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What About SCRIPTURE? Part 1

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April 28, 2021 7:50 am

What About SCRIPTURE? Part 1

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April 28, 2021 7:50 am

From Mormon to Jesus!  Real, authentic conversations among former members of The Church Of Latter-Day Saints


Your right and so space in this article is children memorize and recite short statements of belief become sort of like a creed guide to Latter Day Saints spiritual and religious thought life when Mormon is questioning their faith will often think in terms of the articles of faith, trying to determine what they believe. Now relative to each of these distinctive Mormon beliefs almost 2 decades ago while I was in the beginning stages of my Mormon faith crisis. My belief in the book of Mormon is ancient text, and thus is God's word was beginning to show signs of cracking and I was wondering if I don't believe the book of Mormon is what it is claimed to be in my still a Mormon. I posted a question to a message board where I discussed religion with fellow Latter Day Saints. I asked what is the bare minimum that one must believe in order to be a Mormon.

Many of the responses centered around the articles of faith. Thus, our series a distinguishing feature of Mormonism is its unique Scripture. Joseph Smith produced a number of tax that Mormons generally accept Scripture, the book of Mormon, the book of Moses the book of Abraham and the doctrine and covenants to be clear, strong concept of Scripture and of God's continuing revelation to humanity is a basic Mormon belief deconstruction of one's belief in the uniquely Mormon scriptures, at least the ones that are claimed to be translations of ancient text is a core process as one leaves the LDS church Mormon leader Jeffrey R.

Holland famously warned that process of deconstruction can leave one feeling lost where the Scripture had been an anchor truth which he turned in stormy seas. You know, cut through the chain that You connected to the anchor on board, it can feel as though you're drifting about without spiritual and moral guidance.

Some take hold of the helm and steer the ship in whatever direction they choose. Some decide to investigate the scriptural traditions of the world's major religions looking at other faith traditions for what inspires them. Others decide to build their own moral compass and jettison not only their connection to the book of Mormon to the Bible as well. After deconstructing the Mormon text they continue across the deconstruction of the biblical text, or they don't just assume that the Bible would fall to if they put it under the same scrutiny be applied to the book of Mormon.

The Mormon article of faith in Scripture says we believe the Bible to be the word of God. As far as it is translated correctly. We also believe the book of Mormon to be the word of God.

In this episode, the sons of light. Discussed some questions that all Latter Day Saints believing or doubting post Latter Day Saints have to grapple with.

After they have crawled over or under or around the book of Mormon. What about Scripture is there such a thing is the written word of God still where can it be found. I think to start we should just acknowledge that thinking about the image of somebody trying to crawl over or around or under the book of Mormon is kind of funny image majestically on that. Yeah I just picture a giant book of Mormon. I can support that he disappears into that kind of imagine something like wiggling around on the floor Mormon under them are like clanking on the book of Mormon, except this is kind of a weird image.

Somebody needs to do a video like planning limbo with the book of Mormon. This is me clawing the book of Mormon. The questions I think it's also important to acknowledge that each of our views of Scripture were likely formed by our prior affiliation with the LDS church's efforts 80 think and how would you characterize the deer Scripture that you have as a young person growing up LDS church like a list of the first.

The big question. There, I mean a lot of times you know, this virus will come to mind in a situation among all you know the Bible says this is no lightweight way to second no never mind that's not Scripture, and all that's that's from the book of Mormon.

You know, I mean one of the problems I have. I still have this memory of all these these other viruses that were added and I think also NOT like I'm in my view supers as change radically. Because I used to view it is something that can just be changed all the time. You know my new revelation making, and superseded by now. I used to. Being very stable and very strong.

So for the most part, I'd say that my view scriptures change quantitive balance.

Matthew will lose your impression of of Scripture. How would you characterize your new year Scripture that you had as a young Latter Day Saints so I was thinking about this question sounds weird but thinking about how Roman Catholics you Scripture because I think one of the strawmen that evangelicals like to make about Roman Catholics is that you know their church as a whole just doesn't care about Scripture and I don't think that's a good characterization about them because they do they do hold Scripture in high regard. It's just that the issue is tradition.

Alongside so I think it's very similar to the LDS church in the sense that they do place a lot of emphasis on using Scripture reading Scripture, things like that and applying it in in the church classes and things like that so I think we were taught to have respect for Scripture and to use Scripture deceit is the word of God. But in a sense especially came to the Bible if there were something that disagreed with church doctrine. It was seen that will cry revelation could be replaced by new revelation like Michael saying I revelation could be replaced with new revelation because if it comes from God. You know God can reveal something new and something is new than that should be more important than what's old, I think, as it happens, and said that the words of a living prophet are more important than the words of a dead prophet, so asking how I viewed Scripture you know if sometimes Scripture may not make sense.

And so I would get confusing a look at what the new prophet say so deftly kind of view that I had Scripture overall is that it was important in that it came from God's vision of the Bible, maybe not perfect and everything but it's useful and we should study it so hard so that I As I became an evangelical Protestant some things.

Obviously, I disagree with now you know I was thinking we are talking to Matthew, because you one of the questions students like Scripture just has a much broader definition in Mormonism.

You know it's really just anything that is written in their standard works, but I felt like it was anything the prophet said was Scripture as well and really anything that the Holy Ghost told me I would've the Scripture as well so I just, almost any source could have been Scripture but I did have common aluminate distrust of the Bible to the thinking of the Bible Scripture. But you know the Mormon says that pain and precious trees were taken from the Bible. So I usually felt pretty comfortable reading the Bible. I would think you know this is pretty much safe to read but then I'd come across something like God is spirit, and I would immediately just wanted ignore that and just jump in my head. The defense and I would just think is what is not translated correctly, you know, somehow I got messed up translation immunity as kind of experience that to assure and what you were saying earlier to have in this memory of all these passages that better Mormon passages of tenant. If you did most of you sometimes are especially for someone else and unlike a member. Very early on after I left the church.

You know I have a lot of conversations with my dad and he had a lot of questions you know about what my views were now and you know we would have lots and lots of conversations about religion you know she would here you can add say something like, will that the Bible says this like your same Michael. He signaled the Bible says no that's that's the same as Mormonism, Raymond will equate. I know that's that's that's a book of Mormon versus a greater share is guess this is that had that experience and know over the years and done a lot of kind of compare and contrast try to think through what my my perceptions were views of Scripture were as I was growing up in the LDS faith and how that's different than in my perceptions now in prep for this applicant took some notes about things I wanted to talk about so you one of the things is because of the narrative of how the book of Mormon came forth. You know with Joseph Smith receiving place miraculously from Angel and translating those plates and had a view scriptures that came forth becomes worth by miraculous meetings right and so I also had the sense that it was something hidden and that is that's brought forth by way of a prophet right it's not it's not just some mundane everyday thing that that happens it has to have some miraculous coming forth to the world and also I can have the sense that Scripture is always produced within God's officially sanctioned sanctioned church that there I think I kind of as a young person like retrofitted Mormonism onto even my reading of the Old Testament right to where was certain like effect if he was reading about the Old Testament prophets. I kinda imagined an organization much like the LDS church right of the Isaiah was part of the first presidency Qubec Canada imaginations of my mind I think I thought that way and because there is this idea that Scripture is always produced within God's officially sanctioned church work or body of people revelation the revelation of a prophet could effectively render prior Scripture obsolete or change his interpretation to be something that's far afield. The original intent. I also had a sense that the Mormon scriptures were superior to the Bible and yet when I when I mentioned this to Mormons online.

I always get the kind why we think that we don't believe that kind of response writing. It's always like the nonobese on the shelf next to one another, but I grew up in a matter of Ezra Taft Benson where like the you know his talks about like a witness and a warning on the keystone of our religion you know and invite that the quote from Joseph Smith about the department being the most correct of any book on earth. I mean I was that was quoted like every Sunday when I was growing up so I can kinda came by that that view.

I think honestly that the Mormon scriptures were kind of you to be superior to the Bible and then sit to clarify the Bible so problems of interpretation or understanding if you got the Bible passage. For example, that seems to kinda contradict with the book of Mormon, passenger, a doctrine and covenants passage those are resolved by appealing to modern revelation is never the Bible that clarifies the Mormon scriptures. It's always the Mormon church. The clarify the Bible. I also had a sense that the only way to approach the question of whether or not something is Scripture is to pray about it, nor any other messed methods of testing its reliability weren't on my radar.

As a young person growing up in the LDS church does not resonate with you as well yeah I mean I completely and completely resonates with me and we were told about any sense not to just only pray about the book of Mormon, but also the Bible on the doctrine and covenants enough to test two to pray about whatever their leaders were saying to pray not to feel whether it's true or not, the Holy Ghost, so yeah I agree and maybe maybe we'll talk later. My thought is waitressing what you're saying about three kind expanded on this idea that something is problematic or unclear in the Bible that would always go to modern revelation to kinda resolve that issue. That is really interesting because there is theirs like underneath that rubble discount like there's like a glimmer of truth to that, because I move maybe I should just wait to talk about it later but I think when you're talking at the Bible you know we, if there's something unclear on us on a specific topic versus another passage that's more clear than you would. You should did I think you should defer to the clear passage and I'll but it doesn't mean that that clear passage will negate the unclear passage.

It just sheds more light than the unclear passage would so that now discount a standard where it's like, well, the new always trumps the old is something that's similar but quite significantly different one with the distinct use as latter-day Saints if he came across something that we didn't agree with in the Bible you know you never went to scholarship board to see what the original language said he never did that. It was always 01 is the Joseph Smith translation, say, or the idea to say what is the prophet say about this or what do the LDS scholars say that we didn't care about what anybody else in the world's adolescent happened to support my beliefs. Then it was all good. But if it went against my beliefs. I didn't want to see it just to kind of expand on on that some of those themes in the modern revelation. The other Scriptures kind of been met, the interpretive key to the Bible you know and then kind of the waters that I was swimming in is as a young latter-day St. you know I don't know how much is that all you you guys remember that the Ezra Taft Benson years but it was it was very very heavy polish on on the book of Mormon. I met I remember on my mission reading his book a witness in the morning which was like a collection of it was 11 or 12 of his general conference addresses about the book of Mormon from like the 1970s through the 1980s and I mean really pushed doctrine and covenants 8454 57 that says in your minds. In times past of been darkened because of unbelief because you treated lightly with things that you received which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation in this condemnation rest upon the children of Zion and all, and they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent, and remember the new covenant in the book of Mormon and the former commandments which I've given them not only to say but to do according to that which I have written so no, and that in that time.

It was Janelle. They were not kind of the message of the students. The church was are not giving enough emphasis to the book of Mormon. We need to one share and more with people and to read it more as people and so that was kind of the promotion and and I continued through the cord being three years and end of that until almost a time when we left as a family and arm. There's there seems to be always a course like, let's read the book of Mormon in a month right is as award, but there was never a push to say hey let's read the Bible in three months that that kind of push was just never there. I just find it interesting.

As I mentioned to you that I psych I had several years of inactivity starting out high school and I cannot have my soul-searching time in my life when I started college, so that's when I started cutting going back into the church. I was 19, 20-ish and I was in 2005 so I started going back to church being really active. Late that year and I think that was the year the court basically gave the book of Mormon challenge and Michael how far you like Alvaro might want because I hadn't heard of the challenge.

So I try to catch up that I didn't finish in time I finish sometime the next year that gathers is like a huge push in acute excitement for everyone to read a book of Mormon and people are talking about the blessings they had their testimony growing things like that is kind of like it was as a legacy. Not as exciting, especially because I was me. You know, for me, I felt like my spirituality is growing, coming back in the church getting back into it and I just saw everybody's excitement so that is exciting to me at the time but yet it is interesting when you only think about that.

You know he knows latter-day St. and Erasmus of hay.

When we do this for the Bible next year or the year after that or something. I just never really crossed my mind, my gloomy thoughts on saying everything's on my mind to because I just as number I gave those with special attention given book of Mormon and by me. I really love the pessimist of the things that happened in my mission. You know, running into so many evangelical Christians to actually made me really believe in the Bible and you one of the things I really liked was that he had the Bible extend an introduction said the book of Mormon's introduction used to say that it was a volume of continual fullness of the gospel as did Bible quality remember saying that the new addition than same anymore and I think he just really pushes the idea that the Bible was broken in the book of Mormon is their exit on lease to lease the lease to that diagram in Sunday school where they would you know the point on the on the board and they seem like this is the Bible.

As you can see Gallic infinity lines going in a direction through this book. The book of Mormon and they put's just a straight line going right makes everything so clear and this is how I need this unity of the Bible's great.

You can find in the Bible, but it's so much easier with the book of Mormon and the doctrine and covenants and everything so I do high quality in higher regard contrast from Jesus's patient William Nash is born and raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, commonly referred to as the Mormon faith. All of us have left that religion and have been drawn to faith in Jesus Christ based on biblical teaching. The name of our podcast brightness six, John 19 which calls Jesus, the true light which gives light to everyone you found life beyond Mormonism to be brighter than we were told in the light, we have is not our own.

Thus, out of brightness purpose is to share our journeys of faith God has done in drawing us to his son to have conversations about all aspects of the transition years challenges, joys, and everything in between.

Glad you found us and we hope you'll stick around if you want to move on, but I had a thought that was interesting. You know it in the Protestant Christianity. We we talk of our church and various denominations of churches, like for instance I'm part of a reformed Baptist church. What is that mean means that we can follow the reformed tradition, to an extent, except for on in the cases of like the covenants and sacraments and baptism so we we numerous of that because we agree with all the essentials of of of the other Protestant dresser Protestant Christianity but we just mentioned that because those are kind of like a couple of our distinctives.

Although it's kind of strange. We pick those two things, but if we are to follow suit with the same thing where like because latter-day Saints. A lot of a lot of them when I talk to them when I was latter-day St., the focus was on the book of Mormon because like that's what differentiates us from Christianity and everyone else like that's what's unique about us and so we should focus on that. So I just had this not come to my mind but it's like okay what if we follow the same thing recycle can't rest, Christianity reads the Bible so every Sunday were only going to talk about baptism and why were Baptists that's already in focus when I can talk about the rest of the Bible talk talk with Chris this time I was great but we won't actually read from it, and if we do may be a couple past his neck regularly focus on that were in effect focus only on baptism of zinc You know my mind and like I was a thinking message of strange concept, you know we we as Christian Christians now Protestant Christians, we normally think like that, but that's kinda how it was latter-day Saints regards the book of Mormon. That's good that's good. So the next question. In what ways is the head of Scripture latter-day St. different than you have now met was the first on the sun to touch a little bit but we kind. I kind of saw Scripture as something that was replaceable or something that's important. I believe we were really taught that it was infallible or inerrant, I don't. We never really use those terms in the LDS church.

We just spoke what is the word of God and that the book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on the earth and the keystone of our religion so I'm not even sure if I would ask myself 20 years ago. If I thought the book of Mormon was inerrant or infallible. Not sure what I would've said it is probably the closest thing to inerrancy or infallibility that you can cease. Revelation is something that like you said all everyone came I might, and Michael. We its relation something everyone can tap into to accent is so I think maybe further latter-day Saints might be different for myself. I kind of had my own cannon in my head but it's like okay you know the book of Mormon is the most authoritative and most correct and then below that, or maybe equal to that are like doctrine and covenants probably price you know summer below that of a pretty high it probably is like you know the Bible but and I'm not really sure how the words of the prophets fit in there, probably even higher because another new word new revelation like that horse was defaulting today so my head there's Catholic hierarchy of authority as to what has most authority over my life as a latter-day St. But as for that, you know, I'm a Christian and I can a study all these issues out. I thought about it I thought well God is specifically said in Scripture that he cannot lie that God is a God of truth and in second Timothy 316 and 17 speaks of how Scripture is God breathed literally thing out new styles which is aware that Paul made up to say literally God breeze breathed out by God.

So Scripture is the breath, the words coming out of God's mouth. Figuratively, so it it's so intimately connected to God and his nature and his character and so we can't separate Scripture from who God is, because it comes from God.

So I just have a much higher regard for the Bible. Overall I hold to inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture inerrancy specifically of the of the autographs original writing. The Scripture how much running in the text criticism.

That's a huge topic but you know I saw it as he Scripture is much more authoritative. It all that is inspired so I can't just say well New Testament is newer so that you know that replaces the Old Testament certainly New Testament interprets the Old Testament, but you can make sense of the New Testament without the Old Testament so we have to take both.

So I just see all Scripture is God breathed and all Scripture as useful. Perhaps we don't follow all of it. For instance, a lot of the Mosaic laws and commandments know that was the were fulfilled in Christ, we are obligated to deliver those. But most countries useful unequipped 2316, 17 a quick all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. So Scripture is just all beat up by God, not just parts of it and it's all authoritative and it's all true and it's what we need to be completely equipped for every good work.

So there's nothing it's not only is inerrant and infallible, but it's sufficient sufficient for what we need to note, to know God to know how to live a life that's pleasing to God to glorify God. It's all in Scripture so to sum it all up, but I see now Scripture is infallible, inerrant and sufficient nice bozo the S and I saw the Scripture also is just being in a revolving thing you know we I was always waiting regional conference.

I like man. Maybe they're gonna give you the conference with a unveil new Scripture. If I go just talking to my LDS friends. The other day asking what he thought the big revealing conference was going to be and he's like well you know maybe it's maybe it's new Scripture you know some of the suddenly of a thought that I think goes through a lot of latter-day Saints heads but I was always anticipating more and I always thought that more Scripture was necessary because were continually living in a different age then before you know so even the book of Mormon to me was a little bit obsolete because I'm living in a different time and I need Scripture specifically for me and that's one of the reasons I thought the patriarchal blessing was so cool because it was like Scripture directly to me for my life. But of course I believe in an open Canon and I would've said like you know God. Why would a God who loves us. Stop speaking to us.

The fact that he continues to talk to us is just proof that he loves us and of course he wants us to have more of his word and there was a point where I came across Harold believe" and he'll be levering this basically saying you know if it visibly teaches something that is not the standard works, then it is not true and I really like that.

I kind of adopted overview of prima Scripture, so that the Scriptures were actually more authoritative than even the leaders of the church, but that they were still useful as long as they were in line with the standard works then I started having problems because they would send same things and contradicting what the standard works or changing something that the standard works and it seemed like nobody else can see it except for me. But as times gone on. I don't mind if I believe in solo Scripture so Scripture now and I do believe the Scriptures are reliable. We don't need more. I think that we have is sufficient and I think some of the problems with an open Canon is just know it's never you never know what you have is true or accurate or complete. Because next year's revelation could erase it and translate those things in a completely different vein, and affiliates, never ever changing target when you try and understand what should be doctrine and this is a different view than than with Protestant evangelical Christianity were you.

You have the Bible is the is the solid sources of truth, a solid source of documents. All of the solid sources of God's word, and so deflated. Definitely different view of the one of the ways that that my view now is different than than what I was latter-day St., is that I believe the Scripture is a historical artifact can be studied as such. Select each book of the Bible has a particular historical context that can be studied to provide insight into the thought and purpose of the human authors and I find that fascinating. No with the book of Mormon can do that because once once the principal characters in the book of Mormon reach the shores of the American continent right there's there's zero context that that can be studied.

The civilizations of the ancient Americas don't align with what the book of Mormon presents and so looking at that context.

I know people have tried in all Mormon script scholars have tried but I don't find that convincing and no I don't find that there's actually connection there that that is taken seriously by my scholars outside of outside the Mormon world so I'd I came to have you through through study it on Anna and automatons in it later but not II take seriously the fact that Scripture is a divine human production. And that's fascinating to me right you can you can get into the personality of the apostle Paul. You can see and and understand the ministry of Jesus and how he interacted with people because they are fully fledged historical individuals that that kind of jump off the page of the Bible as you read, whereas you know I the book of Mormon was interesting but I never felt that way about the characters of the book of Mormon there there flat compared comparatively with the terms of the Bible there's there's a book that I really like that RC scroll protocol Scripture alone evangelical doctrine and it kind of touches on the idea of inspiration that you touched on the decision of the process of inspiration did not make the Bible writers automatons for the books reveal differences in vocabulary, style and other matters of variation between one human author. Another and and that to me when I really started to dictate into and understand biblical scholarship is fascinating to me because it was something that was completely missing from my understanding of Scripture previously, and the biggest way that my view of Scriptures changes that I believe that biblical Scripture is infallible. There's a couple different methods that people kinda used to describe that the doctrine of biblical infallibility into it like a logical syllogism, one is more like a presupposition will method and that would be a premise, a Bible is the infallible word of God that again I'm quoting from from scroll here premise the Bible attests to its own infallibility premise. See the self at the station of the Scripture is an infallible attestation conclusion. The Bible is the infallible word of God. And that's that's good enough. And that's good and find that, as Paul notes the known distance setting up the latest is his holy Villanova.

One opens one up wholly to the charge circular reasoning so good for me. I cannot come to it from a classical method perspective and I see no others like Timothy Keller talk about in this way as well. The class, the consent of the soldiers a little bit differently, saying the Bible is a basically reliable and trustworthy document premise be on the basis of this reliable document. We have sufficient evidence to believe confidently that Jesus Christ is the son of God premises Jesus Christ being the son of God is an infallible authority premise of the Jesus Christ teaches that the Bible is more than generally trustworthy is the very word of God premises that the word in that it comes from God is utterly trustworthy because God is utterly trustworthy and in the conclusion on the basis of the infallible authority of Jesus Christ church believes the Bible to be utterly trustworthy.

That is an infallible so I connection into my belief in the Bible and through the side door right not in another presupposition away when I left Mormonism level kinda get into outside. I really had to take a hard look at, and whether it made sense to continue believing in the Bible and if it did make sense. Why that why question was is really important. You need as I study like I said I came to see Scripture as a historical artifact in the chemical stuffers premise right that the Bible is basically reliable and trustworthy document when when studied and in its historical context which it can be that the book of Mormon doesn't have any option for that. You just have to take it on faith that Joseph Smith had plates that she translated plates. There is no textual or manuscript tradition supporting any of the writings in the book of Mormon that you can look to Michael. He mentions original languages you can't do any kind of original language study with the book of Mormon like you can with the Bible you can dig into reformed Egyptian like to chat with Greek in the Bible so when I realized that difference and it is a huge difference. It changed everything for me so that's great that's that's one book that's been on my mental bucket list. I got check that out.

Yes, it's really great the way he lays out the doctrine of Scripture alone is really good visit. There's a lot of my reformed brothers that Steve classical apologetics is like a waste of time and idolatry reform. You gotta be precept man you got be preset.

Let the cool thing that you know, I'm flexible on the Anna I think people come to the Lord.

Based on all kinds of different argumentation, different types of object methods yachts check out using something that's interesting is just measuring the original languages. This is verse that Cano caused some cognitive dissonance from the book of Mormon and Mormon chapter 9 verses 32 and 33, 1033 says, and now behold we've written this record. According to her knowledge in the characters which are called among us. The reformed Egyptian being handed down and altered by us according to our manner of speech and of our plates had been sufficiently large and should have written in Hebrew. The Hebrew have been altered by is also etc. but basically saying that like to conserve room their writing Egyptian instead of Hebrew.

But Egyptian hieroglyphics take up more space than they need. That's interesting that something at an early consider this side of the out of podcast please visit the out of rightness podcast Facebook. Feel free to send us a message than with comments or questions, send a message of the pain appreciated the page alike.

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