Sola Scriptura: Weekend Poll

By: wheatmeister
May 11, 2013

If you were stranded on a desert island with only one . . . book of scripture . . . what would it be?  Clearly, this isn’t the usual desert island fantasy.

If you could only read one book of scripture for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

  • New Testament (42%, 30 Votes)
  • Book of Mormon (32%, 23 Votes)
  • Doctrine & Covenants, POGP (8%, 6 Votes)
  • Old Testament (7%, 5 Votes)
  • Non-LDS scriptures (e.g. Koran, Upanishad, i Ching, etc.) (7%, 5 Votes)
  • None of the above (3%, 2 Votes)
  • General Conference Talks (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Ensign or other church magazines (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 72

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Discuss.

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23 Responses to Sola Scriptura: Weekend Poll

  1. Roger on May 11, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
    Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut

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  2. Hedgehog on May 12, 2013 at 2:08 AM

    I opted for the New Testament because its there we read about Christ’s life on earth, what He did, how He treated people. I guess I’d be happy with the gospels really. I suppose it might also mean I disagree with ETB. I appreciate the perspectives the Book of Mormon brings to the atonement, what life is about etc. But having learnt those perpectives, if stranded on an island, it would be the record of Christ’s life I’d want to have.

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  3. hawkgrrrl on May 12, 2013 at 6:39 AM

    I would go NT over BOM any day of the week and twice on Sundays. The sayings of Jesus trump and it came to pass and war stories.

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  4. Jettboy on May 12, 2013 at 7:16 AM

    The Book of Mormon for sure. Christ’s most important words and works are repeated there and made Universal. I wouldn’t have understood the NT without it. It is the greatest gift of Scripture the World has ever seen.

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  5. Douglas on May 12, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    #3. – Ditto

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  6. LDS Anarchist on May 13, 2013 at 3:29 AM

    Craziest poll results I ever saw. That LDS would choose the New Testament over the Book of Mormon plainly shows where the church is headed. Set a thousand LDS on a deserted island and give them only the New Testament and within a short period of time they would resemble apostate Christianity. What makes the LDS think they can do better with the New Testament alone than the Christians can? Surely the promised delusion, sent by the Lord, has already begun.

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  7. Douglas on May 13, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    The question is hypothetical anyway. II Timothy 3:16-17 points this out. Each part has strengths and weaknesses. What I’d prefer, were I to set sail with Gilligan and the Skipper, ogling MaryAnn and Ginger, and tolerating the Howells, would be an intact Quad, leather-bound, thumb-indexed.

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  8. N. on May 13, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    Anarchist,
    Nah, it doesn’t show the direction “the church” is headed. It shows the tenor of the bloggernacle. The bloggernacle is full of contrarian, too-cool-for-the-body-of-the-church spiritual-hipsters who want street cred for loving the scriptural equivalent of vinyl records.

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  9. Jeff Spector on May 13, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    I’ve always like the Doctrine and Covenants.

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  10. roger on May 13, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    Anarchist and N—

    Well, the Book of Mormon will indeed make sure that the desert islanders do not baptize any infants. Don’t know that it will provide these remote folks much in the way of Mormon temple worship or any of the other marvelous items from the Nauvoo period that make LDS practice so different from what is being called apostate Christianity. “… And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end….” 2 Ne 32:21

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  11. hawkgrrrl on May 13, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    What a crazy world Mormonism is when people loving and finding inspiration in the New Testament are considered hipsters and rebels!

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  12. Aaron Brown on May 14, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    This is a stupid poll. How can you omit Ayn Rand?

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  13. Hedgehog on May 14, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    LDS Anarchist #6, Well if there were a thousand of us heading for the island, and we each get to choose one, I think we might manage to arrange to have the whole lot and more besides between us, don’t you?
    I based my choice on what would sustain me, alone, on an island. That’s going to be a personal choice for everyone. I don’t think there can be a right or wrong answer.

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  14. hawkgrrrl on May 14, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    Hedgehog: If a thousand of us are heading to the island, I think I’ll stay in the boat.

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  15. Douglas on May 14, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    #14 – unless you’re on the Minnow, in which case Gilligan is making a wake in front of you across the lagoon. But are you more Ginger or MaryAnn?

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  16. hawkgrrrl on May 14, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    I’m afraid I’m Ginger but with delusions of being MaryAnn.

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  17. Roger on May 14, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    A deft response, Hawk.

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  18. wilt wiltfong on May 14, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Book of Mormon – given the mystic aspects (ascension theology – temple applications – visions within visions). Though choosing one or another will, by definition, limit potential understanding.

    I do find the comment that with the NT and 1k LDS members on an island would result in a microcosm of Christianity today. There are a number of Restorationist churches today with the Book of Mormon in common. Private interpretations can come into play no matter the printed material.

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  19. jmb275 on May 15, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    I really like the point LDSA is trying to make. But I do think perhaps he misinterprets the question. Apostate Christianity leveraged only the NT to construct a partially correct religion representing Christ’s church…which wasn’t really the question.

    This question is about me being stranded on a desert island. At least for me, the plain fact is that I get more, spiritually, out of the NT than the BoM. It speaks to my soul.

    Also, I’d point out that Joseph Smith himself didn’t seem to be particularly concerned with the BoM post translation. In fact, he quickly moved on to the Bible and then receiving revelations to construct even “newer” scripture. Even to LDSA’s point, it’s not clear to me that the BoM would be any more advantageous in setting up Christ’s true church than the NT would. Our church setup setup seems to be primarily built upon Joseph, Brigham, and the D&C.

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  20. LDS Anarchist on May 16, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    jmb275 #19,

    Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.

    I’m not sure that setting up a church was what I was talking about. If a person is stranded on a desert island, there is no need to set up a church, for there is only one person, right? So, having a book to read is not for setting up a church, but would be for getting nearer to God, which is the object of our existence, after all.

    This post by wheatmeister is simply a poll as to whether blog visitors believe Joseph was correct in his statement about the Book of Mormon. So far, as of right now, 41% of this blog’s visitors disagree with Joseph and side with apostate Christianity, which says that a man would get nearer to God by abiding by the precepts of the New Testament, than by any other book. 28% also disagree with Joseph and would choose other, non-Book of Mormon books to read to get closer to God. Summed up then, 69% say Joseph’s statement was false, while 31% say Joseph’s statement was right.

    Now, as far as the 41% on the island who pick the New Testament over the Book of Mormon, by doing so they would immediately begin to resemble apostate Christianity, for that is what apostate Christianity would pick. From that false start, which is a huge blunder, for this is the only book you will ever get to read for the rest of your life, you will end up spiritually crippling yourself in two ways. First, because you have picked inferior material and second because you have begun your spiritual island journey on a foundation of unbelief, for you have not believed what Joseph said.

    wilt wiltfong #18,

    Private interpretation has nothing to do with the apostate state of Christianity. They are not apostate because they interpret privately, they are apostate because they have stumbled. And why have they stumbled? Because many plain and precious things have been taken out of the text they are reading. Take any Christian and cause him to believe the four books of Mormon scripture and notice that they no longer align themselves with apostate Christianity. Once they have and believe all the words of God that He has given in this dispensation, they all self-correct. We don’t go around trying to convince people our interpretations are correct, we just try to convince people that our scriptural records are correct.

    Even among the various Restoration branches, the canon is not the same. Some accept this, but not that, while others accept that, but not this. I’m not sure that there are any two Restoration branches with exactly the same canon, but if there are, and there are differences between them, then you could say that private interpretation is at play somewhere, but because of the acceptance of the same Restoration scripture, you still won’t end up with anything even remotely resembling apostate Christianity. The only way to get from Mormonism (any Restoration branch) to apostate Christianity, is by relying almost exclusively on the New Testament, like the Christians do, and distancing oneself from Restoration scriptures and claims. Any and all Restoration branches that do that is merely apostate Christianity-lite.

    Back to jmb275 #19,

    Now, perhaps you will say, “Well, I’ve read the Book of Mormon, so I’ll be able to remember all those plain and precious things.” But that would just be wishful thinking. The Mulekites took no records with them and in short order forgot and disbelieved everything. You would, too. And without the most correct precepts found in the Book of Mormon to keep you on the strait and narrow path, you would inevitably enter into the same paths that many apostate Christians walked before you, who also relied upon that same New Testament text.

    Back to wilt wiltfong #18,

    My mentioning of a thousand LDS on that island was to show that there is no safety in numbers. Whether there’s only one person or a thousand, if they are all using the same inadequate text, they will all miss the mark together.

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  21. Hedgehog on May 16, 2013 at 2:08 AM

    “as of right now, 41% of this blog’s visitors disagree with Joseph and side with apostate Christianity, which says that a man would get nearer to God by abiding by the precepts of the New Testament, than by any other book.”

    Possibly the word ‘man’ is telling. The four gospels hold a lot of information about Christ’s interactions with women. As a woman, that is solace to my soul, and what I’d want stranded alone on an island.

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  22. hawkgrrrl on May 16, 2013 at 2:09 AM

    Try again. There’s simply more content and variation in the NT. It’s got more going on than the BOM which is a narrative, not letters of instruction or parables. One can ponder parables and epistles. You can’t do that nearly as well with the BOM historical narrative. If you are trying to fill the hours, I believe I would get more out of pondering the complex ideas in the NT.

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  23. Douglas on May 16, 2013 at 3:33 AM

    It should be kept in mind that the BoM is very much a condensation of the writing of the Nephites et. al. Mormon did most of the abridging, his son Moroni was inspired to bury a portion of that as the Golden Plates, and through a convoluted process about a third (at least by volume, can’t speak as to literary content) was lopped off that. Also, there’s an advantage in having the NT, specifically the Four Gospels, in that therein is the account of the Savior’s MORTAL ministry. By the time of Jesus’ visit to the Nephites, He is in the form (save for the hair color change as John would ‘see’, at least it vision, on the Isle of Patmos, who can say) that He is today, Immortal and perfect save for the scars in His hands and wrists. Part of the great beauty and mystery, IMHO, is that God the Son, or the Son of God, not only came down and dwelt amongst us, He was ONE of “us. However, none of this diminishes ANY scripture…I could do without the “Song of Solomon” (which McConkie felt wasn’t inspired), or all of who begat whom, but in time I suppose that I’ll find out why they were canonized.

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