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Immersion In Mormonism — Part 4

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
November 14, 2019 8:13 am

Immersion In Mormonism — Part 4

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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I'm prepared to engage women missionaries may not work. Perhaps the book is 101 will help Mormonism 101. Published by Baker at your favorite Christian bookstore .1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a perspective view .1 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 of viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson by colleague at M. R. M.

We continue looking at a book written by a man by the name of Charles Abbott.

It's a book titled immersion in Mormonism and as the subtitle says it's especially for new members and also teens and members who struggle with Mr. Abbott is doing is basically telling the story of how he became involved in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Some of the things that he went through in the early years that have made in the morning that he is today. Mr. Abbott is not a general authority in the Mormon church.

He really has no authority to speak for the church but still this is Mormonism through his eyes, and I think sometimes it's important to look at what lay members in the church believe about their church and some of the compelling evidence they feel tells them why they should be members of the Mormon church and today were to look at chapter 5 and I might mention this is not meant to be an exhaustive study of his book that he says on page 87.

In chapter 5, building testimony through focus point number one is examine the evidence we have a hard time without Eric because he hasn't done that in this book. And yet as a lawyer. That's what he was trained to do is you take a look at the evidence and you go wherever it leads you to the reason why we say that folks is not to be mean or anything, but normally when you use evidence to lead you to a conclusion. If you do it properly. You're going to look at evidence you think is in favor of what you are believing and you're also going to look at evidence that may contradict what you are believing. So when we see Mr. Abbott going through his journey into Mormonism. We have to wonder how much evidence did he look at that contradicts what he thinks is good evidence and that's where the big?

Arises for us when he says, for instance, under this point on 87. He says there is a lot of evidence for the existence of God not going to even try to cover it all, and I can understand that because he's writing a book for people who already believe that, but then he goes on to say on the same page at the bottom. He says I also believe the witnesses who saw the plates from which the book of Mormon was translated by Eric.

I don't know this gentleman is probably a super nice guy, probably a great dad to great-grandfather, but if I was to talk to him.

One of the questions I would ask him. After reading the sentence that he says he believes the witnesses who saw the plates from which the book of Mormon was translated. What you think the question would be that I would ask Mr. Abbott did those witnesses see the plates with their naked eye is Eric I see you right now sitting across from me and I think that's how most Latter Day Saints would take the idea that the witnesses have seen the plates everybody I've ever talked to there convinced that this is great evidence just like we would point to the 500 witnesses of the resurrection who saw with their eyes.

The resurrected Jesus impulses go talk to them.

Therefore, this then shows that the book of Mormon must be true.

I have found in my experience when talking Latter Day Saints on the streets about this very issue that if I can show them that the witnesses did not see physical plates as ICU right now sitting across from me that shakes a lot of them but yet we know from the history of the church. This is a seven volume set published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

It does not give you the impression that at least with the three witnesses, and that we only have time to really look at the three witnesses in the show when it comes to the three witnesses, we learn that the witnesses wanted to see the plates and according to page 54. It says that not many days after the above commandment was given in the above commandment is doctrine and covenants section 17. What's interesting about doctrine and covenants section 17 folks is in verse two it says and it is by your faith that you shall obtain a review of them meeting the plates, even by that faith which was had by the prophets of old. The question I'm asking is why is it that these men all over Calgary David Witmer and Martin Harris would have to have faith in order to review tangible gold plates. Why would they have to pray in order to see the plates because what is it say at the top of page 54 of volume 1. Not many days after the above commandment was given.

We for Martin Harris David Witmer Oliver Cowdrey and myself agreed to retire into the woods and try to obtain by fervent and humble prayer. The fulfillment of the promises given in the above revelation that they should have a view of the plates. We accordingly made choice of a piece of woods convenient to Mr. Witmer's house to which we retired and having knelt down, we began to pray in much faith to Almighty God, to bestow upon us a realization of these promises that Joseph Smith was translating the plates in the building not far away from where they are. Now they go out to the woods to do this. Why did they have to pray to see the plates If they really saw physical plates.

Why would you need to pray in order to see them. Why would you have to have faith in order to see them.

Now we know that they did not see them in a tangible manner because it says that after they went out and they went to pray that they didn't succeed.

At first, according to page 54 it says we did not at the first trial, however, obtain any answer or manifestation of divine favor in our behalf. Why should you need that if the plates are physical because honestly we again observe the same order of prayer each calling on and praying fervently to God in rotation, but with the same result as before.

Here they are praying and they're not seeing anything but notice they have to pray in order to see and upon the second failure, Martin Harris propose that he should withdraw himself from us believing as he expressed himself that his presence was the cause of our not obtaining what we wish for. So Martin Harris leaves the rest of the group and he goes off by himself. Then the men prayed again, and miraculously they see the plates according to what it says on page 54 it says and had not been many minutes engaged in prayer when presently we beheld a light above us in the air of exceeding brightness and, behold, an angel stood before us in his hands he held the plates which we had been praying for these two have a view of now we get to the story of Martin Harris Joseph Smith is going to leave this group after seeing the plates allegedly being held by this angel, and that was going to go look for Martin Harris. I now left David and Oliver, and when in pursuit of Martin Harris, whom I found at a considerable distance fervently engage in prayer.

He soon told me however that he had not yet prevailed with the Lord and earnestly requested me to join him in prayer that he also might realize the same blessings to which we had just received. We accordingly joined in prayer and ultimately obtained our desires for before we had yet finished the same vision was open to our view. At least it was again open to me and I once more beheld, and heard the same things, whilst at the same moment, Martin Harris cried out, apparently in an ecstasy of joy. 'tis enough to is enough mine eyes at beheld mine eyes have beheld, and jumping up, he shouted, hosanna, blessing God and otherwise rejoice exceedingly, though most Mormons believe that what the three witnesses saw were tangible gold plates for many of them. This is enough to tell them that it's true and this basically what I get from Mr. but he knows that the plates are true because these witnesses saw them will if they saw them in a vision. How does that tell you that the plates were real. This is always puzzled me because I mean these plates are not sacred. They're not something that need to be hidden away. Why does Joseph Smith. Why is he going to be the only one who gets to see it. I never see where God says hide them from everybody else. It seems so obvious to me that whatever he had in that sack was not really gold plates. Whatever he had. There was heavy, no doubt, but only Joseph Smith ever literally with his own eyes saw the quote unquote plates of gold, according to his story, which if Joseph Smith is in fact trying to pull con job on his friends. Then of course you wonder why were so skeptical of what Joseph Smith claimed I mean, not even his own wife, Emma bothered to look at the plates in her testimony. She says that she at one time when they were wrapped up on the table in the Smith home.

She ran her fingers along the edges and the plates made a metallic sound will if they made a metallic sound. I'm going to have to assume that the plates could not been made of gold because gold would not make a metallic sound like that.

It phones kind of like lead, isn't it quite convenient as well that the angel took the plates back.

I mean if the plates were still here. And these were from ancient Americans who came from Palestine and then Jesus appeared here in the Americas. You would think these plates would have been exactly what people needed, but then I guess the Mormon answer to that is will then you would need faith that the idea that these plates were available to Joseph Smith and then all of a sudden they're gone, is highly suspicious how many people would convert to Mormonism. If the plates were in fact on display somewhere.

While I mean obviously this would lend a lot of credence to Joseph Smith story.

You would think what we do have is we have the book of Abraham, and I think that book of Abraham shows very definitively that Joseph Smith did not know how to translate any kind of hieroglyphics in his book on page 89 he talks about examining the motives of our critics. He says when evaluating the arguments of critics, we should first try to understand their motives and biases we all filter what we hear and see through our own history of experiences, our own preconceptions in our own set of values. When we lawyers choose jurors. We try to learn about their occupations and whether they have had prior experiences that would cause him to be biased for against the parties, the jurors will all hear exactly the same testimony and see the same exhibits but each one will interpret the evidence differently based on his or her own preconceptions. So the point is this. When you hear someone criticize a church church teachings. You should always consider the source was a speaker angry.

Did he have a competitive motive did he examine the evidence objectively for the most part that's pretty fair thing to ask, but I don't understand how, if the speaker was angry how that would make any facts that he may have been bringing up less truthful even though they may be angry. I don't know how that would be an argument for dismissal. Did he have a competitive motive. I can only assume that perhaps he's talking about a Christian who thinks that maybe the Mormons are taking people away from the Christian churches.

I don't know maybe I'm misunderstanding them on that when he says that he examine the evidence objectively. I think we try very hard to examine Mormonism objectively and certainly we do want to compare what Mormons are being led to believe with what the Bible has to say what he's doing here though is poisoning the well because he's making it sound like if somebody does criticize the church then these are questions that the person is not going to stand up with integrity, but I believe you can be critical of Mormonism and still have integrity, but then he makes this logical fallacy on page 91 when he says generally. Our most vocal critics are in active members or past members of the church and now they want to prove they are in the right. That certainly isn't the case with you and I know it is in fact everybody at MRM has never been a Mormon tomorrow will conclude our study of this book, immersion in Mormonism. Thank you for listening you would like the nation's 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


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