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Roper

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Re: The BOM - reality or not
« Reply #60 on: February 01, 2020, 08:14:15 pm »
The Title Page of the Book of Mormon makes unmistakable claims of authenticity. Joseph Smith said of the Title Page:
Quote
the title-page of the Book of Mormon is a literal translation, taken from the very last leaf, on the left hand side of the collection or book of plates, which contained the record which has been translated, the language of the whole running the same as all Hebrew writing in general; and that said title page is not by any means a modern composition, either of mine or of any other man who has lived or does live in this generation” (History of the Church, 1:71).
If the church were to make an official declaration by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve that the Book of Mormon is so much "faith promoting fiction," then I'm out. You'll find me worshiping with the Messianic Jews.
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 
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Panama Jones

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Re: The BOM - reality or not
« Reply #61 on: February 02, 2020, 06:17:27 pm »
And, I would ask, if the First Presidency were to come out with a statement declaring the Book of Mormon to be inspired fiction, why? How would that help further the work of the Church and help the Gospel go forth? It would be just as much a distraction as all the efforts to prove the Book of Mormon is true. The truth is made in how we connect with it and make it a part of our discipleship.
 
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TurkeyLurker

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Re: The BOM - reality or not
« Reply #62 on: February 02, 2020, 06:25:01 pm »
The Title Page of the Book of Mormon makes unmistakable claims of authenticity. Joseph Smith said of the Title Page:
Quote
the title-page of the Book of Mormon is a literal translation, taken from the very last leaf, on the left hand side of the collection or book of plates, which contained the record which has been translated, the language of the whole running the same as all Hebrew writing in general; and that said title page is not by any means a modern composition, either of mine or of any other man who has lived or does live in this generation” (History of the Church, 1:71).
If the church were to make an official declaration by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve that the Book of Mormon is so much "faith promoting fiction," then I'm out. You'll find me worshiping with the Messianic Jews.


If that happened, I wouldn't be worshiping anywhere.  The only thing that possibly makes Monotheistic "one and only true church" religion possible for me is the temple and second chances for those who don't have the ability to accept the Savior while on earth.  Without that, I can't believe in anything that says "No man cometh unto the Father except by me."  If this church isn't true, then no Christian church is, IMHO.  And I won't be worshiping Vishnu any time soon.
 
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Taalcon

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Re: The BOM - reality or not
« Reply #63 on: February 02, 2020, 06:41:46 pm »
Well, Vishnu is the aspect of godhead known as the Sustainer, and chooses to incarnate Himself into the world to be born as a human to save them, aid them, and overcome great evil.

The Ramayana features the key incarnation of Vishnu as Rama, and tells of his unrighteous rejection, and bearing of sorrows as he strives to overcome evil through integrity, faithfulness, and love for his people.

In the Mahabharata, an epic family war drama taking place centuries later, he is present in the background influencing most key events in as Krishna, and gives a long sermon laying out the meaning of life and laws to achieving eternal life by overcoming the Natural Man.

In many ways, the Mahabharata is to the Ramayana what the Book of Mormon is to the New Testament.

Assuming God has been seeking to work his truths into the great minds and storytellers of the whole world, including India, seeing themes and truths and key narrative patterns working through the framework of those stories and their chief deities only makes sense to me.

(Before anyone jumps in to point them out, I'm not saying there aren't very big differences in the stories and the figures. I'm very well aware. It's also very much not the point.)
« Last Edit: February 02, 2020, 06:50:39 pm by Taalcon »
 
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Taalcon

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Re: The BOM - reality or not
« Reply #64 on: February 02, 2020, 07:04:03 pm »
A reason why this is personal, is related to something I've probably shared here before, but it's probably been a while. When I was in high school, before knowing anything about the Church, I was sitting in math class, and someone's Marilyn Manson 'Antichrist Superstar' shirt led to me to ask myself questions about the nature of prophecy. Almost immediately, a story idea slammed into my mind that I wrote an outline to immediately.

An ancient previously unknown book purporting to be of lost prophecies is discovered. How does the one who found them (a nobody) interpret them and used them?

This story became more interesting to me than anything, and I kept working on it. I then had another story image come to mind - a young boy being in despair with the wars and turmoil around him, so goes off to a solitude place - a lake. He cries out for help - and a sphere of light, "brighter than the noonday sun" comes to him, and speaks with a voice as calm as one "speaking to his own beloved son". He promised a time of coming gathering and deliverance. Jannes would dedicate the rest of his life seeking to understand and do the will of the gods and preparing a pacifist nation that would eventually overcome the world in peace.

I'm not joking. This is before I had ever known or heard anything about the founding Latter-day Saint stories, or knew anything about the Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith. I still have those drafts of rough ideas handwritten on paper. I've kept them, because it wasn't until after joining the Church years later that I made the connection that I was building my fictional story around a core framework that was based on something i had found to be true, that DID happen.
 
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Roper

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Re: The BOM - reality or not
« Reply #65 on: February 02, 2020, 07:50:46 pm »
I love hearing how God works in our lives, and how inspiration comes in the most unlikely places. It's a variation on the theme of God turning water into wine.
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 
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Jason

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Re: The BOM - reality or not
« Reply #66 on: February 02, 2020, 09:50:09 pm »
The testimonies of the 3 and 8 witnesses would be major problems with an announcment that the Book of Mormon was a work of fiction. An angel visited the 3, showed them the plates, and the voice of God told them that the translation was true. The 8 witnesses felt and hefted the gold plates. If the Book of Mormon is not reality, then what were these physical plates? Where did they come from?

I have not found an apologetics that would work for this scenario.
 
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Taalcon

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Re: The BOM - reality or not
« Reply #67 on: February 02, 2020, 10:20:13 pm »
Quote
I have not found an apologetics that would work for this scenario.

While not what I would necessarily consider 'apologetics', Anne Tave's thoughts are VERY relevant to that. Here's her paper:
http://www.religion.ucsb.edu/wp-content/uploads/B-6-Golden-Plates-Numen.pdf

Here's how Don Bradley summarized her work/approach:
Quote
Taves, a non-Mormon scholar, has taken up a challenge laid down by Richard Bushman and Terryl Givens. The argument by Bushman and Givens is that the nature of Joseph Smith's claim to have the Nephite golden plates is such that one must either fully accept it or think that he was a fraud: i.e., there is no middle ground on which to reject Joseph Smith's claim to have the Nephite plates while accepting his sincerity. This is an argument I've also made myself, in various discussions online, going back several years.

Taves rejects the idea of a necessary dichotomy here and wonders whether non-LDS scholars like her can do all of these four things at once: 1) accept the evidence for the materiality of what Joseph Smith presented to others as the plates; 2) accept Joseph Smith's sincerity in believing that this object was, in fact, the sacred Nephite golden plates; 3) accept Joseph Smith as mentally healthy non-"delusional" person; and 4) yet not believe--i.e. not think that Joseph Smith actually had ancient golden plates.

Taves thinks there is a way to reconcile these four things. In making her case she brings together two ideas that are new to discussion of this topic. First, she invokes the idea, manifest in various religious traditions, that a mundane object can become sacred. Second, she uses the idea, from Heidegger, of "skilled seeing."

The first idea here is that sacred objects become sacred somehow, and that they may begin as mundane objects and then, through a process accepted by believers, become something more, something sacred. The clearest example she offers is the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, through which it is believed that the sacramental bread and wine are transformed in an utterly real, if non-chemical, way into the body and blood of Christ. While Taves doesn't try to identify an equivalent process in Mormon theology, via which one substance can become another or the mundane can become the sacred, she suggests that just as various other religious traditions have processes by which one thing can be changed into something different and holier, Joseph Smith could well have believed in divine processes that could fill an equivalent role.

Second, Taves accepts the idea of Joseph Smith as a seer, but in secular terms. The Heideggerian notion of "skilled seeing" is that some gifted individuals can see the potential in ordinary life that others do not. Artists and visionaries of various types fit this category. Michaelangelo, for instance, could look at a block of stone and (reportedly) see the Madonna and Child within it: he saw himself as merely chipping away the rock that surrounded it to "liberate" the potential that was already there. Similarly, Taves thinks Joseph Smith was a kind of visionary who saw potential where others could not. In this case, the idea is, Joseph saw the potential for a mundane object to be transformed into the sacred golden plates through some process that, in his belief system, was efficacious.

Taves's hypothesis is that Joseph Smith made plates, or a stand-in for plates, and then transformed them, or believed God or the angel transformed them, into the golden plates.

In presenting this idea, she uses another analogy, this time to a narrative in the Book of Mormon itself: that of the brother of Jared. She sees an equivalence, or at least a parallel, between the brother of Jared making stones and offering them to God for his sanctifying, illuminating touch and Joseph Smith making plates and then similarly presenting them to God for sanctification and transformation. Joseph Smith's faith here, as she sees it, would not be a passive faith but an active faith: the plates would not just appear; he had to take a hand in helping to "materialize" them

EDIT: To be clear, I am not advocating for this position. It was stated someone had not seen an approach which grappled with a unique issue, and this was a fascinating thoughtful approach I'd remembered that fit the bill. Her example of the Stones in the Book of Ether as an example of this struck me as being particularly insightful, and showed she was very much attempting to solve what she saw as a problem in a highly respectful way.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 10:36:39 am by Taalcon »
 
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kazbert

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Re: The BOM - reality or not
« Reply #68 on: February 03, 2020, 01:06:37 am »
It is God’s Will that we sustain our church leaders. There is an allegiance between God and His chosen prophets, seers, and revelators. As long as the leaders are being loyal to God, God will be loyal to them. God justifies their words; God does not justify our rebelling against their words. If the leaders are in error, God will take care of it in His own way and in His own time. In the meantime, “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”

Having an opinion that differs from doctrine does not get one excommunicated. Claiming that the church leaders are in error, and then trying to win other members over to your POV, will. At that point, you become a wolf in sheep’s clothing among the flock, and the church is obliged to drive you out for the sake of the faithful.

Back to the BoM: Are we debating whether the BoM was fabricated by Joseph Smith, or debating whether some parts are allegorical rather than literal? The BoM is the keystone of our religion. Toss the BoM out and we have no religion. I have obtained a witness by the Spirit that the BoM was written by ancient prophets somewhere on the American continents. If church leadership were to claim that the BoM to be a fabrication, I believe that I am obliged to follow wherever the Spirit leads me. I would pray about it. What others believe the Spirit has told them is their own concern, not mine.
If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.
Ronald Reagan
 
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Taalcon

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Re: The BOM - reality or not
« Reply #69 on: February 03, 2020, 07:50:37 am »
1. I Absolutely believe God wants us to have, read, ponder, study, and learn from the Book of Mormon.
2. I absolutely believe the Book of Mormon as we currently have it is the result of a divine revelation that came through Joseph Smith.
3. I believe the Book of Mormon text/narrative has, at the very least, an ancient core, with authentic historical persons participating in its crafting.
4. I believe there are many parts of the Book of Mormon that only make sense within an ancient context.
5. I believe there are also parts of the Book of Mormon that make absolutely NO sense within a solely ancient context.
6. I have had personal experiences that have led me to a strong belief that God can transmit a core of historical Truth, and allow the recipient to creatively build upon it in the process of working it out. The person doing so is not always aware this is happening.
7. The plates and artifacts themselves (which are completely absent from our experience) are an absolute enigma to me.
8. With #1 being the most important thing for people to practically accept, I am okay with whatever approach currently works for someone at the time that leads them to #1. I myself have been up and down the spectrum, and each approach has helped me to focus on what I needed to focus on.

Ultimately, I think the Book of Mormon is a very complicated, profound book and doesn't fit neatly into any category - that includes 100% literal translation of ancient sources OR 100% 19th Century American Religious Text. I really think it's a bridge between those two worlds. And I'm still working out what exactly that means.

For me, asking if its 'reality or not' has been found to be unproductive. I've found it more helpful to ask, "Is it's God's book, or not?" - one can act on a positive and committed answer to this in a life-changing covenant-making way while still having a tenuous grasp on the details of how that actually worked out.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 10:33:45 am by Taalcon »
 
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Patty Rain

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Re: The BOM - reality or not
« Reply #70 on: February 03, 2020, 03:39:42 pm »
There have been many rationalizations coming from the Church about a few things. So, with that in mind, would it matter to you if it turned out that the BOM was a faith-promoting story and not an actual history of a family leaving Jerusalem and going to the Americas?

For me, I think this would matter less than ordaining women would.

No, not at this point.  I would actually feel better about some parts if it were - like Nephi killing Laban. 

I would have a hard time with the ordination of women if it were done as we do with men. I've felt for a few years now that women could be ordained(?) with a sort of power(?) that we don't know much about.

I'm not sure how to explain it but men may be fathers and hold the priesthood and my feeling is that women may be mothers and have womanhood(?).  Something creative - but not really crafty.  Giving life to new ideas somehow.  And no I am not saying women are more spiritual or something like that. I'm talking about something that would be in partnership with being ordained with the priesthood. It goes along with "Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."

I could be totally wrong on that, but it just seems to make sense to me.  So I think I might be disappointed if we started ordination women just like we do men.  If we did it through ordination it seems like it should be in such a way that it fits with gender being an essential characteristic.
Time for a change.  I am yungmom, but have wanted a new username for some time.
 
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kazbert

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Re: The BOM - reality or not
« Reply #71 on: February 03, 2020, 09:41:19 pm »


I would have a hard time with the ordination of women if it were done as we do with men. I've felt for a few years now that women could be ordained(?) with a sort of power(?) that we don't know much about.

I'm not sure how to explain it but men may be fathers and hold the priesthood and my feeling is that women may be mothers and have womanhood(?).  Something creative - but not really crafty.  Giving life to new ideas somehow.  And no I am not saying women are more spiritual or something like that. I'm talking about something that would be in partnership with being ordained with the priesthood. It goes along with "Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."

I could be totally wrong on that, but it just seems to make sense to me.  So I think I might be disappointed if we started ordination women just like we do men.  If we did it through ordination it seems like it should be in such a way that it fits with gender being an essential characteristic.

Something I have found interesting to ponder:

I have a non-Mormon friend, Tom, who is a physicist that I first met back in 1991. We were both working as engineers for General Electric. Figuratively speaking, Tom was born with his brain wired differently than anyone else I’ve met. He perceives the world in a way that is thought provoking. I have enjoyed many gospel conversations with him, and continue to via FaceBook. His FB page is his podium to share with others his unique view of gospel topics that have caught his eye. I have found that much of what he preaches aligns well with our doctrine, though not entirely.

Lately Tom has been preaching about Adam, Eve, the rib, husband-wife relationships (both figurative and literal). Tom’s take on husband-only Priesthood and the woman being submissive to that Priesthood is that both of the husband and wife roles address a weakness characteristic of both. The husband has the Priesthood because he would tend to (generally, not encompassing of all men) shirk leadership responsibility. That certainly fits my own personality. I will take on a leadership role if I have to but I’d much rather let someone else do it. The wife’s role is to be submissive to the Priesthood because she tends to (generally, not encompassing all women) reach out to grasp that which she will eventually be given but is not her place to take upon herself. Tom perceives this played out in the Garden with the fruit.

I recognize that this line of thinking would probably play out better to a Western 1950 audience than a Western 2020 audience, but I like the idea that the husband-wife roles have a spiritual-growth kind of purpose in mortality rather than just seemingly to be arbitrary.
If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.
Ronald Reagan
 
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Jason

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Re: The BOM - reality or not
« Reply #72 on: February 09, 2020, 10:36:25 am »
From today's Come Follow Me assignment.
Quote
2 Nephi 1:10 But behold, when the time cometh that they shall dwindle in unbelief, after they have received so great blessings from the hand of the Lord—having a knowledge of the creation of the earth, and all men, knowing the great and marvelous works of the Lord from the creation of the world; having power given them to do all things by faith; having all the commandments from the beginning, and having been brought by his infinite goodness into this precious land of promise—behold, I say, if the day shall come that they will reject the Holy One of Israel, the true Messiah, their Redeemer and their God, behold, the judgments of him that is just shall rest upon them.

11 Yea, he will bring other nations unto them, and he will give unto them power, and he will take away from them the lands of their possessions, and he will cause them to be scattered and smitten.

12 Yea, as one generation passeth to another there shall be bloodsheds, and great visitations among them; wherefore, my sons, I would that ye would remember; yea, I would that ye would hearken unto my words.
I had always assumed that these scriptures were referring to the coming of the Europeans to the Americas. But, what if this was a much more immediate displacement by other nations? What if other peoples came and took over around 400-500 CE? Then more and more different groups? Maybe not even coming from across the seas, but other civilizations that were also in the Americas, especially if the Nephites and Lamanites occupied a much smaller section of land than we previously thought? Their DNA would have become integrated and indistinguishable from that of the other indigenous people. It says that this would occur once they rejected the Messiah, which happened a long time ago. It also says that this would occur as one generation passed into another, which suggests a long, ongoing process.
 
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Taalcon

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Re: The BOM - reality or not
« Reply #73 on: February 09, 2020, 11:48:26 am »
Jason, I actually had a very similar thought when I read that part, too. It's interesting to think how much we tend to assume a text means something because, "That's always been how we've seen it".

And it's also interesting how much can change in our perceptions when just one key assumption changes.

When the BoM is allowed in one's mind to take place in a small geographic region on a continent that was not uninhabited pre-Lehites, a lot of the common knowledge explanations can become unneccessary or illogical.

It also hit me a few chapters ago with Nephi's Vision how in the sections where it does explicitly speak of the Gentiles coming, they were gentiles who did not have the fulness of the gospel, and were in error in and of themselves. And it wouldn't be the Europeans coming over that would renew the covenant - it would be the coming forth of the Lehite record that would have an effect on gentiles, who would then have the goal/mission to restore the covenant to them, and the world.

In essence, rather than the gentiles coming to the Americas to save the natives, the gentiles (who believed they DID have the full truth)came here so that the record of the natives would be granted to enable them to be converted to the truth and save themselves, and also return it to and serve the people whom their ancestors had conquered in ignorance. In fact, the conquerors are held to a bit of a higher standard because they at least RETAINED a volume of scripture, and did atrocities in spite of them.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 12:06:05 pm by Taalcon »
 
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Re: The BOM - reality or not
« Reply #74 on: February 09, 2020, 12:04:23 pm »
I’ve had similar thoughts.
Jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.
-Ray Bradbury
 
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