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Joseph Smith -by David Lindsley
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 supposes wrote that book. With his saying that, I have to question whether he has ever read the Book of Mormon. I have never seen such evidence 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 that 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 give his or her point of view of the matter?
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 read this scripture:
II Nephi 2:25: Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
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, that verse 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.
That visitor at BYU may or may not have read the verse that follows the one quoted above, but it is very significant and is an illustration that the Book of Mormon is what its full title says it is: The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Now I ask you, the reader 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?
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.
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. (emphasis added)
Is the Book of Mormon the reflection of the thinking of an uneducated frontiers boy or is it instead 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 in 600 B.C. under the guidance of God? I bare my personal witness it is the latter.
Blogger's Note: This post was originally posted on March 16, 2008 and is my post #1 There have been a few minor changes made to it.
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