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Christmas Book Citations Articles of Faith Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
June 26, 2020 10:20 am

Christmas Book Citations Articles of Faith Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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June 26, 2020 10:20 am

This is our 14th week of a series focusing on books given away to other general authorities and church employees by the First Presidency between 1981 to 2017. If the First Presidency thought these books were worthy of being reprinted using expensive leather covers and gilded pages, they must be reliable and worthy to be … Continue reading Christmas Book Citations Articles of Faith Part 1 →


.1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint when Mormonism is 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 so glad to be with us for this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson.

My colleague at MRM we continue looking at books that were given away by the first presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints books that were given as Christmas gifts. Between the years 1981 and 2017. The reason why we want to focus on these books is because if the first presidency felt that these books had some kind of doctrinal value that its members should read. Then why should we read them as well and see what these books contain today we are going to be starting a series looking at the book, articles of faith by James Talmage.

Last week we were looking at another book that was produced by James Talmage titled Jesus the Christ. This book like Jesus the Christ was commissioned by the first presidency of the church for James Talmage to write. In fact, the history behind this book is that in 1891 the first presidency wanted Talmage to produce a work of theology that would be used in church schools. Talmage decided to use the 13 articles of faith found in the back of every triple combination.

To this day. Joseph Smith in 1842 gave a story about his movement and included in this letter to the editor of the Chicago Democrat John Wentworth a list of beliefs that what's interesting about this. Eric is the Mormons typically don't have a high regard for church creeds. In fact, in the official account of the first vision when they came out in 1838. Allegedly, God the father in Jesus which one we don't know. But these personages told Joseph Smith that all the churches were wrong and that there creeds were an abomination, the Mormon church doesn't like to claim that they have any creeds, but if anything fits the definition of a creed.

You would think that the articles of faith would certainly fit the definition. What is a basic definition of a creed. While I would be a formal statement of religious belief that confession of faith system of belief principles or opinions are a statement of belief on any subject, religious, political, scientific or other, so I think very clearly. You're right though. I think when you're laying out systematically what you believe, as the articles of faith were meant to do, then you're talking about a creed and there's nothing wrong with it being a creed.

I think it's very appropriate that James Talmage wrote a book based on those creeds put some flesh on the doctrines that are being taught in Mormonism and that's exactly what he does. He uses those 13 brief points. He writes a whole book, explaining each one of those points.

There is about 20 some chapters in this book and there's only 13 articles of faith, but he does tell you when he's discussing a certain article today we want to look at what he has to say regarding article 8. And why is this important because this is the article that puts a lot of doubt on whether or not the Bible should be trusted. But what we found fascinating and reading what Talmage has to say about the Bible that if you take what he says I don't think many of us as Christians would have a real problem with what he says now naturally when it comes to what he considers to be the plain and precious parts that were taken out of the Bible we would have some disagreement with that were going to talk about that but for the most part it sounds like Talmage and Talmage was a scholar.

Talmage was a learned man, and I've often said that many times arguments that we hear by lady members of the church on the streets are not often the arguments that scholars would raise because the scholars know better. They're not going to bring these arguments up because they know that those arguments are not good arguments, so you might run across an ignorant Latter Day Saints and I don't mean to be pejorative with that term. I'm just saying that it's descriptive of the individual that you may be talking to. They just don't know about these facts and so they're relating something that they heard, though it is miss information. It's not necessarily a lie, but it's something they've heard that they've never verified. Now I'm not saying that they shouldn't of verified it because they most certainly should verify it, but the fact is, scholars in Mormonism don't tend to use a lot of the same arguments as laypeople tend to use on the street.

Let's look at exactly what he says in his preface what is he saying that second paragraph after he says in April 1899 the first edition of the author's work. The articles of faith appeared. The subject matter as at first presented in print was virtually the substance of addresses delivered before theology classes of the church University and at other schools and each of the main divisions of the book was designated as a lecture in the present issue. The corresponding caption is chapter would you say Eric that this could kind of model.

What we call a systematic theology. He goes through each point and then he elaborates on the point and he does, I would say of pretty good job at explaining what Mormonism teaches. Based on these 13 points that Joseph Smith gave to the Chicago Democrat editor John Wentworth. Now let's look at article 8, and it starts on page 236.

I think it's important to carefully examine what he says because as I said before, a lot of his criticisms of the Bible.

I would say a lot of Bible scholars would probably agree with some of them they're not secrets, folks, a lot of Bible scholars are quite aware of the so-called glitches in the Bible.

They are not so severe as to withdraw any type of trust or faith in the Bible, but some of the things it Talmage says I think would agree with that very point that there's a lot of good evidence to show that the Bible that we have is something that should be belief, so he starts off chapter 13 with article 8 that reads we believe the Bible to be the word of God. As far as it is translated correctly and perhaps bill that might be the one article that every latter-day St. on the street will know they'll be able to quote that to you so when you bring up something from the Bible. Oftentimes you'll hear that quoted we believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as is translated correctly solicit here what Talmage has to say about the Bible.

He says our acceptance of the Bible. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints accepts the holy Bible as the foremost of her standard works first among the books which have been proclaimed as her written guides in faith and doctrine only stop either because there could be a misunderstanding, perhaps as to what James Talmage means when he uses the word for most now usually when you have a latter-day St. tell you what they believe as far as written Scripture. They will start with the Bible which is of course the King James version of the Bible, the book of Mormon, the doctrine and covenants, and the pearl of great price out maybe foremost in the list. Eric would you think that for many Latter Day Saints. The Bible is foremost in importance why think most Latter Day Saints are going to use the book of Mormon as the most important that's a book they oftentimes will say that they have read multiple times. But when you asked them if they've read the Bible.

Many of them have never read it all the way through, and I think you're right in that because I have asked many Latter Day Saints over the years that they had a choice between only the Bible as it is today or the book of Mormon which would you choose to have if you can only have one and I found in my experience, at least, that most of them all wanted the book of Mormon, not the Bible. This could be why because they believe that the Bible has this set of flaws. If you will that make it not as trustworthy as they think the book of Mormon is possibly trustworthy because remember only the book of Mormon.

According to Mormonism was translated by the gift and power of God so that it has not only authority but accuracy that I think many Latter Day Saints would say the Bible does not have when you talk about standard works. Of course, the Bible, the book of Mormon doctrine and covenants in the pearl of great price and the one with the*is the Bible. So when he says faith and doctrine. Well they do get doctrine from the Bible but often times they are verses that have been taken out of their context to be able to say what Mormonism teaches you what we would call the proverbial proof text will lift the verse in the SASE that supports my presupposition therefore that verse must be true, but a lot of the other ones have to be questionable. Perhaps Talmage goes on page 236 and says in the respect and sanctity with which that Latter Day Saints regard the Bible they are of like profession with Christian denominations. In general, but differ from them in the additional acknowledgment of certain other scriptures as authentic and holy which others are in harmony with the Bible and served as support and emphasizes facts and doctrines only stop you there because he makes this assumption that when he says they differ from these other Christian denominations in the additional acknowledgment of certain other scriptures as authentic and holy of course that would be the. The book of Mormon, the doctrine and covenants in the pearl of great price that you mentioned are but when he says which others are in harmony with the Bible we would argue with that because I don't think they do harmonize in many areas with the Bible and that's really the whole controversy here. This is a point we been around for over 40 years hammering these problems out because were looking at what the Bible has to say as compared to the Scriptures that are unique to Mormonism and we don't think they harmonized at least not harmonizing in the way that Talmage says here on page 236 he goes on and writes the historical and other data upon which is based the current Christian faith as to the genuineness of the biblical record are accepted as unreservedly by the Latter Day Saints, as by the members of any sect, and in literalness of interpretation. This church probably excels in the literalness of interpretation of that's where we start getting into some problem areas. How were they interpreting the Bible because he really article 8 is talking about the translation of the Bible and that's were going to be examining a lot of their own scholars admit that it has more to do with transmission and accuracy of transmission that it does translation but when he says here that the Latter Day Saints as by the members of any sect, and in literalness of interpretation.

This church probably excels. That's the area that needs to be debated.

Are they really understanding the interpretation as the author intended. And that's were we would argue no they don't. Oftentimes they read the Bible through the lens of the latter-day St. leadership, not through the lens of what the author himself may have intended in the first place. And that's always the general rule if you're going to properly understand anything that is written, you need to ask yourself what did the author intend when they use these words in the sentence structure that they use, and this is where we find a lot of problem areas when it comes to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints because they tend to read into the text which is what we call ISA Jesus and they read into it. Things that the author ever intended in the first place. And that's how they often draw the conclusions that they draw. Tomorrow will continue looking at articles of faith and what Talmage had to say in chapter 13 titled the holy Bible. Thank you for listening you would like more information we guarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website you can request our free newsletter Mormonism research.

We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint is looking for strategies that will help you engage in meaningful conversations with members of the Mormon church. So take a look at sharing the good news with Mormons a new book produced by harvest House publishers and headed to my Mormonism research ministries Eric Johnson and Shawn Miguel sharing the good news with Mormons includes 24 helpful essays from two dozen Christian apologist scholars and pastors pick up your copy of the Utah lighthouse bookstore court order directly from

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