The Book of Mormon


#1

How did the Book of Mormon come about and what are the apologetical reasons that The Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints give to say that we should accept it as scripture?


#2

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints teaches that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon from golden plates that had been buried. The Book of Mormon is considered another testament of Jesus Christ following His death and resurrection. There are many passages in the Book of Mormon that verify what is written in the Bible. Both books help us to understand more about Christ and His teachings.


#3

There is not much evidence for apologetics. Faith is nearly all emotional in the LDS with no reason or logic involved or required. Even if the story sounds fishy, Mormons are encouraged to pray about it until they get that special feeling inside.

There is no archeological evidence, no physical evidence of the tablets, just one man’s word.

With the Bible, there were documented witnesses, numerous. Authenticity of history. A lineage from the beginning.

Think about it, its been two thousand years since the Bible and there is more physical evidence for the stories of the Bible than any of the stories in the book of Mormon (150 years ago).


#4

I agree that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon. In the early 19th Century, Joseph Smith was alledgedly visited by an angel who told him where to find these golden plates and the “seeing stones,” the Urim and Thummim. These plates are an account of the “lost” tribe of Israelites here on the North American continent.

However, only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, “considered [the Book of Mormon as] another testament of Jesus Christ following His death and resurrection.” Christian Tradition states that Christ descended to Hell, or the Bosom of the Fathers, to preach the good news of salvation to those who had lived spiritual lives and died prior to the Resurrection. Christ preached to those who were denied access to Heaven and the Beatific Vision of God. The Book of Mormon, however, indicates that Christ appeared to the native peoples of North America. It is held that the Book of Mormon is a false “testament” to Jesus Christ.

There may be “passages in the Book of Mormon that verify what is written in the Bible,” but there is nothing in the Bible that supports anything purported in the Book of Mormon. There is no correlation that can be drawn that would provide any authenticity to the contents of the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith had access to the Protestant version of the Bible and could have easily used it as a kind of “Rosetta Stone” to tie the episodes of the books within the Book of Mormon to, to provide a reasonable amount authenticity to.

I completely disagree that both books are equal to understanding the teachings of Jesus Christ. The Bible is a result of the Sacred Tradition handed down from the Apostles and transcribed into a canon, the Canon of the New Testament. Christ is the second “person” of the Holy Trinity; fully divine and fully human, a man who came to suffer and die to redeem God’s human creation. According to the LDS movement, Christ is the actual son of God; a god who ascended to His position after living a life as a human. So, either Christ was the Word made Flesh, God Incarnate; or he was the son of a man-turned-God. I personally cannot agree that both books are equally of value to the understanding of Christ,

I hope the Holy Spirit blesses you and shows you the Truth.

Dominus vobsicum


#5

Growing up in the Mormon church, I was told to read the BOM and pray about it’s truthfulness. I was told I would receive the assurance of the Holy Ghost, through a still small voice, that the BOM was true, if I prayed with an open heart. I read small parts of the BOM and prayed, and felt nothing. Not a single thing. That said, my experiences with the BOM had nothing to do with my deciding the Mormon church was false. Once I started looking, there was plenty of evidence to help me make an informed decision.


#6

The Bible went for 1800 years without a need to be verified the Book of Mormon


#7

pigtown, you write more like a TBM than a Catholic. Did you properly identify yourself in your profile?


#8

That was the best retort I’ve heard all week.


#9

I’ve always been amused with the subtle contradictions to be found in the Introduction of the BOM. In the first sentence we are informed that the BOM is Holy Scripture “comparable with the Holy Bible”. Later on we have a quote from Joseph Smith that the BOM is “the most correct book ever written.” How can something be on par with another work if it is the “most correct book ever written”? Nothing like good ole’ Mormon double-talk.


#10

The answer to that question is given in the introduction to the book, of which the following passage is an extract:

The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains, as does the Bible, the fulness of the everlasting gospel.

The book was written by many ancient prophets by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. Their words, written on gold plates, were quoted and abridged by a prophet-historian named Mormon. . . .

The crowning event recorded in the Book of Mormon is the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ among the Nephites soon after his resurrection. It puts forth the doctrines of the gospel, outlines the plan of salvation, and tells men what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come.

After Mormon completed his writings, he delivered the account to his son Moroni, who added a few words of his own and hid up the plates in the hill Cumorah. On September 21, 1823, the same Moroni, then a glorified, resurrected being, appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith and instructed him relative to the ancient record and its destined translation into the English language.

In due course the plates were delivered to Joseph Smith, who translated them by the gift and power of God. The record is now published in many languages as a new and additional witness that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that all who will come unto him and obey the laws and ordinances of his gospel may be saved.

. . . and what are the apologetical reasons that The Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints give to say that we should accept it as scripture?

“Apologetical” isn’t quite the right word to use in this particular context. I would have dropped that word myself if I was asking that question. But in answer to your question of how we can know that it is a book of scripture, the answer is the same as the Bible. How can we know that the Bible is the word of God, a volume of scripture, and a revelation from God? I don’t know about you, but I know of only one way, and that is the witness of the Holy Spirit. I have yet to come across someone who can show me another way. The same principle applies to the Book of Mormon.

zerinus


#11

Did God deal with the ancient inhabitants of Australia?


#12

Thanks. Think of all those Christians who were just waiting for something else to complete the picture.


#13

Zerinus, I have baccaluareate degrees in both History and Anthropology and a master’s in Anthropology. By training, I am an archaeologist. In all my years of reading and study of both North, Central, and South American native populations, there is not a shred of evidence that Our Lord came and preached to them. Are you aware of the overwhelmingly bloody nature of worship in the Americas before Columbus? The archaeological record is replete with human sacrifice after human sacrifice.

Have you ever read Bernal Diaz’s Conquest of New Spain in which he describes what the Spanish saw when they entered Tenochtitlan (Mexico City) in 1518? There is a huge disconnect between the archaeological record and the BOM. It would seem to me that if Jesus preached to any native American population, you would not see the kind of human sacrifices and human self-sacrifice that you see in the archaeological record. Particularly if you assert that the 10 “lost” tribes of Israel ended up in the New World.

Where is the evidence of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas? It sure isn’t in the archaeological record. Where am I going wrong in this?


#14

I’ve read Diaz’s book (the Penguin Classics rendition :slight_smile: )

But yes, there’s no link between the American Indians and the Hebrews. Even genetics points this out.


#15

I was strictly responding to his question. If you have forgotten what his question was, go and read it again. Then tell me how my answer does not address his specific question.

zerinus


#16

A lot of this can be laid at Thomas Jefferson’s foot. He was quite interested in the Native American temple mounds he saw in the Ohio valley, and those were but precoursers to the huge pyramidal mounds built during the Mississippian period (e.g. Cahokia). But there is not one scintilla of evidence that this was influenced by the 10 lost tribes of Israel. They have yet to find a connection between these cultures and Mesoamerica so how can the Mormons make these claims?

Diaz’s book is horrific. When one reads what was going on, one has to conclude (in light of the Mormon claim) that

a) if Jesus did preach to the ancient Americans, he failed big time. (Which is really oxymoronic).

b) Jesus did not fail, his message was resoundingly rejected by the Native American populations. (Which would make them pariahs amongst all of humankind which they obviously are not). The peoples of the Americas wholesalely rejecting Jesus’ word? That’s a stretch of the imagination.

c) Jesus did not come to America and His command to go and make disciples amongst all nations was and is a valid command.

I admire the Mormons for their genealogical efforts and applaud them for their splendid library which I have used. But I have to think that a group of people who pay such close attention to family history would do the same to world history. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case.


#17

You did indeed answer his question. But your answer stated that the BOM is a record of God’s dealings with the ancient Americans. Title of the thread is “The Book of Mormon”. My question stems from the original posters question - why should I accept it as scripture?

I have given you my reasons why I cannot accept it as scripture. Please tell me in light of what I have written where I am wrong and why I should.


#18

I refer you again to my first reply (#15) to this post. But just an additional thought: It is obvious from your question that you have never read the Book of Mormon. If you had you would not have asked that question. My advice to you is that before asking any further questions about Mormonism, or discussing it with Mormons, that you would go and read that book first. That would help prevent you from asking irrelevant, ridiculous, or absurd questions. And just for the record, we don’t believe that “the 10 “lost” tribes of Israel ended up in the New World.”

zerinus


#19

I can best answer your question with another question. Do you believe that the Bible is scripture (i.e. the word of God)? If so, how?

zerinus


#20

Well, let’s see. Strictly from history. We know concretely that the Torah was translated into Greek in the 3rd century BC. Which implies that there were existing manuscripts in Hebrew from which the translations were made.

We know that as early as 150 AD, there was an attempt to canonize scripture. And that there are all sorts of extant manuscripts from the early church fathers regarding what was canonical and what was not. Certainly we have St. Jerome’s translations of scriptures in the late fourth centrury AD. Then there were translations into Anglo-Saxon (Old English) and the Word of God was faithfully recorded by the monks who were calligraphers and illuminators during the Middle Ages to whom I am profoundly indebted. All of which culminated in the Council of Trent to refute the protestant reformers and finalize the canon of scripture which has been in use for the last 500 years. I’ve really breezed through an awful lot of history but I know my history and I know my beliefs. To which I simply say to your question: Credo. I believe. And, I have the history to back up my claims.

Actually I have read large sections of the Book of Mormon. My job has called me to Salt Lake City on many occasions. I’ve not only read portions of the Book of Mormon, I have been through the guided tour of Temple Square which does indeed include the assertion that the lost tribes of Israel made their way to the New World… The copies of the BOM which were in the hotel had illustrations of the Hebrews crossing the Atlantic in galleys.

I don’t find my questions about archaeological evidence irrelevant, ridiculous, or absurd. Amongst the professional literature I read is the Biblical Archaeology Review. Tons of evidence to support both Old and New Testaments.

Please answer my question specifically about archaeological evidence to support your faith’s claim.


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