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December 31, 2020 8:33 pm
Answering questions by Bill McKeever and Yuri Johnson deals with 36 commonly asked questions by your LDS friends and neighbors. It's a great resource for Christians want to share their faith with friends and loved ones. We should pick up your copy today at your favorite Christian bookstore viewpoint on Mormonism program that 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 hoping you're having a very pleasant Friday. Welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Johnson. My colleague at MRM throughout this week we've been asking the question what is truth, and as I've mentioned, this is based off an article that was in the desert written news on January 10, 2019 title what is truth why Pontius Pilate's question still resonates today and we been discussing the fact that many times when people are presented with evidence, they tend to want to disregard it because it makes them uncomfortable or they just don't want to believe it and in the recent shows that we been doing, we been talking specifically about Dr. Terry Milstein, who works at Brigham Young University and how he has come to the conclusion that it's okay to still believe that the book of Abraham, a part of Mormon scripture found in the pearl of great price should still be believed, as in fact a revelation from God what Dr. Milstein does is he basically places a huge cloud of suspicion over some of the evidence that scholars those, of course, in the field of Egyptology have come to the conclusion that Joseph Smith translation: quote of the book of Abraham is certainly not accurate and they would say should not be believed as understood by most Latter Day Saints. Now why would Dr. Milstein object to this, he feels that revelation from God trumps the scholars and we would argue that yes true revelation from God should trump man's presuppositions that the question remains, is what Dr. Milstein believing really revelation from God becomes the problem. Epistemology is the study of how knowledge happens and and so when we understand that there is a process in learning, use academics, like when we try to understand the Bible if it's accurate or not we go back to the earliest measures we put all of those things together. We look at what's called textual criticism, and so we want to believe as Christians. What is true. While we certainly have presuppositions. Unfortunately in Mormonism. As we talked about in previous shows a lot of Latter Day Saints are prone to just receiving whatever the leaders want them to believe, and this is why I think we have this article on the inside magazine trying to get people to believe in the book of Abraham. When the evidence very clearly says that it's not an English equivalent, and Dr. Milstein in his opening salvo in his article says while education is valuable and important as we become increasingly educated.
We must guard against the tendency to respect the world's methods of learning more than God's and I asked the question yesterday will what is he talking about will I think he's talking about some of the claims that have been made by experts in the field of Egyptology that goes against what Dr. Milstein wants to believe about the book of Abraham, and yesterday I introduced Dr. Steven E. Thompson. He was one of the first LDS scholars to earn a doctorate degree in Egyptology and he gave a talk back in 1993 in Salt Lake City on this very issue was titled Egyptology in the book of Abraham on and yesterday show I read from the 1992 edition of the encyclopedia of Mormonism in reference to the facsimiles that Joseph Smith allegedly translated in the pearl of great price, where it says in volume 1, page 136 to 137. Moreover, the profits explanations of each of the facsimiles accord with present understanding of Egyptian religious practices. But what did Dr. Steven Thompson say about this in his talk, and I might mention again the talk he gave in 1993, was published in 1995 in dialogue. Journal of Mormon thought, volume 28 number one, and it starts on page 143.
This is what he said about that quote that I just cited in the entry on the facsimiles from the book of Abraham and the encyclopedia of Mormonism. We are told that the profits explanations of each of the facsimiles accord with present understanding of Egyptian religious practice. This is a truly remarkable statement in view of the fact that those Egyptologists who have commented on Joseph's interpretations of the facsimiles have stated emphatically that his interpretations are not correct from the perspective of the Egyptologist who attempts to interpret Egyptian religious literature and iconography as he or she believes the ancient Egyptians themselves would have you see folks, this is why the Mormon churches had to back off on how it describes the word translation that they've had to come up with this phrase.
This inspired translation in the church today readily admits that what they find in the book of Abraham which is still part of Mormon scripture today is not in fact an English equivalent of the papyri that Joseph Smith had in his possession. There might be a lot of people here for listening to our show today who may not know much about this whole issue.
There is a book that we can recommend and it was written by Charles Larson and it was called by his hand upon papyrus.
That book has some amazing photography and in fact it has a pull out of the papyrus itself and if you are somebody who would like to learn more because this past week we haven't really spent much time talking about the reasons why we don't agree that the book of Abraham is actually a translation of something that was written by the patriarch Abraham. There are reasons for that and he in that book does a great job of explaining that that's available on the Internet and I might mention in light of that book by his own hand upon papyrus in the Q&A session of that symposium talk that that Dr. Thompson gave the question came up about that very book.
Dr. Thompson said, in my opinion it's the best source to go to if you want to know what's been going on with the book of Abraham in the church.
I mean he speaking to Charles Larson has a pretty good summary of all the types of approaches that have been made.
He does a pretty good job of explaining what they are, what the papyri are.
That's not the Dr. Thompson felt it was a perfect book.
He's essay does have some minor things that probably could be corrected but to give the book those kind of accolades I think is quite impressive when you think about it, and yet it's this kind of evidence that Dr. Milstein and my impression from reading his article is trying to get people to disbelieve when he's trying to throw the academics under the bus and say no. We have to go by revelation from God and again folks. I want to raise the question, how do we know for sure that would Joseph Smith was saying is, in fact, revelation from God. Though he says it may have been, doesn't necessarily mean it is and that becomes the real tricky part of coming to the final conclusion on things like this for Dr. Milstein. How does he know what he knows and according to what he says he knows it by revelation. Listen to what he says on page 57.
Toward the end of the article he says I know from Revelation that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, who translated the book of Abraham by inspiration receiving such revelation is a real and powerful method of learning truth. A method I refuse to ignore or dismiss just because others haven't experienced the same method of learning and then listen to his conclusion to this article on page 57 he writes.
I know through the same kind of revelation all over Calgary experienced in all of her calorie was one of the original witnesses of the book of Mormon and one of the early leaders of Mormonism that the book of Abraham is inspired. I trust that sooner or later the academic process will catch up and I will find satisfactory answers to all my questions any admits in this article that he doesn't have all the answers to the book of Abraham.
I have seen this happen numerous times throughout my life and have full confidence that it will happen again in the future I can expect this not only because of my past experience, but also because I trust so fully in the revelatory method of learning. I recommend this is a model in everything we do builders of book that was written by Norm Geisler and Frank Turek that says I don't have enough faith to be an atheist. What I have to say about this quote to me is astounding that he wrote this that I don't have enough faith to be a Mormon. If the evidence is so geared against the Mormon message including the book of Abraham is talked about here and I have to admit that I have to trust in the revelation that Joseph Smith supposedly had. I have to trust in the leaders when they get up that there actually tell the truth, I'm sorry I don't have that kind of faith, you raise a good point.
It only goes to support what we been saying often on this show and in our writings over the past several decades.
When you have a presupposition that Joseph Smith is in fact a prophet of God. You basically given him permission to tell you just about anything and you're going to believe it. Now I'm not saying that anyone statement that Joseph Smith might make should be the dealbreaker. And whether you should be a latter-day say I've never taught anybody that a Mormon should get on their knees and renounce Mormonism simply because of one problem area was demonstrated to that individual. Things like the book of Abraham is just one chink in the armor. It's just one piece of the puzzle that after a while become so large that if you are an honest person I would hope that you would have to take all of this available information and realized hey this amount of contradiction is just too much contradiction for me to still defend something where the evidence tends to be pointing against it and that's the point were trying to make here if you're going to reject all this evidence, ask yourself this. Dr. Milstein wants to believe the book of Abraham, regardless of what he calls the world's methods but yet you have another LDS personhood 1993. I've got to be quite honest I'm not quite sure where. Spiritually, Dr. Steven Thompson is now when it comes to Mormonism. But when he was a member of the church.
I would assume that he was faithful to the cause, but he was being honest enough to admit there's a problem here. He also has a degree in Egyptology.
Milstein has a degree in Egyptology who are you going to believe the one that has the evidence to support the claims that he's making.
Even though when it goes against the grain of the church that he apparently is a member of.
At that time or in the case of Dr. Carey Milstein who was a teacher at Brigham Young University and wants to believe what he calls the revelation from God over the evidence that's been presented. Remember he's talking about this evidence, eventually confirming the revelation, but what we've seen in recent years is that the revelation has been discounted because of the evidence and that's why the Mormon church had a come out with the essay that it came out with showing that with every Mormons had believed up until that time regarding the translation was not quite the way you thought. So this is why they had a come up with that phrase inspired translation have to redefine everything.
Why because the scholarship the evidence undermined what was originally thought to be revelation from God, thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is as with most Christian organizations is a research ministry depends on the generous financial support of friends like you.
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