Thursday, September 21, 2023

Blogging about the Book of Mormon

I've decided I need to figure out what I believe about the Book of Mormon -- rather than more-or-less ignoring it while still maintaining that Joseph Smith was a genuine prophet -- and to that end I've started a new blog for recording my notes as I go through it. I've been meaning to do this for a while, but as it happened, my first post was ready for publication today -- September 21, 2023 -- 200 years to the day after Moroni's first appearance to Joseph Smith. Then I passed a stranger on the street whose T-shirt said, among other things, "Monday 12/23."

A photo of the same shirt, from the Internet

Joseph Smith was born on December 23, 1805, which was a Monday. So apparently the sync fairies are on board with this project.

My first post, using the first few verses of the book to introduce some foundational questions, is "Lehi, Nephi, and the pillar of fire that 'dwelt upon a rock': A case study of hard-to-define biblical parallels."


Anonymous said...

I tried reading it once. All I remember is the story of God telling the Israelites boating over to America to put an air hole in the bottom of the boat and then realizing his mistake only after they started sinking (what ?! like why would God not know that?!) and I think that was in Nephi. Also something claiming the Holy Spirit told Nephi(?) to murder Laban or something like that. Another "what?!" moment for me. And skipping way ahead that it says in Alma that Jesus established communion with bread and wine not water as Mormons use now. I couldn't make it through much of the book.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Well, the boats with air holes in the bottom are in Ether, near the end of the book, so I guess you got through more than you remember! The part about the boat starting to sink and God realizing his mistake exists only in your imagination, though.

A "spirit" does tell Nephi to decapitate the unconscious Laban, but no claim is made that it was the Holy Spirit. One alternative reading is that it was a spirit associated with the sword itself.

I don't see any problem with bread-and-wine communion in the BoM (not until 3 Nephi, though; Alma is pre-Jesus), since that's obviously been the norm throughout Christian history. That the current CJCLDS uses water is their problem.

So most of the specific examples you give are a bit garbled, but, yeah, the book has some very obvious problems. No one could deny that. Hence the need to "figure out what I believe" about it, rather than just effortlessly accepting it as true.

David Earle said...

Great endeavor. I was given a copy of the Book of Mormon by a Missionary in 2017, not long before I became a Christian. I will certainly be using this new blog as a way to help me study the Book again.

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