Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Another Fulfilled Book of Mormon Prophecy: 2 Nephi 29

While reading 2 Nephi 29 with my family the other day, it occurred to me that this passage provides another great example of fulfilled Book of Mormon prophecies. Consider verses 1-3:
[1] But behold, there shall be many -- at that day when I shall proceed to do a marvelous work among them, that I may remember my covenants which I have made unto the children of men, that I may set my hand again the second time to recover my people, which are of the house of Israel;

[2] And also, that I may remember the promises which I have made unto thee, Nephi, and also unto thy father, that I would remember your seed; and that the words of your seed should proceed forth out of my mouth unto your seed; and my words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth, for a standard unto my people, which are of the house of Israel;

[3] And because my words shall hiss forth -- many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.
If the Book of Mormon were a mere forgery, there is no way that Joseph Smith or his associates could have actually known that the book would spread to the ends of earth, that even 175 years later in our day it would be translated into many dozens of languages and serve as the Church's primary missionary tool to act as a standard for gathering people into the Church. Could he also have known that the Book of Mormon would indeed be so strongly opposed by "the Gentiles"? Even to this very day, the primary response to the Book of Mormon of many in the nominally Christian world of "the Gentiles" is to repeat the words prophesied by Nephi, calling the Book of Mormon a "Bible" (we never call it that) and chanting the mantra that LDS missionaries are so familiar with: "We already have a Bible and there cannot be any more Bible."

Sure, you can dismiss this as some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, but 2 Nephi 29 is far more interesting than that.

For those who are tempted to dismiss the Book of Mormon out of hand because you believe the man-made argument that God has not spoken more, consider the further words of Nephi:
[6] Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?

[7] Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?

[8] Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.

[9] And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.

[10] Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.
Almost by reflex now, Rev. 22:18,19 will be cited, warning against tinkering with the text ("adding or subtracting"). John is absolutely correct: no mere man has authority to add or subtract from the word of God. In fact, this is an ancient principle that Moses taught in Deuteronomy 4:2:
Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it....
Here are the related word of John in Rev. 22:18,19:
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
In those verses, John, who is in exile on the Isle of Patmos, is obviously referring to the text before him -- the Book of Revelation and its prophecies, its descriptions of plagues, its discussion of the holy city, etc. -- and urges no one to change what he has written. The Bible as a collection of canonized books did not exist when he wrote those lines. In fact, several non-LDS authorities believe that Revelation was not the last book of the Bible to be written, but may have preceded other writings of John himself by a couple of years. Nevertheless, what John wrote is true: no man should change what God has spoken. Don't tinker with the text! However, God has the authority to speak what and when He wants. God spoke to other prophets after Moses (the injunction against men adding to the word in Deut. 4:2 not being applicable to the case of God adding to His words), and many of their divinely commissioned writings have been preserved in the Bible.

Among the many chosen prophets to whom God spoke anciently, there were some in the New World who were descendants from the House of Israel and who knew of the long-prophesied ministry of the Messiah that would occur in Israel. The Book of Mormon is a record written by such prophets in the New World, covering (with one more ancient exception) a time span of 600 B.C. to 400 A.D. This book, like the Bible, contains a record of God's dealings with a part of the House of Israel. It contains prophecies of Christ and also reveals how Christ, after his resurrection and ascension into heaven, later ministered to those who had waited for him in the New World.

How grateful we should be that God has provided another testament to confirm the reality of Jesus Christ and add more hope and knowledge in these dark and troubled days. Why should we murmur because of His grace in giving us more help, more light and more knowledge? Praise be to God for the divine truths revealed in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, companion volumes of scripture that the world desperately needs today to help all men come to Christ and find the joy that He alone offers.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Before I joined the LDS Church I was very disappointed and discouraged that God did not talk to us anymore. I always thought there should be more. What a joyous moment when I prayed about the Book of Mormon and got a firm witness as to its divine authorship. I am SO happy to have more of God's words... through the Book of Mormon and through the Prophets (something else I knew should exsist)... What a wonderful time we live in and we are so blessed to be LDS.

Joy

Anonymous said...

Prophecy fulfilled has been on my mind of late. And in addition to that has been prophecy of the current twelve that are in the process of being fulfilled. Last night I was discussing this very thing with a very good friend. He reminded me of how often the Twelve has given counsel to pay off debt. Yet it is my understanding that personal debt is increasing with second mortages and credit cards. How often is food storage mentioned?

Last night my wife and I decided that one place we are failing is food storage. Do any of you have a good website for information on food storage?

Dale

Anonymous said...

Prophecy fulfilled has been on my mind of late. And in addition to that has been prophecy of the current twelve that are in the process of being fulfilled. Last night I was discussing this very thing with a very good friend. He reminded me of how often the Twelve has given counsel to pay off debt. Yet it is my understanding that personal debt is increasing with second mortages and credit cards. How often is food storage mentioned?

Last night my wife and I decided that one place we are failing is food storage. Do any of you have a good website for information on food storage?

Dale

Bookslinger said...

I just bought a good book, "Food Storage for the Clueless" on ebay. It's by Clark and Kathryn Kidd. You can get it new for $16, and used for $10 on Amazon. I got it cheaper than that used on Ebay.

It's not that hard. If you can afford it, buy canned foods of stuff you like, use a permanent marker to write the date purchased on the cans, and just rotate it by using it up within 18 months of purchase date. Things like Campbells soup even have the expiration date marked on the bottom or top lid, which will last longer.

Generally commercial canned goods will last 5 years from date of canning, but you don't know how long they were in the warehouse or distribution centers, or how long they are on the grocery store shelves. So 18 months from date of purchase is a general rule of thumb.

I also like dry food storage: white rice, brown rice, beans. You shouldn't seal up brown rice like you do white rice. But brown rice will keep in regular dry paper or plastic bags for up to 2 years. I love brown rice, black rice, red rice, and wild rice. I get the brown/black/red/wild rice in bulk (4 pounds and up) at Asian (usually Korean) grocery stores.

I eat very little white rice because it has little nutrition, it is emty calories. Brown rice and beans is the best. But white rice will store very long term sealed-up where brown rice won't.

The church canning centers only have 2 or 3 kinds of beans, but go to Mexican or Asian grocery stores, and you can find at least 12 varieties of beans that will keep up to 2 to 4 years with no canning or vacuum packing.

I have found and like more variety of recipes for beans and rice than I do wheat. So my storage is beans-and-brown-rice centered, instead of the typical wheat-centered storage of most Mormons. Yeah, I have to rotate it more often than the 20-year cans or buckets of HRW wheat. But who wants to eat mostly wheat?

I freeze my black/red/wild rice and all beans for 4 days to kill off any weevils and their eggs. I haven't found weevils in any brown rice. 1 day in freezer kills the live weevils but it takes 4 days to kill their eggs.

Spaghetti and other pasta products keep at least 2 years, and I just ate some that was 5 years old and it was good.

The key is to store things that you're actually going to eat in the normal course of life, so that it will be rotated. That makes canned goods best.

Shop the sales, and canned goods can be cheaper than buying fresh produce and canning it yourself.

I'm eventually going to get into vaccuum packing *some* wheat for long term storage, but it's harder to incorporate wheat into an everyday diet, unless you have a personal flour mill, or at least a grinder that will "crack" it so you can make cereal. I tried out a "Shule" brand grain "crusher" that makes good cracked wheat and cream of wheat, but it gets boring after a while.

You can also crack white or brown rice for similar cream of rice breakfast.

White flour will store sealed up with the oxygen absorber things. But like white rice, white flour is practically void of nutrition, it's just empty calories.

The problem with whole wheat flour is that it won't store long term sealed up with the oxygen aborber things. That's why people store whole wheat grains, un-milled, but then you have to buy a flour mill or crusher/cracker.

However, whole wheat flour will store a while in sealed paper or plastic bags at room temp, and even longer in plastic in fridge or freezer. I keep 10 pounds in plastic bags in the fridge, and rotate it by making bread.

You can buy 20 pound bags of durum whole wheat flour at middle eastern (India, Pakistan) types of grocery stores for $6 to $10. They call it "chappati" flour. It's great for tortillas (chappati), home made pasta, and even bread. It's not as popular among mormons as hard red winter wheat for bread, but all the best commercial pasta is made from durum. And I like the whole wheat durum bread. The HRW wheat bread is too heavy for me.

If you ever make home-made noodles or pasta, try whole wheat durum (chapatti) flour from the the ethnic grocery stores, it's WAY better than all-purpose white flour. Whole wheat durum flour is yellow.

Bookslinger said...

To get back on the thread topic:

I also testify, from personal experience, of the prophecies contained in the Book of Mormon, and those uttered since it's publication by prophets concerning it.

The Book of Mormon prophecies came alive in my live, both before I read it and after, but especially after.

The Book of Mormon explains things, both temporal and miraculous, that happened in my life. The Bible mentions some things in a fuzzy manner. The Book of Mormon clears them up.

Not only have the prophecies come alive in front of my eyes, in outwardly real ways, the Spirit still confirms them, and still reveals hidden meanings in them whenever I read it anew.

I've been blessed with miraculous opportunities to give out copies of the Book of Mormon in many languages.

I think I gave out about 300 copies in my South American mission. The monthly allotment wasn't enough. I bought more.

In the past 13 months I've given out over 750 copies to over 370 people. face-to-face, in the following languages:

Afrikaans, Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Cambodian, Cebuano, Chinese, English, Fante, Fijian, French, German, Greek, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Ibgo, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kisii, Korean, Laotian, Latvian, Lingala, Navajo, Persian, Russian, Samoan, Shona, Sinhalese, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Tongan, Tswana, Urdu, Vietnamese, Xhosa, and Zulu.

Over 60 languages are spoken in Indianapolis. I've encountered immigrants in many public places, and all it takes is a polite "Excuse me, what foreign languages do you speak?"

Pairing a foreign language Book of Mormon with an English translation makes excellent ESL (English as a Second Language) material. It's nigh impossible to find ESL material elsewhere in anything besides Spanish.

There you have, in two $2.00 books, thousands of translated sentences and phrases, organized and numbered for easy cross-refererence and comparison.

Learning ESL is a legitimate reason to read the Book of Mormon. And if the reader is an honest and sincere person, and wants to know, the Holy Ghost will manifest the truth of it to the reader.

Many immigrants have a hard time reading the Bible in their native language, just as many Americans have a hard time reading King James English. Though the translations of the Book of Mormon are in "formal" language, the vocabulary is simple, and the precepts of the Gospel are simple and are explained more clearly than in the Bible.

Bibles in foreign languages can be expensive and difficult to come by. See www.Bibles.com (American Bible Society) and www.ibsdirect.com (International Bible Society).

My praise of the Book of Mormon is not to take anything away from the Bible. I found Christ and learned some things about him through the Bible and the Holy Ghost years before I ever heard of the Mormons.

(And the Book of Mormon explained my experiences with the Holy Ghost more clearly than the Bible did.)

I've bought hundreds of Bibles in English and Spanish and given them out with the Book of Mormon. "Would you like a free Bible? Would you like a free Book of Mormon to go with it?"

I've bought dozens of Bibles in other foreign languages and give them out: Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, French, Gujerati, Igbo, Portuguese, Punjabi, Tagalog, and Yoruba.

The Bible is still the Word of God too. But the Book of Mormon illustrates to us that the Heavens are not sealed. And the witness of the Holy Ghost of the divinity of the Book of Mormon indicates which church holds the divine authority to act in God's name.

I just love the Book of Mormon. Want one? Call 1-888-537-2200 for a free copy, with no obligation. They can mail it to you if you are afraid of Mormon missionaries.

Click here for a list of all the languages in which the Book of Mormon is translated.

If you're paranoid about the LDS church having your name or address, you can buy copies of the Book of Mormon on Amazon.com or Ebay.com, or check out a copy at your local library.

Anonymous said...

What I found was that The Book of Mormon enhanced the Bible for me. It made the Bible come to life, just as the teachings of the Church do. When the truth is taught it is amazing how much sense the Bible makes.

I love the Bible, I love the Book of Mormon, and I love this, the Lord's Church and wouldn't go back for anything.

Joy

Mormanity said...

Amazing missionary tips for giving out the Book of Mormon. Thank you! I've had some great success with foreign language Books of Mormon, but I really need to get more generous - thanks for the wonderful example!

Bookslinger said...

I went and re-started my blog about Book of Mormon placement stories.

indybooks.blogspot.com

In the spirit of "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" I stole, er, I mean borrowed, Jeff's front page links.

Mormanity said...

Thanks, Indy! Fascinating blog - I'll add a link. Kudos!

AlexG said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bookslinger said...

I've kept the URL the same, but I changed the blog name to

"Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon"

AlexG said...

This is the original post, but with all the words that I, involuntarily, omitted. If you can, Jeff, please delete my previous post. Thanks
---------------------------------
For me, the witnesses of the Book of Mormon have played a crucial part in strengthing my testimony. They did not only see the plates, but they saw the sword of Laban, the Urim and Thummim but most of all the saw the angel Moroni.

I recall an interview, probably availabe on Jeff's site, with David Whitmer. He was asked if he had actually seen the plates, as opposed to being induced by some halocinogenous substances. David Whitmer enphatically responded something like the following (this is not a direct quote), 'Can you see my hand? If so, that's how I know that I saw these things. I have seen with my eyes the plates.' It should be noted that David Whitmer never returned to the Church, so several questions could be posed to the critics. Why would he defend a Church to which he was not a member of? What motives could have led him to testify to the veracity of the Book of Mormon, since he could have exposed the book as a fraud? The records show him as a honrable, respectable person. His testimony, with those of Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris and the Eight Witnesses stand as proof for a doubting world.

I have heard the question "Why do we need the Book of Mormon since
we have the Bible?" Verses 8 - 10 prove to be a good starting point for a discussion. Should we not be glad to have more revealed word from God? Where does it say that the Bible contains ALL the revealed word necessary to men? One could argue, from John 20:30 that not everything Jesus did was written down and, where it written it would fill the earth. Also, there are the 'Lost Books'. Therefore, why should we not be glad that there is additional scripture? To those that have asked why should they read the Book of Mormon I simply say, if God decided to reveal more word and you heard it, how would you know if it comes from Him? Time after time, the answer resembles that of Moroni 10:4 - 5. When shown this scripture, some investigators have mentioned that they would read the Book of Mormon. I do not know where they get the idea that the Book of Mormon 'replaces' the Bible, but when shown how they compliment each other, it seems to strike a familiar chord.

The challenge that comes with the Book of Mormon is to accept that there are modern day prophets. Most people would revere the Bible but would not go near the Book of Mormon. This attitude seems to me, personally, a bit like that of the Pharisees described in Matthew 23:29 - 34. True prophets would come, and receiving them is to received Jesus. The Book of Mormon is one of the many ways that we can acknowledge that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God.

Alex G

Mormanity said...

Good comments, Alex. Thanks!

I removed the earlier comment as you requested.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree, lots to think about Alex, thanks.
I guess if David W had come out later and said that he lied about what he claims to have seen, he would no longer be considered an honest man. That would surely have ruined his reputation as an honarable and respectable person.
"The challenge that comes with the BOM is to accept that there are modern day prophets" I would like to know what prophecies this modern day prophet has proclaimed. Prophets in the bible were always talking with God and receiving the word of God for the people. They would prophecy to the people. What prophecies has your prophet spoken of?
Also, you say that Joesph Smith is a prophet of God. He is dead. He was killed by a mob for having a printing press destroyed. The press was being used by a few of his Apostles for printing his adultress liaisons. How does the Book of Mormon "acknowledge that Joesph Smith IS a prophet of God"?

AlexG said...

Hello Anonymous:

David Whitmer was know for his integrity. Therefore, if Joseph Smith had been a fraud, he would have never testified that he saw the plates. If he had retracted his testimony, being quite honest, there would be grounds to doubt if Joseph Smith actually did the work he claimed to. But he did not. That is what surprises me. He had every opportunity to deny everything and expose Joseph, but given that he did not do it. The question, then, is why did he not do it?

Two prophesies come to mind, among many, that came through Joseph Smith. The first is the Word of Wisdom, a particularity of Mormonism, that forbids the consumption of tobacco for humans. This prophecy was given in 1833, long time before the medical community found that the effects of tobacco to be harmful. The other is the prophecy of the Civil War in the United States. At the time this prophecy was given, 1832, there was hardly a case for a war within the US. This prophecy was recorded in the 87th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. There are several other prophecies, i.e., Willard Richards, who was with Joseph Smith in Carthage, was prophesied that he would escape with out a hole in his garment. It proved true. Dan Jones was prophesied to serve a mission at a time when his life was in danger. Guess what? He did serve a mission in Wales, his homeland, and convert a great number of Saints. A list of prophecies given by Joseph Smith, not exhaustive yet fairly complete, are avaiable online on Jeff's website:

www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_prophecies.shtml

As of prophecies of late, I would suggest the establishment of the Perpetual Education Fund as a manner to enable people from poor surrounding to help them improve their life conditions has proved quite amazing. The construction of smaller temples as a way to enable the construction of more could be another.

I stated that Joseph Smith IS a prophet of God as an affirmation of his calling, not in a temporal manner. He did die on June 27th, 1844 after being shot by a mob. The closing down of the 'Nauvoo Expositor', which sparked the flame for the martyrdom of Joseph, was a legal action, within the legal framework of 1844, to supress 'public nuisance'. The libel was utilised to publish all sorts of sensational stories that contributed to the general anti-Mormon feeling and most of the editors were former members, even some Apostles. I do not know the contents of it, yet as far as I gather, most stories were plainly false.

The Book of Mormon acknowledges the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith. If God "will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7) then the coming forth of the Book of Mormon as the word of God had to be done through a prophet. Who else, then, could have brought this marvelous book? Several issues that were not know in Joseph Smith's time are in the book (writting scriptures in plates, cement technology in Mesoamerica, etc.) which later would be proven.

AlexG

Anonymous said...

Can you tell me why Joseph Smith was a Freemason.

Sledgehammer said...

Hey, Jeff. This is your cousin, Stephen Vincent. I was doing a search on the Book of Mormon and stumbled on your site. How exciting!

Anonymous said...

I believe in the BOM.One thing that sticks to my mind is why would a white man in the 1800's write a book that fortells the rise of the native peoples in the last days to become the terrors of their conquerors, Lions among the sheep?Third Nephi tells of the events to come.Time to wake up.

Roy Seawolf said...

I have been inactive for quite awhile. I never questioned my testimony, but through a series of unfortunate events in my life, I have become discouraged. I remember the teachings of my youth however, and I realize that the prophecies concerning the last days are upon us. I'ts time to repent.

Anonymous said...

Time to wake up folks. The Book of Mormon is what is referred to as a wolf in sheep's clothing. To place one's faith in a supplemental guide to the bible (or what you referred to as the restored testement) is simply dangerous, and foolish. The bible tells all, and is the final testament of Jesus. The Book of Mormon has been changed so frequently, to adjust to today's social awareness, that one can draw reference to event's around the world, at any given moment. You might as well consider Nostradamus as a prophet, as many events he proclaimed, have come to pass.
It's time to turn to the one true God, and his only son Jesus Christ, not the extrapolized imagination of a lustful Smith and Young.