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Saints: The Standard of Truth Review Part 4, The Gold Plates

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
February 5, 2020 8:03 pm

Saints: The Standard of Truth Review Part 4, The Gold Plates

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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February 5, 2020 8:03 pm

In this first week of a six-week series, MRM’s Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson review different sections throughout the church’s new history book titled  Saints: The Standard of Truth, that was published in 2018.

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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 teams 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 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 welcome to this edition the viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM today. We are looking at chapters 3 and a history book titled Saints the standard of truth published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 2018 and as we mentioned, we don't plan on going through every single chapter and nor is this supposed to be an exhaustive study of this history book, but there is a lot of information in it that I think is very important that we need to know if were going to have a fruitful conversation with our LDS acquaintances today. As I said were going to be looking at chapter 3 titled plates of gold. What is it say starting on page 21, Eric. One day while Joseph was helping a neighbor dig a well he came across a small stone buried deep in the earth aware that people sometimes use special stones to search for lost objects or hidden treasure.

Joseph wondered if he had found such a stone looking into it. He saw things invisible to the natural. I hear we have an example of the church. I would say being much more transparent than it has been in the past.

It wasn't too terribly long ago when the church came right out and talked about the seer stone. There was a picture of Joseph Smith's seer stone. One of the local newspapers and even though they don't have the seer stone on display at the church history Museum across from Temple Square. They do have a photograph of that stone in one of the displays talking about the seer stone and how Joseph Smith used it to translate the book of Mormon that caused great consternation for many Latter Day Saints who had always believed as far as the translation of the book of Mormon was concerned that Joseph Smith had the plates that he actually was able to read them and that was that movies that the church would produce also the inside magazine in 2001, there is an enzyme magazine front cover of Joseph Smith doing that. What's fascinating. They change their view as far as publicly showing the Latter Day Saints. What was believed about the seer stone, and in December 2017 in the inside magazine there is a picture and one of the articles and it has Joseph Smith taking a look at what he had just looked at the hat with the seer stone there and the plates are covered up and he's giving all of her calorie the translation. That's the first time in history we've ever seen any church art portray it the way that it really did take place. You would think that if Joseph Smith needed goal plates to give us the book of Mormon.

He would be somehow looking at the plates and translating from the characters that were allegedly on these plates but yet if he's looking at a rock in a hat. He certainly can't be looking at the plates. You wonder how many Latter Day Saints who put two and two together and realize there's a real flaw on the story. Why did need to go get the plates if he didn't have to look at them at all and was amazing that in that art they do have the plates covered so there's not even a way for him to look at the plates if he is looking at the hat. The next paragraph on page 21 reads Joseph's gift for using the stone impressed family members who sought as a sign of divine favor. But even though he had the gift of the seer. Joseph was still unsure if God was pleased with him. He could no longer feel the forgiveness and peace he had felt after his vision of the father and son. Instead he often felt condemned for his weakness and imperfections. Now this is the first time.

It brings this up.

If you look just across the page on page 20. It says that Joseph found that being forgiven once did not mean he would never need to repent again and then at the bottom of page 21 it says that Joseph began to pray pleading fervently that God would forgive his sins. Does it seem like to you Eric. Joseph Smith has a real problem. Knowing whether or not his sins are forgiven.

A sound like a lot of modern Latter Day Saints.

They don't know if their sins are forgiven, and Joseph Smith seems to have the same problem.

The reason why I think that's worthy of note is because in a previous show we were talking about this idea of Joseph Smith seeing God the father and I mentioned how in the book of Exodus in the Joseph Smith translation Smith adds a number of words to Exodus 3320 where he makes it very clear that no sinful manner is going to be able to see God and live.

I want to read that from Exodus 3320 from the inspired version or the Joseph Smith translation. This is how it reads and he said to Moses, thou canst not see my face at this time lest mine anger is kindled against the also and I destroy the and by people for there shall no man among them see me at this time and live and they are exceeding sinful and no sinful man hath at any time, neither shall there be any sinful man at any time that shall see my face and live that we know that Joseph Smith obviously had to be a sinful human being, because even in this book, though it conflates the stories of the first vision with Joseph Smith's various accounts in his 1832 account. He said that he sees Jesus the one who was crucified for him and this Jesus says that his sins are forgiven. So I do. So he had to be a sinful human being in order to have his sins forgiven. Now they conflate the 1832 account and they put it into this account combining it with the 1838 account or know God the father shows up as well and again the story is that Joseph Smith had his sins forgiven. If he was a sinful man.

How did he see the face of God and lived to tell about it. I think that's a fair question, but it makes me also wonder why would Joseph Smith put this in his Joseph Smith translation does not seem a little bit dangerous Eric that he would say something like this if he had already had this experience.

Seeing God the father in Jesus.

In the spring of 1820, because he doesn't come out with this Bible version.

This Joseph Smith translation until after 1833.

That's when he claimed he finished it. You said something very important in their key and you said that. Why did he put this in and the point is that Exodus 33 Asbury translated by Joseph Smith is not found in any of the ancient manuscripts. The Dead Sea Scrolls do not have that nobody has that it's something that Joseph Smith had a come up with so why did he create that you're asking and that's a great question. I think the answer is very simple. Folks, it's because he was not saying at this time that he had ever been visited by God the father, it would seem to make no sense at all to word Exodus 3320. The way Joseph Smith does in that passage if he had already seen the face of God and lives. He wasn't telling the story and that's the whole point nobody knew about that first vision, yet Joseph Smith is lying to people by saying later on that he was persecuted for this alleged first vision and it even brings it out in this history book. Smith lied about that he was not being persecuted for that he was being persecuted for claiming he was visited by an angel in 1823, who told him about the book of Mormon, but we have no record of people specifically mentioning Joseph Smith being persecuted because he had an encounter with God the father in Jesus. That is an argument from silence that in this chapter. Plates of gold.

He has this visitation by the angel Moron I what is it say on page 22. At first Joseph was afraid but peace soon filled him, the angel called him by name and introduced himself as Moron I he said God had forgiven Joseph of his sins and now had worked for him to do.

He declared that Joseph's name would be spoken of. For good and evil among all people Moron I spoke of goal place buried in a nearby hill on their plates was etched the record of an ancient people who once lived in the Americas. The record told of their origins and gave an account of Jesus Christ visiting them and teaching the fullness of his gospel buried with the plates Moron I said were two seer stones which Joseph later called the urine and Thummim or interpreters. The Lord had prepared these stones to help Joseph translate the record, the clear stones were fastened together and attached to a breastplate, let's talk about this for a bit because when he is visited by the angel who calls himself Moron I he speaks of gold plates no later on in the book. It's going to backpedal a little bit on what the plates were actually composed of but here we have clearly Moron I spoke of gold plates buried in a nearby hill on the plates was etched the record of an ancient people who once lived in the Americas. Now that sounds to me Eric, would you agree that it's supposed to be a record of real people who lived in real places and were involved in real events. In other words, the book of Mormon is it's going to come to be known is a story about real history when it says ancient people is exactly what you're talking about.

This is not Lord of the rings, people these are real people if their ancient people in it says it's going to tell about their origins and of course the origins of these people traces back to the Middle East and that has become problematic for the LDS church because the descendents of these ancient people Mormon leaders have said are the American Indians whose heritage do not go back to the Middle East. There is a problem and that's caused a lot of individuals to doubt the Joseph Smith story, or Joseph Smith's claim regarding the book of Mormon so he goes on to say that before departing the angel commanded Joseph to take care of the plates show them to no one, unless otherwise instructed in many departs.

Now Joseph Smith is going to be allowed to eventually retrieve the goal plates and here we find on page 25 that Joseph Smith sets out immediately for the hill were the angel said the plates were deposited in during the night Moron I had showed him a vision of where the plates were hidden so we knew where to go the hill one of the biggest in the area was about 3 miles from his house.

That would make sense if you were to just go on Google maps and start where the Joseph Smith cabin is the re-created cabin that they have to this day and then go to the monument were Smith allegedly retrieve the plates. It's about 3 miles away. So you have to figure that Joseph Smith is going to carry these plates for a distance of about 3 miles to get to his home. The book often talks about the value of the plates and it does so on page 25.

What is it say about the value of the places the plates were valuable, not because they were gold but because they witnessed of Jesus Christ. But again, the metal that's being described seems to be the metal gold and the reason I bring that up is because there's been a lot of excuse making on the part of latter-day apologist to try and make it sound like the plates were really not made of gold but probably a lighter alloy but it talks about the worth of the plates.

If you go right over page 26 top of the first paragraph astonished Joseph wondered again how much the plates were worth if they were merely made of copper, will he not a whole lot bill I found interesting on the top of page 27 when he went. Joseph supposedly asked when he could have the plates and he was told the 22nd day of September next.

If you bring the right person with you. Who is the right person. Joseph asked your older brother now talking about his brother, Alvin, and of course Alvin would die within that next year. Why is it that this angel who sent by we assume an omniscient God doesn't know that Alvin is going to die before that next year is up. Thank you for listening.

If you would like more information we guarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request our free newsletter research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is


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