Thoughts from My Personal Journal
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The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ
Challenges, Adversity, Suffering, Difficulties, Opposition, Tragedies
Common Everyday Life
Education, Academics, Schooling, Training
Faith, Religion, God, Church
Government, Legislation, Politics, War
History, Historical Context, Studying History
Independence, Liberty, Freedom
Law, Law Practice, Jurisprudence
Pondering the Scriptures
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The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ
THOUGHT: November 1, 2019
After several prayerful readings of the Book of Mormon which have taken place over almost my entire adult lifetime, augmented by some external study on various subjects related to the Book of Mormon, I remain more convinced than ever that the Book of Mormon is authentic ancient scripture that reveals Christ. The logical conclusion for me is that Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet of God. I have more confidence in that fact than most of the propositions upon which the world operates.
THOUGHT: December 20, 2019
People who claim they would believe the Book of Mormon if they could only see the gold plates are lying to themselves.
THOUGHT: December 23, 2019
Nothing gives me confidence in the truthfulness of the Church like reading in the Book of Mormon.
THOUGHT: December 24, 2019
The Book of Mormon anchors us to the restoration.
THOUGHT: December 27, 2019
It is the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon that verifies the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith.
THOUGHT: January 19, 2020
The Savior has staked his very existence as a true and living God on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. (D&C 17:6)
THOUGHT: March 5, 2020
We learn something new about Christ from the Book of Mormon. One of the insulting mockings and pain inflictions to go with the spitting, thorn of crowns, and scourging that was heaped upon Him was the painful plucking of his facial hairs. I don’t think the Bible mentions this form of harassment and torture.
THOUGHT: March 16, 2020
Although the translation of the Book of Mormon came by the gift and power of God, there was more than one process involved. The Urim and Thummim was used. A Seer Stone was used. Joseph came to be able to translate, if you want to use that word, the hieroglyphs independently of actually looking at them, perhaps without looking at any other object. It is highly doubtful that he actually ever learned to read, write, and speak the ancient Nephite language.
THOUGHT: March 23, 2020
Some major (based on size) Christian groups claim to have a “Biblical world view” of things. In truth, if they had a genuine Biblical world view, they would believe in the restoration and The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, because the Bible strongly promotes such a belief. Instead, their Biblical world view promotes a denial of the restoration and The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ.
THOUGHT: July 29, 2020
I can easily understand the reluctance of Joseph Smith to talk about the First Vision. He had no evidence of its reality other than his own say-so, and his telling of the event engendered nothing but contempt and ridicule on a soul that already faced a tsunami of adversity. On the other hand, he was spontaneously forthcoming with his accounts of the visits of Moroni and the delivery of the gold plates. He had the evidence for that revelatory event—The Book of Mormon, which any literate person could read and ponder and then draw his own conclusions.
THOUGHT: September 9, 2020
The Church is emphasizing the First Vision in this its 200th anniversary year. We are to ask ourselves how we “Hear Him.” I will tell you how I “Hear Him.” I “Hear Him” when I read the Book of Mormon. I am a show-me-the-evidence kind of guy. I definitely have a testimony of the First Vision. It rang true to my ears, head, and heart the first time I ever read it. However, there is little non-spiritual evidence of the First Vision’s authenticity. On the other hand, for those who study it, there is plenty of non-spiritual evidence for the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. So I would have to say that the core of my testimony of the First Vision is based on my testimony of the Book of Mormon. Since I know Joseph told the truth about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, I can rely on him to have told me the truth about his First Vision. But vice-versa would not work for me. My testimony of the Book of Mormon is not dependent at all on my testimony of the First Vision. My testimony of the Book of Mormon is totally independent of my testimony of the First Vision. The Lord himself has established the Book of Mormon as the evidence for Joseph’s prophetic calling, as well as the prophetic calling of his successors, “[p]roving to the world that...God does inspire men and call them to his holy work in this age and generation....” (D & C 20:11)
THOUGHT: October 25, 2020
I have never heard anyone speak or write about this concept, but I am confident that they have. I wish to add my layer of thought on the subject. There are parts of the Bible that are older than certain parts of the Book of Mormon. There are parts of the Book of Mormon that are older than certain parts of the Bible. Because of this fact, the two books chronologically interlock, thus allowing the Bible to testify of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and allowing the Book of Mormon to testify of the coming forth of the Bible. The connecting links between the two books could not exist without the interlocking chronology. Because the Bible came to my attention first in my lifetime and served as an authentic scriptural witness to the power of God, the Bible was for me a convincing witness to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. But I was able to see it work beautifully in the opposite direction when I served as a missionary in Cambodia where non-Christians were introduced first to the Book of Mormon and only later to the Bible.
THOUGHT: November 22, 2020
No one is a truly educated person unless they have given a serious reading to the Book of Mormon.
THOUGHT: November 25, 2020
The operative test for the authenticity of the Book of Mormon is not DNA. The DNA of the Lehi colony is not testable against any population group. The operative test for the authenticity of the Book of Mormon is the influence of the Holy Ghost, and that’s the way the Lord wants it. The Lord will not allow any type of science to replace His methodology for determining truth, else faith would cease to exist as the overarching principle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
THOUGHT: December 14, 2020
Generally speaking, if someone wants to perpetrate a convincing fraud, they will do their best to fabricate the most believable story possible as factual support for their fraud—a story that will fit perfectly within society’s norms. They will avoid at all costs unusual, abnormal, unprecedented, incredulous, supernatural claims to support their fraud. So if Joseph Smith falsely and deceitfully concocted the Book of Mormon from his wild imagination, he was an absolute dunce in relying on angelic visitations, clear stones in a bow, and a peeping stone in a hat to support his fantastic story.
THOUGHT: December 15, 2020
The complexity, yet internal consistency, within the Book of Mormon, when considered in connection with its dictation without reference to notes or other aids over a short period of time, thoroughly convinces me that the power of God was directly involved in its composition.
THOUGHT: December 27, 2020
I believe that God was so directly and intimately involved in the writing of the Book of Mormon that even those authors who wrote it were totally unaware of its countless intricate and complex aspects that demonstrate the involvement of a much higher power than themselves.
THOUGHT: February 27, 2021
In several places, the Book of Mormon expresses prophesies about itself. The Book of Mormon relates that the Book of Mormon will come forth unto the Gentiles at a later date. Jesus himself so declared when he visited the Book of Mormon peoples in 34 AD after his resurrection: “[W]rite the things which I have told you; and according to the time and the will of the Father they shall go forth unto the Gentiles.” I have been a witness to the fulfilling of that prophesy throughout my lifetime. The Book of Mormon has been translated into more than 130 languages. (3 Nephi 23: 4)
THOUGHT: March 1, 2021
The Book of Mormon is certainly not for a person who believes he already knows everything he needs to know about the Lord and is not interested in learning more.
THOUGHT: March 21, 2021
In my lifetime, I have personally witnessed some positives, like civil rights for the black race and incredible technological advances. But I have also witnessed a devastating negative change in our society. I was reared in a 1950’s and early 1960’s culture that valued right above wrong. The good guys always won in the movies; and society’s values were based primarily on Christian standards of morality.
I have seen a transformation to a standardless culture that values worldly acceptance above rejection, and that which is considered acceptable changes and shifts from one fad or whim to another, or from one anti-Christian ideology to another, like same-sex marriage, gender alteration, or abortion. The environment is anti-religion and promotion of idleness.
The former culture that valued right above wrong relied heavily upon conscience, guilt, the Bible, religious and educational institutions, and principled leaders. The current culture relies most heavily upon shame, and you know whether you are good or bad by whether society accepts or rejects you, whether society praises or ostracized you, whether society includes or excludes you. When a majority buys into the shame culture, we are ripe for destruction.
The shame culture claims its greatest virtue to be universal inclusion and tolerance. But that is a Satanic lie. In reality, those who support the shame culture are unmercifully intolerant of those who disagree. Because the arbitrary non-standards of the shame culture are always shifting and changing, you live in continuous fear of rejection, exclusion, and being ostracized—thus making you insecure in your decisions and direction. This makes you over-sensitive and over-reactive. You live on the edge of panic. Everything is in commotion and you become depressed in the sense that you lose heart, or your heart fails you. (See D&C 45:26 and D&C 88:91) You fear speaking that which you truly feel and believe because you will be made an offender for a word and the object of ridicule and shunning.
When Isaiah described the day that the Book of Mormon would come forth, as found in the 29th Chapter of Isaiah, he said that the scorners, and all that watch for iniquity (as they may define iniquity), and those that make a man an offender for a word, and those that lay a snare for the people who reprove wrongdoing, and those who turn aside the just for a thing of naught would be cut off, and the covenant people would no longer be ashamed. (See Isaiah 29:20-22) That makes Isaiah easier to understand now than just 20 years ago.
As I read the Book of Mormon, I find peace, not commotion. I find faith, not fear. I develop a strong happy heart that does not fail me, but helps me face each day with optimism, industry, and production.
THOUGHT: April 3, 2021
History has proven that one is allowed to approvingly possess a strong position in opposition to the Book of Mormon without having ever read it. More currently speaking, one is approvingly allowed to possess a strong position in favor of the Bible without having ever read it. There is more consistency in that double ignorance than meets the eye at first glance.
THOUGHT: May 6, 2021
The more we study the scholarship, the more intellectually convinced we will become that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ is a translation of an authentic ancient text. But having a knowledge of the secular evidences will not be sufficient to keep us faithful. It is the spiritual manifestations that prevent us from abandoning our faith—the burning in our bosoms and the fire in our bones that propel us to retain, to keep, to hold, to cling and adhere to those dear, sacred declarations of eternal truths—even in our Job-like times of tribulation.