Talk help - Book of Mormon

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DarkJedi
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Talk help - Book of Mormon

Post by DarkJedi » 04 Feb 2018, 12:38

I have an upcoming talk with the topic "Becoming more like Christ by reading the Book of Mormon." I have nothing against becoming more Christlike, but honestly believe you can do so much better by reading the four gospels than by reading the BoM. On the other hand, I do believe the BoM to be a good book which does testify of Christ (but not in the same way as the gospels) and I believe it may have been at least inspired (but not that it is a historical account of any ancient people). I cannot say I have a testimony of the BoM in the classic sense nor can I say that I have truly felt the "witness" as outlined in "Moroni's promise." I was given three reference talks from Oct. GC with the expectation that I not simply rehash the talks (which I wouldn't do anyway) and I simply will not use one of them (Callister). The other two were Nelson's and Eyring's, which I may use a few quotes from but I'm not especially fond of either talk. I am fine "testifying" that the BoM is a good book and even using my best Sheepese to assure those who have not received a witness and/or don't read the BoM daily that it's OK.

With that, I am open to how to fill the other 10-15 minutes of time. Thanks in advance for your help.
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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Roy
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Re: Talk help - Book of Mormon

Post by Roy » 04 Feb 2018, 12:57

I am struck by how often and explicitly the BoM testifies and foretells Christ. We look at the old testament and see types and allusions to the coming of Jesus. The gospels except John show a fairly human Jesus. The BoM is unflinching in presenting a messianic god creature - complete with earthquakes and destroyed cities. Therefore the BoM is perhaps the most bold source of bold testimony about Jesus.

However, the assignment is on "Becoming more like Christ". I think it would be appropriate to deep dive into some of Jesus's teachings and invite the hearers to follow in his footsteps.
"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

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squarepeg
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Re: Talk help - Book of Mormon

Post by squarepeg » 04 Feb 2018, 13:22

Christ during his mortal ministry always spoke to the people using OT scriptures with which they were intimately familiar. His own ideas were by and large leaps and bounds more profound than what was contained in those restricted contexts, but he still knew the scriptures of his society like the back of his hand and that enabled him to speak to people in a way that was powerful and that they could understand and relate to.

There may not be a good way to say this in your talk, but I think just keeping ourselves intimately familiar with the BoM gives us common territory with our LDS brothers and sisters, common ground to serve as a reference or backdrop to the important things we hope to share with one another.

You could attend a Star Trek convention (rather than an LDS ward) and substitute Star Trek for the BoM. Both are full of stories of good versus evil, of working through moral dilemmas, of overcoming obstacles, and sticking to ones principles even when the risks of doing so are high... If you are familiar with all the characters and episodes, and all of that is fresh in your mind from continually watching episodes from all the series on a regular basis, you will easily form strong relationships with the other Trekkies, and have a whole rich context or background to reference if/when you ever happen to discuss with these convention buddies the deeper questions in life, or when sharing experiences or challenges with one another. You can be more like Christ with Trekkies if you know Star Trek than if you don't. It doesn't matter that Star Trek is fiction. It only matters that the content is rich enough with those basic fundamental philosophical ideas to act as a shared backdrop and springboard to changing how we think and who we become.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Talk help - Book of Mormon

Post by DarkJedi » 04 Feb 2018, 13:25

I agree with your assessment Roy. FWIW, all of our topics for this part of the year start with "Becoming more like Christ." It's really just a reminder to make our talks Christ centered and the wording changes from time to time - so I don't have to focus on the works of Christ if I don't want.
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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DarkJedi
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Re: Talk help - Book of Mormon

Post by DarkJedi » 04 Feb 2018, 13:27

You might be amazed with what I can do with Sheepese Peg! Thanks.
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."

My Introduction

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SamBee
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Re: Talk help - Book of Mormon

Post by SamBee » 04 Feb 2018, 18:13

The BoM is mainly about cycles of pride and fall, and also mercy and forgiveness. It is Jesus or some type of avatar of him which continually resets the balance.

In it we see such aspects as faith in Christ without seeing him; types who emulate his behavior and those who disparage it.

There is a lot of Jesus in the BoM whatever anybody says. Someone once suggested I highlight every mention of him in the book, under his own name and his titles and when I did this, I could see flicking through that he is found throughout the book. Even the quotation of Isaiah contains passages which either refer to him or appear to.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
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mom3
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Re: Talk help - Book of Mormon

Post by mom3 » 04 Feb 2018, 23:04

My cheater simple answer is to take your focus from 3rd Nephi. The other focus I would take is Charity. I would build on biblical mirroring.

To me (you don't have to say this) when people talk about the BoM we rarely talk about Christ. We talk about Nephi being obedient. Or Abinadi baring witness. Or Alma teaching Corianton. Don't get me wrong all those messages can/do connect with Christ. But He alone. He, himself, we often talk about the darkness, the still small voice, blessing the children. And those are rare.

You will do fantastic.
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Re: Talk help - Book of Mormon

Post by dande48 » 05 Feb 2018, 07:56

For me, the Book of Mormon has gone from "absolutely 100% true" to "99% false", and ended up in the "WWJD if..." category. Even if you don't believe in the stories, the prophecies, Christ's visitation, etc, I think it is very useful to look at it through the lens of "What Jesus would've done, if it was true." What virtues would Christ want us to build? How would Christ want us to act in this situation? What is Christ's relationship to us? What can we learn from Christ's dealings with the "Nephites"?

I would also be amazed by the prophecies of the BOM, in comparison to the Old Testament, if it weren't SO EASY to prophecy about things that have already happened.
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DarkJedi
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Re: Talk help - Book of Mormon

Post by DarkJedi » 05 Feb 2018, 08:39

The BoM is mainly about cycles of pride and fall, and also mercy and forgiveness. It is Jesus or some type of avatar of him which continually resets the balance.
I do recognize the cycle thing and I have been struck by how much the BoM talks about grace and mercy despite "after all we can do" (which I think we misinterpret). Interestingly there is a member of our ward who fairly regularly bears testimony about the BoM who thinks it's all about justice and judgement as opposed to mercy. I'm not going to argue with him, and admittedly I have not read the BoM cover to cover in years (and don't plan to in the near future), but I have never gotten that message from it. I am fine with talking about the BoM as being another testament of Christ because in its own way it is - "true" or not. (The testimonies of Christ do seem to be correct or true in that sense.)
There is a lot of Jesus in the BoM whatever anybody says.
I have heard it parroted that every page of the BoM talks of Christ. That is clearly not correct - but you are right, almost every page does. FWIW, after having undertaken a rather extensive study of Isaiah, he (they) were not talking about the coming Messiah - but God may have been (if you believe the words to be inspired/revealed).
To me (you don't have to say this) when people talk about the BoM we rarely talk about Christ. We talk about Nephi being obedient. Or Abinadi baring witness. Or Alma teaching Corianton. Don't get me wrong all those messages can/do connect with Christ. But He alone. He, himself, we often talk about the darkness, the still small voice, blessing the children. And those are rare.
Excellent point. We give lots of platitudes in that respect and we do seem to fail in pointing out how the BoM is another testament of Christ. That may actually become my theme because it's so easy then to say something like "So even if you haven't received a witness al a Moroni, the book stands on it's own as a witness of Christ" (in my most polished Sheepese, of course).
I would also be amazed by the prophecies of the BOM, in comparison to the Old Testament, if it weren't SO EASY to prophecy about things that have already happened.
Another good way to point out that it's a good book even if it's not what it's purported to be. (I am with you about it being 99% "false," and yes, Brother Callister, I do believe it not only possible but extremely likely Joseph Smith was a genius.)

Specific passages of scripture, especially relating to grace and the book testifying of the atonement are appreciated.

I have been thinking I may draw a parallel with Samuel the Lamanite and the Bible. While I would never disrespect the beliefs of other churches, in the case of Samuel the Nephites had a prophet who was doing his job yet along came Samuel to deliver this important message. I can't help but think in today's church Samuel would be vilified but that's beside the point. Samuel was giving a message supplemental to and clarifying what the Nephites already had which in some ways could be similar to Samuel being the BoM and what's already there being the Bible. I'll have to flesh that out but it's a thought.
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."

My Introduction

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SilentDawning
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Re: Talk help - Book of Mormon

Post by SilentDawning » 05 Feb 2018, 08:49

I love to reframe tasks given to me in a way that fits my mental state and comfort level with the topic.

In this case, I would focus on how certain scriptures encourage Christlike behavior. Read some of the short pithy ones that focus on patience and long suffering, or the natural man Mosiah 3:5, focusing on the Christlike parts. Hearing these scriptures repeatedly can really create a spiritual impression and fill the soul with desire and peace. I would also give examples of Christlike people in the scriptures and what they did -- and you can still quote from the Sermon on the Mount, since you like the gospels as much as the BoM.

At the end, and only in your summation or perhaps final point, talk about how reading the book of Mormon can help you be Christlike -- I would talk about "you are what you eat" physically, and that "you are what you read[" from a character perspective.

I wouldn't mention one iota about it "being true" or anything. Quote from it like you would quote from a good movie or from a good, honest book. it is a good book, and I have felt inspired to be a better person by reading it myself. I can say that as a kind of testimony, without saying it is historically true. Focus on the native truth of the principles in it -- principles you can find in other good books, by the way (most of them when it comes to being Christlike).

Good luck, I hope to hear how it goes!!
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