The Book of Mormon

My question: would I be amiss if I were to read the Book of Mormon as a way to learn why Mormon’s believe the way they believe and to assist me in defending my Catholic faith against their daily approaches in my life? My wife is Mormon, and recently went back to her church after leaving it for 18 years…and she has fallen head-over-heals for it. We have already had too many unintelligent back-and-forth arguments about who is right and who is wrong, etc. I no longer want to argue this way, but instead I yearn for knowledge about my faith so that I can be honest and lay down the truth as I see it. So, again, would reading the Book of Mormon be the wrong thing for me to do?

Thank you,

Trellot

I suppose it would be okay for you to read the Book of Mormon if you want to do it so that you can claim to have read it and better be able to defend your Catholic faith. However, do realize that the Book of Mormon is not true. It may be considered scripture by the Mormons but in reality, it is no scripture. Scripture is the Bible, not the Book of Mormon. I personally believe the Book of Mormon to be a fraud invented by Joseph Smith. Here are some links about the Book of Mormon and Mormonism:

Distinctive Beliefs of the Mormon Church

The Gods of the Mormon Church

Mormon Stumpers

Mormonism’s Baptism for the Dead

Problems with the Book of Mormon

God Bless,
Holly

I see no value to read the Book of Mormon to defend your faith. The only thing the BofM can be used for is to prove the veracity of the LDS Church, not any other. I think it will add contention to your marriage, and marriage comes first.

you should not be on the receiving end of bickering and unwanted teaching either. Certainly that does not help the marriage.

If you want to understand why your wife ciews the BofM as scripture, hand in hand with the Bible, then read it and you will see why. But not to find a better means to argue. Nothing in it will prove the Catholic Church right. There would be no point. And you won’t find anything in it to prove the LDS Church wrong. So what’s the point?

I would seek to support your wife in her faith and ask for that respect as to yours.

A wise priest always told me to follow the Holy Spirit, emulate Christ in all you do, and be true to your faith.

If you consider some counsel, however poor it may be. First, please stop arguing about what is true. Live your religion and love your wife. If you begin to talk about God and his Church, ask to begin with prayer. Seek for understanding your wife’s position and pray that she will understand yours. Support her as she seeks to follow Christ.

If you continue to argue about the Church you will only succeed in pushing her away from you. Live your faith with her. Ask her to support you in your faith and to assist you to be a good Catholic man.

If you want to read the Book of Mormon, go ahead. I would encourage you to ask your wife to read Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. I would recommend one of Christopher West’s books. I would recommend, "Theology of the Body Explained: A Commentary on John Paul II’s “Gospel of the Body”. If you have not read it, read it. It will help you and your wife become more united as husband and wife.

Please let me know if there is anything I could do. You are in my prayers.

From your link on baptisms for the dead:

Mormons infer that in 1 Corinthians, Paul speaks approvingly of living Christians receiving baptism on behalf of dead non-Christians; however, the context and construction of the verse indicate otherwise. The Greek phrase rendered by the King James Version as “for the dead” is huper ton nekron. This phrase is as ambiguous in Greek as it is in English. The preposition huper has a wide semantic range and can indicate “for the sake of,” “on behalf of,” “over,” “beyond,” or “more than.” Like the English preposition “for,” it does not have a single meaning and does not require the Mormon idea of being baptized in place of the dead. Such a reading would be unlikely given the more plausible interpretations available, and even if huper were taken to mean “in the place of,” it doesn’t mean Paul endorses the practice.

The article is saying that 1 Cor 15:29 doesn’t have to mean vicarious baptisms. But it appears that vicarious baptisms is the most common scholarly interpretation, from the following article that disagrees with the
Mormon interpretation.

The interpretation of vicarious baptism is problematic for two reasons: first, there is no historical evidence of the practice of baptizing for the dead during New Testament times,3 and second, it seems doubtful that Paul would have written of such a practice so
contrary to his theology without condemning it.4 Despite these problems, a majority of modern scholars have adopted this interpretation while at the same time rejecting other
possible interpretations that may in fact be more legitimate.

We are getting off track I think, but on the baptisms for the dead issue the NAB supports the view that Christians were performing the baptisms. Logic does not allow a person to conclude that Paul was supporting one doctrine by pointing to an improper act of someone else. It just doesn’t hold water.

I had thought that whole notion that Paul was REALLY condemning baptisms for the dead had been long since set aside as absurd.

Hi Trellot,
This is my first post on this forum. I’m not as eloquent as some here, so I hope this makes some sense and will help.
I am LDS and have been happily married for the past three years to my wonderful Catholic wife. She fully supports me in my faith and I fully support her in her’s. She comes to church with me every Sunday morning and afterwards we both attend Mass at noon. (Can you ever have too much church?). She is also involved with a “play group” of mothers and children from my church and has made close friends there. I have felt welcome at her church and she has felt welcome at mine. I know and accept that she is Catholic. She knows and accepts I am LDS. The most important thing is that although we have differences of belief, our core values are almost identical.
This being said, I don’t think reading the Book of Mormon would be a bad thing for you to do if you want to learn more about LDS beliefs and try to identify shared values between you and your wife. Similarly, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to suggest to your wife to read St. Thomas Aquinas or G.K. Chesterton. All good stuff! However, reading the Book of Mormon probably won’t help you defend the Catholic faith.
I do think it’s important to understand that your wife has gone through a significant spiritual conversion (or re-coversion as this case may be), and that change, although perhaps not agreed with, nevertheless needs to be supported. As well, your wife needs to be sensitive to your spiritual desires and needs to equally support you in your Catholicism, even if she does not agree. She may seem a little over zealous, but she needs to realize that conversion (heart) is not the same as conviction (head), and that although she feels really, really strongly about her beliefs, they cannot be forced on others; not even with what seems to be the most reasonable arguments. My wife and I discuss the differences of our faiths often but we never argue about them.
You certainly can support your wife, increase your faith, and strengthen your marriage by praying with your wife morning, night, and over meals and reading the Bible with her. She just needs to know that you know and accept her as LDS, you need to know that she knows and accepts you as Catholic, and that we are all on our own personal spiritual journey in life. I hope this helps and God bless you and your family.

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