Readings from the Book of Mormon


#1

THIRD NEPHI
THE BOOK OF NEPHI
THE SON OF NEPHI, WHO WAS THE SON OF HELAMAN

CHAPTER 28
Nine of the Twelve desire and are promised an inheritance in Christ’s kingdom when they die—The Three Nephites desire and are given power over death so as to remain on the earth until Jesus comes again—They are translated and see things not lawful to utter, and they are now ministering among men. [Between A.D. 34 and 35]

1 AND it came to pass when Jesus had said these words, he spake unto his disciples, one by one, saying unto them: What is it that ye adesire• of me, after that I am gone to the Father?

2 And they all spake, save it were three, saying: We desire that after we have lived unto the age of man, that our ministry, wherein thou hast called us, may have an end, that we may speedily come unto thee in thy kingdom.

3 And he said unto them: Blessed are ye because ye desired this thing of me; therefore, after that ye are aseventy• and two years old ye shall come unto me in my bkingdom; and with me ye shall find crest.

4 And when he had spoken unto them, he turned himself unto the three, and said unto them: What will ye that I should do unto you, when I am gone unto the Father?

5 And they sorrowed in their hearts, for they durst not speak unto him the thing which they desired.

6 And he said unto them: Behold, I aknow• your thoughts, and ye have desired the thing which bJohn•, my beloved, who was with me in my ministry, before that I was lifted up by the Jews, desired of me.

7 Therefore, more blessed are ye, for ye shall anever• taste of bdeath•; but ye shall live to behold all the doings of the Father unto the children of men, even until all things shall be fulfilled according to the will of the Father, when I shall come in my glory with the cpowers• of heaven.

8 And ye shall never endure the pains of death; but when I shall come in my glory ye shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye from amortality• to bimmortality; and then shall ye be blessed in the kingdom of my Father.

9 And again, ye shall not have pain while ye shall dwell in the flesh, neither sorrow save it be for the asins• of the world; and all this will I do because of the thing which ye have desired of me, for ye have desired that ye might bbring• the souls of men unto me, while the world shall stand.

10 And for this cause ye shall have afulness• of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are bone•;

11 And the aHoly• Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and the Father giveth the Holy Ghost unto the children of men, because of me.

12 And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words, he touched every one of them with his finger save it were the athree• who were to tarry, and then he departed.

13 And behold, the heavens were opened, and they were acaught• up into heaven, and saw and heard unspeakable things.

14 And it was aforbidden• them that they should utter; neither was it given unto them bpower• that they could utter the things which they saw and heard;

15 And whether they were in the body or out of the body, they could not tell; for it did seem unto them like a atransfiguration• of them, that they were changed from this body of flesh into an immortal state, that they could behold the things of God.

16 But it came to pass that they did again minister upon the face of the earth; nevertheless they did not minister of the things which they had heard and seen, because of the commandment which was given them in heaven.

17 And now, whether they were mortal or immortal, from the day of their transfiguration, I know not;

18 But this much I know, according to the record which hath been given—they did go forth upon the face of the land, and did minister unto all the people, uniting as many to the church as would believe in their preaching; baptizing them, and as many as were baptized did receive the Holy Ghost.

19 And they were cast into prison by them who did not belong to the church. And the aprisons• could not hold them, for they were rent in twain.

20 And they were cast down into the earth; but they did smite the earth with the word of God, insomuch that by his apower• they were delivered out of the depths of the earth; and therefore they could not dig pits sufficient to hold them.

21 And thrice they were cast into a afurnace• and received no harm.

22 And twice were they cast into a aden• of wild beasts; and behold they did play with the beasts as a child with a suckling lamb, and received no harm.


#2

THIRD NEPHI
THE BOOK OF NEPHI
THE SON OF NEPHI, WHO WAS THE SON OF HELAMAN

CHAPTER 28

Continued:

22 And twice were they cast into a aden• of wild beasts; and behold they did play with the beasts as a child with a suckling lamb, and received no harm.

23 And it came to pass that thus they did go forth among all the people of Nephi, and did preach the agospel of Christ unto all people upon the face of the land; and they were converted unto the Lord, and were united unto the church of Christ, and thus the people of bthat• generation were blessed, according to the word of Jesus.

24 And now I, aMormon•, make an end of speaking concerning these things for a time.

25 Behold, I was about to write the anames• of those who were never to taste of death, but the Lord forbade; therefore I write them not, for they are hid from the world.

26 But behold, aI• have seen them, and they have ministered unto me.

27 And behold they will be aamong• the Gentiles, and the Gentiles shall know them not.

28 They will also be among the Jews, and the Jews shall know them not.

29 And it shall come to pass, when the Lord seeth fit in his wisdom that they shall minister unto all the ascattered tribes of Israel, and unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, and shall bring out of them unto Jesus many souls, that their desire may be fulfilled, and also because of the convincing power of God which is in them.

30 And they are as the aangels of God, and if they shall pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus they can show themselves unto whatsoever man it seemeth them good.

31 Therefore, great and marvelous works shall be wrought by them, before the agreat• and coming day when all people must surely stand before the judgment-seat of Christ;

32 Yea even among the Gentiles shall there be a agreat• and marvelous work wrought by them, before that judgment day.

33 And if ye had aall• the scriptures which give an account of all the marvelous works of Christ, ye would, according to the words of Christ, know that these things must surely come.

34 And wo be unto him that will anot• hearken unto the words of Jesus, and also to them whom he hath chosen and bsent• among them; for whoso creceiveth not the words of Jesus and the words of those whom he hath sent receiveth not him; and therefore he will not receive them at the last day;

35 And it would be better for them if they had not been born. For do ye suppose that ye can get rid of the justice of an aoffended God, who hath been btrampled• under feet of men, that thereby salvation might come?

36 And now behold, as I spake concerning those whom the Lord hath chosen, yea, even three who were caught up into the heavens, that I knew not whether they were acleansed from bmortality• to immortality—

37 But behold, since I wrote, I have inquired of the Lord, and he hath made it manifest unto me that there must needs be a change wrought upon their bodies, or else it needs be that they must taste of death;

38 Therefore, that they might not taste of death there was a achange wrought upon their bodies, that they might not bsuffer pain nor sorrow save it were for the sins of the world.

39 Now this change was not equal to that which shall take place at the last day; but there was a change wrought upon them, insomuch that Satan could have no power over them, that he could not atempt them; and they were bsanctified in the flesh, that they were choly, and that the powers of the earth could not hold them.

40 And in this state they were to remain until the judgment day of Christ; and at that day they were to receive a greater change, and to be received into the kingdom of the Father to go no more out, but to dwell with God eternally in the heavens.


#3

scriptures.lds.org/3_ne/28

Where are these three witnesses and the Apostle John today?

Has any of our Mormon friends going to admit to seeing them alive today?


#4

John 21:20-24 (New International Version)

20Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

22Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23Because of this, the rumor spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

24This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.

2think.org/hundredsheep/annotated/iiinep28.shtml

biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2021:20-24&version=31


#5

[quote=Daniel Marsh]scriptures.lds.org/3_ne/28

Where are these three witnesses and the Apostle John today?

Has any of our Mormon friends going to admit to seeing them alive today?
[/quote]

Um… I’m LDS and I haven’t seen John or the three Nephites you are refering to…

Where exactly are you going with this???


#6

last I checked they were singing backup for Elvis in Las Vegas. They had been teaching the new member lessons to Gladys Knight. :smiley:


#7

Hi Casen, it is simple, if the apostle John has been alive on earth for the last two thousand years, then apostasy of the church is impossible because there is a living apostle to lead the church. If the apostle John and these three witness are not on earth then the book of mormon is wrong in the above passage because they did not fullfill their mission on earth to spread the gospel.


#8

If you read the very passages you cited carefully enough you will note that the Three Nephites and the Apostle John are being ‘concealed from the world’. Apparently–if one accepts the LDS position on the Three Nephites–once the Church in both the New World and in the Old World went into utter apostasy, these apostles were hidden away and given authority only to minister in remote, out-of-the-way places as God inspired them so to do. See the following response, readily garnered from the Internet, on this issue:

[quote=FAIR-LDS Article]But what about the claim that the existence of these four men, who were obviously “church members,” contradicts the notion of a “complete apostasy?” The fact is that Latter-day Saints believe these men were “translated,” meaning that their bodies were changed to a higher state, preliminary to the resurrection, and now "they are as the angels of God."37 If, as Joseph Smith said, translated beings are "held in reserve to be ministering angels,"38 how could the fact that God left priesthood-holding angels on the Earth (who did not transmit their priesthood to others) have any bearing on the question of whether the apostasy was “total?” Rather, this illustrates the LDS belief in God’s loving concern for His children even during periods of apostasy.
[/quote]

See the following link:

fairlds.org/apol/morm201/m20106.html

Not saying the LFD are crrect, just exhorting to more careful reading of the text.


#9

9 And again, ye shall not have pain while ye shall dwell in the flesh, neither sorrow save it be for the asins• of the world; and all this will I do because of the thing which ye have desired of me, for ye have desired that ye might bbring• the souls of men unto me, while the world shall stand.

16** But it came to pass that they did again minister upon the face of the earth;** nevertheless they did not minister of the things which they had heard and seen, because of the commandment which was given them in heaven.

18 But this much I know, according to the record which hath been given—**they did go forth upon the face of the land, and did minister unto all the people, uniting as many to the church as would believe in their preaching; baptizing them, and as many as were baptized did receive the Holy Ghost.

23 And it came to pass that thus they did go forth among all the people of Nephi, and did preach the agospel of Christ unto all people upon the face of the land; and they were converted unto the Lord, and were united unto the church of Christ, and thus the people of bthat• generation were blessed, according to the word of Jesus.**

25 Behold, I was about to write the anames• of those who were never to taste of death, but the Lord forbade; therefore I write them not, for** they are hid from the world.**

26 But behold, I• have seen them, and they have ministered unto me.

27 And behold they will be among• the Gentiles, and the Gentiles shall know them not.

28 They will also be among the Jews, and the Jews shall know them not.

29 And it shall come to pass, when the Lord seeth fit in his wisdom that they shall minister unto all the ascattered tribes of Israel, and unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, and shall bring out of them unto Jesus many souls, that their desire may be fulfilled, and also because of the convincing power of God which is in them.

30 And they are as the aangels of God, and if they shall pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus they can show themselves unto whatsoever man it seemeth them good.

31 **Therefore, great and marvelous works shall be wrought by them, before the agreat• and coming day when all people must surely stand before the judgment-seat of Christ;
**

Even thou the worldy people, do not recognize them, which is the meaning of being hid in this passage, that does not mean they do not exist. And, the purpose of their existence is to preach the gospel and build the church. If they do in fact, exist then they have been fulfilling their purpose of preaching the word, gospel to the unsaved. If they exist, then the church can not go into apostasy.

Their very purpose and existence seals the church as being undable to fail into non-existence.

also, the indication is those born of the spirit will recognize them otherwise, the author of this passage can not say, “I have seen them”.

So, if you have not seen them, does that mean you are not born of the spirit?


#10

as long as an apostle exists on earth, you can not have a total apostassy.


#11

Which Book of Mormon was inspired of God? The 1830 one, or the one currently used?

As you may or may not know, over 4,000 corrections have been done to the texts since the 1830 edition to do away with historical inaccuracies.

Elephants and horses, both described as being in the Americas in the BOM, were not here when the BOM took place.


#12

[quote=Chris LaRock]Which Book of Mormon was inspired of God? The 1830 one, or the one currently used?

As you may or may not know, over 4,000 corrections have been done to the texts since the 1830 edition to do away with historical inaccuracies.

Elephants and horses, both described as being in the Americas in the BOM, were not here when the BOM took place.
[/quote]

I find myself in the peculiar position of being a former LDS, turned Anglican, defending Mormonism from other former Mormons on issues where I think the points being raised are unfair and not really at all true as they are being expressed. It might be helpful if these sorts of questions/criticisms were directed towards Mormons on FAIR-LDS or some other discussion board where there were Mormons who could address them. While we do have some faithful LDS here at CA who can address such issues, the sheer number of possible questions which can be raised often precludes a timely or full response on this Board.

The 4,000 errors of the BOM is a figure arrived at by adding up typographical errors, punctuation mistakes, gramatical mistakes, and so forth. Remember that neither Smith nor his scribes were highly-educated people, and that they pubished the Book of Mormon in something of a hurry, on a press whose owner was increasingly uncomfortable with the negative publicity the material was attracting. I think that a very large percentage of the problems being cited don’t really belong in a fair-minded discussion of the inspiration of the Book of Mormon.

I agree about the issue of elephants and horses. Little idiosyncrasies such as these do abound in the BoM and suggest a late authorship of the book rather than a pre-Columbian one.

[quote=Daniel Marsh] . . . . As long as an apostle exists on earth, you can not have a total apostasy.
[/quote]

My first reaction is to ask, who made that a rule?

My second response is that we need not be talking of absolute, total, utter apostasy, everywhere on Earth. In the case of Israel and Judah, Israelitish religion went into apostasy long before the Judean worship did. By the same token with respect to the Church established in the Americas and the Church established in the Old World–those institutions can indeed be said to have gone into total apostasy, assuming one accepts the LDS claims about what happened in each place. If there were but a mere handful of faithful ones–essentially the Three Nephites and John the Revelator–still in possession of a valid priesthood and pure doctine, and those four persons removed themselves from ministering among the places where their preaching was no longer of any avail–one had total apostasy. Those four apostles are to have been removed from the presence of those who had rejected the Gospel and who had forfeited the priesthood authority. Those four apostles were under constraint not to use their own priesthood authority to restore that priesthood authority unless and until they were directed to do so. And according to Mormon theology, this did not happen until the early 1800’s. You seem to be using the concept of ‘total apostasy’ in a manner that was never intended by the founders of Mormonism.

I would agree with you, I suspect, that neither the Jewish practice of religion nor the New Testament Church EVER looked like or taught like or worshipped like the ‘restored’ Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I doubt every whit of the claims of the Book of Mormon to be a history of a refugee peoples from the Old World to the New–ergo I don’t believe there was ever a New World Church from which anyone could have apostatized, at least not prior to the arrival of Columbus. But I just don’t see the problem you are raising as a really valid one. Sorry.


#13

Your explanation on apostasy also brings up the question of why didn’t the 3 nephites and/or John give Joseph Smith Jr. the priesthood keys?

I would note that while you are correct that many of the BoM changes are spelling and punctuation there ARE a significant number (nowhere close to 4000 though) of changes that substantially affect meaning of various passages. I would also point out that some are recent and not the result of a rushed first printing.

These changes in scripture that change doctrine are more often found in the LDS book “Doctrine and Covenants” but there are multiple examples in the BoM.

I have found LDS to answer this by either claiming errors at the publisher (which was sometimes true in the very early editions), progressive revelations (the Lord giving a progressively more divine plan as people are better able to live it OR the reverse such as in the case of the United Order) OR situational doctrine. (Practices/Teachings that are necessary for certain situations but are not the rule and when the situation changes they revert back to other doctrine)

I find all of these lacking myself but many LDS are quite satisfied with these types of explanations. The one I didn’t mention that I DON’T accept as valid at all is that prophets get divine revelation but later prophets understand it better and then change the scripture.

In any case I agree that the BoM is full of anachronisms, contradictions and impossibilities that make it obviously a work of 19th century American Literature.


#14

Let’s look at the change on the Title Page to see if it fits what you say.

Original 1830 Edition, Title page Joseph Smith, Jr. the author and proprietor of this work

Book of Mormon Editions 1837, 1888, 1920, 1964, 1978
Joseph Smith, Jr. the translator of this work

rickgrunder.com/BooksForSale/bomgr/bomgr.jpg


#15

“…If we can stand without shame, without hesitancy, without embarrassment, without reservation to bear witness that the gospel has been restored, that there are prophets and Apostles upon the earth, that the truth is available for all mankind, the Lord’s Spirit will be with us. And that assurance can be affirmed to others.”

  • Boyd K. Packer, “The Only True Church,” Fall 1985 General Conference, Ensign, Nov. 1985, Page 80

One of the hallmarks according to Mormon Doctrine of the True Church is apostles. If you read III Nephi 28 above Jesus is Guarenteeing the success of their preaching. The Apostle John in the Old World and the Three Witnesses in the New World.

Mormon Doctrine, Page 606 says:

“Apostles and Prophets are the foundation upon which the organization of the true Church rests. Where there are no apostles and prophets there is no divine Church…"

We know from the fact that John Recieved the Book of Revelation that he qualifies as a prophet and he is an apostle.

Another change to the book of mormon that comes to mind,

“Skin of blackness”

In the Book of Mormon, Lamanites are described as having a “skin of blackness” caused by God as punishment for their wickedness and corruption:

“And he had caused the cursing to come upon [the Lamanites], yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, and they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.” (2 Nephi 5:21).

While some Latter-day Saints consider this passage to mean that God miraculously darkened the Lamanites’ skin, another common interpretation is that the Lamanites intermarried with indigenous Native American peoples with darker skin. Some believe that the phrase “skin of blackness” is completely figurative.

Several Book of Mormon passages have been interpreted by some Latter-day Saints as indicating that Lamanites would revert to a lighter skin tone upon accepting the gospel. For example, early editions of The Book of Mormon contained the passage: “[T]heir scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and a delightsome people” (2 Nephi 30:6).

As early as 1840, with the Third Edition of the Book of Mormon, the word “white” was changed to “pure” by Joseph Smith, Jr. to more closely reflect the original intent of the Nephite authors.

When the Lamanites fully repent and sincerely receive the gospel, the Lord has promised to remove the dark skin.

Source: Smith, Joseph Fielding. Answers to Gospel Questions. Vol. 3. 122-123 Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1959-1961.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamanite


#16

David Whitmer was one of the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon. The majority of the translation work took place in the Whitmer home.

“I will now give you a description of the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated. Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, and not by any power of man.” (David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, Richmond, Missouri: n.p., 1887, p. 12.)

irr.org/MIT/divination.html#Whitmer1


#17

I always wondered why the french word “adieu” appears in the BoM when it was supposed to have been translated from the golden plates into English.(Jacob 7:27; 5:48)?


#18

Brother Daniel:

Copyright laws of the state where Smith resided led him to believe that translated works had to list the translator as the ‘author’. This has been the standard response for over 100 years when this issue has been raised. I think the historical evidence is clear: Smith claimed from the beginning, from prior to the actual release of the Book of Mormon, that he was ‘translating’ this work rather than creating it from whole cloth. It is not fair play to suggest that the title page somehow negates all of the rest of the evidence of Smith’s clear intent.

The term ‘adieu’ could imply–if we assume Smith actually was engaged in the process of translation–that the original writer shifted languages in bidding farewell to the readers. Smith might well have chosen to use the French word ‘adieu’ at that juncture to reflect the shift in languages. It’s the technique of using cognate expressions in a receptor language, expressions which have a similar meaning even if they are not the literal eqivalent of the original language. This is often done in a dynamic-equivalence translation rather than a literal, direct-equivalence, word-for-word translation. Some LDS apologists in fact argue that the entire Book of Mormon is fundamentally a ‘free’ translation, a ‘dynamic-equivalence’ translation, rather than a literal translation. This helps them to cover Smith’s obvious flaws in his ‘translation’. In any case, the appearance of the word ‘adieu’ is not an insuperable objection.

I do not, in fact, think the Book of Mormon IS a translation. I feel it is a creative composition, probably of Smith himself–though I concede that if one honestly tries to follow the story line of the book, it reflects a considerable degree of complexity. Given how the book was probably created–by Smith composing the bulk of the book in his head as he dictated to a scribe–the detail the book sometimes covers can be a bit surprising. On the other hand, it took several months for the work to be completed. (The actual time spent ‘translating’ may have been something in the neighborhood of forty days–but those forty days were puctuated by various delays and interuptions). Smith had ample time to review things which had been previously transcribed and elaborate on story lines he might otherwise have lost track of and confounded.

Recollect that Smith first started claiming that he had the Book of Mormon some four-to-six years prior to actually beginning the work of ‘translating’ it. Plenty of time to work out the basic details of the story line and get them clear in his own mind. Smith already was reputed to be a fantastic teller-of-tales, and particularly fond of telling stories of the Indians. All of that was probably a dress-rehearsal for the spontaneous dictation of the Book of Mormon, IMHO. The whole book, if read without a prior strong desire to believe in it’s miraculous character, smacks strongly of an inventive and clever author’s first draft. Had Smith been literate enough to do his own transcriptions, and had he even a little formal training in creative writing, I suspect he would have edited-out the tedious 'And It Came To Pass . . .Lo, Behold!’ expressions which so burden the work.

Anyhow Daniel: so many of your criticisms look as if they have been lifted directly from some sort of anti-LDS website uncritically and without much thought. I may share your disbelief in the inspiration of the BoM, but think you might consider raising issues which have not been rehashed so thoroughly. Bringing up issues to which LDS apologists have already given fairly credible responses tends to weaken your own credibility while ‘innoculating’ people who might be exploring the LDS faith against more-substantive critiques of Mormonism. Just a thought.


#19

I think I have adequately responded to the issue of the Three Nephites and the Apostle John: for some reason the Lord is said to have constrained them from actively participation in the ‘Restoration of the Gospel’ in these latter days. I don’t know that Mormons feel they need to have a full-bodied response to why this might be: it’s just the way they feel God chose to restore His Church, in their opinion. Part of the answer might involve the fact that the Three Nephites and the Apostle John are presently thousands of years old; their survival to this present time would itslef represent a confirming miracle of the LDS Church so stupendous that–in the opinions of LDS apologists–it would overwhelm human free agency. It is the same reason, presumably, that Jesus Christ Himself did not remain on earth following His Resurrection, etcetera. It seems that God has decreed there to be no miracle performed which is so irrefutable in it’s character that disbelief is impossible.

Again, I don’t happen to believe that the Three Nephites ever existed and likewise don’t accept that the Scriptures ever intended to imply that the Apostle John would never die. But I can at least understand an appreciate the LDS position and concede that they can render a passably-plausible explanation on this matter.


#20

One of the most interesting changes in the Book of Common, which should be of interest to Catholics, is this:
The 1830 edition says Mary is “the mother of God” while later editions changed this to saying Mary is “the mother of the Son of God.” Hmm.


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