Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
Saturday, January 12, 2008
This was a well-written article that I didn't find any factual errors in. Kudos to them.
Friday, January 11, 2008
What's the big deal? Church defenders say there is nothing important in the change.
But skeptics view it differently. The issue is that church missionaries have long portrayed Book of Mormon stories as fact. To them, it looks like the new wording is a quiet concession that DNA research accurately contradicts the scriptural claim.
Anyone unfamiliar with the Book of Mormon might assume from reports of this change that the actual text of the Book of Mormon was changed. This is not the case. The introduction is not part of the original text as translated from the original records, but an editorial explanation of the origin of the sacred text, somewhat akin to the introduction in a King James translation of the Bible.
Now to address the actual issue of "the scriptural claim" that Israelites were the sole inhabitants of the Americas and thus the ancestors of the Native Americans. The Book of Mormon does not make this claim. The arrival of three separate groups in the Americas are recorded in the text, one of which was contemporary with the Tower of Babel. I could be wrong, but I don't believe that the text makes any claims that no other groups came.
While I'm somewhat on the topic, I should say something else. Attempting to disprove or prove the historical account of the Book of Mormon is not the appropriate way to come to a sure knowledge of its veracity. This knowledge can come only from God. The Book of Mormon prophet Moroni, in the last chapter of the Book of Mormon, explains,
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. (Moroni 10:3-5)
Pretty simple, huh? When you sincerely want to know the truth, pray and ask God whether the Book of Mormon is true, and you will receive an answer. If you want truth, go to the source of all truth. This is how I know that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true and living church.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
MARGARET WARNER: But back in the early fall, also, everyone was talking about the Mormon factor, that the evangelical Christians didn't entirely trust Romney, being a Mormon. Do you think that was a factor?
STUART ROTHENBERG: Oh, I think it was a huge factor. And it's not so much that they didn't trust him. They were uncomfortable with elevating a Mormon to the presidency and giving that legitimacy.
But I think that was a huge factor, Margaret. There were whole chunks of conservatives who couldn't buy into Romney, and were uncomfortable with Giuliani and McCain, and when Thompson ran it didn't look like very much, and so Huckabee became the default candidate. There was a vacancy there, and he just moved into it.
It just blew us away that someone would be so straight-forward in recognizing the anti-Mormon bias that exists in this country. I did a search for "Stuart Rothenberg Mormon" and turned up a recent article he wrote that explains his ideas as to why evangelicals are so anti-Mormon (link). My summarization of his thesis is that evangelicals are afraid of legitimizing our faith because they don't see it just as a faith but as an organization with the purpose of "wooing evangelicals or potential adherents away from Christianity."
Here's the video (link).
A journalist and professor grades recent media coverage of the LDS Church in this article.