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Book of Mormon and unique/restored LDS doctrines


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I'm interested in the primary apologetic explanations for why virtually all unique/restored LDS doctrines are nearly (or completely) absent from the Book of Mormon--doctrines such as work for the dead, three degrees of glory, LDS temple rites, pre-existence, theosis, differing priesthoods, embodied Father, church hierarchical structure, etc. The absence (or virtual absence) of these doctrines seems incongruent with the standard narrative of the Book of Mormon not only being preserved in a way that the Bible was not, but also in that the scriptural justifications for these doctrines lie almost entirely in the Bible (or D&C/PGP) but for obvious reasons not the BofM.

Is the explanation for this that the Christianity of the BofM peoples was more akin to post-apostasy Protestant Christianity rather than supposed early Old World Christianity or LDS Christianity, that the BofM authors chose not to include all of these doctrines (if so, why?), or that Joseph Smith's limited understanding at the time of translation prevented him from recognizing/revealing/translating these doctrines even though they were contained on the plates, or something else?

Not personally interested in any debates, just interested in if there are any standard or common explanations for this.

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19 hours ago, the narrator said:

I'm interested in the primary apologetic explanations for why virtually all unique/restored LDS doctrines are nearly (or completely) absent from the Book of Mormon--doctrines such as work for the dead, three degrees of glory, LDS temple rites, pre-existence, theosis, differing priesthoods, embodied Father, church hierarchical structure, etc.

The Book of Mormon is evidence of the Restoration, of restored authority, of living prophets and apostles.  It was translated by a prophet, who thereafter was involved in the further revelations that you are here styling as "unique/restored."

Proxy work is found in both the New Testament and the Doctrine & Covenants, but temple worship, of which proxy work is a part, is also referenced in the Book of Mormon (Mosiah 2:37, Alma 7:21, Hel. 4:24, 2 Ne. 12:3, 3 Ne. 24:1, 2 Ne. 5:16, Jacob 1:17, Jacob 2:2, Hel. 3:14, 3 Ne. 11:1).

The three degrees of glory are sourced from the entirety of our canonized scriptures, including the Book of Mormon (see, e.g., Alma 12:9-11, Moro. 7:14-19).

The pre-existence is sourced from the entirety of our canonized scriptures, including allusions in the Book of Mormon (see, e.g., 1 Ne. 11:11, 2 Nephi 9:12, Mosiah 2:28, Alma 11:45, Alma 13:3, Helaman 14:17, Ether 3:16, Moro. 10:34, 

Theosis is sourced from  is sourced from the entirety of our canonized scriptures, including some in the Book of Mormon (see, e.g., here and here).

The "differing priesthoods" concept seems to come mostly from the Bible and the D&C.

The corporeality of God the Father doesn't seem to be found in the Book of Mormon.

The church having a hierarchical structure is referenced in the Book of Mormon, albeit in different forms that what we have today.

I guess the "primary apologetic explanation" is that we have never claimed that the Book of Mormon is the sole source of revealed knowledge in this dispensation.

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The absence (or virtual absence) of these doctrines seems incongruent with the standard narrative of the Book of Mormon not only being preserved in a way that the Bible was not, but also in that the scriptural justifications for these doctrines lie almost entirely in the Bible (or D&C/PGP) but for obvious reasons not the BofM.

I can't help but wonder if this supposed incongruence is more a matter of the individual's perspective and expectations.  The Ninth Article of Faith states that "{w}e believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God."  The "does not reveal" and "will yet reveal" portions of this merit some attention.

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Is the explanation for this that the Christianity of the BofM peoples was more akin to post-apostasy Protestant Christianity rather than supposed early Old World Christianity or LDS Christianity,

I think there were things that were alluded to in the past, but which have been more fully revealed in this dispensation, including in the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine & Covenants, and so on.

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that the BofM authors chose not to include all of these doctrines (if so, why?), or that Joseph Smith's limited understanding at the time of translation prevented him from recognizing/revealing/translating these doctrines even though they were contained on the plates, or something else?

Well, they may not have had "all of these doctrines."

Also, the Book of Mormon was not a random abridgment of the Nephite records.  Moroni states: "Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing."  (Mormon 8:35.)  I think Mormon may have had the same perspective.  I believe Mormon abridged what the Lord wanted him to give to us, and that other things would be revealed in the first instance, or else expanded upon, through revelations given to Joseph Smith.

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Not personally interested in any debates, just interested in if there are any standard or common explanations for this.

These are my off-the-cuff thoughts.  I'm not sure if there are "standard or common explanations."

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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Regarding the temple, see John W. Welch, Illuminating the Sermon at the Temple and the Sermon on the Mount.

https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/illuminating-sermon-temple-sermon-mount

And Welch did not stop researching there.  His later presentation at a Logan Temple Studies Conference takes things much further.

http://www.templestudies.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/MormonismAndTheTemple.pdf

It was Welch's original book that got me to re-read 3 Nephi compared to Mircea Eliade, Cosmos and History: The Myth of Eternal Return, in the last third of this essay, showing more temple themes present.

https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/msr/vol2/iss1/28/

The point of all that is that the Temple endowment has been in the Book of Mormon from the start, but just not recognized as such until the mid 1980s.  And notice too that several of the most important sermons in the Book of Mormon either take place at the temple (such as Mosiah 2-6) and/or have temple themes and are delivered by High Priests (Jacob in 2 Nephi 6-11 and Alma in Alma 12-13).   It's been a matter of recognizing what has always been there.  After reading all of that, notice the passage in 4 Nephi 11 on marriages and "blessed according to the multitude of promises which the Lord had made unto them."  It does not do to be unaware of the temple promises made in several places in the Book of Mormon.   I notice that during the 3 Nephi temple encounter Jesus at one point grants authority to baptize, and later grants authority to bestow the Holy Ghost.  There is one very simple explanation as to why there are two separate authorizations.

Regarding the Christianity of the Book of Mormon, I wrote Paradigms Regained: A Survey of Margaret Barker's Scholarship and Its Significance for Mormon Studies.  I'm hoping to get this up at Book of Mormon Central (it's in process, I think), but for the moment, it is at Scribe D. 

https://www.scribd.com/document/439717261/PARADIGMS-REGAINED-A-SURVEY-OF-MARGARET-BARKER-S-SCHOLARSHIP-AND-ITS-SIGNIFICANCE-FOR-MORMON-STUDIES

Or email me and I can send a doc file.

There is also this by me, shorter, but directly addressing the issue. The Deuteronomist Dechristianizing of the Old Testament:

https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/msr/vol16/iss2/5/

And this one:

https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/temple-monarchy-and-wisdom-lehis-world-and-scholarship-margaret-barker

As well as Margaret Barker's own response to the Book of Mormon:

https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/byusq/vol44/iss4/9/

And this from Barker on the transmission and editing of Biblical texts, is important to read and compare with 1 Nephi 13.

http://www.margaretbarker.com/Papers/TextAndContext.pdf

Regarding the theology of the Book of Mormon, there is this from Brant Gardner:

https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org/conference/august-2003/monotheism-messiah-and-mormons-book

Regarding Pre-existence, I have read Alma 13, and Noel Reynolds has argued at length that the Book of Mormon pre-supposes the material in the Book of Moses.  

FWIW,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

Edited by Kevin Christensen
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57 minutes ago, the narrator said:

I'm interested in the primary apologetic explanations for why virtually all unique/restored LDS doctrines are nearly (or completely) absent from the Book of Mormon--doctrines such as work for the dead, three degrees of glory, LDS temple rites, pre-existence, theosis, differing priesthoods, embodied Father, church hierarchical structure, etc. The absence (or virtual absence) of these doctrines seems incongruent with the standard narrative of the Book of Mormon not only being preserved in a way that the Bible was not, but also in that the scriptural justifications for these doctrines lie almost entirely in the Bible (or D&C/PGP) but for obvious reasons not the BofM.

Is the explanation for this that the Christianity of the BofM peoples was more akin to post-apostasy Protestant Christianity rather than supposed early Old World Christianity or LDS Christianity, that the BofM authors chose not to include all of these doctrines (if so, why?), or that Joseph Smith's limited understanding at the time of translation prevented him from recognizing/revealing/translating these doctrines even though they were contained on the plates, or something else?

Not personally interested in any debates, just interested in if there are any standard or common explanations for this.

Easy answer.  For the vast majority of the Book of Mormon timeline they were operating under Aaronic/ Levitical ordinances.  The majority of the unique/restored doctrine and ordinances fall under the Melchizedek priesthood.  That's why we see examples in the New Testament but not really in the Book of Mormon.

Most of the preparatory gospel is in the Book of Mormon.  There are only passing occurrences of the fullness (Alma 13, 3 Nephi etc).

Edited by JLHPROF
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53 minutes ago, the narrator said:

I'm interested in the primary apologetic explanations for why virtually all unique/restored LDS doctrines are nearly (or completely) absent from the Book of Mormon--doctrines such as work for the dead, three degrees of glory, LDS temple rites, pre-existence, theosis, differing priesthoods, embodied Father, church hierarchical structure, etc. The absence (or virtual absence) of these doctrines seems incongruent with the standard narrative of the Book of Mormon not only being preserved in a way that the Bible was not, but also in that the scriptural justifications for these doctrines lie almost entirely in the Bible (or D&C/PGP) but for obvious reasons not the BofM.

Is the explanation for this that the Christianity of the BofM peoples was more akin to post-apostasy Protestant Christianity rather than supposed early Old World Christianity or LDS Christianity, that the BofM authors chose not to include all of these doctrines (if so, why?), or that Joseph Smith's limited understanding at the time of translation prevented him from recognizing/revealing/translating these doctrines even though they were contained on the plates, or something else?

Not personally interested in any debates, just interested in if there are any standard or common explanations for this.

I'm not necessarily an expert, but... well, scratch that, I'll just leave it at that: I'm not an expert.

And I don't think there's a "standard or common explanation".

But here's what I think

The Book of Mormon restores the fullness of the Gospel. And to be clear, the Gospel is NOT three degrees of glory, the endowment, and so on. The Gospel is the Good News of Christ's Atonement and Resurrection, and what it means for us. The Book of Mormon is drenched in this; I read somewhere that its Christology is far more detailed and prolific than even the New Testament's. It's purpose is engraved on the title page:

"Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites - Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile... Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever—And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations..."

Delving into all the doctrinal minutiae that was to be revealed/restored was not its purpose. That would come soon enough.

The Book of Mormon is to the Latter-day Church what John the Baptist was to Jesus Christ -- the Forerunner and Witness.

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2 hours ago, the narrator said:

................... just interested in if there are any standard or common explanations for this.

Sounds like you may have something forthcoming along such lines, Loyd, and I look forward to it.

As you likely already know, any discussion of the christianization of the OT in the BofM has to start with an examination of the main project of Margaret Barker, and especially as explained by Kevin Christensen, “The Deuteronomist De-Christianizing of the Old Testament: Review of Melodie Moench Charles, ‘The Mormon Christianizing of the Old Testament’,” in D. Vogel, ed., The Word of God: Essays on Mormon Scripture  (Signature Books, 1990), 131-142, in FARMS Review, 16/2 (2004): online at https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/msr/You will note that the Lowell Bennion response to Charles' original Sunstone paper was deleted by Signature.  There is much more available now along such lines.

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Barker, Margaret.  “Joseph Smith and Preexilic Israelite Religion,” paper delivered in 2005, at Library of Congress in Washington, DC., published in J. Welch, ed., The Worlds of Joseph Smith: A Bicentennial Conference at the Library of Congress  (Provo: BYU Press, 2006), 69-82

Much of the confusion among modern Mormon Studies scholars (including Richard Bushman) is a lack of knowledge of the ancient world, which leads to many false assumptions and to consequent blind alleys.  One example of this is the way in which the NT in the KJV is phrased by the separate translation committees, making it seem as though there is a major disjuncture between the OT and the NT -- which there is not.  Another example of failure to come to grips with reality is the fact that messianism at Qumran was already a fully developed part of Essene Judaism, long before Jesus comes on the scene.  Indeed, the major scriptural foci of Qumran are on the same OT sections which so interest the early Christians.  One can see this in the following Jewish works:

 

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Eisenman, Robert. The Dead Sea Scrolls and the First Christians (Element, 1996)

Knohl, Israel.  The Messiah Before Jesus: The Suffering Servant of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Berkeley: U.C. Press, 2000).

Knohl, Israel.  AThe Messiah Son of Joseph,@ Biblical Archaeology Review, 34/5 (Sep-Oct 2008):58-62,78.

Knohl, Israel.  A>By Three Days, Live=: Messiahs, Resurrection, and Ascent to Heaven in Hazon Gabriel,@ Journal of Religion, 88/2 (April 2008):147-158.

Talmon, Sh.  “Waiting for the Messiah: The Spiritual Universe of the Qumran Covenanters,” in J. Neusner, W. S. Green, and E. Frerichs, eds., Judaisms and Their

Messiahs (Cambridge University Press, 1988), 111-137.

Wise, Michael.  The First Messiah: Investigating the Savior Before Christ  (S.F.: Harper San Francisco, 1999).

The Hellenistic interpretive schema adopted by the Christian Church Fathers led to further confusion about the actual roots of Christianity and a further failure to understand the source of Christian liturgy in the Jewish synagogue and temple.

Samuelson, Norbert, "That the God of the Philosophers is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." Harvard Theological Review, 65 (1972):1-27.

Werner, Eric, The Sacred Bridge: Liturgical Parallels in Synagogue and Early Church (Schocken, 1970).

James T. Burtchaell, From Synagogue to Church (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1992).

I always recommend that Christians approach the NT from a Jewish POV, as in Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler, eds., The Jewish Annotated New Testament, NRSV (Oxford Univ. Press, 2011).

These systematic failures have also been accompanied by a similar ahistorical approach by modern Mormon Studies scholars in which the primary explanation of Hugh Nibley is ignored, to wit, that the biblical material in the form of the canonical OT and NT are quite late, and merely reflect much earlier precursors.  One can see this particularly in Sumero-Akkadian literature, and in the library at Ras Shamra (Ugarit).  I point to some especially striking examples of the latter online at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lY0DRkTRZbrAp_1JsOvIxDWjQfodYZbk/view?usp=sharing .

As to the Book of Mormon itself, I explored the theologies of the BofM in my 2012 SMPT paper, finding that the supposed later developmental sequence in LDS theology is largely overblown.  Nearly all of it is already there in the BofM at the start.  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WileB3WVoNm0DlVrLUBRMdwKsrlWLElj/view?usp=sharing (version 2).  Of course, the BofA does provide an extraordinary addition to LDS theology in its primeval notion of "intelligence."

Hope that helps a little.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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3 hours ago, smac97 said:

The "differing priesthoods" concept seems to come mostly from the Bible and the D&C.

I see the fact that Lehi's family, being from Manasseh, weren't Levites and yet still performed sacrifices as describing differing priesthoods.

Edited by JustAnAustralian
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Here is something I quoted in the handout for a stake/community fireside on the Book of Mormon my ward did back in 2010:

---

How can Book of Mormon contain the “fulness of the gospel” if it doesn’t discuss vital doctrines such as the pre-existence, three degrees of glory, the priesthood, the temple, etc.?

Among the most basic and fundamental doctrines in Mormonism is the 9th Article of Faith: “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”  The Book of Mormon itself makes it clear that “greater things than” the Book of Mormon would be known to those who “receive this record and shall not condemn it” (Mormon 8:12). The lengthy section in 1 Nephi 13 that details both the importance of the Bible (the book that “proceedeth out of the mouth of a Jew”) and the Book of Mormon (“I will manifest myself unto thy seed, that they shall write many things which I shall minister unto them, which shall be plain and precious; and after thy seed shall be destroyed, and dwindle in unbelief, and also the seed of thy brethren, behold, these things shall be hid up, to come forth unto the Gentiles, by the gift and power of the Lamb”) also tells of “other books” which “shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them” (1 Nephi 13:39-40). In other words, both Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon clearly point out that many important doctrines would come forth after and outside of the Book of Mormon. And these predictions were dictated to scribes before the dictation of the Book of Mormon was even completed or the Church organized, let alone the Doctrine and Covenants, Book of Abraham, or Inspired Revision of the Bible had even been contemplated!

“First of all, let’s consider what the Lord means by a ‘fulness of the gospel.’ He did not mean to convey the impression that every truth belonging to exaltation in the kingdom of God had been delivered to the Nephites and was recorded in the Book of Mormon . . . Neither would this statement imply that every truth belonging to the celestial kingdom and exaltation therein was to be found within the covers of the Book of Mormon . . . The fulness of the gospel . . . has reference to the principles of salvation by which we attain unto this glory. Therefore, the Lord has revealed in the Book of Mormon all that is needful to direct people who are willing to hearken to its precepts, to a fulness of the blessings of the kingdom of God. It is beyond dispute . . . that the Book of Mormon teaches that the first principles of the gospel are faith in God, repentance, baptism for remission of sin, the gift of the Holy Ghost, obedience to divine law, and that man cannot be saved in ignorance of these divine truths.” — Joseph Fielding Smith, “Answers to Gospel Questions,” 3:95-97.

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(rongo again): Some have asked why Joseph Smith and his contemporaries rarely quoted from the Book of Mormon (they almost always quoted from the Bible, or the Book of Commandments/D&C). In Journal of Discourses, many speakers emphasized that they saw the Book of Mormon as the tangible sign of Joseph Smith's call and the Restoration. They saw the D&C and what would become the PoGP as the revealing and restoration of the light and knowledge to be poured out (temple, priesthood, pre-existence/hereafter, etc.). 

That's why, to me, the historicity of the Book of Mormon is so important. It is chiefly a witness of a real record of real people who really existed. If they really didn't, and it is just a (somehow) inspired book in some way, even though the people and places never really existed, then I think it loses all of its value as a tangible sign of Joseph Smith's call and the Restoration. It really is the keystone. 

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My explanation is that the term "fullness of the gospel" is not to be taken literally.  

The complete absence of temple dogma is quite significant.  As well the eternity of the family.  

I think the Book is largely based on modalism but there are important statements or hints to the contrary. 

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5 minutes ago, JustAnAustralian said:

The "fullness of the gospel" is from my reading of 2 Nephi 31: faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost.

That is a reasonable view. 

I wonder about possible accretions to the Gospel message. Redemption of the dead?  

During the Reed Smoot hearings around 1903, none of the subpoenaed apostles could recall much of anything about the endowment when they were asked questions about the oath of vengeance. The reason?  These elderly men had only been through the ritual once. 

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4 hours ago, the narrator said:

I'm interested in the primary apologetic explanations for why virtually all unique/restored LDS doctrines are nearly (or completely) absent from the Book of Mormon--doctrines such as work for the dead, three degrees of glory, LDS temple rites, pre-existence, theosis, differing priesthoods, embodied Father, church hierarchical structure, etc. The absence (or virtual absence) of these doctrines seems incongruent with the standard narrative of the Book of Mormon not only being preserved in a way that the Bible was not, but also in that the scriptural justifications for these doctrines lie almost entirely in the Bible (or D&C/PGP) but for obvious reasons not the BofM.

Is the explanation for this that the Christianity of the BofM peoples was more akin to post-apostasy Protestant Christianity rather than supposed early Old World Christianity or LDS Christianity, that the BofM authors chose not to include all of these doctrines (if so, why?), or that Joseph Smith's limited understanding at the time of translation prevented him from recognizing/revealing/translating these doctrines even though they were contained on the plates, or something else?

Not personally interested in any debates, just interested in if there are any standard or common explanations for this.

On the point of restored and new doctrines, the Book of Mormon foretells the Restoration (including the person of Joseph Smith and his preliminary works) which sets up all other latter-day revelation for doctrine, bestowal of authority, the ordinances and covenants, etc. since its translation. The Book or Mormon was both a signal and testament that many things were to be revealed and accomplished in anticipation of and preparation for the Second Coming of Christ. In addition, it does have many, many pure, plain and precious teachings.

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I see several comments on the fulness of the gospel. As another / second corroborating witness, the Book of Mormon does finish, for th purpose of initiating the dispensation of the fulness of times, the complete and full testimony of the prophets and apostles concerning Jesus Christ. 

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1 hour ago, JustAnAustralian said:

I see the fact that Lehi's family, being from Manasseh, weren't Levites and yet still performed sacrifices as describing differing priesthoods.

Correct.  Jacob and Joseph, Nephi's younger brothers, were ordained and consecrated as priests and teachers (2 Ne 5:26, Jacob 1:18), and both were "called of God and ordained after...his holy order" (2 Nephi 6:2).  This was already a tradition of the Northern Kingdom of Israel (which included Manasseh), i.e., one did not have to be from the tribe of Levi to be a priest (1 Kings 12:31, 2 Chronicles 11:15).  In Joseph Smith's time, "holy orders" was synonymous with ordination to Anglican/Episcopal priesthood.  Alma the Elder is a "high priest" (Mosiah 23:6), and Alma the Younger makes the explicit equation with the priesthood of Melchizedek in Alma 13.  Finally, Moroni specifies the same laying on of hands as required in Numbers 8:10 for setting apart the Levites as priests:

  “...they laid their hands upon them, and said: ‘In the name of Jesus Christ I ordain you to be a priest (or if he be a teacher, I ordain you to be a teacher) to preach repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ, by the endurance of faith on his name to the end. Amen.’ And after this manner did they ordain priests and teachers, according to the gifts and callings of God unto men; and they ordained them by the power of the Holy Ghost, which was in them” (Moroni 3:2–4).

In April 1829 Joseph and Oliver had already read Mosiah 18:18, 25:19 on ordination of priests and teachers (and elsewhere in the BoM).  So we cannot date priesthood later than that, even though many of our records are later recollections.  On May 15, 1829, Joseph and Oliver immediately went out to pray about the matter of baptism raised by their work on 3 Nephi 11-12.   At that time there was nothing mysterious at all about the Aaronic or Melchizedek priesthoods -- both were the standard in the Anglican/Episcopal and Roman Catholic churches well-known to Americans.  In addition we have official records in 1830 & 1831 of LDS priesthood ordinations.[1]

[1] Far West Record, June 9, 1830, page 1; "Articles of the Church of Christ," June 1829, copied early 1830, online at https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/appendix-3-articles-of-the-church-of-christ-june-1829/1 ; Painesville Telegraph, April 1831 etc., online at https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/site/priesthood-restoration .

 

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5 hours ago, smac97 said:

................

The "differing priesthoods" concept seems to come mostly from the Bible and the D&C.

See my reply to JustAnAustralian, above.

5 hours ago, smac97 said:

The corporeality of God the Father doesn't seem to be found in the Book of Mormon.

The Book of Mormon speaks of God with the same sort of flesh and blood anthropomorphisms (Ether 2:4-5,14, 3:4-19) found in the Bible.  Indeed, Nephi beholds the Holy Spirit ("the Spirit of the Lord") "in the form of a man" who could speak "as a man" (1 Nephi 11:11).

5 hours ago, smac97 said:

.................the Book of Mormon was a random abridgment of the Nephite records. ..................

They are not random, but rather a set of annals, mostly narrative in structure, which do not have an inclusive coverage of liturgy, poetry, legislation, and other genres, so that some kinds of information are naturally excluded.

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The Book of Mormon doesn’t “restore” anything. It simply brings together a number of things that already existed in Christianity. I challenge anyone to identify one single thing in the Book of Mormon that is new. 

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5 hours ago, Kevin Christensen said:

Regarding the temple,........................................

It is worth noting that the first thing Nephi does in the New World is to build a small temple (II Ne 5:16), which we now know was something done by Jews in the Old World -- outside Jerusalem, at Elephantine, Upper Egypt, and at Leontopolis (Tell el-Yehudiyeh), Lower Egypt.  Quite aside from the small temples or sanctuaries at places like Arad and Beer-Sheba.  These are not just crude altars (as constructed by Lehi down by the Red Sea), but formal temples.

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2 minutes ago, JarMan said:

The Book of Mormon doesn’t “restore” anything. It simply brings together a number of things that already existed in Christianity. I challenge anyone to identify one single thing in the Book of Mormon that is new. 

It depends I suppose on which version of Christianity one is using for comparison.  In support of your claim, I do often hear evangelicals claim that the BofM is standard Christian doctrine, and that they have no quarrel with it in that sense.  It is the other claims of Joseph Smith which they take issue with, including the supposed origin of the BofM.

However, I take issue with your claim in several ways, both theologically, and archeologically.  In that sense, the Restoration of All Things brings in an ancient world which even precedes the OT, not just the NT and primitive Christianity.

“Book of Mormon Theologies: A Thumbnail Sketch,” lecture delivered at the September 2012 annual meeting of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology (SMPT), at Utah State University, Logan, Utah, online at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WileB3WVoNm0DlVrLUBRMdwKsrlWLElj/view?usp=sharing (version 2).

“The Preposterous Book of Mormon: A Singular Advantage,” lecture, Aug 8, 2014, at the annual FAIRMORMON Conference, Provo, Utah, online at  http://www.fairmormon.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/PREPOSTEROUS-BOOK-OF-MORMON.pdf .

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2 hours ago, rongo said:

...........................(rongo again): Some have asked why Joseph Smith and his contemporaries rarely quoted from the Book of Mormon (they almost always quoted from the Bible, or the Book of Commandments/D&C). In Journal of Discourses, many speakers emphasized that they saw the Book of Mormon as the tangible sign of Joseph Smith's call and the Restoration. ......................

One huge problem, until 1879, was the lack of versification.  The difficulty of citing the BofM as Scripture may have been the primary problem.

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8 hours ago, the narrator said:

I'm interested in the primary apologetic explanations for why virtually all unique/restored LDS doctrines are nearly (or completely) absent from the Book of Mormon--doctrines such as work for the dead, three degrees of glory, LDS temple rites, pre-existence, theosis, differing priesthoods, embodied Father, church hierarchical structure, etc. The absence (or virtual absence) of these doctrines seems incongruent with the standard narrative of the Book of Mormon not only being preserved in a way that the Bible was not, but also in that the scriptural justifications for these doctrines lie almost entirely in the Bible (or D&C/PGP) but for obvious reasons not the BofM.

I like these kinds of questions simply for the fact that it gets everyone thinking about what is really meant by "the fulness of the gospel".   That point has already been addressed several times in this thread by others.

I don't see the Book of Mormon as being intended to restore the basic doctrines and teachings of the church.  That's why we have the Doctrine and Covenants, which contains detailed revelations about specific doctrines and instructions on how the church should be organized and how it should function.  But what the Book of Mormon does give us is a broader perspective about how God operates, and it tells us that he has a world wide concern for his children and he is consistent in how he operates, and that he doesn't limit himself to a single set of books written by small group of people in one part of the world.  

The Book of Mormon is more like the Bible in its function and its various genres in comparison to something like the Doctrine and Covenants, which is more like a question and answer instruction manual to the restoration.  The Bible gives us glimpses of history and narration of events, as well as letters written to others, and it is interspersed with poetry, revelation, and prophetic texts.  The Book of Mormon does the same sort of thing, but with it we have the added benefit of hind-sight editorial commentary by Mormon as he abridged the record.

But with that in mind, we can see how the Book of Mormon functions similar to the Bible in how it presents its doctrines. We can find mentions of the priesthood, the temple, pre-mortal life, theosis throughout the book, just as we do with the Bible. Some topics are addressed more than others, and some may not be addressed at all for various reasons.

Take work for the dead (from your list), for example.  Work for the dead was not even initiated until after the resurrection of Christ, so realistically we should only find it as a New Testament era topic.  And in the Bible we only get glimpses into the doctrine of work for the dead through a strange reference to baptism for the dead by Paul in his argument for why the saints at Corinth should believe in the resurrection, and a few lines in an epistle of Peter about Christ teaching the spirits in prison between his death and resurrection.  These books were not intended to explain and teach every doctrine, but the doctrines do come up occasionally in conversation to a people who should already have a basic understanding of them.  I think the reason the doctrine of work for the dead doesn't come up in the Book of Mormon is because the narration of events after the coming of Christ is compressed into a single book (4 Nephi), and it fast forwards into the degeneration of their society, and therefore there simply wasn't a conversation opportunity (like there was in the New Testament) for the doctrines to be mentioned.

The bottom line, as I see it, is that the Book of Mormon was given to let us know that God isn't done with us, and that there is a bigger scope to his project than what we see in the Bible.  It prepares us for the restoration.  And it also lets us know that there is a lot more to come.   But we shouldn't expect it to be an instruction manual containing all the doctrines of the restoration, because that simply isn't its purpose.

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2 hours ago, JarMan said:

The Book of Mormon doesn’t “restore” anything. It simply brings together a number of things that already existed in Christianity. I challenge anyone to identify one single thing in the Book of Mormon that is new. 

The Book of Mormon is new.  The whole idea that God can give us more scripture than he did in the 66 books of the Bible is new.  It's earth shattering new, so much so that long held tradition has a really hard time accepting it.

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2 hours ago, InCognitus said:

The Book of Mormon is new.  The whole idea that God can give us more scripture than he did in the 66 books of the Bible is new.  It's earth shattering new, so much so that long held tradition has a really hard time accepting it.

The idea of scripture beyond the bible wasn't mainstream, but it certainly wasn't new. There were many Christians before Joseph Smith's time who believed new scripture could come forth or be discovered. Take the work of John Dee and Edward Kelley, for example, in the late 1500's. The came up with a lot of new holy writings by looking into a scryer to communicate with angels. Or consider the Book of Enoch which was always known to exist, but which was missing. Many scholars were quite interested in it during the 17th Century and even had portions of it, but it only fully came to Europe in the 18th Century.

Edited by JarMan
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16 minutes ago, JarMan said:

The idea of scripture beyond the bible wasn't mainstream, but it certainly wasn't new. There were many Christians before Joseph Smith's time who believed new scripture could come forth or be discovered. Take the work of John Dee and Edward Kelley, for example, in the late 1500's. The came up with a lot of new holy writings by looking into a scryer to communicate with angels. Or consider the Book of Enoch which was always known to exist, but which was missing. Many scholars were quite interested in it during the 17th Century and even had portions of it, but it only fully came to Europe in the 18th Century.

That's a far cry from a book of scripture on par with the Bible.

As for anything, "new":  Eccl 1:9  "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun."

In your original quote you said:

4 hours ago, JarMan said:

The Book of Mormon doesn’t “restore” anything. It simply brings together a number of things that already existed in Christianity.

Isn't that the definition of "restoration"?  To bring back things that were given previously?  

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