Thursday, July 18, 2019

Revisiting Book of Mormon Historicity Out of Necessity

I was unpleasantly surprised by this quotation from a website that purports to know what it is talking about: “Many BYU professors, even on the religion faculty, do not believe the Book of Mormon is historical and are not convinced that historicity matters.” No proof was provided for this statement, and so we cannot say that it is true. I am sure many if not most BYU professors would be offended by it and would declare their testimony of the historical authenticity the Book of Mormon. However, if there is some truth to it, and if there are some few that it speaks correctly of, let us review, point by point, what these professors, and others of like mind on the fringes of the Church, are rejecting—to view this book as (perhaps inspired) fiction; a 19th Century production.

They are rejecting the revelations to the Prophet Joseph Smith as found in the Doctrine and Covenants wherein the Lord references the Nephites and Lamanites as an ancient people. See section 3 and also 38:39; 1:29; 10:48.

They are rejecting the revelations to Joseph Smith that speak of modern peoples as descendants of the ancient Lamanites. See Doctrine and Covenants sections 32:2; 28:8-9, 14; 49:24; 30:6; 19:27; 54:8. It seems that if the Book of Mormon isn’t speaking of real ancient peoples, we may as well toss out the Doctrine and Covenants as well.

Monday, July 8, 2019

A Glaring Problem with Book of Mormon Geography Theories

and some other issues also

            Book of Mormon geography location theorizing has become enough of an issue among scholars and laymen alike, that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a formal Gospel Topic essay stating a neutral position. The pertinent sentences read: “the Church’s only position is that the events the Book of Mormon describes took place in the ancient Americas.” And, “The Church does not take a position on the specific geographic locations of Book of Mormon events in the ancient Americas.” When I first read the entire statement, and the quoted sentences in particular, I thought it very wise, to the point of inspired.

            In me this statement accomplishes some valuable and necessary objectives. 1) It should hopefully reduce argument among well-meaning members who often heatedly debate the subject into the realm of contention. 2) It avoids sticking a pin in a map. 3) It relieves the Restored Church of Jesus Christ of the burden of taking a position on something that may well not have been revealed to present or past prophets, beyond that stated in JS—H 1:34 (quoted below).