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The burden of proof should be on those who want to overturn millennia of human experience, scriptural authority and inspired teaching. Mormons and Homosexuality makes abundantly clear the fact that this burden has not been met. Return to Top of Article. Click to Buy.

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No Comments Post or read comments. Maurine Proctor. Craig R. Scot Facer Proctor. The answers to many of our questions are still in the void between faith in science and religious faith. When science and religion arrive at the truth, they will be in perfec To members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the search for truth and understanding is a wide-open field. When science and religion arrive at the truth, they will be in perfect agreement with each other. Get A Copy. Paperback , 69 pages. More Details Original Title. Friend Reviews.

Setting the Record Straight: Mormons & Homosexuality

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. All Languages. More filters. Sort order. Lucy Harris is thought to have stolen the first pages. In , work resumed on the Book of Mormon, with the assistance of Oliver Cowdery , and was completed in a short period April—June Grandin in Palmyra, New York on March 26, Since its first publication and distribution, critics of the Book of Mormon have claimed that it was fabricated by Smith [6] [7] [8] and that he drew material and ideas from various sources rather than translating an ancient record.

Works that have been suggested as sources include the King James Bible , [33] [34] The Wonders of Nature , [35] [36] View of the Hebrews , [7] [8] [37] and an unpublished manuscript written by Solomon Spalding. Smith said the title page, and presumably the actual title of the edition, came from the translation of "the very last leaf" of the golden plates, and was written by the prophet-historian Moroni. The Book of Mormon is organized as a compilation of smaller books, each named after its main named narrator or a prominent leader, beginning with the First Book of Nephi 1 Nephi and ending with the Book of Moroni.

The book's sequence is primarily chronological based on the narrative content of the book. Exceptions include the Words of Mormon and the Book of Ether. The Words of Mormon contains editorial commentary by Mormon. The Book of Ether is presented as the narrative of an earlier group of people who had come to America before the immigration described in 1 Nephi. First Nephi through Omni are written in first-person narrative, as are Mormon and Moroni. The remainder of the Book of Mormon is written in third-person historical narrative, said to be compiled and abridged by Mormon with Moroni abridging the Book of Ether and writing the latter part of Mormon and the Book of Moroni.

Most modern editions of the book have been divided into chapters and verses. Most editions of the book also contain supplementary material, including the "Testimony of Three Witnesses " and the "Testimony of Eight Witnesses ". The books from First Nephi to Omni are described as being from "the small plates of Nephi". It tells the story of a man named Lehi , his family, and several others as they are led by God from Jerusalem shortly before the fall of that city to the Babylonians in BC.

The book describes their journey across the Arabian peninsula , and then to the promised land, the Americas, by ship. Following this section is the Words of Mormon. The Book of Third Nephi is of particular importance within the Book of Mormon because it contains an account of a visit by Jesus from heaven to the Americas sometime after his resurrection and ascension. The text says that during this American visit, he repeated much of the same doctrine and instruction given in the Gospels of the Bible and he established an enlightened, peaceful society which endured for several generations, but which eventually broke into warring factions again.

The portion of the greater Book of Mormon called the Book of Mormon is an account of the events during Mormon's life. Mormon is said to have received the charge of taking care of the records that had been hidden, once he was old enough. The book includes an account of the wars, Mormon's leading of portions of the Nephite army, and his retrieving and caring for the records. Mormon is eventually killed after having handed down the records to his son Moroni.


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According to the text, Moroni then made an abridgment called the Book of Ether of a record from a previous people called the Jaredites. The Jaredite civilization is presented as existing on the American continent beginning about BC, [55] —long before Lehi's family arrived shortly after BC—and as being much larger and more developed. The Book of Moroni then details the final destruction of the Nephites and the idolatrous state of the remaining society.

The Book of Mormon contains doctrinal and philosophical teachings on a wide range of topics, from basic themes of Christianity and Judaism [58] to political and ideological teachings. Jesus is mentioned every 1. Stated on the title page, the Book of Mormon's central purpose is for the "convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations. The book describes Jesus, prior to his birth, as a spirit "without flesh and blood", although with a spirit "body" that looked similar to how Jesus would appear during his physical life.

See Godhead Latter Day Saints. In furtherance of its theme of reconciling Jews and Gentiles to Jesus, the book describes a variety of visions or visitations to some early inhabitants in the Americas involving Jesus. Most notable among these is a described visit of Jesus to a group of early inhabitants shortly after his resurrection. In the narrative, at the time of King Benjamin about BC , the Nephite believers were called "the children of Christ".

Many other prophets in the book write of the reality of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. In the Bible, Jesus spoke to the Jews in Jerusalem of "other sheep" who would hear his voice. The book delves into political theology within a Christian or Jewish context. Among these themes are American exceptionalism. According to the book, the Americas are portrayed as a "land of promise", the world's most exceptional land of the time.

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On the issue of war and violence, the book teaches that war is justified for people to "defend themselves against their enemies". However, they were never to "give an offense," or to "raise their sword The book recommends monarchy as an ideal form of government, but only when the monarch is righteous. The book supports notions of economic justice, achieved through voluntary donation of "substance, every man according to that which he had, to the poor. Joseph Smith characterized the Book of Mormon as the "keystone" of Mormonism, and claimed that it was "the most correct of any book on earth".

As part of this effort, a new edition was printed with the added subtitle "Another Testament of Jesus Christ".

Mormons & Homosexuality: Setting the Record Straight

The importance of the Book of Mormon was a focus of Ezra Taft Benson , the church's thirteenth president. Hinckley challenged each member of the church to re-read the Book of Mormon before the year's end. Since the late s, church members have been encouraged to read from the Book of Mormon daily.

The LDS Church encourages discovery of the book's truth by following the suggestion in its final chapter to study, ponder, and pray to God concerning its veracity. This passage is sometimes referred to as "Moroni's Promise". The Community of Christ , formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, views the Book of Mormon as an additional witness of Jesus Christ and publishes two versions of the book through its official publishing arm, Herald House : the Authorized Edition, which is based on the original printer's manuscript, and the Second Edition or "Kirtland Edition" of the Book of Mormon.

The Community of Christ also publishes a "Revised Authorized Edition", which attempts to modernize some language. In , Community of Christ President W. Grant McMurray reflected on increasing questions about the Book of Mormon: "The proper use of The Book of Mormon as sacred scripture has been under wide discussion in the s and beyond, in part because of long-standing questions about its historical authenticity and in part because of perceived theological inadequacies, including matters of race and ethnicity.

Veazey ruled out-of-order a resolution to "reaffirm the Book of Mormon as a divinely inspired record. This position is in keeping with our longstanding tradition that belief in the Book of Mormon is not to be used as a test of fellowship or membership in the church. There are a number of other churches that are part of the Latter Day Saint movement. These groups all have in common the acceptance of the Book of Mormon as scripture.

It is this acceptance which distinguishes the churches of the Latter Day Saint movement from other Christian denominations. Separate editions of the Book of Mormon have been published by a number of churches in the Latter Day Saint movement, along with private individuals and foundations not endorsed by any specific denomination.

Most of the archaeological, historical and scientific communities do not consider the Book of Mormon an ancient record of actual historical events. Most adherents of the Latter Day Saint movement consider the Book of Mormon to generally be a historically accurate account. One of the more common recent arguments is the limited geography model , which states that the people of the Book of Mormon covered only a limited geographical region in either Mesoamerica , South America , or the Great Lakes area.

The LDS Church has published material indicating that science will support the historical authenticity of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon was dictated by Joseph Smith to several scribes over a period of 13 months, [] resulting in three manuscripts. The lost pages contained the first portion of the Book of Lehi ; it was lost after Smith loaned the original, uncopied manuscript to Martin Harris. The first completed manuscript, called the original manuscript, was completed using a variety of scribes. Portions of the original manuscript were also used for typesetting.

It was then discovered that much of the original manuscript had been destroyed by water seepage and mold. Surviving manuscript pages were handed out to various families and individuals in the s. Only 28 percent of the original manuscript now survives, including a remarkable find of fragments from 58 pages in The second completed manuscript, called the printer's manuscript , was a copy of the original manuscript produced by Oliver Cowdery and two other scribes. Observations of the original manuscript show little evidence of corrections to the text. In , the manuscript was bought from Whitmer's grandson by the Community of Christ, known at the time as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Critical comparisons between surviving portions of the manuscripts show an average of two to three changes per page from the original manuscript to the printer's manuscript, with most changes being corrections of scribal errors such as misspellings or the correction, or standardization, of grammar inconsequential to the meaning of the text. The printer's manuscript was not used fully in the typesetting of the version of Book of Mormon; portions of the original manuscript were also used for typesetting.

The original manuscript was used by Smith to further correct errors printed in the and versions of the Book of Mormon for the printing of the book. In the late 19th century the extant portion of the printer's manuscript remained with the family of David Whitmer , who had been a principal founder of the Latter Day Saints and who, by the s, led the Church of Christ Whitmerite. During the s, according to the Chicago Tribune , the LDS Church unsuccessfully attempted to buy it from Whitmer for a record price. LDS president Joseph F. Smith refuted this assertion in a letter, believing such a manuscript "possesses no value whatever.

The LDS Church had not sought to purchase the manuscript. The original publication did not have verse markers, although the individual books were divided into relatively long chapters. Just as the Bible's present chapter and verse notation system is a later addition of Bible publishers to books that were originally solid blocks of undivided text, the chapter and verse markers within the books of the Book of Mormon are conventions, not part of the original text.

Publishers from different factions of the Latter Day Saint movement have published different chapter and verse notation systems.


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The two most significant are the LDS system, introduced in , and the RLDS system, which is based on the original chapter divisions. The following non-current editions marked major developments in the text or reader's helps printed in the Book of Mormon. Although some earlier unpublished studies had been prepared, not until the early s was true textual criticism applied to the Book of Mormon. One aspect of that effort entailed digitizing the text and preparing appropriate footnotes, another aspect required establishing the most dependable text.

To that latter end, Stanley R. Larson a Rasmussen graduate student set about applying modern text critical standards to the manuscripts and early editions of the Book of Mormon as his thesis project—which he completed in To that end, Larson carefully examined the Original Manuscript the one dictated by Joseph Smith to his scribes and the Printer's Manuscript the copy Oliver Cowdery prepared for the Printer in — , and compared them with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd editions of the Book of Mormon to determine what sort of changes had occurred over time and to make judgments as to which readings were the most original.

Smith began to take full account of Larson's work and to publish a Critical Text of the Book of Mormon.

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The third volume of that first edition was published in , but was already being superseded by a second, revised edition of the entire work, [] greatly aided through the advice and assistance of then Yale doctoral candidate Grant Hardy , Dr. Gordon C. Thomasson , Professor John W. However, these were merely preliminary steps to a far more exacting and all-encompassing project. In , with that preliminary phase of the project completed, Professor Skousen took over as editor and head of the FARMS Critical Text of the Book of Mormon Project and proceeded to gather still scattered fragments of the Original Manuscript of the Book of Mormon and to have advanced photographic techniques applied to obtain fine readings from otherwise unreadable pages and fragments.


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He also closely examined the Printer's Manuscript then owned by the Community of Christ —RLDS Church in Independence, Missouri for differences in types of ink or pencil, in order to determine when and by whom they were made. He also collated the various editions of the Book of Mormon down to the present to see what sorts of changes have been made through time. Thus far, Professor Skousen has published complete transcripts of the Original and Printer's Manuscripts, [] as well as a six-volume analysis of textual variants.

Yale University has in the meantime published an edition of the Book of Mormon which incorporates all aspects of Skousen's research. Differences between the original and printer's manuscript, the printed version, and modern versions of the Book of Mormon have led some critics to claim that evidence has been systematically removed that could have proven that Smith fabricated the Book of Mormon, or are attempts to hide embarrassing aspects of the church's past, [7] [8] [] with Mormon scholars viewing the changes as superficial, done to clarify the meaning of the text.

The LDS version of the Book of Mormon has been translated into 83 languages and selections have been translated into an additional 25 languages. In , the LDS Church reported that all or part of the Book of Mormon was available in the native language of 99 percent of Latter-day Saints and 87 percent of the world's total population. Translations into languages without a tradition of writing e. Typically, translators are members of the LDS Church who are employed by the church and translate the text from the original English.

Each manuscript is reviewed several times before it is approved and published. In , the LDS Church stopped translating selections from the Book of Mormon, and instead announced that each new translation it approves will be a full edition. Such films in LDS cinema i. In , a long-running religious satire musical titled The Book of Mormon , by the South Park creators, premiered on Broadway , winning 9 Tony Awards , including best musical.

The LDS Church, which distributes free copies of the Book of Mormon, reported in that million copies of the book have been printed since its initial publication. The initial printing of the Book of Mormon in produced copies. The Book of Mormon has occasionally been analyzed in a non-religious context for its literary merits. The author labored to give his words and phrases the quaint, old-fashioned sound and structure of our King James's translation of the Scriptures; and the result is a mongrel -- half modern glibness, and half ancient simplicity and gravity.

The latter is awkward and constrained; the former natural, but grotesque by the contrast. Whenever he found his speech growing too modern -- which was about every sentence or two -- he ladled in a few such Scriptural phrases as "exceeding sore," "and it came to pass," etc. If he had left that out, his Bible would have been only a pamphlet.

Mormons & Science: Setting The Record Straight

Non-Mormons attempting psychiatric analyses [Of Joseph Smith] have been content to pin a label upon the youth and have ignored his greatest creative achievement because they found it dull. Dull it is, in truth, but not formless, aimless, or absurd. Its structure shows elaborate design, its narrative is spun coherently, and it demonstrates throughout a unity of purpose. Its matter is drawn directly from the American frontier, from the impassioned revivalist sermons, the popular fallacies about Indian origin, and the current political crusades. Searching for literary wonders in the Book of Mormon is a bit like seeking lyrical inspiration in the books of Chronicles or Judges.

The Book of Mormon is a work of substantial complexity, however, with numerous well-spun narratives subsumed with a larger comprehensive vision There is a neat symmetry to the bible as we have received it. Givens later concluded,. The Book of Mormon remains a potent and disruptive force in the twenty-first century, challenging analysis with its authoritative claims.

The Book remains an important cultural document of the nineteenth century and its literary merits are beginning to encourage further enquiry.