BBC Mormon Documentary

For any of you who missed it here is the recent BBC Documentary on Mitt Romney and the Mormon Church. Its interesting and has some fantastic moments, such as seeing Jeffrey Holland of the Mormon 12 Apostles talk about the Book of Abraham Issue.

However it does massively focus on Polygamy, and there are better more current Mormon issues that can be focused upon, nevertheless well worth a watch.

64 thoughts on “BBC Mormon Documentary”

  1. Thanks for posting.

    On the question of Polygamy I disagree that it is of lesser import today than other issues, it is an on going part and is indicative of the Mormon scandal that is ‘Lying for the Lord’. LDS Church sanctioned deceit by its highest members down to the most lowly.

    I met Jeffrey Holland about Twenty years ago, he was in the UK with his wife and delivered a sermon on miracles, drawing on a story of how he had ‘accidentally’ run over his own child with an SUV and crushed that child, but how the child had been miraculously healed by God instantaneously. Sister (Mrs) Holland sat behind him as he delivered the story with an expression of utter shock on her face and it was seemingly obvious to anyone who was looking at her that she had never heard the story before nor could she relate to it or her proported part in it whatsoever.
    I believe it possible for Elder Holland to be an advocate of the doctrine of ‘Lying for the Lord’ as it is a requirement for members of the quorum of the twelve and certainly is a user of the late president Hinckley’s tactic of feigned ignorance on church 101 matters when it suits him as is Elder Purdy.
    For example neither cannot be unaware that in 2009 Three hundred-eleven His­panic FBI agents won a class action suit against the agency for having their careers stymied by the religious bias against non-Mormons in both Utah and Los Angles. Also that as a result of the FBI losing this case Richard T. Bretzing, head of the Los Angeles divi­sion of the FBI since 1982, retired three years early to become the Manag­ing Director of the LDS Church’s security department otherwise know as the Strengthen the Church/ the Brethren committee.

    My personal feeling is that either Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum’s brand of extreme right wing religiosity being in such a position of power is bad news for the American people and the world at large.
    After all would you actually trust a man who sincerely and honestly believes the earth is less than 6000 years old, believes in talking snakes and is convinced that a drunken pensioner built a boat big enough to house up to seven of each and every kind of animal in the world; to make reasonable decisions that could unleash a nuclear, biological or chemical holocaust on the entire earth?

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    1. Hey Mr Lions interesting stuff, I would have loved to have been there for Jeffrey Hollands talk on that day from what you have said. Also I think you are right about the polygamy issue being significant, I guess I was trying to be charitable to Mormons on the issue.

      Regarding not trusting him on the premises you have said I would disagree (as they are part of my beliefs and you know it haha) for Romney to believe that through God anything can happen is fine, however his belief in an organization that is as deceptive and power hungry as mormonism and the signs of his own deceptive attributes are where i would say people should struggle.

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      1. Dear Bob
        I was not aware that you are a creationist, young earther or biblical literalist, I had assumed from your level of academic discussion and competence that you like most moderate Christians these days assume genesis to be allegorical. Therefore I apologise for any disrespect born of ignorance shown to you, while still retaining my own belief in the scientific evidence refuting the biblical account of the creation.

        Also when you say “for Romney to believe that through God anything can happen is fine” you would do well to bare in mind that even to a none Christian like myself it is obvious that the God and Jesus of the BOM are not the God and Jesus of mainstream Christianity and continue on to you later comments in light of that understanding.

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      2. Hi there mate I am definitely a creationist however not 100% in my mind on timescales yet, no offence taken at all though thanks 🙂

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    1. I’d be happy to oblige or point you to any number of books that address exactly that subject, if you care to ask specific questions.
      However initially the Big Bang is a mathematically based theory as evidenced by red shift measurements in the expansion of the universe, whereas the Genesis story addresses specifically the Jewish/Christian/Muslim account of the creation of the planet earth by God or a number of gods (the Elohim (אֱלֹהִ֔ים))

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      1. I’m specifically interested in your thoughts about the ‘Big Bang’ and its origin. I’ve read pretty much what is on the market on the subject. You’re roght to say that the Big Bang is a theory and actually runs contrary to the 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics.
        The big bang paradigm ASSUMES that extragalactic redshifts are mainly cosmological in origin. Thus, high redshift quasars/quasi-stellar objects (I assume that’s what you mean) are thought to provide a glimpse of the very early universe. However, recent X-ray and radio studies present major problems for this interpretation because such quasars apparently possess large central masses (some believe them to be supermassive black holes) and are very similar in elemental composition to much lower redshift quasars. Thus, they APPEAR mature, despite the ‘young’ ages ascribed to them (1 billion years). Furthermore, the length and timing of reionization within the big bang paradigm as deduced from the spectra of the high redshift quasars conflict with figures based on recent Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe data. These results add to mounting evidence of surprisingly mature high-redshift objects, which is difficult to explain within the big bang paradigm. Interestingly, however, the evidence appears to fit within a CREATIONIST cosmological framework.
        Even as recently as 8 April 2010, Marcus Chown wrote in an article entitled “Time waits for no quasar—even though it should” (www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627554.200-time-waits-for-no-quasar–even-thoughit-should.html; accessed 11 April 2010) for New Scientist online “Why do distant galaxies seem to age at the same rate as those closer to us when big bang theory predicts that time should appear to slow down at greater distances from Earth? No one can yet answer this new question [emphasis added] … .”
        So, redshift tells us very little in terms of the age of the Universe and has to many questions to even hint at origins outside the Creation model.
        In terms of God and Genesis, the Genesis account (as opposed to “story”)deals with the majesty, omnipotence and creative power of God, (not a number of “gods”). I suspect, unlike myself, you don’t teach biblical languages?
        Also, the Elohim you wrote is probably from Wikipedia, and is inaccurate: please see proper spelling – http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Names_of_G-d/Elohim/elohim.html

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  2. Dear Thadeus

    Thank you your interesting reply. Firstly, impressed by your claim to be a teacher of biblical languages I was grateful to go to the link you so kindly provided. However I was only to find their rendering of the Hebraic was exactly the same as mine so, I’m afraid I don’t understand your point in sending me there.

    Now I had assumed that in your initial request you were looking for a serious and enjoyable discussion on the merits of astro physics and biology verses creationism, instead I see you passing off as your own thoughts large verbatim selections from pseudoscientific agenda driven websites like creation ministries.com and creationrevolution.com (and probably others).
    However, if you want to play the cut and paste game and since you hold up Marcus Chow (without his knowledge I am sure) as a champion for creationism, here is what he said on the subject earlier this year

    “Obviously, the timescale in the Bible is wrong – we know the universe is 13.7billion years old, whereas Christians say it started about 4004 BC. We have a lot of evidence of this age, so creationists say God has put the wrong evidence around to put us off track. Oddly, a lot of scientists are quite religious – one of the first people who came up with the idea of the Big Bang was a Catholic priest – but one of the most striking things as we look out across the universe is there’s no evidence of a supernatural force….
    ..it’s (creationism and intelligent design) not a science. We live in a world where we have antibiotics, pure running water and technology that makes our lives, on the whole, better. To throw all that out of the window is very scary. It isn’t simply that they want to establish creationism as a science, but they want to remove the alternatives. To go back to a medieval superstitious time is very worrying.”

    Perhaps you personally would like to explain how you find that in your narrow inaccurate interpretation of the Big Bang theory you it find running contrary to the 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics? You then say this is objectionable and yet are quite happy to have Genesis explicitly say God’s act of creation did exactly that?
    Does God make laws just so he can break them?
    If God is the prime mover and creator, what was his point of origin if the 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics are to taken as sacrosanct?

    The big bang is a theory I was right to say so as you point out, but a theory is not a derogatory or undermining term, gravity is a theory, time is a theory, evolution is a theory, but creationism is not; it is revealed knowledge and as such is not open to discussion, proof or testing, I find that worrying.
    Science is open to improvement, science encourages learning, advancement of knowledge and understanding by submitting theories to constant testing, that is why science is happy to accept a theory until it is disproved without the arrogance of declaring it indisputably factual as religion does with revealed knowledge.
    A theory is not a wild guess, nor is it groundless speculation, nor is it even an hypothesis a theory is well grounded and a basis on which to build knowledge.

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    1. I don’t believe you are here to discuss but to argue. I’m only interested in courteous, intelligent and humble conversations…not sarcasm and dismissive arrogance.
      The Hebrew words are different…yours is NOT accurate. I have never claimed that Marcus Chow supported creationism. Creationists don’t want to establish Creation as a science. You have still not addressed how you believe in the big bang AND the Laws of Thermodynamics!
      Creation is open to testing…1 John 1:4; 1 Thess. 5:21…

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  3. As you please, check any number of my past posts here and you will see I am here to discuss, not argue.
    I will gladly discuss anything with anyone but simply cutting and pasting from other peoples web pages and claiming that this constitutes “having read pretty much what is on the market on the subject” is not a discussion, neither is simply restating your own mistake in the vain hope that repetition will somehow make it true a legitimate discussion.
    אֱלֹהִ֔ים from my post
    אֱלֹהִ֔ים http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Names_of_G-d/Elohim/elohim.gif as displayed on http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Names_of_G-d/Elohim/elohim.html

    I invite anyone to check it out.

    1 John 1:4; is a reference back to the opening of the Gospel of John declaring faith in Christ

    1 Thess. 5:21 Is part of a list of advices to the church membership in preparation for the second coming
    neither have anything to do Genesis and certainly have nothing to do with testing creationism.

    “Creationists don’t want to establish Creation as a science” yes they do have you not read the papers over the last year or so, in this country in church, Jewish and Islamic schools it already is taught as a science.

    However since I am obviously upsetting you this the last I shall say on any of these matters to you here, as this is not the appropriate forum for discussion of these matters which have nothing to do with Mormonism.

    My apologies to Bob for letting this get out of control and should he wish to delete the thread I have no objection.

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  4. I am constantly purplexed by the amount of time and energy people spend on criticizing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It is a strange phenomenon. Why don’t you just let them believe what they believe and you can believe what you believe? And if you really want to know what someone believes, you don’t ask their neighbor, you ask them. If you want a true picture of this religion, to investigate it with open mind, you would not ask an ex-mormon either as many of them have left the church because they no longer believe as the mormons do.

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    1. Hey Tamera thanks for commenting, I have heard the logic you are stating before and the problem I have is if you only ask Mormons about Mormonism you will only hear from people who are seeking celestial glory which comes from doing all the Mormon Church asks of them. Now while you may see what day to day life is like and hear how great it is however there are many things you would never hear as these members are only looking where they are supposed to look for answers.

      Have you ever heard in your church that Joseph Smith took other mens wives as his own secretly? That the papyris he used to translate the book of Abraham has been tested and found to have nothing to do with Abraham? Did you know the introduction to the Book of Mormon has been changed to say the nephites ands laminites are only among Americas ancestors and not the principle ones.

      The list goes on so for the fullest picture I would say looking at all angles is infinitly better than having some smartly dressed teenager who usually only started taking his faith seriously a few months ago tell you how wonderful it is.

      Why do people like me do this? Because Mormonism puts the pharisee back into Christianity, thus making its people look good on the outside whle still dead on the inside. I love and respect the Mormon people too much to stay quiet about it.

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    2. Hi Tamera
      When I was an active Mormon I wondered this too, because that was what my Bishop and Priesthood leaders told me to wonder about. The simple fact of the matter however is no one here or at the many other sites dedicated to helping Mormons see their church for what it really is, ever address the LDS criticality we have gone far beyond that, we warn people that they are being deceived, literally in your face lied to.
      If I had a neighbour who had been raised to believe he was ill and had to pay some quack doctor £50 a month for a cure or he would die and I knew he was not ill at all but was being robbed, I would help him, I would take him to a real doctor and prove he was healthy. Then I would help him, help others free themselves of the thief and liar, who was exploiting them.
      You are quite right we ex-Mormons do not believe as Mormons do any longer, but we do know how and why you believe what you do, we can empathise with how hard it to break away, because the Church makes it hard, deliberately.
      But think back to when you were a convert, or a child, think how much the missionaries DIDN’T tell you about what it means to be a Mormon. Think about how one outrageous doctrine was introduced on top of another over a period of years, so as no one strange belief seemed all that strange after you had already accepted something else, but how strange it would have seemed if that was the first thing the missionaries told you.
      Before you knew it, Mormonism was a life style not a religion, if you ever decided to leave, you knew, leaving it would mean leaving everything, is that not so? Was that not really a scary thought?
      Yet something inside you still brought you here, prompted you to participate, what do you think that was?
      Bob Has given you some good questions to investigate, if you take your own advice and approach “investigate it with open mind” I promise with every answer you will find another four questions, questions your elders and Sisters will not answer except to call them anti-Mormon lies.
      Remember even in the Book of Mormon God invites you to test him, if the elders and the Bishop tell you not to, why are they not abiding by God’s will and scriptures?

      I hope you find truth
      Regards
      Henry Lions

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      1. ” helping Mormons see their church for what it really is”?
        Blind Leaders of the Blind

        The only thing folks like you are doing is spreading falsehoods about the church. I’ve been a member my entire life (please…no phony charges about me being brainwashed), and I know exactly what the church is all about. So you left for whatever reason. That is your right. But it is also my right to call you on statements that are not true.

        You state that “Remember even in the Book of Mormon God invites you to test him, if the elders and the Bishop tell you not to, why are they not abiding by God’s will and scriptures?”

        I have never heard a Bishop or a missionary tell someone not to test God. On the contrary, that is what I encouraged all the time when I was a missionary in Scotland many years ago. Test by sincere prayer, and the answer will come via a witness from the Holy Ghost. It worked for me, and I’ve seen it work for anyone who really wanted to know the truth. You see, the problem you anti-Mormonism types have is that you encourage folks NOT to pray for truth, in particular, whether of not the Book of Mormon is the word of God, if Joseph Smith really was a prophet, the LDS church being the one true church on the face of the earth, etc., etc. But I know why you folks have to take that path–because it might lead to that person actually getting a testimony of the truth, and of course, that’s exactly what you DON’T want to happen.

        But as I said, it’s your choice, and your right to have that opinion.

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      2. Hi Terry thanks for the comments,

        I certainly dont think your brain washed, a lot of intelligent people believe in Mormonism and I certainly can understand as a religious believer myself the thought process in becoming a Mormon (and there are no silent digs there) however I host this site because I believe that Mormonism is a false religion that keeps people from freedom in Christ.

        The asking God thing sounds nice but it is something the 200-300 offshoot LDS groups claim among many others, we see in Acts 17:11 the best way to test what is true.

        I appreciate you may not believe this for a second but I do what I do out of genuine love and concern for Mormon people, I believe that the message of Christ and the message of Mormonism are so massively apart from each other that something needs to be said. I have never been a Mormon and do not hate the Mormon Church at all.

        I have had many, many, many Mormons come in and leave similar comments like you about how horrible Anti-Mormons are etc (not that you said Im horrible personally) and then never be seen here again. I hope you will stick around and comment on any of my posts that you like and I look forward to some dialogue with you, if you go to this page http://upfc.org.uk/audiovideo.html you can hear an interview I did on a podcast where I share why I do what I do and a dialogue I recently had with a Mormon on Premier Christian Radio. I am not at all expecting you to be impressed with me or won over to my cause as such but I hope you can get the idea that I am not merely some hateful anti-Mormon

        Anyway Bless you and I hope to talk again

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      3. “ helping Mormons see their church for what it really is”?
        Blind Leaders of the Blind”

        Cute sound bite

        The only thing folks like you are doing is spreading falsehoods about the church.
        I do not tell lies about the church, I don’t need to.
        “I’ve been a member my entire life (please…no phony charges about me being brainwashed), and I know exactly what the church is all about. “

        Obviously you don’t as evidenced by the fact you are still a member, those who find the truth about the church leave.

        “So you left for whatever reason. That is your right. But it is also my right to call you on statements that are not true.”

        By all means if you can’t find one untruth otherwise you are simply slandering me by calling me a liar.

        “You state that “Remember even in the Book of Mormon God invites you to test him, if the elders and the Bishop tell you not to, why are they not abiding by God’s will and scriptures?
        I have never heard a Bishop or a missionary tell someone not to test God. ”

        That is not evidence it is hearsay of a personal experience. I was told to stop questioning and testing God I was even quoted Matthew 4:7, 12:39, 16:4 and Luke 11:29 as evidence of this.
        “On the contrary, that is what I encouraged all the time when I was a missionary in Scotland many years ago. “

        That is advice to investigators, not for apostates.

        “Test by sincere prayer, and the answer will come via a witness from the Holy Ghost. It worked for me, and I’ve seen it work for anyone who really wanted to know the truth. “

        So what you are in effect saying is that if I ask for an answer and I already know what answer I want because I already believe it, then I’ll get the right answer. If not I wont. Brilliant. Circular reason at it’s dishonest best.

        You see, the problem you anti-Mormonism types have is that you encourage folks NOT to pray for truth,

        As an Atheist type I ENCOURAGE PEOPLE NOT TO PRAY FULL STOP. However the many genuine Christians on this site you refer to as Anti-Mormon types, encourage people to pray, with an open mind and ONLY to pray with a sincere desire for TRUTH

        “in particular, whether of not the Book of Mormon is the word of God, if Joseph Smith really was a prophet, the LDS church being the one true church on the face of the earth, etc., etc. But I know why you folks have to take that path–because it might lead to that person actually getting a testimony of the truth, and of course, that’s exactly what you DON’T want to happen.”

        That sounds suspiciously like a rant to me. Bare your testimony by all means and have the courtesy to allow others the same privilege even if you disagree with it.

        “But as I said, it’s your choice, and your right to have that opinion.”

        Exactly and I will do so but if you accuse me of making statement that are not true, I will call you on that too.

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    3. Ross,After reading your most reecnt installment on this topic of transition out of mormonism, I have to say you are right about the local body of Christ having little understanding of what it means for a former mormon to leave the LDS and to embrace biblical christianity.I am so thankful for my own church, that has been a huge support to me thru this time of change in my life. They have made big efforts to answer my questions on doctrine, and patiently have held my hand many times thru tearful challenges with my still LDS husband. They have stood in the gap many a time and prayed for me and my family.God truly has led me to a body of believers that live out the Christian faith in such a beautiful way. They are not perfect people, but truly people sold out for the lord nd willing to stand in the gap. I only wish other former mormons could have the same.God bless,gloria

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      1. Eren….as a Mormon myself, my heart goes out to you. I can think of no rougher situation than what you are going through. I’m not being judgmental mind you, just that I have seen similar situations to what you are experiencing, and most of them did not end happily. I am curious about one thing, however. As you are well aware, LDS do believe that families and marriage can be forever. I know that most Christian groups do not subscribe to that doctrine. I’m wondering what your personal thoughts are on the matter.

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  5. Yes, research them fully. Answers are not found here on this website.
    Go to en.fairmormon.org
    Despite what you say, these things are not secret and can be found in the Ensign and lesson manuals. Latter-day Saints just need to fully study what is there with answers to all the questions and issues raised here.

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  6. Thanks Al I would be interested to see if you could provide the references in Ensign and Lesson manuals regarding the book of Abraham translation and Joseph Smith taking married women and the change in the introduction?

    I could be wrong and they might be there so I would be interested to know.

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    1. Go to:
      http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_history/Censorship_and_revision/Hiding_the_facts
      Bite away at the edges, but the foundation remains strong.
      As the referenced webpage states, “Church lessons are neither apologetic nor historical in scope or intent.” There is no lying. The life of church leaders and members is not perfect, neither is it right to expect it to be. Finding them making a mistake is not difficult and many of them would be the first to admit it. After all, many local bishops and stake presidents, and yes even general authorities are not professionally trained clergyman, the church is basically made up of a bunch of amateurs! Peter, the chief apostle of Christ,was fisherman by trade, and certainly he made mistakes. But he learnt and grew from them. The Prophet Joseph admitted he made mistakes too and I ‘am sure learnt from them. The real issue is not the Book of Abraham translation, or Joseph Smith and polygamy, or changes in the introduction. The issue is whether the Book of Mormon is true.
      I make mistakes all the time and there are questions I cannot find the answer to. I’am not a theologian and people could easily run circles around me and persuade me of anything. If I cannot rely on myself to discover the truth, and I cannot rely on others to tell me the truth, who can I rely on.
      There is only one true source of truth and that is by asking God in prayer. James 1:5-6.
      Which is all the Book of Mormon asks of us as well. Moroni 10:3-5.
      Discussions are fine, but in the end it is study, ponder and prayer with a sincere heart.

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      1. Hi Al thanks for commenting

        I do understand that LDS people bring it all back to this testimony of the book of Mormon, nothing else matters. However interestingly thats what someone from the FLDS church told me last year. They have a testimony that your church is in apostasy and their church is true. Or the other couple of hundred offshoots from the Mormon church they probably all say the same thing.

        You may see it as some kind of a victory that you have come here and declared what you know to be true regardless of any facts however it is only yourself you are selling short.

        In this documentary Elder Holland clearly says there was no blood oaths in the temple, its only when he was prodded on it a bit more he had to admit there was, that is lying.

        The Book of Abraham is a massive evidence that Smith was not an inspired prophet at all. The Book of Mormon is full of material from the bible and other sources.

        Also James 1:5 was wrote to Christians that’s why James spends the whole book telling people to live out their faith, so therefore James 1:5 is not a verse to use regarding measuring truth as James is telling this to Christians, not to non Christians, therefore they already know what is true, but 2 Timothy 3:16 and Acts 17:11 are.

        Anyway Al thanks for commenting feel free to comment further here and anywhere else on the site.

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  7. Your reply was very prompt.
    Let me understand what you are saying:
    Point 1:”However interestingly that’s what someone from the FLDS church told me last year.” If someone else is telling you the same thing, then there may be something to it. The FLDS testify the Book of Mormon is true, despite doctrinal differences in priesthood line of authority with the LDS Church. Of the nearly one thousand four hundred Christian sects and denominations in the USA, they all testify that the Bible is the word of God. That does not make the Bible any less true.
    Go to: http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Mormon/Moroni%27s_promise
    Point 2: “Of the other couple of hundred offshoots from the Mormon church”. Where did you “hundreds” from. I only know of 32. The Catholic Church has thousands of “offshoots”. While they disagree on the authority to speak for God and interpretation of other doctrinal issues, they still nonetheless agree on the authenticity of the Bible.
    Point 3: “They have a testimony that your church is in apostasy and their church is true.” And I have a testimony that their church is in apostasy and that the LDS Church is true. Who is right? Another time for that discussion with members of the FLDS as I understand you are not defending them.
    However, there are many who testify of the LDS church, to which I add my own.
    http://mormon.org/people/
    http://mormonscholarstestify.org/1177/alphabetical-list
    Point 4: “You may see it as some kind of a victory that you have come here and declared what you know to be true regardless of any facts however it is only yourself you are selling short.” I never declared it as a “victory”, that is your word. Is this a – “I have more facts than you” competition. Surely, the discussion can be more reasonable than that. Facts have their place, but gospel truth is not established by facts. Facts are only evidence of truth, and there are plenty of factual evidences to verify the authenticity of the Book of Mormon.
    Go to: http://en.fairmormon.org/Topical_Guide/Book_of_Mormon
    And http://www.bookofmormonevidence.org/index.php
    And http://www.jefflindsay.com/BMEvidences.shtml
    However, the fundamental issue is that the Book of Mormon claims to be written not upon research of archaeology, so let’s not get too stuck on archaeological evidence. Like any science it is never settled, with new facts and evidences being discovered each day. Plus many times we need to separate fact from a scientist’s interpretation.
    I could argue that seeking “facts” is like seeking a “sign”. Faith does not come from “facts” or “signs”. Faith comes from reading the word of God, by prayer, by being a sincere seeker of truth. The Bible is not proven by facts. If the truth was known or proven only by “facts” then only the intellectual or theologian who could understand and interpret these “facts” would have faith. “faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.”
    I don’t think I am selling myself short. If I may be so bold, you need to take an honest look in the mirror.
    Point 5: “In this documentary Elder Holland clearly says there was no blood oaths in the temple, its only when he was prodded on it a bit more he had to admit there was, that is lying.” There are no blood oaths in the temple. The phrase “blood oaths” is and never was used in the current or past temple dialogue. Elder Holland is quite correct in what he says. When the interviewer presses him, Elder Holland understands what the interviewer was referring to. The temple dialogue refers to “penalties”. In making such sacred covenants, the participant needs to understand its seriousness and the breaking of those covenants carries a penalty. None of those penalties entail an assassination squad goes out and killing someone. The temple ceremony is symbolic of a future eternal event. As I understand it those who break the covenant and reveal the sign, names and tokens of the endowment will be cut-off of the presence of God and lose eternal life.
    In all my church years I have never known a bishop or stake president organising a hit squad to follow an inactive or excommunicated member. “Blood oaths” are a myth perpetuated by disenfranchised members suffering from paranoia. As long as the excommunicated member does not go around spreading discontent in the ward or stake, the bishop is not all that concerned other than to help the ex-member be rebaptised. If the ex-member does not want to be rebaptised, then there is a parting of the ways as far as the church is concerned.

    Point 6: “The Book of Abraham is a massive evidence that Smith was not an inspired prophet at all.” Big claim to say “massive”. Personally, I think many look beyond the mark as they seek to interpret the facsimiles. But there is evidence to the contrary:
    http://en.fairmormon.org/Topical_Guide/Pearl_of_Great_Price/Book_of_Abraham

    However, acceptance of all scripture always depends on faith (3 Nephi 26:6-12) and the only real proof of scripture can come only through the power of the Holy Ghost (Moroni 10:3-5 and D&C 50:17-23)

    Point 7: “The Book of Mormon is full of material from the bible and other sources.”
    I know, don’t you think it was stupid that Joseph Smith just copied the Bible!

    Firstly, the BOM people had OT writings in the Brass Plates that they had taken with them, so naturally they would quote from it, especially Isaiah, who is the most quoted in the NT and who prophecies about the House of Israel Diaspora and Restoration. It places the BOM in context and the role it will play. Secondly, is it not reasonable that Christ would teach the same doctrine, the sermon on the mount to the Nephities as he did to the Jews.

    Go to: http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_Bible.shtml

    Point 8: “James 1:5 was wrote to Christians”
    James was written “to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad”. Are you a Jew?
    The OT was written to the House of Israel, but both Israelites and Gentiles, and Christians understand and learn from its teachings. We obviously need to understand the time and context it was written in. Nonetheless, the principles of the ten commandments in the OT for example, are eternal and applicable to all ages and peoples.
    James may have addressed his letter to the 12 tribes, but the principles are applicable to all.
    Revelation was written to the 7 churches in modern day Turkey. Just you are not Turkish does not mean you can ignore its warnings.
    Is there anything wrong in the principle that if any of us lack wisdom, we should ask God.

    I reiterate “How can we know the truth?” I can rely on myself. Or can I rely on others. Or I can rely on God.

    “behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart. Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation.”
    No offence, but I do not accept that scholarship will reveal religious truth. Scholarship does help and it is interesting, but it is not the solution. Otherwise, only PhDs would be Christians.
    “O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not.”
    Thanks for the opportunity to reply.
    Yes, I have still have questions, but experiencing all I have, I know they will be answered one day.

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    1. And your reply was very long haha, thanks for that Alan some great stuff there, im in the middle of my working week and dont wanna do a quick 5 min response as your comment deserves better than that, give me a couple of days and I will do a full response.

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  8. Dear Al
    If you don’t mind my interjecting I would like to address some of the points that you raise
    1 “The FLDS testify the Book of Mormon is true, despite doctrinal differences in priesthood line of authority with the LDS Church”
    Except of course the Book of Mormon the FLDS use is not the same book of Mormon the LDS use. The latter’s version contains almost two thousand alterations from the original text, some of which are very major indeed including the nature of God, the definition of the trinity the explanation of the Holy Ghost.
    Now if both have a testimony of the truth of their own version of the book, which, as you ask later in your post, is actually true?
    If so many people can have so many ‘testimonies, we have to turn to evidence to establish the truth, since ALL testimonies cannot be true.

    2 “Of the nearly one thousand four hundred Christian sects and denominations in the USA, they all testify that the Bible is the word of God.”
    Actually this is not so, almost every denomination has their own interpretation of the Bible ranging from the symbolic to the totally literal, they also vary in their definitions of truth in this context.

    3 “Of the other couple of hundred offshoots from the Mormon church”. Where did you “hundreds” from. I only know of 32.”
    The world encyclopaedia of religion publish in 1924 lists 94 schisms even then, some of come and gone and many more are appearing and failing all the time, of course not all of the still call themselves Mormons or latter day saints, which maybe you point even the RLDS abandoned the name and they are the biggest schism of all ( and by the 1923 ruling of the federal supreme court are actually the legal successor to the church founded by Joseph Smith).

    4. “The Bible is not proven by facts”
    I’m afraid it is, there are historical and archaeological proofs for every civilisation mentioned in the bible by name or geographic location, evidences of there cities and lifestyles, artwork and crafts all exist and are evidenced. Even in some cases biblical individuals named are proven by other historical evidence.
    Faith I am sorry to say is proof of nothing, because by definition faith is required to be improvable, otherwise it is not faith it is belief in fact.

    5. On point five you are simply arguing semantics, when a person is required to swear on pain of the penalty of the shedding of their blood to keep a secret that is a blood oath. Argue all you want it wont change that fact, and these penalties were part of temple ordinances and many older Mormons of my acquaintance were sorry to see them go.

    6. The book of Abraham, the link you provide gives no actual evidence what so ever contrary to the established proof the Hor Funeral Papyri is nothing to do with Abraham, that Mr. Smith incorrectly restored the illustrations and that his translation is an impertinent forgery. S to the missing passages and pages, we do have Mr. Smith’s own translation dictionary, that refers his translations to the symbols from those missing pages and again it is inherent nonsense, as far as genuine Egyptology is concerned.
    By the way quoting one disputed translation to prove another is not a credible practice.

    7. “Firstly, the BOM people had OT writings in the Brass Plates that they had taken with them, so naturally they would quote from it, especially Isaiah.”
    Absolutely impossible.
    Much of the book of Isaiah was written long after the Nephites left the holy land. It has long been established by every reputable biblical scholar outside of Utah that there are at least four writers of the B of I and that the text we have today is an anthology on a theme of their writings covering a thousand year period. Lehi could not possibly have taken these as yet unwritten works with him. Mr. Smith did not know this and so gives himself away by having them quoted in the B of M.

    8: “James 1:5 was wrote to Christians”
    James was written “to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad”. Are you a Jew?

    Whoa Al sorry but you are way off base here.
    Firstly the twelve tribes are the tribe of Judah (Jews) the tribe of Benjamin (levites) and the lost ten tribes, James is obviously referring to the followers of Christ as the restoration of the tribe of Israel, that is bible study 101

    “Revelation was written to the 7 churches in modern day Turkey”

    Revelations was written, as the author tells us on the Island of Patmos which is off the coast of Turkey but was and is part of Greece.

    9. I reiterate “How can we know the truth?” I can rely on myself. Or can I rely on others. Or I can rely on God.
    I would ask then, why does God give us the ability to think, question, seek answers and find proofs, if he is then going to ask us to believe and have faith in the that which is improvable, defies reason and evidence and screams out that it is untrue? Doesn’t this seem like a cruel and childish trick?

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  9. I apologise for the time taken, but with work, family, church calling, home teaching and an interstate funeral, this was not top priority. I also wanted to give it a proper research and thought.
    1. (a) I do not desire to attack another’s belief, but there is a difference between the LDS Church and the FLDS Church. It is like comparing the Catholic Church and the Baptists.
    As to your point, the LDS Church uses its 1981 edition. I know of only one other significant currently used Book of Mormon edition. The various BOM editions and publications are listed at:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Mormon
    The RLDS Church, or Community of Christ, obtained the original printer’s manuscript and used it to produce their third edition in 1908 and this is their currently authorised edition. Its content is similar to the Book of Mormon published by the LDS Church, but the versification is different and is notable for the omission of “it came to pass” phrases. The Community of Christ also publishes a 1966 “Revised Authorized Edition” which attempts to modernize some of the language.
    As to other editions, I understand the Church of Christ (Temple Lot) Edition and Restored Covenant Editions use the RLDS edition while most other current editions use the LDS edition.
    As to the FLDS Church not using the same Book of Mormon as the LDS Church, with major differences in doctrine, I would like to know your source, either from a website that I can easily access or an article or book that is easily available to verify your claim, if possible. I know you can download a pdf copy of the FLDS Book of Mormon from: http://nonpeace1.typepad.com/blog/2012/05/flds-book-of-mormon-download.html
    But other than that I am unfamiliar with the FLDS edition. But having another edition does not make the Book of Mormon less true.
    This is where you miss my point: In comparison to the Book of Mormon with 2 editions there are currently 98 versions of the Bible that I can find.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_Bible_translations
    You will find many variations between these 98 editions. Which version is true? Does having 98 editions of the Bible used by all the many different Christian churches make the message of the Bible any less true. I accept to be true ALL testimonies of ALL Christians of ALL Christian Churches regardless of which Bible edition they use. Because every edition of the Bible declares to be a record of God’s dealings with man, to be the word of God containing His Gospel, and to be a testimony of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, that He was resurrected, and that He is our Saviour and Redeemer. We may differ in our interpretations of certain verses, but we commonly agree the Bible, whichever edition, to be a testament of the divinity of Jesus Christ.
    Now you may ask – but why then do I as a LDS only accept the 1611 King James Version? I do only in so far as it is translated correctly. Thus I recognise, as everyone does, that the KJV has imperfections in its translation.
    Personally, I recognise the KJV as the accepted canonised scripture to be used in church. This enables all members to read from the same page. It enables less confusion in a Sunday School class. For personal study and guidance I do read and compare other editions which may give a clearer translation of a verse. However, I only accept the KJV for use in church and as my first reference point. While you will find LDS Church leaders only quoting from the KJV Bible, you will find that LDS Scholars may quote other editions if they feel it gives a better translation.
    In summary, my answer to your question is because there is more than one edition of the Bible and the Book of Mormon does not make either of them less true. The question is which edition is the better translation or most accepted edition? My experience shows that the KJV is the most commonly used and widely recognised version of the Bible. Similarly, I would recommend that you study the LDS edition of the Book of Mormon as it is the most common and widely used, recognised edition.

    (b) Now in response to your statement “we have to turn to evidence to establish the truth”. How do you define evidence? There is physical evidence and spiritual evidence. My point is the greatest evidence is spiritual, and it is in the final analysis the only real evidence. “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor 2:13-14)
    What evidence do we have that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God? Peter did not gain his evidence by man, for “flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 16:13-17). What evidence do we have that Christ was resurrected other than the eyewitness testimony of the apostles and his disciples.
    Now I agree ALL testimonies cannot be true, particularly if they are in conflict. But how can we then determine which is true? As modern Latter-day Saint scripture declares: “ Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart . Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation.” (D&C 8:2-3); and “Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me. But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right.” (D&C 9:7-8). Study is only one step of the investigative process, but it is not the final step. Moroni 10:3-5 in the Book of Mormon identifies 10 steps in the investigative process to finding the truth, the final of which is “by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”(v5)
    We study, but recognising our limited understanding, that God’s ways are not man’s way (see Isaiah 55:8-9). We need to, after studying it out, ask God in prayer. This is the same way Peter did it, by having the truth of Jesus’ divinity revealed unto him by our Father in Heaven through the Holy Ghost. Paul also taught: “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.” (1 Thess 1:5) “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” (1 Cor 12:13). Jesus taught: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26, also read Acts 5:32, 15: 8; Rom 15:13).
    The only reliable evidence we have of the truth is what is revealed to us by the Holy Ghost, not physical evidence be it archaeological, historical or cultural.
    There are many humble and devout Christians who know little or nothing about Bible archaeology or ancient languages, history or manuscripts, and if I take what you say then these Christians do not really know the Bible is true. For these Christians their evidence is not physical, but spiritual based on faith. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1). Physical evidence is unreliable or rather its interpretation is unreliable. The physical evidence of an archaeological site or an ancient manuscript may be tangible for all to see and feel. But we all know that archaeologists and their interpretations change. What was accepted 20, 10 or 5 years ago may no longer accepted today as the correct interpretation. Physical evidence may confirm the truth but it does not establish the truth, it does not establish faith. A testimony borne by the Holy Ghost is stronger than any physical evidence. This is what Jesus told the apostle Thomas, “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John20:29)
    I suggest the followings readings : “How Spiritual Things are Known” article in “No Weapon Shall Prosper” by Robert L. Millet, Deseret Book, 2011, this is available also as an ebook. AND ALSO “Reason and Revelation” in “The Lord’s Way” by Dallin H. Oaks, Deseret Book, 1991, also available as an ebook.

    2. My statement was that all Christian sects and denominations “testify that the Bible is the word of God”. My statement was not about their interpretation but that they all believe in the Bible. The fact of there being so many Christian churches does not make the Bible any less true.
    If I may clarify further to my statistic, there are actually approx. 38,000 Christian denominations worldwide.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations
    http://www.netministries.org/denomlst.htm

    The figure I gave before was only for the USA.
    All these churches accept the Bible as the word of God. Of which we would have therefore, 38,000 different interpretations of the word of God. I would suggest, and hope you would agree God is not a God of confusion (1 Cor 14:33) and that there is only “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph 4:5) It is not the Bible that is in question, nor the testimonies of all Christians of all denominations of the Bible or Jesus Christ, but instead their interpretations of specific doctrines relating to priesthood authority, continuous revelation, church organisation, ordinances and covenants, nature of the Godhead, grace and works, second coming, etc.

    3. It is nice you have a copy of the 1924 world encyclopaedia, but I don’t. All I have is : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sects_in_the_Latter_Day_Saint_movement
    Of course, only existing congregations are relevant. The above list contains a sects with only 10, 12, 25 and 35 members!
    It would also be good if you can give me a web reference for the 1923 ruling of the federal supreme court, I cannot locate it. Please search: http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/year/1923.html
    My only question here is: if the RLDS (CofC) are the legal successor to the church then why didn’t they take all the property of the LDS Church in 1923? Anyway, the religious issue should be ‘priesthood’ successor not ‘legal’ successor.
    But stop going away on tangents, succession in the LDS church is another issue, let’s stay on the topic. Which was the claim that there are hundreds of “offshoots” to the LDS Church? To which I said “Where did you get hundreds from?” And it must be something I can source, eg a website or a book or article that I can get access to.

    4. “I’m afraid it is…” I think I answered this in Point 1 above. I suggest you also view this video, particularly as it relates to your statement. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GfFTry88JM&feature=player_embedded
    It is over one hour long I know, but invest the time and view ALL of it, it particularly answers your comment on the reliability of archaeological and historical proofs of the Bible as a basis for faith.
    “Faith I am sorry to say is proof of nothing”. I cannot understand why you say this. No wonder you apologise. Faith includes a hope for things which are not seen, but which are true (Heb. 11:1; Alma 32:21; Ether 12:6). Faith is kindled by hearing the gospel taught by authorized administrators sent by God (Rom. 10:14–17). Miracles do not produce faith, but strong faith is developed by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. In other words, faith comes by righteousness (Alma 32:40–43; Ether 12:4, 6, 12; D&C 63:9–12).
    True faith brings miracles, visions, dreams, healings, and all the gifts of God. Facts and signs do not precede faith, but faith precedes the miracle.

    5. I did not “argue” that the penalties were not part of the temple ordinances. Amongst the things I said included: “In making such sacred covenants, the participant needs to understand its seriousness and the breaking of those covenants carries a penalty.” The penalty for divulging still remains as part of the endowment. The only part of the penalty which was removed was their representation.
    However, again you miss my point “blood oath” is your terminology not the terminology of the endowment. The pre-1990 endowment did not use the phrase “on pain of penalty of the shedding of their blood”.
    Now there are some older members who do feel that the penalties did help temple patrons to understand the sacred nature of the covenants they made. But there are some patrons who might misunderstand the symbolism of the penalty, and falsely might fear, because of what anti-mormons say that it was a “blood oath” and that the church would be sending an assassination squad to take their life.
    Again I state with hopefully some clearness – use of the term “blood oath” is misleading. None of the temple penalties entail an assassination squad going out and killing someone. There is no evidence of this ever occurring.
    If you know of one occurrence please let me know.
    This is not semantics. If anyone is playing with semantics it is those who change the word ‘penalty’ for “blood oath” creating the false impression of LDS assassination squads. Such people misrepresent the endowment to non-members. The use of the term “blood oath” is straight out fear-mongering. There are millions of LDS temple patrons who enjoy the endowment and have no issue with the penalty, compared to the relatively few ex-mormons and non-members who try and make an issue out of it, and fail. Personally, I have never met anyone who has an issue with it. They may not understand the full meaning of the endowment but they enjoy the spirit of the temple.
    The temple ceremony is symbolic of a future event in the eternities, including judgement day and entering into the celestial kingdom and the presence of God. As I understand the endowment, those who break the temple covenant and disclose the signs, names and tokens of the endowment will lose eternal life and be cut-off from the presence of God. The temple endowment shows our journey and the covenants required to gain eternal life. If we break those covenants we shall lose eternal life.
    Beyond this I would wish for you to respect my religious beliefs and my right to practice them. Discussing the temple endowment and ordinances is something most sacred to me. We may not agree but we can respect each other’s beliefs and practices.

    6. My point is – the initial claim was “The Book of Abraham is massive evidence that Smith was not an inspired prophet at all.” I gave some references to the contrary to illustrate scholarly difference. I felt if he was making such a statement he needed to give some source(s). And even if he did respond with one, just one, I could give a number of references to the contrary. It depends on who you choose to read.
    LDS Scholars have answered and continue to study and research the Book of Abraham. Just because they are LDS do not disregard them. Bible Scholars are Bible Scholars because they believe in the Bible. But there exists those who do not accept Bible Archaeology or Scholarship, and guess what? They are not Christian or Jewish, but atheist. All scholars aim to be fair, but they all start with a particular viewpoint.
    In the words of Simon and Garfunkel “A man hears want he wants to hear and disregards the rest.” I have and continue to listen to both sides and have heard it over the past 40 years. LDS Scholars do give very good responses to all the anti-mormon questions. I would only ask that you just research, listen and don’t disregard the LDS viewpoint. I have found that, when researched, the “massive evidence” from the non-LDS view is not completely credible.
    One important point with regard to Egyptology is to understand we don’t know everything, Egyptology is in a constant state of change.

    The following series of videos may answer your questions:
    http://en.fairmormon.org/Template:Video:Rhodes:2003:Rebuttal_to_Lost_Book_of_Abraham
    http://en.fairmormon.org/Template:Video:Ash:Barney:ABCs_of_the_Book_of_Abraham
    http://en.fairmormon.org/Template:Video:Tvedtnes:2005:Authentic_ancient_names
    http://en.fairmormon.org/Template:Video:Ash:2006:Book_of_Abraham_201


    Also the following articles, which are not exhaustive:
    http://www.fairlds.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/mcguire-responding-to-errors-in-an-anti-mormon-film.pdf
    http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Abraham/Evidence_for_antiquity
    http://www.hains.net/articles/moyer/jewishbookofabraham.html
    http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=975594bf3938b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1
    http://www2.ida.net/graphics/shirtail/withhis.htm
    http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/review/?vol=16&num=2&id=561
    http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/review/?vol=4&num=1&id=92
    http://www.backyardprofessor.com/the_backyard_professor/egyptological_analysis/
    And a few books:
    – Hugh Nibley, John Gee and Michael D. Rhodes, eds., the Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Egyptian Endowment, 2nd ed., Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 2005.
    – Richard D. Draper, S. Kent Brown, Michael D. Rhodes, The Pearl of Great Price: A Verse-by-Verse Commentary, Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 2005.
    – Michael D. Rhodes, The Hôr Book of Breathings: A Translation and Commentary, Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 2002.
    – Michael D. Rhodes, “Egyptian Language,” in Arnold Garr, Donald Cannon, Richard Cowan, Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History, Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 2000, 324-35.
    – Michael D. Rhodes, “The Book of Abraham: Divinely Inspired Scripture,” FARMS Review of Books, Vol. 4, Issue 1, 1992.
    – Clifford J. Stratton, “The Facsimiles in the Pearl of Great Price: The Joseph Smith’s “Explanations” ”, 2011 (available from Amazon, I have the Kindle edition on my ipad)
    – Allen J. Fletcher, “A Study Guide to the Facsimiles of the Book of Abraham”, Cedar Fort, Springville, Utah, 2006.
    – Brian M. Haguld, “Thoughts on the Book of Abraham” in “No Weapon Shall Prosper”,Deseret Book, 2011.(I have the ibook version on ipad)
    And some websites:
    http://thebookofabraham.blogspot.com.au/
    http://www.shields-research.org/Scriptures/PoGP/PoGP.htm
    http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_Abraham.shtml
    http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/search/?fulltext=Abraham&jbms_vol=&jbms_num=&review_vol=&review_num=&author=&search=Search+The+Maxwell+Institute
    I guess you won’t read them all, but at least a good reading and honest investigation will show that there is not “massive” evidence against the BOA. The arguments against the BOA have been responded to by LDS Scholars, and shall continue to as more discoveries are found. No doubt you can likewise quote sources to the contrary. But at least I am able to show that there are scholarly views which support the position that Joseph Smith could not have written the Book of Abraham and it is not “an impertinent forgery” or “inherent nonsense” as you claim.
    7. I was responding to the comment “The Book of Mormon is full of material from the Bible and other sources.”. This is no secret. The Book of Mormon includes within the text and chapter headings, and footnotes, that guide the reader to compare it with the Bible. One needs to ask – Why are they included? I gave two reasons why the Book of Mormon includes them? Now you raise another issue concerning what is called the “Deutero-Isaiah” theory. It is the claim that parts of Isaiah were written later than others. Specifically this theory claims that there were three individual authors. The problem this presents for LDS is one of authorship dating: according to this theory, Proto Isaiah was written about the time traditionally ascribed to the book: namely ca. 700 BC. Deutero-Isaiah (“Second Isaiah”) was allegedly written around 545 BC, and Trito-Isaiah (“Third Isaiah”) around 500 BC. The big problem, of course, is that the Brass Plates of Laban quote from sections of Isaiah that this theory ascribes to Deutero-Isaiah, so how could the Nephites have these writings if they weren’t written until after they left Jerusalem?
    I suggest the following article to answer your question.
    http://www.fairlds.org/authors/schindler-marc/deutero-isaiah-in-the-book-of-mormon
    Not alone here is a further article response to your question:
    http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/books/?bookid=74&chapid=913
    http://www.shields-research.org/Books/Sperry/Spry_Isa.html
    You may also like to view the following videos, in particular the first video which answers the Deutero-Isaiah issue, and other Isaiah-BOM questions.






    In summary, the Deutero-Isaiah theory remains a theory.
    “But with the passing of authoritarian absolutes in scholarship, the interpretation of Isaiah has become increasingly fluid. Thus, Eissfeldt can now tell us that references to Babylon do not necessarily date the chapters or even the verses in which they appear, the passages being so typically “Isaian” that the names may well be later substitutions… the trouble with dating any part of Isaiah, as Eissfeldt points out, is that we have nothing really definite to go on; fixing dates or places with reference to “any religious or spiritual concepts is very uncertain. . . . All we have to go by is general impressions, and we must be satisfied at best with mere possibilities”… The dating of either the whole or any part of the Deutero-Isaiah must remain uncertain as long as there is no agreement among the experts as to the relationship of the parts to each other or as to the nature, authorship, or background of the whole. And as long as no one has produced or can produce irrefutable proof that any single Isaiah verse quoted in the Book of Mormon could not have been written before 600 B.C., or indeed has not been defended by reputable scholars as the product of a much earlier time, the chronological question remains wide open. ” (Since Cumorah by Hugh Nibley, found at: http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/books/?bookid=74&chapid=913)

    By the way I must be stupid but what do you mean “By the way quoting one disputed translation to prove another is not a credible practice.” It is merely your opinion that the Book of Mormon is a “disputed” translation, there is much evidence that the BOM enhances our understanding of Isaiah. Amongst the sources given above you may read:
    http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/review/?vol=16&num=2&id=553
    http://www.bmaf.org/node/342

    8. Now you insult me! I hoped the discussion would not have stepped down to this level. I only hope you can take as much as you give.
    “Whoa you are way off base here” and need to find a better Bible 101 course!
    Originally, I quoted James 1:5 to say if we lack wisdom we can ask God in prayer , “who giveth to all men liberally”. The response given was James was for “Christians, not non-Christians”. I replied that the epistle of James was written to the twelve tribes, and then asked the question “Are you a Jew?” I choose to do this because the term “Israelite” is not generally used today. Please read my points in context to the question raised. Do not condemn me for a word. Are you a lawyer who tries to trip someone on a word taken out of context. First you might like to study Judaism 101 at:
    http://www.jewfaq.org/whoisjew.htm
    May I quote part:” In common speech, the word “Jew” is used to refer to all of the physical and spiritual descendants of Jacob/Israel, as well as to the patriarchs Abraham and Isaac and their wives, and the word “Judaism” is used to refer to their beliefs. Technically, this usage is inaccurate, just as it is technically inaccurate to use the word “Indian” to refer to the original inhabitants of the Americas. However, this technically inaccurate usage is common both within the Jewish community and outside of it, and is therefore used throughout this site.”
    The term “Jew” has a number of meanings depending on the context in which it is used.
    At http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_is_a_Jew%3F we read:
    “The definition of who is a Jew varies according to whether it is being considered by Jews based on normative religious statutes, self-identification, or by non-Jews for other reasons. Because Jewish identity can include characteristics of an ethnicity, a religion, and citizenship, the definition of who is a Jew has varied, depending on whether a religious, sociological, or ethnic aspect was being considered.”
    You will also at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israelite
    “The biblical term “Israelites” (also the “Twelve Tribes” or “Children of Israel”) means both the direct descendants of the patriarch Jacob (Israel) as well as the historical populations of the kingdom of Israel. For the post-exilic period, beginning in the 5th century BCE, the remnants of the Israelite tribes came to be referred to as Jews (tribes of Judah, Simeon and partially Benjamin and Levi), named for the kingdom of Judah.”
    You should also read this article:
    http://www.lds.org/ensign/1972/05/what-is-a-jew
    In summary, a Jew may be defined as anyone who is part of the 12 Tribes, or specifically the Kingdom of Judah i.e. Judah or Benjamin, or….
    “A Jew may be a person tracing his progenitors back to Abraham through Judah, Jacob, and Isaac. He may be an individual who has converted to the Jewish faith. A Jew may be an individual citizen in a country under the rule of Jews, as was Jerusalem and Judah, and as Israel now is. A Jew may apostatize from the Jewish religion yet remain a Jew, for he was born of Jewish parents and had a Jewish education. A Jew may be a Zionist fanatically working, fighting, promoting a political entity for himself and his posterity. A Jew may be an individual completely dedicated to a belief in God and study of the Law.”
    So let’s not make an issue out of this and go off on a tangent. The question was: How do you conclude James 1:5 was written only to Christians? My point is that James is written to the 12 tribes with application to everyone. The principles contained in James are universal. I write a letter to my son and advise if that if he lacks wisdom to then he should approach God in prayer, a principle which is universal and has wide application.
    Also, I had used the example of the Book of Revelations to illustrate my point. While Revelation was written to the 7 churches in then Asia (Minor), the vision is applicable for all to heed.
    Now I don’t understand why you bring up that Revelation was written on the isle of Patmos. John tells us he was IN Patmos (Rev 1:9), but that he was writing TO the 7 churches in Asia (Rev 1:4), now modern day Turkey. My example was used because James was writing TO the twelve tribes.

    9. I believe I answered this above in point 1.(b). Please read it again. LDS are asked to study it out, then to go to our Heavenly father in prayer and ask if is true.( Read D&C 9:7-9). LDS are taught in D&C 118:18 and 109:7 “And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom, seek learning even by study and also by faith.” Notice it says “seek learning even by study and also by faith.” It is not study OR faith, but study AND faith. Why do you misunderstand us! I wonder if you think God wants us to figure it out by prayer alone, or as I understand you by study alone. Your way only enables the learned would know the truth. Yet all the learned people I know and read are still arguing and disagreeing with each other. They have aargued and debated for years, decades, millennia and still argue and disagree. “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim 3:7)

    Now the purpose of me responding is to illustrate that LDS are not stupid. I have heard all your anti-stuff before. Researching for my response here I read them again. In evaluating the anti-mormon material and LDS apologetic responses, my conclusion is that the LDS Church and LDS apologetics have a much stronger position. I invite you to search further and ask God what is true (Moroni 10:3-5). All of which I appreciate your sincere questions.

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    1. Hi Al I will respond to this at some point soon, or Mr Lions is free to also, I would simply say though for future posts please dont use as many links to other sites, I am interested in your views and your and your points. Not just a load of fair links, I was going to not approve your post but you clearly put so much time into it I did not think that would be fair. Please see the rules for posting for future comments, thanks.

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    2. Dear Al thank you for you filibustering response to my answer.
      I’ll address your points in like fashion, if I may.

      1)
      Sources the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon which Joseph Smith in his life time forbade to altered, amended or edited in anyway what so ever. I suggest you read it. It is readily available as they say at all good book shops.

      98 version of the Bible, true and these too are all equally unreliable, have different canonical content, contradictory (but equally valid) translations of passages and all cannot be true. However unlike the BOM passages in the Bible have not been altered WITHOUT reference to the source material.

      Example
      1830 edition First Book of Nephi, p.32; “…that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father and the Saviour of the world.”

      Modern Edition First Book of Nephi, 1 Nephi 11:21 “..the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father and the Saviour of the world.”

      Not an insignificant change surely? Jesus changing from being the incarnation of God to the son of God? But it is not isolated the same change is made in I Nephi 11:32 And in I Nephi 13:40,

      “I would recommend that you study the LDS edition of the Book of Mormon as it is the most common and widely used, recognised edition.”

      By which argument you should not be using the KJV as it is certainly not the “the most common and widely used, recognised edition” the Douay Bible is by a long chalk.

      (B) How do I define evidence? Evidence is corroboration of the truth of a purported fact.
      There is no such thing as spiritual evidence, or would you be happy to see women hanged and burned at the stake again on the so called evidence of ‘inspired’ holy men?

      “What evidence do we have that Christ was resurrected other than the eyewitness testimony of the apostles and his disciples.”

      Again choose you examples wisely, this is not a good one as the ‘witness statements’ in the various Gospels flat out contradict one another.

      “The only reliable evidence we have of the truth is what is revealed to us by the Holy Ghost, not physical evidence be it archaeological, historical or cultural.”

      I’ll take the archaeological and historical, every time thank you, rather than the sincere assurance of someone that he did not just make it up or got his evidence from an ethereal being only he can hear.

      “There are many humble and devout Christians who know little or nothing about Bible “

      Very true, most of them who I have met have not even read it. They believe it because they have been told to.

      2) If the bible is true and the God is as you say not a God of confusion WHY are there 38,000 Christian denominations worldwide? This seems a fair question to me

      3) It is nice you have a copy of the 1924 world encyclopaedia

      I don’t it is available in most reference libraries though as it is still a standard work in it’s umpteenth printing. The reference you require is no doubt listed in the text.

      4) “Faith I am sorry to say is proof of nothing”.
      I reiterate it isn’t.
      I can have faith a purple unicorn live in my downstairs lavatory, that he is invisible and is called Mr. Hallibut-Eric. That does not prove he exists. However, no on can prove it is not true.

      “True faith brings miracles, (There is no such things as a miracle, if there was we would also have to accept magic as real, which I’m sure you agree is not)

      visions, (when faith does this it is generally termed induced medical hysteria)

      dreams, (I have no faith, I dream every night.)

      healings, (Show me medical evidence for a Faith healing and I will believe it. If there was any evidence doctors would be redundant and the hospitals would be filled with priests. If it does exist, why can’t amputees and birth defects be healed by faith?)

      and all the gifts of God. (Such as?)

      Facts and signs do not precede faith, (Nonsense, I have a faith that the sun will rise, because of facts about the solar system known to me)

      but faith precedes the miracle.” (Again show me evidence.)

      5) You are just quibbling, you know you are wrong and that’s that. A blood oath is a blood oath, even if you call it something else.

      6) As with the Kinderhook plates, Smith got it wrong. His ‘translation of the book of Abraham is a fraud. It is a fact get used to it.

      Egyptology IS in a constant state of change, as is science of all kinds. This is the beauty of science its ability to change progress and forever seek truth. In this it is unlike religion that claims to have unchanging truth and then ignores or bends facts to fit in with it.

      7) I own and have read a Copy of Since Cumrah to be fair some of it is interesting most of it is inaccurate biased tripe. It is not a viable history book that would be accepted as a reliable reference work anywhere outside of BYU.

      You need to do more research, you information on the various authors of Isaiah is out of date and incomplete and probably was just googled.

      “It is merely your opinion that the Book of Mormon is a “disputed” translation” see my above answer on the 1830 translation

      Also, you need a better definition of the word theory.
      Theory does not mean in dispute it means as yet unable to be falsified so may be accepted as fact. (as in the theory of Evolution and the theory of gravity)

      8) I did not insult you.
      Jew does not mean Israelite (at a push it might be synonymous with Israeli) you got it wrong. Be big and admit it.
      And before you start pointing me to such sites I may as well tell you I am part Jewish on my fathers side (since Judaism descends by the female line that does not make me Jewish but I do have an understanding of the religion)

      9) That still does not answer my question, why does God ask Mormons to have faith
      in something and then leave allsorts of historical evidence to the contrary?

      “Now the purpose of me responding is to illustrate that LDS are not stupid” I never said they were, I said they and you and myself when I was a member were and are the victims of lies.

      “my conclusion is that the LDS Church and LDS apologetics have a much stronger position.”

      My conclusion is they have no actual evidence what so ever.

      “I invite you to search further and ask God what is true (Moroni 10:3-5)”

      I thank you for the invitation to talk to your (in my opinion) imaginary friend and I’ll do so if you agree to discuss the same with mine the above mentioned Mr. Hallibut-Eric.
      I say this not to be sarcastic or flippant but to point out to you how pointless such as request is to me by extending to you one that hopefully you will find concomitantly pointless.

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      1. I think it goes without saying Mr Lions does not represent my views there, however for the sake of a mass lack of time I am going to stay stood back on this one, any other Christians reading are welcome to comment,

        On the book of Abraham Issue I am intending on doing a big post on this soon also addressing recent fair videos so please watch out for that Al and I will personally have some discussion with you on that.

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      2. Thanks for being patient with me. My aim is to show that your questions are not new to me, and that Latter-day Saints do have answers to them.
        On the points you raise:

        1. (a) Jeff Lindsay responded to this issue: “Critics of the Church have charged that the Book of Mormon is a fraud because thousands of changes have been made in it over the years, as if the Church were trying to cover up blunders in Joseph Smith’s work. Certainly there have been many minor changes in the text of the Book of Mormon, as there have been in the text of the King James Version of the Bible (and other translations as well) over the years. These changes have been minor, usually trivial, primarily dealing with punctuation, correction of typographical errors, and modification of awkward grammar for clarity. I have examined the allegedly most “serious” changes pointed to by critics and have not seen anything representing a real change in doctrine or anything that would cast doubt on the origins of the Book of Mormon. I’ll discuss major examples below. In the early 1800s, spelling and grammar were not yet standardized. Joseph dictated the translation to scribes who spelled many words in ways that are nonstandard today. Hundreds of spelling variants had to be corrected in the first edition and in subsequent editions of the printed text. For example, “ware sorraful” in 1 Nephi 7:20 was changed to “were sorrowful.” Likewise, we should not be outraged to find Nephi writing on “plates” today when Joseph’s scribes had him writing on “plaits” in 1 Nephi 13:23. Hundreds of such changes have been necessary. Years ago, Jerald and Sandra Tanner published a book claiming to identify 3,000 changes between the original 1830 edition and the then present version. Some say there are 4,000 changes. Whatever the number, critics are trying to create the impression that the Church has something to hide about the Book of Mormon. The critics often charge that there is a great cover-up about the changes in the text compared to the original Book of Mormon, completely ignoring the fact that anybody can buy reprints of the 1830 edition from LDS bookstores and that LDS scholars freely and openly discuss and write about the nature of these changes. Changes in the text have been discussed in official Church publications like the Ensign magazine and by widely respected, private LDS groups like the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies. The critics infer that the Church is embarrassed about the original Book of Mormon and has had to make changes in it to “improve” the doctrine or resolve blunders. Such arguments are truly dishonest. The driving force for virtually all changes has been to (1) ensure that the printed text is faithful to the original manuscript and (2) to ensure that the text is accessible and readable. Alleged departures from the original text generally turn out to be simple clarifications or reworkings of awkward grammar rather than doctrinal changes. The many changes that critics are so indignant over are corrections of the very kind one would expect in putting a hand-written document into type with crude technology and under difficult circumstances – and in a time with many varying spelling practices. Many of the changes are due to the fact that the Book of Mormon was dictated to scribes without punctuation and without division between verses and chapter – just as one might expect from a fairly direct translation of an ancient Hebraic or Semitic text, written without punctuation. The lack of punctuation in the original required much work after dictation to put it in a presentable form – but that work was not done to cover up mistakes in the original and did not involve changing stories, doctrine, or anything else of substance. Numerous minor errors were printed in the original 1830 edition because of errors in preparing handwritten printer’s manuscripts from the original manuscript, and because of additional printing errors. Again, many of the changes in the Book of Mormon over the years have been necessary to make the text correspond more perfectly with the original manuscript.

        It’s simply untrue to say that the Church has departed from the original or that there were gross blunders in the original manuscript that needed to be fixed because they showed the Book to be a fraud.In fact, many of the changes, including the need to add punctuation and chapter breaks, reflect the Semitic origins of the Book of Mormon. In several cases, sentences that showed classic Hebraic constructions and phrases made very poor English, and these needed modification to ensure readability. Many of the changes made involved deleting redundant “and it came to pass” phrases, a phrase which has also been deleted many times in the King James Version and other English translations of the Old Testament. Numerous deletions of “and it came to pass” in English translations of both the Bible and the Book of Mormon are not because of any cover up on the part of the translators, but because that commonly used Semitic phrase becomes overly awkward in English. Below, I’ll discuss other evidences of Hebraic origins in the required changes. I already mentioned the original 1830 edition, but there were actually a variety of 1830 editions with extremely minor, generally typographical differences introduced in printing. The 1830 editions were produced under difficult circumstances including time pressure, persecution, poverty, and crude technology, factors that would make minor errors hard to avoid. For example, in the process of going from verbal dictation to an original written manuscript, then to a separate, handwritten Printer’s manuscript and finally to the typeset version of the Book, there were many opportunities for typographical errors and other minor mistakes. One difficult circumstance was the fact that the publisher himself was unfriendly to the Church. This did little to ensure that the text was treated with great care and respect during the publishing process. As Joseph Fielding Smith explained (Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol.2, p.200), “Being unfriendly, it would have been a natural thing for [the publisher] to permit some errors to appear. A careful check of the list of changes submitted by … critics shows there is not one change or addition that is not in full harmony with the original text. Changes have been made in punctuation and a few other minor matters that needed correction, but never has any alteration or addition changed a single original thought. As it appears to us, the changes mentioned are such that make the text clearer and indicate that they were omitted. I am sure that the mistakes or omissions in the first edition were in large measure the fault of the compositor or the printer. Many of these mistakes which were in the first proofs were caught by the Prophet Joseph Smith himself, and he made the corrections.” The printer has even been quoted as saying that he allowed many “ungrammatical” errors to be printed. A good overview of the various editions of the Book of Mormon that have been published since 1830 is found in an article by Royal Skousen in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.1, entitled “Book Of Mormon Editions (1830-1981),” available at eom.byu.edu/index.php/Book_of_Mormon_Editions_(1830-1981). And yes, I do have a facsimile 1830 edition.

        I again quote a response from Jeff Lindsey on the question of God or Son of God: “The most commonly criticized changes involve thrice clarifying which member of the Godhead was meant in a passage (1 Nephi 11) describing the future ministry of Christ and the “condescension of God.” Robert L. Millet explains what was changed in The Power Of The Word: Saving Doctrines from the Book of Mormon, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company (1994), pp. 11-12: The condescension of God the Son consists in the coming to earth of the great Jehovah, the Lord God Omnipotent, the God of the ancients. The 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon contains the following words from the angel to Nephi: “Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of God, after the manner of the flesh” (1 Nephi 11:18; italics added). The angel later said unto Nephi regarding the vision of the Christ child, “Behold the Lamb of God, yea, the Eternal Father!” (1 Nephi 11:21; compare 1 Nephi 13:40, 1830 edition). Later in the same vision of the ministry of Christ, the angel spoke, saying, “Look! And I looked,” Nephi added, “and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the everlasting God was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record” (1 Nephi 11:32; italics added). In the 1837 edition of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith the Prophet changed these verses to read “the mother ofthe Son of God,” “the Son of the Eternal Father,” and “the Son of the everlasting God,” respectively (italics added). It would appear that the Prophet made these textual alterations to assist the Latter-day Saints in fully understanding the meaning of the expressions. It may also be that Joseph Smith altered these verses to make certain that no reader – member or nonmember – would confuse the Latter-day Saint understanding of the Father and the Son with that of other Christian denominations, particularly the Roman Catholic Church. See an article by Oliver Cowdery, “Trouble in the West,” in Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate, I (April 1835), p. 105. [This paragraph is a footnote to the preceding paragraph in Millet’s book.] Hugh Nibley also discusses these changes (Since Cumorah, p. 6): In the first edition Mary is referred to as “the mother of God, after the manner of the flesh” (1 Nephi 11:18); the insertion in later editions of “the Son of God” is simply put in to make it clear that the second person of the godhead is meant, and thereby avoid confusion, since during the theological controversies of the early Middle Ages the expression “mother of God” took on a special connotation which it still has for many Christians. Three verses later (1 Nephi 11:21), the declaration of the angels, “Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Eternal Father!” has been augmented in later editions to “even the Son of the Eternal Father!” to avoid confusion: in this passage the Eternal Father is possibly in apposition not to “Lamb” but to “God” — he is the Lamb of God-the-Eternal-Father. But that might not be obvious to most readers, and so to avoid trouble, and without in the least changing the meaning of the text, the Lamb of God is made equivalent to the Son of the Eternal Father.

        Both ideas are quite correct, and there is no conflict between them. Many critics have tried to say that Joseph originally believed in the Trinitarian concept of God when he wrote the Book of Mormon, but later changed his mind and changed the text to indicate that God and the Son of God are distinct persons. This argument is without foundation. The original manuscript (O) and every printed version of the Book of Mormon makes it clear in multiple places that Christ and God are distinct beings (e.g., 2 Nephi 25 and 2 Nephi 31). Even in the very chapter where Joseph Smith made the changes, the Original Manuscript and the present Book of Mormon speak of the Messiah as the Son of God, for verse 24 of 1 Nephi 11 reads: “And I looked, and I beheld the Son of God going forth among the children of men; and I saw many fall down at his feet and worship him.” This is consistent with the alterations made by Joseph. There is no change in meaning, only a helpful clarification for modern readers. Though God the Father and Christ are distinct beings, Christ as a member of the perfectly united Godhead can bear the title of “God” as well as “Eternal Father.” Book of Mormon writers lived long before the confusing post-Biblical, Neo-Platonic doctrine of the Trinity had been formulated. They could use the various titles for Christ without misunderstanding what is meant (compare Mosiah 15:4; 16:15; Alma 11:38-39). For the benefit of modern readers, however, the changes noted above in the Book of Mormon help eliminate potential confusion.

        You also say: “the most common and widely used, recognised edition” the Douay Bible is by a long chalk. I have a copy of the Douay Bible, it is the family Bible handed down. My mother was a Catholic before she joined the LDS Church. I admit I have not sat down and compared verse by verse differences. Jeff Lindsey say in relation to which translation: “Even apart from the little-appreciated problem of uncertainties in the canon, the uncertainties in translating any passage of Biblical scripture raises serious problems for those claiming Biblical inerrancy for existing translations. There is no single original Hebrew or Greek manuscript available, but we have hundreds of copied documents with slight variations (typically minor, but variations all the same). Translators must deal with these varying manuscripts and decide which sources are most reliable, often picking and choosing between the various manuscripts. Even if all translators agreed to use the same manuscripts, there would still be significant uncertainties in the translation – sometimes because the text in the available documents is unclear or corrupted, or because there are numerous possibilities in translating Biblical language.” I guess you could assume with Catholics being the largest Christian denomination that it would likely be the most widely used. In July 2012, cbaonline reported the top selling Bibles (based on numbers sold) were first the New International edition, second the KJV, and third the New KJV. However, it is always hard to really tell as many Bibles are given away. However this ranking is only for the past 12 months. I could be reasonably sure that over time the KJV is the most sold and “possibly” the most widely used. I know in my experience I have never encountered any problem quoting from it.

        (b) Obviously the “inspired’ holy men” were not holy men, but evil men. The Book of Mormon describes such men like the Amlekites and Amulonites. You say: the “ ‘witness statements’ in the various Gospels flat out contradict one another”, but do not give an example. I can give a clear example of Bible contradictions, which only emphasise errors in translation. As I understand it that in contrast to the secular and religious philosophies of the time, Christianity was non-speculative. It did not indulge in theory or endless dispute but in eyewitness testimony. “by the mouth of two or more witnesses shall every word be established. (read Deut 17:6; Matt 18:16; 2 Cor 13:1). But it up to you whether to test and accept or not accept these witnesses.

        2. “If the bible is true and the God is as you say not a God of confusion WHY are there 38,000 Christian denominations worldwide? This seems a fair question to me.” Exactly, I agree with you. It is the fundamental question that Joseph Smith went into the grove of trees to find an answer to. “While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by the contests of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

        Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know; for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible. At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God. I at length came to the determination to “ask of God,” concluding that if he gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would give liberally, and not upbraid, I might venture. So, in accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt. … After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. … I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him! My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” (Joseph Smith History) There are 38,000 Christian denominations because of a great apostasy that was prophesied (read Acts 20:28-30; 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 14-15; 4:3-4). When Jesus Christ was on the earth, He established His Church among His followers. After His Crucifixion and the deaths of His Apostles, the fulness of the gospel was taken from the earth because of widespread apostasy. But the Lord said he would restore His gospel and Church before the Second Coming, read Isaiah 29:13-14 Acts 3:19-21.

        3) I see if I can find it.

        4) I can only add that there is a difference between ‘belief’ and ‘faith’. I can believe something, but whether it is true or not does not matter. But faith can only exist if the belief is in something that is true. I guess that is the core of our discussion is it true or not, and how can we find out the truth? LDS teachings it is by study and by faith.

        5) Definition of a ‘blood oath” is: “Blood oath is a solemn promise to keep an agreement using each party’s sense of honor or reputation to uphold the deal. In the past, a blood oath required that each party make a small cut in the right hand and actually mix blood as they shook hands.” See uslegal.com Does not mention anything about an assassination squad. Neither does the LDS endowment require a small cut and mixing blood. We beg to differ in our understanding, but I still feel it is the wrong phrasing to use.
        6) One great thing about the LDS Church is the 9th Article of Faith “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.” A unique belief of Latter-day Saints is in continuous revelation. The rest of Christianity believes revelation from God finished with the Bible. Latter-day Saints believe in science too and have many eminent scientists who are members. But science, if the data is collected with integrity, the analysis is rigorous, and has been reviewed by his/her peers, then I do accept the facts, but it is the interpretation of those facts that causes dissension. There are scientists who believe in climate change and other scientists who do not.
        Kinderhook Plates: Again the issue is answered for those who seek. Jeff Lindsay says: “ I’m surprised this old argument continues to be used. An excellent and thorough article on the Kinderhook plates is “Kinderhook Plates Brought to Joseph Smith Appear to Be a Nineteenth-Century Hoax” by Dr. Stanley B. Kimball in the Ensign, August 1981, pp. 66-74. (available online). The bottom line is that there is no proof that Joseph Smith fell for the apparent fraud of the Kinderhook plates. He apparently showed no interest in them after his initial exposure – if he even personally saw them at all. Critics point to an entry apparently made by Joseph Smith in the official History of the Church dated May 1843, which states that Joseph translated part of the Kinderhook plates and found them to be written by a descendant of Ham and of the Pharaoh of Egypt. However, this statement is actually from the journal of William Clayton. Clayton’s journal entry was added to the serialized “History of Joseph Smith” printed in the Deseret News in Utah in 1856, long after the death of Joseph, though it was changed to be in the first person from Joseph’s perspective: “I have translated…” instead of “President J. has translated….” It is well known, according to Kimball, “that the serialized ‘History of Joseph Smith’ consists largely of items from other persons’ personal journals and other sources, collected during Joseph Smith’s lifetime and continued after the Saints were in Utah, then edited and pieced together to form a history of the Prophet’s life ‘in his own words.'” Kimball notes that this poor practice was common in that century for biographers. The source of the ideas expressed by Clayton is unknown, but seems consistent with the high level of speculation among many members of the Church about the significance of the Kinderhook find. Some said those plates dealt with Book of Mormon peoples, others said Egyptians. Many spoke of a translation that they hoped would be undertaken. The significant thing is that there is no evidence that Joseph showed any serious interest in them. No translation was undertaken. No attempt was made to purchase the plates (as did occur with the authentic Egyptian scrolls and mummies that were brought to Joseph, part of the story of the Book of Abraham).

        They left Nauvoo without fanfare and apparently without objection – a strange reaction if Joseph had felt they were a sacred treasure of some kind. Perhaps Joseph or others may have noted some superficial similarity between the characters on the fake Kinderhook plates and those they had seen on the plates of gold or on Egyptian papyri. But no apology is needed for Joseph Smith.”

        8) I had a companion on my mission who was a Jew. My accountant is a Jew. I have worked with Jews. The wife of our High Priest Group Leader is a Jew, she was converted first, then her father and mother. I live in Melbourne that has a large Jewish community the inner suburb of Caulfied is predominately Jewish. I organised a few years ago for 15 groups of our LDS youth, close to 250 of them, while they were studying the Old Testament to visit the Holocaust Museum, lunch and presentation on Israel at the Beth Weizmann Centre, and visit to a synagogue with the Rabbi giving them a tour and Q&A session. I have friends who are Jewish and we have had some lengthy and good discussions.

        I guess we differ in our viewpoint. I have faith in God and you do not accept there is a God. We can only agree to disagree. Until we agree on this point of whether there is a God or not, we will probably just go round in circles.

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      3. Al I have put a little paragraph spaces in your comment there as its hard reading otherwise, however no content has been changed whatsoever.

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  10. “On the book of Abraham Issue I am intending on doing a big post on this soon” very much looking forward to this Bobby.

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  11. Dear Al
    To be clear when you say “I have faith in God and you do not accept there is a God. ” you are presuming too much, I do not believe in Jewish/Christian/Islamic God as depicted in the scripture because he is a monster. I am quite willing and do accept the idea or the possibility of a higher form of being or beings, of spiritual power as an, as yet , not fully understood natural phenomena.
    I do not believe in a supernatural entity of any kind, who would concern himself with the petty doing of an individual of one species, on a planet that contains billions of species in a universe hat contains billions of galaxies all of which he created in six days.
    That said

    “My aim is to show that your questions are not new to me, and that Latter-day Saints do have answers to them.
    On the points you raise”

    1) Quite so, I used these same arguments myself when I was a Mormon Stake missionary. They have been used again and again and still do not convince anyone, why do you think that is?

    Joseph Smith when speaking to the printers of the book of Mormon was offered the service of proof reading instead he ordered “The Old Testament is ungrammatical, set it as it is written'” Joseph Smith. If Smith was satisfied with his ‘inspired translation in 1830, why change it 7 years later and why did other men see fit to tamper with it again and again after that? Smith frequently assured, as did his successors, that the BOM is THE most correct book ever, surely this invalidates your and his comparison with the bible, which we all agree is unreliable? (b) “Obviously the “inspired’ holy men” were not holy men, but evil men.” They were for the most part the Dominican order of the Roman Catholic Church, still considered pretty Holy even today.

    Contradictions in the resurrection story
    Mark 16:1-8
    1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalena, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
    2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. 3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? 4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
    5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. 6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
    7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. 8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.

    28 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
    2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
    3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
    4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
    5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
    6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
    7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
    8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
    9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
    10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

    Luke 24
    24 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
    2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
    3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
    4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
    5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
    6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
    7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
    8 And they remembered his words,
    9 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
    10 It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.

    John 20
    20 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
    3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
    11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
    13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
    “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
    15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
    Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
    16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
    She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
    17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
    18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

    Are you seriously going to tell me those accounts do not contradict each other on who was present and when, if there was an earth quake or not, who spoke to whoever was there and when?
    The only thing they agree on is that it was the morning after the Sabath.
    If this was a judicial enquiry it would be laughed out of court, and quite like lead to prosecutions for contempt.

    2) What you seem to be saying here is that A God who is not a God of confusion looked down and saw utter chaos and 38,000 Christian denominations worldwide and decided that the answer to al this confusion was to create a completely controversial 38,001st Christian denomination, which all the others could almost universally hate and could claim was not one at all?

    3) do that it’s invaluable.

    4) “I can only add that there is a difference between ‘belief’ and ‘faith’.” Here we agree though I have been abused many times for asserting it. Belief requires evidence. Faith is scandalised by it.

    5) Even Mormons agree, on their own terms that the temple ordinances are, in their terms a restored form of the those used, in corrupted forms, by Scottish Rite Freemasonary (thank you John Bennet). In Freemasonary these are known as Blood Oaths. The type of oath you mention involving actual blood exchange, as children we called an Indian brotherhood oath, mainly from watching old episodes of the Lone ranger I think.

    6) I quote from the still in use ‘History of the Church’ by Joseph Smith pages vol. 5, page. 372-
    I insert fac-similes of the six brass plates found near Kinderhook, in Pike county, Illinois, on April 23, by Mr. Robert Wiley and others, while excavating a large mound. They found a skeleton about six feet from the surface of the earth, which must have stood nine feet high. The plates were found on the breast of the skeleton and were covered on both sides with ancient characters.
    I have translated a portion of them, and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the Ruler of heaven and earth.
    This, regardless of who actually wrote it was taught as church history, is still in the official church history and was regarded as the discovery of a second set of Mormon plates right up until 1980 when they were proven to be a fraud. Note the article you refer to came out immediately afterward in 1981 along with an order to stop using the Kinderhook story in Sunday Schools.
    Such Revisionist history is a vile thing no matter who it is perpetrated by, either the official history of the church regarding this matter was a foul untruth (including the blasphemy of putting a false quotation in the mouth of the prophet) designed to exploit the gullible by lies, or the 1981 story is a lie because there is insufficient faith in the judgement of the prophet at the time and his successors since. You can’t have it both ways.

    8) I’m glad you know so many Jews, perhaps they then can confirm why I took issue with your original error.

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    1. Thanks for your reply and I will try, best I can, to contribute to our discussion by giving my point of view. I will only respond, for the moment, on your preamble and will answer your response to my earlier points later.

      A) On your preamble, you say that the “Jewish/Christian/Islamic God as depicted in the scripture because is a monster”. Is it God who is a monster, or man? Maybe they see the God of the OT was an Angry God. Some readers complain that the supposed harsh, vengeful Old Testament God seems inconsistent with the loving, peaceful God of the New Testament. The scales of justice and mercy seem to be out of balance. I feel that the reason people misunderstand that anger of the Lord is that they tend to assume that God’s anger is identical to their own as fallen mortals—they don’t understand correctly the nature of divine anger. In the Book of Mormon, Lehi gives us a more correct definition of righteous anger. When Laman and Lemuel complained of Nephi’s anger toward them, Lehi explains: “Ye say that he hath used sharpness; ye say that he hath been angry with you; but behold, his sharpness was the sharpness of the power of the word of God, which was in him; and that which ye call anger was the truth, according to that which is in God, which he could not restrain, manifesting boldly concerning your iniquities” (2 Nephi 1:26). The “anger” of the Lord, then, is the truth of God’s justice shown against those who disobey His laws. When individuals are not in harmony with the eternal principles of justice and accountability, they may perceive the revelation of that truth (through God or his prophets) as anger or harshness. “The guilty taketh the truth to be hard,” Nephi said, “for it cutteth them to the very center” (1 Nephi 16:2). This was often the response of the rebellious Israelites to the consequences of their breaking eternal laws — laws which God is bound by and which he administers in long-suffering, mercy, and love.
      Maybe, your view is based on the OT where God orders the destruction of cities or nations? A review of each circumstance will show that the Lord gave a warning to each city or nation, and that the destruction was to destroy a wicked people so that the people of God would be protected and also future generations. Was not the destruction of Germany during WW2 terrible? But was it not also necessary to rid the world of the Nazi tyranny? What is the justification for the destruction of the people in the land of Canaan by the children of Israel returning from Egypt? Although the land had been promised to Abraham centuries earlier, the people living there in Joshua’s day had possessed it since Jacob and his family departed. What right did the Israelites have to drive out its inhabitants upon their return? Why did the Canaanites have to be destroyed as a people? Should such drastic consequences come upon people who seemingly were ignorant of the teachings or moral standards of Israel’s God? Abraham and Isaac had negotiated peace with their neighbours and had purchased property in the land. The Lord told Abraham that the iniquity of the Amorites who possessed it was not yet full (see Genesis 15:16). But how iniquitous were they over four hundred years later when the children of Israel returned? Did they deserve the treatment they received? The facts are that the people who possessed the land were obsessed with licentiousness, incest, adultery, bestiality, and even human sacrifice (see Lev. 18:1–24; Deut. 12:31). These unnatural practices brought the consequences required by eternal law. As the Lord declared, “The land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants” (Lev. 18:25). But how extensively must iniquity abound until a fulness of accountability is required by the Lord? Again the Book of Mormon provides valuable information: “When ye shall cast out the righteous from among you, then shall ye be ripe for destruction” (Helaman 13:14). “And they perish because they cast out the prophets, and the saints, and stone them, and slay them” (2 Nephi 26:3).
      The Book of Mormon also provides specific commentary about the driving out of the peoples of the land of Canaan: “And after they had crossed the river Jordan he did make them mighty unto the driving out of the children of the land, yea, unto scattering them to destruction. “And now, do ye suppose that the children of this land, who were in the land of promise, who were driven out by our fathers, do ye suppose that they were righteous? Behold, I say unto you, Nay. Behold, the Lord esteemeth all flesh in one; he that is righteous is favored of God. But behold, this people [in the land of Canaan] had rejected every word of God, and they were ripe in iniquity; and the fulness of the wrath of God was upon them; and the Lord did curse the land against them, and bless it unto our fathers; yea, he did curse it against them unto their obtaining power over it” (1 Nephi 17:32–35). They had “rejected every word of God” and were “ripe in iniquity.” They were a warned, a rebellious, and an accountable people—and they brought the rewards of unrighteousness upon their own heads. An additional non-LDS explanation of your claim can be found at http://carm.org/god-of-old-testament-a-monster
      B) You also say in your preamble: “all of which he created in six days”. LDS agree it was not created in six 24hour days. LDS believe ‘days’ refers to six periods of time, which may or may not be of the same time period. Bruce R. McConkie said: “Each day [of the Creation]…has the duration needed for its purposes….There is no revealed recitation specifying that each of the ‘six days’ involved in the creation was of the same duration” (CHRIST AND THE CREATION, Ensign, JUNE 1982,)
      William W. Phelps, who worked as a scribe for Joseph Smith in his translation of the Book of Abraham, made this interesting statement in a letter to William Smith: “Eternity, agreeable to the records found in the catacombs of Egypt, has been going on in this system, (not this world) almost two thousand five hundred and fifty five millions of years.” That is an age of 2,555,000,000 years or 2.6 billion years. I think LDS have a more realistic view of the age of the earth and the universe.

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  12. A) On your preamble, you say that the “Jewish/Christian/Islamic God as depicted in the scripture because is a monster”. Is it God who is a monster, or man? Maybe they see the God of the OT was an Angry God. Some readers complain that the supposed harsh, vengeful Old Testament God seems inconsistent with the loving, peaceful God of the New Testament. The scales of justice and mercy seem to be out of balance.

    It is the created and expedient God who is the monster though I will agree his propagating priests are equally to blame for spreading and glorifying the acts of this horror as wonderful.
    Clearly these primitive bronze age ancestors of ours loved the idea of having on their side a genocidal, xenophobic, infanticidal, racist, sexist warrior God as their chosen deity.

    I feel that the reason people misunderstand that anger of the Lord is that they tend to assume that God’s anger is identical to their own as fallen mortals—they don’t understand correctly the nature of divine anger.

    Excuse me but is it not a precept of these religions that God created man in his own image?
    Are we not told as it is in heaven so it is on earth?

    The “anger” of the Lord, then, is the truth of God’s justice shown against those who disobey His laws. When individuals are not in harmony with the eternal principles of justice and accountability, they may perceive the revelation of that truth (through God or his prophets) as anger or harshness.

    That is as good a description and justification of a megalomaniac, tyrant and dictator as I have ever read.

    Maybe, your view is based on the OT where God orders the destruction of cities or nations? A review of each circumstance will show that the Lord gave a warning to each city or nation, and that the destruction was to destroy a wicked people so that the people of God would be protected and also future generations.

    The people were only wicked by the definition and from the point of view of the race who wrote the myth. What this amounts to is Submit to us and our God or die! Very loving.

    Was not the destruction of Germany during WW2 terrible? But was it not also necessary to rid the world of the Nazi tyranny?

    Godwin’s law? Already? Please, you’re better than that.
    But it is a false analogy anyway, Sodom and Gomorrah were not trying to take over the world and commit genocide. The God of Israel did not like them that was all. Also God agrees to spare one good man Lot, the same Lot who was virtuously willing to give his wife and daughter to a gang of rapists if they would leave his guests alone? Nice guy. Nice God who found that “good”.

    What is the justification for the destruction of the people in the land of Canaan by the children of Israel returning from Egypt?

    Greed, simple as that. Same as every one who has ever marched in to another country with a nationalist, expansionist agenda. They used THEIR God’s alleged promise as an excuse.

    The facts are that the people who possessed the land were obsessed with licentiousness, incest, adultery, bestiality, and even human sacrifice (see Lev. 18:1–24; Deut. 12:31). These unnatural practices brought the consequences required by eternal law. As the Lord declared, “The land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants” (Lev. 18:25).

    History and mythology, remember is always written by the victors. Even today “well they were asking for it, look how licentious they were” is no defence in law.

    B) You also say in your preamble: “all of which he created in six days”. LDS agree it was not created in six 24hour days. LDS believe ‘days’ refers to six periods of time, which may or may not be of the same time period.

    So again we are faced with the question, is the bible true or not? If it says one thing and means another in some places and in some places is to be taken literally, how do we tell which is which?
    Well of course we need inspired prophets for this don’t we, who can ask God what is what and what it all means.
    This hardly seems the way of a God of order, rather it is the sort of trick utilised by men such as Caligula with his famous trick of appointing his horse as a senator and then expecting everyone to obey it, when only he could interpret the ‘senators’ meaning.

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  13. I enjoy this discussion. No “you idiot or “you …”
    First, Man was created in the image of God in that we a head, two arms and legs, a torso. In the Book of Mormon we read Mosiah 3:19: “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.”
    Big difference between Caligula and Jesus Christ. Horses can’t write scripture.
    Anyway, I do agree it is not always easy to know when to take the Bible literally and when it is figurative. The level of understanding of natural laws amongst the people in the Bible is not as advanced as ours. But remember scripture is not written as a piece of science, but to teach people the plan of salvation. However, my response here is I will seek to answer point 1. raised earlier:
    1. A) Book of Mormon proof-reading. (I have read and re-read many of my own writing and no matter what I still find mistakes. Even with professional proof readers and editors I still find errors in the books I read) The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” It is important to note that Joseph Smith said “the most correct” in terms of the “precepts” it contains, not its grammar. In fact, the Book of Mormon continually apologises for its poor grammar. The Prophet Joseph Smith was an unschooled farm boy. To read some of his early letters in the original shows him to be somewhat unpolished in spelling and grammar and in expression. That the revelations came through him in any form of literary refinement is nothing short of a miracle. That some perfecting should continue strengthens my respect for them. Now, I add with emphasis that such changes have been basically minor refinements in grammar, expression, punctuation, clarification. Nothing fundamental has been altered. Why are they not spoken of over the pulpit? Simply because by comparison they are so insignificant, and unimportant as literally to be not worth talking about. After all, they have absolutely nothing to do with whether the books are true. After compiling some of the revelations, the ancient prophet Moroni said, “… if there be faults they be the faults of a man. But behold, we know no fault; nevertheless God knoweth all things; therefore, he that condemneth, let him be aware lest he shall be in danger.” (Mormon 8:17.) “And whoso receiveth this record, and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it, the same shall know of greater things than these. …” (Mormon 8:12.) The answer to this question depends on understanding a little about the Book of Mormon translation and publication process. 1. As Joseph Smith translated the golden plates by the power of God, he dictated the words to a scribe. The scribes occasionally made spelling and grammatical mistakes as they wrote down his words. For example, in1 Nephi 7:20 the words “were sorrowful” were transcribed as “ware sarraful.” The scribes weren’t uneducated, but spelling hadn’t been standardized at the time. 2. The original handwritten manuscript of the translation was then copied to make a new handwritten manuscript for the printer. At this stage, some spelling and grammatical errors were corrected, and punctuation was added. But some new errors also crept in as words were miscopied. 3. The printer did his best to accurately set the type. However, he occasionally introduced still other errors. For example, in Alma 57:25 he misread the word “joy” and instead typeset “foes.” 4. The Prophet Joseph Smith looked carefully at the first three editions of the Book of Mormon, and he continued to help make refinements and adjustments. But some errors weren’t found until later editions. In 1981 a printer’s error in Alma 16:5 was finally corrected, changing “whether” to “whither”—making it conform to the original manuscript as the Prophet had translated it from the golden plates. 5. Other changes included new chapter and verse breaks and footnotes with cross-references. For further answer please go to: http://www.lds.org/ensign/1987/03/i-have-a-question/i-have-a-question?lang=eng&query=grammatical+errors+%22book+of+mormon%22
    B) “Contradictions in the resurrection story” Is it not amazing that anti-mormons constantly berate the Mormon scriptures for their weaknesses and contradictions. They often point out how LDS leaders have contradicted each other. The search the minutia of general conference talks for material. Whenever a potential contradiction in Mormon writings is a matter of interpretation, they invariably assume an interpretation that favours contradiction or embarrassment. Yet they actually insist that the Bible contains none of these weaknesses! As one person pointed out to me regarding the day of the resurrection:
    1. Who found the empty tomb?
    a. According to Matthew 28:1, only “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary.”
    b. According to Mark 16:1, “Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome.”
    c. According to Luke 23:55, 24:1 and 24:10, “the women who had come with him out of Galilee.” Among these women were “Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James.” Luke indicates in verse 24:10 that there were at least two others.
    d. According to John 20:1-4, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb alone, saw the stone removed, ran to find Peter, and returned to the tomb with Peter and another disciple.
    2. Who did they find at the tomb?
    a. According to Matthew 28:2-4, an angel of the Lord with an appearance like lightning was sitting on the stone that had been rolled away. Also present were the guards that Pilate had contributed. On the way back from the tomb the women meet Jesus (Matthew 28:9).
    b. According to Mark 16:5, a young man in a white robe was sitting inside the tomb.
    c. According to Luke 24:4, two men in dazzling apparel. It is not clear if the men were inside the tomb or outside of it.
    d. According to John 20:4-14, Mary and Peter and the other disciple initially find just an empty tomb. Peter and the other disciple enter the tomb and find only the wrappings. Then Peter and the other disciple leave and Mary looks in the tomb to find two angels in white. After a short conversation with the angels, Mary turns around to find Jesus.
    3. Who did the women tell about the empty tomb?
    a. According to Mark 16:8, “they said nothing to anyone.”
    b. According to Matthew 28:8, they “ran to report it to His disciples.”
    c. According to Luke 24:9, “they reported these things to the eleven and to all the rest.”
    d. According to John 20:18, Mary Magdalene announces to the disciples that she has seen the Lord.
    Many atheists claim there is no possible harmonisation of the texts, not merely that it’s difficult. However, here is one attempt to harmonise them:
    1) Angel, earthquake, stone is rolled away, soldiers faint.
    Matthew here provides a bit of background information before continuing with his story of the women, begun in verse 1.
    Matthew 28:2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
    2) Jesus exits tomb while soldiers are flattened.
    Not specifically mentioned, but obvious deduction.
    3) Soldiers wake up, find tomb empty, scatter.
    Taken from later references, like: Matthew 28:11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.
    4) Still early in the morning, Mary M, other Mary, Joanna, Salome, and probably other women come to the tomb.
    Matthew 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
    Mark 16: 1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. 3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?
    Luke 24:1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
    John 20:1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre…
    5) They find the stone rolled away.
    Mark 16:4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
    Luke 24:2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
    John20:1… and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
    6) Mary M at least runs to tell Peter and John that the stone is rolled away.
    John 20:2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
    7) Peter and John run to the tomb.
    John 20:3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
    8) John gets there 1st and doesn’t go in. Peter gets there 2nd and does go in, sees the cloths lying there.
    Notice that they only see the stone rolled away and the gravecloths lying in a heap and do not see an angel or Jesus.
    John 20: 4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. 5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. 6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, 7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

    9) John then goes in and believes but neither of them fully understand.
    John 20:8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. 9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

    10) Peter and John return home.
    John 20:10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
    11) Mary M at least is at the tomb weeping, and the other women may or may not be around.
    John 20:11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
    12) The other women come back at some point it would seem, though, and they all look into the tomb. They see two angels inside and they ask why they’re crying and announce the resurrection. There is no good reason to think that all of the conversations noted here did not occur.
    Matthew 28:5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
    Mark 16:5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. 6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. 7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
    Luke 24:3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: 5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. 8 And they remembered his words,
    John 20:12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
    13) Mary at least turns around, coming out of the tomb, conceivably drying her eyes, and encounters Jesus, Who talks to her.
    A few notes:
    –She doesn’t understand right away that it’s Jesus because she’s been weeping hard this whole time and is still composing herself, and also she wasn’t turned His direction when He first talked to her.
    –There’s also no indication of how far He was away, whether He was sort of calling to her from across a few dozen feet or behind a tree or bush or something.
    –There’s no indication of whether the other women are present. I think maybe they were, but John’s account merely focuses on Mary M. Maybe He spoke to her first and then to the other women too and it simply wasn’t recorded.
    John 20:14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and sawJesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. 17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
    14) Looks like many or all of the women run off first of all and are so blown away by the experience that they don’t say anything for some time.
    Matthew 28:8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy….
    Mark 16:8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to anyman; for they were afraid.
    15) They eventually recover and go to tell the disciples that Mary M at least (and maybe the others were there too, standing around or something) actually met and talked to Jesus.
    Matthew 28:8b… and did run to bring his disciples word.
    Luke 24:9 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
    John 20:18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.
    14b) or 15b) Jesus greets them on the way and they worship Him.
    It’s unclear whether they were on their way to tell the disciples and then Jesus met them and that really overwhelmed them, or whether they were overwhelmed first and went to tell the disciples and then were met (again) by Jesus, or whether they were already overwhelmed and on their way to recover and Jesus met them then.
    Matthew 28:9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
    16) The disciples don’t believe the women’s report (presumably, the report of actually seeing and talking to the risen Jesus).
    Luke 24:11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. See my comment at end.
    17) Peter runs to the tomb and goes inside, sees the cloths.
    Looks like this is his 2nd time to run to the tomb, probably because the 1st time he went, recorded in John, he’d only heard that the stone was rolled away and gone and seen only that and the cloths, but not Jesus Himself. Maybe he wanted to see if Jesus was still hanging around there, and though He wasn’t, Peter still took another look into the tomb.
    Luke 24:12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.
    A detective and lawyer recognises that each eyewitness will give a different perspective of an event, but as you merge them you can discover a logical answer.
    A fuller answer on the alleged contradictions in the resurrection narratives can be found at: http://www.ankerberg.com/Articles/editors-choice/EC0305W1A.htm

    A thorough search will find that the apparent contradictions do stand up in court. Many times witnesses will give their view of an event and there will be differences. Many times they do not include everything in their statement, but when you merge their statements you will notice strong consistency in the core testimony in what they are saying: Jesus was resurrected, they saw him and touch him, that it was a literal physical resurrection.
    On why the apostles were surprised about the resurrection, let’s again read John 20:9 “as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead”
    “The claim of the women that Jesus had appeared to them was rejected by the apostles as idle tales, and they believed them not.’ (Luke 24:11.) For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.’ (John 20:9.) No one was more surprised to see the risen Christ than those who were called to be his special witnesses. Indeed, the chief priests and Pharisees paid more heed to Jesus’ statement, ‘After three days I will rise again’ (Matt. 27:63), than did his own disciples—hence the guard at the tomb (Matt. 27:62-66).” (Rodney Turner, Studies in Scripture, Vol. 5: The Gospels, ed. By Kent P. Jackson and Robert L. Millet, Deseret Book Co., 1986, 405 – 406. Available as ebook)
    “Faith is especially needed, however, when there is nothing in our memories to prepare us for something special. Jesus taught the Apostles about the resurrection. Yet it was difficult for them to understand so miraculous a thing—especially something that had never before happened in all of human history.” (Lord, Increase Our Faith Bookcraft, 1994, 104)
    “Perhaps the apostles should not be unduly criticized for not believing that Jesus, having been crucified and buried in a tomb, had come back to earth as a glorified being. In all human experience, this had never happened before. This was completely unprecedented. This was a different experience from the raising of Jairus’s daughter (Mark 5:22-24, 35-43), the young man of Nain (Luke 7:11-15), or Lazarus (John 11:1-44). They all died again. Jesus, however, became a resurrected being. He would never die again. So it was that to the apostles the story of Mary Magdalene and the other women who witnessed the resurrection ‘seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.’ (Luke 24:11.) “Said President David O. McKay of this experience: ‘The world would never have been stirred by men with such wavering, doubting, despairing minds as the apostles possessed on the day of the crucifixion. What was it that suddenly changed these disciples to confident, fearless, heroic preachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ? It was the revelation that Christ had risen from the grave. His promises had been kept, his Messianic mission fulfilled. In the words of an eminent writer, `The final and absolute seal of genuineness has been put on all his claims and the indelible stamp of divine authority upon all his teachings. The gloom of death had been banished by the glorious light of the presence of their Risen, Glorified Lord and Savior.` On the evidence of these unprejudiced, unexpectant, incredulous witnesses, faith in the resurrection has its impregnable foundation.’ (Treasures of Life, comp. Clare Middlemiss, Deseret Book, 1962, pp.15-16.) “Like the apostles of old, this knowledge and belief should transform all of us to be confident, settled, unafraid, and at peace in our lives as followers of the divine Christ. It should help us carry all burdens, bear any sorrows, and fully savor all joys and happiness that can be found in this life.” (Reach Up for the Light Deseret Book Co., 1990, 136.)

    I have found when someone tells me something once, I think “yeh”. When they tell me again, I say “ok”. When they tell me a third time I think “I guess then it must be really important”. Many times I never really understand something until after the event and say “Now I understand what you are saying”. I don’t think the apostles and disciples really understood what Jesus was talking about in regards to the resurrection until it happened.

    I hope this helps to answer your question on this issue. And I will respond to the others later.

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  14. Thanks Al

    First, Man was created in the image of God in that we a head, two arms and legs, a torso.

    The problem with this explanation is of course that outside of Marcionism, Mormonism and some Gnostic sects, no other Christian denomination accepts that God has a physical body and are very insistent that God is being of spirit only.
    Therefore when Genesis 1:26 speaks of God (or the Gods the future tense plural form has always been a problem) creating man is his/their own image it must be a reference to identity/essence and operational facility rather than to physicality.
    Hence my drawing attention to the fact that if man is monstrous in his behaviour it is from both nature and nurture in the context of being created in the image of ‘our father’.
    This is further backed up by taking a literal translation of the Hebrew text of Genesis 1:26, taking in to account the more subtle tenses of the original language which in reality is a far more advance linguistic than modern English
    The most accurate rendition of the phrase usually rendered as

    Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over …

    Is actually

    In the future, let us make, with existing material, human beings who will be our imprecise, instrumental representative figure and as our correspondent with …

    Big difference between Caligula and Jesus Christ. Horses can’t write scripture.

    I’m afraid I have not been clear here, I was not drawing a comparison between Jesus and the horse of Caligula, but rather between the way Caligula used his horse and the way some priests and theologians use the scriptures. Both claiming a unique ability to be the sole source of understanding and interpreting the information imparted by either horse or holy book.

    Anyway, I do agree it is not always easy to know when to take the Bible literally and when it is figurative. The level of understanding of natural laws amongst the people in the Bible is not as advanced as ours. But remember scripture is not written as a piece of science, but to teach people the plan of salvation.

    If this is so and If the texts are inspired directly by God then why did make the scriptures so unclear and so open to multitudinous interpretations?
    Why is God not clear when he is being metaphorical and when his word is meant to be taken literally?
    Surely a creator God has access to science anachronistic to the time he is inspiring these people to write in? Even if he has not then surely he has access to the sciences and philosophies or the contemporary societies such as Egypt, Greece and China all of whom were far more advanced than the Israelites, Why then resort to simplistic metaphor instead of just educating people?
    Again to me this is not indicative of a God of Order.

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  15. Good day H. Lions
    Quickly on man created in the image of God. Then how do we explain: Exodus 33:24:9-11 and Exodus 33:9-11; where Moses spoke with the God “face to face, as one man speakest unto his friend”, or Acts 7:55-56, where Stephen sees two personages one standing on the right hand of the other.
    On the horse and priests. God calls prophets and we are warned to be aware of false prophets. God does tell us how to tell the difference – Matthew 7:15-20.
    The scriptures at first reading can be unclear, but only by study and by faith they do become clear. I did not understand Shakespeare, or Dickens, or Tolkien the first time I read them. Nor any of my textbooks at Uni, it took effort and time.
    “It will take study of the word of God. It will take prayer and anxious seeking of the source of all truth. It will take living the gospel, … following the teachings. I do not hesitate to promise, because I know from personal experience, that out of all of this will come, by the power of the Holy Ghost, a conviction, a testimony, a certain knowledge.“
    (“Gordon B. Hinckley, Ye May Know That He Is,” Ensign, Feb. 1997, p31)
    The scriptures have many levels of understanding given to many audiences of varying intellectual and occupational experience, covering many cultures and traditions over a very long period of time. That is why we need a living prophet, not just a history.

    Well, onto points 2-4.
    2) What you seem to be saying here is that A God who is not a God of confusion looked down and saw utter chaos and 38,000 Christian denominations worldwide and decided that the answer to al this confusion was to create a completely controversial 38,001st Christian denomination, which all the others could almost universally hate and could claim was not one at all?

    I understand your logic, But if there are 38,000 who are wrong ( and I say that in the context in that they are not fully right, i.e. they do contain some truth, but not a ‘fullness of truth’), God does not make another denomination that is wrong for that would, as you correctly surmise just add to the problem. As I said before, of the 38,000 God said: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” Therefore, instead of adding to the 38,000 incorrect denominations made by man, God creates His own Church. Obviously, as God creates His own Church the 38,000 don’t like it.
    The truth is always controversial, it shakes prevailing beliefs; it’s deeper doctrines can be hard to accept. Jesus had a similar experience as he taught. We read in John 6: 59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. 60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? 62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. 66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
    “…Jesus’ followers faced a moment of truth in responding to the Master’s teachings…The topics discussed by Jesus included the reality of his Godhood and of the resurrection, which shook then – prevailing beliefs…The full implications of ‘hard doctrines’ heralded by Jesus will require us to put forth different solutions to the proximate problems of mankind…The basic choice to be made will frame itself in many individual ways with many ironies, but at the testing point it will often take the form of this question: Do I have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in his modern prophets?” (by Neal A. Maxwell, “The Value of Home Life,” Ensign, Feb. 1972, pp4–5)

    “[The man or woman of Christ] believes deeply in the Beatitudes, but also in those doctrines which tell him ‘who’ Jesus is. He does not divorce the Sermon on the Mount from the sermon at Capernaum with its hard teachings which caused many to walk ‘no more with’ Jesus. (John 6:66.) These latter doctrines are likewise a part of the bracing breeze of the scriptures which must be played upon the fevered brow of mankind.” (Neal A. Maxwell, “The Man of Christ,” Ensign, May 1975, p101)
    To many the teachings, doctrines and covenants of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may seem hard to live up to. Even too hard to hear!
    Many out of fear of family or peer pressure, or fear of responsibility will walk away.
    “The lessons of history concerning faith are deeply relevant to the present. For instance, some of His early disciples found Christ’s claim as to His unique role too much. They “walked no more with [Jesus]”, when their little faith in Him failed. These fair-weather friends had just eaten hungrily of the miraculous loaves, but still they rejected Jesus’ declarations of His divinity as the Bread of Life! Once again, experiencing miracles is no substitute for nurturing daily faith.” (Neal A. Maxwell, Lord, Increase Our Faith, p5)
    “As the world slouches toward the 21st century, many long for something, sometimes cry out for something, but too often scarcely know for what…
    In an absolutely terrifying way, we see legions who say they are bored with their spouses, their children, and any sense of marital or parental responsibility toward them. Still others, roaring full speed down the dead-end road of hedonism, shout that they will indeed live by bread alone, and the more of it the better.
    We have it on good word, indeed we have it from the Word Himself, that bread alone — even a lot of it — is not enough. During the Saviour’s Galilean ministry, He chided those who had heard of Him feeding the 5,000 with only five barley loaves and two fishes, and now flocked to Him expecting a free lunch. That food, important as it was, was incidental to the real nourishment He was trying to give them…But this was not the meal they had come for, and the record says, ‘From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.’ In that little story is something of the danger in our day. It is that in our contemporary success and sophistication we too may walk away from the vitally crucial bread of eternal life;
    we may actually choose to be spiritually malnourished, wilfully indulging in a kind of spiritual anorexia. Like those childish Galileans of old, we may turn up our noses when divine sustenance is placed before us. Of course the tragedy then as now is that one day, as the Lord Himself has said, ‘In an hour when ye think not the summer shall be past, and the harvest ended,’ and we will find that our ‘souls [are] not saved.’ (D&C 45:2)” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “He Hath Filled the Hungry with Good Things,” Ensign, Nov. 1997, p65)

    3) Still looking.

    4) “I can only add that there is a difference between ‘belief’ and ‘faith’.” Here we agree though I have been abused many times for asserting it. Belief requires evidence. Faith is scandalised by it.
    I agree that history shows that many people do things, many terrible things, in the “name” of faith. I can only comment that the Bible and the Book of Mormon tell of many instances when this has happened, and when Christ saw this happening in the temple, he used his righteous anger to cleanse it. It is why we have to be careful who we believe in, and importantly if there is a God – how will He let us know? Surely, He would not let us wander to be tossed to and fro.

    I will reply to points 5 and 6 next. Many thanks

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  16. Dear Al

    Well of course I could get I to a scripture flinging match with you over this but that never accomplishes anything so I will confine myself to two examples to show how pointless it is to set contradictory scriptures one against the other because all it does is make the bible look as ridiculous as some would claim it is.
    In answer to Exodus 33:9-11; where Moses spoke with the God “face to face, as one man speakest unto his friend”
    I cite Ex 33:20-23
    20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
    21 Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”
    In answer to your other passages I cite

    John 4:24, Jesus teaches us: “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

    “I understand your logic, But if there are 38,000 who are wrong ( and I say that in the context in that they are not fully right, i.e. they do contain some truth, but not a ‘fullness of truth’), “

    So if God could appear to Joseph and say these other denominations were wrong, would it not have been much simpler for him to have appeared to Those religions themselves and told them “You’re doing it wrong” and correct them rather than create another church?
    Something you seem to have touched on point 4.

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  17. Hello, again.
    I agree this is not about sparring against each other trying to score brownie points. It is about trying to find the truth. As I said before we study by learning and by faith. We have reached the point where study by learning only has got us the point of “who is right? How can I find out?.Surely, if there is a God he would have provided a way? I think of Alma’s advice “But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.” Alma 32:27; and 33, 36.

    On the question of “God is a Spirit”: Adopting your view of this verse leads to some strange conclusions if we are consistent. Deut 4:28 says that our God can see, eat and smell. Can an unembodied spirit do that? Deut 4:24 and Hebrews 12:29 say that God is a consuming fire, 1 John 1:5 says God is light, and says that God is love. Is He just those things? Clearly not, and the LDS conclude that neither is He’ just’ a spirit. Note that in the KJV cited above, the word “is” is italicized. This is because the King James translators have inserted it on their own — it is not present in the Greek text from which the translation was made.
    Secondly, we should be aware that the indefinite article (“a”, as in “a dog” or “a spirit”) does not exist in Greek. Thus, the addition of the word “a” in English occurs at the discretion of the translators. This leaves two Greek words: theos pneuma – God spirit. The Joseph Smith Translation resolves this issue by saying “for unto such hath God promised his spirit”. The word pneuma, which is translated spirit, also means ‘life’ or ‘breath’. The KJV of Revelation 13:15 renders ‘pneuma’ as life. Thus “God is life,” or “God is the breath of life” are potential alternative translations of this verse.
    Also, if God is a spirit and we have to worship him in spirit, do mortals have to leave our bodies to worship him?
    Latter-day Saints also believe that man is also spirit (DC 93:33-34; Num 16:22; Rom 8:16) and is, like God, housed in a physical body. We were, after all, created in the “image” of God (Gen 1:26-27). It is interesting that in 1 Cor 2:11, Paul wrote about “the spirit of man and the Spirit of God.” Elsewhere he spoke of the resurrection of the body and then noted that it is a “spiritual” body (1 Cor 15:44-46), though, rising from the grave, it is obviously composed of flesh and bones, as Jesus made clear when he appeared to the apostles after his resurrection .
    Paul also told the saints in Rome, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you” (Rom 8:9). One Bible commentary states:
    “That God is spirit is not meant as a definition of God’s being. It is a metaphor of his mode of operation, as life-giving power, and it is no more to be taken literally than 1 John 1:5, “God is light,” or Deuteronomy 4:24, “Your God is a devouring fire.” It is only those who have received this power through Christ who can offer God a real worship.” J. N. Sanders, A Commentary on the Gospel According to St. John, ed B. A. Mastin, (1968), pp147–148

    On the question of why didn’t God just reform one of the 38,000 Christian denominations instead of creating another Christian church? The answer is that you cannot put new wine into an old bottle. “And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles”. See Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37; and Matt 9:17.

    On the point of Exodus 33. If you follow the LDS edition of the KJV the superscript c to the bottom of the page and noted that following the words “my face shall not be seen,” it added “as at other times; for I am angry with my people Israel.” (JST, Ex. 33:23; also read JST 33:20) It makes more sense. The scriptures really don’t contradict themselves. For me, I really like the way the JST clarifies things. You remember that Moses smashed the first set of commandments because the people were having a wild party when he came down off the mount.

    Now onto points 5 and 6
    5)
    Well, not being a Mason I cannot comment with any authority on their rites. I do not think that an authoritative book has yet been written comparing the Mormon temple rites and Masonry. This could only be written by someone who is both a Mormon and a Mason. There have been some articles and talks been given by some who are, such as Greg Kearney http://www.fairlds.org/authors/misc/ask-the-apologist-similarities-between-masonic-and-mormon-temple-ritual And at http://www.fairlds.org/fair-conferences/2005-fair-conference/2005-the-message-and-the-messenger-latter-day-saints-and-freemasonry

    Tim Heaton, however, does give a comparison of the Mason and Mormon ceremonies http://people.usd.edu/~theaton/mormon/mason.html
    It is important to first state that there are number of Masonic rites which vary. You mention the Scottish Rite, which from what I have read this rite does not use the phrase “Oath” or Blood Oath” but instead “penalty”. Let me quote from “Is it True What They Say about Freemasonry” by Art De Hoyas in answering an anti-Mason book by Rev. Shaw –
    “As he continues his summary of joining the Scottish Rite, Rev. Shaw describes receiving the Fourth Degree on pages 60-61. Endnote 2 on page 63 amplifies the obligations of the degrees.
    The Fourth Degree was put on just like a play, with one candidate chosen from the class to represent us all as he participated. The presentation went on until time to take the oath at the end. At this time we were told to stand, put our hands over our hearts and repeat the oath2 of obligation. . . . There was a blood-oath of obligation for each degree, as in the Blue lodge.
    This description of the twenty-nine Scottish Rite obligations certainly sounds ominous, but it overlooks a few niceties of fact. To start with, there have been no symbolic physical penalties in the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, since about 1860, and there have never been any actual physical penalties. Here is what Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia says about the matter.
    Albert Pike, in revising the rituals of the Southern Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite about 1855¬1860, completely eradicated all such penalties from the degrees and substituted mental, moral, and symbolic condemnation, and that example was followed in the Northern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite about the middle of the 20th century.
    Rev. Shaw received the Scottish Rite degrees and conferred them for years. He knows as well as any Mason that there are no “blood oaths” in the Scottish Rite”.
    I am not here to defend Masonry, but is this just another attempt at fear mongering by using the phrase “blood oath”? From what I have read of the Masonic rite there is no shedding or mixing of blood, nor is there any documented assassination for disobedience. In Masonry the penalty is used to emphasise the seriousness of the “obligation”. In the same way the Mormon penalty emphasises the seriousness of the covenant.

    In the LDS church the most serious penalty one can receive is excommunication, i.e. loss of membership. Let me quote from D&C 134: 10 “We believe that all religious societies have a right to deal with their members for disorderly conduct, according to the rules and regulations of such societies; provided that such dealings be for fellowship and good standing; but we do not believe that any religious society has authority to try men on the right of property or life, to take from them this world’s goods, or to put them in jeopardy of either life or limb, or to inflict any physical punishment upon them. They can only excommunicate them from their society, and withdraw from them their fellowship.”
    Again, I state my understanding is that disobedience to the covenants made in the temple, if unrepented of, can lead to the loss of eternal life in the presence of God. To any believing Latter-day Saint this is logical.
    http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_temples/Endowment/Freemasonry

    6)
    This is nothing new. I remember first reading of the Kinderhook Plates in 1975 as a young man and thinking “that is interesting, don’t understand it in terms of BoM geography, but guess one day it will be explained”. Many in the church love myths and as Mark E. Petersen said it was an issue for the scholars. The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve were not concerned about it and neither was Joseph Smith. There is no evidence that the Prophet Joseph Smith ever took up the matter of the Kinderhook Plates with the Lord, as he did when working with the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham. And this brings us to the other side of the story, for those of us who believe that Joseph Smith was the Lord’s prophet: Isn’t it natural to expect that he would be guided to understand that these plates were not of value as far as his mission was concerned? That other members may have been less judicious and not guided in the same way cannot be laid at the Prophet’s feet. Many people, now as well as then, have an appetite for hearsay and a hope for “easy evidence” to bolster or even substitute for personal spirituality and hard-won faith that comes from close familiarity with truth and communion with God.
    So it is that in the 100plus-year battle of straw men and straw arguments, Joseph Smith needs no defense—he simply did not fall for the scheme. And with that understood, it is perhaps time that the Kinderhook plates be retired to the bin of other famous faked antiquities.
    I don’t recall it being in the SS Lesson, but that was long time ago.
    I recommend you read Ben McGuire’s response at http://www.fairlds.org/authors/misc/ask-the-apologist-how-do-we-explain-early-comments-about-the-kinderhook-plates
    And also http://en.fairmormon.org/Forgeries_related_to_Mormonism/Joseph_Smith_and_the_Kinderhook_Plates
    It seems to me that anti-mormons will not allow us to change our opinions on church history, especially obsure parts of it. The argument goes: If LDS don’t abandon their faith because of the anti-mormon arguments, they are “ignoring the evidence.” When LDS change their opinions as new historical data become available, the critics declare that this means we are being inconsistent or caving in. Nothing was said of the kinderhook plates during all those years. It was included because the historians did not know at the time of its accuracy, but felt it would be interest. The church, despite claims of anti-mormons did not attempt to hid it. It was, as you claim, included in the SS lesson. It seems everyone was only “fooled” as long as there was nothing to prove otherwise. Once proof was found that the plates were indeed fake, then everyone updated their position to account for the new information, about time the anti-mormons did as well. This has been and is ever more now a non-issue.

    I recommend you visit http://josephsmithpapers.org/ or view the videos http://byutv.org/show/5d739281-537f-40f3-92ed-8a60b9f25fb0#!page=4&season=All-Seasons
    The videos show the effort to compile, transcribe, edit, and present the papers of Joseph Smith. The church is not trying to attempt to hid anything. The LDS Church history has come under more scrutiny than any other church. I believe the church is only trying to make sure than proper study and analysis is being done, without the bias of the anti-mormons.

    Thank you for your questions. I have not forgotten the other questions and will reply soon.
    Regards Al

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  18. Hope you are enjoying the Olympics. My particular interest is the swimming.

    I know we disagree and hope none of what I say is viewed or taken as offensive, but only to express my opinion and testimony. Now points 7 and 8.

    7) I own and have read a Copy of Since Cumrah to be fair some of it is interesting most of it is inaccurate biased tripe. It is not a viable history book that would be accepted as a reliable reference work anywhere outside of BYU.

    “Since Cumorah” was not written as a history book, it was initially written for the then LDS Church Magazine, Improvement Era, in a series of 27 parts from October 1964 through December 1966 and subsequently published in book form in 1967. Very few would use ever a book from 1967 as a reference work for archaeology, but the reason why I quote is in connection to the Isaiah theory which dates from . In Since Cumorah, Nibley points out some ways that we can reconcile the Isaiah quotations with multiple authorship theories.(pages 113–15, 121–34) He notes that the Book of Mormon does not quote any passages ascribed to the Third Isaiah (chapters 56–66), nor does it quote Isaiah 1, a chapter that many scholars think was written as a late summary of the book. It is why I reference ‘SC’ as it does contain very good and logical arguments as an apologetic response, to which you fail to answer other than calling it “tripe”. I least I try and back my opinion up.

    You need to do more research, you information on the various authors of Isaiah is out of date and incomplete and probably was just googled.

    I give you either a book or website reference, as back-up for my view and so you can look them up for your own research. If you desire more recent then how about 1991 “Isaiah and the Book of Mormon” by Victor Ludlow: http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/review/?vol=3&num=1&id=66

    OR a little earlier: “The Apocalyptic Book of Isaiah” (Hebraeus, 1982) by Avraham Gileadi

    Also, you need a better definition of the word theory. Theory does not mean in dispute it means as yet unable to be falsified so may be accepted as fact. (as in the theory of Evolution and the theory of gravity)

    First, a definition of theory: 1. a system of rules, procedures, and assumptions used to produce a result. 2. abstract knowledge or reasoning. 3. a speculative or conjectural view or idea. 4.. abstract reasoning; speculation: 5. a belief or principle that guides action or assists comprehension or judgment. 6. an assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture.
    Can’t find any dictionary with your definition, which would enable a “conspiracy theory” to be fact.

    On the Isaiah theory, let’s look at what they say:
    “The distinction between First Isaiah and Second Isaiah is so widely accepted….The distinction between Second Isaiah and Third Isaiah is almost as widely accepted”… (The Anchor Bible: Second Isaiah, 1969).
    AND “The bulk of the book [of Isaiah] was … probably composed more than a century after the lifetime of Isaiah”. (The Oxford Companion to the Bible, 1993)
    I read “almost” and “probably”. I think they use these words because some scholars dispute the Isaiah theory and have been able to ‘falsify’ it, or rather the way I would put it – “give another plausible theory”. Anyway I am sure you will find someone with a different argument. That is the nature of academia.

    Anyway this a complicated issue. Maybe you can begin by googling it as your research seems to be only an accusation.

    Let’s first re-state the theory: Chapters 40-55, Second Isaiah (Deutero-Isaiah), written, at the earliest, 20-30 years after Lehi left Jerusalem, and so allegedly not available to Nephi on Laban’s brass plates. 1 Nephi 20-21, 2 Nephi 7-8, and 3 Nephi 16:18-20 all quote from 2nd Isaiah, which is a problem if those chapters were not written by 2nd Isaiah until after Nephi had obtained the brass plates.

    In response, I refer your research to: http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Mormon/Anachronisms/Deutero-Isaiah
    for a proposed scenario/theory and I particularly like its proposed development of Isaiah, which to me is the more likely explanation. This LDS scholarly /apologetic “theory” cannot be “falsified” and according to you, if I may be bold, is then to be “accepted as fact”. But I only put it up as a possible explanation. Personally, I have no issue with Deutero-Isaiah and the BoM.

    AND as further research you canalso go to:
    http://www.fairlds.org/authors/schindler-marc/deutero-isaiah-in-the-book-of-mormon
    As Marc Schindler explains in his article: Deutero-Isaiah in the Book of Mormon? “To overthrow an existing theory, one needs to show that the existing theory’s facts are not proven, and one needs to propose a new theory with sufficient factual backing that the new one can replace the old. Here we have a case where the premier non-LDS commentary on “Second” Isaiah–the Anchor Bible–admits that there is insufficient evidence from wordprint analysis that Isaiah was written by anything other than a single author, and we have a new model, proposed by Avraham Gileadi, which shows that Isaiah contains a far more profound and sophisticated literary paradigm, if we accept that it is a unitary work. No wonder this new unitary theory, which just happens to get around a traditional objection to the Book of Mormon, is gaining ground.”
    My point from the beginning is all this is not new to Latter-day Saints and not an issue to our testimony of the Book of Mormon.

    8) I’m glad you know so many Jews, perhaps they then can confirm why I took issue with your original error.

    I asked my accountant, who asked his Rabbi. They had no problem with my definition. To add to my defence I further quote from:

    Israelite:
    1. A native or inhabitant of the ancient Northern Kingdom of Israel.
    2. A descendant of Jacob; a Jew.
    3. A member of a people regarded as the chosen people of God.
    4. A Jew not descended from the tribe of Levi and not a priest.
    ( Source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com)

    AND
    “It is clear from these passages that Jews were identical to Israelites in the minds of Gentiles, unbelieving Jews, Jesus’ disciples, and Jesus Himself. It is noteworthy that Paul, a post-cross believer and apostle to the Gentiles, identified himself as a Jew and an Israelite to Jews and Gentiles alike.
    A Jew is a member of the nation of Israel, and “the Jews,” used in its broadest biblical sense, is identical to the nation of Israel.”
    (Source: http://www.biblestudyproject.org)

    And the reason why I didn’t ask if you were an Israelite?
    • a member of the ancient Hebrew nation, especially in the period from the Exodus to the Babylonian Captivity (circa 12th to 6th centuries BC).
    • an old-fashioned and sometimes offensive term for a Jew.
    (Source: http://oxforddictionaries.com)

    As you have Jewish heritage I am glad I didn’t call you an Israelite as I would may have offended you.

    But you are diverting my issue – James1: 3-5 is applicable to everyone, Christian and non-Christian. You said it only applied to Christians. No error on my part.

    Now to watch the swimming. Regards.

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  19. Why is Henry constantly sarcastic and unchristian in his responses. Stop point-scoring!! And why does Bobby sit back and allow such long ‘cut and paste’ posts. Let them talk to each other privately, Bob.

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    1. Hi John welcome to the blog, regarding this discussion I stopped monitoring it particularly closely a while ago, I am happy for people to have discussions on here relevant to the post even if views expressed do not reflect my own, i did not realise there was a lot of copying and pasting happening and will watch for it thanks.

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  20. John if you had read my post you would know I am not a Christian so that was a pointless swipe, also you need to look up the meaning of sarcasm (that is irony by the way and This is sarcasm lol), as a rule I only cut and paste scriptural quotations to save typing them out and for accuracy so if you mean Al cuts and pastes A LOT please say so, don’t link that habit with my name.
    regards HL

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  21. A bit of clarification in my defense. I began by giving a very short comment that “these things are not secret and can be found in the Ensign and lesson manuals”. I gave a reference to a website. To which Bobby asked me to “provide the references in Ensign and Lesson manuals” I answered with a specific webpage which gave a long list of references. Bobby and H.Lions then both replied with a list of claims. All fair enough, but such claims could not go unanswered. I needed to reply, especially to the claim that there was no evidence. The cuts and pastes were included to answer these requests for references and evidences. Maybe a bit much, but I wanted to now show that whatever I said I could back up. If we want to be an investigator of truth we need in-depth research, as well ask for the range of opinions and testimonies of others. But more importantly we need to do our own profound pondering and sincere prayer, otherwise we are tossed to and fro. I don’t know everything but I do know the restored gospel and church has been restored through Joseph Smith

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  22. I thought the movie was highly polemical. And frankly I was disappointed when I found out that Dr. Daniel C Peterson was interviewed and didn’t appear for a moment in the documentary. Also, the movie had an obvious bias focusing on Mitt Romney as the presidential candidate. It also shows that it’s difficult to leave the ultraconservative Church if you are a member but fails to mention Marco Rubio, who went from Mormon to Catholic without any trouble, and Harry Reid who is a Democrat and a convert to the Mormon faith. John Sweeney is BBC’s cult-watcher, and did great work in his Scientology and Me documentary. But the Mormon Church is not the cult that those interviewed by John Sweeney wish it to be.

    I recommend this review of the movie:
    http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/the-british-press-and-mormonism/#rf2-2985

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    1. Hey there Eric

      Thanks for that bud. You are of course right that this documentary, as well as all other media (your link included) had a bias, and yeah it did seem very Romney oriented.

      The thing which always stood out for me in this documentary was the interview with Jeffrey Holland. This was the first time I had seen someone in his position publicly asked about the Book of Abraham issue. His answer that it was some kind of spiritual translation, undermining the traditional teaching that it was a literal translation (that the likes of FairMormon are still fighting for) was very telling, and it was a matter of a few years before the introduction to the Book of Abraham was changed to that effect.

      That part of the documentary took my breath away, agenda or no agenda.

      Mormonism is no Scientology, I even hesitate very strongly to call Mormonism a cult, it has a few attributes, but I agree its just not a helpful term,

      thanks for commenting, look forward to talking more.

      Like

      1. Thanks for the thoughtful reply. The word translation, I think, has a bit of a different meaning in the Mormon context than we usually imagine. For instance, Joseph Smith has a ‘translation’ of the Holy Bible. But from what language? English to English. Also, the Book of Mormon was translated from a set of ancient brass plates that, at times, were not even present during the translation process. Also, I think there are several ways that Mormons have explained their position on the translation. Richard Bushman provides an explanation​ of some of the different translation theories in his book, “Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction.”

        I wish, however, that the documentary included Daniel Peterson’s interview. I actually just emailed John Sweeney yesterday asking if he somehow had archives of it or something like that. I don’t think he does, of course, but maybe he can point me to some BBC email to acquire it. Mainly out of curiosity​.

        I just realized I was talking to Bobby! What’s up, man? Long time no see.(I gave up my FaceBook)

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      2. Eric

        I never expected us to agree haha, but still what I keep seeing is Mormon Apologists trying to hold to the original teachings of Mormonism (as in the Book of Abraham was a literal translation, clearly taught by Joseph Smith) and then the General authorities, seeing that this does not work at all, throwing that under the bus (like poor Brigham Young in the recent Blacks and the priesthood essay)

        Of course scholars and apologists try and make sense of all this, but there is only one set of people with a viewpoint that matters, and here we saw one of them, I couldn’t believe it.

        And sorry Mr Peterson didn’t make the cut, I always find him interesting, as you probably know he got a lot of airtime on the PBS one.

        And yeah been ages, of course feel free to respond here buddy but please drop me an email on bobbygilpin@gmail.com to say hi.

        talk soon and missing you on facebook 🙂

        Like

      3. Of course, I don’t expect us to agree either. But I didn’t see those essays as throwing Brigham under the bus at all. In fact, the essay states what Brigham thought of black pioneers such as Q. Walker Lewis. (which was very positive). And we have a school named after him for crying out loud. I don’t think there’s any strong evidence that Brigham is being thrown under the bus by the LDS Church.

        I’m actually finishing up a biography right now about Brigham by non-LDS historian John G Turner called “Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet.” I don’t know if you’ve heard of that one. But it’s pretty great. The author does a fantastic job at setting Brigham Young in the timeframe in which he grew up in.

        The PBS documentary​ was very good, I thought. It would serve as a good introduction to people looking to study the LDS Church from an academic​ standpoint. It raises a lot of good questions that young scholars could take to liking. Of course, I don’t agree with many of the conclusions that some of the authors came to.

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      4. Thanks bud

        I have that book I will have to read that soon thanks.

        And they did say if I remember rightly that the blacks and the priesthood issue was Brigham’s uninspired opinion, which led to many leaders including him authoritatively teaching this, for many decades, all seeming to be convinced they were inspired to do so.

        But now it was just Brigham’s faulty opinion.

        That seems likely throwing him under the bus to me and many others, byu or not.

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      5. Brigham Said

        “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so” (Brigham Young, March 8, 1863, Journal of Discourses 10:110. See also John Lewis Lund’s The Church and the Negro, 1967, p. 54).

        The Church now says:

        In 1852, President Brigham Young publicly announced that men of black African descent could no longer be ordained to the priesthood, though thereafter blacks continued to join the Church through baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Following the death of Brigham Young, subsequent Church presidents restricted blacks from receiving the temple endowment or being married in the temple. Over time, Church leaders and members advanced many theories to explain the priesthood and temple restrictions. None of these explanations is accepted today as the official doctrine of the Church.

        And

        Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects unrighteous actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else. Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form.24

        Brigham seems to be left safely on his own, under the bus to me.

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      6. That’s history. I could say, declaratively, that an Apostle of Christ denied Christ three times and that I condemn such actions. Does that mean I am throwing said apostle under the bus?

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      7. You could if that led the church to do the same thing for well over 100 years after.

        However given that’s not the case, your example does not work at all.

        The LDS church actively taught the priesthood ban for a long time, now they don’t like it, it’s simply Brigham’s fault.

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      8. You’re trying really hard to make it look like that LDS folk are throwing Brigham under the bus. What’s wrong with accepting history as it is and putting Brigham into the context of 19th century America?

        Debating about such small quibbles won’t get us anywhere. I know that I don’t toss Brigham aside like some loser that was used by the LDS Church. In fact, I love Brigham. Did he mane mistakes? Yes. Who hasn’t. Johna, I recall, ignored the Lords counsel​. Moses disobeyed God’s instruction to speak to the rock and instead hit it. He then attributed the miracle to himself and Aaron, saying, “Must we fetch you water out of this rock?” He was chastized by the Lord afterward.

        Joshua was deceived by the inhabitants of Gibeon when they claimed to come from a far country so they could get a peace accord with Joshua. Then the Israelites found that instead of living a long distant away, that people from Gibeon lived among them.

        Gordon B. Hinckley was deceived by Mark Hofmann, who had done so in order to obtain money. Hofmann was even responsible for the death of some people. After some investigation, he was discovered and sentenced.

        Jonah felt some personal prejudices against Assyrians, to the point of expecting the Lord to give them fewer blessings than to Jews.

        Brigham Young felt some personal prejudices against blacks, to the point of expecting the Lord to give them fewer blessings than caucasians.

        Jesus’ apostles were not always perfectly humble or modest. They once disputed over which of them would be the greatest in heaven.

        Joseph Smith was not always perfectly humble or modest. He once said he had “more to boast of than ever any man had.”See here, though, to learn how critics misinterpret this event.

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      9. Hey Eric

        Its not that I am trying really hard, its just simply the case.

        The thing that makes all of your examples (especially the Peter one) ridiculous in comparison to what we are really talking about here, is that many, many LDS general authorities carried on with that teaching long after Brigham died. Teaching it authoratatively and unashamedly.

        To pin that on Brigham is well…..to throw him under the bus in my mind.

        Please don’t think I am defending Brigham, he was a false prophet if ever there was one, however to blame him, and put the responsability of this onto Brigham, is ridiculous.

        To your second comment, I of course utterly reject any divine authority or inspiration on these men, this issue is one of many showing why. I think taking people away from falsehood is pretty strengthening.

        You obviously disagree, but well….welcome to Mormonism Investigated 🙂

        Anyway my bad humour aside, I appreciate the comments bud and am happy to keep going on this if you want, but we obviously have a big difference of opinion here, my challenge is that I think I am bringing a lot more substance to this argument than you are.

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      10. A person could spend all day looking for examples of the Lord’s chosen servants making mistakes, but such an activity does nothing to edify or strengthen people. In all of these situations, a prophet’s weakness or mistakes do not make him any less a prophet, called of God to do His work.

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    2. Eric, you are in an indefensible condition, let me put it this way, I challenge to to name any new or original doctrine of the LDS church that was taught as revelation by Brigham Young that is still active church doctrine today.
      If you want I will save you the trouble there are None.
      President Kimball called Young’s doctrines “an abomination”
      President Hinckley called Young’s Doctrines “Not doctrinal”

      Be it blood atonement, polygamy being necessary for godhood, the Adam God doctrine, the fatwa on interracial marriage, the priesthood being denied to black people, God impregnating Mary in the “traditional way”, As Man Is, God Once Was, Men being sealed to men in the temple, the journal of discourses being scriptural, and many, many more.

      Brigham has been thrown under the bus by church leaders from the day he died, it been slow but has been increasing in speed since the 1960s till now Brigham is the embarrassing old uncle you lock up in spare room when respectable company comes round and hope that no one asks about.

      Brigham was not just imperfect, not just a man who made mistakes, he was a consistently evil man who now is considered likely to have even been complicit in the murder of his own prophet Joseph Smith by most secular historians.

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      1. You believe that Brigham Young was involved with the murder of Joseph Smith? That’s new. Perhaps it will hold water if no one asks for any historical evidence whatsoever.

        Also, you said that most secular historians agree with that point above. I challenge you to find one credible historian who believes this.

        I recommend John G Turners biography on Brigham Young (and no, he is not LDS). Brigham was a good man. I stand by that statement. He made bad decisions and some of the doctrines he taught were heretical (this is acknowledged by both, people inside and outside the Church). But I love Brigham. He was a practical man who danced, joked and loved children. I hope expressing my love for him isn’t ‘throwing him under the bus.’ But he was a good man and a mighty human being for his time. And although he wasn’t very prophetic in his teachings, he was prophetic in getting work done.

        If you ever feel bored, I recommend reading Greely’s (no, he’s not a Mormon either) experience with Brigham Young. Brigham was a mountain of a man and the Lion of the Lord. I will stand by that statement until the day I die.

        Here’s Horace Greenly’s encounter with Brigham. (see pg 71, TWO HOURS WITH BRIGHAM YOUNG).
        http://www.yosemite.ca.us/library/greeley/greeley.pdf

        Also, please don’t speak of Brigham in such derogatory and inaccurate​ forms. I think that we can have a conversation without resorting to comparing Brigham to “the embarrassing old uncle you lock up in spare room when respectable company comes round and hope that no one asks about.” That kind of characterizations are unnecessary​​. Also, I love all of my uncles and he would sit at the table with me no matter who’s visiting. And if those visiting can’t accept that, then many words can be used to describe them, but certainly not respectable.

        I would recommend​ listening to John Turner lecture on Brigham Young. He’s biography will likely be the main biography on Brigham Young for the next couple of decades:

        Let me know if you’ve found any of this information​ useful. Feel free to respond or ignore.

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      2. 1 it is not a new theory, it has been around since before the death of Smith, who actually sent Young on a mission because he was believed by the prophet to be plotting against him. Emma believed it too which is why she refused to stay in a church run by Young, she believed herself and her son to in danger of losing their lives under Brigham. This may have been a wise decision as Young was also a suspect in the death of Samuel Smith, who many still believe was poisoned.
        2 You have ignored my primary point that Young is now seen as a false prophet, that all modern prophets condemn his doctrines, teachings and revelations as “Abominable”
        If you stand by Young you condemn Kimball and Hinckley as false prophets.
        How can you be a true prophet and a god man and yet teach heretical doctrines at the same time?
        3 Get a sense of humour, if you can’t read a joke analogy and not take offence you are in need of one.
        4 The Mountain Meadows Massacre? The church has now admitted responsibility for it and expressed regret for it, who was the Prophet who ordered it, yup old BY again. A good man?
        5 Blood atonement, the Danities, all attested to all proud inventions of Brigham Young, A good man can commit mass murder?
        6 As an ex Mormon I am free to speak of BY in what ever terms I choose, and I will since in my opinion he was a despicable, murdering, bigamous, perverted man who taught racist, sexist bigoted doctrines to his followers, did not even follow the teachings of his own mentor JS while still professing JS to have been a true prophet of God so we can add hypocrite to the list too.
        7 I am sure many evil men past and present were practical men who danced, joked and loved children, that is no criteria for judging them good or for declaring them true prophets of the Lord, especially when they make false prophesies, break the commandments of the bible, live profligate lives and end up in all likely hood dying from an over dose of arsenic in a vain attempt to cure them self of syphilis.

        Like

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