If you have ever met with Mormon missionaries you know how much they encourage you to read through the Book of Mormon and pray for the Lord to reveal to you that it is true and from God.
Time after time, in my own talks with Mormons I have emphasized how this approach is both unbiblical as well as foolish way to discern a text as scripture. It’s hard to reason with a Mormon on this because they are so convinced that this a Biblical approach, but recently I have taken a different approach that I think I may be more convincing and even unsettling to the Mormons. Instead of arguing with them whether or not this is a good way to discern that the Book of Mormon is from God I have simply conceded that they are right and the Book of Mormon is from God.
Now I know some of you already are feeling very uncomfortable with this approach, but hear me out.
The catch is that if I assume that the Book of Mormon is actually from God it in no way gets me close to becoming a Mormon. Why is that? It is because the the most central and distinctive doctrines of the Mormon Church do not come from the Book of Mormon.
The BOM does not prophesy of Joseph Smith being a prophet of God or that he is supposed to be the leader of the church. It could even be argued that the BOM has no mention of Joseph Smith at all.
The BOM gives no mention to the baptism of the dead or the celestial, telestial and terrestrial heavens that are central to Mormon belief.
The BOM does not establish that a temple must be built where the holy ordinances must be performed or that those ordinances themselves should be done.
It gives no mention to the church structure in which elders, bishops, or high priests must exist in the future church. Nor does it mention a need for the president or the presidency of three or the 12 apostles.
With all this in mind the question of whether or not the BOM is from God suddenly become rather superfluous. Even if I were to accept the BOM, which I don’t, then it by no means would make me a follower of the Mormon doctrines.
So in the end my new response to Mormons when they ask if I have read and believe in the BOM is simply this. Why does it matter? The Book of Mormon is true. . . So what?
If a Mormon wants to convince me to become a Mormon and to accept the Mormon doctrines as true they must prove to me or otherwise convince me that the Mormon doctrines like these are true. But by my acceptance of the BOM I will by no means become convinced that the LDS church is true or that the Mormon faith is true.
The flaw in this logic is that if the Book of Mormon is from God than one must also accept that it was brought forth by God, and thus Joseph Smith must have been called of God to do so. Which then, logically speaking, makes him a prophet. I think the logic flows nicely from this point on.
There is a reason that the Book of Mormon is called the keystone of the LDS religion.
It doesn’t make him a prophet it makes him an instrument of interpreting an already written scripture of which he had arguably the least significant role in bringing to the LDS church. Smith could have been given the gift to interpret and no other gifting after that.
This is actually the belief of David Whitmer and his expressed reason for leaving and never returning to the LDS church.
Just because David Whitmer believed it that doesn’t make it logical.
As to your claim that he had the least significant role, that is a logical joke. No one had more to do with the Book of Mormon than Joseph Smith.
But my point is that if you are going to believe that the Book of Mormon came from God, than the method in which it came must also be logically accepted. Thus one must accept the First Vision, the appearances of Moroni, the existence of the gold plates, and everything else connected with the process of translation. All of these things are dependent on each other and to reject any of them is to logically reject all of them.
And from them logic inescapably leads to an acceptance of the church and all its doctrine.
If you contend that this is not logical, than offer a more logical explanation.
As far as him not being that significant of a role I think it could be argued because he didn’t write any of the books, nor did he compile the books that was all done by other people. He only tranlated which was done thru a seeing stone which Oliver Cowdry also used at least once so Oliver Cowdry could have done the translation too.
As far as my logic I’ll refer to David Whitmer, and you can read my blog from today for details on that. https://beardeddisciple.com/2018/05/10/one-of-the-central-founders-of-mormonism-denied-mormonism/
Change “be” in the 4th paragraph to “me”.
Mr. Bearded Disciple,
I know you are against the Book Of Mormon. But The Book Of Mormon not only corrected my senses, it brought me closer to God. It saved me.
I was Catholic before my conversion. I was very ill. I had an aggressive mental health condition that did not cease. I couldn’t discern if God was real or even existed because my human brain was so imbalanced. Doctors, and psychologists, guarantee my life would never alter.
What I’m saying is, “Whatever is inside this church, the Mormon church.. its healing people. The scriptures breath some type of antidote. Their “Waters” breed disciples who are coming out with testimonies of
the pure love of Jesus Christ and who He was and is. Their loyalty truly rooted in this Gospel.
So whether the Book of Mormon is true? Heck, I’m so glad it exists, because without it I would be lost and unhealed.
– Good luck with your search
I am happy for you that it has brought you some level of peace I guess but that doesn’t mean it’s true by any means. Other self-proclaimed holy books have similar testimonies and even some altogether non religious books have brought such benefits to their readers that being said ‘it’s healing people’ doesn’t mean much if in the end it’s not true and therefore leading you away from God. If it’s not true then in the end the healing you’ve experienced is like treating the symptoms of a dresser and not the decease itself. You feel you’ve been healed but in fact you’re becoming even more sick.