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  1. Perhaps the title was a trigger. Many Evangelicals, and perhaps others, accuse members of not reading the Bible 'in context.' Frankly, most of us are guilty from time to time. We have our pet verses and our favored passages--the ones that seem to prove our beliefs. My simple suggestion for understanding any scripture in context: Read it through quickly--even by scanning. For example, try reading the Bible for 10-chapters a day. Skim over the so-and-so beget so-and-so, go quickly over the elements including in building the tabernacle--just get the big picture of what is happening. You will finish in about 3-4 months. Afterwards, when someone comes a long and brings you a "magic-bullet" verse, supposedly proving something that seems odd, there will be a sense. They may seem to have a point. You may not have an immediate answer. However, Holy Spirit will shield you, and you will just know that this "proof" doesn't fit the big picture of scripture. Thoughts?
  2. Now that I'm going back to church, one of my goals this year is to gain a personal testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith being a prophet of God. To give you some background on my own familiarity with the BOM, I've read it 3x cover to cover, I've studied it for many years (seminary, church, serving a mission for 1 year, personal studies...), but yet I've never received a solid answer on if it really is the word of God. I've prayed on multiple occasions specifically asking God if the BOM is true, and as sincere and earnest as I felt those prayers were, I can say I've honestly never received an answer. I received positive feelings from time to time, but those positive feelings are not impressed upon me any differently than positive feelings I receive from reading other sources of uplifting literature. By my own admission, I acknowledge I'm not the most spiritual person. Part of being spiritually in tune with God requires a broken heart and a contrite spirit. So I admit the reason why I haven't gained a testimony of the BOM or Joseph Smith being a prophet of God is because I'm not humble enough. But how do I get to that level of humility? I don't want to keep repeating past efforts just to end up with the same result. For anyone who has a true, solid testimony of the BOM and Joseph Smith, could you please share your experience in how you gained such a testimony? I think hearing about the faith of others could help spark some hope for myself.
  3. Hello, I am new here. I am not a Mormon but my late husband was a mormon and we truly had a wonderful marriage. We had 2 children together they are now 8 and 6. My late husband passed away 5 years ago so our kids do not remember him or going to church. I would like to teach them or at least attempt to explain what their dad believed to them. Do you think that they are too young ? I don't know too much about the faith and I have forgotten most things. What do you think I should teach them first ?
  4. Tonight during family scripture study, we read in Mosiah 11 about how King Noah taxed his people and lived in laziness. One of the taxed metals was Ziff. Immediately my daughter asked, "What is Ziff?" My wife explained that it was a metal and that they could have used it like we use money. My daughter asked, "Like what?" so my wife said, "Like how we use pennies and nickles and quarters and stuff." My daughter responded with an authoritative tone and said, "It will be a quarter." It was basically like this: So now it's official I suppose!
  5. Does anyone else remember this film? I remember back when I was in Young Women's, as a mutual activity, we went to a theater to see this film. It was a small, old-timey theater and some church authorities got up and stood in front on the stage and told us about the inspirations for making the film and the experiences the cast and crew had while creating it. I was contemplating buying it but I don't remember much except that it was very long and I came away from it feeling like it was really cool and amazing. Then again, I was 15 or 16 at the time. Have you seen it? What did you think? Is it worth purchasing?
  6. Look what I found on Facebook! Being a painter, I'm really excited about this and I'm probably going to go ahead and submit soon as I figure out what I want to paint for it. ^^; I'm not sure if we have any other artists here but I wanted to post this to encourage others to participate if they so wish. I put up the link for the website and page for more information about it. Check out last years winners! Those are gorgeous!
  7. I'm just curious, Where did the Nephites, Lamanates, Amnicites, etc.. and all those people in the Book of Mormon Stories lived? Where was their location? Was it in the America's? If they did live in the Americas, did they leave any ancient artifacts, etc?
  8. I have been working on my scripture study and have started to look at ways to relate the teachings in the New Testament to teachings throughout the entire scriptures as they lead to and help with the understanding of Charity. I will start by posting this weeks studying I have done. Please feel free to comment and help me on my journey. Understanding charity to be the pure love of Christ, I let any expressions of that love and the Father's love become topics of my study to further wrap my mind around the depth and scope of charity. Wednesday 4/27/16 – Reading John 3:16 it mentions that “…God so loved the world…”. When looking into the love of God from the footnotes I discovered John 15:9 “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.” Jesus continues to John 15:17 talking about our commandments to love one another and spread the Gospel. I looked to Moroni 7:47 where we read “But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; …” The footnote on charity led first to Romans 13:10 “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.” This is referring to the commandments to not commit adultery, not kill, not steal, not bear false witness, and not covet; to love they neighbour as thyself. (Romans 13:9) Thursday 4/28/16 – In John 3:17 we read “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” This led to D&C 132:59 which is hard to follow, but when substituting the pronouns and also the general “man” with Brandon, I was able to really grasp how the Lord will bless us if we are righteously following His laws even if it breaks the law of the land. This specific verse was talking about polygamy in full context, but by D&C 132:66, after the law of polygamy is laid out, the Lord makes clear that “[He] will reveal more unto [us] hereafter…”. I surmise that this “more to be revealed” was the eventual ending of the practice of polygamy after it had been restored, since all things had to be restored in this dispensation, and the need to use it for survival was over. The law did have purpose in our survival because there was much hardship for the Church to be established and I believe that was another expression of God’s love to give us a law throughout the ages that would ensure survival, but also that it be honored. In those last verses of D&C 132 the law pertaining to the women is outlined, but in D&C 132:38-45 we see how the law works for the men as well. The story of David is mentioned, who was given many wives. David, however, married women not within the bounds the Lord had set. We can find this story in 2 Samuel Chapters 11 & 12 in which we see how this led to murder as well. In 1 Kings Chapter 11 we see how Solomon didn’t follow the rules of the law as well and this led to his apostasy. We may have laws we don’t understand, but as we follow them and research them we can see how the Lord organizes them in a way that is out of love. We can still see evidence of that love and know that we are given things not to condemn us, but to give us true freedom from the adversary. We may not even have the Gospel if polygamy wasn’t restored because of the survival of the early Mormon pioneers. We could not have experienced full restoration if it was not put in place at some time in this dispensation. I feel the only appropriate time was chosen by our omnipotent Father and that it was ended when it was no longer needed. Friday 4/29/16 – In John 3:19-21 we read “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. / For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. / But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” When I looked up light, even the light of Christ I found John 9:5 “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Jesus makes it clear that He is the light in which we can substitute His name anytime we read about the light. And in John 12:35 we read “Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.” We need to hold onto the light we have been given. Having the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, means that we do have His light with us as we follow His Gospel. We know that Jesus is the light and that according to Romans 13:10 “…love is the fulfilling of the law.” Now when we look at Matthew 22:36-40 we can see a very important revelation. Jesus is asked, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? / Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. / This is the first and great commandment. / And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. / On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Through the light, even Jesus Christ, we learn that love is the great commandment. First, to love God and, second, to love everyone else. Love is the message of light, through light is love. So as we work to bring charity into the world which is the pure love of Christ, who is light, we are bringing love and the light to the world. As we remember this we can know why Jesus also commanded at the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:14-16 “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. / Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. / Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Our light is our Lord and Savior, even Jesus Christ, as we spread charity we let Him shine to the world. Saturday 4/30/16 – As we read John 4:10 after a Samarian woman asks why a Jew would even want to talk to her, a Samarian, “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” I then looked into the gift of God, and as I found something to replace that with I came to Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Yet again we see this expression of God’s love for us as it comes through Jesus Christ. In fact, as we look back to John 3:16, and I’ll quote at full length this time, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” We see that here is another testament of Jesus Christ being a gift from God, given to us that we may experience everlasting life. Recalling the reference to “living water” in John 4:10, I wanted to see how this relates to everlasting life. I found in Nephi 11:25 as Nephi goes to the Lord to understand his father, Lehi’s, dream “And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God.” Then in Revelation 2:7 we read “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” The tree of life is a representation of God’s love and is in the midst of His paradise. It is through His love that He has sent His son as a gift to bring us everlasting life. The living water that Jesus offers is the way to eternal life. In His continued conversation with the Samarian “The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. / Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.” (John 4:25-26) So another way to see John 4:10, with everything that we have taken in today and earlier this week, is to be able to read it as “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest [eternal life through Jesus Christ], and [I that speak unto thee am he]; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee [the way to everlasting life through the love of God, which is the love of Jesus Christ, which is Charity].”
  9. I will post replies that are each daily notes as I have studied parts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and Looked to tie things back to charity. Please fill free to give me any input. I look forward to the insight and to continue sharing my notes.
  10. For those of you interested, I have a free pdf book for download entitled Translation of the "Caractors" Document. Also there are free versions of Geology of the Book of Mormon and Ziff, Magic Goggles, and Golden Plates. I just research for fun and create the books for anyone to read. You can access them at
  11. I see there are lots of theories as to the geography of the Book of Mormon. My question is, has anyone written out some kind of visual representation of the theoretical locations - relative or absolute - of the places in the Book of Mormon? I think one would be very helpful for study of the Book.
  12. I've seen several of the books in the "Made Harder" series such as can been seen Here: and Here: And was wondering if anyone has read or used them. I was thinking about possibly getting one or some of them for scripture study, but was unsure if it would be worth it or not. I would like to hear about your thoughts, or reviews of them.
  13. I am very pleased to have found this interesting website on the Church, which is managed by members of the Church. I am since 2008 a member of the church, and I have a testimony. I know that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ. I know that Joseph Smith Jr. was a true prophet of God, and Thomas Monson is a prophet of God. I know from the deepest part of my soul that the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, and that Joseph Smith had it translated correctly. No matter what will always assert enemies of the Church, I have a testimony of the truth of the Church.
  14. My husband and I have worked with a family for over a year now to get baptized. The children got baptized last year, but their mom didn't want to take the discussions. She did come to some of the discussion when the Missionaries were giving them to her children at our home. About 4 months ago, the mom decided that she does want to know more about the Church... she wants to know for herself and because she wants to go with her children to Church and be a part of what they are learning. So... my husband and I had the Missionaries coming to our house so they could teach her. After a few lessons, we had to move back to Utah as my husband's job was the Missionaries taught her at different places. (She doesn't allow other into her home for her own reasons) Things were rough going for about 3 of the months. She questioned everything every step of the way. But, at some point things started to make more sense to her and a baptism date was set two weeks ago for March 14th. My husband and I were going to travel down south because she wants him to baptize her. BUT... tonight I got a phone call from her and she told me the baptism wasn't going to happen because the one Missionary was transferred out and a new more aggressive Missionary took his place. The transfer wasn't the problem. The problem was, when the new Missionary asked her if she believe the BoM was 100% true, she told him she didn't know because, although she read the whole thing, there are so many things she does not understand that she cannot say that she believes in it 100%. So... he told her she is not ready to be baptized. She explained to him that not only has she read the whole BoM and the Bible ... but, she is also on the last chapter of Gospel Principles. That she feels that she is ready. She believes enough to know she wants to be baptized. NO ... she does not understand everything that she has read...but, she feels things will come to her in time. She is very discouraged at the moment as she has worked very hard over these last couple of months and was very excited about the upcoming baptism. My question is.... Do you think the Missionary is correct in saying she cannot be baptized because she doesn't believe 100% of something she has yet to fully understand? I know Missionaries go by the spirit, but do you think he could be missing the boat on this? Should she take this to the Bishop? Or the Ward Missionary President ...or who should she talk to? She did try to talk with this new Missionary about it...but, he still says she needs to believe 100%. She meets with the Missionaries twice a week and has done so for about 4 months or more now. Only missed 2 visits when she and the children got the flu. My own observation of things over my years as LDS. .... I know lots and lots of members who have NEVER read the BoM... how did they get baptized? .... Do you 100% believe in every word of the BoM? Or even understand 100% of it? .... Why so you think they allowed her children who were 9 and 10 years old at the time... and definitely didn't read the whole BoM or understand even what they read, get baptized? It doesn't make sense to me at all. I am not looking for her and me to get beat up over these questions... only to get some info as to what you all think. My husband said to take it to the Bishop or Ward Mission President. I think so too...but, like your opinion on the whole situation.
  15. Authors note: For clarification, the use of the word evil in this post refers to the inclination of mankind to be selfish, greedy, ungreatful and entitled to what others have. I chose the word evil, because its one of the words used in the BOM to describe our nature. The question of whether or not mankind is inherently good or evil has been debated for centuries. Fortunately for Latter-day Saints, the Book of Mormon provides the answer that yes, mankind is inherently evil. The Book of Mormons prophets describe mankind as lost, fallen, carnal, devilish, sensual, and evil. That doesn’t sound too “good” to me. From First Nephi, all the way through Moroni, the Book of Mormon is saturated with examples of “mankind’s” utter failure to be good, not to mention Heavenly Father having to step in to humble his people so they will repent and obey. I am sure many are thinking, “How can you believe that we are inherently evil after holding a baby in your arms?” First of all, we are born innocent, not evil. It is our natures that make us evil. Anyone who has kids understands that it takes a tremendous amount of effort to teach them to share, be kind, be honest, treat others with kindness, to sacrifice, to serve others, to delay gratification, and the list goes on. Despite parents’ best efforts, this battle over the “flesh” is never ending; it will be with us for the rest of our lives. Below I have proved a list of scriptures from the BOM that show we are by nature, evil. Those who believe in the goodness of man (secularists) attribute evil behavior to external forces, such as poverty, racism, and inequality. They reject the idea that mankind is “free to choose,” to rise above their circumstance and fulfill their potential. It is ironic that the belief in the goodness of mankind undermines our ability to grow spiritually. One of the unintended consequences of the secularist belief system leads people to transfer their personal responsibility onto others in order to exonerate them of their “bad” behavior.Belief in our inherent goodness acts as a stumbling block to spiritual progression. Who is more likely to humble and submit one’s will to God, someone who thinks highly of oneself or someone who believes like the brother of Jared, “that they are evil continually?” One of the easiest ways to justify bad behavior is to judge ourselves by our intentions, rather than by our actions. This form of self-delusion comes as a result of thinking we are good, after all, our intentions are good, or at least we convince ourselves to think this. This false doctrine comes from the father of all lies, who believed he was so good, so superior to both God and the Christ that he sought to "fundamentally transform" the plan of Salvation, to ensure that everyone would be saved. No doubt Satan had high self-esteem that I am sure played a role in his unwillingness to submit to Gods will, after all, why would he need to. The belief in the goodness of mankind is contrary to the Gospel because it undermines mankind's gift of agency, the very foundation of what God’s plan is built upon. This doctrine is empowering. Without it, nothing would exist. Believing we are inherently "bad," is liberating. It means we have reached a point where Christ can make us into his image. To be molded, shaped and perfected according to his will. When we understand our true nature, then we will automatically become better parents, because we will help them to fight the greatest battle in life is which is within themselves. Remember the words of the Brother of Jared, one of the greatest prophets to ever grace the earth, "we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens, and that we are unworthy before thee; because of the fall our natures have become evil continually." If feeling this away about himself is good enough for him, it’s sure good enough for me!
  16. (Note: This is an article I wrote several years ago for the Examiner. I thought you all might enjoy it and that it will lead to interesting discussions.) Latter-day Saints love the Bible and believe it as scripture. Indeed, Joseph Smith went so far as to say that we are the only people who truly believe it as it is written. Modern, sectarian Christians hang Bible verses like ornaments on an artificial tree constructed of man-made creeds, ignoring the passages which conflict with or contradict their doctrines. In the process, they have allowed a number of myths about the Bible to be promulgated because it serves their own ends. The following eight myths are summarized from "Here We Stand" by Joseph Fielding McConkie (1995, Deseret Book) McConkie is a professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University. 1. The Bible is a single book McConkie points out that the Bible is a collection of books which were gathered together by men over thousands of years. The Jewish Bible consists of 24 books that Christians call the Old Testament. The actual books that are agreed upon by Jews came from a council in 90 A.D. in Jamnia (near Joppa, Israel). At his council, it became so contentious that it resulted in bloodshed. (McConkie, 36) Christians have divided these 24 books into 39 and ordered them differently. Their version of the Old Testament comes from the Greek Septuagint, which was rejected by Jews, because of the influence of Greek thought and the inclusion of the Apocrypha. Catholics accept the Apocrypha as scripture because they sustain otherwise unscriptural doctrines, such as masses for the dead and the existence of Purgatory. (McConkie, 37-38) The origin of the New Testament begins with two second-century heretics. Marcion, a bishop's son and a wealthy ship owner, was the first to create a canonical list of books. His list rejected the Old Testament entirely as scripture and "was closed to all but ten of the epistles of Paul and the Gospel of Luke." Macrion's false teachings caused him to be excommunicated from the ancient Church. Macrion's excommunication was so final that the Church gave him back all the money he had donated.(McConkie, 38) The second "heretic" was Montanus who declared that he was the incarnation of the Holy Ghost promised by the Savior to come. He denounced the absence of revelation in the church and the lack of spiritual gifts. To counteract his claims, the church began to teach that there would be no further disruptive revelations and that the canon of scripture was closed. Over the next two centuries, Origen of Alexandria divided the books in his New Testament into classes of acknowledged books and disputed texts. The list of disputed books included James, 2nd and 3rd John, 2nd Peter, Jude, the Letter of Barnabas, and the Shepherd of Hermas. This constituted the oldest Greek manuscript, consisting of 29 books. (McConkie, 39) Eusebius of Caesaria omitted not only the Shepherd and Barnabas from his list, but also the Book of Revelation. Most Greek manuscripts omit it also. Other disputed books which Eusebius rejected were the Acts of Paul, the Revelation of Peter, and the Teachings of the Apostles. (McConkie, 39) In 367 A.D., Athanasius sent an Easter letter to the churches of his diocese, listing the books approved for reading in the church. This list matches the current-day New Testament. Thus it wasn't until the fourth century that there was any consensus on which books comprised the Bible. 2. The Bible preceded doctrine Since the Bible didn't exist in its current form in the time of the Bible, how did it then form the basis for the doctrines taught by Jesus, Peter, Paul and the other apostles? "The book was created by the church, not the church by the book." (McConkie, 40) An example of doctrine preceding the Bible would be the Nicene Creed, which was devised by a council in 325 A.D. The doctrine of the Trinity emerged from this council, which took place after the church had declared that revelation had ceased, but before the time that the canon of the Bible was agreed upon. (McConkie, 41) 3. True religion is Bible religion Since the Bible didn't exist in the time of Peter and Paul. "No one who lived within the time period of the Bible ever had a Bible." (McConkie, 41) Therefore, their religion was not "Bible religion." The Bible is the testimony that God interacts with man via revelation and spiritual gifts, directly and personally. It was not based solely upon the words of God to ancient prophets, but to living ones. Why should it not be so today? 4. Everything in the Bible is the Word of God The Bible is the word of God so far as it is translated correctly, but every word in it was not uttered by God. The Bible contains the words of the devil to Adam and Eve in the Garden and to Jesus Christ during his temptation in the wilderness. It contains the words of Adam, Eve, a serpent, angels, prophets, apostles, and their scribes. It even contains the words spoken by Balaam's mule, who chastened him for his cruel treatment. All these are in addition to the words of God spoken to prophets and the words of Jesus Christ himself. (McConkie, 43) 5. The canon is closed Nowhere in the books of the Bible does it say that the canon of scripture is closed. Many will refer to the last lines of Revelation to claim that the book cannot be added to. Since the Bible didn't exist at the time of the writing of the Revelation of John, it couldn't refer to the Bible as a whole. The Revelation remained a disputed book for two centuries after John penned it. Thus the commandment that it should not be added to must refer to that particular scroll which John wrote. We should understand that most scholars believe that John himself "added to" the Bible, because it is commonly believed that he wrote Revelation before the Gospel of John. The Gospel of John came AFTER the book of Revelation in the chronological sequence of Bible texts. The apostle John told us that "...there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one...that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written." A similar interdiction against adding to God's word appears in Deuteronomy. Following the logic of those who say the Bible can't be added to because of John's statement, we must consider tossing anything that comes after Moses and Deuteronomy. Man's rejection of further revelation is an attempt to "mute" God and deny that he has power to reveal anything new or essential to mankind. It defends the status quo, having a "form of godliness" but denies the power thereof. Since the Bible itself doesn't claim to contain all God's words, it would require a revelation from God to tell us that the Bible is inerrant, sufficient, persipicacious, and the final authority in all things. Thus, you can see the quandary: it would require a revelation to tell us that there will be no more revelation. The position is logically untenable. 6. The Bible can be interpreted independent of a predetermined ideology McConkie poses a hypothetical situation. Suppose an angel took a copy of the Bible to a people who had no knowledge of it whatsoever and had no predetermined views on its contents. Suppose they built up a church using the Bible as their guide. Can we realistically imagine that they would, using the Bible alone, come up with anything remotely resembling the doctrine of the Trinity? Neither can we imagine that they would come up with a doctrine that one is saved solely by God's grace, without the requirement of faith and obedience to the commandments of God and the ordinances. (McConkie, 50) The Bible doesn't clearly explain how to baptize, who can perform the ordinance, and at what age the ordinance the ordinance can take place. It doesn't explain the duties of bishops, deacons, and elders and what are the limits of their ecclesiastical authority. Thus everyone, including Mormons, must interpret the Bible through an ideological lens. The lens the Jew uses is different than the Christian. The historian will use a different lens altogether. The Mormon's view must necessarily differ from that of Jews, the Christians, and the historian. This realization is important, because we must understand that, without modern day revelation to guide us, one Bible interpretation is no more authoritative than another. The restoration of the Gospel, the First Vision, the Book of Mormon, all provide additional light and knowledge that give us the keys to interpret the Bible correctly. Without revelation, it would be impossible to determine whose interpretation is correct, because each interpretation will be influenced by the world view of its proponents. The same scriptures that convince a Jew that it is unlawful to turn on a light switch on the Sabbath day also convince him that Jesus couldn't have been the Messiah. (McConkie, 48) The same Bible that convinces Christians to proclaim an end to revelation and miracles also led a young Joseph Smith to "ask of God" and receive a glorious vision of the Father and the Son. 7. To know the Bible is to understand it The Bible is probably the most misquoted book in existence. Paul is probably the most misquoted person ever. The Bible was written by living oracles of God to people who were accustomed to and accepting of the principle of contemporary revelation from God. The counsel and guidance the apostles gave were to people who had a shared understanding. It makes no sense to preach grace to those who haven't repented, been baptized,and had a remission of their sins. It doesn't add up to teach about spiritual gifts and the fruits of the spirit to those who have no right to them. The scriptures don't ask the reader to accept Christ as a personal Savior or to make a committment for Christ, because it is addressed to those who had already accepted Christ by covenant. (McConkie, 53) The cafeteria-style doctrinal approach of contemporary Christian churches is the result of their rejection of modern revelation as a possibility. Without revelation to guide, one must try to cobble together some theology by picking and choosing what fits into one's world view and reject the rest as "metaphors" or "symbolism." (McConkie, 54) 8. The Bible is common ground in missionary work This statement applies especially to Latter-day Saints. We often assume that the Bible is the common ground from which we can build understanding. If there was any semblance of agreement in modern Christianity, do you think there would be a thousand quarelling sects and denominations? (McConkie, 54) Joseph Smith went into the grove to pray because he came to the conclusion that it was impossible to find out which Church he should join by studying the Bible alone. This is a true statement. In this "war of words" and "tumult of opinions" that rages in Christendom, the only way to find the truth is to "ask of God." (James 1:5) Thus the Book of Mormon becomes the preeminent tool for conversion. It offers clear and plain gospel teachings free of sectarian interpretations. It clarifies the Bible's teachings and helps identify the interpolations of men. It also identifies to the sincere seeker, where and how to locate the conduit of personal revelation for himself, independent of anyone or anything else. Latter-day Saints will be more effective by teaching the gospel from the Book of Mormon than from any other source. We should encourage all interested parties to seek truth in prayer and from the Book of Mormon. Finding the truth in this manner identifies the means of obtaining personal revelation, the source of restored authority, how to obtain the ordinances of salvation, and how to live in such a manner as to obtain and keep a remission of one's sins.
  17. I was listening to the introduction to the Book of Mormon while driving yesterday. The first paragraph states: "The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel." There are several other places where the Book of Mormon is indicated to contain the fullness of the gospel as well. (D&C 20:9, for example) So the thought I had, which I felt might be interesting to discuss, was: If the Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel, where does that leave things that are not in the Book of Mormon? Take, for example, Eternal Marriage. Nothing in the Book of Mormon, right? But would it be accurate to say that eternal marriage is not part of the gospel? Hardly. I know there are reasonable ideas to be had concerning this. I have a few. I also haven't done any level of research into it. Yet. But I thought it would be interesting to pose the question without any conjecturing to begin with. Just to add to the conversation: The version I have on mp3 (which I presume is pre-2013 changes) is slightly different (see bolded): "The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains, as does the Bible, the fulness of the everlasting gospel."
  18. I am new to this site and so far I think it is pretty good site. I am 59 and have been a member of the Church for 32 years. I love the Lord and look forward to finding other people who enjoy discussing the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I tell people when they first meet me that I am not like any woman you have ever met before or are likely to meet. I am not crazy, but I do enjoy life. I have various hobbies and enjoy learning how to do them better. In fact I like learning. There is a website that will help you learn more, but I am not sure if I can tell you the website, al though I have no direct ties to it. I am divorced, but no children. When I was younger , not having children did not bother to awful much. But now that I am older, I sure wish I had grandchildren to spoil. well it was glad to talk to y'all. Stop by and say hello if you got a minute.
  19. In the Book of Mormon it is prophesyed that it will be brought forth unto the descendants of the Lamanites by the gentiles. Yet in modern day, we know that the house of Israel is being gathered and the early days of the church it was primarily Ephraim. Joseph Smith himself is of the house of Ephraim hence the "stick of Joseph" thing. So why does it refer to them as the gentiles. I know that sometimes gentiles can mean those without the gospel, even if they are decendants of Isreal. In that case however, the Lamanite descendants would also be gentiles right? Yet it disctinctly says that by the gentiles will the Book of Mormon be brought to the house of Isreal. How to interpret?
  20. I served a mission in the 70s. In our missionary discussion book, we had a page that listed about 20 scriptures in chronological order from the Book of Mormon. We would take a Book of Mormon and mark it up, circling scriptures and at the bottom write the next page number to go to, to read more marked up scriptures all the way to the back of the book. Then we would hand the book to anyone we would meet on the street. I wish they still did that because I thought it was a good way to introduce what is actually in the Book of Mormon and an incentive to read more of it. Well, I have lost my discussion book with those scriptures. Does anyone have that list and would you post those scriptures? I want to mark up a book and give it to a friend with my testimony in it.
  21. Dear LDS Friends, Recently, I was reading about how Joseph Smith's mentioned a man named "Mahujah-Mahijah" a century before archeologists verified his existence in the Dead Sea Scrolls. I would like more information on the matter, as well as on a related story about how the Book of Mormon contains over 14 Jewish names that were unknown in the days of your prophet, but were supposedly later discovered to be genuine. Also, if you know of any other arguments and evidences that would tend to support the authenticity of LDS Scriptures, can you please point me in the right direction? Thanks! Sincerely in Christ, Geoffrey
  22. I have created a Book of Mormon Testimony Translation site where bi-lingual LDS members translate testimonies for other members. Any suggestions on how to promote it? It is a perfect way for return missionaries to keep up on their language skills. Book of Mormon Testimony Translator - index Thanks,
  23. In Sunday School classes, 2012 will be focus on The Book of Mormon. I, being the Sunday School teacher in my branch, am quite excited to be delving into the pages of this great book of scripture. Once, on my mission, I ran into someone of another faith and he asked me a good question, "Why is the Book of Mormon necessary?" "Why do we need it if we have the Bible?" I gave him the best answers I had at the time (clearness of doctrine, 2nd witness of Christ, etc.). I wanted to hear some of your input on why we need The Book of Mormon. What does it offer to you? Any input is welcome. Thanks.
  24. Just a thought that I for those that are LDS if you are faithful and keep the commandments and have a marriage that is sealed for time and all eternity and you endure to the end and receive all of your Temple endowments you will go to the Celestial Kingdom more than likely, is that correct? Well for those people that are non-LDS won't they end up in either the Terrestial or Telestial Kingdom's even if they don't do all of those things? Also, in comparing Christianity vs. LDS, Christian's maintain they are saved by grace through faith and not of works lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). This goes against what it says in 2 Nephi 25:23 23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. So let's compare the two now... Christian's believe they are saved by grace not of works as I have stated with the above Bible passage, but the LDS hold that we are saved by grace after all that we can do, correct? So when do you know if you have done enough? Is there ever any assurance that you will be saved, or do you just hope by doing all that you can do and relying on Christ's sacrifice to make up the slack that you'll be saved and go to the Celestial Kingdom? If the LDS Church is right, then those who don't agree with it, the worst that can happen to them is ending up in either the Telestial or Terrestial Kingdom, right? If the Christian is right, in by saying that we are only saved by Christ's sacrifice and that is what we have to rely upon, not our works as Ephesians 2:8-9 states, then those who rely on their works (LDS) will be cast into Hell for all eternity and those who rely wholly upon Christ will be saved or go to heaven. What do you all think about this? Doesn't it seem as though if you are not LDS and are just a Christian that you have less to lose so to speak?
  25. I am not a member of the LDS Church but I ask this question in all sincerity. Members of the LDS Church exhibit the highest level of morality, community activity, and faith of any organized religious group of which I'm aware. Your cultivation of family bonding is beyond reproach. Your involvement in community and international good works are exemplary. My question is simply what do you base your great faith on? I have studied and researched the LDS church for a number of years. The information I have comes from LDS documentation and from non-Mormon sources as well. I feel I can get a more direct input from members of the LDS Church themselves. I ask my question because I personally have problems understanding the depth of your faith. As a devout practitioner of the Judeo Christian faith (I'm a follower of Christ) and am not tied to any particular denomination). I believe in and love the Lord God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength and I seek to treat my neighbor as I would be treated myself. I believe that the Holy Bible is the inerrant Word of God as it was originally delivered to man. I do believe there are translation problems caused by various translators but I do not believe the actual word of God and His plan for mankind has been altered in any way. Back to my question. Joseph Smith translated the book of Mormon from a stack of metal plates (either gold or some yellowish metal). Apparently these plates were shown to 11 others as described in the preface to the book of Mormon. The major three witnesses were all excommunicated from the LDS Church although I understand two of them returned. There are various accounts in various documents regarding how these witnesses saw the plates. From what I understand every one of them in one way or the other recanted their original statements as to having seen the plates physically. Each stated when questioned further they saw the plates "through the eye of faith", or in other words through a vision. The plates were ultimately returned to the delivering angel, Moroni. If there are no plates to verify the authenticity of the Book of Mormon and nothing but the word of a group of people who apparently saw them in a vision, how valid do you feel the existence of the plates actually is? Other, of course, than because you believe in them by faith or an inner feeling alone. Along with that the Book of Abraham was translated from scraps of papyrus that are still in possession of the Church. Since modern Egyptologist have discounted any connection with these documents to what was translated by Joseph Smith apparently the accepted method of translation is he did it simply by the gift and power of the Holy Spirit. It seems the papyrus fragments were used as a ‘trigger’ that caused Joseph Smith to be able to write the Book of Abraham. How do you justify your deep faith based on the statements of human beings only. There is no supernatural or physical verification at all that I see. This has been quiet a long question with much extra information included to hopefully let you know the sincerity with which I am asking it. I thank you deeply for bearing with my extended note. I really try to make myself as clear as possible in any of my writing. At least that's the excuse I use when I ramble on. Sincerely looking forward to your answers. TimP