Sunday, March 16, 2008

Post 1 - PBS's "The Mormons" Got Some Important Things Very Wrong!

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Joseph Smith, the Prophet Who Translated the Book of Mormon-by Alvin Gittins
In viewing Part 1 of the "Mormons," produced and shown by PBS in May of 2007, I was appalled by their treatment and neglect of the Book of Mormon. In it, a so-called, "scholar" described this Book of Books as flawed literature. I heard him say that every time he reads from the Book of Mormon he sees evidence in its pages of the rough frontier nature of Joseph Smith, who he apparently suggests, wrote that book. With his saying that, I have to question whether he has ever even read the Book of Mormon. I have never seen such evidence he proposes anywhere in that book.

Hugh Nibley, a great Mormon scholar, now deceased, was a great authority on the Book of Mormon and knew personally a number of its chief critics. He often said that Book of Mormon critics are all well known for their never having read it.

If I were to interview the writer, editor and producer of this PBS production, Helen Whitney, I would ask her: "Why have you allowed such statements to be made about the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. and the Book of Mormon, without letting a believing Mormon respond directly to such allegations?

My present purpose is to give you just one short example of something from the Book of Mormon that illustrates that it could not have been written by a frontiers boy with very little education.

Please turn to
2 Nephi 2:25: "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy."
 Verse 26 is also very instructive.
2 Nephi 2:26 And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.
Several years ago I read a report of a scholarly man from the Near East, who was possibly Jewish, who became overwhelmed emotionally when he heard for the the first time ever, verse 25 (above) read in a meeting of some kind at BYU where he was an invited guest. This verse no doubt helped him as it can help us, to come to grips with the true purpose of the Fall of Adam.

Now I ask you, the readers of this blog, "Have you really read the Book of Mormon?" And if you have, have you heeded the exhortation of the Book of Mormon prophet, Moroni?
(Moroni 10:4) "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."
Is the Book of Mormon the reflection of the thinking of an uneducated frontiers boy or is it the inspired translation of the writings of ancient prophets, beginning with Nephi, son of Lehi, who was born in Jerusalem, who, with his family, migrated to the Americas under the guidance of their God?

I bare my personal witness it is the latter.

Neil Birch


This website is not owned by or affiliated with the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church.


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If you have any questions about what you have read or viewed in this post or in any previous posts of mine, or if you even have a curiosity about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and or its teachings, please e-mail me. I'm Neil and my e-mail address is: If you contact me I'll get back to you just as soon as possible.

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Neil Birch

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