Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.
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dande48
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Re: Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon

Post by dande48 » 04 Dec 2018, 20:42

DarkJedi wrote:
04 Dec 2018, 18:36
I agree with this, but I think it's important to point out in relation to this that for may of us here our beliefs have changed on the subject. Pre-faith crisis/transition I full believed the whole thing about the BoM, it's origins and what it was. I did not doubt the Lamanites were Native Americans. My belief is much, much different now and that is in large party based on evidence.
It's true, most all of us have arrived at a different conclusion to the authenticity of the Book of Mormon, than we once had. But that makes us, in a way, more resistant to change. If we were right to begin with, and wrong in our latter judgements, it'd be even harder to revert back than it was to change our minds in the first place.

Not that I disagree with you. But for myself, I realize sometimes it's difficult to come up with an honest, unbiased assessment.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
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IT_Veteran
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Re: Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon

Post by IT_Veteran » 04 Dec 2018, 23:11

dande48 wrote:
04 Dec 2018, 16:50
nibbler wrote:
04 Dec 2018, 13:48
It's true, people can receive what appears to be the same input and walk away with very different conclusions. I think one struggle is that sometimes we fall into the trap of assuming that other people aren't working with the right set of data, and that if they would just accept the right data then they would reach the same conclusions as we have reached. Then it becomes an argument over which data is correct. It's essentially the same phenomenon but with the focus moved away from belief/conclusion and onto what is or is not a "valid" data set.
I think the root of this is, people automatically interpret evidence to support what they already believe. They rarely ever change what they believe to support the evidence.
I think it depends on the switching cost. For me, changing that belief was incredibly painful on its own. I didn’t know what the switching costs would be, I count myself very lucky. I know others that have lost marriages, relationships with family and friends, etc. It takes a lot to get to a place where you’re even willing to consider that you might have been wrong when even the perceived cost of switching may be high.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon

Post by DarkJedi » 05 Dec 2018, 06:45

dande48 wrote:
04 Dec 2018, 20:42
DarkJedi wrote:
04 Dec 2018, 18:36
I agree with this, but I think it's important to point out in relation to this that for may of us here our beliefs have changed on the subject. Pre-faith crisis/transition I full believed the whole thing about the BoM, it's origins and what it was. I did not doubt the Lamanites were Native Americans. My belief is much, much different now and that is in large party based on evidence.
It's true, most all of us have arrived at a different conclusion to the authenticity of the Book of Mormon, than we once had. But that makes us, in a way, more resistant to change. If we were right to begin with, and wrong in our latter judgements, it'd be even harder to revert back than it was to change our minds in the first place.

Not that I disagree with you. But for myself, I realize sometimes it's difficult to come up with an honest, unbiased assessment.
Oh, yeah, I'm definitely biased. I was also biased in my old beliefs. I don;t currently believe there were really gold plates and eve if there were I don't buy any of the stuff about the Lamanites/Native Americans. Nobody can figure out the modern geography because it's fiction. Etc. But the BoM is a good book that can and does bring people closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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DoubtingTom
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Re: Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon

Post by DoubtingTom » 05 Dec 2018, 07:21

DarkJedi wrote:
05 Dec 2018, 06:45
Oh, yeah, I'm definitely biased. I was also biased in my old beliefs. I don;t currently believe there were really gold plates and eve if there were I don't buy any of the stuff about the Lamanites/Native Americans. Nobody can figure out the modern geography because it's fiction. Etc. But the BoM is a good book that can and does bring people closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
This is where I’m at too, but I’m one step further. The Book of Mormon can and does bring people closer to God and Jesus Christ, both of whom I am not convinced exist. I think these relationships only exist in our minds, but that doesn’t mean there’s not value to seeking to have those relationships. There’s clearly tangible benefits people get from pursuing them, and who’s to say I’m not the one who is mistaken about all of this.

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dande48
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Re: Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon

Post by dande48 » 05 Dec 2018, 08:56

DoubtingTom wrote:
05 Dec 2018, 07:21
This is where I’m at too, but I’m one step further. The Book of Mormon can and does bring people closer to God and Jesus Christ, both of whom I am not convinced exist. I think these relationships only exist in our minds, but that doesn’t mean there’s not value to seeking to have those relationships. There’s clearly tangible benefits people get from pursuing them, and who’s to say I’m not the one who is mistaken about all of this.
I wish we could get past the need for objective religious truth. Taking this back to the analogy with Santa Claus, is Santa Claus (meaning the 1700+ year old man in a red suit who lives at the North Pole) objectively real? Of course not. But does that really matter? I don't think so. Is he real, in a symbolic "in our hearts" sense? You bet. Does Santa (as a symbol) do a lot of good this time of year? Of course!

But is Santa also heavily exploited, in a way which negatively impacts society? Sadly, yes. Should we be proclaiming that Santa Claus is objectively real, and disdaining all who believe otherwise? Definitely not.

That pretty much sums up how I feel about the Book of Mormon, the Church, and religion in general. It's absolutely wonderful! But if you're going to exploit the believers, bully the non-believers, or make unsubstantiated claims to objective truth, I really struggle. If the BOM is good, it's good whether or not its historical. It's historical accuracy and authenticity should not matter. The fact that it DOES matter, rubs me the wrong way.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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SamBee
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Re: Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon

Post by SamBee » 05 Dec 2018, 11:00

On Own Now wrote:
04 Dec 2018, 13:15
JFK? Killed by the CIA. 9/11? US Gov't. In that vein, let me say that our religious assertions are a lot like conspiracy theories. If you are one who believes, you can't see why others don't interpret the data the same way you do? I mean... come on... the magic bullet, right? If you are an anti-conspiracy person, then everything has an explanation. Two people look at the same thing and see things much differently. I simply learned not to talk to my friend about the JFK assassination and we remained friendly.
It cuts both ways. A lot of people don't wish to believe that their worldview could be challenged, or that people that they trust could be up to no good.

Take flat earth theory - that go-to for the anti-conspiracy-theory - why do most people believe we live on a globe? Not because of the ample evidence, much of which can be observed by ordinary people, but because someone else told them so! The magic bullet for them is being told by someone in authority. Anyone who challenges that is beyond the pale.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

LadyofRadiantJoy
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Re: Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon

Post by LadyofRadiantJoy » 24 Feb 2019, 16:23

dande48 wrote:
05 Dec 2018, 08:56
If the BOM is good, it's good whether or not its historical. It's historical accuracy and authenticity should not matter. The fact that it DOES matter, rubs me the wrong way.
I feel you. I actually said in church once that I don't care if the BoM is historical. My testimony of the BoM is not based on its historicity but on the Spirit. I feel the Spirit when I read it. But I also have felt the Spirit when reading Harry Potter, didn't mean Harry Potter was historical. So, I said, even though I absolutely believe that BoM is a historical thing*, I decided that ulimately it didn't matter if I was right or wrong. The fruit was good. It taught truths that helped me in my life. So it doesn't matter either. It doesn't effect my testimony of the spiritual truths in the BoM.

I got some thoughtful looks and a few who looked at me like I grew devil's horns. *shrug*

*(I believe the Nephites and Lamanites etc were the Hopewell People, the Mound Builders, and I believe this after learning about them in a history class taught by an archeaologist who wasn't Mormon. I had expected to connect the dots with the Mayans, but that didn't happen.)

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SamBee
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Re: Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon

Post by SamBee » 24 Feb 2019, 16:29

The historicity is of little importance to me. That said, Harry Potter doesn't make me feel the Spirit.

I'm interested in the BoM as a text. It is our scripture and somehow I find it a cut above the POGP and D&C. i believe as a work of literature, it is deceptively simple and has more complexity than a cursory glance will find.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Roy
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Re: Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon

Post by Roy » 25 Feb 2019, 11:57

dande48 wrote:
05 Dec 2018, 08:56
If the BOM is good, it's good whether or not its historical. It's historical accuracy and authenticity should not matter. The fact that it DOES matter, rubs me the wrong way.
I think the church tries to have it both ways by saying that we should not necessarily look for proofs that the BoM is historical because the biggest evidence is the witness of the spirit. The feelings of goodness that one can have regarding experiences with the book are to be taken as the most sure evidence of its historicity.

I am also aware that many feel that if something is not literally true then it is meaningless. One of the strategies that helps me to stayLDS is to look for truths and purpose amongst the symbolism.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

LadyofRadiantJoy
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Re: Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon

Post by LadyofRadiantJoy » 01 Mar 2019, 11:00

SamBee wrote:
24 Feb 2019, 16:29
The historicity is of little importance to me. That said, Harry Potter doesn't make me feel the Spirit.

I'm interested in the BoM as a text. It is our scripture and somehow I find it a cut above the POGP and D&C. i believe as a work of literature, it is deceptively simple and has more complexity than a cursory glance will find.
Lemme clarify. Not ALL of Harry Potter made me feel the Spirit, just certain parts of it where some good ol' truth is right there.

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