I am interested in studying other religions and i was wondering lately i have been reading the Book of Mormon and Quran while i dont belive in them as the word of God i was wondering is it wrong to read them or other scriptures from other religions in some of them i have found some good teachings and morales that have helped me in life is this a sin?
Eric, there is nothing wrong in and of itself with reading non-Christian scripture in order to learn about those religions. But you should be well versed in your faith, especially the Bible. Don’t look towards other scriptures for moral guidance. They might get some things right, but they’ll also get some things wrong.
Also, Mormons will tell you to pray over the book of Mormon to see if it is true and you’ll receive a “burning in your bosom.” Do not do that. If the book of Mormon is true, you should be able to use your brain to tell you. There have been books that have given me nice feelings. That does not mean the book is inspired by God, even if I prayed about it before hand.
It is worth noting that even the book of Mormon itself does not testify to the “burning” that missionaries attest to. What it says is
“Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. 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. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” - Moroni 10:3-5
The text says the Holy Ghost will lead me to the truth. That does not preclude use of my brain. It mentions nothing of a “burning in the bosom.”
The Catechism acknowledges that other religions do have truth, and can even help prepare someone for the true Gospel.
Of course that only applies to the parts that are good and true. There is nothing wrong with studying other religions or their books. But you should be well-grounded in your faith first.
Just a side thought:
I have read countless assertions on this forum that you cannot subject scripture or church teachings to logic or reason. If we relied on our brains to verify church teachings, we’d have to throw many of them out the window. Couldn’t the same be said for the Book of Mormon?
No, just throw the people making those assertions out the window :rolleyes:
Methinks you probably misunderstood what they said. It is true that logic cannot produce faith, but it is not such logic can’t produce objective knowledge.
The late Gordon B. Hinckley, former president of the LDS church, said that even if we had the golden plates before us, we wouldn’t necessarily believe. True. And if all the cities in the BoM existed, same thing. That doesn’t meant it’s true. We might say that the Devil, who knows archeology, inspired Smith to write.
But our reason can give us objective knowledge that the events are true (or not true). But it doesn’t give us faith.
How do many Mormon apologists get around the lack of archaeological evidence and the many anachronisms? They say 1) absence doesn’t prove a negative (true, but the fact that we haven’t found one bit of evidence to support it should give us some reason to pause), and 2) God is withholding the facts from us so that we can have faith. Yet, Biblical archeology is a thriving subject…
There are many fine teachings in the Qu’ran, and in general quite a lot that is of interest to any religious person. N.J. Dawood, the Iraqi Jewish scholar who translated the famous Penguin Classics version of the text, called it a literary masterpiece. Reading the Qu’ran, I have found some very moving and powerful stuff. In a way, I can see what Muslims see in it… and how they could genuinely feel that it is the word of God. Do I think that it is the Word of God? No. But on the same token, this does not make it the word of Satan.
A lot of non-Hindus (religious Jews, Christians, etc.) have similiar experiences with the Bhagavad Gita. In the end, I guess, good and interesting writing is good and interesting writing, regardless of its historical religious/social import or reception.