Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The highlights

A good way to get to know the value of the Book of Mormon quickly is to read the highlights, or pivotal events and teachings it contains.
Starting your reading this way will give you an early understanding of where the book is coming from and the main themes that Mormon, its ancient editor and abridger, wanted to convey to us in our day.

2 comments:

  1. Suspicious MindsMay 13, 2008 at 6:49 PM

    The Book of Mormon says that the method to determine truth is to pray with a sincere heart and have the holy ghost reveal it to you. Moroni 10:3-5.

    Truth then is to be found by examining one's own heart.

    Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked

    Proverbs 28:26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool.

    D&C 130:3 John 14:23-The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.

    Truth according to Book of Mormon teaching is gaining an emotional assurance that the book is true. This sense of assurance is said to be evidence of the holy ghost and is often referred to as a burning in the bosom. or a spiritual witness, or testimony.

    It is misguided and deceptive simply because I had a feeling in my heart....and this becomes the ultimate determination of what is reality? Can we proclaim just upon our impressions in prayer that we have the ultimate truth? What arrogance, what absurdity!

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  2. You have some interesting criticisms that seem to you to be at odds with each other. On the one hand, Joseph Smith claimed to have had a direct manifestation of the truth of God's nature and on the other claimed that the knowledge of truth comes from a feeling that one feels in the heart.

    Jeremiah 17:9 does indeed say that "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

    But how does one reconcile that with Luke 24:13-32 where we read of two disciples who came face to face with the resurrected Lord, yet didn't know Him as they spoke with Him except by the feelings in their hearts as they walked, talked, and ate with Him? Note that they said at the end of this experience, after He had left them, that "Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?"

    By your argument, you would have to reject anything having to do with feelings in the heart whatsoever and rely only on what you can see and experience physically. By that test of truth, Christ would be required to appear to everyone and make Himself known by sight in order for them to believe. Also, He would never expect anyone to be led by faith (which is ultimately a feeling of conviction commonly said to be "felt in the heart") or by promptings of the Spirit, which come TO the heart, as Galatians 5:22 says, as "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith" agains which things there is no law.

    By contrast, in that same chapter of Galatians, we are warned heavily against feelings which come FROM the heart, which as Jeremiah pointed out in Jeremiah 17:9, are "desperately wicked". Those things include adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings.

    My point is this. When we say that truth comes as a feeling TO the heart, we mean that God reveals truth by sending feelings associated with the consequences of following truth: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. He does this to reinforce the fact that we are choosing to believe a correct principle of the Gospel. That can be as ultimate as seeing God face to face in testifying of the reality of God's plan and of the restoration of the Gospel.

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We are happy to discuss any and every topic and question. We will give wide berth to a variety of opinions and ideas. The only thing we ask is that you return the favor by respecting our right to believe as we do and by not issuing lengthy, inflammatory diatribes meant to shock and confuse anyone not familiar with LDS teachings. They can certainly get that elsewhere. :)