Introduction to the Book of Mormon

Hi all this is an introduction to a new series, over the next month or two I will be looking at the content and origins of the Book of Mormon. This is an extremely important book of Scripture to the Mormon people and is one of their 4 standard works of scripture, including the Bible, the Doctrine and Covenant’s and the Pearl of Great Price.

For this post I would like the LDS church to be able to explain for itself their belief on the background of the LDS church.

Missionaries are handing out copies all over the world, even as you read this. It’s about the size of a regular paperback book, an inch or so thick, in a dark blue cover. So what is this book? If it’s given out for free, why do so many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints count their Book of Mormon as their most valuable possession? What kind of book can cause so many readers to change their lives, their minds and their hearts? What kind of book can answer life’s seemingly unanswerable questions?

The Book of Mormon is the word of God, like the Bible. It is holy scripture, with form and content similar to that of the Bible. Both books contain God’s guidance as revealed to prophets as well as religious accounts of different civilizations. While the Bible is written by and about the people in the land surrounding Israel, and takes place from the creation of the world until shortly after the death of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon contains the history and God’s revelations to the people who lived in the Americas between approximately 600 BC and 400 AD. The prophets in the Book of Mormon recorded God’s dealings with His people, which were compiled by a man named Mormon onto golden plates.

The faithful Christians among them died out, but not before their record was safely hidden away. Joseph Smith obtained these gold plates in 1827, and with the Lord’s help Joseph was able to translate the ancient writing into what we have today. The Book of Mormon, along with the Bible, testifies that Jesus Christ is our divine Redeemer and that by living according to His gospel we can find peace in this life and eternal happiness in the life to come. (http://www.mormon.org/book-of-mormon/)

So the belief is that an angel called Moroni showed Joseph Smith where the gold plates were buried and he used them to translate the book of Mormon. They believe the book of Mormon is an account of God’s dealings with people who came over from Jerusalem to America and the wars between the two tribes that make up these people.

I will look at the theological issues with this book and the issues of translation and the historical background of the book of Mormon. Please follow my posts on this whatever your background, LDS members in particular please let me know your thoughts and if you would like to add any comments to this post explaining in more detail about the book of Mormon and what it means to you that would be great. Unless you indicate you want otherwise I will not debate your comments after this post with you, as its your chance to explain in your words.

More to follow.

Thanks a lot

6 thoughts on “Introduction to the Book of Mormon”

  1. Hi, was reading through your comments and you quote
    “I will look at the theological issues with this book and the issues of translation and the historical background of the book of Mormon.”
    If you expect to look at theological issues to do with this scripture you really need to drill down through the Bible. This book had undergone more translations than anyother book, along with all the errors that are entailed with this. It is also a book that has, historically been tampered with more than the evidence in the OJ Simpson case.

    I do not decry either book, I was a practicing Mormon but no longer follow any particular faith, but I feel you must let people follow their own ways and not try to discredit them. My own personal belief is that you can follow any religious practice just as long as it does no harm, something early Christians could have done well to follow!

    I hope you remember the respect you talk about in your blog and leave these good men and women to follow thier beliefs without prejudice.

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    1. Now then Mark thanks for comment, I respect that in the end people can choose to do whatever they want, however I am here to show issues that people need to consider, after considering these issues if Mormons decide to stay as Mormons then thats absolutely their choice, out of interest what stopped you being a Mormon?

      Regarding the bible that’s an issue I am always happy to discuss but I would like this thread to be available for LDS to stare their thoughts on the book of Mormon. So if you would like to discuss this further please email me on bobbygilpin@googlemail.com thanks a lot

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  2. For me, the Book of Mormon serves two important functions:

    (1) It brings me closer to Christ. The book is a constant plea for repentance, humility, and faith in Christ. It is incredibly Christ-centered. I find inspiration every time I crack its pages.

    (2) The Book of Mormon serves as a symbol of something wonderful. Specifically, it is a symbol of the Restoration, of continuing revelation, of modern prophets, of more scripture, and that the heavens are opened. We rejoice in these things. Most mainstream Christians find little in the Book of Momon to disagree with theologically, but the mere existence of the book is what really causes so much consternation. This is because the book represents continuing revelation, something that doesn’t sit well with the ages old tradition of a closed canon.

    I look forward to your series. Nobody knows the Book of Mormon better than the Latter-day Saints, and we have plumbed its depths far more exhaustively than anyone else, and we feel we’ve only scratched the surface. You’d better do your research!

    James

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  3. Bobby, I think James is right when he says:
    “The mere existence of the book is what really causes so much consternation. This is because the book represents continuing revelation, something that doesn’t sit well with the ages old tradition of a closed canon.”

    Here’s why:

    6I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
    7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
    8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
    9As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

    And this:

    13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.
    14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
    15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

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