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What About SCRIPTURE? Part 2

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April 28, 2021 8:13 am

What About SCRIPTURE? Part 2

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April 28, 2021 8:13 am

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

Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick

You're entering Outer Brightness. When you went through your faith transition, or at any time in your life, have you read the scriptures of other faiths, like the Quran or the Bhagavad Gita, for example? I've read the Torah.

Okay. What about you, Matthew? When I was in high school, I didn't read specifically their texts. I kind of read bits and pieces from other authors interpreting their texts, saying, like, this religion believes this, this religion believes that. Since my born-again experience in 2016, I think, there's a book by James White, What Every Christian Should Know About the Quran, and I think I've got it just across from me. It's a really good book. I bought that and an English translation of the Quran.

I kind of had gone through bits and pieces of it here and there. It's interesting to see the parallels between, because they claim to be an Abrahamic faith. It's interesting to see, it's similar to the Book of Mormon in the sense that you can see that there's kind of a lineage of similarities in some senses, where they take inspiration from those prior texts. So yeah, I mean, I haven't read extensively the Quran, but just bits and pieces.

Okay, good. I remember on my mission, some people handed me the Quran to kind of look at, and I immediately got excited about it, because I'm like, not that I thought that the Quran was true, but I'm like, you know, it's probably like the Bible. There's a lot of truth in here, you know, hidden in these pages that's just been lost in translation over time. And I mean, I've actually met a lot of Latter-day Saints, you know, especially other missionaries and things who would have said that Muhammad was a prophet as well, that God called and his original writings were accurate and true.

I don't know if you guys ever heard anything like that. Preach My Gospel mentioned something like, you know, God gives light to people, and it mentions several people. I think it even might mention Muhammad in there, but it also mentions Martin Luther also, I believe. So it mentions that God gives certain light to certain people, but I don't think it mentions that they're specifically called as prophets.

Yeah, I think, how did it go? So I mentioned earlier, you know, during my youth that there was a really heavy push on the Book of Mormon, right? And in some of the ways that that translated to teaching at the local level, rather than like general conference, but like in the wards, was that, you know, you had some of the, some people who would do a lot of speculation, you know, like there's the three Nephite kind of urban myths, right, that get passed around in Mormon circles. Well, during that time, there was the kind of like, you know, oh, especially with the emphasis on D&C 84, 54 to 57, like I talked about earlier, you know, like, you're under condemnation until you take seriously the Book of Mormon. And, you know, the teachings in the Book of Mormon itself about, you know, further records that will come forth and the part of the narrative of the plates is that there was the sealed section that Joseph Smith wasn't able to translate. And so there was a lot of speculation that went on at the local level as to, you know, when is the sealed portion going to be translated?

Or there was speculation like if Lehi and his family came from Jerusalem and, you know, made it to the Americas, where did the, you know, the lost 10 tribes end up and when will their records come forth? And, you know, I've often wondered, there's a First Presidency statement, and I think the Preach My Gospel passage that you were referring to, Matthew, probably is referencing that, but from the early, I want to say early 80s, 1981 or something like that, the First Presidency made a statement on Muhammad. And, you know, from a political standpoint that probably falls more in line with the, you know, the fact that the late 1970s and early 1980s was kind of like the dawn of like Middle Eastern terrorism. And a lot of people in the West, you know, through like Salman Rushdie's book were first becoming aware of Islam. And so, you know, the church probably felt like they needed to make a statement on it because there was, you know, suddenly talk of the Quran and the scripture. And so I think that's where some of that stems from. But I also kind of had a sense when I was growing up that during that time, you know, some of that speculation was also, you know, kind of informing the need to make a statement like that. So anyway, just my thoughts on that.

I'll just add a little bit to that. There's one Latter-day, well, I don't know what he calls himself, but there's supposedly a group in South America that has a new book of scripture. And there's also the Denver Snuffer group that has a lot of new scripture. And I think there's still that thirst amongst Latter-day Saints. They want the sealed portion. They're wondering why it's not coming. And they see some are kind of satisfied with the teachings of their leaders. You know, that's good enough for them.

They see that as their scripture, but then there are some that are like, well, you know, other prophets said this was coming, so where is it? So then when they see someone like Denver Snuffer come along, they're like, well, you know, hey, maybe this is the guy, you know, this he's gonna kind of provide me what I want. Yeah, it's definitely it's definitely a kind of a stepping stone into the, I guess what I would call the Mormon underworld. And Michael, having not been, you know, not growing up in Utah, you're probably not as aware of it.

You may be now via online stuff, but man, there's some very disturbing and crazy stuff that goes on. I remember, so I mentioned, you know, that like at the local level, there were a lot of people who would speculate about, you know, when is the sealed portion going to come forth? And they would, you know, teach lessons and like, it wasn't gospel doctrine yet because I was younger, but like young men and young women, and they would talk about, you know, like, if we're just faithful enough, you know, like the DNC says, if we're just faithful enough, that additional stuff will come forth.

And they would really, you know, kind of push that idea. And I remember there was there was a guy in my ward and he was he was ward mission leader at the time that he was giving, you know, that lesson and he was really pushing that kind of idea that if we're just faithful or faithful enough, more scripture will come, God will give us more. And, you know, when when Angela and I got married, you know, she came out or before we got married, she came out to visit my family and we went and he was he was teaching the young adult Sunday school class at the time. And he and his wife were.

And, you know, then just a few years later, I heard that, you know, he had left his wife and kind of run off and joined some, you know, kind of underground Mormon sect and, you know, left his wife and children in a horribly sad and devastating situation. You know, knowing what I knew of him and his family and, you know, but that that kind of speculation and that thirst that you were mentioning, Matthew, kind of it is kind of a stepping stone into that into that underworld. Wow. I actually didn't know that much. I don't know that much about this this underworld there. That's interesting.

Yeah. It's like the whole, you know, like Matthew mentioned, Denver Snuffer, the Snufferite movement. But, you know, it's there's, you know, then the various polygamous sects, you know, that that have their own revelations. And so, you know, when someone starts down that path of like, you know, you get more as you are more and more righteous, then more light and knowledge will come forth. Then, you know, that kind of leads to, you know, a view that while the LDS church is is not providing that more.

So where are the groups that are? And then, you know, then it's just like a whole rabbit hole that you go down like Alice in Wonderland. So, well, yeah. And I mean, the other thing too is if if we can all receive revelation and, you know, you get close enough and with God to receive that revelation all the time, then it's almost like, why do I need the LDS prophet when I can just go off and be my own prophet? Right.

Exactly. There's a really good book. I was just gonna mention real quick.

Divergent Paths of the Restoration. If you want to know more about all the splinter groups. This book was like late. It was updated by the 1980s.

So I think it kind of stopped there. It doesn't include Denver Snuffer that talks about all the groups that splintered ever since Joseph Smith, like up until the 80s. And it's like I knew about certain ones, you know, I knew about ones here and there, but there are dozens of different groups that branched off the LDS church.

It's crazy. You know, they all tried to mimic what Joseph Smith was doing. The one most interesting to me was the Strangite or the Strangite movement. James Strang, he's one of the apostles that claimed that an angel came to him after Joseph's death and told him that he was the new prophet. And then they moved up to what was it?

Beaver Island, Michigan. And yeah, he ended up getting shot in the back by one of his followers. It's crazy. So many, so many fascinating stories of, you know, like they like as Latter-day Saints, we saw this as like a monolithic movement, you know, like this is the way God was leading everything, but really like, it's just the biggest group of dozens of many groups that claim the same authority.

So anyway, sorry, it's kind of a kind of a side note. Yeah. But just to go down that rabbit hole, just a couple more steps. It's funny because, you know, I always viewed Protestants as being so fractured. You know, there's, you know, tens of thousands of just different denominations and this is all a result of the apostasy. But now I'm there and I'm like, oh, it's like we believe different things, but there's this unity. And, you know, we're like, we're not going to church every Sunday and just talking about Calvinism or just talking about baptism because that's what our sect believes. We're reading, we're studying the Bible as a whole and we are unified and it's actually the Latter-day Saint movement that is fractured because all these fractured denominations, or I want to call them denominations, but these splinter groups do not view each other as legitimate at all. Yeah.

Yeah, you're right. And you mentioned the Strangites, Matthew. I think it's interesting that Martin Harris followed James J. Strang for a period of time after Joseph Smith was murdered and, you know, then had a falling away from him before Martin Harris ultimately ended up in Utah. But when I learned that, I just thought, you know, it's interesting that you're encouraged to take Martin Harris as a reliable witness when it comes to, you know, the Book of Mormon. And yet he went after James J. Strang and followed him. But of course, the LDS church would never acknowledge that James J. Strang was producing scripture on par with what Joseph Smith was doing.

So, you know, how reliable does that make Martin Harris's witness, you know? And I also think Emma joined them. Did she or did she join a different group? She joined a different group for a little while and then she kind of moved back. Yeah, I don't know.

I'd have to look into that. And I know she definitely was pushing for her son to become the leader of those who remained in the Midwest, which, you know, kind of later became the reorganized church in the community of Christ. I don't know if she went after another sect or not.

Yeah, I think she did for a time and then she kind of went back. And it's funny because their whole path of succession is father to son, father to son is the next prophet. But the last two are LDS, which is now a community of Christ.

I think the last two prophets have had no blood relation to Joseph Smith. They've completely changed on that. So it's fascinating. I love all that. I love studying all that stuff, even though, you know, we're not part of the Latter-day Saint movement anymore. It's just fascinating.

Yeah, for sure. So I asked you all about, you know, the Quran and Bhagavad Gita. And, you know, I probably came to that question and included that question because, you know, my path out of the LDS church kind of took a detour through a more liberal approach to Mormonism. And, you know, you may, we don't encounter people who take that approach too often within the groups we're running in. We tend to encounter more Orthodox believing Latter-day Saints.

But there, you know, there are a lot of folks that, you know, reach the conclusion that, you know, the Book of Mormon is not a historical text. And so, you know, then the question becomes, how do I, how do I maintain my activity in the LDS church? I like the values as teaching my children.

And, you know, I like the community, so I'm going to stick around. How comfortable can I be holding these non-Orthodox beliefs? That's, you know, that's a question that each individual has to wrestle with.

But, you know, I started wrestling with those questions. And of course, among some of those more liberal leaning Latter-day Saint groups, you know, the question is, you know, there's a similar kind of hunger for scripture, I would say. So, you know, I would put like Mormon Stories podcast community group that's on Facebook, I would put them in that group, you know, where there's people there who are trying to maintain some sort of connection to the LDS church, maybe not so much in the last few years as earlier on. But you'll see them post things like, you know, what's your, what's your list of scriptures now? You know, and they'll make a list of like their favorite novels or, or even, you know, nonfiction books that, that have really moved them, you know what I mean?

And, and, and inspired them. And so it's, it's, you know, it's, it's a view of inspiration that, you know, how does it, how does it better me? How does it, you know, bring more insight to my life or more learning rather than, you know, the breathe out view that, that you touched on, you know, Paul, the apostle, coining, coining the term, the apneustos, you know, breathed out by God, expiration is what, what R.C.

Sproul talks about there, you know? And so, but they also, you know, they'll also have this hunger, you know, okay, I don't believe the Book of Mormon anymore. What about the scriptural texts of the other major world religions? So I kind of went through a period where I, I didn't, you know, read the whole scriptural texts, but I did pick up a book that was called God's Breath. And it, it was selections from, you know, the, the scriptural texts of the major world religions. So it had like selections from Genesis, you know, as, as part of its Torah section and it, and it had, you know, selections from the New Testament and it had selections from the Quran and certain selections from the Bhagavad Gita. And each of the, each of the scriptural texts was introduced by a scholar of, of, of that religion to kind of give a, give a feel for, you know, the historical context in which the, the, the work was produced and, and who it was produced by, who the authors were or author and kind of the scholarly view of it. And I remember reading through that book probably around the 2008 timeframe, no earlier than that, maybe 2006 timeframe and realizing by reading those, those introductions written by the scholars of the various religions that I didn't really have a firm grasp on the historical context for the production of any of the scriptures of the major world religions, including the Bible. And that was, that was like a kind of like a major insight for me and, and recognition of a, of a deficit in my understanding. So from that point forward, I really wanted to understand the Bible, especially from, from its historical context, from, from a scholarly perspective.

And so that, you know, that's kind of where my reading of, limited reading of, of the scriptural texts of the world religions led me was, was to the realization that I had yet a lot to learn. We were all born and raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, more 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 teachings. The name of our podcast, Outer Brightness, reflects John 1, 9, which calls Jesus the true light, which gives light to everyone. We have found life beyond Mormonism to be brighter than we were told it would be. And the light we have is not our own.

It comes to us from without, thus outer brightness. Our purpose is to share our journeys of faith and what God has done in drawing us to his son. We have conversations about all aspects of that transition, the fears, challenges, joys, and everything in between.

We're glad you found us and we hope you'll stick around. Next question. As you went through your faith transition, how did you view, how did your view of the LDS scriptural texts change?

Michael, you go first on that one. Yeah, I think my view of the standard works, which is going to be the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, and in the Old and New Testaments was actually strengthened. I kind of viewed it as an anchor or a measuring stick for really just judging truth in general. And I think some of it may have been influenced by some of my Protestant friends, you know, just being a bad influence on me in general.

But I was just kind of starting to see that as being more authoritative than what the leaders were saying. And things really came to a head with the November policy when they were saying, as I've mentioned in other episodes, but when they're saying that children of gay parents couldn't be baptized, and I'm just like, okay, that's really hard for me because now the different things that I view as scripture are all colliding. They're all going against each other because, you know, I do view the prophet, what the prophet says is being scripture, but it disagrees with what is said in the New Testament. You know, they tried to keep the children from Christ and he said, bring the children to me.

And, you know, even the Articles of Faith say we believe men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam's transgression. And I would say that I viewed the Articles of Faith as being pretty close to scripture as well. And then I think the Spirit was also telling me like, no, this is wrong. And it's like, what do you do in that situation where you've kind of got contradictory things with what I view as scripture as a Latter-day Saint, contradictory feelings.

And so the only solution was just to kind of elevate one of those above the others. And I believe that that was the standard works based on Harold B. Lee basically saying that that's the standard by which we measure all truth. And so that kind of led me eventually to a point of, you know, accepting pretty much be Jura and then coming to where I am now, which is, you know, it's sola scriptura because I've yet to see a system where somebody else can have authority and it doesn't go against what is in the Bible.

I just don't think that that is possible from my life experience. I think that if there is another authority with the Bible, it's always going to try to usurp the authority of the Bible. And just by existing alongside the Bible, it is usurping the authority of the Bible.

Yeah, let me follow up on that a little bit with you. So I think back to like when you started the Facebook group, when you were still at a Latter-day Saint, you started the Facebook group, the Mormon Grace Project, and your goal was to try to get evangelicals to read the Book of Mormon along with you. You know, my faith transition really kind of was kicked off by doubts about the historicity of the Book of Mormon. And, you know, you invited me to the group and I was there and watching everybody, you know, read the Book of Mormon together and kind of have conversations about it.

And I was reading along. But my kind of, I don't know if you remember, but my contributions were largely like questions about, hey, what about this, you know, historicity piece here or there. And I kind of got the sense that the historicity of the Book of Mormon wasn't really a thing for you.

So can you comment on that? Was it a thing for you or not really at all? I'd say I was kind of middle of the road there because now you've got some Latter-day Saints saying that the whole thing is just metaphorical, which that would have really irked me as a Latter-day Saint. I would have been like, if this is all metaphorical, what is the point? I still don't understand how some Latter-day Saints can hold that position because, you know, they go through like genealogies in the Book of Mormon and I'm like, why would they do that? You know, but aside from, I mean, I did believe it was literal, but you weren't going to make me doubt anything by talking about the history of the Book of Mormon. I kind of, I kind of cared, but then I kind of didn't as well. And you see a lot of Latter-day Saints now like talking about the Book of Abraham papyri and it's like, oh yeah, that's not what he translated from, but you know, he used it.

He still received revelation. You know, it's like that kind of reasoning. I think I could have gotten away using that kind of reasoning as a Latter-day Saint too. I really cared a lot more about the content in the book. And if you could have showed me contradictions in the doctrine and the theology, that would have gotten my attention a lot more than the historicity of the book. Yeah, I kind of sensed that that's what you would say, just knowing you and, you know, different conversations that we've had both online and in person on the phone. So the reason I kind of tease that out is because, you know, I've been charged with, you know, being overly critical from a historical standpoint of the LDS scriptural texts when I have conversations with Latter-day Saints. And yet I've reached a position where I accept, you know, the Bible is the infallible Word of God and you've reached that same position. And yet we've come to that position from two pretty different approaches to the LDS scriptural texts.

And so I just kind of wanted to tease that out because I think it's an interesting point. So Matthew, what about you? How did your view of the LDS scriptural texts change as you went through your transition? Man, it's like I had something figured out that I was going to say and then hearing you guys talk, it just pulled my mind in so many ways. It's just, it's interesting to talk to you guys with similar backgrounds, but it made me think of, I think it was after my born again experience, I was trying to like be a born again Mormon, you know, like a born again Christian in Mormonism.

And I was trying to make it work. I was trying to go the liberal route of like, well, you know, you can consider this, you know, metaphorical or figurative. And I considered also going to the community of Christ route because they have kind of admitted, you know, like, yeah, the book of Abraham, you know, it's not really historical.

It's not really an accurate translation. You know, community of Christ kind of like rejected a lot of the problems I had, you know, as a questioning Latter-day Saint. They also rejected works for the dead. It's called vicarious works for the dead, you know, in the temple and the whole issue of God, they accept the Trinity officially. So I bought two books and I just want to briefly talk about them. One's called Millions Call It Scripture. The other one is called The Book of Mormon's Witness to Its First Readers.

So I bought those two books and I was reading them on a flight to Vegas because I had a conference where I was presenting some research. And I remember reading the Millions Call It Scripture. And it was interesting because they used, you know, modern, typical secular biblical research and scholarship where they talk about, well, you know, there's all these errors in the Bible. And, you know, a lot of people think that this part's not historical, this part's not historical, but they still consider it inspired.

And each group has each group around the world has their own books of scripture. And so the Book of Mormon, it's our book, you know, it's not perfect, but it's our book and it's inspired, but it's not entirely historically accurate, but we can glean interesting teachings from it. And I was like, okay, that's interesting. And then I went to read this other book, The Book of Mormon's Witnesses to Its First Readers. And it was like the exact opposite message. It was like talking about firsthand accounts from early Mormons reading it and saying, this is the inspired word of God, no errors. It's exactly what God told us.

It's what happened in the Americas to these ancient peoples. And my mind was blown. I was like, I bought this from the same bookstore and they're completely antithetical. They weren't the same author, were they?

No, not the same author. But yeah, because if you go to their website, you know, you can go by category and I went by scripture. So those ones, you know, it sounded like, okay, maybe this will help me get my testimony of the Book of Mormon or something or help me reconcile these things.

But it's like I did the opposite. I was like, it just made the contradictions so much clearer. And I see that so often with Latter-day Saints. Some go, as you said, some go the route of, well, it's allegorical or it's figurative.

It's meant to teach us something useful, something spiritual. And another say, well, it happened. It was a real historical event that happened.

And that's, you know, the traditional route, the traditional theology is that it was a real thing that happened. I couldn't reconcile that. And that's one thing that pushed me even further out of the restoration of the Latter-day Saint restoration movement as a whole, because I was already kind of leaning away from the mainstream LDS church towards the community of Christ. But then I saw that and I'm like, how do you reconcile that?

It's impossible. So tying it back to your question, going back to the Book of Mormon, I saw, I'd mentioned prior to when we started that there were a lot of scriptures in the Book of Mormon, a lot of passages of scripture in the Book of Mormon that spoke to my soul, that really helped me in times of need and times where, you know, I was struggling with sin or struggling with doubts or hopelessness, things like that. And as I started studying the Bible more closely, I realized that, hey, these passages that meant so much to me and make it so hard for me to give up the Book of Mormon, they're almost taken straight out of the Bible. So two passages that I wanted to bring up were Romans 7 and you compare that to 2 Nephi 4. So 2 Nephi 4 is when Nephi is writing and he says, upon these I write the things of my soul and many of the scriptures which are engraven upon them. My soul delighteth in scriptures and my heart pondereth them. Verse 16, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord. Verse 17, Nephi says, O wretched man that I am, yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh, my soul griefeth because of mine iniquities. So I say Nephi in air quotes, of course. And that really spoke to me because I always felt like, yeah, I love God.

I love his word. I love his law, but I can't keep it. I'm not good enough. I keep struggling.

Why do I keep messing up? So seeing that kind of gave me hope. But then I realized that's almost like verbatim, Romans 7 from Paul, Romans 7 verses 21 to 25. He says, I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand, for I delight in the law of God in my inner being. But I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.

Wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. So when I read that, I was like, that's almost like completely verbatim what the Book of Mormon said. You know, it's almost like a commentary on what the Bible said. So, you know, the things that were – that was just one example of where it was hard for me to give up the Book of Mormon because of what it meant to me personally. And then I saw, well, the Bible, that's – it came from the Bible pretty much. So I see a lot of the Book of Mormon parallels as kind of like Joseph Smith's – well, I won't go into who I think wrote the Book of Mormon because that's a huge topic and I myself don't really worry about it that much. But whoever wrote the Book of Mormon seems to have been well-versed in a lot of these biblical texts, quotes them, references them, commentates them, or restates them. So that's kind of how I see what the Book of Mormon is. I'm not saying that it's entirely trash, that there's – it's not worth anything at all. It's not worth reading. And I would say it's worth reading as much as reading the Quran or other books because there are glints of truth you can find in them. But at the same time, I don't see it as God-breathed. Yeah, yeah.

Thanks for bringing that up and making those comparisons. You know, that's one of the things that kind of started me on my questioning with the Book of Mormon is when I was on my mission, I had a goal that I set for myself that I would read each of the standard works during the two years that I was on my mission. And by the time I was in my last area, I had read through everything except the New Testament. So I kind of quickly started, you know, with just a few months left on my mission, carrying around with me a little pocket New Testament. And actually, I carried the – they were like the military versions of the LDS scriptural works. So they were small pocket size.

And I carried them around in a little cover with me because they were light. And I would pull out that little pocket New Testament and start reading if we were on the bus traveling to and from appointments. And I started to, as you did, recognize that, wait a minute, there's a lot of New Testament passages that are either alluded to or quoted verbatim within the Book of Mormon. And not just within the Book of Mormon, but within the portions of the Book of Mormon that from a historical perspective were supposed to have taken place before the New Testament. And of course, Lehi and his family were supposed to have left Jerusalem, you know, during the time of Jeremiah the prophet and the Babylonian – right before the Babylonian captivity, you know, so late 6th century BC.

And, you know, I started to have this kind of nagging question in my mind. Why are there these passages that are verbatim New Testament passages that were supposedly written by ancient American prophets in the Americas on metal plates? How in the world would those ancient American prophets have known to write verbatim New Testament passages before the New Testament itself was written? And of course, you know, I've had this conversation with Latter-day Saints and there are those who will defend it and say that, oh, well, you know, God inspired the writers of the Book of Mormon to write in the exact same way that the New Testament writers would later be inspired to write.

And that explanation has never held water for me. But that experience of my mission just, it was kind of like the beginning of the end for me with the Book of Mormon, though it lasted a long time after that within the LDS church. But really, you know, I came home from my mission in 1999. And by 2001, I was pretty convinced that the Book of Mormon wasn't a historical record of ancient inhabitants of the American continent. I, you know, I dug in really heavily to FARM's Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, what's now the Maxwell Institute, and their publications, which back in the day really, really tried to, you know, approach the Book of Mormon from a historical perspective and place it in an ancient American context.

You know, their writings, just their papers that they wrote. And I read several books, you know, where the scholars at BYU presented various views of how the Book of Mormon could be viewed as plausibly an ancient document. And, you know, they didn't convince me. And so, you know, the next nine years from there on until we left was really me trying to be that liberal Mormon and figure out how I could remain without an Orthodox view of the Book of Mormon. And, Michael, you mentioned, you know, that there are Latter-day Saints today who, you know, will say, well, it's the whole thing is metaphor. And I'm with you on that. I could never fully embrace that. So, you know, even within those nine years, I was trying to figure out, like, is there a way that it's plausibly ancient?

And I just couldn't get there with all the study I did. So by the time we left in 2010, I didn't believe that the LDS canon was a reliable source of truth anymore. I just want to say really quick, I think it's great that you mentioned that you read the apologist, the LDS apologist's response to a lot of these criticisms and that they weren't convincing to you. Because so many times when you bring up these criticisms, a lot of times Latter-day Saints will brush them off as like, well, these have been answered before, you know, our apologists have been dealing with them for decades.

But it's like, I just invite everybody just read what they say and think about it critically. Do the arguments make sense? Are they consistent with the evidence?

Are they logically consistent? Because just because you have a response to something doesn't mean that it's a good response. A lot of times, you know, like when I was questioning, I'd have a question like, well, what about Joseph Smith's other wives and things like that. And sometimes, you know, I would read the articles and sometimes I would just look at the FAIR website and I would see that, oh, they have a response to it.

Okay, I'm good. Somebody says, I already looked at this. You know, I trust them that they've answered it accordingly. But it wasn't until I actually read their responses and found, wow, I don't feel like this reasoning is consistent or convincing at all, you know. So that's really important is critically assessing what the response is instead of just kind of like reading it and saying, well, I don't understand it, but they've answered it. So, okay, I'll believe them.

Yeah, no, I definitely made the attempt to try to read the best answers. Like, you know, back then, Hugh Nibley was still very much respected as an apologist for the LDS faith. And I thought, you know, if anybody has something to say that could convince me that the Book of Mormon is an actual ancient text, it would be him. I wasn't attending BYU, but he did have published by FARMS the transcripts of the course that he taught at BYU on the Book of Mormon. And so I still have those four volumes on my shelf.

I'm looking at them right now that I've read through. And, you know, the other book, which is a very large scholarly tome was the Book of Mormon, Authorship Revisited, which is a collection of papers by various BYU scholars approaching the Book of Mormon from various vantage points with regard to authorship and historicity. And, you know, I don't have that book anymore because I gave it to a missionary who was in the area when I was the world mission leader here. But that's another one that I read. And that's one that, if I recall correctly, was originally published and then updated in the in the 90s. And I had the updated version, the revisited version. So I definitely tried to take a look at the best of what LDS scholarship had to offer in that regard.

I didn't just, you know, go off on my own assumptions. We thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Outer Brightness podcast. We'd love to hear from you. Please visit the Outer Brightness podcast page on Facebook. Feel free to send us a message there with comments or questions by clicking send a message at the top of the page, and we would appreciate it if you give the page a like. We also have an Outer Brightness group on Facebook where you can join and interact with us and others as we discuss the podcast, past episodes and suggestions for future episodes, etc. You can also send us an email at outerbrightness at gmail dot com.

We hope to hear from you soon. You can subscribe to the Outer Brightness podcast on Apple Podcasts, Cast Box, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, PodBeam, Spotify and Stitcher. Also, you can check out our new YouTube channel. And if you like it, be sure to lay hands on that subscribe button and confirm it. If you like what you hear, please give us a rating and review wherever you miss it and help spread the word. You can also connect with Michael, the ex Mormon apologist at from water to wine dot org, where he blogs and sometimes Paul and Matthew do as well. Music for the Outer Brightness podcast is graciously provided by the talented Brianna Flournoy and by Adams Road.

Learn more about Adams Road by visiting their ministry page at Adams Road Ministry dot com. Stay bright flyer flies. Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life and we have believed and have come to know that you are the holy one of God. The word made fresh, the way but the word of God. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Lord, you promised every as your church would remain upon this This rock and the gates of hell will not prevail against us Cause you have power to keep your word unspoiled in purity Heaven and earth will pass away, but the word of the Lord endures forever All of this world is in decay, but the word of our God through ages remains As the rain falls down from heaven and waters the earth bringing it light So the word that goes out from your mouth will not return empty, but does what you desire Lord, we hear your word and believe in you Heaven and earth will pass away, but the word of the Lord endures forever But the word of our God through ages remains
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-31 13:31:53 / 2023-10-31 13:48:12 / 16

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