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April 5, 2020 8:49 pm
101 for teams is a valuable resource for anyone wanting a simplified view of the Mormon religion from a Christian perspective is one-to-one for teens is available at the Utah lighthouse bookstore in Salt Lake City or MRM.org .1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint on 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 welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism by your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM for you Latter Day Saints listening to the show.
I have a question for you. If the first presidency was to give you a book which you want to read it, which you think it would be important and would you think that the LDS general authority giving you that book probably believed what was in that book. Those are the questions I want you to keep in your mind as we go through this series looking at the various volumes of books that were given to other general authorities in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, as well as a number of employees of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that Eric.
This was an idea that you came up with several months ago and wanted to give a little bit of the genesis of what we are going to talk about in the coming weeks, but it was based on something you saw a good friend of ours Keith Walker was doing out at the Mormon miracle pageant want to explain that story well I saw that Keith had purchased a book called the miracle of forgiveness, but it was a leather copy and it had been produced in 1998 by the first presidency and given away to.
As you mention other general authorities and employees of the church.
It was not a book you could buy leather bound, beautiful, and I had never heard of such a book because I like to use the miracle of forgiveness in my evangelism so I did a little bit of research and found out it was just one of ended up becoming 37 books that were published between 1981 and 2017 and I found it to be so valuable because with each book was a Christmas card given by the first presidency to whoever received it again. It was not a book that could be purchased. This miracle of forgiveness in the other books that were published we should make it clear this this particular dish and could not be purchased but they were special additions of books that have been published and sold to the general public and you're exactly right so this special leather addition was only published one year in 1998 at the end of the year given away as Christmas gifts. I found that to be fascinating that the first presidency would give books that I find to be very valuable and I think every Latter Day Saints ought to read and as you mentioned in the introduction of the show. If you were given a book by the first presidency to read when you want to read it.
Well many Latter Day Saints leaders and employees of the church were receiving these books if you worked there between 1981 to 2017.
Every December. I don't know if they mailed it to her if they handed it to you but you were given a book that was found in cellophane and and you would open that up and this these are beautiful books in leather and it costs a lot of money to publish these particular books will I'm holding in my hand. The special edition of the miracle of forgiveness written by 12 Pres. Spencer W.
Kimball. And you're right it's a beautiful book. It's got gold edging as well as a very intricate inside when you open up the cover and as you said, it is bound in leather it's it's a hard copy bound in leather, but it's very beautiful book. There's no doubt about it.
I wish the doctor inside of it was as beautiful but will be talking about that later on that night as I was doing my research. After Keith introduced me to that particular book. I said I want to start own these and I ended up going to eBay because again these were not ever sold. You can't buy them on the regular Amazon market.
It has to be from somebody who is either the original owner or second or third owner of that particular book and I found that you could get most of the 37 copies for anywhere from between $15-$50. Now some of them went up to $200. I ended up purchasing about $300 worth of books including the one you just were holding and all of them that came I made sure they were of good sound binding and and everything was clean and so I have a collection of many of these books and so I would go through each of these books, along with other books that I did not purchase to find out what was in these books that the leaders wanted us to know about you raise an interesting point, which goes to the question that I asked earlier if they were to give you a book when you want to read it now. You said some of the books you found on eBay were still bound in the cellophane. Yes, in the original cellophane wrapping which tells me. Obviously some Latter Day Saints who received this book didn't want to read it, or perhaps probably already had a copy of it with that could be true to and they didn't see a need to open it up at the fact that they were willing to sell it on eBay shows that to me that it probably didn't have quite the value that you would think many Latter Day Saints would think they should have. That's a good point in the first gift that they gave was in 1981.
It was a 10 inch triple combination of the three unique LDS scriptures and in the following year they gave away the church addition of the King James Bible.
So that was 1982 and then in 1988 they gave away a quad of all four Scriptures and then they also redid the triple combination in 2006 and 2016. The Bible was given away as a gift in 2007 and 2017, which would end up being the final year of the Christmas gift distribution.
Now we should ask ourselves why would the end of 2017 be so significant. What happened in 2018 will focus in 2018 Russell M. Nelson becomes the prophet Syrian rebel leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints because Thomas S. Monson dies in January 2018 so based on the fact that they did not continue this type of gift giving at Christmas. Do you think maybe Russell M. Nelson had something to do with putting the kibosh on this gift. He very well could have, and maybe it was costing too much money we don't know nobody ever said anything. I was waiting at the end of 2018 to see what the new one was going to be and it never came out. So actually went down to Sam Weller's and to find out what they knew and they set out they canceled that this year so no longer are they producing these, and we should mention that Sam Willard is a bookstore it's basically it's a Mormon bookstore. They also sell secular books there as well but Sam Weller's book has been around for a long long time. They would probably know this kind of information. What I think everybody I do know at the beginning of this series is that were to be talking about a lot of these books but every single LDS president had at least one book or a compilation of quotes except for Russell M. Nelson, the 17th president of the church. He just didn't have enough time to put himself in there for one of his books, but in some of them had two copies.
Harold B. Lee had to Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson. They all had to each and infect one man had three separate books and apostle James Talmage and he had Jesus the Christ twice 1983 in 2009 articles of faith. 1984 in 2010 and then in 2013. He had house of the Lord. So that's interesting, and Joseph Smith had several different books including a biography that was written about him by George q. Cannon in 1989 and George q. Cannon was a member of the first presidency under Brigham Young built what were going to be doing in this series is taken a look at some of the things that have been taught in each of these books and I got the idea of doing this from your book that you compiled in their own words which you did over a decade ago, compiling different quotes that people gave maybe you could tell people why you did that and what the value is in having original quotes using those so that Latter Day Saints can see what their leaders have taught my book in their own words came from a column that we still have in our newsletter Mormonism research to this very day.
It's under the column.
Did they really say that.
And so I had started to compile these quotes over all these years and I ended up which is pages and pages of quotes and I felt were these would certainly go to waste. How can we use these quotes in a constructive manner and that's what I came up with the idea of putting all the quotes that I've used over the years in our newsletter in a topical format to where all you needed to do was go to a topic such as the topic of God or the topic of Jesus Christ or the topic of salvation or exultation, and then I would put in those categories.
The various quotes that I had collected over the years. When I decided to do this.
I also had a lot of newer quotes that never did get into our newsletter, but quotes that I had gleaned over the years and had collected also from going downtown and going through various books verifying the statements that I was citing and so I wanted to make sure that they were of course accurately recorded and that the addresses for the sources were accurate as well. So I spent quite a few hours downtown in the church library in the archives. Verifying those statements but it's become a very good resource if you want to know what a lot of these leaders have taught that not only did I include leaders of the church. I didn't clued some BYU professors, some Mormon apologist evens a few laypeople in the book, not because I think that there statements are authoritative, but it does give you the idea of what some laypeople do believe in the church, some of whom have some limited authority is a BYU professor.
For instance, and then I also cited a lot of church manuals which are very important in that Latter Day Saints should respect and I don't know if people realize, and we do the shows work using quotes 98% of the time it's your book that we have in our laps that we have years we've looked through the different quotes and we pull out the best ones, but I think it's important bill to use original quotes. Certainly we challenge Latter Day Saints to go look at the context but the importance of the original quotes can't be understated because these are the leaders of the church who are telling us what were supposed to believe it trumps anything that an individual will say that he or she believes if it's in opposition to what the leader says now a lot of the citations were going to be going to next several days, you have put in a PDF format. Once you explain what we are offering our radio listeners at this time. Yes, we have two different PDF files. We like to send those who would like to help support our radio ministry were in include the PDF of your book in their own words as well as these first two weeks of this series were going to be giving quotes that come from all 37 were going to be using them throughout.
And that PDF will include the same quotations will be using and so were asking people to go to our website, MRM.org and go to the top right side there is a orange button click that if you could give us a generous gift of any size in the box that says add a note put down the letters PDF and then include either the call letters of the station that you're listening to. Or if you're listening on podcast. Go ahead and just tell us that you listen on the podcast or you could just tell us the state where you live. That will help us immensely and then if you do that we will be able to use that money to help support the radio ministry of MRM. Thank you for listening you would like more information is research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter is research. We hope you 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 MRM.org