in America.  While most of his comments are merely a duplication of his ministry in the Holy Land one bizarre remark stands out in that it confirms the reality of the Universal Flood Myth.
      Why does Jesus mislead His Nephite audience by propagating the flood myth? 
    • By Metis_LDS
      I am not a conspiracy kind of person.  I had a thought the other day that if you really believe the Book of Mormon you cannot state the following:                    All conspiracy theories are false.
    • By Fair Dinkum
      Believers often pose the question, if not from God then how?  How could an uneducated farm boy produce this book on his own without God's hand?  This new book provides an answer to that question.
      Quoted liberally from his Amazon reviews: In a fascinating new book Dr. William L. Davis draws on performance studies, religious studies, literary culture and the history of early American education, Davis analyzes Smith's process of oral composition. Davis provides a plausible alternative explanation for the coming forth of the Book of Mormon from the official narrative.  He explains how Smith was able to produce a history spanning a period of a 1,000 years, filled with hundreds of distinct characters and episodes, all cohesively tied together in an overarching narrative.
      Eyewitnesses claimed that Smith never looked at notes, manuscripts or books, that he simply spoke words of this American religious epic into existence by looking at a Seer Stone.  Davis shows how this long held assumption is not true, that Smith had abundant time between looking at his seer stone to produce his story line and to think through his plot and narrative.
      If you approach this book without a preconceived axe to grind, you will find solid research explaining how the oral sermon culture of the 19th century either crept into the Book of Mormon as Joseph Smith translated it (from a believer's perspective) or explains how Joseph could have constructed the narrative himself (from a skeptic's). Davis does not take sides and leaves room for both believing and skeptical perspectives.
      Judging the truth of the books claims is not Davis's interest. Rather, he reveals a kaleidoscope of practices and styles that converged around Smith's creation with an emphasis on the evangelical preaching styles popularized by renowned preachers George Whitefield and John Wesley. He allows for the believer to maintain a faithful view of the book.
      In Visions in a Seer Stone, Davis adroitly restores for the modern reader aspects of the now-forgotten sermon culture of Joseph Smith’s 19th-century, burnt over district, world and the well-established rhetorical performance techniques of its preachers. Davis then demonstrates that this oratorical praxis—in which Joseph Smith himself was a participant—illuminates not only Smith’s production of the Book of Mormon as a dictated performance bearing the indicia of these sermon preparation and delivery techniques, but it also illuminates the very text of this LDS scripture itself, both its narrative events and sermon contents.

      Davis details how numerous Book of Mormon narrative features—headings, outlines or summaries, some visible in italics and many others less visible in the text—are not mere textual devices for the reader, but were effective 19th-century sermon performance tools Smith could use to keep track of and produce the narrative as he dictated it. Davis produces an exhaustive list of ministers who wrote about sermon delivery techniques using such headings or outlines—“laying down heads”— with all of them substantially in agreement, having borrowed from each other and from bible dictionaries, such as Adam Clarke's bible commentaries and other sermon manuals, as well as from “Heathen Moralists” such as Plato, Aristotle and other philosophers, rhetoricians and writers from antiquity (see in particular on pp. 42 and 71 as to Bishop John Wilkins and the sources he used as well as his primary techniques to assist the preacher to speak from memory and which enable the congregation to understand “with greater ease and profit, when they are before-hand acquainted with the general heads of matters that are discoursed of”.) Smith incorporated these same rhetorical techniques into his Book of Mormon

      Davis shows that The Book of Mormon narrative contains many examples of its characters also using these oratorical techniques, the most visible formulation of which is found in Jacob 1:4 in which Nephi gives Jacob very explicit instructions on preaching that (other than his references to “plates”) could easily have been inserted into the pages of a 19th-century sermon composition manual: “if there were preaching which was sacred, or revelation which was great, or prophesying, that I [Jacob] should engraven the heads of them upon these plates, and touch upon them as much as it were possible” (see p. 91). The term Heads while not a familiar to the modern reader would have been quickly recognized by an early 19th century reader as familiar terminology used by the religious orator as topical notes highlighting important points to touch upon in the sermon.

      Although not an active Latter-day Saint himself, Davis writes generously for those still in the fold, providing room for Latter-day Saints to retain their faith in this book of LDS scripture while incorporating Davis’s new findings into a still orthodox understanding of inspired translation as described in LDS scripture, in Doctrine & Covenants 9:7-10. However, as shown by Avid Reader’s Amazon review of this book, apparently not all apologists will be satisfied with this option.

      One reviewer complained that— headings, outlines and summaries have been used for centuries by historians and other ancient writers, including Josephus and Aristotle, and that they would have been available somehow to the Book of Mormon’s ancient authors—is interesting since it actually supports Davis’s thesis. Take the preachers who wrote about the oratorical techniques described by Davis. They themselves, in formulating and promoting these 19th-century techniques, had access to and were informed by these very authors noted a reviewer. (see the note about Bishop Wilkins above, not to mention the pseudo-archaic book genre in 19th-century America that borrowed them as well)! Yet these ancient authors noted by siad reader (both living in Greco-Roman times) are not ancient enough to have informed the Book of Mormon’s purported ancient authors who themselves left Israel before the Babylonian exile, a time when outlines, headings and summaries are not known among ancient scribes and authors (and even LDS apologists now recognize that ancient scribal colophons are not the same thing—see Davis, p. 126).

      Davis has identified tell-tale signs within the Book of Mormon that give hints of Smith processes.  He also offers historical reference to Smith's becoming a trained Methodist orator.
      This sounds like a very interesting book and I'm wondering if anyone here has read it and would share your thoughts.
      <-------- Not King Benjamin

    • By bdouglas
      Two months ago someone from my extended family, Richard (not his real name), left the church.
      “I believe Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon,” he said.
      I spent an hour or so pushing back on this point. I brought up the complex geography of the BOM (“Fiction writers very rarely invent geography, and when they do it’s a very simple geography”); the language (“Who invents something like Reformed Egyptian? If you’re inventing a story about Jews from 600 BC you have them speaking Hebrew”); the various plates (“Someone could write a whole book on the various plates in the BOM alone, the abridgments, the abridgments of abridgments, the large plates, the small plates, what happened to these plates over the course of a thousand years”); the messiness yet internal consistency of the narrative (“Fiction is not messy, it is tidy, organized. But the BOM is untidy, messy, and there are loose ends everywhere. Why? Because it is not fiction"); etc., etc.
      But it was all to no effect. Richard has never been a reader, and most of what I said––well, it just didn’t register with him.
      But what I said next, did.
      “The Book of Mormon was originally rendered in a language Joseph Smith didn’t know.”
      “The Book of Mormon, the original text that Joseph Smith dictated, was not written in the English of that day. It was not the King James English of the Bible, nor was it the English of Joseph’s day. It was written in Early Modern English, a language which had been out of use for 200 years by 1827. This was a language Joseph Smith did not know and could not have known.”
      Long pause. I’d finally hit on something that Richard could grasp.
      "The presence of Early Modern English in the Book of Mormon is proof that Joseph Smith did not produce the book himself," I said.
      Maybe it would be more accurate to say that it is a different kind of proof, one that is easily grasped by someone like Richard, who is not going to respond to other proofs.
      Not that Richard is suddenly going to return to the church. I doubt that he will.
      But the presence of EModE in the BOM, when taken with all of the other proofs, makes it extremely unlikely, really impossible, that JS wrote the BOM.
      P.S. - Tried to edit headline but can't.
  • Create New...