Share This Episode
Viewpoint on Mormonism Bill McKeever  Logo

Gospel Topics Review (Intro) Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
April 5, 2021 9:51 pm

Gospel Topics Review (Intro) Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 662 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

April 5, 2021 9:51 pm

This week we introduce a book review that we will do for the next three months, as each of the original 13 essays are covered in a book put out by Signature. For more on the Gospel Topics Essays, we invite you to visit


Viewpoint is it 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 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 with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM. The gospel topics essays.

As we mentioned in yesterday's show we have reference them. Quite often, because we do feel that there is a wealth of information that can be used by Christians when communicating with their LBS counterparts. There was a book that was published in late 2020, titled the LDS gospel topics series a scholarly engagement and in yesterday's show. We Gave you a little bit of background about the publisher of this book.

Signature books as well as the cofounder of signature books and that being George D. Smith, who happens to have a chapter in this book, but we were reading the description or the summary I should say of this book that is found within it. Across from the contents and it talks about those who were contributing to the book.

Now remember, this book has 13 chapters in it.

There were 13 original gospel topics essays that were meant to tackle some of the thornier issues of Mormon doctrine and Mormon history and these chapters are not written by the same person.

There's a number of different individuals that have written these chapters and in the summary. It describes them as including the variety of faith traditions, including the LDS church community of Christ, which was formally known as the reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Catholic and evangelical Christian. We should talk about that a little bit Eric because when it says that some of the contributors are from the LDS church. It doesn't tell you really where they are in the LDS church. I mean, we read yesterday how some people like the late Stephen E. Robinson, who is a former BYU professor wasn't real happy with any of the books. It sounds like you really that come from signature books referring suit to that phrase that coral horseback and he's got a printing press obviously coral horror being described as an Antichrist in Elma chapter 30 of the book of Mormon. That's not meant to be flattery.

I'm sure the part Stephen Robinson, so it might make a lot of average members of the church. Wonder what kind of Latter Day Saints are they that would write an essay for this kind of a book. I really don't know the personal beliefs of those who claim to have an LDS background who contributed to this book. I think it would probably be fair maybe you disagree with me, Eric, that would not be fair to say that if they are a member of record they probably lean and more of a liberal direction. You have to gas because they do have a biography at the back that talks about each of the authors and some of them you can assume who they are, any one man says he's an evangelical Christian. Another one says he's a Roman Catholic and and so you know when the first two chapters who they are but some of the chapters. They don't really tell us who they are, except maybe they do have a background Mormonism.

Are they still in the church today.

We just don't know. But this would not be what you might call the TBM's the True Blue Mormons. These are not going to be the conservative members of the church, probably not, but does not take away from what they have to say.

I would argue it shouldn't.

Because if what they are saying is accurate, it needs to be taken into account. I get a little bit tired of Latter Day Saints, who always want to know the Genesis of a statement this evil did that come from a site that's friendly to the church once a genetic fallacy and we shouldn't go by genetic fallacies. If a statement is accurate, it needs to be evaluated. If it's not accurate. Naturally, it needs to be rejected, so I don't know if it would be fair if a latter-day St. was wanting to read this book to just dismiss a lot of the chapter simply because they don't think the author of that chapter is the Mormon they should be according to their personal views before we look at the introduction Eric, I want to talk about the cover. The cover of the book is a painting.

It says so inside the book. It describes the portrait of Lucy Max Smith Lucy Max Smith was the mother of Joseph Smith, the founder of the OBS movement. This is a painting of Lucy Max Smith. As it says in the book quite correctly that was done by Sutcliffe Maudsley. Around 1842 so that would be about two years before Joseph Smith was killed at Carthage, Illinois. I don't know why this is the cover of the book because it's a picture of Lucy Max Smith sitting in a rocking chair showing a side view of her and she's holding in her hand a book that if you look very carefully. It actually says the book of Mormon on the book although it's written sideways in a way that I don't think any addition of the book of Mormon never had it.

I think the person who painted this wanted you to know that that was the book of Mormon that she's holding it's not the Bible it says book of Mormon on it. But then in the upper part of it.

It has facsimile one from the book of Abraham which of course is the doctored up picture that is included in the book of Abraham to show a rendition of this this funerary text that is very familiar to Egyptologists.

It's interesting that that is put in here because that's a controversy all facsimile, in and of itself just by the way someone, perhaps even Joseph Smith filled in the torn section of the proprietor that Joseph Smith had and made it into something. The original could have never been. When I looked at the cover to. I was puzzled. The only thing I can think a bill is because at the book of Mormon is talked about in the gospel topics essays as well as the book of Abraham. Maybe that was her way to say this is what is going on kind of cover but I was looking for is why Lucy Max Smith is is on this cover when she's not talked about it all and any of the essays or in this book only if it may be because if I remember correctly that painting of Lucy Max Smith was found on her autobiography, right and some of the things that she said in her autobiography were probably controversy will maybe not at the time she wrote them, but certainly years later.

She does say some things that I would think that a modern latter-day St. would go really. I didn't know that because while she was there at the time so and she's writing about.

Perhaps that's why I don't know I have.

I have no idea. I cannot answer that question, but let's look at the introduction because the introduction goes back to a time in more modern LDS history that we have talked about many times on this show and that was an event that Took Pl. in Sweden in Stockholm Sweden.

It actually starts off by saying on a chilly evening in November 2010 some 600 Swedish Latter Day Saints met at an LDS chapel in Stockholm to discuss their concerns about difficult theological questions in the LDS church and it says it was not an ordinary fireside bill.

We spent several weeks back in 2014 talking about that very important fireside that took place in what's called the Swedish rescue and a very important part of this book that were going to be looking at because that's the impetus for getting the gospel topics essays started. It's funny because some might say will you talk about it. Around 2014 when this took place in 2010.

As far as I know very few people were even aware of this event.

We came across a recording of this and it started getting some publicity and it certainly drew our attention, but we didn't even know this had taken place in 2010 certainly, this story probably would've not even gotten out when it did had not somebody recorded it and I don't think the two Mormon historians that were there were privy to the fact that it was being recorded. Maybe they were. I don't know but certainly this recording got out and this started a whole new chapter in Mormonism and as you correctly said it was done. The Swedish rescue and it says this special fireside was led by LDS church historian/recorder and general authority, Marlon K.

Jensen and assistant church historian/recorder Richard E. Turley Jensen explained that the purpose of the fireside was to quote offer some information in a reliable and loving way that will be responsive to some of the questions that you have."

He further stated that quote were going to invite you to share with us your most pressing questions. I know the church is true in my prayer tonight is that those of you who may be in doubt may have some of your doubt removed." When you read that, you wonder, that's a pretty gutsy invitation when you say you're talking to 600 members and you already know that a lot of these people in the audience have some serious questions and you're going to invite these questions. Now the book and I think quite appropriately and accurately says that this fireside this meeting quickly turned testy after Jensen's opening statement quoting Scripture and bearing testimony. One of the members asked, is it okay to ask questions. Now for the next 3 1/2 hours.

They asked Jensen Turley questions concerning polygamy, polyandry, the ancient authenticity of the book of Abraham, the translation of the book of Mormon and other controversial doctrinal and historical matters.

Turley Jensen try to answer them. During one tense moment, a participant chided the two men for what he perceived wasn't obfuscating answer about the book of Mormon that is amazing. He noted unimpressed with Turley's answer, but those are not the questions we want.

It seems like it goes back to Robert Millet is a Mormon apologists who always said always answer the question they should have asked don't answer the question they may have asked maybe that was the attitude that this audience that you're not answering our question but notice the subject matter of the questions and as we've mentioned on this show very similar to the controversies that we have heard here in the United States. Questions dealing with polygamy, Joseph Smith, polyandry, the fact that he was married to women who had living husbands.

The ancient authenticity of the book of Abraham, the translation of the book of Mormon and as it says, and other controversial doctrinal and historical matters.

Bill these are the very same issues that are bothering Latter Day Saints or for Latter Day Saints today and when they publish these essays from 2013 at 2015. I don't know if they realize how much of an impact that was can I have a many of the believers because we have talked to, we have met many many people who have left the church in the past five years, six years or so because of what they learned by reading these essays that were published by their church and are still available today so your point being that these essays can be used in a witnessing kind of situation because they are as you want to call it official and supported by the first presidency of the church tomorrow were going to continue looking at this Swedish rescue as it was called, as well as looking more deeply into this introduction to the book the LDS gospel topics series a scholarly engagement. Thank you for listening you would like more information when guarding research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research.

We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint is as with most decisions is research ministry depends on the generous financial support of friends like you. If you like what we do and how we do it, would you consider helping a more immediate financial obligations really go to my website the right you'll see in only click there and follow the instructions. MRM is a Christian nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and your gifts are tax-deductible, only that they are greatly appreciated. Thank you for your support of this ministry

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime