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

Monday, August 15, 2005

Why I Believe the Book of Mormon Is True

In response to my recent post about the thief who was converted by a stolen Book of Mormon, one critic (whose comment was deleted for her inarticulate use of profanity) was shocked at my gullibility. It seemed that she thought I based my belief on faith promoting rumors fabricated by others. Not so. My acceptance of the Book of Mormon is the result of my personal pursuit for truth and the experiences I have had with it at a spiritual and intellectual level over the years. The fact that a thief could be converted by it has little to do with whether it's true or not - that was not my point. In fact, I'm surprised at the ire that little story raised.

Even the most hardened of critics should recognize that the Book of Mormon has touched the lives of millions of people. Deluded or not, many have been converted to the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ ("Mormonism") by study of that book. Because of that book, many have wanted to become better people, to give up their misdeeds, to gain forgiveness, and even to become Latter-day Saints. That should not be surprising. So if the book can touch so many lives and make so many people wish to follow Christ, why should it be surprising that at least one thief was among the crowd of converts? The story is touching, but is not meant to prove the Book of Mormon is true, and does not even prove any sort of divine presence in the world. It is merely a rather dramatic example of what should be common knowledge: the book changes the lives of many people who read it. Critics can comfort themselves with a belief that it's all just a foolish delusion, but there's no denying that lives are changed by whatever is in that book.

Among those lives is mine. Yes, I was born in the Church, but at age 14, I could see that staying a member of the Church would be a foolish thing to do if it were not true. Why pay tithing, why go on a mission, why even go home teaching if it was all fake? Doing such could even be morally wrong (teaching others to believe a lie? - not good!), and I wanted to do what's right (but, frankly, I especially did not want to pay unnecessary tithing and waste two years of my life). The Church had taught me repeatedly that each individual needed to find out for themselves if the Church was true, and the obvious key to doing that was not attempting to sort out various interpretations of what happened with polygamy or the Mountain Meadow Massacre or puzzling statements in the Journal of Discourses, but to determine if the Book of Mormon was divine or a man-made hoax.

We are very serious about the Book of Mormon: if it is false, then Joseph Smith was not a prophet. If it is true, then he must have been some kind of a prophet after all, and the Church's claims of divine origins should then at least merit our attention. The Book of Mormon is surely the most obvious place for serious investigation for anyone who wishes to explore the validity of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The last chapter in the Book of Mormon offers an inspired key to exploring the validity of the text. We are counseled by Moroni to ponder the book, to contemplate the great things described therein, and then to ask the Lord with real intent to know if it is true. In my case, at age 14, I decided to read the book. I should say that at that point, there was no doubt in my mind that God was real and that prayers could be answered - I had had many positive experiences with prayer and truly knew of the reality of God. But what of the Church itself? I would read the Book of Mormon and then pray to get an answer.

Unfortunately, my quest was complicated by my adolescent pride (now replaced with a much more wholesome middle-aged pride). With a somewhat cocky attitude, I wanted to see how fast I could get through it (bragging rights of some kind, I guess). I took up the challenge and zoomed through the book over a period of about a week during the summer. "Reached my goal - awesome. Well, that wasn't so bad. And now I'll pray. True or not? . . ." Nothing. No answer, nothing came. I was puzzled. I read Moroni 10:3-5 again and realized that I had not done as counseled -- there had been little pondering, just rushing through the text, and reading in part for the wrong reason. I didn't have much more information about the meaning of the book than when I had begun. I realized I would need to take more time, be more sincere, and really think about what I was reading. Whether it was true or not, this made a lot of sense. We should use our own mind as much as possible, and let God fill in the blanks.

With a slightly more humble attitude, I took up the challenge again, this time reading more slowly to ponder the meaning of the text and to consider on my own whether what I was reading was fabricated by man or really represented an inspired, scriptural text. I found richness in the text and many insights into life and Christ and religion - but was it true? After pondering the text, I then approached the Lord in prayer one evening, sincerely asking for guidance about the text and explaining what tentative conclusions I had been able to draw, then asking if this text was true, explaining that it was very important to know, and that I wished to do what was right.

I have shared my experience with others before, but here let me just say that on that night, about 30 minutes later, I walked away with a powerful and profound personal testimony that God loved me, that Christ was real, and that the Book of Mormon was indeed a divine testament of Christ, a second witness for His divinity. And yes, that meant that somehow, Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.

The experience was powerful and beyond wishful thinking, pizza-induced heartburn, or self-hypnosis, though you are all free to dispute that. For you, it proves nothing and should not make you feel threatened. But for me, it was just the beginning of what has been a lifelong series of fascinating spiritual and intellectual experiences and insights confirming that the Book of Mormon is not a work of fiction authored by a nineteenth century fraud, but a sophisticated ancient text with divine origins. I share some of the intellectual reasons for that point of view on my Book of Mormon Evidences page, but there are many more such issues that I would like to discuss.

My personal testimony of the divinity of the Book of Mormon is why I am a member of this Church. It's why I went on a two-year mission. It's why I married in the Temple. It's why I have made many sacrifices for what I believe to be the Church of Jesus Christ. It's why I can be patient at the foolishness of other members, even occasional Church leaders, who are all mortal like me, for I know it's not their Church - it's the Church of Jesus Christ, whom the Book of Mormon has helped me to know and love much better. I love the Bible, especially the New Testament, but you will find no other book more Christ-centered and more able to bring a man to Christ than the Book of Mormon, in my opinion.

My sins, my failings through life, my many weaknesses (some of which are evident in my blogging) make me every bit as guilty as the thief who robbed Sister Cruz of her Book of Mormon. And like the thief, the Book of Mormon has helped me to wish to change, to seek forgiveness, to overcome my many flaws and to (at least occasionally) yearn to follow Christ. If it's all a delusion, if there is no God and no truth, then I'm puzzled, for it's been like the sweet meal of a dream that, upon waking, leaves my stomach full, my body strengthened, and my senses enriched by the persistent aroma and delightful aftertaste. (There is even a need to brush and floss.) A nourishing delusion indeed. May you all be so afflicted.

I hope that if I can achieve one thing with this blog it would be to encourage some of you, LDS or not, to actually read and ponder the Book of Mormon. Maybe even pray while you're at it. Anti-Mormon ministers will plead with you to do anything BUT pray for guidance in this manner, but I hope you'll always turn to the Lord when you are seeking to understand divine truth. He's the One Being we can always trust.

170 comments:

Anonymous said...

I once enrolled in the Farms organization, hoping that the intellectual side would help my testimony.

It made no difference whatsoever to me. It is the New testament and Book of Mormon. It is simply the life and example of the Savior that leads one on.

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

Natalie; I've been to your webblog, and I recall a comment you deleted. Also, I've read on your site that you'd like Mormon's to leave you alone...I think you get my point.
Mike: Noah's Ark is reported to have had windows (Gen. 6:16). There have been logical responses to all of your criticisms. Also, I know you were writing Jeff, but I was baptised when I was 21 and also served a mission. In both my own conversion and in working as a missionary, the method was always "Pray and find out for yourself." In sunday school I teach the 16-18 year olds. I tell them to "pray and find out for themselves." I used to teach 11 year olds. I taught the same thing. My wife felt the same way and when she was 13, was prepared to leave the church if her prayers weren't answered. Her prayers were answered. My prayers were answered. You may chose not to believe, and I respect that. When good meaning missionaries knock on your door, you don't have to answer, or can just say "not interested." We aren't going to not send more missionaries, because frankly, we're not that organized. We don't have a "do not call list." We probably never will have sucha list. Sorry for the inconvenience. We really do believe this stuff we are pushing. You don't have to, but don't yell at Jeff, I for one, think he's really an honest wonderful faithful man, and a good example to the rest of the church.
-Matt Witten

Mormanity said...

I thought I could restore your comment, Natalie, to quote the non-offending parts, but I couldn't, even though I did not choose the "delete forever" option when I zapped it. Well, feel free to go ahead and make your comment again, but without the profanity - but if it is still as offensive as I recall it being, I'm not sure why I should allow it to stand.

Profanity merits instant deletion, even if you don't choose the worse possible words. I also do not wish to give bandwidth to sites that I consider anti-Mormon, so leave the link off. I know you don't like that, but that's just me. The internet is filled with anti-Mormon sites, and I don't have a desire to increase their visibility.

If I misrepresented the way you took offense at my remarks, or misunderstood your challenge to my belief in the Book of Mormon, I'm sorry.

Since your latest comment again violates my rule of not providing links to anti-sites, let me reproduce it here but without the link:

Jeff,

You are a hypocrite. You keep referring to my comment, now even with a posting all on it's own, and telling everyone you deleted my comment for "profanity" (There might have been ONE questionable word in there. And it was not one of the major ones.)

But you sum up what you THINK I was saying in your post. Now, alone, that is not egregious.

But, see, NO ONE can look at what I said, aside from what YOU want them to believe. And that is where you have erred.

There is no longer a point of reference.

You could have, for example, addressed my comment, like I do when I get negative comments. Perhaps even deleted the offending word.

But I NEVER delete the original comment. Anyone can always reference it.

No one has that option here. They just have to take YOUR word for it. What does THAT sound like?

You're a hypocrite. You are doing exactly what you accuse the "anti" Mormons of doing, including "taking things out of context."

Of course, you had a great teacher. Delete and hide what you don't want people to know. That's the Mormon Church motto.

While I don't take issue with you deleting the comment, (and I even apologized for using a "profanity" on your blog) once you DID that, you lost the right to comment on it, or to try and make me look bad by paraphrasing it.

YOU owe me an apology. I know I will never get it.
Natalie, you're right that I should have edited your comment and posted it again. I'm sorry for not doing that. When I saw the profanity, I was already late and had to rush, so I just deleted it. I referred to it later when I had more time, but your comment was already gone. Sure, call me a hypocrite and all that - you seem to enjoy calling me names, which is cool, I guess - but let me remind me that as the owner of this tiny spot of the blogosphere, I am sensitive to offending comments and reserve the right to delete them for profanity, inappropriate links, or just because I'm in a bad mood. And I reserve the right to comment on them even if they are deleted. Those rules may seem severe and unfair, but the effort I've oput into this blog or my Web pages was not meant to give equal voice to the already incredibly noisy anti-Mormons of the world.

Mormanity said...

Norton, get thee to a museum. Elephants - OK, mastodons and mammoths - were on this continent hundreds of years before Columbus, contrary to your claim. Though long extinct, a legitimate issue is whether pockets of them survived into Jaredite times or not. It's not impossible.

Steel? Sure - meteoric iron alloys that modern scientists call "steel" (especially iron-nickel alloys) were present in the Americas. Meteoric iron deposits were mined and used by the Olmecs for mirrors, for example.

Barley? Verified recently.

The French farewell? My goodness, Norton, the use of "adieu" - like all the other modern words in the Book of Mormon - is the result of TRANSLATING the text. The Book of Mormon doesn't suggest that French or English was being spoken in 600 B.C.! Haven't you noticed all the puzzling English words in the King James Bible?

Fossil horses are well known in the Americas, and again the issue is whether pockets of them survived or whether another species of animal was referred to in the text. Not a clearcut issue, certainly, but not one for rapid dismissal of the book.

Mormanity said...

Mike Norton made the following post which I deleted because of his violation of my previously stated policy: links to anti-Mormon sites will generally not be allowed. I'm not here to give more bandwidth to the nastier side of the Web. But for your enlightenment, here is what Mike had to say:

Ha ha...Jeff, you're so dang funny. You said, "The Church had taught me repeatedly that each individual needed to find out for themselves if the Church was true..."

Now, is this before or after they baptise you at the age of 8? Kinda pointless to encourage people to "find out if it's true" years after they have joined, isn't it?

Also, the number of anachronisms in the Book of Mormon alone prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the book is not what it claims to be.

For example, imagine I showed you a hand written journal and claimed it was from General George Washington and it was written during the Revolutionary War yet it contained the following passage,

"I faxed instructions to Thos. Jefferson and told him to meet me at the Rail Road station at midnight..."

Would you honestly believe for one second that this journal was what I said it was? Could a journal from George Washington really make reference to things that wouldn't be invented (fax machines, rail roads) for many, many years?

Likewise, the Book of Mormon is so full of anachronisms that NOBODY that has even the slightest grasp of pre-Columbian America can take it seriously. I mean really, ELEPHANTS in America hundreds of years before Columbus? Horses? Wheat? Barley? Steel weapons? A certain French farewell? How about those WINDOWS on the Jaredite SUBMARINES?!?!?!

Need I go on?

Jeff, you remind me a lot of Joseph Smith. He too liked to dabble in magic and his specialty was getting people to believe his outlandish lies. You two have quite a bit in common.

Norton

My response is given in my comment directly above, with further details documented on my LDSFAQ page about alleged problems in the Book of Mormon.

But Mike, as a friendly tip, when regurgitating anti-Mormon attacks, please don't repeat the lamest arguments ever devised. There are plenty of legitimate questions one can raise, but the thing about "adieu" in the Book of Mormon really qualifies as one of the top 10 silliest attacks ever. It won't help your cause. The point is that "adieu" - which is a perfectly valid English word found in the 1828 Websters Dictionary, obviously borrowed brom French, of course - was used by a translator to convey in modern language what an ancient writer said. To those who understand that the Book of Mormon is a translation - which is 99% of Latter-day Saints, I hope - the use of that argument immediately calls into question the credibility of the attacker. Not that I want you to have any more credibility, but I can't help passing on some constructive criticism.

Anonymous said...

I was impressed recently by this article about steel.

http://www.meridianmagazine.com/ideas/050801steel.html

Natalie said...

Dear Anonymous,

The ONLY comments I have EVER deleted from my blog were those posted by someone who called me a word that starts with C (can't write it here, according to Jeff's blog rules, and frankly, don't really WANT to, since it is probably the ugliest word ever) and asked me how large my breasts were--and not that nicely. Other than that, they all stand.

Anything that comes from a REAL Mormon, I keep. I know that Mormons aren't always going to like what I have to say, and I respect that. They have the right to post it. They do NOT have the right to ask me about my sexual preferences (married, heterosexual, children) or question my chest size.

Geez, anon, could you be the twisted ....

Eh, better stop now.

Natalie said...

Jeff,

Thank you for your apology. You are a gentleman. While I wish I could repost my comment, I cannot. It was spur-of-the-moment impassioned prose that I cannot recapture.

I wish you had seen it for what it was. It was an honest desire to say, to an obviously intelligent man, “How can you fall for this? How can you be so duped?”

I wish that I could get across to you, and other Mormons, that I am not trying to be mean, snide or cruel. Rather, I am as bewildered by your propensity to believe what I see as unfathomable as you are by my inability to embrace what you see as the only truth. As desperate as you are to bear your "testimony," so am I desperate to say, "But wait..." But we are of a different breed. You will never listen to my reasoning, because you are a man of reason in some things, but of the heart in so many others. You believe your heart.

Should I fault you?

Probably not.

I see you falling into a trap, just as you see ME falling into a trap.

It’s sixes, except I don’t believe I have the only real thing in life, and you do.

Well, good luck on that journey.

Godspeed.

Mormanity said...

OK, thank you Natalie. And I actually enjoy many of your comments, so I'm really quite sorry for offending you.

Anonymous said...

Nat:
I certainly am not the sick twisted... but the comment I was referrig to, you actually did post later on, to be fair. I found it quite funny. It was really long and weird. From a Mormon...
-Matt Witten

Natalie said...

Matt,

Thank goodness you aren't Sicktwisted. That guy was a MAJOR pain in the, er, patootie. The FBI agreed he was just trying to scare me. Good thing I don't scare easily.

I think I remember the post you are referring to, but I didn't delete it. I changed my posting method from Blogger to Haloscan after Sicktwisted started taunting me with personal details of my life, along with those nasty words and questions, and so all old comments were lost. At least I think that's what happened.

That was a strange post. I think he was smoking the ganja while he was defending the truths of Mormonism. Never a good combo.

Mormanity said...

Natalie, I'm so sorry that sickos harassed you like that on your blog. Revolting.

Jeane said...

That's the sort of thing that most influenced me against having my own blog. I'm sorry too, Natalie.

Mormanity said...

Good news! I forgot that I signed up for comments to be sent to an e-mail account, so I do have a record of Natalie's deleted comment that I found tonight. Out of respect for her (disagreements notwithstanding), I post it below (minus one little word):

Jeff,

I never realized how gullible you really were. It's almost sad. No, it IS truly sad. Some of your postings gave me so much hope that you were flexible, that you realized life just ain't so easy to explain.

But I was wrong.

Why would you fall for this? Are you really so desperate to believe there is ONE TRUE THING that you will latch onto anything?

I know life isn't easy. I wish there was an easy answer, but believing things that aren't plausible is NOT that answer.

Jeff, please, I know you are a good man. I know you truly believe you are doing a good work here. I see that from your postings.

But you are so, so deluded. You have been led astray. I wish I had the truth to offer UP to you, like so many would do, but I don't. I'm not recruiting for any other religion, for any other truth, except for the ONE that you owe yourself.

There is no ONE TRUTH. Sad. But, maybe that's the only truth in life.

You're a smart man. And if you look deep inside, and if you open up your thinking and LOOK at what you're seeing here, you're going to figure out that this Mormon story is all just, well, ****. Sorry for the profanity. I know you don't like it, but you need to hear it.

http://www.nataliercollins.com/weblog


Well, there you are. Actually, it wasn't as bad as I thought, and admit that my recollection of it was not completely accurate when I responded to my memory of it later. OK, Natalie thinks I'm a hopeless fool, and is trying to help me out with her comments. She hopes I'll change. Guess that's mutual.

Mike Parker said...

Those who have encountered Mike Norton and his web site might be interested in reading this response:

JosephToldTheTruth.com

Natalie said...

Jeff,

I most certainly do NOT think you are a hopeless fool. I wouldn't even BOTHER to read or comment on your blog if I were of that opinion.

As I have noted in the past, you seem like a very smart, very genuine man who is a LOT less cynical than I am. I know I've said that more than once. (At least the smart part. And I don't hide my cynical nature.)

I don't understand your mindset, and that probably won't change. It seems to me you are reaching, reaching, reaching, constantly, to try to prove something that really isn't provable. But I suppose that's because you TRULY do believe it. So you will latch onto those truths.

And you, obviously, don't understand my mindset, which is TOTALLY understandable. Writers are nuts.

I think the problem is we were both labeling each other. I labeled you the rabid true-believing-Mormon and you labeled me the rabid-anti-Mormon-with-an-axe-to-grind.

It colored both of our responses to each other.

Surprise, surprise, we're both just people.

Welcome to the jungle.

Thanks for restoring my comment.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not recruiting for any other religion, for any other truth, except for the ONE that you owe yourself. There is no ONE TRUTH. Sad. But, maybe that's the only truth in life."

Does anyone besides me see the self-contradiction in that?

Does that last "maybe" excuse the false reasoning?

And, if it's only a "maybe", then why is she so adamant that others accept it, and trying to cram it down their throats?

Nobility is admiting we don't know all truth. Claiming that there is no truth is not noble, and is more along the lines of churlish.

Mormanity said...

Nicely said, Natalie. Thanks!

Natalie said...

Anon,

I did not say there was NO truth. I said there was no ONE truth. Vastly different. And exactly how am I cramming this down anyone's throat? It's just how I feel.

Read closer before you post.

Natalie

Floyd the Wonderdog said...

"I faxed instructions to Thos. Jefferson and told him to meet me at the Rail Road station at midnight..."

faxed- to send a facsimile or an exact copy

Rail Road station- a way station on the road called Rail

Perhaps rather than dismissing things off hand, we should see if we can take things that sound achronistic and see if they can fit in the time period when they were written. If the Book of Mormon says adieu, that doesn't mean that Joeph Smith was a fraud because there were no Frenchmen in the New World then, but that he used a modern phrase to express the sentiment of the author of the original text.

Natalie said...

Good Golly(<--said in deference to Jeff's no profanity policy), Floyd, have you been DRINKING?

I read this SIX times, and it didn't make sense once.

And I WRITE for a living.

I think I'll go back to dealing with Primary Parades(on my blog, which I won't link to, cuz Jeff doesn't like that, either), and the anger of the out-of-state Mormons toward the Utah Mormons because they never GOT one.

It was easier to understand. Everybody wants to be part of a parade.

Natalie

Bookslinger said...

Nat, I'm an out-of-Utah mormon, and I never even heard of primary parades. But you do have somewhat of a point. Some out-of-Utah mormons are angry (or at least mildly ticked) at Utah mormons for some of the same reasons you are. Some can be real jerks, either in a self-righteous way, or in a jack-mormon kind of way. But the Utah mormons don't have a monopoly on jerkitude. The Nephite disease can strike anywhere. I constantly fight the swelled-head syndrome, and I don't always succeed.

I think God sometimes has a sense of humor when He uses certain words in the scriptures. One prophet told the King of Judah he was going to Babylon, and the other prophet told him he'd never see Babylon. The king thought they were liars since they contradicted each other. However, the Babylonians blinded the King of Judah, then took him to Babylon, thereby fulfilling both prophets' prophecies.

Patience said...

Hi Everyone,

I would like to make a comment regarding the statement "There is no ONE TRUTH. Sad. But, maybe that's the only truth in life.

It is the unfortunate nature of human beings to believe that their truth is THE truth. However, I have had the opportunity to find out that this is not the case.

I was raised as a Catholic, and I'm very grateful for it. I've been to Lutheran services, Trinity Baptist services, Christian Servicemen's services, Agape services, Assembly of God Services, Southern Baptist services, Methodist services, United Church of Christ services, nad many others. This was due to the fact that I had so many friends in each of these different denominations. I enjoyed all of them, but there was one thing that bothered me.

Namely, the fact that they all claimed to be THE church. Yet, they did not teach the sam ethings. Some taught that baptism was for infants, while others said Adults. Some taught that only certain people could partake of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, while others allowed it for anyone. Some taught that there is only salvation for those who are born again, and others say it is only for those who are born again and baptised. As I'm sure you can imagine, the list goes on.

I know one thing is sure. God is not the author of confusion. My sister, a Devout Catholic, has this quote as her sign-off for her e-mails.

"Right is still right if nobody is right,and wrong is still wrong if everybody is wrong,"
--Archbishop Fulton J Sheen

I would go a step further and say that truth is still truth if no one believes it, and lies are still lies if everyone believes them.

There is only one truth. That is a fact. One truth cannot be contradicted by another truth, for one would then be an untruth.

It is contingent upon us, as children of God, to seek HIS truth. IT is the ONLY truth. The only question that remains is this:

1. When one finds the truth, will one be open to it, and mold one's self to fit that truth?
OR
2. Will one reject the truth becasue it is too difficult to accept, and try to mold the truth to fit their beliefs?

Doing the first will bring us closer to our Savior who is the way, the TRUTH and the Life.

Doing the second will bring us closer to delusion, for shaping the truth to fit our needs twists it into something that is no longer truth.

God bless you in your endeavors to find the Truth. There is only one out there.

Peace and Love.

Patience said...

And Please excuse the typos....it's late and I should have been in bed hours ago....

Scott C. said...

I just ran across your website and after reading some of it I have a few ideas I'd like to share.

I myself like to criticize. However, when it comes to my Mormon faith, all I can think of when I'm presented with these questions is why would someone (Joseph Smith) face all of the contention and persecution over something that they made up. There is no way I would die over something I made up.
I understand that this is be no means some statistic or achaelogical fact or other logical reasoning, but sometimes do we get caught up in these things? Is it OK to not forgive someone after you've done it 70 x 7 times already? I mean obviously it's CLEARLY pointed out the we must forgive 490 times, logically, once its that 491'st offence, it's fair game.
Don't be blind to the minor things, yet dont get caught up in them, don't loose the broad perspective.

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for your comments. I have never found a greater truth than I have had with the Church Of Jesus Christ. They teach the truth that all will be known eventually when the seventh seal is finally broken. Your own truth is: Are you living by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God ? If you are, you must be operating the power that is promised and told about by Jesus. The trouble is that most people are Thomas's of the world and need to see before they believe. Oh ye have little faith !

Anonymous said...

Could it just be that the Book of Mormon is a collection of excellent sermons combined with some false historic information? That would make it innocuous, helpful but not necessarily a source of perfect truth.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,

Finally, I found you... I just want to put a comment. I believe you on believing the Book of Mormon. I believe only to Jesus Christ d' Truth, d Way and d' Life. I was not born here in Utah, i was not born from any State, I was born in a third world country with poverty, hunger and disease.

I consider Joseph Smith a 19th century religious guy, just like Google a new way of Internet. So, Book of Mormon is made in America, Joseph is born in America, Mormanity is born in America. You just want to be different because you were born probably in America.

Amy Robison said...

I don't believe the Book Of Mormon is true. I believe that Joseph Smith was a false prophet along with Bringham Young. Matthew 7:15 Jesus says beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheeps clothing...He also said in Matthew 24:11," Many false prophets shall rise and shall decieve many...Please go on to read Matthew 24:24, John4:1. Joseph Fielding Smith said the following :"Mormonism, as it is called, must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith. He was either a prophet of God, devinely called, properly annointed and commissioned, or he was one of the biggest frauds this world has ever seen. There is no middle ground." When you read Deuteronomy 18:22 it sets up atest for prophets. Then go onto read Galations 1:8-9 It says if anyone preaches another gospel than that which he and the other apostles preached, that person shall be eternally condemned. Let's see the book of mormon fits into that category. As for the prophets that the mormon's so much believe in: Joseph smith said that tall men dressed as Quakers live on the moon, Bringham Young said that men live on the sun as well, Joseph Smith prophesied that Jesus would return by 1891, and Bringham Young prophesied that the Civil War would not free the slaves. That shouts false prophesy to me. I'll tell you as I was told one day pray about it. God will show you the truth, you just have to be willing to accept it. I pray that everyone who reads this,that God will open their eyes to His truth. Please look deeply atthe Mormon religion really study the covenants and doctrines and the Book of Mormon and compare that with your study of the Holy Bible and God will open your eyes to the truth and show you the contradictions of God's Word(Bible) and man's word(book of mormon).

AeroRob said...

Anyone who believes in God and that Jesus died for his sins, and that God answers prayer, who sincerely reads The Book Of Mormon, who prays to God asking for knowledge of its truth, will find out that it is true.

But for those who can not bring themselves to read it sincerely, please be faithful in your churches, whatever they may be.

There are so many causes that are utterly crucial to our right to retaining this blessed land, that we as God-fearing people must unite in Christ. If we don't the lion will rip and tear asunder, none shall deliver, meaning that we will have this glorious land taken from us because we have not repented of our wickedness.

As long as we have state sponsored murder of innocent unborn children, and if we legalize and legitimize gay marriage, we as a nation are forfeiting the Lord's blessing of protection that we have heretofore enjoyed within North America.

That should unite us in purpose, even if we don't go to the same church on Sunday. Our common goal should be to convert each person more fully to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, no matter which denomination they attend. That is my goal. If they decide to join my LDS church, then that is icing on the cake.

Anonymous said...

I am a devout Catholic who has spent a great deal of time coming to that realization. Along the way I've explored various christian faiths, buddhism, and taken the mormon discussions on three occasions. I left my church for many years, but always came back because all of those other faiths were lacking. This has been a 20 year process. I have read and prayed sincerely about the Book of Mormon and in the end I've been left with one overwhelming truth.

The Book of Mormon is not scripture. There are some wisdoms in it, some good thoughts, but taken as a whole, God's word does not lie there. I say that for many reasons, but what strikes me as the greatest reason is that the Book of Mormon is not self sustaining. It needs a man, Joseph Smith, in order to survive.

If you look at the Bible, God's word, it lives and breathes independently from its authors. The Book of Mormon can not survive unless Joseph Smith's legacy and credibility remain untarnished. Such reliance on a human being can not be from God. God sustains himself without us, God's words and his laws sustain themselves without us.

The truth about God is that he doesn't need us, he lives and is eternal without us. But the magnificance of God is that he loves us and is with us always. That's another shortcoming of Mormon teachings.

Under mormon doctrine, God was once a man. As such he is limited to being only in certain places. I may not be getting that exactly correct by the way, but the point I'm making is that Jesus tells us that God is with us in all things at all times. God is eternal and omnipotent. Mormon teachings only allow for us to feel God's spirit with us, and only if we are not sinning. But Jesus' teachings are that God is with at all times no matter how bad we screw up.

I find no hope in the Book of Mormon, but the Bible, the New Testament especially talks about nothing but hope. Jesus tells us that he is with us at our darkest times. Our darkest times are when we are sinning and suffering. If one follows the teachings of the Book of Mormon Jesus and the Holy Spirit desert us when we are sinning. That's a direct contradiction of what Christ tells us in each of the four gospels and the rest of the New Testament.

I've written on what I see as some of the contradictions present in Mormon doctrine. As I conclude I would point out one of the most stark of the contradictions I see in the Book of Mormon. If you listen to Joseph Smith's teachings in the Doctrine and Covenants, he talks about God only giving revelation to one person to whom he has given the keys to receive all of the revelations. The general meaning of that is that God will only reveal new doctrine to his prophet here on earth, Gordon B. Hinckley.

But if you read the Bible, God has always revealed messages to many people. David was spoken to as a boy. Mary received the greatest message of all. Neither were preists or prophets. The fact is if you follow Joseph Smith's doctrine, if God chose to reveal himself to a boy in the woods again (see Joseph Smith history)not one Mormon apostle or the current prophet would take that as a revelation from God because under Mormon doctrine, God will only reveal himself to the current prophet. Does anyone see the problem here?

Anonymous said...

yes.

Anonymous said...

yes

Anonymous said...

This blog I love. I just can't get enough when I read such great human experences. Thank you Jeff and to all that have left a part of you. Where ever you are, you are in the place where you a need to be at your progression back to our Father in Heaven. So many memories and undescrible spiritual experences come flooding in to my mind and heart. With the same Holy Ghost reasuring to me again that the Book of Mormon is as it claims. Before I found the LDS church and the Book of Mormon I had two powerful spiritual experences. One gave me hope from utter dispair and let me know that there was more beyond what we see around us. Although I would like to go into detail most would not understand if I did relate what it is like to have the Holy Ghost visit you for the first time. I was so moved that I was afraid to move and dare not tell anyone for fear I would offend the purposes of God. About a year later when reading a book about the power of Christ I again had a experence from God. It was not of this earth and did not require me to study or pray. But I was so over come with the Spirit I prayed I my heart that if it was true I would do all in my power to do as God would ask of me. About one year later I was taught the lessons and read the Book of Mormon. Had the same powerful Holy Ghost bless me again. One year later I went on a mission. I wish I could report I have lived up to all that I should have because I have had more great and glorious spiritual experences all through my life. I can not give you my experences but if I could I would willing give up my life for all people to know what I know is true. God will give to what you are ready to except and not untill you are ready. I pray for all of you. Thank you Mormons for finding me. I owe you my life here and my soul after this life.

Anonymous said...

God will give revelations to anyone for their personal use. To a prophet for the church. To a king of Israel for a country. But you must follow what God tell you.

Anonymous said...

A lot has been said about the study of the gospel, bible or the BofM, ect. inorder to determing if it is true. After looking at my own experiences and the examples in the bible I have concluded that it is 99.99% prayer\comittment and .01% study that will give you the testimony of God or other important matters. There were non-Jewish people that came to the knowledge that Jesus Christ was the son of God, through the spirit and knew little or nothing about the gospel. They just had a little information, hope, faith, desire and a payer in their heart.

I did read the BofM; but it was the Holy Ghost that confirmed to me that the first vision of Joseph Smith was true. This happened with more profound impact than that of the BofM. I also had spiritual experiences about God and Christ without doing any studying before I knew of Mormonism or studying Christianity. I did not know I was to study. All I knew was that I was to belive, have faith, and pray. I also had a desire to commit myself to doing what God would direct me to if He would show me what it was I needed to do. At the time I did not think I would last very long if I had to just obey without some kind of witness. I was not looking for a sign or vision; just some acknowledgement that I was headed in the right direction. With just a little information and a prayer in my heart I was given a testimony of God and His son Jesus Christ. After this I was taught the importance of different ways of studying the gospel and the proper way to pray. I did gain more and more revelations and confirmations from the Holy Ghost as I continued to read and study. We must remember the gospel is for the least among us.

I for one am not very smart and could never come to any conclusion about the facts of God or His teachings. The gospel is for us that have no brains and can just find our way to our knees. It is about prayer, living a righteous life, our relationship to our fellow man and our relationship to our God. Study is important but not necessary to know the truth about God. Learning more about His gospel requires both study and payer.

Why do some people find different answers? My only conclusion is that they are where they should be and they are either living the gospel by faith or doing something else. God will only give us the answers we are ready for; to do other wise could do us more harm than good.

In conclusion; some of the greatest minds have studied the gospel for years and cannot agree on religious matters; so to me when God speaks to a child, a young boy, or to a no nothing, uneducated, person like me through the spirit; this is the only way to trully know if the BofM is true.

Anonymous said...

Your following blog does sound very Catholic. At one time, like you I saw problems with the Mormon constructs. But as a convert I disagree with the need for the members or the gospel to have Joseph Smith to stand on. Joseph Smith could be a fallen prophet and did fall out of favor with God just as many in the Bible did from time to time. But each time they repented God excepted them back. I am not sure what you mean by the BofM is not self sustaining. So I can not really address that. The BofM doesn't need Joseph Smith to have a untarnished legacy to be true. Jesus was accused of many wrongs and many went away disappointed and were lost; as far as we are told from the Bible. This does not keep the Bible from being true. Jesus Christ was perfect and Joseph Smith was not. Further, I don't understand about the words of the Bible as living and breathing independently from it's authors. I can find many faults with the authors and words of the Bible that could give me many good reasons not to believe in Christ but I don't let the short comings of the book or the authors keep me from asking God about the truth of the gospel. Joseph Smith is important to us in the Church like Moses was important to the children of Israel and Peter to the early Christians and the Pope to the Catholics. They were not perfect nor were their words without fault. But this should not keep anyone from seeking out God to discover the truth from His witness the Holy Ghost. These men are not the Gospel just the imperfect messengers. You do not need to have a reliance on any human to know if any book of scriptures are true. You just need a witness from God or live by faith. All the study in the world will not give you a witness of the Holy Ghost.
God does not need us any more than a parent needs their children. I am not sure where you get the idea the Mormon teachings keep God from always being with us. The simplistic explanation you give of Mormonism will always raise questions but if you want to get in to the deep metaphysical\theological constructs there are many books and blogs that study such matters. Just as I have read many Catholic theologians that dig deep into the complex ideals of the gospel but in the end did not bring me any closer to God. Nor did Mormon metaphysics\theology.
The Mormon concept that God the Father; like Christ became a human man\God in order to fulfill the atonement does not restrict God the Father or Christ from being with us at all times. As a glorified and resurrected beings with the assistance of the Holy Spirit God can be with us at all times if necessary. And if you factor in the book "Finger Print of God" by Hugh Ross, with the concept of infinite universes and the Godly power to travel at or beyond the speed of light to any of these universes by bending space and time then God could by reference of our time be in many places at the same time. Further, God can be with anyone at any time, Mormon or Catholic or Pagan ect., "he stands at the door knocking but are we willing to open it." Also Mormons do not believe that God will leave you if you sin. God does become grieved if we do not repent which He requires all to do to make that effort but He will not force us to seek help out or force Himself upon us.
The visit of Christ to America in the BoM covers the same hope as the Bible and if the message were any different then we would then need to question why. The rest of the BofM reads like the old testament which is not fill with a lot of hope like the new testament. So even the Bible has a problem with hope until Christ arrives and delivers the message of hope Himself. Your arguments are the normal arguments that I have heard others make in the past. The same arguments that are used to break down the BofM can be used against the Bible. All these arguments I reject against both books; rather, I call upon God to give me a witness to what is true then live by faith the best I can.
Your last two paragraphs leave me again questing your understanding of Mormonism. When Christ was on the earth the word of God came through Him, then Peter, then the Pope. An there may be others in the Catholic church that receive revelation but only the Pope speaks for the church. The Mormons have a Prophet, Apostles, Stake Presidents, Bishops, Home teachers, Husbands, Wives, Children that can receive revelations. Did I leave anyone out? Again I could point out perceived weaknesses in the Catholic church and try to pick it apart but how does this get me any closer to God. If the point is to know the truth; studying will only raise the questions but we need to ask God for the true answers. God will give you revelation as to what is true and what truth you need to follow. If God gave you a revelation to be a Catholic then you need to be the best Catholic you can be.
In the end, only living a righteous life and prayer, then waiting for the revelations of the Holy Ghost will bring you closer to Christ.

Anonymous said...

I'm the catholic who posted on the 26 of February 2007. Just thought I might respond and perhaps clarify a few things. To the author of March 11, 2007, there are a few points I do actually agree with you on. You are absolutely correct, the Catholic Church has a great many faults. The Spanish Inquisition comes to mind when I think of Catholic short comings. That's one the Catholic Church will never live down. But, neither does the Catholic Church seek to cover it up. It happened, its a fact of history, things have changed, hopefully for the better. There are more places the Catholic Church screwed up and fell short, I don't need to, nor could I cite all of them. But, in the grand scheme of things, when one really looks at catholic teachings and doctrine, the catholic faith is closer to what Christ actually taught than any other faith.

The mormon church spends great deal of time defending Joseph Smith. You may not think that, but from an outside observers perspective, a great deal of time is wasted by your church elders, prophet, apostles, and members defending Joseph Smith. Your church will not acknowledge his shortcomings even though they are plastered throughout the pages of history for all to see.

Polygamy is good example. That was a doctrine given to the members from Joseph Smith. See D & C 132. Members of your church deny that, but its there in black and white in your own recognized scriptures. Was that divinely inspired, God sanctioned adultery, or did Joseph Smith just make it up for his own purposes? Who knows, but your church puts out an awful lot of propoganda to deny that Joseph Smith said it. Why? Wouldn't it be better to just acknowledge that Joe translated wrong and move on?

That's actually what I meant when I said the Mormon Church needs Joseph Smith to be this squeaky clean prophet of God. If his image is tarnished in anyway, his credibilty is tarnished too. If his credibilty is tarnished, then that tarnishes everything he wrote...including the translation of the BOM. Your church has to portray him as an upstanding member of society, otherwise, it can't survive scrutiny.

Jesus on the otherhand, through the New Testament, doesn't have to undergo that question. His teachings are free from that form of propoganda. They are self sustaining because Jesus' teachings come directly from God. J Smith's, well that's actually the concern..do they really come from God, or did he make the whole thing up. I believe he made the whole thing up for personal gain, you do not and that's a point we won't agree on.

The problem raised by tarnishing Joseph's reputation though is that if he isn't credible, then the BOM falls apart because now there's question as to whether its properly translated, or what parts are wrong, or whether its a fake altogether. Your church will never admit that parts of it are wrong, or that parts were translated incorrectly, because it can't. That's why I say the BOM is not self sustaining, it needs Joseph Smith to be squeaky clean otherwise every doctrine falls apart.

I don't in anyway think of my church as perfect or having all of the answers. That is a key difference though, because, every Mormon I've ever encountered does think their church has all of the answers. Its a sense of entitlement that permeates your faith. That sense of entitlement comes across as arrogant and prideful. Those are not godly traits.

The Catholic Church does have faults. So does the Mormon Church. Joseph Smith was not the fine virtuous man he is made out to be. Look at history. Look at your own church records on him. Look at the pagan ritual he instilled as the temple endowment ceremony. That endowment ceremony comes directly from the Masonic Rites. God,by and through Christ tells us that he with holds nothing from us, yet, the Mormon Temple Ceremony is filled with secrecy. Why hide something that is supposed to be from God?

I know your response will be that the temple ceremony is too sacred to be revealed to just anyone. Or that I just don't understand, or that I lack the righteouness to be worthy of going to the temple. But, I don't consider myself unworthy of God's love and grace. We're all worthy of that, otherwise, what's the point of faith in God.

That brings me to another point. You questioned how I draw the conclusion that your church teaches that God is not always with us. That really comes down to what each of our respective churches teach about who God is.

In mormon teachings, God is an exhalted man. He was once a man who became eternal...I'm not clear on who he followed to do that, but somehow he was baptized, followed the right path and returned as an exhalted man.

Catholic teachings, and pretty much all the protestant churches teach that God is eternal and always has been. That may seem minor, but it really makes a difference in understanding God because you and I don't actually worship the same God, even though on the surface it appears we do. If God is eternal, and omnipotent, and omnipresent, then all things are truly possible through God. As Catholics we believe God resides in and with all of us. We also believe that he is present in all things. Mormons don't share that belief. From my perspective, thats a sad shortcoming, and adopting and believing in the BOM is actually a step backward in faith, not forward.

God has revealed himself in many ways to many people. You are correct that the pope does speak for the catholic church, the prophet does speak for the Mormon church. Here's where things differ though. Revelation has been given to the saints in the catholic faith that has changed the course of the catholic church.

Papal authorities have recognized teachings given to St. Francis of Assissi...he was told to rebuild my church, so he did. First he built a new building, but that wasn't what God actually meant, so he rebuilt the teachings of the church which is what God actually meant. He wasn't a pope, he was a simple priest who preached to the animals because people wouldn't listen. The catholic church has adopted many of his teachings as doctrine.

St. Bernadette of Lourdes is another example of God giving revelation to someone other than the pope. Mary appeared to Bernadette and gave us the rosary. The catholic church teaches a strong committment to praying the rosary all because of revelation given to a young peasant girl in France.

If any of those things happened to a young woman of the mormon faith, not one member of your church all the way up to the prophet would give her any credience. First because she doesn't have priesthood authority, and second because she isn't the prophet to whom revelation is given. That's a key difference between the Pope and the Prophet. The pope would listen to that young girl, the prophet would not.

You are right that arguing one faith over the other is not going to draw anyone closer to God. What really draws us closer is prayer and patience and faith in God to overcome all obstacles. I personally believe that the name of our church, or the particular scriptures we believe in are, or the prayers we say are not going to be the indicator of our return to our father. He's really only going to ask a few questions. Did you believe in me? Did you believe in my son? Did you do the very best you could to live as my son lived? Are you sorry for those places in your life you fell short? If you can answer yes to those four questions, you really are on the right path reqardless of the name of your church.

When Christ walked this earth he really only gave two commandments to follow, not all this doctrine that every church seems to put forth. First, love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul, and second, love your neighbour as yourself. If you're working on those two commandments, you are working on drawing closer to God and all the doctrine taught really is only a tool to help you along the way. I wish you well in your spiritual journey.

Anonymous said...

To my Catholic Friend:
Thank you for your insights into the views and history of the Catholic world. As a reluctant convert to the LDS church I will try to explain why I believe the BofM is true. I went from pagan, to Christian, to LDS because of spirit of the Holy Ghost. I had my first great spiritual experience as I was in great despair about trying to discover if there was any purpose to keep going in life. This experience was so profound when it came to me from outside this normal earthly influence and assured me that God did exist that I hoped and prayed that God would show me more. Some time later when considering the importance of Jesus Christ I again experienced the Holy Spirit of confirmation that I was on the correct path and that He was the Son of God our Father. Sometime later when I was introduce to the story of Joseph Smith's first vision I again had the gift of God's assurance to me that this event along with the BofM was as presented by the LDS church. More times than I can count I have been humbled by this Holy Spirit that has confirmed that the leaders of the LDS church are Heavenly Fathers anointed and appointed spokesman's at this time. Many other LDS doctrine have also been confirmed to me by this humbling spirit of confirmation.
After I joined the LDS church I read just about every thing both positive and negative that has been printed about the church. I also have read about 100 plus books on the Catholic church and about 200 plus books on other religions. Most of these things I can hardly remember as my memory gets older but my spiritual experiences are as if they happened yesterday. The only reason I can think of why God has blessed me so much is I did not look for a church. I just kept the attitude that what ever God wanted me to do I would try to accomplish. I do not consider the LDS church a church but the Kingdom of God on the earth at this time. If I had my way I would not belong to any religion or church and the LDS church and it's members have given me many reasons not to be apart of them; but I can not deny the incredible experiences God has blessed me with. In the end I did not study my way into religion or the LDS church but was lead here by the Holy Spirit.
In the end it does not matter to me if the church is inspired from the top down or if like the Catholic church that gains revelations from members then incorporates these as part of the church. It does not matter to me the imperfections of the history of my church or it's members because thanks to God He has keep me from any prejudices that would keep me from finding the Holy Spirit. I have never made it my concern to tell God how to run any church. If I felt that a church is man made then I would not want to belong to it.
Let the cynics criticize against God, and his Kingdom or it's members, because each time they do the great past spiritual experiences that God has blessed me with comes flooding into my mind and builds my testimony all the stronger. I am grateful He has answered my prayers and if anyone choose not to pray and seek out the truth then they may miss out on what could be the greatest event of their lives.

Anonymous said...

To My Apparent Mormon Friend,

Your perspective on faith and your church's position is society is unique among mormons. I've not encountered that. What is apparent from your posting is that you have had a very powerful, conversion experience that changed your whole future. I will tell you that in the time I've spent searching and ultimately re-found my faith in catholocism, near 20 years, I've been touched by a great many of the same conversion experiences that re-kindled my catholic faith. That's why it is so dear to me, as I believe your faith is so dear to you. That's also what makes our God an amazing God.

Regardless of what faith we follow, we as humans tend to think in human terms. We put human parameters on things that are truly non-human but really are spiritual. But we percieve those in human terms. God on the otherhand perceives things on the eternal, spiritual level, something possibly within our grasp when we return to him, but certainly not within our grasp as humans. He is amazing because he truly can take a debate of faiths such as ours, or those that have occurred throughout history between protestants and catholics (incidentally, as a catholic, I tend to think of everyone who isn't catholic, jewish, or non-christian as a protestant) and work out the details. That's really why we're supposed to leave the big stuff to God and just follow his direction. I wish you well on your journey.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I see Mormonism some what differently because I am a convert and spent a couple years in Utah as well as traveling around the United States getting to know many Mormons and people of other faiths. Also I have had a lot of time to study where many good Mormons are like good Catholics just busy making a living and raising a righteous family. To me I have found out that there is a difference in the gospel and Mormonism. The best I can describe it is when a person comes into Mormonism they also get "The Mormon culture." Also many of the things that you may see as unchangeable in the Mormon church my not be. The Catholic church is 2000 years old and has undergone many changes. The Mormon church is less than 200 years old. During this time; just in my 30 years, it has gone through some very great changes. Each time it does I hear people claim there will be a large falling out but each time the membership just keep on going.
In one of your postings you talked about woman's role in the church. I have noticed some changes in the woman's role in the church during my reading of the Mormon church history. Again I think much of this is more cultural more than gospel. But they will have to work this out. It was only a few years before I joined the LDS church that the leadership in SLC told the members not to move to Utah but stay in the area where they were at and build up the church there. The only information that a member could get came from SLC or a local Mormon book store or anti-Mormon information at the local Christian book store. Then came the internet. With a few clicks of the mouse you can find any positive or negative information on the Mormons. The changes will come but I hope the people get what they want. I prefer a conservative traditional slow changing church with the inspiration derived from the top down.
Your statement below reminded me of a book I read which I think is from a Catholic author; if not my bad, but it is full of the known events of woman's influences in the early church. For me it was a true eye opener. "In Memory of Her" by Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza
"If any of those things happened to a young woman of the Mormon faith, not one member of your church all the way up to the prophet would give her any credence. First because she doesn't have priesthood authority, …."
Some of the events in this book are recorded in the early years of the Mormon church but have faded along with the early Christian church and are taking place today. But just like the many experiences I have had I do not share the details nor are they for directing others or the church. These experiences; as I know women that have had in the Mormon church, are of a personal nature.
Not sure if you have see this book but many Mormons scholars are always studying the early Christian church and some of the LDS scholars get into trouble with the leadership in SLC as they get out ahead on some issues. I also here woman in the church ask when they are going to get the priesthood from time to time and if you read a detailed LDS church history at one time woman gave children blessings and blessings for healings. Not sure what this is all about but many talk of such thing in their personal journals.
Maybe we too might have our own Vatican I and II someday. Just imagine 2000 years from now what the LDS church will look like and the Catholic church will be 4000 years old; what will it be like?

Anonymous said...

Why I believe in the BofM. When I first heard of the BofM I did not know what to think. I read the book and knew that I was not smart enough to determine if it was a true history or just a fiction book from Joseph Smith or others. The missionaries told me that 20 people at different times had seen the golden plates and some of these people heard a heavenly voice and saw an angel. They also told me of many compelling stories of men, woman, and children seeing many visions, dreams, visitations, and miracles. Coming from a Catholic back ground I knew of the great miracles in the Catholic church and knew that these events could be true. I was told by the missionaries not to take their word for the things they told me but I needed to go and pray about these things to find out if they were true. They told me that God would tell me if these stories were true. I did as they instructed me to do and God did send the Holy Spirit of confirmations to me just as my faith always taught me. The one thing that my Catholic faith did not teach me was to pray to find the truth. I was just told to say the prayers that had been prepared for me. Now I discovered that I can communicate with God my Father in my own voice and He will answer me. I thank my Catholic friends for helping me find the restored church that Martin Luther looked for and that God my Father restored through Joseph Smith. Many in my faith have said many harsh things against my friends the Catholics and other Jewish and Christian faiths but I declare that after this life we shall fall at their feet and bathe their feet with our tears in grrstitude for keeping sacred the words of the Jews untill this last days.

Anonymous said...

Attention the whole world. Has he question been asked "is the BofM true and who am I to declare with definite absolute assurance that I can know that it is a scriptural history from God. From 1820 till now much time has been spent to prove and disprove the story of J.S.'s first vision and the BofM . The whole world has dismissed or tried to disprove that J.S. did not have a visitation of a angel and translate a gold bible.

Because I am a child of a lesser God and a person of no consequences to the world; I should know the least about important matters of God that only the greatest theological minds can hope to answer.

None of these great minds have been able to prove to me God exists or that scripture is the word of God. Many tell me to study the scriptures, but the scriptures tells me I need faith, prayer, fasting, and pestering God until He answers me. In such important matters I have to use the method God has established to communicate to both Kings and slaves. After many days of prayer I declare to the world that God has restored His gospel and Church to the earth. The Holy Spirit will confirm it to all whom are willing to follow the Savior rather than our own desires.

Anonymous said...

To the author of March 20, 2007 posting. I've never needed a church or scripture to know that God truly exists. Even in my search to come to terms with my truth about remaining catholic (see february 26, 2007 posting) I've never doubted the existence of God. Look around you. Look at the sky, the birds, the mountains, the miracle of birth. The evidence of God's existence abounds in the very environment we live in. All we have to do is look and listen to understand that. Faith and prayer are necessary to talk to God, but all one must do to know that he exists is open one's eyes, he is all around us.

Incidentially, you are not a child of no significance in this world. We all have a significance in this world, no matter what our role is. We are all important, and we are all loved by God.

Anonymous said...

I bought some years ago, in part because it was on sale, and in part because it was on the Bible, an Almanac of the Bible. This was written (obvious to any scripture-reading, church-going Latter-day Saint) by someone other than a member of our (LDS) Church.

Someone, probably my oldest son, left it on the floor next to the couch. I picked it up to both protect anyone from tripping over it (especially at night), and from the book being damaged.

I put it by the "throne". I read it Monday morning, on page 320, where it has an almost full-page section on "GIANTS" in the Bible. It mentions Goliath, whom David so faithfully brought down, and Og, and his big brass bed. But at the very first of the section, it spoke of giants called "Nephilim" as mentioned in Genesis 6, I believe it was.

Having read many of Hugh Nibley's books, even though the word was in English (and most ancient scriptures were written in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek), the 'Nephi' portion of that clan of giants, called 'Nephilim' caught my eye, and interest.

I could find online no definition or source of the name Nephi (though I suppose Mom and/or Dad, Sariah or Lehi had a hand in it).

One wikipedia article listed the two words in the same paragraph. But the link was no better than mine, that is that Nephi could be the singular for Nephilim.

Jesus called for Eloi on the cross. Elohim, as I understand it, is actually a name that signifies a "plurality of gods". Could it be that adding a 'lim' to Nephi makes a "plurality of Nephis"? I'm not sure.

And what might they mean?

Well, in the First book of Nephi, we find references Nephi makes to being BIG.

"I, Nephi, being exceedingly young,
nevertheless being large in stature,..." —1 Nephi 2:16.

The second reference is "like unto it..."—

"And now I, Nephi, being a man large in stature,..." —1 Nephi 4:31

Maybe Nephi was a big baby too. Perhaps "Nephi" means something like "big one". If so, and if Nephilim is the plural of Nephi, then Nephilim might then mean "BIG ONES".

My son, Ethan, told me that current studies on Nephilim identify them as being evil. The possible link there I find is that the Nephi ended up as a people as being extremely wicked (kidnapping, raping, torturing to death, and then cannibalizing) which is what Nephite men did to Lamanite women is about as bad as one can get!

Hence, the name, if derived at all from Nephilim could (eventually) have a possible prophetic quality (though many think of the Nephites as being the "good guys" through the bulk of the Book of Mormon historical recounting.

What do you think?

—DMP

David said...

A slight addition/correction to the above comment.
From what I've read on "Elohim," it is the plural form of "God," (or rather, "mighty one") since the ending of "im" makes it plural. Yet this is plural in the sense of the "plurality of majesty." In other words, it shows that God is so great that He can refer to Himself as "we" or "us" or that people refer to Him as "they." (e.g. Genesis 1:26, "God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness . . .") Not that there is more than one God or something.
This plurality of majesty has been used by people like Queen Victoria, when, after seeing her portrait, said, "We are not amused." Of course, there are not multiple Queen Victorias, rather, she is apparently so awesome that she needs a plural noun to express all her awesomeness.

The above on plurality of majesty, however, is just one thought on why Elohim is used.
A great link that I recently found explaining "Elohim" in a--to me--more culturally- and linguistically-aware matter is
(http://www.users.qwest.net/~zadok1/elohim2.html).
I think it explains things much better than I can/have.

rinkjustice said...

Jeff, you are one awesome dude! I love your website and your blog. You have championed the restored gospel and the Book of Mormon like few others I know. Good for you.

Thanks for enlightening my mind and many others, LDS and otherwise. I wish I could meet you in person and shake your hand!

James said...

I have been LDS since the age of 8. One thing that has always bugged me and I cannot figure out is; why do people fear, hate, ridicule, our church so much while claiming to be doing it to helping us. Aren't there other churches out there different from their's with different beliefs. I have a theory......

Rich said...

I stumbled across this website and blog a few days ago, and found it to be a great endeavor by a faithful member of the church as I am and I particularly enjoyed the "BofM evidences" page. I am a lifelong member of the church (father joined when I was two) and have a very strong testimony, and have never doubted the doctrines and teachings of the church. I find it very disturbing that there are those who have fell away "apostosized" and feel like they need to "help others" do the same.
I have a few theories as to why some fall away....
First, there are those, like myself and many others (faithful or unfaithful) in the church that sometimes feel that they are never worthy enough to "measure up" to the seemingly "perfect" members...and just give up. Yes, there are members in our wards and some that hold high positions in the priesthood that become "prideful" and look down on others, judging them or making others feel "low"...I tell you, this is not a reflection of the Lord's church and quite frankly, our Saviour would look down on those who use their positions in the church for unrighteous domination of others. I am sure there were bishops that have even done this as well. And have observed certain ward members that display an arrogance toward others as well. Does this change my testimony or faith? Absolutely not, as we are not perfect and we should pray for those that offend us, not lower ourselves to their level and go so far as to say "see? What kind of religion would allow this?" etc. Out of the very few individuals that displayed the poor behavior that I described...there have been many more wonderful people that have inspired me...those people that can "fill a room with the spirit"...and they come from all walks of life, a lawyer, a mechanic, restaurant manager etc..
I truly believe the BofM to be the word of God and the Bible to be the word of God as long as it is translated correctly. I am not one who has a blind faith by any means, and in fact, the sunday school teachers, priesthood leaders and my own parents have all reiterated what the missionaries have told us about finding out if something is true..."praying with a SINCERE heart, and a contrite spirit" that the truth will be revealed to us..and yes, there is only one truth, but that is not an "arrogent" statement, nor would I try to force it on anyone...what people need to realize, is this...let's say you went to a restaurant and had the best tasting lasagna dinner you have ever had...and knew it was the only one that would taste this good, and what if you knew it also gave you eternal happiness...wouldn't you want to share that with everyone? And would share it with such a zeal that might put off some people.
We are seeing now that some of the things mentioned in the BofM regarding the history of the ancient people and the things they did and built...are now coming to light (see "evidences of BofM).
I feel that it is critical that we build a strong testimony first along with having faith, by living the Gospel and praying often, loving our spouses and doing all that the Lord has commanded us...I know that might sound "cliche" to some, but believe me, I found out the hard way if we don't..only misery results, and we lose our way, of course we will falter from time to time...but without that testimony as a foundation, especially during hard trials life may throw at us, we will be susceptible to the enticings of Satan, who's waiting in the wings to keep us from returning to our Saviour and has many tools at his discretion. And heaven forbid that you DO have that strong foundation to begin with, wearing your garments, keeping the covenants etc, Satan works even HARDER on them, always looking for a weak spot (like the ever present computer viruses looking for the hole in our "firewall")...
I want to say to those individuals who felt that didn't "measure" up...that it is not too late, I know how it feels and want to extend my hand to you to tell you that Jesus loves you and wants us to return to his presence, I have no ill will toward those who apostasized...my brother is one of those who has, but his was a result of his lifestyle choices, drugs, alcohol, and multiple female sex partners...and I will tell you, there is nothing you can't overcome, but because my brother lived that kind of lifestyle, he is now an "agnostic", his way of rationalizing the way he lived...but it is not too late. I am not perfect nor will I profess to be, I got a better understanding of our Heavenly Father's love for us after my wife and I had two children of my own...I love them unconditionally and the Lord loves us the same.
I realize that there are many who are not as "receptive" to the Spirit as I am, although it took many years of soul searching to find the truth, and I know where it is, I say to those who struggle, keep praying, and live according to His commandments with the right intent, and you will find it, this I testify to you.
As mentioned before, I am not a "blind follower" and have studied (when I have adequate time lol)...besides having a testimony, I also delight in the recent archeological findings that show evidence that the BofM is not a fabrication, and while Joseph Smith was not perfect like the saviour, (more like Moses), a man with the same shortcomings that we all have, and was admonished by the Lord when he had difficulty (his strong personality), I truly believe that he was a Prophet of God...I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy the trials he went through, the intense persecution that he and his family and the early saints endured. He saw the higher purpose and the importance of what he had to do, and sealed his testimony with his own blood.
I do not judge others for their beliefs, and I try to have a Christlike love for others, and wish nothing but peace and happiness to all. Keep up the good work Brother Linsday! The world needs more like you to proclaim the gospel, and you have chosen a great medium for doing so, God Bless! -Rich

Matthew said...

The Book of Mormon is true!

scdoyle said...

Why is it that everyone (mainly non-LDS)want "proof " that the BOM is true? By "proof" I mean physical scientific evidence. Yet these same people have no problem believing the Bible without "proof". They say that such things as the first vision , the angel Moroni visitations, the BOM translation among other things are just too crazy to believe. How about Christ walking on the water, healing lepers, Moses parting the Red Sea, Christ bringing Lazarus back to life, etc. These event can be hard to believe without faith. None of these events can be proven with scientific evidence. Sure, archaeological remains prove that biblical cities and people existed, but doesn't prove that such events happened. They are all taken with faith. So if they can accept biblical events on faith why not the first vision. I personally believe that it is an excuse for those who don't WANT to believe. They are afraid what it will mean if they discovered that the Mormon church is true. Would they have to leave their current church, give up coffee and alcohol, stop using profanity? It would be too much of a lifestyle change. Any comments, I would love to discuss.

Anonymous said...

To SCDOYLE,

One could ask why mormons all believe that we non-mormons are wrong and therefore must be converted. The flaw of your church, is that inherant in the teachings is an intolerance of other christian faiths. After all, your church starts with the premise that all other faiths are an abomination to God, therefore Joseph Smith should join none of them.

You ask how we can trust the bible but not the BOM. How can we take accounts that are unprovable and believe them? Well faith is a good start. In either book one must start with faith. But here's where there's a divergence. The bible, regardless of which translation you read, maintains the same substance, it maintains the same accounts of faith and christ, albeit with differing levels of english translation. The message remains the same in the bible even though the words may differ.

The same can not be said about the BOM. Take for example the first vision. Which first vision should one believe to be true. The official first vision as documented by the LDS church. Or maybe the first vision that has only an angel appearing, or maybe the first vision that has only Jesus appearing, or maybe another first vision account yet to be dictated by the LDS church.

Part of the problem with your church is a lack of consistency. Your church has a history of waffling on the highly politicized issues. Polygamy for example. If that was truly a mandate from God, your church would've stood its ground in the 1890's. The mark of Cain doctrine, if that was truly a mandate from God, your church would've stood its ground in the 1970's. But it didn't, your church negotiated and gave into pressure.

But another problem is those very doctrines to begin with. Polygamy was nothing more than Joseph Smith attempting to justify his adulterous affairs by saying God told him to. The mark of Cain doctrine is nothing more than sanctioned racism. Neither of those doctrines could've come from the God of Abraham...the God that's actually mentioned and spoken about in the bible. Christ welcomed everyone to his table, especially the sinners, your church does not.

So you pose the premise that those of us not choosing to join your church simply don't want to give up our alcohol, or cigarettes, or profanity, when that isn't at all true. The fact is, that most of us not choosing the LDS faith are doing so because we are actually concerned about where your church will lead us. We are concerned about the lifestyle change that would ensue. A lifestyle change that would discriminate against non-mormons, a lifestyle change that promotes racism, adultery, oppression of women, polytheism, and deceit just isn't the lifestyle that those of us non-mormons want, but to choose to follow the LDS faith, that is the lifestyle change we'd have to embrace.

A Latter-day Saint said...

SCDoyle wrote "The bible, regardless of which translation you read, maintains the same substance, it maintains the same accounts of faith and christ, albeit with differing levels of english translation. The message remains the same in the bible even though the words may differ."

If this is so, my dear friend, then please take this test to see if the translation that you use is able to answer the questions posed here, if you answer them honestly, you will see that the various Bible translation do actually contradict each other, and are inconsistent at best and are not "the same substance" as you here claim:

To the surprise of many Christians, many versions of The Holy Bible have altered or even missing readings compared to the King James Version Bible.


Most Bible translations are based on Nestle's greek text, which is based on just two greek manuscripts:
"Codex Sinaiticus" has many obvious changes and corruptions as well as missing portions.

"Codex Alexandrius" appears to have been altered in some places by Egyptian gnostics to fit their beliefs.


The reason why Nestle's text has gained such popularity is becaused it is based on what is understood to be the oldest of greek manuscript evidence. However, must older therefore mean that is more reliable?


The Authorized Version of the Bible, the King James Version, is based on the majority of greek manuscript evidence, found in or around the area of Asia Minor in Turkey. This is the place where most of the writings of the New Testament were originally to or from.

The original preface to the 1611 King James Version Bible mentions the following...
Now to the later we answere; that wee doe not deny, nay wee affirme and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set foorth by men of our profession (for wee have seene none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God.
Therefore the purpose of this Bible quiz is not to condemn the reading or quoting of other Bible translations, as it had been said, whose meanest (most far out) translation contains and is the word of God. Rather, it is to help people to become aware of what they may have missed having not read the Authorized Version that we present this King James Version Only Bible Quiz...
1. "Confess your _____ one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed."
(ref. James 5:16 KJV)
A. faith
B. love
C. sins
D. faults

2. "For I am not ashamed of the _____ : for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth;"
(ref. Romans 1:16 KJV)
A. gospel
B. gospel of Christ
C. gospel of grace
D. gospel of the kingdom

3. "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made _____ free from the law of sin and death."
(ref. Romans 8:2 KJV)
A. you
B. us
C. me
D. salvation

4. "Go ye up unto this feast: ___ unto this feast; for my time for my time is not yet full come."
(ref. John 7:8 KJV)
A. I go up
B. I go not
C. I go not up
D. I go not up yet

5. And ______ and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him."
(ref. Luke 2:33 KJV)
A. Joseph
B. his father
C. his brothers
D. his kindred

6. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like _____."
(ref. Daniel 3:25 KJV)
A. an angel
B. a son of the gods
C. the Son of God
D. God

7. How many disciples did John send when he had heard in prison the works of Christ?
(ref. Matthew 11:2 KJV)
A. 2
B. 3
C. 12
D. 72

8. "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against _____.
(ref. Acts 9:5 KJV)
A. the pricks
B. the goads
C. the Spirit of God
D. the Spirit of grace

9. How shall thy father which seeth in secret reward thee for thine alms done in secret?
(ref. Matthew 6:4 KJV)
A. secretly
B. privately
C. abundantly
D. openly

10. "If ye shall ____ any thing in my name, I will do it."
(ref. John 14:14 KJV)
A. pray
B. ask
C. ask me
D. ask God


Instructions: Using the New International Version Bible (NIV), answer the following questions. Do not rely on your memory. As the Bible is the final authority, you must take the answer from the NIV Bible verse (Not from footnotes but from the text. Footnotes are not the Bible).

1. Fill in the missing words in Matthew 5:44. "Love your enemies, _________ them that curse you, _____________ to them that hate you, and pray for them that ___________and persecute you."

2. According to Matthew 17:21, what two things are required to cast out this type of devil?

3. According to Matthew 18:11, why did Jesus come to earth?

4. According to Matthew 27:2, what was Pilate’s first name?

5. In Matthew 27:35 when the wicked soldiers parted His garments, they were fulfilling the words of the prophet. Copy what the prophet said in Matthew 27:35 from the NIV.

6. In Mark 3.15, Jesus gave the apostles power to cast out devils and to __________.

7. According to Mark 7:16, what does a man need to be able to hear?

8. According to Luke 7:28, what was John? (teacher, prophet, carpenter, etc.). What is his title or last name?

9. In Luke 9:55, what did the disciples not know?

10. In Luke 9:56, what did the Son of man not come to do? According to this verse, what did He come to do?

11. In Luke 22:14, how many apostles were with Jesus?

12. According to Luke 23:38, in what three languages was the superscription written?

13. In Luke 24:42, what did they give Jesus to eat with His fish?

14. John 3:13 is a very important verse, proving the deity of Christ. According to this verse (as Jesus spoke), where is the Son of man?

15. What happened each year, as told in John 5:4?

16. In John 7:50, what time of day did Nicodemus come to Jesus?

17. In Acts 8:37, what is the one requirement for baptism?

18. What did Saul ask Jesus in Acts 9:6?

19. Write the name of the man mentioned in Acts 15:34.

20. Study Acts 24:6-8. What would the Jew have done with Paul? What was the chief captain’s name? What did the chief captain command?

21. Copy Romans 16:24 word for word from the NIV.

22. First Timothy 3:16 is perhaps the greatest verse in the New Testament concerning the deity of Christ. In this verse, who was manifested in the flesh?

23. In the second part of First Peter 4:14, how do [they] speak of Christ? And, what do we Christians do?

24. Who are the three Persons of the Trinity in First John 5:7?

25. Revelation 1:11 is another very important verse that proves the deity of Christ. In the first part of this verse Jesus said, "I am the A__________ and 0___________ the ___________ and the ________."

Conclusion: Little space is provided for your answers, but it’s much more than needed. If you followed the instructions above, you not only failed the test, you receive a big goose egg. So now what do you think of your "accurate, easy-to-understand, up-to-date Bible"? If these 25 questions haven’t served to show you that the NIV is a very inferior Bible, based on a very inferior Greek text, write me and I’ll make up another quiz with 25 more questions, or 250, if you wish; but you will still flunk the text. If you would like to improve your score, and in fact score 100%, you can take this test using the Authorized (King James) Bible, which is the Bible we use as Latter-day Saints.

Anonymous said...

Dear Latter Day Saint with the bible quiz.

The flaw to your quiz is that you're using the King James Bible and the NIV Bible claiming they are the authorized texts of the bible. You've utterly overlooked the Douay Rhiems Bible which is translated directly from the Latin Vulgate, and has not been changed in several hundred years. Your assumption was that I was relying on a protestant bible, when in fact, I was relying on a Catholic Bible. You've also overlooked the contradictions in your own BOM, too numerous to count. You've overlooked your churches' willingness to ignore, rewrite, and fabricate history. We catholics have had our own errors, but, we have never placed our own popes in a status higher than christ. Joe Smith, did just that.

Anonymous said...

Anon, your statement about Joseph Smith placing himself above Christ is absurd. You have no idea what you're talking about.

scdoyle said...

Hey A Latter-Day Saint, anon.. posted that comment, not me. I'm on your side.

Anonymous said...

To the LDS Anonymous of July 5, 2007 at 6:00 AM. I actually do know what I'm talking about when I say that Joe Smith put himself above Christ. His own words were that no other man contributed more to Christianity, not even Christ himself. If that isn't placing oneself above Christ, then please enlighten me as to what is.

To SCDOYLE, I think you're responding that you're on a Latter Day Saints side there. He's the one that posted the bible quiz. You all can call me the catholic defender :)

scdoyle said...

Anon, please post some references. Legitimate references that is.

A Latter-day Saint said...

Dear Catholic Defender,

I appreciate your reply...however, all the newer translations of the Bible are taken from manuscripts that came out of the Vatican, the Vaticanus manuscript, and out of a trash can at monestary at the foot of Mt. Sinai, the Sinaiticus Manuscript. Both manuscripts are considered to the OLDEST IN EXISTENCE, which they probably are, but age does not denote authenticity, in fact, the fact that these two manuscripts from which all these modern 'per-versions' of the Scriptures are derived are the OLDEST is a testament to the fact that they were RARELY USED AT ALL by the early Christians and thus stored away by the Roman pontiff in the archieves of the Vatican. All new modern translations are actually translations derived from Greek manuscripts that have been in the custody of the Roman church since ancient times and thus in fact, make all modern versions of the Scriptures ROMAN CATHOLIC versions. Take the test with your Catholic Bible, it too will fail, as will all the newer modern versions found on Christian bookshelves today. Just another SIGN that the Mormon church is the great PRESERVER of Scriptural truth, not the perverter thereof as suggested.

Mormanity said...

There's an oft-cited quote in which Joseph Smith rejoices that no other dispensation had a Church that was able to hold together (persist without apostasy) - not even the original Church that Christ founded - but the restored Church in these last days would persist until the return of Christ.

Here's the quote:

"I have more to boast of than any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such work as I (History of the Church, Vol.6, pp. 408-09)."

So, assuming the quote is accurate (standards for quotes back then were poor indeed), what is he really saying? That Joseph is the Creator and Savior? That Jesus is below him? That Joseph is greater than Christ or God? Please, that's silly. You would have to ignore everything he ever said and taught about Jesus, and then look at this quote with the lights down really low while squinting to draw such a dark shade of meaning.

Our critics take those words out of context and argue that he was claiming to be better than Christ, but a much fairer reading is that he's rejoicing - perhaps too strongly boasting - at the privilege of restoring the Lord's Church that will stand until the end. But whether you like how he said it or not, it doesn't come anywhere close to saying that he stands above Jesus Christ. And it certainly doesn't say that he contributed more to Christianity than Christ!

You can argue that Joseph rejoiced too forcefully or even boasted, but to say that he put himself above the Savior shows a genuine ignorance of Joseph Smith.

Anonymous said...

In response to misquoting Joe Smith, perhaps I've misquoted him, or perhaps I have not. Therein lies the problem with Joseph Smith. His veracity is in question at every stage. Did he put himself above Christ; the answer to that may really depend upon perspective. His boast is one wherein he claims to have done more for the cause than any other man. It ignores the sacrifices of a great many men and women who died to preserve Christianity. Frankly, JS didn't really contribute that much in the grand scheme of things. You may say different, and that really is the cause for debate. But let's look at the bigger picture.

Looking at Joseph Smith, he's either a liar or he isn't. I believe he is a liar. That's based on a number of facts. First, he had a history of deceptive practises. He was found guilty of being a conman. That conviction says a great deal about his character in terms of being truthful, because to be a conman requires one to be a liar. So, he's convicted of being a liar.

Now, one might say that Joe had a jaded and checkered past, but found Jesus and reformed his ways. The problem is that history really doesn't say that. No where in your LDS history do you claim that ole Joe was reformed sinner. You actually treat him like he could do no wrong. That approach, when coupled with a number of very questionable doctrines, causes concern to those of us who don't believe the BOM to be true.

You see, your church has a history of distorting facts, or rewriting facts to make them more palatable to the faithful. Then, your church tells you that it's hipocritical to question your leaders. Case in point, Joe Smith's alleged martyrdom. Your church's party line is that he was led like a lamb to the slaughter. That's right in the various articles published by your church. But, history, which no one seems to deny is accurate, tells us that ole Joe, didn't go quietly into his good night; he actually had a smuggled revolver on him, shot it six times into the mob, then jumped like a coward out the jailhouse window, where he was murdered by the angry mob. Your church leaves out the part where he shot the gun into the crowd, but glorifies his being murdered by an angry mob. I'm not saying he should've been murdered by the way, all I'm saying is the facts are being distorted which causes concerns about veracity in the BOM.

Your church has a history of polygamy, which some seek to cover up, other's embrace, and others still subscribe to. The same is true regarding the mark of cain doctrine. There are explanations for the Adam/God doctrine espoused by Brigham Young. And there are explanations for why there's no physical evidence of any city referred to in the BOM.

Taken by themselves, polygamy, or the mark of cain, one might not find fault with your church. Its actually the multiple explanations that are alarming about the LDS Faith. You have to explain away Joe's adulterous relationships, then you have to explain away contradictions, and explain why the first vision Joe reported doesn't coincide with the second one or the third one. Taken in thier entirety, the fact that there's so much explaining away of one fact or another is what really creates the problem for your church. How can one decide what to believe, when your church has such patented and practised explanations for those troublesome areas.

I realize your answer will likely be to read the BOM and pray about its truthfullness with a sincere heart. But how does one do that with a book that allegedly is the most accurately translated book about Christ when one knows that the BOM has undergone multiple revisions, the founder of the LDS church has a history of lying, and the LDS church itself has distorted and rewritten facts to be more favourable to the LDS Church. The only answer one praying with sincere heart can get, is that the BOM isn't true.

I realize the Catholic Church has a history of poor management. The crusades, the inquisition, molesting priests. But, no where am I aware of the Pope ever condoning lying or distorting facts. I could be wrong on that, but I doubt it.

I also realize that the Bible has been translated and retranslated many times over. That's actually why I searched out and found the Douay Rhiems translation, because of all the translations, it is actually the least distorted. The King James Bible, has a dubious history since its translation was commissioned after the Church of England split with The Roman Catholics. You can't rely on the King James translation to be accurate at all. However, the LDS church does. Conveniently though, you have Joe Smith available to retranslate those portions of the bible that contradict the BOM. How lucky for you.

I could actually argue this point all day. Ultimately, I don't think any of us would change our positions, or our faiths for that matter. I will tell you that I have taken the LDS discussions on three occasions, and do actually go to services with my wife who is LDS. But, I also go to my church because ultimately, that is what I believe to be true.

Here's the thought I would leave you with, God answers prayers to all of us. He wants us to be tolerant of each others faiths. That is a lesson the Catholic Church took many years to learn, but ultmately it did. The LDS Church has not learned that lesson of tolerance, and probably can not. Here's why. Your church starts off on the premise that all other churches are an abomination to God. Incorporated in the very tenants of your faith is a doctrine of intolerance. I'm not saying mormons are directly intolerant of other christian faiths. But indirectly they are, and necessarily have to be because of that doctrine. We non-LDS people have to all be converted according to LDS Doctrine because we are engaging in practises that are an abomination to God. That actually is a doctrine of intolerance, which contradicts St. Paul's teaching in Romans 13 through 15. That intolerance is a doctrine that contradicts the teachings of Christ himself. So if that's the case, how can your church actually be Christ's church when you would practise such intolerance as a tenant of your faith. Signed, Catholic Defender

Mormanity said...

Anon said "In response to misquoting Joe Smith, perhaps I've misquoted him, or perhaps I have not. Therein lies the problem with Joseph Smith. His veracity is in question at every stage."

Hello? Your misrepresentation of Joseph Smith is HIS fault? Your failure to understand something before you condemn it and hurl accusations is someone else's fault??

Look, it's clear you've read and believed some anti-Mormon literature, but please stop trying to act like some kind of authority. You have misunderstood very basic issues - I recognize others have provided the misinformation and you're not just making it up yourself - but it's still your responsibility to be fair and accurate rather than repeating distortions of others.

Your mischaracterization of Joseph Smith's martyrdom and his defense of other people in the room is misinformed. You make offensive remarks about Mormons, dismiss the murder of our founder at the hands of anti-Mormon religionists, and then say that we are intolerant. If I popped onto a Catholic blog and spewed similar offensive remarks and slander about some of the Popes and saints, spoke of them with disrespectful terms and virtually justified their martyrdoms, don't you think fair people would wonder if I was the intolerant one?

Moncat said...

I would like to make a comment, having read through the thread. I have been a believing Mormon all my 35 year life and I have come across "anti-mormon" material on the internet. I have all the same questions that some of the non-LDS have posted. Members of the church will continue to come across this "anti" information whether they are looking for it or not and we deserve to have some answers. What I read here has not been helpful to a person like me who just wants someone to directly answer all the questions without the testimony bearing. I have nothing to gain by losing my faith and everything to lose, but I am left feeling that the questions raised by the "anti-mormon" camp are legitimate and I never see them answered satisfactorily by the mormon camp. I feel almost condemned that I would give any consideration to the "anti mormon" views. They may be old news to many LDS but they are new to me! I don't want proof that the church is true; just not so many evidences that it isn't! Are all antimormon arguments really lies? I've written a lot of feelings here and not very well, but I felt the need to express this. Thanks.

Mormanity said...

Moncat, comment threads aren't the best place to find detailed rebuttals. But the arguments that were tossed out early in the thread - problems with animals, metals, etc. - were given some specific responses and links (the LDSFAQ area) where details are provided.

Was there a specific argument you were curious about? Was it the objection to the idea that God was once a man and thus spatially limited - forgetting that Christ lived on earth in a human body and was truly once a man?

Anti-Mormon arguments are rarely "just lies" or they would have no effect at all. Likewise, the contradicting arguments of Republicans and Democrats are rarely "just lies." But they are all arguments. They make key assumptions, select facts, give them a spin, leave out important details, rely on rhetorical tricks, and sometimes require a world view that may be at odds with reality. ANd deciphering the arguments and understanding why they are not valid or why they may not be relevant or particularly strong takes effort and information and background, just as it does when dealing with the arguments against the Church. And you won't find all that work in the random comments people throw out to a single post in a blog, but that info is available. Look, for example, at FAIRLDS.org or FARMS.

A Latter-day Saint said...

Dear Catholic Defender,

You claim that the Mormons have not learn tolerance, due to our insistance on ours being the Only True Faith.

Might I remind you that we didn't say those words, those are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ to the Prophet Joseph, wherein He said, and not we ourselves, that The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints is the 'only true and living church' with which He was well pleased.

You also stated that the Catholic Faith had learned tolerance and that it was nonjudgemental of other faiths, well, you seem to not know the history of your own faith which stated the following:

The following statements on Outside the Catholic Church There is No Salvation are from the highest teaching authority of the Catholic Church. They are ex cathedra Papal decrees (decrees from the Chair of St. Peter). Therefore, they constitute the teaching given to the Catholic Church by Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Such teachings are unchangeable and are classified as part of the solemn magisterium (the extraordinary teaching authority of the Catholic Church).



Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, Constitution 1, 1215, ex cathedra: “There is indeed one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which nobody at all is saved, in which Jesus Christ is both priest and sacrifice.”[1]



Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, Nov. 18, 1302, ex cathedra:

“With Faith urging us we are forced to believe and to hold the one, holy, Catholic Church and that, apostolic, and we firmly believe and simply confess this Church outside of which there is no salvation nor remission of sin… Furthermore, we declare, say, define, and proclaim to every human creature that they by absolute necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff.”[2]

Pope Clement V, Council of Vienne, Decree # 30, 1311-1312, ex cathedra:

“Since however there is for both regulars and seculars, for superiors and subjects, for exempt and non-exempt, one universal Church, outside of which there is no salvation, for all of whom there is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism…”[3]



Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Sess. 8, Nov. 22, 1439, ex cathedra:

“Whoever wishes to be saved, needs above all to hold the Catholic faith; unless each one preserves this whole and inviolate, he will without a doubt perish in eternity.”[4]



Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Cantate Domino,” 1441, ex cathedra:

“The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives; that the unity of this ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the Church’s sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”[5]



Pope Leo X, Fifth Lateran Council, Session 11, Dec. 19, 1516, ex cathedra:

“For, regulars and seculars, prelates and subjects, exempt and non-exempt, belong to the one universal Church, outside of which no one at all is saved, and they all have one Lord and one faith.”[6]



Pope Pius IV, Council of Trent, “Iniunctum nobis,” Nov. 13, 1565, ex cathedra: “This true Catholic faith, outside of which no one can be saved… I now profess and truly hold…”[7]



Pope Benedict XIV, Nuper ad nos, March 16, 1743, Profession of Faith: “This faith of the Catholic Church, without which no one can be saved, and which of my own accord I now profess and truly hold…”[8]



Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, Session 2, Profession of Faith, 1870, ex cathedra: “This true Catholic faith, outside of which none can be saved, which I now freely profess and truly hold…”[9]

Pope Leo XIII, (1878-1903)

"Those who acknowledge Christ must acknowledge Him completely and entirely. The Head is the only-begotten Son of God; the Body is His Church. All who dissent from the Scriptures concerning Christ are not in the Church, and all who agree with the Scriptures concerning the Head but who do not communicate in the unity of the Church are not in the Church. They can in no way be counted among the children of God unless they take Jesus Christ as their Brother and, at the same time, the Church as their Mother …Consequently, all who wish to reach salvation outside the Church are mistaken as to the way and are engaged in a futile effort… Christianity is, in fact incarnate in the Catholic Church; it is identified with that perfect and spiritual society which is the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ and has for its visible head the Roman Pontiff …This is Our last lesson to you: receive it, engrave it upon your minds, all of you: by God’s commandment salvation is to be found nowhere but in the Church." (Annum Ingressi Sumus, Papal Teachings of the Church 652-653; Tametsi, PTC 647)

Pope Saint Pius X (A.D. 1903 - 1914)

"It is our duty to recall to everyone great and small, as the Holy Pontiff Gregory did in ages past, the absolute necessity which is ours, to have recourse to this Church to effect our eternal salvation." (Encyclical, Jucunda Sane) "

Pope Benedict XV, (1914 – 1922)

"Such is the nature of the Catholic faith that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole, or as a whole rejected: This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved." (Encyclical, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum)

Pope Pius XI (A.D. 1922 - 1939)

"The Catholic Church alone is keeping the true worship. This is the font of truth, this is the house of faith, this is the temple of God; if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation. ...Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ, no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors." (Encyclical, Mortalium Animos)

Pope Pius XII

Mystici Corporis Christi: "22. Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed. "For in one spirit" says the Apostle, "were we all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free". As therefore in the true Christian community there is only one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, and one Baptism, so there can be only one faith. And therefore, if a man refuse to hear the Church, let him be considered - so the Lord commands—as a heathen and a publican. It follows that those who are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit."

Pope Pius XII (A.D. 1939 - 1958): "By divine mandate the interpreter and guardian of the Scriptures, and the depository of Sacred Tradition living within her, the Church alone is the entrance to salvation: She alone, by herself, and under the protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit, is the source of truth." (Allocution to the Gregorian, October 17, 1953)

Sincerely,

A Latter-day Saint

A Latter-Day Saint said...

Dear Catholic Defender,

Were you aware that your Church also teaches the following on the necessity for infant baptism?

The Church teaches that aborted children and infants who die without baptism descend immediately into Hell, but that they do not suffer the fires of Hell. They go to a place in Hell called the limbo of the children. The most specific definition of the Church proving that there is no possible way for an infant to be saved without the Sacrament of Baptism is the following one from Pope Eugene IV.



Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Session 11, Feb. 4, 1442, ex cathedra: “Regarding children, indeed, because of danger of death, which can often take place, when no help can be brought to them by another remedy than through the sacrament of baptism, through which they are snatched from the domination of the Devil [original sin] and adopted among the sons of God, it advises that holy baptism ought not be deferred for forty or eighty days, or any time according to the observance of certain people…”[72]



Pope Eugene IV here defined from the Chair of Peter that there is no other remedy for infants to be snatched away from the dominion of the devil (i.e., original sin) other than the Sacrament of Baptism. This means that anyone who obstinately teaches that infants can be saved without receiving the Sacrament of Baptism is a heretic, for he is teaching that there is another remedy for original sin in children other than the Sacrament of Baptism.



Pope Martin V, Council of Constance, Session 15, July 6, 1415 - Condemning the articles of John Wyclif - Proposition 6: “Those who claim that the children of the faithful dying without sacramental baptism will not be saved, are stupid and presumptuous in saying this.”[73] - Condemned



This is a fascinating proposition from The Council of Constance. Unfortunately, this proposition is not found in Denzinger, which only contains some of the Council’s decrees, but it is found in a full collection of the Council of Constance. The arch-heretic John Wyclif was proposing that those (such as ourselves) are stupid for teaching that infants who die without water (i.e., sacramental) baptism cannot possibly be saved. He was anathematized for this assertion, among many others. And here is what the Council of Constance had to say about John Wyclif’s anathematized propositions, such as #6 above.



Pope Martin V, Council of Constance, Session 15, July 6, 1415: “The books and pamphlets of John Wyclif, of cursed memory, were carefully examined by the doctors and masters of Oxford University… This holy synod, therefore, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, repudiates and condemns, by this perpetual decree, the aforesaid articles and each of them in particular; and it forbids each and every Catholic henceforth, under pain of anathema, to preach, teach, or hold the said articles or any one of them.”[74]



So those who criticize Catholics for affirming the dogma that no infant can be saved without the Sacrament of Baptism are actually proposing the anathematized heresy of John Wyclif. Here are some other dogmatic definitions on the topic.



Pope St. Zosimus, The Council of Carthage, Canon on Sin and Grace, 417 A.D.- “It has been decided likewise that if anyone says that for this reason the Lord said: ‘In my Father’s house there are many mansions’ [John 14:2]: that it might be understood that in the kingdom of heaven there will be some middle place or some place anywhere where the blessed infants live who departed from this life without baptism, without which they cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven, which is life eternal, let him be anathema.”[75]



Pope Paul III, The Council of Trent, On Original Sin, Session V, ex cathedra: “If anyone says that recently born babies should not be baptized even if they have been born to baptized parents; or says that they are indeed baptized for the remission of sins, but incur no trace of the original sin of Adam needing to be cleansed by the laver of rebirth for them to obtain eternal life, with the necessary consequence that in their case there is being understood a form of baptism for the remission of sins which is not true, but false: let him be anathema.”[76]



This means that anyone who asserts that infants don’t need the “laver of rebirth” (water baptism) to attain eternal life is teaching heresy.


We, as Latter-day Saints, reject these teachings and say that infant baptism is not only not required by God, but is wholly unnecessary for their salvation as they are covered by the Sacrifice of Christ.

Sincerely,

A Latter-Day Saint

Anonymous said...

Dear Lds Members,

I wrote that the Catholic Church has taken many years to learn tolerance. I never said it had achieved perfection in that regard. It has not, I'm well aware of that. I am also well aware of the fact that I may seem intolerant. I am not perfect either, and am still working on my tolerance.

I am also aware that I may come across as condemning your faith or doctrines. That actually is not the intent. I'm responding to a post on this blog that posed a question about why non-mormons don't believe, and seem to need evidence...that was SCDoyle's post a couple weeks ago.

My wife is LDS, and she is by far one of the most Christian people I know. Many of our friends are LDS, and they truly are very Christian. I am very much aware of what your faith teaches, as well as my own. Most of my criticisms of your faith, actually come from my experiences in your own chapels, as opposed to anti-mormon literature. I've read both pro & anti-mormon writings. There is a great deal of both out there. My experience in your services can best be characterised as experiencing bamboo.

Bamboo is very hard on the surface. It appears strong and durable. But, when its put to a hard test, bamboo splinters and cracks, because inside that hard outer shell, there's no substance. To an outsider, your church services are very much like that. On the surface, they appear very concrete, very christian, very faith based. But after many years of percieving your own church services, listening to members bear their testimony, watching your sacrament meetings, and reading your BOM, all that is truly found there, is a hard surface that splinters because deep down inside your church, there's no substance to hold it together.

I do actually know my faiths doctrines and history very well, contrary to your criticism. My church has been around for several thousand years, and has blemishes as well as outstanding achievements. It is the largest christian church in the world. And it continues to grow.

You who criticize and condemn infant baptism, really need to go and read the catechism of the catholic church. While its true that babies need to be baptized, the catholic faith does not say that babies are condemned because they are not. The catholic teaching on that actually allows for the grace and mercy of God to act and see to those babies. We after all do believe in a merciful God.

I also think its fair to ask the tough questions about your faith. Frankly there is a great deal of factual literature out there about your church's founder that paints him in a very bad light. One of you, Moncat asked why doesn't the LDS church give direct answers to those questions. That's a very good question. Why can't your church give a good explanation about Joseph Smith's multiple versions of the the first vision, or a great many of the other anti-mormon questions.

That's really part of the problem. You see its like compounded interest to those of us non-mormons. You start with Joseph's dubious past, then different versions of the story, then polygamy, then the mark of cain, then Mountain Meadows, different accounts of the martyrdom, and so on, and the whole thing snowballs. Like compounded interest, what starts as a small debt, eventually becomes insurmountable as the interest acrues. That's why non-mormons have such an issue with your churches teaches. There too much explaining to do.

Catholic Defender

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

Hey Anonymous,

The Catholic Church isn't the only one with molesting ministers. That happens in every church, including the LDS church. Its just the one with the most publicity on the issue. There are Lutheran Ministers, Baptist Preachers, LDS Missionaries and Bishops all guilty of the same offenses, you just never hear about those accounts in the media because its far more sensational to bash the Catholic Church.

In terms of corruption, one could say the same about the LDS church. Marriot happens to be an LDS corporation, Deseret is too. Seems one could assume tithing money goes to fund these ventures, especially given the fact the LDS church keeps such secrets about its finances. What have you to hide if you're truly Christ's church.

The catholics aren't the only ones who killed millions of people in the name of God. This whole country was stolen from the people who were here before us in the name of God. Check your history books against accounts the Native Americans give. You'll see the two don't match. Incidently, many of the original english settlers to this country were not catholic, they were one protestant sect or another.

You may say what you like about the Catholic Faith, its a free country, unless you're an Indian, then its no longer your country because as a conquering christian nation, we can say that. By the way, the Native Americans were actually living a more christian lifestyle than any of the so called christians who settled here, they just didn't call it that. But that's beside the point. Back to my thought, you can say what you like about the Catholic Church. But you need to remember something, without the Catholic Church, none of the other christian faiths would be here at all. We carried the torch for several hundred years, and we trace our lineage directly to Christ. Only the LDS church can make that claim, and that's only by virtue of the BOM. The rest all splintered away from the Catholics.

Catholic Defender

Mormanity said...

I deleted a very nasty attack on the Catholic Church. Catholic Defender, sorry about that. Your response was excellent and I agree with it for the most part.

Latter-day Saints and Protestants should recognize that thousands of faithful people in the Catholic Church preserved the Bible and much o Christianity, and without their sacrifice and loyalty to the Lord, we wouldn't have Christianity all over the globe and might not even have the Bible today. We can and do disagree on some doctrines and practices and the issue of authority, but we must also respect what the Catholic Church has done for the world.

A Latter-day Saint said...

Catholic Defender,

Thank you for your reply.

Yes, I agree that we are all on the Lord's side, and we Mormons by no means claim to have a monopoly on truth, we just claim to have MORE of it, because we believe in a God who CONTINUES to speak to His Children through LIVING prophets and this is what distinguishes us from all other faiths of the Christian variety.

I did notice a recent new article from the Vatican and I wanted to share with you, because it's very recent and comes from the current Pope, who makes no bones about what his stance is on the 'only true church' teaching:
-----------------------------------
LORENZAGO DI CADORE, Italy - Pope Benedict XVI has reasserted the universal primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released Tuesday that says Orthodox churches were defective and that other Christian denominations were not true churches.

Benedict approved a document from his old offices at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that restates church teaching on relations with other Christians. It was the second time in a week the pope has corrected what he says are erroneous interpretations of the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 meetings that modernized the church.

On Saturday, Benedict revisited another key aspect of Vatican II by reviving the old Latin Mass. Traditional Catholics cheered the move, but more liberal ones called it a step back from Vatican II.

Benedict, who attended Vatican II as a young theologian, has long complained about what he considers the erroneous interpretation of the council by liberals, saying it was not a break from the past but rather a renewal of church tradition.

In the latest document — formulated as five questions and answers — the Vatican seeks to set the record straight on Vatican II’s ecumenical intent, saying some contemporary theological interpretation had been “erroneous or ambiguous” and had prompted confusion and doubt.

It restates key sections of a 2000 document the pope wrote when he was prefect of the congregation, “Dominus Iesus,” which set off a firestorm of criticism among Protestant and other Christian denominations because it said they were not true churches but merely ecclesial communities and therefore did not have the “means of salvation.”

In the new document and an accompanying commentary, which were released as the pope vacations here in Italy’s Dolomite mountains, the Vatican repeated that position.

“Christ ‘established here on earth’ only one church,” the document said. The other communities “cannot be called ‘churches’ in the proper sense” because they do not have apostolic succession — the ability to trace their bishops back to Christ’s original apostles.

‘Identity of the Catholic faith’
The Rev. Sara MacVane of the Anglican Centre in Rome, said there was nothing new in the document.

“I don’t know what motivated it at this time,” she said. “But it’s important always to point out that there’s the official position and there’s the huge amount of friendship and fellowship and worshipping together that goes on at all levels, certainly between Anglican and Catholics and all the other groups and Catholics.”

The document said Orthodox churches were indeed “churches” because they have apostolic succession and that they enjoyed “many elements of sanctification and of truth.” But it said they lack something because they do not recognize the primacy of the pope — a defect, or a “wound” that harmed them, it said.

“This is obviously not compatible with the doctrine of primacy which, according to the Catholic faith, is an ‘internal constitutive principle’ of the very existence of a particular church,” the commentary said.

Despite the harsh tone of the document, it stresses that Benedict remains committed to ecumenical dialogue.

“However, if such dialogue is to be truly constructive, it must involve not just the mutual openness of the participants but also fidelity to the identity of the Catholic faith,” the commentary said.

‘Not backtracking on ecumenical commitment’
The document, signed by the congregation prefect, U.S. Cardinal William Levada, was approved by Benedict on June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul — a major ecumenical feast day.

Found online at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19692094/?GT1=10150

For a video about this, click here:
http://video.msn.com/v/us/msnbc.htm?f=00&g=fb6f1c30-c8ad-4b8d-9ba6-dd9166a377ee&p=hotvideo_m_edpicks&t=m5&rf=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19692094/?GT1=10150&fg=

-----------------------------------

Yours sincerely,

A Latter-day Saint

Anonymous said...

Do you really believe that it is possible the Book of Mormon was made up and written by a man?
Occasionally, you hear someone say, "I could believe your doctrine if I just didn't have to swallow the story about Joseph Smith being a prophet of God and that he translated the Book of Mormon from some golden plates which he claimed he found in a hillside." Let us consider some facts or conditions that must be complied with in order for you to produce a similar record under comparable conditions.

1. You must be between 23 and 24 years of age.

2. You cannot be a college graduate. In fact, you can have only three years of formal schooling and you must have spent your life in backwoods farming communities.

3. Whatever you write must be on the basis of what you know and not what you learn through research. Remember, there were no libraries in the backwoods of New York state that held the information needed to write the Book of Mormon.

4. You must write a history of two separate ancient countries, such as Iran, covering a period of 600 B.C. to 421 A.D. and Tibet covering a period of 2300 B.C. to 200 B.C. You must know very little about the countries of which you choose to write.

5. Your history or record must be long, containing more than 250,000 words.

6. You must add 180 proper nouns to the English language.
(William Shakespeare added only 30).

7. You must write a book with 102 chapters, 25 of them about wars, 10 about history, 21 about prophecy, 32 about doctrines, 5 about missionaries, and 9 about the mission of Christ.

8. You must include in your writings the history of two distinct and separate nations, along with histories of different contemporary nations or groups of people.

9. You must describe the religious, economic, social and political cultures and institutions of these two nations, including the names of their weights, measures and mediums of exchange.

10. You must describe the physical geography of the lands in your record with enough detail that decades later when these lost cultures are discovered, the lands in which they lived can be identified.

11. You must weave into your history the religion of Jesus Christ and the pattern for Christian living.

12. You must write your record using a number of ancient Hebrew poetry and writing styles which will not be rediscovered and announced to the English speaking world until years after you publish your record.

13. You must alter your own style of writing so as to convince even computer analysts years later that many different authors wrote portions of your record without any computer evidence that your own personal writing style (or word print) is in the record.

14. When you start to produce this record, covering a period of over 2700 years, you must finish it in approximately 80 days.

15. When you have finished, you must not make any changes in the text. The first edition as you have dictated it to your secretary must stand forever.

16. After pauses for sleep and food, if you are dictating to a stenographer, you must never ask to have the last paragraph or last sentence read back to you.

17. You must announce that your "smooth narrative" is not fiction, but true. Yes a sacred history similar to that of the Bible.

18. In fact your narrative must fulfill the Bible prophecies; even in the exact manner in which it shall come forth, to whom given, and its purposes and accomplishments.

19. You must use properly, figures of speech, similes, metaphors, narrations, exposition, description oratory, epic lyrics and parables.

20. You must publish it to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, declaring it to be the Word of God.

21. You must include with the record itself this marvelous promise: "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost."

22. Millions of people must bear record to the world for the next 175 years that they know the record to be true. Because they put the promise to the test, the truth was manifest to them by the power of the Holy Ghost.

23. Thousands of great men, intellectual giants and scholars, must subscribe discipleship to the record of its movement, even to the point of laying down their lives.

24. There can be no flaw, whatever, in the entire book. (Except in grammar, or other errors of man in transcribing, printing, etc.)

25. Only limited descriptions of some of the cultures of these civilizations of which you will write about can be known when you publish your manuscript. And they only exist in another language and are not in print in your country. Yet, you must not make any absurd, impossible, or contradictory statements. Even so, many of the facts, ideas and statements given us as true in your record must be entirely inconsistent with, even the direct opposite of, the prevailing belief of the world. Yet very little is even claimed to be known about these civilizations and their 2,700 years of history at the time you write your book.

26. You must invite the ablest scholars and experts to examine the text with care. You must strive diligently to see that your book gets into the hands of all those most eager to prove it a forgery and who are most competent to expose any flaws in it.

27. After 175 years of extensive analysis, no claim or fact in your book can be disproven, but all are vindicated. Other theories and ideas as to its origin, rise and fall, leaving your claims as the only possible explanation.

28. Thorough investigation, scientific evidence, and archaeological discoveries for the next 175 years must verify your claims and prove even the minutest details of your history to be perfectly true.

29. Internal and external prophecies must be confirmed and fulfilled in the next 175 years.

30. Three honest, credible witnesses must testify to the whole world that an angel from heaven appeared to them and showed them the ancient records from which you claim your record was translated.

31. You must call out of heaven the voice of the Lord to declare to the three witnesses that your record is true and that it is their responsibility to bear testimony of the divine nature of the book.

32. Eight other witnesses must testify to the world that they saw the ancient records in broad daylight and that they handled them and felt the engraving thereon.

33. The first three witnesses and the second eight witnesses must bear their testimony, not for profit or gain, but under great personal sacrifice and severe persecution, even to their death.

34. You must find someone to finance your book with the understanding that neither he nor you will ever receive any monetary gain from it. You must sell the book at cost or less.

35. Finally, after suffering persecution and revilement for 20 years in the process of producing and defending this book, you must give, willingly, your own life for your testimony that the record is of God and that it contains another testimony that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Messiah, even the Savior of the world who was born of a virgin, died on a cross, raised from the dead, ascended into heaven and promised to return.

Do you really believe that it is possible the Book of Mormon was made up and written by a man?

Anonymous said...

Dear Latter Day Saint,

You pose the question of whether we (meaning non-members) believe the BOM was made up and written by a man. I can't speak for others, maybe some others perhaps share my opinion, but I can only speak for myself. Do I believe that Joseph Smith made up and wrote the BOM. Yes, actually I do, but I don't believe he did it on his own. He was clearly not working alone.

For starters, the BOM strongly appears to be a work of plagarism. Reading it, there are clearly passages that are directly written from the KJ Bible. Could a man of the type you've described have plagarized, and re-written certain passages, yes, absolutey. A man with Joseph Smith's character flaws could accomplish such a feat. A master con-man could accomplish the feat. That's part of why I believe he made up the whole thing. Joseph Smith has serious veracity problems starting from his youth; he has convictions for conning people. I believe the BOM to be yet one more con.

Joseph Smith may or may not have recieved monetary gain from his efforts. He did gain fame, and power as a result of his alleged "prophet" status. He was governor of Navuoo. He controlled printing presses, armies, people. He was able to justify multiple wives by virtue of the BOM and D & C.

Could one man accomplish the feat of falisfying doctrine. No, probably not. But what about Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and the other multiple witnesses working together? All of that could be accomplished and sworn to, very easily.

Another thought, that perhaps you should consider, is that Joseph Smith did see the angels, but maybe they were working for the other team. Has that ever occurred to you? Satan did take a 3rd of the hosts of heaven with him. Seems that he has angels in his employ that could answer prayers to someone with a dubious background such as Joseph Smith's.

Certainly some of Joseph Smith's credibility issues tie to occult symbols on the temple, use of a seer stone, and other occult practises of the same ilk. Your whole argument assumes that Joseph Smith was in fact seeing an angel of God, maybe he wasn't. Satan is a master of half truths. What I see in the BOM is many half truths, exactly the type of things that would discredit Christ's church, and exactly the type of things Satan would use.

As to suffering persecution for 20 years and then willingly going to his death. History would show that Joseph Smith engaged in persecuting others, almost as much as he was persecuted. The fact that he shot six times into the mob then leapt out the window at the time the angry mob came through the jail doors, belies your statement that Joseph Smith willingly gave his life for his cause. One could actually look at those facts and say, the strength of Joseph Smith's conviction ran only up to the point that he might actually die for his cause.

The impression I have always been left with, and I have actually prayed sincerely about this, is that the BOM is a poorly re-written account of the old testament. That's the feeling I get any time I pick the book up. It just feels insincere. I've never been left with that impression with the bible.

Mormons talk about the burning in the breast they feel when they've prayed about the BOM and its truthfulness. For me, that burning in the breast occurs not from the BOM, but from the catholic teachings and faith.

One person here says that mormons believe they have more of the truth than the other christian faiths. I don't believe that, and from my perspective, the mormon faith is actually a step backward in faith. You are missing a great deal of the truth, or you have a distorted view of the truth.

I don't actually disagree that God still gives revelation today. He does. But it isn't exclusive to mormons, and it isn't exclusive to prophets. God gives revelation to us all, we have but to listen to hear what he has to say. He answers all our prayers. He guides all of us, whether we believe in the BOM or not. If that were not true, then we have all been mislead by Jesus' own teachings.

Believing in the truth of the BOM as the means to return to God to me means, giving up what I have found to be true about God. That is, he is merciful, and kind and caring. He wouldn't expect cold blooded murder from his followers, look to Nephi's slaughter of Laban for an example. That isn't indicative of the God of Abraham. God won't reject us from his site because we don't believe in some book. He will reject us from his sight if we sin.

It really isn't about wearing the right underwear or baptising the dead, or restoring the 10 tribes of Israel, incidently there were 12 tribes, not 10. It isn't about being worthy to enter the temple because some bishop says you are. It really comes down to believing what Jesus taught us and living our lives as best as we can like Jesus. God's grace and mercy has to do the rest.

I am never going to convince the lot of you that I am correct, just as you will not convince me that you are. We are both firm in our convictions. That's part of what makes this debate interesting. Ultimately we are going to rely on our own spiritual revelations to return to God. The difference between us really has to do with where we believe revelation comes from. Ultimately, Jesus taught us all we really need to know, if we follow him, we have salvation, if we don't, we are lost regardless of which book you subscribe to.

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

Catholic defender, you have some interesting comments. As far as the plagarism comment goes. If one believes that the Bible and the BOM are the word of God it doesn't make sense. God cannot plagiarize himself. There is bound to be similarities between the two. As far as seeing angels, I have actually thought about that myself. How do you know whose “team” they were on. But you could say that about any vision of angels in the Bible. How could Joseph have a gun if he was in jail? If he had a gun he could have just shoot his captors and ran away. Of course everyone can receive revelation for the things they dominion over. A father can receive revelation for his family, a Bishop can receive revelation for his Ward. We claim to have revelation to direct God’s church. Lastly, I completely agree with your last two paragraphs.

Anonymous said...

Catholic Defender,

I have really struggled for every bit of faith that I have. Not only in the Church but for any kind of faith at all. One of the things that I find really infuriating is when people make claims without evidence. For those of us who sincerely search and attempt to base their beliefs on real evidence this can really muddy the waters. It’s not nice and it’s not fair.

That said, there is, for example, absolutely no historical evidence for a conspiracy to produce the Book of Mormon. And there is enough evidence that such a conspiracy would most likely be evident if there had been one. If you believe this, you are way out on a limb. If I am incorrect, please enlighten me.

Also, you say that Joseph Smith was convicted of being a conman. Would you please provide the reference(s) for this? To my knowledge he was brought to trial over 50 times on similar charges but was always acquitted. See the recently published ‘Rough Stone Rolling'. This book also does a good job of putting the supposed claims of Joseph being involved in the occult and 'money digging' into proper context.

As for plagiarism, Nephi quotes Isaiah; Christ delivers similar content to what he did in the Old World. What else would you expect? 98% plus of the Book of Mormon is completely original. Exactly what are you referring to?

As for me, I find the Book of Mormon much easier to read, understand and to learn simple valuable lessons from than from the majority of the Old Testament and much of the New Testament. And that is its stated purpose, to restore the plain and precious things lost in the Bible, or perhaps put more generally, the entire early history of the Church as the New Testament was written long after the actual life of Christ and there was certainly far, far more written during his life and after than has survived. New Testament statements attest to this. The Book of Mormon and other modern scriptures are crammed with other worthwhile doctrine. Mosiah 4, Alma 32 and Ether 12 for example are particularly packed with wisdom. There are countless other examples. I'm sorry if you cannot see that.

As for polygamy; That is a sticky one. I have polygamy in my ancestry. But it's not as black and white as Mormon critics generally make it out to be. Firstly, it was not unprecedented. God authorized it for his own reasons in the Old Testament and told Joseph that he reserved the right to do so when he saw fit. Obviously, if God really did not authorize it at the time of Joseph Smith this would be damning. But if he did authorize it then no one was doing anything wrong.

Polygamy was also practiced, by and large, with great care. The first wife had to approve and the husband had to be able to support both resulting families temporally. There were exceptions early in polygamy's history, which, like many other things might be attributed to Joseph and the other Church leaders trying to figure out what the revelations given to them really meant in practice. You see this pattern in many aspects of Church History. The Lord revealed things as he always has. Line upon line. Even Christ, according to the NT, learned who he was and what his mission was, line upon line and precept on precept. And the doctrine he taught was thoroughly radical for the time and ended up getting him killed.

The treatment polygamy gets in ‘Rough Stone Rolling’ is that Joseph was very much torn about it and the effect it had on his relationship with Emma. As were most others when they were exposed to it. They did *not* enter into it lightly. They felt it was their unavoidable duty. Finally, in many cases it was only a matter of temporal support for the additional family(s) and not even a sexual relationship.

Unfortunately, as happened in my wife's ancestry, for example, some men defied the rules and other groups subsequently splintered who think that polygamy is still a saving commandment. As the Church has repeatedly stated though, these splinter-groups are not a part of the Church and not endorsed by it. Nor is it responsible for their actions. Any member of the Church who enters into polygamy now is excommunicated.

So, for me, because it is impossible to establish whether Joseph was actually commanded by God to implement polygamy based on available evidence, except through my own personal revelation which I have not received, it is just an open question, a non-issue.

As for the 'martyrdom', Joseph got the gun from one of the jailors who was sympathetic to them, if i'm not mistaken. It seems a very narrow and strange definition of 'martyr' to say that one does not attempt to defend oneself or those with him. He was imprisoned with his brother and a close friend. And saying that jumping from the window was an act of cowardice is just plain silly. They must have known that there was a mob outside. They had painted faces and weapons and were making a lot of noise. It’s possible that he jumped just on impulse. What would you do if a mob was trying to kill you? Who are you or any one of us to second guess what someone caught in such a horrible situation would do?

Besides, the actual events in Carthage can hardly be seen in isolation. They are as easily understood to be the climax of 20+ years of intense persecution in which countless members were harassed, had their property stolen, were raped, tortured and killed. And it didn't stop there. The Mormons were driven out of Illinois shortly after the martyrdom at great human cost in Winter Quarters. Further, many died on their way to Utah. Further persecution followed and continues in one form or another to this day. You see it now in the more subtle and sophisticated attacks on the Church that frequently occur in the media. Some are not even so subtle and make me, as a member, fear for the future.

In my opinion though, making the claim that Joseph's experience of being a prophet was a net positive for him on the basis that he had power and fame is highly dubious. He and Emma and their family and everyone involved suffered horrific persecution and privation for that 'power and fame' up to and including loss of everything they owned, expulsion from their lands, not just once but many times, and death.

Ironically, he is the author of one of the most beautiful statements in history on the subject of the righteous exercise of authority in section 121 of the D&C. That passage alone is a great source of faith for me that he was what he claimed. I do not believe that a liar or a tyrant or a conman could have authored it. It is profoundly meaningful, since abuse of authority is surely and has been certainly one of the most basic sources of evil throughout the World's history. Certainly, we are not free of it but the constant reminder of this passage of scripture goes far to minimize it.

Finally, the bamboo analogy is interesting but my experience in the Church is completely different. There are members of the Church at many different levels of development in their faith and testimony, as you would expect. But my experience is that there is a core which *is* solid to the core and I know many people that fall into this category. I have seen so much good come of the Church, including the improvement it has made in me. Personally, I'm still pretty hard-hearted but I'm making progress and my study of the modern scriptures combined with my study of the traditional scriptures continues to soften my heart and make me a better person, less selfish, more loving and willing and interested in helping and serving my fellow humans.

Jonbill

Anonymous said...

Dear Jonbill,

I read your response with interest. You are correct in your assessment that there is no evidence of conspiracy on Joseph Smith's part. But, that said, there is no evidence that there was no conspiracy either. It really depends on perspective. The same evidence I would point to that would indicate conspiracy, the LDS church would use to say divine inspiration. It really does come down to was JS a liar or was he inspired. I believe him to be a liar, you believe him to be inspired. It is actually okay to disagree.

Read my whole response to the question posed. I never said that I believed the conspiracy theory or that it happened. What I actually said was that it is possible that it did happen. One man acting alone could not make up a book such as the BOM. He would need help. The witnesses, are either telling the truth, or part of the conspiracy. I believe they are not telling the truth. You believe that they are.

I do not mean to diminish JS murder. That is a horrible thing, and can not be justified under any circumstance. But, the accounts of non-mormons versus mormons as to what happened are not necessarily the same. That creates a problem when one talks about martyrdom. The LDS church seems to put forth the propostion that JS meekly went to his own death. That isn't exactly the truth. I'm probably not explaining this very well, but the problem isn't whether or not JS was martyred, its the fact that the truth of what happened is distorted by the very church you find to be true. If JS defended himself, why not just say that instead of saying "he went like a lamb to the slaughter." The truth is he didn't go like a lamb to the slaughter. Lamb's going to slaughter don't put up a fight, they just lay down and die. Its the distortion that's the problem, not the fact of the murder.

That may seem like such a small thing to focus on, but, look at it from the non-mormon point of view. If your church is going to distort such a small piece of information, what else is your church willing to distort in order to gain converts. The same concern holds true with polygamy, and the Mark of Cain Doctrine, Brigham Young's Adam God Doctrine. Its the willingness to distort little facts instead of just giving candid answers to questions.

In one of my earlier posts I did mention that many of my wife and my friends are mormon. Generally they are good, christian people who follow their faith and live their values. That's one reason I actually disagree with the other christian community as to the christian versus cult nature of the LDS church. But, that said, I won't be converting anytime in the near future. Your truth, and mine are not the same.

Catholic Defender

Jeffery said...

Jeff I am a baptised catholic and i am 17, I have alot of great mormon friends who introduced me into the church. I was a bit concerned at first because of all the contreverse i have heard about the church, i honestely have to say when i walked into the doors of the lds church i felt the spirit so strongly unlike any church i have been too before.. an amazing feeling. I started to read the book of mormon and I am right no your side it is true i have had the same feelings you said you experienced and i know this church is true and i hope to all the people on this page who are downing the lds church will one day know this church is true and it is no lie i say this in the name of jesus christ.. god bless you all

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Hello Anonymous Non-LDS

Its an interesting argument, and sort of alliance you seem to make with me. On the one hand you agree, on the other you disagree. I actually do not ignore my church's dubious history and mis-doings. Frankly were one to examine virtually any christian faith, one would find skeletons in the closet. Catholics have just been around the longest and seem to be the most fun to pick on. The inquisition is a pretty good example of catholocism at its worst. I can't nor would I deny it. In some aspects, were it not for the misguided nature of some of the popes, none of you protestants would exist, and there'd be nothing to debate. There would also not have been reform in the catholic church, there'd be no reason for this debate, and JS would have nothing to claim he restored. That's one perspective to look at things from.

I share some of the concerns about the current pope that you raise. He is very conservative, and may actually set some of the progress made in Vatican II back. On the other hand, maybe he'll receive guidance and move us all forward into a new age of ecumenical harmony. He's new, and his legacy has yet to be determined. Regardless of that, God will work through him, just as he works through all of us.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here, but I doubt that any of the LDS authors here, and I know that I do not deny the existence of God and the mysteries that he works through all of our lives. We can sit here and debate doctrine, and the validity of the bible and the BOM, and say my church is better than yours all we want, but the eternal truth is, God is going to work through all of us regardless of what our debate ends up being.

You talk about the 10 commandments as if they have been ignored or done away with in their entirety by catholic teachings. You actually are incorrect. You see, catholic teachings place a greater emphasis on the two great commandments Jesus gives us in the new testament. Those would be loving God above all things, and loving your neighbour as you love yourself. See, if you're doing those two things, you're actually following the 10 commandments in thier entirety. It really isn't necessary then to say follow the 10 commandments, because if you're doing what Jesus told you to do in the new testament, it goes without saying that you are following the 10 commandments. I don't profess to being perfect at following Jesus' commandments, but I do the best I can, as I would assume everyone here does.

I pose this question to you. You say that papal rome sold out to pagan rome and adopted/adapted pagan feasts and holidays into christian ones. I agree that that's true, but my question to you is what alternative would you have papal rome do. Consider this, by adopting and adapting papal rome ensured the survival of christianity. Would you be able to even know who Christ was without that adaptation? Would any of us even be here having this debate without that consession? Maybe the concession was orchestrated by God to ensure the survival of his church and christian peoples. Did you ever consider that? As I said earlier, God works very mysteriously, he has the master plan, and he doesn't typically share that whole plan with us until its time to do so. I wasn't there in papal rome, neither were you, neither of us can claim to know everything about why those concessions were made. But I do know that those concessions ensured that we can all know and learn about Christ.

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Mormanity said...

Some Youtube links to anti-Catholic videos were presented. I deleted them.

Youtube links in general are not welcome, especially to videos that attack specific religions.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mormanity,
You may delete the links or anonymise them, but please leave my comments as they pertinently answer the questions posed by Catholic Defender in his message, you are wrong to delete them.

For your information - my comments and the videos are not anti-catholic, they are biblically accurate! Maybe you should view them too - and learn more about Papal deceptions deceiving Mormonism!

Please leave my comments up in text, they are not anti-catholic , I have stated how tolerant I am - A kindly request.......

Anonymous

Mormanity said...

Anon, step back and think about what's happening here. This is a blog about LDS issues. This is a post in that LDS blog about the Book of Mormon. You have jumped in to speak out against Catholics - something that doesn't fit this thread, something that doesn't fit this blog, and something that is against my editorial policies. What right do you have to do this, or to tell me I'm wrong in deleting your comments? You are free to start your own blog and rant all you want against popes and priests, but not here. I don't agree with parts of Catholicism - not surprising since I'm not Catholic - but I have immense respect for that religion and for my Catholic friends and want any discussions to be respectful, even when though I may disagree and may sometimes need to point out fundamental differences.

Comments with video links are also normally subject to instant deletion unless I'm in the mood to screen the video because I won't tolerate links to offensive material.

Sorry you're unhappy with that, but please, this is my blog and I don't have to tolerate completely off-topic comments that violate my policies.

Mormanity said...

Yes, there are some comments here that get a bit on the edge in terms of being off-topic or unfriendly, but it's a bit late to deal with some of them. I believe the only ones I've deleted were a few way off-topic anti-Catholic posts.

For future comments here, try to recall that this post is about Book of Mormon issues.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mormanity,

I am pleased that you read my comments, but if you take them as ranting then you clearly have no understanding of the Holy scripture yourself.

My mormon friends even understand the true nature of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation that point to the papal system and the evil undertones that have always been evident. My comments were raised as I was defending JS as not being influenced by other denominations or plaguerising scripture (if you read my previous posts), although I sincerely believe that he met with and received golden tablets from a fallen angel - not an angel from God.

Deception is everyhere (anything that takes one away from God's presence or diverts your mind from contemplating him is stealing precious time). It seems that both you and Catholic Defender are more interested in preserving your doctrinal denomination than hearing TRUTH and there is only one - that can be found in the WORD OF GOD.

If you don't like it then you too are deluded and your blog amounts to no value in terms of freedom of speech or opinion.

The right to reply to Catholic Defenders own questions in his comment would have been gracious on your part (with or without the links), but still it is your blog and I don't see his message deleted!

Christ will one day ask you about this correspondence - I hope that you have good reason to defend your decision and action taken.

I wrote out of Christian LOVE. I am not an extremist or anti-catholic. I too have many catholic and mormon friends. However, just as much as I disagree with the validity of the BOM and still have respect for the differences of my mormon brethren, the same opinion stands of the corrupt papal system that is responsible for millions of devout and sincere fellow Christians.

We all have a responsibility to speak in truth. I implore you to kindly reconsider my comments.

Anonymous said...

Dear Catholic Defender,

I did write a reply with reasons that was deemed by Mormanity to be unfriendly and anti-catholic. As I explained in my reply to Mormanity, I wrote out of Christian love and the 'right to reply' to you would have been gracious on his part. If he saw that you were offended (by your comments in reply back to me) then I agree that he would have every right to delete my messages.

Since my messages and questions back to you were based on Biblical texts, I do not see how they could be inflamatory, extremist or unfriendly.

Again, I implore you to contact Mormanity, get him to re-issue my message (without the html link if he doesn't like it), but still you would read the reply to your questions.

Mormanity - please allow Catholic Defender the right to read the answers to his questions. If he sees them as unfriendly or inflammatory then I can accept your original decision to protect your blog. You have read into a situation that isn't as you claim it to be in your response!

Anyone coming into the thread will think that I have been abusive to you, to catholic defender and this is simply not the case. Far from it. I never use abusive language in my conversation and personally find it repulsive and against everything that is spiritually requested of us as human beings.

You point out that this is a mormon based blog - where exactly do you think that the LDS church or any other protestant denomination came from ? - We DO owe a great deal to the catholic faith, however now, we all have relative freedom and the Bible to stimulate our intellectual brains to read and study for ourselves and not to accept that which the papal system would control us with (see history for evidence)! Like it or not it does and continues to affect us all !

Jesus was radical all through His ministry, behaving not as the world back then wanted to see as the 'Messiah' depicted from prophecy. However He spoke in ABSOLUTE TRUTH, and was crucified for doing so.

Come out of hiding from behind the comfortable facade of your website and your blogs, stop playing 'god' and try to understand Christianity from other angles - you may learn something new as I have stated before! Will you continue to delete comments just because you don't agree as a mormon? Isn't the world out there greater and larger than what you 'think' ?

Your blog - your ownership - your salvation !

Anonymous ^

Anonymous said...

Dear Mormanity and Anonymous Non-LDS Guy,

I actually agree with both of you. In all honesty, I was not offended by the anti-catholic posting. But you are correct, this is a pro-mormon blog. I got off track in responding to a posting I observed by continuing to respond to the responses I received. If I have offended, I sincerely apologize. I actually come here to learn, grow, and speak intellectually and spiritually with others. I do not share the mormon views, nor the protestant views, but I do what I can to tolerate the differences we have. I'm not always very good at that, but I do try to respect the other points of view.

I think the sincere problem we are experiencing here is different ideas about what the truth is. Jeff, your truth is the BOM. Non-LDS guy, your truth is of a protestant denomination, not sure which. My truth is that of a catholic perspective. I don't claim to have the entire truth. Neither of you can make that claim either. Perhaps sharing open dialogue we'll figure out what that truth is. That may occur. One thing I do know for certain is that God and Christ are real, and that is the truth.

Sincerely,

Catholic Defender

Mormanity said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mormanity said...

My blog - my ownership - my salvation. Hey, that's a cool tagline. Maybe I'll use it.

But I'm not interested in trying to dig up deleted anti-Catholic comments in a vain effort to contact our anonymous Catholic participant just to let him know that there are anti-Catholic sentiments out there.

Sorry, anon, this post is not about Catholicism. You are free to start your own blog, though.

The fact that Natalie's comments were deleted and reposted reflects the fact that her comments were actually highly topical. The fact that I think she writes really well, is intelligent, and has meaningful things to say didn't hurt, but the key was topicality: she post was actually motivated by some of her comments, and it really wasn't fair to leave them deleted because of a minor profanity problem.

Anonymous said...

Dear Catholic Defender,

I have found your comments to be honest, thoughtful and sincere. There is no malice in your text, as I hope you too will have read in my messages (the ones that have not been deleted). I can confirm to you that the nature and style was the same in the deleted text. It was the content of the Biblical texts quoted that Jeff / Mormanity saw as anti-catholic. Seeing as this is 'quoted' Biblical TRUTH (whether either of you like it or not), it did still have a place in this thread, especially since this thread is discussing the validity for the BOM for personal experience.

The Bible contains the WORDS OF GOD delivered by many 'men of God' recording the message as moved by the Holy Spirit.

BUT the BOM is simply an alternative testament translated by one man - Joseph Smith, who was moved by ....... ? An angel of light ? Well could it have been lucifer / satan / the dragon / that GREAT deceiver ? 13 million plus members LDS and counting as we speak - that's a GREAT number ! Having said that, I still believe that God can work a GREAT many miracles HIMSELF inside that faith, so how an individual uses his spirituality (one to one with his CREATOR) once he has found the LDS movement is paramount to his salvation (I am sure that many have found Jesus as the solution for their lives this way)! The key will be who or what is greater - love for God or love for the LDS movement.

I know that this is a pro-mormon blog, but when faced with many interlaced questions from Catholic Defender that are searching for replies and answers should one keep quiet for the sake of topicality....?

Jesus says in Luke 19:40: " I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out."

Catholic Defender - all I can say is keep searching and you will hear the answers from the stones themselves if it is God's will and purpose ! Jeff obviously is negatively stirred with any views that are alien to his own, so whilst he is intelligent enough to host topical discussion, he isn't honest enough to admit when words of 'truth' are being offered. One day he will be questioned directly for his actions by our Creator.

I have no intention of starting my own blog, mainly because I am not anti catholic as I stated before (but I think that that too was deleted) again in a vain attempt to irritate and make me out to be someone that I am clearly not. I simply do not accept papal authority based on Daniel and Revelation prophecy (see the little horn power) - does that make me anti-catholic ? !

I too came to this blog with a clear open interest to share and discuss, but not to have my humble opinions blatantly policed / deleted by a power hungry tyrant who clearly will not see the world from outside his comfort zone. The best that Jeff can do is to edit my text and add the thread back to the blog for you to view and make up you own mind.

Include a contact point in your next thread and I can contact you directly to answer the questions that you posed if you like ?

Anonymous ^

Mormanity said...

That's cute, anon. Looks like I've lost my salvation by deleting some inappropriate comments.

I'm all for people being fervent in their religion - but getting wound up about "exposing" other people's religions strikes me as unhealthy (though yes, I know it is always in the name of objective truth, love, compassion, etc.).

Mormanity said...

Anon, PLEASE DON'T ASK OTHER PEOPLE TO DO WHAT YOU ARE UNWILLING TO DO. You ask Catholic Defender to post his personal contact information so you can offer your anti-papal arguments. Look, if you want contact, PLEASE POST YOUR OWN CONTACT INFORMATION so he or she can approach you at his or her leisure.

As for your deleted comments, I'm not going to rewrite them for you and I don't even think I still have them anywhere if I wanted to. That's why it's best to get your own blog for that.

That's the end of this particular off-topic sub-topic.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mormanity,

Did I strike a raw nerve with you?

I didn't dare tell you that your salvation was lost - that is not my perogative - only Jesus Christ is your advocate and judge and able to make that decision for you. I only asked you to consider having good reasons for deleting words of Biblical TRUTH - you can't hide from that now. You must be feeling your own guilt, that's all. I wouldn't dare to condemn you.

I sincerely don't mind posting my contact details if it helps, however I really didn't want to be prejudiced against in this blog, just because I am not pro-mormon. As I stated before the world out there is bigger and greater than your community of believers and bloggers.

I am not 'fervent' in my religion, I am not extremist, nor am I abusive or use profanity. So again you have got me completely wrong and I would like that on record before it is signed off this sub-topic too.

I enjoy good honest debate with a freedom of speech. Because you don't like it and can not accept truth from the Bible, please don't take it out on me. If the Bible is prophecying against a corrupt Roman power in the end of time in Daniel and Revelation, then it can not be ignored or side-stepped, because it makes you uncomfortable or leaves a bad taste in your mouth. This is the real world and this is real life and the Roman power is real too funnily enough.

But again - I state finally - after all this I AM NOT ANTI CATHOLIC !

It is a shame that only you find more offence in the fact that these prophecies touch your raw nerve than my comments that the BOM is inspired by the 'great deceiver and father of lies'.

Very interesting.

You or Catholic Defender ARE WELCOME to contact me at teranno4x4@yahoo.com

This will protect your topic and refrain from future inappropriate content.

Thank you Jeff / Mormanity (whichever you prefer)

Anonymous ^

jessicavenson said...

Jeff: I am a woman who has known many denominations. I was raised catholic, went to a Presbyterian boarding school, studied the baptists and then decided to become non-denominational.(I'm sure you can see why) I know God exists as does Jesus Christ and I know that in order to be saved you must follow His teachings among other things. Recently I invited some Morman missionaries into my home to teach me a little of what the Mormans were about. After their lesons they would always tell me to pray about what I had learned and about the book of Morman and God would answer my prayers and let me know it was true. After four or five meetings I still wasn't sure what to make of your religion, but my mentality is to learn about each church so you can weed out what is not true. I finally went to a service and could not believe some of the things I heard. I do believe that the ward was very genuine and sincere in the belief that this church is the restored gospel. Everybody there was very nice. But I honestly think you all need to wake up!! I found the church to have cultish qualities as well as a lack in common knowledge of what the bible teaches. From my understanding the church has based most of it's beliefs on the book of Morman. I have no doubt that you are a God fearing man. In your blogs you seem very intelligent and kind as were the missionaries that came to my home. However, out of all the denominations I have studied, I find that the Morman denomination is farthest from the truth, the real truth. Jessica

Anonymous said...

"I found the church to have cultish qualities as well as a lack in common knowledge of what the bible teaches."

This is normal for people that look into the church just to pick at it and don't know the bible very well.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous of January 3, 2008

You're response to JessicaVenson is an interesting one. Its seems to me she raised an important point, only to recieve a non-answer and defensive response from you. The truth is, attending your services there is a cultish quality to the form of worship in the LDS church. That doesn't mean the LDS Church is a cult, it just means that the service has a cultish feel to it. Here's why I think there is a cultish feel to your services.

This past Sunday was fast and testamony Sunday. In that meeting multiple people stand before the whole church bearing their testimonies of the truthfullness of the BOM and Christ. In the past five years, I've attended a great many of these fast and testimony meetings. What seems to be a common thread in these meetings is people stand before the group, purporting to bear their testimony but then not saying what their testimony is. Its as if they are brainwashed repeating what has been told to them over the years without really knowing what it is they believe. That's how it appears from an outsider's perspective, though the reality may be that each of those persons bearing their testimony really does believe in Christ and really has felt his blessings. But that isn't how it comes acrossed when its conveyed.

Additionally, the LDS Church does put more emphasis on the BOM than it does on the bible. For example, this year the LDS Sunday school classes will be reading and focusing on the BOM. The preamble to that discussion in the Gospel Doctrine class is that the BOM is the Keystone of the LDS Church, without it, there would be no LDS Church.

In the future, it may be more beneficial to the discussion for you to actually respond, rather than just react as many mormons do... that is to say that this person with a legitimate question is just picking on me because I'm mormon. Maybe that is the case at times, but in most other occasions, people are asking a legitimate question because of misperceptions, misinformation, or legitimate concerns raised from dealing with LDS church members preaching their faith.

Catholic Defender

jessica said...

I was just able to go back and reread my original post and I want to apologize for what may have been perceived as an attack on the Morman Church. I am no Bible expert but I do believe I am fairly knowledgeable of the scriptures. I have been studying for quite some time now. I also want to thank the Catholic Defender because you "took the words right out of my mouth." When I attended the LDS Church for the first time the service they held was bearing testimonies which, I believe, occurs the first Sunday of the month. However, like I said before I'm sure that you and the missionaries I studied with are sincere in your beliefs and are to an extent great Christians. I almost want to say that it's not your fault. That the fault lies with your religous leaders whom are feeding their congregations these beliefs, most which are not supported by the bible. In the end however, you and everyone else including myself, will be held accountable. It is are job to study the bible, not the Book of Mormam, in order to know the truth.

Anonymous said...

"That the fault lies with your religous leaders whom are feeding their congregations these beliefs, most which are not supported by the bible. In the end however, you and everyone else including myself, will be held accountable. It is are job to study the bible, not the Book of Mormam, in order to know the truth."


I have to disagree that it is the fault of our religious leaders; this assumes we can't think for ourselves and implies we are mine dead cult. You may not agree with the way our church is ran but we decide if we want to belong or not. I am no longer a member but still agree with all that the church stands for and I know that the members can and do think for themselves.

We also back up most of what we believe with the Bible or the Early Church Father which are from the early Catholic church. What is not found in those documents we claim came through the restoration. Further, the Book of Mormon is established in the Bible.

Further if you read very much on this blog. then you can see we can think freely.

Mormanity said...

Catholic Defender makes a noteworthy point about the impact of some testimony meetings. When I was bishop, I repeatedly taught our congregation the importance of using the time in fast and testimony meetings for sincere, personal expressions of our faith in Christ and our faith-promoting experiences in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And I worked gently to discourage the occasional practice of some parents who "help" their very young children give their testimony by repeating a few of the parent's words, one phrase at a time. That really galls me because it is not a testimony and really does look ridiculous and manipulative.

"Suffer the little children," yes, but don't encourage them to come up and express a testimony that they don't have yet. And don't have them repeat someone else's words. Latter-day Saints object to what the Lord called "vain repetition" in prayer - why should we encourage it in testimony?

I think the repeated training about what a testimony is (and what it is not - not a travelog, not a time to whine about problems, not a time for doctrinal discourses and speculation, etc.) really helped. We tended to have testimony meetings where people were intelligently discussing their growth in the Gospel and the reasons for their beliefs, etc.

If you don't know what they are, a stranger walking into an LDS testimony meeting could easily think "cult!" because it may be way outside their experience and may look like a bunch of people talking themselves into believing. But it's a very Christian and Biblical concept of sharing faith and strengthening one another. When you understand that this is an unusual format, held just once a month, and is a time for people to share their personal thoughts and growing testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the visitor can then appreciate it for what it is, and know that most of our meetings do have more formal sermons - though they, too, are given by members of the congregation as assigned by the leaders of the ward, since we don't have a paid ministry and since we are all expected to help carry out the work of the Church.

Anonymous said...

Cult (religious practice)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"In traditional usage, the cult of a religion, quite apart from its sacred writings ("scriptures"), its theology or myths, or the personal faith of its believers, is the totality of external religious practice and observance, the neglect of which is the definition of impiety. Cult is literally the "care" owed to the god and the shrine. The term "cult" first appeared in English in 1617, derived from the French culte, meaning "worship" or "a particular form of worship" which in turn originated from the Latin word cultus meaning "care, cultivation, worship," originally "tended, cultivated," also the past participle of colere "to till". Thus in French, for example, sections in newspapers giving the schedule of worship at Catholic churches are headed Culte Catholique; the section giving the schedule of protestant churches is headed culte réformé.
By extension, "cult" has come to connote the total cultural aspects of a religion, as they are distinguished from others through change and individualization. Well-known global cults include Islam and Christianity.
The meaning "devotion to a person or thing" is from 1829, and from that connotation comes the modern meaning of "cult" as in a "cultist" or a "cult following". Cult and cultist have recently accrued negative connotations that are separately dealt with at the entry cult."

Let me first off state I do not feel attacked when people disagree with my religion or nor am I ashamed with how or whom we worship. I do feel compelled to defend against such words as cult, cults, or cult like (which I consider religious hate speech) because most of the general public only understand such words in the negative. I hope you are not offenced or hurt if I disagree that the LDS church fits the negative meaning of the word cult, regardless of how strange our practices or doctrines are.

Anonymous said...

"Additionally, the LDS Church does put more emphasis on the BOM than it does on the bible. For example, this year the LDS Sunday school classes will be reading and focusing on the BOM. The preamble to that discussion in the Gospel Doctrine class is that the BOM is the Keystone of the LDS Church, without it, there would be no LDS Church."

I don't understand the problem here. Your above statement is our position. Your church has the bible and if made up from the bible. The LDS church would not be if it was not for Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ showing Joseph Smith about the Book of Mormon. Again you passive agressive arguments show that you misstate our position. We feel that the Bible, BofM, D&C, and PofGP along with living prophets are of equal weight. However, with out the living Prophet the BofM would not be as important.

Anonymous said...

"that is to say that this person with a legitimate question is just picking on me"
After going back and reading the post again I did not see any questions to answer. And yes I feel picked on.

"That the fault lies with your religious leaders whom are feeding their congregations these beliefs, most which are not supported by the bible."
Again, I am not sure how to defend against this without some questions about our doctrine so we can support it with the bible.


"In the future, it may be more beneficial to the discussion for you to actually respond, rather than just react as many Mormons do... "
Most of the time I respond to questions, but the post that brought about my response was just criticisms, pejorative names, and lecturing us on how we need to change the way others would like. As far as change, unlike other churches we change when directed by our leaders and not because the members don't like something or members of another church think we should.
I know that some people have had misperceptions, misinformation, about the Catholic church just to be told it was "mud slinging" rather than coming to an understanding.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous of Jan 12, 2008,

I think maybe you're reading too much into my response when I pointed out that your church teaches that the BOM is the keystone of your faith. I actually wasn't saying anything more than that is what your church teaches. From my own perception of your faith, I see that as false doctrine, but if you're choosing to believe the BOM to be true, have at it. I think you're being mislead from everything I've learned about God and faith in my short lifetime, but feel free to be misled. The fact of your faith is, that without the BOM, your church could not exist. That's the only point I was making.

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

When I was growing up I attended the Church of Christ church in a town of about 100 people. There were three churches and one bar in town. It was very main stream normal worship. From my middle school through high school I went to Catholic Mass with friends and family members. This was in the good old days. The Priest dressed in most impressive robes, with incense burning, with exquisite statues and crufixes, Gregorian chanting and Our Lady of Guadalupe that is rooted in the ancient Mexican paganism of Tonantzin and Quetzalcoatl. The church families and small impressionable children, we would sit, stand, kneel to pray and repeat much of the Priest's words for word all as a collective in a secret foreign language. They followed a Pope that live in a far away land and they felt they must follow all his commands or perish in Hell Fire."Its as if they are brainwashed repeating what has been told to them over the (2000) years without really knowing what it is they believe."
They purported to be very sincerely devout and believed what they were worshiping but they had no personal interaction with each other or the service. Because of my friends and family I knew they were true believers, but from an outsider it appeared the group was just told to believe in Christ, Pope and Virgin Mary. I know this was not true but that isn't how it comes across when its conveyed to visitors.
During my time with this group no one ever stated emphatically that they believed in Christ as their Lord and Savior but they did have strong convictions in the (Universal) Catholic Church. Their alliance appeared to be to the Church.
I then found a Catholic Charismatic Renewal group that worshiped much different. This charismatic renewal is like the Pentecostal with prayer meetings featuring prophecy, speaking in tongues and healing with gifts of the spirit. This experience made me feel very uncomfortable.
I felt all these things were strange and if I had the vocabulary at my immature young age I would have call them a cult and I am sure in my immature ignorant age I said thing that hurt their feelings. But later as I matured I learned the true meaning of that word and realized that all religions are a cult.

Anonymous said...

Later in my life I found and joined the LDS Church. One of the hardest parts of my new found religion was that they required that you get involved. This was important for the growth of the saints and the function of the church because there are no paid priests. It was necessary to stand in front of the congregation as they stared at you and you give talks, taught classes, and gave your testimony. These stressful events can hardly be understood by people of other faiths and can be easily critized because of the unpolished members. Ho, yes, the testimony meetings. At times the saints would rush to the front and other times they would drag themselves forward on that special Sunday. The meetings varied greatly from ward to ward and city to city. Most members knew that their testimony were true because of the spirit they had felt, but they were of such a common lot they could not express their testimonies in a clear form, like a trained priest. Some would get off track and tell of their travels to see family or sick friends or express great sorrow because of their illnesses, but if one was listening carefully they would here in open public how they loved their wife, husband, and children. Many times if you were not being judgmental and were really trying to be sensitive to the spirit you could hear,"I love you" with apologies in their voice, because you knew that many were struggling to keep that love alive or had other difficulties in their families. Other times they made public confessions and apologies to family, friends and leaders of the ward for their weaknesses. Other times they would say or do some of the funniest thing that would just about make you fall out of your pew. Or they might make you feel uncomfortable because they would struggle to keep their composure or say something that hit to close to your own life and prick your heart because you knew that you are no better than they. Many were old and past their expiration date and could hardly keep their thoughts together so they could truly represent Gods church.
Then there was those sweet mothers and fathers, taking those sweet, sweet kids up front and helping them say a few words that will in the future be their foundation of their life. Again if you did not let your judgmental nature get in your way the Holy Spirit would fill your soul from the top of you head to the sole of you feet and burn your being to the very marrow of your bones, "for out of the mouth of babes." Of course we know the heart of all children and know they know nothing of Our Heavenly Father. I know many leaders have felt this is not appropriate to do with their little children but when I found myself on a mission as a young convert missionary I was so envious and proud of the missionaries that could stand up in front of 500 or 5000 and with clarity and bare testimony to Jesus Christ and His work. Did all know for sure it was true? I knew some that did not, but they were there doing their duty to Jesus Christ biased on faith and building a testimony. O' that I had a loving mother or father with a sure testimony of Jesus Christ that would have held my hand and get me started with a sure foundation.
I thank God as a young missionary, that I learned that He is in control, and although I was concerned what members might do when I brought family, friends and investigators to church; if they were true investigators then nothing would interferer. I learned that there is a necessary purging refiners fire or stumbling blocks that needs to take place at different stages of a persons religious progress before some are ready for the truth. I thank God that there are enough sensitive leaders that understand that not all the church members have any or equal testimony or the members are so inept that they can't be as a polished trained professionals an express only a pure testimony or they would be excluded from sharing their burdens of life. I am blessed of God that I went forward even if I looked ridiculous and others may have thought I had been manipulated into my testimony. I thank God that He has given His faithful ones the courage to come on Testimony Sunday even though we all would rather be doing much more fun things and try their very best to please even those that would consider their efforts in vain. Shame on all those that would embarrass the church by offending strangers and create a cult like meeting by following some strictly guided format, or whine, or get lost in a travelog, or wander of into doctrines that might be part of their testimonies.
Before removing my name from the member ship rolls I held few leadership roles and my biggest concern was that I would not act in away that would cause any members to feel they were not welcome if they were not complying fully with all the churches guide lines. I knew in my leadership role I could have a greater negative impact than just the regular members in non-leadership roles. I hold my gall for those members or leaders that in their prideful or arrogant ways drive members to leave the church. I no longer worry or care how the world views my church because the honest in heart will feel the Holy Spirit when they are ready.
If these are the signs of a cult then sign me up, but as for me I would never hurt or insult my friends or family of any faith by using such a word to describe their sacred faith.

Anonymous said...

"I actually wasn't saying anything more than that is what your church teaches."

Except... you are false.



"From my own perception of your faith, I see that as false doctrine, but if you're choosing to believe the BOM to be true, have at it. I think you're being mislead from everything I've learned about God and faith in my short lifetime, but feel free to be misled."

Have you read the Book of Mormon?"



"The fact of your faith is, that without the BOM, your church could not exist."

Not true. All that is needed is a living Prophet or Pope.

That's the only point I was making.

Points made.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous of January 17, 2008,

Yes, actually I have read the Book of Mormon. You believe it to be true. I believe that Joseph Smith plagarized huge portions of the Bible, and reworded them adding a few new hebrew sounding names so it would seem credible and published a falsehood upon christianity. That is what the Holy Spirit has revealed to me about the Book of Mormon. Is one of us completely right, probably not. Are we ever likely to agree upon these points, probably not.

I found your response pretty immature, and short sited. If you look at your own teachings, without the Book of Mormon you'd have no teachings about a living prophet or continued revelations. You'd never have had the Pearl of Great Price, or D & C, or revelations about baptism for the dead. You'd know nothing about temples and temple ordinances and covenants. Without your Book of Mormon, which is under your own teachings the keystone of your faith, you'd be just another group of protestants complaining that the Catholic Church is an abomination in the eyes of God. If you truly believe your own teachings, none of those revelations would exist without JS translating the Book of Mormon. That's the point I was making.

I would further add that you are wrong about all one needs is a pope or living prophet for the Church to exist. Christ's church will exist without either a pope or a prophet, and it will exist in spite of either of those persons. Christ's church is what we carry in our hearts and minds, not what some man wrote down in a book. Popes and prophets are merely spiritual leaders who have an ear with God about how to lead the faithful, they are little more than that. They are still human and still subject to bad judgement and poor decision making. Ultimately they are still fallible.

What isn't fallible is Christ's church. And his church is what we believe when we pray, its our faith. His church is how we act toward others, see the Beattitudes in Matthew. His church, is what we carry in our hearts with us every day of our lives. You can sit in your chapel week after week following your prophet's guidance and never belong to Christ's church if your heart and faith isn't in it. You could get your temple recommend and go to your temple and do your baptisms for the dead and it will mean nothing if your heart and faith aren't in it. I can attend mass every week and will mean nothing if I don't truly have Christ in my heart, mind, and actions.

Catholic Defender

Kiznohsma said...

Jesus of Nazareth was and is a real person. He is the Christ, the Savior of the world, in accordance to Heavenly Father's plan. This plan was laid out and every detail attended to before the world was spoken into being by His Word. He has one perfect plan. This Plan includes each and every individual person ever to have the privilege of taking so much as a single breath on this beautiful planet He created for us to dwell upon. That is One Christ, One Plan.

So, you see, it matters very little who, among our fellow tellurians, is "right" and who is "wrong." In the end--and we can be assured there will be an end--every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ, and it will His, the Living God's single perfect plan which will prevail through all the eternities to come. Our Mighty God esteems each of us as his dear child, whether we seek him in the capacity of Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddist, or if we choose to deny his existence. Each is infinitely dear to him.

There is One Lord, One Plan. Not your plan and my plan. For the sake of our personal joy, we, like Jesus of Nazareth, should be about the business of seeking to make Heavenly Father's plan, our plan, not the other way around. And although it is my personal belief that He does, indeed, care about our religious affiliation; however, He cares more about the way we, his children, conduct our business one with another. We are brothers and sisters in a very real sense. Perhaps if we could each put more energy into making room for, yea, even embracing one another's differences, then peace could reign over us.

Oh, wait! That, too, is part of the Savior's plan for our world. But first, the wicked will be burned as stubble. THEN Peace--the Prince of Peace--will reign. And there will still be but one plan. Not yours, not mine, but His.

Anonymous said...

In Catholic theology, papal infallibility is the dogma that, by action of the Holy Spirit, the Pope is preserved from even the possibility of error[1] when he solemnly declares or promulgates to the Church a dogmatic teaching on faith or morals as being contained in divine revelation, or at least being intimately connected to divine revelation. For all such infallible teachings, the Holy Spirit also works through the body of the Church to ensure that the teaching will be received by all Catholics.

Anonymous said...

CD, said...

"Christ's church will exist without either a pope or a prophet,..."




Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

Anonymous said...

Anyone that is willing to give up two years of their life to spread what they believe for the sole purpose of bringing joy to others, I will let them into my house. If missionaries show up at your house I ask you to be kind to them and they will be kind to you. Ask them to come in and if they want a drink. They'll talk to you about what's going on in your life and then ask if they can share a message. Listen politely and when they challange you don't have to accept but just please be kind. We've have had the missionaries at my house many of times and if you have a knowledge of God they can't change that. Praying about their book can't change that but I will say as a christian it is our responsibility to show christ like kindness.

Anonymous said...

CD, said:

*"Yes, actually I have read the Book of Mormon. You believe it to be true. I believe that Joseph Smith plagiarized huge portions of the Bible, and reworded them adding a few new Hebrew sounding names so it would seem credible and published a falsehood upon Christianity."
As normal, uninformed people that look at other religions just to cast disparages at them or make personal criticisms of their religions shows that just your cursory read thought the book hardly makes you an informed expert.
*"That is what the Holy Spirit has revealed to me about the Book of Mormon. Is one of us completely right, probably not. Are we ever likely to agree upon these points, probably not."
Here again your lack of experience makes you error. Yes one is right and one is told to stay in the Catholic church but this does not make the you wrong it makes you obedient to God. You could be completely wrong about the BoM but correct about being told to stay in the Catholic church. There is more than what you think the spirit has revealed to you. There are also all the other witness to the events of the BofM and revelations that happened to others in those early years of the church not just Joseph Smith.

*"I found your response pretty immature, and short sited. If you look at your own teachings, without the Book of Mormon you'd have no teachings about a living prophet or continued revelations. You'd never have had the Pearl of Great Price, or D & C, or revelations about baptism for the dead. You'd know nothing about temples and temple ordinances and covenants. Without your Book of Mormon, which is under your own teachings the keystone of your faith, you'd be just another group of protestants complaining that the Catholic Church is an abomination in the eyes of God. If you truly believe your own teachings, none of those revelations would exist without JS translating the Book of Mormon. That's the point I was making."
Again your lack of understanding and immature spiritual growth keeps you from coming to an understanding of the truth. We do not need the BofM as long as there is a living Prophet on the earth. The BoM is a second witness to the bible about Christ and gave us just a couple of the elements to the restored church. These elements are also found in the D&C and Pearl of Great Price and other revelations given to LDS Prophets other than Joseph Smith. Your immature understanding of your own church causes you to make false statements about our church which would be equally true about the Catholic Church. If your Pope were a true Prophet of God, God would give him continuing revelation and new scripture. Further, there could have been another record of God without the BoM.

*"I would further add that you are wrong about all one needs is a pope or living prophet for the Church to exist. Christ's church will exist without either a pope or a prophet, and it will exist in spite of either of those persons. Christ's church is what we carry in our hearts and minds, not what some man wrote down in a book. Popes and prophets are merely spiritual leaders who have an ear with God about how to lead the faithful, they are little more than that. They are still human and still subject to bad judgment and poor decision making. Ultimately they are still fallible"
You poor little Protestant. These are statements of a good Protestant but would not make a true Catholic, more like some happy go lucky gnosis. The Pope (LDS Prophet) is the assurance that the true Priesthood ( this is the authority to act in the name of or in the place of God for His Church) is on the earth to carry out the necessary 7 Sacraments for salvation. The Pope (LDS Prophet) speaks for God to all the church but "what we carry in our hearts and minds" is for your own personal revelation and not for the directions of the church. I know the LDS Prophets are fallible but the Pope is infallible.
Peter held this priesthood to carry out the 7 Sacraments for salvation.
Matt. 16:18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, 13 and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. 14 Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
"In Catholic theology, papal infallibility is the dogma that, by action of the Holy Spirit, the Pope is preserved from even the possibility of error[1] when he solemnly declares or promulgates to the Church a dogmatic teaching on faith or morals as being contained in divine revelation, or at least being intimately connected to divine revelation. For all such infallible teachings, the Holy Spirit also works through the body of the Church to ensure that the teaching will be received by all Catholics."
Canon 4 “If anyone shall say that the sacraments are not necessary for salvation, but are superfluous, and that, although all are not necessary for every individual, without them or without the desire of them, through faith alone men obtain from God the grace of justification; let him be anathema.”
"Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." (or Pope )

*"What isn't fallible is Christ's church. And his church is what we believe when we pray, its our faith."

You do not pray to the church or have faith in the church but to Christ. You do not need the church to pray or have faith we do need a Prophet for the Priesthood authority and new scripture.
*"His church is how we act toward others, see the Beattitudes in Matthew. His church, is what we carry in our hearts with us every day of our lives."
I know in this generation it is thought that everyone's opinions are important but nether your nor mine opinions is important. First Gods, The Prophets, Scholars, then ours. The church is here to carry out His work of getting all people to except the 7 Sacraments of Salvation not how sweet we can be to each other or in some peoples cases call names. Again your personal actions toward your fellow men is to prepare your heart to receive Christ's personal message to you and no church is required for this. But your heart needs to be prepared to obtain the 7 Sacraments. You can not carry out the 7 Sacraments of Salvation without the men holding the true Priesthood of God, from the Pope (Prophets) on down to the father of the house.
"You can sit in your chapel week after week following your prophet's guidance and never belong to Christ's church if your heart and faith isn't in it."
Again you know little of the scriptures. Even the person that is grungly obedient will be saved. We may not like what we are commanded to do but if we obey, nonetheless we will be blessed with the 7 Sacrament salvation.
Matt. 21:28 But what think you? A certain man had two sons: and coming to the first, he said: Son, go work to day in my vineyard. 29 And he answering, said: I will not. But afterwards, being moved with repentance, he went. 30 And coming to the other, he said in like manner. And he answering said: I go, Sir. And he went not. 31 Which of the two did the father's will? They say to him: The first. Jesus saith to them: Amen I say to you that the publicans and the harlots shall go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of justice: and you did not believe him. But the publicans and the harlots believed him: but you, seeing it, did not even afterwards repent, that you might believe him.
*"You could get your temple recommend and go to your temple and do your baptisms for the dead and it will mean nothing if your heart and faith aren't in it. I can attend mass every week and will mean nothing if I don't truly have Christ in my heart, mind, and actions."
Again this above statement is untrue. This was the point that one poster was trying to make earlier. Just because you may not have your heart into the work your very actions of going to mass or the Temple is showing you have some level of faith. Say life is so difficult for someone that they have no more faith or they don't necessarily believe as deeply as other faith filled members, if those with little faith are obedient servants they will be rewarded by Christ as those full of faith.

The pretty immature and short sited cultist.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous of January 23, 2008,

I've been pondering your statements and remarks for the last few days debating on how to answer, and in fact whether to answer them. I won't pretend to be some great biblical scholar, or even some well versed authority on papal authority and LDS Doctrine. I concede that I am not. Much of what I have to say, and have offered comes from my own experiences with God and Christ, and a development of my own faith and testimony over the years.

I actually am well aware of the doctrine of Papal Infallibility. Under Catholic Dogma, the Pope is pretty much incapable of making mistakes by virtue of the fact that he is guided by the Holy Spirit. Your own church teaches that its leaders are guided by the Holy Spirit and are therefore incapable of making mistakes. Seems like the teaching is something like God won't suffer to have his church misled. I may not have that completely right, but the general gyst of it is that your general authorities are unquestionably correct in thier teachings therefore you should follow thier teachings without question because you can rest assured that God won't allow you to be misled.

Look at history however and you will see that Popes have not been infallible, and Prophets have indeed been misled. The Spanish Inquisition is a pretty good example of where a Pope was greatly misled. Poligamy is a pretty good example of where your Prophet was misled and pretty much dead wrong as to what God was telling him. What does this say about the infallibility of our church leaders? It says they are human and subject to human imperfection. It also tells us that the dogmas and doctrines we hold dear, can be misinterpreted by the very leaders we follow. That is why our own faith and prayers are so important.

It really is true that it isn't enough to go through the motions of praying. You discount my suggestion that just going to the temple with your recommend in hand isn't enough. The fact is, you'r getting nothing out of the service if your heart isn't there, and God is getting nothing out of the service if your heart isn't there. I'm not talking about those times where faith waivers, or perhaps isn't as strong. Faith does follow an ebb and flow much like the tides do. I'm actually talking about just sitting and saying the words without any substance being given to the words.

I actually am not here to disparage your religion. My purpose is to learn a bit about my wife's faith so that I can understand her better. But along the way, I won't overlook the obvious shortcomings and contradictions your church poses. I will challenge you on your beliefs as to why the BOM is true, but I don't have to agree with you. I also will respect your right to believe in the BOM. What I won't do is endorse it as the Gospel of our Lord. The Holy Spirit has very clearly told me it is not.

catholic defender

Anonymous said...

CD, said:
*"I may not have that completely right, but the general gyst of it is that your general authorities are unquestionably correct in their teachings therefore you should follow their teachings "without question" because you can rest assured that God won't allow you to be misled."
This is incorrect in that we are told to pray, obey, and gain a testimony for ourselves. It has been said that God will not allow the church to be misled.
*"Polygamy is a pretty good example of where your Prophet was misled and pretty much dead wrong as to what God was telling him. What does this say about the infallibility of our church leaders?"
Next I would point out all of the great figures of the Bible who had multiple wives, namely, Abraham, Jacob, Moses for starters. Is there any where in the Bible that they are condemned for this practice? No, just the opposite. Abraham was promised posterity without number. Jacob became the bearer of that promise and was the father of the twelve patriarch whose descendants became the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Moses was chosen of God to deliver Israel from their bondage in Egypt. Sexual immorality is one of the sins for which God declared the death penalty as appropriate in the Old Testament. If these men we such immoral people, then do you really think that God would have chosen them for such great things? Obviously, polygamy, as these men practiced it, was not considered to be immoral by God.
Now we come to David. His example is the most instructive because this a place where God speaks fairly directly on the matter. Once again David had many wives. In this he did not sin until he decided to take the wife of another man, Bath-sheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite. This started with adultery and ended with murder. 2 Samuel 12:7-9 is, in part, God's condemnation as delivered by the prophet Nathan, "...Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; and I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon."
If Joseph Smith was a prophet, as I believe he was, then, when he said that he was commanded of God to do something, he was commanded of God to do it. David and Solomon fell under condemnation for taking wives that they were not given by the Lord. Joseph Smith would have fallen under condemnation if he had not taken wives as the Lord commanded.
I know about all the arguments against the above scriptures and examples many non-Mormon religious experts disagree on this bible subject. So who am I to say for sure from a scholarly point of view. Now we can say that this was why God let Joseph Smith be murdered. We will not know until we get to the other side or the individual will obtain a personal witness on this matter.
On such matters as polygamy I do not care, that is for them to answer, I have no desire to practice polygamy and do not know that this was a mistake. I never give it a second thought unless someone brings it up. Nor do I worry about what the Catholic church did or is doing unless it effected me personally. This is true for many of the decisions that have been made in the Old Testament or the Catholic church. If commanded to do this I would cross that bridge when I get there.
*"The fact is, you're getting nothing out of the service if your heart isn't there, and God is getting nothing out of the service if your heart isn't there."
Again I disagree. Just like you take a child to church and Sunday school even if they don't want to be there and my not have their heart or mind into it. God wishes us to be obedient until the day we can or are willing to open our hearts so we can obtain His Spirit. It is one of the commandments. It does not say just show up when or if you fill like it. This is true with all service. Why I disagree with this personally is that I don't like religion. This was one of the objections I had to joining the LDS church but because of the many over whelming spiritual experiences I am compelled to do my duty even if my heart is not into it. I have no idea if God gets anything out of it. I feel like Jonah and the whale. I find myself the reluctant convert.

*"I actually am not here to disparage your religion. My purpose is to learn a bit about my wife's faith so that I can understand her better. But along the way, I won't overlook the obvious shortcomings and contradictions your church poses."

I am not here to disparage you or your religion as a matter of fact I have great respect for the Catholic Church and feel that all other Christians religions own a great debt to the Jews and the Catholic Church for keeping the Holy Bible together so we can have it today. I think that after this life that all Christians will fall at the feet of Jews and Catholics and give thanks for keeping it safe for us today. I just feel the need to respond to those that post and name call or don't have the whole story straight or many times don't even know their own religion. I don’t expect anyone to be an expert but if someone post something that is misleading then it should be pointed out where the errors are. That goes for Catholic, LDS, or any other church or religion.
"catholic defender" As best as I can tell the Catholic church does not need defending. It has stood for over 2000 years.

I hope you enjoy your time on Jeff blog and it help you grow even closer to your wife. Also as I have always believed if the spirit told you to be a Catholic the last thing you should do is change for anyone until it does.

Anonymous said...

HI Again Anonymous,

I'll be brief today. I appreciate your comments and the spirit of debate. I'll try not to offend while I am here, though sometimes I do inadvertently because I enjoy the debate too much. I have a question for you that touches upon a comment you've made regarding polygamy.

Basically my question stems from this comment "If Joseph Smith was a prophet, as I believe he was, then, when he said that he was commanded of God to do something, he was commanded of God to do it. David and Solomon fell under condemnation for taking wives that they were not given by the Lord. Joseph Smith would have fallen under condemnation if he had not taken wives as the Lord commanded." I'm wondering if you've ever considered that maybe Joseph Smith was condemned for taking wives that weren't given to him. After all he was murdered in a most brutal fashion; and much of the bone of contention at the time of his murder stemmed from debate over polygamy. Perhaps God condemned him to death for engaging in polygamous practises. Just a thought for you to consider.

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

"Basically my question stems from this comment "If Joseph Smith was a prophet, as I believe he was, then, when he said that he was commanded of God to do something, he was commanded of God to do it. David and Solomon fell under condemnation for taking wives that they were not given by the Lord. Joseph Smith would have fallen under condemnation if he had not taken wives as the Lord commanded." I'm wondering if you've ever considered that maybe Joseph Smith was condemned for taking wives that weren't given to him?"

Yes. And a fallen Prophet does not void everything he did. Just like Christ talked of David will pay to the last penny for his crime all the good he did did not become void. If Joseph is a fallen Prophet it is between him and God. The same for any others leaders that have fallen.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

I think you are correct, just because a prophet has fallen, doesn't mean the work done has been negated. But, that assumes the person who did the work was in fact a true prophet. If on the other hand, the person doing the work was a false prophet, then your statement would be incorrect. So it really comes down to was JS a false prophet, or did he become a fallen prophet. We don't agree on that point.

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

Was David? and how do you know. Just because he is in the bible?

Anonymous said...

Hi Anonymous,

I'm not sure I understand your question, but I'll take a shot at it. If I follow your question about David, its was David a false prophet, or a fallen prophet? My answer is that David was neither, David was the king, appointed by God himself. He was Saul's replacement, and was chosen by God to lead his people. David was not a prophet at all.

David was however, God's appointed leader, and David faltered in that role with Bathsheeba. He gave into his human failings and he sinned. That doesn't make him a fallen prophet, it makes him a sinner just as you and I would be. From this vantage point, your comparison of David to JS is like comparing apples to oranges, they don't resemble each other except in shape.

Read on about David. He is an example to us of what not to do, but also of what to do when we do falter and fall into sin. David's story is as much a story of following God's direction as it is one of seeking God's forgiveness for our sins. Much of the guidance of the Psalms is about seeking God for forgiveness as well as for protection and guidance.

Your second question seems to be do I believe David's story because it appears in the bible. The answer is yes in part. But there's more to that answer. I believe David's story because I have found through faith and prayer that the Bible is a credible source. Its true. Part of that proof I find in the tangible information there is about the Bible, but the larger part of that is based on what I have come to realize from prayer. I have no doubt that the Bible is the word of God.

I don't find JS credible, I don't find the BOM, the PGP, or D & C to be credible sources of God's word. Every aspect of those documents, and JS testimony is suspect to me. That is the revelation I have recieved from prayerful consideration. I have no doubt that JS was a false prophet.

Anonymous said...

I meant to sign the above comment from Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

Not sure if this is the correct blog to post this but here goes. I read Jeff's article on the Bible and it's origins and to a degree he has some points. As a Baptist I have struggled with the issue. In the end a simple scripture cleared that up. The Lord says "I will preserve my Word." So that finishes the arguement for me. Also, when examining the validity of a translation of any kind one doesn't compare it to it's counter parts, one compares it to it's source. That's why I tend to favor more literal translations. (King James, New King James, etc.) For what it's worth, I will pose the question. Has this been done with LDS writtings? How accurate is the Book of Mormon when compared to the original? Doctrines and Covenants, etc?

Another issue I would like to address is Jeff's comment on the Bible not being the final authority. He says he believes the Bible isn't the final authority that God is the final authority. As a Baptist I believe this too, almost every religion will tell you God is the final authority. There is a real danger here. If we follow the logic Jeff is taking then the door is left wide open. What's to stop me from saying well I believe the Bible is good, the BOM is good but God revealed to me last night in a vision that once again all religions are wrong including LDS and I am going to give you a new Book to follow which voids or enhances all previous material? Shouldn't we all LDS or otherwise abandon our current beliefs and jump on the new revelation? No. You would say "What makes you qualify as a Prophet, why should I follow your teaching?" As well you should. Do you not think that God in his infinite wisdom didn't look down through the ages and see these issues arising? The way he dealt with it is by containing in the Bible truths that clarify these issues. If you can't accept that the Bible is infallible then you are open to anything. You either have to accept it to be infallible and complete or open yourself up to Universalism. You become your own worst enemy because again because what's to stop me from saying "I know the revelation I had was true regardless of what your book says? My final authority is God and he speaks through me." Where do you go to disprove me? Your left with nothing because your logic has rendered the Bible and the BOM as impotent in the arguement. We as Baptist are taught to measure everything to the Bible. For example in the example I gave earlier, if I did have such a vision I am taught to go to the Bible and search it to ensure the vision was from God, with lots of prayer for wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit of course. If it isn't there then the vision or revelation can be dismissed. This is the danger of discrediting the Bible, you leave yourself with no authority and are open to believe anything. It is clear to me that if you can declare the Bible is incomplete then it's pretty much open season. For example the Apostle Paul declares that if anyone preaches you a gospel other than the one we brought to you, whether it be a man OR ANGEL then this can be easily discredited if you believe the Bible isn't the full, complete Word of God. I can say "That's not what he meant, here let me clear that up for you by the revelation that God gave me recently.

This is the danger of discrediting the Bible. In the end you are left with Universalism and a dependence on fallible man to be God's voice on earth. Catholism will tell you the Pope is God's voice on earth, other religions will do the same. Again God in his wisdom saw this coming long before we did and preserved his truth in the Bible. By his ordination it will never be cast down and the very gates of Hell will not prevail against it. Man will not be able to take away whether through translations or otherwise. Countries that have tried have found themselves desolate. It stands to date as the number one selling book in the world. It is complete and stands as the measuring stick for which every Christian must judge truth.

Anonymous said...

"What's to stop me from saying well I believe the Bible is good, the BOM is good but God revealed to me last night in a vision that once again all religions are wrong including LDS and I am going to give you a new Book to follow which voids or enhances all previous material? Shouldn't we all LDS or otherwise abandon our current beliefs and jump on the new revelation? "


I would say if you or anyone else prayed about it then follow it. The Mormons never say to follow them blindly but always pray and follow the spirit. The Catholic Defender said he prayed and God told him to follow a different path. As a convert I took a number of paths to get to the LDS church and took and number of paths after to learn more about other religions. I have concluded that not everyone should be LDS. God has made each persons live made just for them. If the LDS church is true and someone prayes about it and is told not to join I have learned that they are not ready. They may not be ready untill after this life. God knows each of us and He will do everthing to us to have us prepaired to return to Him if we want to follow Him. Not everyones path is a straight line to Him.

Anonymous said...

"...preserved his truth in the Bible."

We do not say that the bible is not true just that there is more truth to be had. The bible uses about 2500 different words to express it ideas. God has a much larger vocabulary and does have much more for us to know but if you are not willing to learn then you are stuck in the same place until you are willing to except more. Just look at the change for the Old Testiment to the New Testiment and the change that was necessary for the Jews of that day.

Anonymous said...

CD, said:

"I don't find JS credible, I don't find the BOM, the PGP, or D & C to be credible sources of God's word."




But John A. Wilson an Egyptologist out of Chicago, who was well qualified
to caution critics, noted that scholarship requires a more responsible
analysis than "a lot of indignant snorts" ("Thousands of Years: An
Archaeologists Search For Ancient Egypt", p. 176) Wilson added that
"the Mormons will survive this criticism because: Egyptologists can claim
no inspiration. We can only scrape the surface meaning. If Joseph Smith
was a prophet, he was an instrument of divine authority, so that he
might find the deepest meaning." (Wilson, "Ibid"., p.174, 176).


We must becareful not to judge something that we do not understand even if God tells you not to be a part of it.

Anonymous said...

I came to the BofM by praying about the first vision of Joseph Smith. The BofM was secondary because to me the vision of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ was the most impressive event I had ever heard about. I have always wondered how I could know the BofM was true or a reasonably accurate record of a family of Jews that fled into the wilderness for religious freedom. Although there was many methods I could employ to try to determine if this book was accurate, I was interested if there are any parallels from the middle east biblical time to examine the record of Joseph Smith against.

I tried to read two approaches to the Book of Mormon, the one which claims a 19th century view of the origin and the ancient view. I find that the ancient view has at least as many supports as the Joseph Smith environmental view. The one BIG problem I feel however is that the environmental view does NOT explain any of the ancient parallels, but just ignores them. One of the best examples to look at are the Dead Sea Scrolls. The ancient parallels ARE telling indeed! How does it happen that there are not just one or two or three but dozens of similarities between the communities at the Dead Sea and those in the Book of Mormon?

It is interesting to some that the people of the Dead Sea Scrolls also called themselves Latter-day Saints. These individuals believed themselves tied to the prophets and the covenant (hence the name Saint) and anticipated the imminent coming of the messiah (hence the term Latter-day).

With the parallels continuing to pile up I wonder when it will be noticed that the BofM contains and is an authentic genre of literature from the Near East, much more so than a book form Joseph Smith's environment.

I found many more parallels but more impressive was that when the Dead Sea Scrolls first came out all the religions and churches rushed to see if their version of Christianity or Judaism fit what they found. When they had studied the scrolls and the people of the Dead Sea one Catholic scholar quipped "you might as well call them Mormons and be done with it." Now I would not expect anyone to rush out and join the LDS church because of this anymore than this Catholic scholar did but many more scholars are not so quick to dismiss Joseph Smith as a fraud but as a enigma that has no easy answer.

For those lay persons and amateurs that wish to declare Joseph Smith a fraud they would do well to look at such articles as:


Mormon Scholarship, Apologetics, and Evangelical Neglect:
Losing the Battle and Not Knowing It?

Carl Mosser is a recent graduate of Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California, where he earned masters degrees in Theology, New Testament, and Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. Paul Owen is a Ph.D candidate at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where he is studying in the department of New Testament language, Literature, and Theology.

As this article points out that there is a difference between the authors that promote criticisms that have ether long been refuted and some that are sensationalistic while others are simply ridiculous reducing their criticism to name calling. Those true scholars that are honest do not reduce to name calling as "Joseph Smith was a fraud."

Anonymous said...

"That is the revelation I have recieved from prayerful consideration. I have no doubt that JS was a false prophet."


I have had people tell me that they have prayed and were told by God that Jesus Christ was not the Son of God. I know that they are wrong so should I believe them or what God has told me? So if you have prayed that Joseph Smith was a false prophet but I have prayed and God has told me that he is then should I believe you or God? Just because God wants you to stay in your faith does not make Joseph Smith a false prophet.

Anonymous said...

A religion that claims to be true must be based upon truth. Christianity not only claims to be true, it claims to be based upon actual historical events. For Christianity to be true, it must be based upon actual historical events
Professor Greenleaf states, “In examining the evidence of the Christian religion, it is essential to the discovery of truth that we bring to the investigation a mind freed, as far as possible, from existing prejudice, and open to conviction. There should be a readiness, on our part, to investigate with candor to follow the truth wherever it may lead us, and to submit, without reserve or objection, to all the teachings of this religion, if it be found to be of divine origin.”

Greenleaf wrote The Testimony of the Evangelists Examined by the Rules of Evidence Administered in Courts of Justice, a volume in which he examined the legal value of the apostles’ testimony to the resurrection of Christ. He observed that it was impossible that the apostles “could have persisted in affirming the truths they had narrated, had not Jesus actually risen from the dead, and had they not known this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact.”



Sir Edward Clark -- a prominent lawyer in Great Britain "As a lawyer, I have made a prolonged study of the evidences for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. To me, the evidence is conclusive; and over and over again in the high court, I have secured the verdict on evidence not nearly so compelling. The Gospel evidence for the resurrection I accept unreservedly as the testimony of truthful men to facts that they were able to substantiate."

As Smith finished the translation of the plates, he revealed that witnesses would be asked to testify to their existence. In June 1829, two sets of witnesses, the Three Witnesses and a separate group of Eight Witnesses signed joint statements, written by Smith, which were subsequently published with the text of the Book of Mormon The Three Witnesses—Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris—affirmed that an angel had descended from heaven and presented the plates, which they saw but did not touch. Then they heard a voice from heaven declaring that the book was translated by the power of God and that they should bear record of it. The Eight Witnesses were members of the Joseph Smith and David Whitmer families. Like the Three Witnesses, the Eight signed a joint statement that they had seen and, in their case, hefted the plates.


I believe the bible to be true from the above statements and proofs. If the Bible is true based on such legal facts then the Book of Mormon must also be true seeing that at least 20 eye witnesses to it and angels also confirm the same legal facts. If you except the bible then you must except the Book of Mormon.

Anonymous said...

The Lord says "I will preserve my Word." So that finishes the arguement for me.


Unable to locate this scripture?

Anonymous said...

"Also, when examining the validity of a translation of any kind one doesn't compare it to it's counter parts, one compares it to it's source. That's why I tend to favor more literal translations. (King James, New King James, etc.) For what it's worth, I will pose the question. Has this been done with LDS writtings? How accurate is the Book of Mormon when compared to the original? Doctrines and Covenants, etc?"
We do not have the Gold Plates but some of the papers Joseph Smith scribes put to paper remain. As far as the D&C we also have some of those orginal papers. For both of the above no translations are needed because they are in english. But one interesting point is that the scribes papers of the BofM retranslate back in to Hebrew very well.
I will pose the question: which copies of copies did you use to get to your accurate King James version?

One basic problem inherent in Bible translation is that we do not have the original manuscript of the Bible, but copies of copies of copies.
However, translating the Bible is not an easy task, since there are many problems inherent in Bible translation. If we think how hard it is to translate modern languages into English, then how much more difficult it must be to translate 3,000-year-old Hebrew and 2,000-year-old Greek!
One basic problem inherent in Bible translation is that we do not have the original manuscript of the Bible, but copies of copies of copies... and this causes many problems because translators do not know which of all these copies is correct and which is not, since none of them are identical.
The differences are not very significant in the Old Testament, but they are in the New Testament. According to research, "about 3 per cent of the Bible's texts varies across all the manuscripts. Nowadays, we have about 1,500 complete or partial manuscripts of the New Testiment.
There are two main approaches to solving this problem. The more common one is called the ecletic approach. Scholars put together a text from all the available manuscripts using various rules to sort out differences. For example: what do the oldest manuscripts say? What do the majority say? What do the best say? Which reading is more likely?
"If you can't accept that the Bible is infallible then you are open to anything."
That is the point and if you except it as a closed book you are closed to any new revelation from God.
Amos 3:7
7Surely the Lord God will do nothing without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets
7 Indeed, the Sovereign Lord never does anything
until he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets.
7Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
So the trick is to determine if a prophet is speaking to you today just as you need to determine if the Bible is true.

Jessica said...

Dear Jeff. I have a question. Can you really base truth on a feeling? If I understand correctly, (and please correct me if I'm wrong), then the LDS church says that once you have read, pondered, studied the BoM, you pray and ask God to reveal the truth to you, and then you FEEL that the book is true. No more questions asked.
But have you read Jeremiah 17:9? Let me quote it to you, in KJV.
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
And 1 Thessalonians 5:21 (again, in KJV (isn't that the only version the LDS church recognizes? again, correct me if I'm wrong)) says: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
So it says that God wants you to prove all things, but don't trust the heart because the heart can decieve you. Correct? Please tell me what you think.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I have been searching for a site that I might find some response to a question I have from some one like you, a very knowledgeable true believer.

I was raised in the church and went with my parents every Sunday until I was about 14. At that time my parents allowed myself and my younger brother to stay home from church if we wanted to due to our Bishop being very mean to us by making fun of our appearance and dress (we were poor). He said it was because he loved to see us "blush" but I feel it was something much more than that. At that time due to the treatment I felt we got from the church I fell away from it and went my wicked way as a teen.

I became pregnant at 20 with the man I was dating for 3 years and we got married. Having been raised in the church all the teachings told me I had to have my son sealed to me or he would not be mine. I went through the motions and was sealed to my husband and son within the next year. I have to say that I was NOT prepared for the temple. I felt I had joined a cult and then quit attending the church again shortly after.

I still keep going through some of the motions. I have taken my kids to church on and off. They were baptized. I was even a Sunday school teacher but had to stop because I felt I was leading them astray. How can I teach innocent believing children something I am not sure I believe?

At this time I am torn. I WANT to believe, but my stupid doubtful mind keeps butting in. Why this and why that? It can't be true due to this and that. The battle never ends for me.

My biggest struggle is over Joseph Smith at this time. I feel that the book of Mormon is real scripture and translated by JS correctly. However, I am conflicted in believing the man was a true prophet due to his secret polygamy (and how all that came about, poor Emma) and the scripture in the D&C seeming to follow JS's wishes and beliefs.

I would like to know how YOU feel about what he did after the translation was complete. Did he fall away and follow the weakness of the flesh or do you believe it is true doctrine of god? If so is our religion really right if we follow the entire teachings of JS?

I sure envy you your strong belief and wish my doubtful mind would be put to rest. I want to believe!

I hope you don't just find my rantings annoying and decide to ignore them. I really am searching for some answers I can't seem to answer myself.

If you can't answer I would at least love some inspiration as to where to look for help. I am a very shy (more like introverted) person and it is very hard to speak to anyone about this. Going to the bishop is just not an option I can take at this time emotionally.

Are there some really good online resources for me to study that might answer my questions? When I Google it usually sends me to an anti Mormon link....and that is the last thing my flicker of faith needs at this time.

Thanks,

collegechristian said...

Jeremiah 17:9

Anonymous said...

"I would like to know how YOU feel about what he did after the translation was complete. Did he fall away and follow the weakness of the flesh or do you believe it is true doctrine of god? If so is our religion really right if we follow the entire teachings of JS?"

My quick answer is that Joseph Smith said is follow the 12 and they will not lead you wrong. I don't think there is any easy quick answer. As a convert of 30 years I have gone through the thing you have written about. I have been blessed with many spiritual experiences that I don't really care what Joseph Smith did for he will have to answer God. And yes the temple was a little of a shock but the more I studied the more started to understand. If you think our temple is a shock think about the Jewish temple. Same God but very different temples. I wished I had more time and space but if you contact Jeff Lindsay I am sure he can help. He has a lot of information in this blog. I just pray you will pray day and night and keep bugging God until He gives you a witness and just let the rest work it out over time.

Anonymous said...

"However, I am conflicted in believing the man was a true prophet due to his secret polygamy (and how all that came about, poor Emma) and the scripture in the D&C seeming to follow JS's wishes and beliefs."

Just as King David, when the Lord wants to remove a king or prophet he will. If anyone causes us to do something against God and we trully do not know any better then it is on them. In this time I don't see where Joseph Smith is asking you to do anything that should be a problem. Even the temple has been changed so some of the things that were a problem and were hard to see why we were doing them are gone. I know that our concerns are real but some times we need to make sure that we are not just looking for reasons to not do what we are commanded to. Again gain a spiritual wittness then always keep looking to this when conflicts show up.

Anonymous said...

Jessica, said:

"No more questions asked."

I am not sure which church you belong to but as a 30 year convert I have always been told to pray about everything. Someone must have told you wrong.

Prove all things, hold fast to those things that are true.

Anonymous said...

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

So let me get this right, you never trust your feelings? Strange!

Anonymous said...

Jessica, said:

*"Dear Jeff. I have a question. Can you really base truth on a feeling? If I understand correctly, (and please correct me if I'm wrong), then the LDS church says that once you have read, pondered, studied the BoM, you pray and ask God to reveal the truth to you, and then you FEEL that the book is true. No more questions asked.
But have you read Jeremiah 17:9? Let me quote it to you, in KJV.
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"


Have you read Luke?


13And, lo, two of them were going on during that day to a village, distant sixty furlongs from Jerusalem, the name of which [is] Emmaus,

14and they were conversing with one another about all these things that have happened.

15And it came to pass in their conversing and reasoning together, that Jesus himself, having come nigh, was going on with them,

16and their eyes were holden so as not to know him,

17and he said unto them, `What [are] these words that ye exchange with one another, walking, and ye are sad?'

18And the one, whose name was Cleopas, answering, said unto him, `Art thou alone such a stranger in Jerusalem, that thou hast not known the things that came to pass in it in these days?'

19And he said to them, `What things?' And they said to him, `The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who became a man -- a prophet -- powerful in deed and word, before God and all the people,

20how also the chief priests and our rulers did deliver him up to a judgment of death, and crucified him;

21and we were hoping that he it is who is about to redeem Israel, and also with all these things, this third day is passing to-day, since these things happened.

22`And certain women of ours also astonished us, coming early to the tomb,

23and not having found his body, they came, saying also to have seen an apparition of messengers, who say he is alive,

24and certain of those with us went away unto the tomb, and found as even the women said, and him they saw not.'

25And he said unto them, `O inconsiderate and slow in heart, to believe on all that the prophets spake!

26Was it not behoving the Christ these things to suffer, and to enter into his glory?'

27and having begun from Moses, and from all the prophets, he was expounding to them in all the Writings the things about himself.

28And they came nigh to the village whither they were going, and he made an appearance of going on further,

29and they constrained him, saying, `Remain with us, for it is toward evening,' and the day did decline, and he went in to remain with them.

30And it came to pass, in his reclining (at meat) with them, having taken the bread, he blessed, and having broken, he was giving to them,

31and their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, and he became unseen by them.

32And they said one to another, `Was not our heart burning within us, as he was speaking to us in the way, and as he was opening up to us the Writings?'

I tell you that if you ask Our Father in Heaven in the name of Jesus Christ if the restored gospel is not true and ask for this burning of the heart Our Loving Father will show you.

tinahurler said...

Just a quick question what language did Jesus speak?

tinahurler said...

Just a quick question what language did Jesus speak?

Anonymous said...

The language of God.

Mormanity said...

Aramaic (similar to Hebrew) was the spoken language of his place and time. So Aramaic and Hebrew, at least.

Anonymous said...

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. Prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Are we called to follow Joseph Smith , or are we called to follow Jesus? Did Joseph Smith die on the cross for my sins or did Jesus? Did Joseph Smith walk as Jesus walked? Did Jesus look at stones for advice, or was He inspired by the Holy Spirit? Did Jesus go treasure hunting for a living or is He the Treasure of God? If your okay with putting Joseph Smith on the same level as Moses, Isaiah, John the disciple and Paul the Apostle, then pray for growing discernment between truth and error. Don't rely on your bishop to tell you what is right or wrong, rely on Jesus. Don't put books and opinions of men above or equal to the Living Word of God. Seek with an open mind, don't ever put church ahead of God. If you love God, you cannot in the same breath hate/hold grudges in your heart against your neighbor, no matter what church he/she fellowships at. We are all called to love righteousness and hate lawlessness. I love and pray for all, God Bless!

Anonymous said...

"Did Joseph Smith walk as Jesus walked? Did Jesus look at stones for advice, or was He inspired by the Holy Spirit?"

I have it on good authority that Joseph Smith died and now lives in good standing with Jesus Christ and I know this by the gift of the Holy Spirit that Christ gave as a gift of advice.

Fox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fox said...

I posted a comment with an experience I had, though maybe better left not revealed... it really makes many mormons uncomfortable so I shall avoid the subject of the Heavenly Mother unless Jeff says its okay to be in his blogs.

Fox said...

Here this is still a touchy subject, but not so touchy as the Mother =P

Ok first off, this is not anti-mormon crap (which I loathe) these are my very personal questions about the Mormon faith. Im very sincere in my approach to Mormonism, quite frankly because I identify with most of its concepts and morals. So please know that these questions, though they are of a curious nature, are purely from my own thoughts and I would deeply value any wise insights. Please keep in mind that I have asked quite a few Mormons these same questions, most of whom gave me very basic answers which do not satisfy. I do not fault them for not having well thought answers. I understand that some Mormons will not have difinitive answers to some of the more inquisitive questions. But my hope is that this will reach someone who has thought about these things... maybe someone who took a look under the same rock as me. And please know that I am basing my questions on what I have learned personally, from my own studies on mormon doctrine, attendance to church meetings, and discussions with devout mormons (bishops, missionarys, home-teachers, common members etc). So to those very scholarly Mormons, please feel free to correct my questions if they have incorrect doctrine within them, or any common misconceptions you detect. I am just trying to understand and find the correct doctrine on the subject matter below, not to prove it wrong or right. It is ofcourse a matter of faith in the end... and I have respect for that.



My first question deals with the beginings (of God's created children) in the pre-existance. Im sure it is commonly understood that there was a council in the pre-existance, according to mormon doctrine, which we (disembodied spirits at the time) were present for, or had a part in. Our desire was to become like our heavenly parents, and so our elder spirit brothers Jesus and Lucifer (and possibly others?) devised plans. Two plans to be exact. Jesus had one plan, and Lucifer another. In Lucifer's plan, we would all take on mortal bodies to live and die on the earth, without the agency of free will to sin, therefore being forced into a celestial state after death. On the other hand, in Jesus's plan, we would all take on mortal bodies to live and die on the earth, with the agency of free will to sin. But Jesus knew that every single one of us would sin, so he volunteered to take all those sins upon himself in the flesh vicariously, which would eventually enable us to reach a celestial state like our heavenly parents. Only His intension was to glorify the Father, not himself. And Lucifer on the other hand wanted to be worshipped as a god, and keep the glory for himself. Ok heres where it gets tricky for me. In order for Jesus's plan to work, an opposition was needed. Someone needs to do the tempting on earth, otherwise he wouldn't need to die for anyone. This would imply that Lucifer had a part to play in Jesus's plan, as that nessecary opposition. But wait... what about poor ol Lue? That plan had him preconcieved as a villian. Else-wise it had someone concieved as the opposition... but who? This puzzles me. Even makes me wonder if Lucifer's plan was all that bad. So can anyone make this more clear for me? Is this a valid question, or am I missing some information about the pre-existance?



The other option, is that we do not need opposition to sin at all... that by default we know right and wrong, and can choose to do either without an opposing force. Which would explaine why Lucifer had pride enough to want all that glory, and why 1/3 of us sided with him. But if this is the case... then why is Lucifer here tempting anyone at all? And if Lucifer really wanted to thwart Jesus's plan, then why not do everything in his power to prevent the crucifixion and atonement? The devil was said to be with Judas around the time Judas betrayed Christ, if I remember correctly. This just sounds very counter-productive for a being so intelligent.



Which brings to me to another question. Lucifer is described as a being of great intelligence and power... one of the Father's firstborn, the "son of the morning". The "Lightbringer" or "Lightbearer". Why would a being so divine choose to be miserable? Why would he fight a battle with a definite knowledge that he cannot win? Why would he even want to hurt any of his little brothers and sisters... even to an eternity of damnation? I mean ETERNITY. What is the life-span of a human compared to eternity? Why would loving eternal parents, God and Goddess, with infinite understanding, damn anyone to an eternity of misery for mistakes made over the course of 100 years or so in a temporal body? Or even for sins in the pre-existance for that matter... like pride. That seems too contradictory to the nature of a God. How is it even possible to really offend a God in the first place? It doesn't make much sense to me that beings of a finite comprehension, like humans, would be judged so eternally, infinitly, for finite deeds done in a finite comprehension/body.

I have more questions but I think I have asked too many for one blog as it is haha. So my other questions will have to wait for later.

Lamdaddy said...

Fox,

I think your questions are really good, thought provoking questions that I have wondered myself before. I'm glad that you at least have a very good understanding of the doctrine already and that everything you said was correct. I'll share with you some thoughts of mine, though they are nothing authoritative.

Our scriptures state that God's ultimate purpose for his children is to become like he is and partake of His glory (through the grace of Christ). We don't believe that God made us because He was lonely and wanted us around, but because wants us to be happy and give us all that he has. If God is good, surely He wants us to be like He is. I'm not going to go into that more, but it is what we believe and its in all of the scriptures. Christ understood His Father's plan and knew that we could only achieve this if it was our choice to do so. Satan's plan contradicted the very purpose of our creation and existance by taking away our choices. Understanding what the purpose of our existance is is the key to understanding this. So his plan really was bad because we wouldn't have grown or had a chance to follow the Father's plan of salvation for us.
That said, I have also wondered what would have happened had Satan chosen not to rebel. Well, a whole third followed Satan's philosophy. I like to think of the war in heaven like a war would happen here. Those spirits had a philosophy that was contrary to God's plan and followed their leader. They weren't duped. They knew what the consequences would be. I think that if Lucifer wouldn't have led this revolt, one of the other third would have.
Interestingly, I talked to a devil worshipper once and asked why they worship the devil (you obviously acknowledge a belief in Christ) and they said that he is just as important in God's plan as Jesus. Obviously not true, but Satan does play a role in the destiny of mankind. I think that God knew that there would be opposition to his plan. He let the envitable dissenters buffet the children of man. It just our nature. But He still let them and us make our own choices, and they chose darkness and misery and evil. Misery meaning shut out from God and from the ability to grow to their potential. And Satan, being evil and selfish, seeks for all to be like he is. He has power and has dominion over those who follow him. He couldn't have his way and he was not going to be subject to Christ. Humility and love (not pride and hate) are required to live with God and receive of His glory, but Satan is obviously devoid of these things. I don't think he really decided "hey, I want to be miserable for eternity." Its just what he is, just like how God is love. Why would any person choose to be miserable? And yet we do. God's plan is a plan of happiness, and those who act against it bring unhappiness upon themselves. It's really a beautiful plan. Also note that in no place does any of our doctrine teach that Satan has a definite foreknowledge of all things, nor does he know all things. He might be intelligent enough to decieve souls and smart as to the things of this world, but beyond that I don't know.

For the second part, I glory in the knowledge that our Heavenly Father is merciful to those who seek his mercy, and he is a righteous judge. To demonstrate his mercy, prophets in our time have taught that men will be judged according to their deeds, and have a place prepared for them where they belong. I strongly encourage you to read Doctrine and Covenants section 76, which was a revelation regarding the Kingdom of God and the "degrees of glory." It's not straight heaven and hell. And I don't really believe that God really "damns" people. I think that they do it themselves, when they chose to break the commandments of God and live contrary to the plan of happiness. Its your choice. It's my choice. Who you are and what you desire determines where you go. And God sent his Son to atone for our sins and to be an example for us--teaching us what we must to recieve eternal life. He did what for us what we could not do. He has told us what we in turn need to do to recieve all that the Father has and invites EVERYBODY to do so.
Now I know that talking about salvation will spark debates, as I have already seen on this blog almost all the time. But I believe in this plan. The scriptures--even the Bible, which I love--teaches many of these things. But thes truthes were lost and have been restored. To me it makes the most sense and satisfactorily answers all of the important questions. I hope this is helpful in some way. It felt good to express at least.

Lamdaddy said...

To Jeff---
Just to tie into the topic, what I wrote about is one of the biggest reasons why I still believe so strongly in the Book of Mormon today.

I have just started reading your blog but have read from your site for many years (started when I was on my mission) and appreciate what you do and how you present things.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jeff,

Thank you for your blog. I live in India, it's 3:00 am, and I'm sitting up searching for some answers to give to a non-member friend tomorrow. Reading through your blog inspired me, gave me exactly what I was searching for. I love the gospel and the Book of Mormon. I will continue to read your blog.
Vickie

Anonymous said...

So I stumbled across your blog somehow, and read through several of the comments but NONE of them made the point I'm interested in hearing you respond to. Maybe they were amongst the deleted ones. I don't have a problem with other forms of Christianity (I am Catholic). However, I have a huge gaping problem with a church that bases its docrine on a book that is not supported at all by science. The Catholic church pours considerable money into research (SCIENTIFIC!) every year. We welcome archeological scrutiny. We often initiate it ourselves. The BOM is not supported by a shred of evidence, though it makes many claims that should be provable. There is no evidence of any Jewish immigration to the Americas, or of any animals that are referred to by the BOM. Did you know honey bees were brought over by colonists? Yet they are referred to in the BoM. And a thousand years before they actually existed in America! Along with several other forms of fauna and animals. There have been no findings of any of the cities in the BoM, though there have been many ways to prove the testimony of the Bible. Also, the BoM references many of the novels that were being published at the the time, and does not have a consistent author tone, mostly because Joseph Smith was copying out of other books. Also, the LDS chuch has revised this so called "Holy Book" so many times its ridiculous. So, how does your "burning in the bosom" stand up to science? I really do want to know. I personally cannot believe a faith that has so much humanity in it, and so many errors that can be proven by humans, but perhaps you know something I dont. I welcome your answer.

http://www.catholic.com/library/Problems_with_the_Book_of_Mormon.asp

And that is just ONE of the websites that name the many inconsistencies of the BoM.

ormonde said...

Matthew 24-4
"Watch out that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many.

star said...

The Book of Mormon is the earliest of the defining publications of the Latter Day Saint movement. The churches of the movement typically regard the Book of Mormon not only as scripture, but as a historical record of God's dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas, written by American prophets from perhaps as early as 2500 B.C. to about 400 A.D.
greetings
Cialis online

Anonymous said...

I have a few questions I would love for any LDS to answer. I have studied the Book of Mormon and have several friends who are LDS. These questions are in no way meant to degrade LDS, but to bring forth a fair discussion. I know as a Christian, it is important to provide evidence for the faith we possess.


1. When Christ died, did darkness cover the land for three days or for three hours? (Luke 23:44 and 3 Nephi 8:19, 23).
How can you believe both books if they have contradicting stories?


2.Why are Greek names such as Lachoneus, Timothy, Jonas, and Alpha & Omega in a book that should have absolutely no Greek influence?


3.If the Book of Mormon is true, why do Indians fail to turn white when they become Mormons? (2 Nephi 30:6, before the 1981 revision). If God inspired the BOM why were over 4,000 changes neccessary?



4. LDS believe in both the Bible and the BOM. In Revelation, God clearly states that nothing should be added to the Bible. Why would God contradict himself?

These are just a few of the basic questions I have concerning LDS.
Thank you for your input.
~Tara

Malkiyahu said...

Thank you. You are very gifted, but remember that it is better to know God than just to know about him; or that the things that the heart knows the mind does not comprehend. I would like to comment also; and this is not my opinion. It is the living truth, that I have also discovered that the Book of Mormon is an interactive book. You do what it tells you to do with real intent and it talks back to you until you receive a fullness of its veracity. It is the sweetest fruit I have tasted. I never thought that I could be a shadow of Alma, Moroni and even a shadow of the Lord Jesus Christ himself. Many people gaze at the account of the Book of Mormon with amazement, they know as I know that it is the word of God, some take is as a warning for our day and age and see the parallelism; and others take it as a historical foot print hoping to pinpoint Tegucigalpa; or Jacobugath in the province of Babylon called DURA by the river ULAI, or by the lake of Jehovah, but for me, it a living proof that the book of Mormon is nothing but the truth nearly word by word. In fact, I am a living product of it, because I am a direct descendant of them, meaning, the house of Joseph and also of the Mulekites, the seed of Zedeckiah. And of this I solemnly testify in the name of Messiah, even Jesus Christ, amen

Attentively,

Miguel Angel Tinoco ROD-TREE-JESSE

A servant in the hands of Christ.

Johnny said...

We can learn if the Book of Mormon is true or false by searching the Holy Scriptures and allowing the Spirit of Truth to lead us to all truth, God will give wisdom to those who ask him (Acts.17:11; John.16:13; James.1:5). Jesus did not teach us to use feelings to know if something is truth, Jesus taught that we can know the truth by continuing in his words (John.8:31-32). I think the Bible is a much more reliable standard than my 'feelings' or 'testimony' or your 'feelings' or 'testimony'.

It is my testimony that the Book of Mormon contains a different gospel than the Bible, the Book of Mormon reveals “it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2Nephi 25:23) and the Bible reveals “by grace are ye saved through faith” (Eph.2:8). The Book of Mormon contains doctrines that are contrary to the doctrines of the early apostolic church like "Adam fell that men might be" (2 Nephi 2:25) and "infant baptism is an evil abomination" (Moroni 8).

Reinhard Sakowski said...

Viele Gruesse aus dem schoenen Fischerdorf Greetsiel.

Psachno said...

Jeff, I revised my posts that you recently deleted and to which you objected.

Psachno said...

Once again, you have deleted my revised post without comment or any sign that it had been deleted. Why? What are your objections? I consider it very poor form to act with such capriciousness and without explanation. “Unwelcome behavior.”

I repeat what I posted on another page of your blog: You claim to have a blog that is open to both believers and non-believers, alike, as long as they follow the rules. You have demonstrated, however, that you are inconsistent and hypocritical regarding your own rules.

Yes, it is your blog and you can do what you want. However, what you do and don’t do speaks volumes. It seems to me you had quite the emotional reaction to have taken such a radical decision as to remove my post in this manner.

Your censorship is unwarranted and toxic, if you are trying to discuss Mormon issues openly and honestly. Obviously, you are too invested in your beliefs to conduct a rational and objective discussion about them. Therefore, I have lost respect for you and your blog because of your obvious bias, your censorship, and the logical fallacies therein.

“The truth is that NOTHING is, or ever could be, a problem for a huge segment of believers of religion. For the "true believer" there can be no such thing as "disconfirming evidence" because his "true belief" was never based on evidence in the first place.” DM Murdock

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeff Lindsay: said...

Psachno, Blogger has two more comments from you captured as spam. Not deleted by me. As I explained before, there were some I deleted that violated my policies. If a post is on the topic of the Book of Mormon, off-topic rants about why Mormons are a cult don't belong there, just like the one you made here anonymously that I will probably delete later when I get around to reviewing comments. Some deletions were here for being completely off-topic. The others were deleted for being duplicates or redundant. You got your jabs in, several times, actually, and were not viciously censored, contrary to your claims. Over 20 lengthy comments from you on one post is not exactly toxic censorship.

Basics of etiquette here: Civil, on-topic dialog is the standard. Shouting offensive remarks is not participating in civil dialog. Off-topic posts are frowned upon. Links to anti-Mormon sites are generally unwelcome. Long essays posted in numerous chunks is not a civil dialog. If you can't make your point in 4000 characters, you aren't going to make it in 80,0000 split across 20 comments in a row.

You're angry. We get that. You don't like the LDS religion. Got it. You think we're hypocrites because the Nauvoo temple, like many European churches, was designed with a symbol of a 5-pointed star long held as a symbol of Christ in Christianity but also used by pagans and more recently used by outright Satanists for evil purposes. Yes, unfortunate, and your advice that we not use it has been duly noted. And you think we're a cult and I'm toxic for having deleted a few redundant and off-topic rants. Got it.

If this is such a toxic place for you, I'll gently suggest that you don't need to hang out here. A healthy hero's welcome awaits you in the RFM halls, where all LDS arguments have been so totally torn to shred that it's not even funny.

Anonymous said...

The post above "deleted by administrator" did not contain anti-Mormon sites, it was not long and repetitive, but very concise, and it was not a "rant." You have lied about reasons for my posts not appearing.

It is totally absurd to even suggest that points, ideas that cannot be made in 4000 characters, cannot be made in 80,000. Pitiful... doesn't even require an explanation.

Even after I "chided" you on your logical fallacies, you continue to use them. I am through with your "circular thinking", your "strawmen", your "red herrings", and other forms of faulty thinking and debating you use.

One has only to look on the anti-Mormon sites to see that your flimsy arguments, and those of the other deductive and parallel thinking "cherry-picking" apologists, have been "blown out of the water!"

I "gently" suggest that you stick with Engineering or other fields of endeavor and leave the difficult task of debate to those more qualified. People have testified that you have actually succeeded in helping to steer honest, questioning Mormons out of the church through your blog and your impotent arguments. Don't you see that you are "spitting in the wind'?

"Adieu..."

Jeff Lindsay: said...

Off-topic rants can be deleted. Look at the topic of my post and compare it to the diatribe of the deleted comment. Completely off-topic. Whoosh, there she goes. No lie there, sir. Adieu!

Anonymous said...

P.S. My post was also not off-topic, as you claim, because the string evolved into a discussion of whether the church was a cult (5:19 AM, January 12, 2008). There were other posts that were completely off-topic, and yet you did not delete them. You have demonstrated clearly lies and inconsistency.

Jeff Lindsay: said...

Inconsistency, absolutely, because I really don't have time to handle every comment and some that are off topic but "interesting" I'm happy to let stand, but insulting, vapid, ridiculous, and inappropriate off-topic comments are more likely to get the ax. The fact that someone got an off-topic jab in does not make long lists of complaints against the Church suddenly on topic.

I thought you said adieu, but we're glad to have you back - but really, this is starting to sound like whining. I've got rules. It's my blog. Blogger has a spam filter that caught a lot of your stuff. I have a delete key that took out a couple more. I'm sorry you're so bitter about that. But you got in a couple dozen or so comments. You got to tell the world that I'm a toxic hypocrite full of lies and deceit. Surely that should make you feel a little better?

Ciao.

Jeff Lindsay: said...

This is an old post, yes, and there were some comments here in 2008 on the topic of cults, but I don't see them as highly annoying. The last such comment was in 2008. Whether you agree with my passive response in 2008 of letting them stand, I'm not interesting in having that off-topic thread revived now in 2011. Just FYI.

Anonymous said...

I just read this for the first time and I just wanted to thank you. Like you, the Book of Mormon has changed my life profoundly.
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Would you consider adding a testimony to http://www.bomtt.com? It is a site that translates your testimony into any language the reader chooses.