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October 2, 2019 5:00 am
One member is examining the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective view .1 Mormonism sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism do most younger Latter Day Saints believe that the book of Mormon is literal or historical.
Welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director of Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at M.
R. M we been looking at a book that was published in the spring of 2019 titled the next Mormons how millennial's are changing the LDS church. It was written by a Mormon blogger by the name of Jana Reese and it was published by Oxford University press.
Much of what she writes about in the book was based on a survey that was put out to several members and even some ex-members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and based on those answers. She compiled this book, the next Mormons.
As we mentioned in our first show. Jana Reese is a bit of a rebel in that she calls herself and what she calls other fellow members. She does use the title Mormons which, of course, 17th president Russell M. Nelson said you should not do.
But regardless of that, I think there's a lot of information in this book that we as Christians can use to. I think our advantage into the advantage of the kingdom of God when we are talking with people of certain age groups and as I mentioned, she does have the five categories of generations the greatest generation. The silent generation, the baby boomer generation Gen X and millennial generation. She does not mention Jan C and she really doesn't even spend a lot of time talking about what those members and the greatest generation.
That's 1927 and before in the silent generation from 1928 to 1944 believe on various topics. If you have missed the first two shows, you might want to go to our article on MRM.org/the next Mormons with hyphens between those words. We have a full analysis of what has been written in this book, but also the information that we covered the last two days using a lot of numbers and so I think for a lot of you. You may want to see those numbers and including the exact dates of the baby boomers the Gen X and the millennial generation now.
So far we've gone through a number of the various topics in these charts that she provides showing what boomers in the church believe what those Gen Xers believe and also what millennial's believe now course, the millennial's would be the younger category in the subtitle of the book is how millennial's are changing the LDS church. As I mentioned I was quite surprised by some of the answers that were given by these various groups. I would've thought the numbers would've been much higher when it comes to issues that you would think most Mormons do believe but that's what's shocking about this.
Apparently, in the context of Mormonism. It seems that a lot of members of the LDS church are really functioning atheist. They don't believe it at all, which I think is good to know when we are talking with people in the church and I think it only reinforces what you and I emphasize when we speak at churches.
You often hear me say that certainly after studying Mormonism for as long as I have.
I know what Mormons are supposed to believe but I've also learned that many Mormons don't believe what they're supposed to believe.
So if you were walk up to a member of the LDS church and start off a sentence with something like will you believe… There's probably a good chance 50% of the time that you're going to offend whoever you say that to because they may not believe that, especially if they are of that younger group. We have two authors in the book that sharing the good news with Mormons that talked about this very thing Lynn Wilder and Jay Warner Wallace and the importance of asking questions. I can look back at I think it's a classic book called tactics by Gregory Coco and that he talks about the Colombo tactic of just asking questions so this is what I think is the value of going through this book is to remind people never assume, but always asked a latter-day St. where he or she is coming from and then use that information so you can talk specifically to their situation rather than talking generically to the LDS situation will in previous shows.
We discussed the topic. For instance, of whether or not a lot of younger members believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, millennial's that was 51% of millennial's believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. If these statistics really and truly reflect the entire membership of the church and I'm sure there's a ± margin of error when it comes to these kind of surveys that means a lot of millennial's don't believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. The other two topics that we discussed were the LDS first presidency or prophets today only 53% of millennial's believe that to be true and is expected a much higher degree of boomers, those in our category, mine and Eric's 67% would believe that's true 68% of boomers believe God is an exalted person of flesh and bones, but only 55% of millennial's believe that which tends to show us that there's many millennial's, who don't seem to even believe their own Scripture because that's where that is found in of course that would connect to Joseph Smith since he's the one that gave them that teaching in section 130 of the doctrine and covenants, but today Eric we want to look at the book of Mormon is the book of Mormon literal and historical and this is where I was really surprised when it came to millennial's only because a lot of the Mormon missionaries that we see on the streets would probably fall into this category. It's starting to move into the Jan Z category now but a lot of the missionaries that we see on the streets. Those that are knocking on our door what was then percentage of millennial's, who believe that the book of Mormon is literal or historical, that would be 50%, only half of the millennial's, compared to 53% of Gen X. That's not much higher and then 62% of the boomers. So what were talking about here is not even two out of three boomers believe the book of Mormon is literal, historical, and then only half of the millennial's believe this and that surprised me at all three categories because to be a member of the LDS church.
There are certain things they're going to assume that you believe in order to make you a candidate for baptism. Of course, one of them is you have to believe the book of Mormon is the literal historical book that talks about real people and real events. Even though there's no evidence to prove this.
There are no artifacts in the LDS history Museum across from Temple Square that verifies that neophytes ever existed. This is only in the book of Mormon. This is really only in the minds of the Latter Day Saints but it's pretty much up basic teaching of Mormonism that the least I would think but yet to see 62% of boomers don't believe that the book of Mormon is literal or historical.
What category would that put the book of Mormon and it sounds like it puts it in the category of fiction.
Now I'm sure Mormon would argue, well, it's got a lot of good spiritual things in it that help me as a Latter Day Saints solar taking the spiritual message and their jettisoning the historical message. I think we see this even in the Christian realm where a lot of people classifying themselves as Christians deny the historical teachings of the church.
For instance, the resurrection, as long as you believe it in your heart. 1/19 century theologian philosopher set then that's okay. It's an esoteric faith but but Paul very clearly says in first Corinthians 15 that it has to be a literal resurrection or were the most pitied of all people will I think in the same arena we have the book of Mormon. If you want to throw the first vision in there as well. Those are two very historical points in the church that if they're not true, then this whole church just based on spiritual principles. It's not based on historical fact what you could believe just about anything and classify that as being accurate and true, but that you can't have that, according to even the LDS leaders themselves will when you have leaders in the church such as Jeffrey Holland basically saying that if the book of Mormon is not what Joseph Smith claimed it to be. If it did not come forth. The way he claimed to come forth in the church is a fraud. I would agree with that position. I don't think Jeffrey Holland would really carry it to that kind of a conclusion if he was to find evidence that proves the book of Mormon to be false, but still that's the statement he made so you can see that they place a lot of credibility on the existence of the church itself on whether or not this book is historical and I think we should talk about what some of the manuals and perhaps even some of the leaders have said about this book. I think it's important to know what has gone down imprint regarding its alleged historicity was take a look at a standard manual call the gospel principles from 2009, page 46 it says the book of Mormon is a sacred record of some of the people who lived on the American continents between 2000 BC and A.D. 400. It contains the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The book of Mormon tells of the visit, Jesus Christ made the people of the Americas. Soon after his resurrection.
Now, if that's all I had to describe with the book of Mormon contains I would be very hard-pressed to assume from what you just read that this is not supposed to be historical that these people are in fact mythical. It's a literal account of actual people. It even says some of the people who lived on the American continents between 2000 BC and A.D. 400 as I mentioned, though there certainly is no evidence to prove that the Mormons really they can believe whatever they want, but the fact remains, as the evidence tends to go against what they believe this is really just an area with a big huge cloud. We don't know because we do know who these people were that lived in the American continent during the time period of the book of Mormon. They certainly do not seem to fit