Brother Jake Explains: The Book of Abraham

By: Bro. Jake
September 25, 2013

brother jake

This latest video is inspired by a story I’ve heard dozens of times: a well-meaning, faithful member of the church hears something about the controversy surrounding the origins of the Book of Abraham, and being an earnest, intellectually curious person, they begin to investigate this controversy. However, as they encounter scholarly refutation after scholarly refutation of the various, increasingly bizarre explanations for the connection between the source text and what is printed in the Pearl of Great Price, something very fundamental about their connection to the church is irrecoverably fractured.

For some, researching the Book of Abraham is the final nail in their testimony coffin; for most, it’s in the top 3. When I’ve asked why this is the case, the typical answer I get is that learning about the origins of the Book of Abraham was “the first time I could see that something the church claimed as doctrine was not true.”

Now, whether or not that particular conclusion is accurate is up to the reader. What has stuck out most to me in these conversations has been how one’s decision to disassociate with the church is almost universally correlated with whether or not they believe the church is “true.” And that makes a lot of sense—given the amount of time and effort faithful church participation demands, why would you stick around if you didn’t believe it was actually going to get you and your family a private universe? I’m guessing most General Authorities see it that way, based on the number of “Either it’s all true or the biggest scam since the laundry ball” Conference talks I’ve heard, and I assume most literal believers see it that way, based on the number of heads I see nodding during those talks.

But I have to wonder: what about those who still feel culturally connected to the church even after literal belief is off the table? Is there a place for them in the church? Perhaps more importantly, should there be a place for them, and if so, what would that look like?

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30 Responses to Brother Jake Explains: The Book of Abraham

  1. living in zion on September 25, 2013 at 7:42 AM

    There is a wonderful book out called “Why I Stay” that answers your very good question. I read it and it gave me a ton of comfort, knowing there are super smart people in the gospel who have made calculated choices to stay LDS and very few of them have anything to do with truth.

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  2. Stan on September 25, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    The most striking thing about Brother Jake’s videos is that he puts so much effort into portraying the position of faith in the worst possible light (word choice, tone of voice, imagery selections) that its clear he thinks the Church’s story is absurd. Yet he can claim plausible deniability for criticism leveled against a specific video element based on a “hey, lighten up!” response. In other words, that he didn’t mean any harm, and in any case there are real people of faith who really do say what he said! Of course, he ignores the nuance of the original argument, stripping out any sophistication in his parody, leaving it sounding completely silly. It’s actually quite a hostile position to take against very intelligent people.

    The average media consumer doesn’t have the level of media literacy to critique a piece like this because they’re not experienced in stepping back and examining the whole, only commenting on individual elements. And when they try they open themselves to criticism in return of being hostile, prejudiced, and taking themselves and their religion too seriously. Which ultimately is why it isn’t worth engaging with the content of parody like this: its built so as to be a losing conversation no matter what you say. The best approach is to step back and examine the method, and totally ignore the content.

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  3. Brad Eckert on September 25, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    If Joseph Smith was a true seer, he could have pulled scripture out of a toddler’s crayon scribbles. But if not, if Joseph pulled a religion out of thin air that produced so much good and whose priesthood has real power for good, all I can say is “Well played, Sir!”

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  4. Bro. Jake on September 25, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Brad,
    That is an interesting thought. Traditionally in LDS belief, the powers of translation that come with being a seer seem to focus on one’s ability to translate in the literal sense (reading something in one language and restating it in another) by the power of God (like Mosiah in the Book of Mormon).

    But when you say Joseph Smith “could have pulled scripture out of a toddler’s crayon scribbles,” are you saying that the source text isn’t necessarily relevant to the “translated” outcome? If that is the case, do you think that the emphasis on the Book of Mormon/Abraham being “true” (i.e. doctrinally AND historically accurate) is misstated or misplaced?

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  5. hawkgrrrl on September 25, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Little known fact: the golden plates were engraved with crayons.

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  6. The Brother of Jared on September 25, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    Is the gist of Bro. Jake’s posts that the Gospel and/or the Church are true in spite what is clearly fabricated/falsified works of scripture? I fail to see his last two videos as anything but a wake up call to members to realize how improvable the BoA and BoM are. Is the idea that he is sending out into the aether that we (as Mormons) need to realize that much like Santa Claus, we’ve been lied to, but the lie is still beautiful and needs to be cherished? Bro. Joseph meant well, but he was just so… wrong. But much like our racist, sexist, hateful, and flawed Founding Fathers we need to accept Mormonisms obvious fabrications and look past them to the vibrant, flowering religion that it has become and embrace this beauty despite the hokey beginning. Is that what the message is?

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  7. Jared on September 25, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    Those church members who lose their testimony when they learn “uncorrelated” material are spiritually anemic.Take the book of Abraham for example. It is a wonderful book of scripture, but there are some problems understanding how it came to be.

    Fortunately, church members have the Book of Mormon as a back up if they have been diligently studying and praying about it. The Lord has given a promise that he will manifest the truth of the Book of Mormon by the power of the Holy Ghost.

    Those who have acquired this manifestation have spiritual resources that allow them to weather the spiritual challenges presented by uncorrelated material.

    It’s like having a healthy bank account and suddenly having an emergency come about that requires access to cash and you have 10,100, or 1000 times the needed amount. Because you have plenty of cash the problem is resolved easily. However, if the emergency cash needed is greater than your bank account then it can be a difficult problem.

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  8. Will on September 26, 2013 at 6:04 AM

    Stan hit this right on the head.

    My brother is a Stake President. In discussion with him about these videos, this is trifling with sacred things and clear apostasy. This of course assumes Jake is a member or actually cares.

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  9. Bro. Jake on September 26, 2013 at 6:15 AM

    Jared,

    I have to disagree with your generalization that those who lose their testimony over things like the origins of the Book of Abraham are “spiritually anemic.” Of those whose are disillusioned by this type of thing, an overwhelming proportion of them were highly active participants in the Church at the time of their crisis and claimed a strong spiritual connection to the Church. Many remain very spiritually-minded people after they leave. Simply put, the data does not support your claim.

    That being said, I do think that a complete disassociation after finding out about things like the origins of the Book of Abraham does indicate a kind of brittleness, but I think it’s one of the Church’s own making. How many times do we hear the idea that either “it’s all true or it’s all false”? The reinforcement of this idea creates the attitude that the supreme value of the Church is it’s “truthfulness,” not the spiritual connection one has with the doctrine (which, according to the Church, only comes as an indication of it being “true”). So if that claim of absolute, objective truth is ever undermined, then the whole thing can come crashing down at once.

    I am also interested in your assertion that the Book of Mormon is some sort of testimony “safety net” because of the promise that God will manifest the truth of it by the Holy Ghost. Is that not true of all the scriptures? Including the Book of Abraham? If that is the case, what do we mean by “true”–that Lehi or Nephi or Mormon were real people that wrote a historical record? Or that the Book of Mormon teaches true doctrine? And are those two ideas inseparably connected?

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  10. Brian on September 26, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Members of the church were so excited in the 1960s when the papryi were found. The truth would finally come out. Tangible proof now existed. Eat your words, Babylon!!!

    Oh, you mean the Book of Abraham wasn’t a “real” translation. But brother Joseph said it was.

    Jared, your pompous description of the “spiritually anemic” to those who have lost their faith says more about you than those who have lost their belief in the church. The loss of belief in a book whose producer said was translated only to have it proven that there was no translation is totally understandable on a human level. That is all we are, Jared, human. Doing the best we can. You have told us many times of your complete and total knowledge of the truthfulness of the church. Others are not so privileged, Jared. By the way, some who have left have gone to continue their spirituality other places.

    Before you judge others as anemic from your position of certitude, consider the words of Pope Francis, “The believer isn’t arrogant; on the contrary, truth makes him humble, knowing that, more than our possessing it, it is truth that embraces and possesses us. Far from stiffening us, the certainty of the faith puts us on the way, and makes possible witness and dialogue with everyone.”

    Interesting isn’t it, that he speaks of the same certitude you have and yet his certitude is completely different from yours. From my perspective, if a testimony of truth is the sign of spiritual health, it’s hard to tell who is healthy and who is anemic.

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  11. Jared on September 26, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    Bro. Jake–

    There are all kinds of testimonies in the church. Those testimonies built on a foundation of the Holy Ghost are true, God given testimonies. Those who possess this kind of testimony also experience the gifts of the Spirit. With this kind of foundation and manifestations of the Spirit they are like the converted Lamanites in the Book of Mormon. It was said of them, they “never did fall away”. Alma 23:6-7.

    When I first learned about the many problems in church history and doctrine I was heart sick. That was in the early 1970′s. However, all that I needed to do was reflect on my experiences with the things of the Spirit and my testimony was never threatened.

    I knew then, that the day would come when church members would be severely tried by our history and doctrine. That day is here.

    I believe the Lord will have a tried people. Those church members who are active, but more cultural Mormons than spiritual will be challenged to their core. Many will leave the church, some will stay close to the church, but be unbelieving. Others will be bitter and a few will become enemies of the church.

    There will also be those who in their crisis of faith will turn to the Lord in mighty prayer. They will be visited by the Holy Ghost and become rooted and grounded in their faith by the manifestations of the Spirit.

    The church Joseph Smith sought to restore never came into being (D&C 100:13). Early church members weren’t able to pull it off. The church and its leaders had the opportunity to build a terrestrial society, like the city of Enoch eventually became. In that kind of society we would have been blessed like the people in 4 Nephi. In that sense, the church is the author of its own problems. We are and have been chastened.

    The Book of Mormon is unique among scripture. In my experience, it is a safety net of sorts. If a church members succeeds in gaining a true testimony of it—then it is reasonable for them to believe that the Peal of Great Price is what it claims to be—and that Joseph Smith was an authentic prophet. The BofM is the keystone of LDS faith and testimony.

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  12. Jared on September 26, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Brian–

    You’ve read into my words things that never entered my mind.

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  13. natebergin on September 26, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    I wouldn’t go so far as to call people who lose their testimony over uncorrolated history to be “spiritual anemic.” But I think Jared has a good point.

    Brian, when you say that people leave the LDS church to go to other spiritual paths, I would imagine that some of those paths include churches and traditions with equally absurd and improbable claims: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, etc. People in all religions have a high tolerance for belief in the absurd, and all ancient spiritual texts are marred by many of the same kinds of historical problems the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham have. Why would some apostates gravitate to other equally absurd religious traditions, after they’ve left Mormonism?

    I think the answer lies in the fact that Mormons celebrate the materialism and literal physicality of their religion: from a flesh and bone God, to hefty golden plates. Other religions see belief as a mystery, and God as innaccessible physically. It is much easier to believe a spiritual mystery than it is to believe in golden plates buried in upstate New York.

    But such are the perils and promises of belonging to a religion that celebrates physicality. Belief is REAL for Mormons. They have to make sacrifices to believe, they have to make much bigger leaps than for other religions. For those who can overcome in their mind, the historical problems in the Book of Abraham, belief in it becomes a powerful spiritual force.

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  14. SteveF on September 26, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    I for one have a witness that the Book of Abraham is a true book, revealed to Joseph Smith through the Spirit of Lord.

    I do feel bad for those who find it a stumbling block that we don’t have a full explanation of the revelation/translation process, or how the Egyptian papyrus is connected to Abraham. While I agree an explanation would be interesting, I find it too bad that for some they feel an explanation is necessary. Read the words of the book, and those with ears to hear will in time, if not immediately, through effort and prayer be able to obtain a witness through the Spirit of the Lord that the words given to Joseph Smith were revealed through this same Spirit of truth.

    Even if we had perfect explanation for all the questions surrounding the Book of Abraham, it would still not prove anything. In the end, spiritual things are spiritually known.

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  15. Jeff Spector on September 26, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    Jake says:

    “Of those whose are disillusioned by this type of thing, an overwhelming proportion of them were highly active participants in the Church at the time of their crisis and claimed a strong spiritual connection to the Church.”

    “Many remain very spiritually-minded people after they leave.”

    Not sure how you measure this “highly active,” but it is relative. Activity does not equate to testimony only that the people appear at Church and possibly hold callings. But you do have to wonder the depth of one’s testimony of the Savior if these things dissuade them so easily.

    In my own experience, most disaffected member turn toward atheism, rather than “very-spiritually minded,” which is a rather meaningless term anyway. Which “spirit’ would that be? Apparently, not the Holy Ghost that we identify with as the testifier of truth….

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  16. Casey on September 26, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    I tend to not get that bothered about the BoA or BoM’s historicity anymore, though I went through a pre-mission FARMS phase when I got really invested in defending them using the same types of arguments Bro. Jake mocks (and fwiw, the video doesn’t offend me but I would characterize it more as mocking than satire or just poking fun at). Fast forward to today and I think they’re probably not translations of actual documents from historical sources, but are products of Joseph Smith and/or inspiration (and are still impressive as such).

    I figure, if most scholars are correct then half of the Biblical books and characters are myths or historical fiction, YHWH was a regional polytheistic deity who only gradually developed into an all-powerful monotheistic one, and Jesus never considered himself the messiah in the sense that Christians generally accept now. So if even loose historical accuracy or consistency is the standard then I’m not sure any major religion can hold up. The worst thing you can say about LDS beliefs is that its largely in the same boat as everyone else, and I’m honestly unsure how it all fits together. In the meantime I still believe in God and Christ, although I’m not confident I understand them, and I go to church while staying more on the doctrinal fringes (or the “cheap seats” as one Mormon blogger called them). But that’s also not for everyone, and I’m not sure you can run a whole church from my PoMo-ish perspective, so I get why people like all-or-nothing, literal historical arguments even in the face of contrary evidence, and I get why some people can’t handle that and leave. Faith is rough business!

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  17. Heber13 on September 26, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    I agree with natebergin and Casey.

    Why the high standards on the BoA? Why not all scripture judged against that same ruler of proving the origins before embracing the teachings? Why not all religion?

    I understand the mormon’s canonized the book as scripture, and that puts a high standard on how we treat it and Joseph as the prophet…therefore, it lends to criticism by those who must be certain it all fits in a nice neat box, all true or all false.

    Its just not realistic to me we’re gonna understand some things Joseph did. All I can understand is how the teachings apply to my life.

    I don’t know I’d characterize those who lose a testimony as spiritually weak or anemic, I’d say it is more those who are rigid and unbending are more prone to break. Those that are open and humble to realizing God’s mysteries may not be understood are more likely to bend with paradoxes and search for meaning and learning, even when at the same time saying “we just don’t know about some things in this life, like how Joseph translated things”.

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  18. hawkgrrrl on September 26, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    The BoA is probably one of the top issues for people. Personally, I find the method of “translation” problematic in that it opens more questions than it resolves. But I also find that I really like the book, and it adds more to our doctrine than even the BOM does with its portrayal of the pre-existence and the nature of God. Obviously, for those who love black & white thinking, it’s not a very suitable study. Strangely, though, it’s not because it’s gray, but because there are so many elements of it that are at either extreme.

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  19. brjones on September 26, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    “Why the high standards on the BoA?”

    I think there are a couple of answers to this question. Joseph Smith and the church unequivocally presented the BoA as a direct, literal translation. The idea that the papyri were only generally inspiring source material didn’t arise within the church until after the translation was discredited. What that means is that Joseph Smith was either mistaken about the nature and origins of the BoA or he was lying. Joseph Smith and the church have also presented the Book of Mormon as a direct, literal translation. The credibility issues surrounding the BoA absolutely bear on the credibility of other scriptures that were allegedly produced in exactly the same manner. Moreover, church leaders have stated on innumerable occasions that the Book of Mormon is not only the cornerstone of the entire religion (and the most correct book on earth), but that the book is either true or it’s a fraud, and that Joseph Smith either did the things he said he did or he is a fraud. Again,the issues surrounding the BoA bear directly on Joseph Smith’s credibility, both with respect to the BofM specifically and his prophetic mantle generally.

    The church has laid the ground rules that say Joseph Smith, and the scriptures he produced, are either true or they’re fraudulent. No one who has left the church after learning of these problems is holding the church to an unfair standard. They’re merely taking the church at its word. And while reasonable minds may disagree about the import of things like the questions surrounding the origins of the BoA, it seems a little unfair to paint dissenters or defectors as people who just aren’t willing to stick it out or put in the work required to make it to the end. All they’re doing is arriving at a reasonable (whether accurate or not) conclusion based on the church’s formula.

    With respect to the church being held to a different standard than other religions, it’s inappropriate to compare the church to any other religion, unless that religion also makes a black and white statement that presents its scriptures as something, and says the religion is false if it turns out those scriptures aren’t what they’re presented to be. Not many religions make such bold claims. So while some members of the church may equate the BoA and the BofM with the Bible, in terms of their literalness or historicity, the difference lies in what each respective religion claims its scriptures to be and the import such religions place on the possibility that those scriptures turn out to be discredited or disproven. The church has held itself to a fantastically high standard in that regard, and one that most religions have not come close to replicating.

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  20. MH on September 26, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    I think Brjones highlights the issues very well. I do have one quibble though. I guess my quibble is that Protestantism is much more fragmented; there are some that are believers that the Bible is literally true in every way. If God created man in 6 days, then by golly it was 6 days. Some soften this to say 1 day is 1000 years, but even still when people look at the fossil record, they find dilemmas with biblical literalists. Of course, some protestants aren’t this literal, but for those that are, then they think that Protestant Christianity “has held itself to a fantastically high standard” just as Mormonism has, and many reject Christianity under the same literal belief that some reject Mormonism. So I don’t quite accept that “most religions have not come close to replicating.” (Islam and Judaism have factions that are quite literalistic in their beliefs too.) Sure there are liberal Mormons, Jews, Catholics, Protestants just as there are literalists of these religions too. For those who are more literalistic in their beliefs, then Brjones highlights the reasons for their disillusionment quite well.

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  21. Bro. Jake on September 27, 2013 at 6:20 AM

    I agree with brjones–the tendency to take a literal approach to the Book of Abraham is one of the Church’s own making. There are people, like many in this thread, that can look past what the Book of Abraham purportedly is and focus on what it says, and that’s great. But in my opinion, that is done in spite of Church influence, not because of it. Those who are disillusioned by it are merely taking what the Church at its word, which, by almost every observable measure, fails to live up to the standard it set up for itself in this case.

    Now, we can all tell ourselves that when people leave over this that it was just a moral failing on their part, that they were spiritually deficient or immature or weak and just didn’t pray or try hard enough. And that would be perfectly fine–if we just wanted to have some sort of explanation for why we’re right and everyone else is wrong. But personally, I think that kind of mindset is a bit naive and more than a bit condescending.

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  22. nate on September 27, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    Just wondering if anyone here is impressed by Nibley’s apologetics into the ancient character of the BoA, like the sacrifice of Abraham by his father relating to other legends that would have been unknown to Joseph Smith.

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  23. SteveF on September 27, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    @Bro. Jake. I don’t remember the church ever advocating to make spiritual decisions based on intellectual data and reasoning alone. If a truth claim looks unlikely from man’s current understanding/reasoning, from the Church’s perspective this has never been promoted as a valid reason for disbelief. Accepting the Church’s truth claims at face value, but rejecting the lens that it claims as the true lens to view those truth claims through in favor of a man-made lens, is bound to create discrepancies that appear unresolvable. The church is not at fault if people insist on using man-made lenses alone to analyze truth.

    Additionally, an open cannon where previous revelations can be edited or changed altogether so that the most obvious original meaning can be flipped (i.e. eternal punishment = God’s punishment) suggests that revelation, while inspired and given by the Spirit of the Lord, is not perfectly inerrant when taking all of its conclusions at face value. Belief in revelation and an open cannon does, and always has advocated for flexibility in claims.

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  24. Jared on September 27, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    Bro. Jake, et al

    I would like to respond to this part of you comment in #21:

    “we can all tell ourselves that when people leave over this that it was just a moral failing on their part, that they were spiritually deficient or immature or weak and just didn’t pray or try hard enough…But personally, I think that kind of mindset is a bit naive and more than a bit condescending.”
    ———————————————————————————————————-

    I wonder if what you say here could be evaluated by changing the setting to a forum for athletes.

    Suppose you’re an athlete who runs a sub 5 minute mile and you’re speaking to a group of athletes who want to improve their time for the mile.

    In the back and forth of the meeting one of the athletes says that he is thinking about giving up on the sport because of some difficulties he has encountered. After listening to him explain of the details, you suggest that he consider changing his training routine–it seems like an anemic training schedule to you–and you think he could do better.

    Bro. Jake, do you think you would be of a mindset that is a bit naïve and more than a bit condescending in this situation?
    ————————————————————————————————————-

    I think this analogy makes a point but isn’t an exact fit when it comes to the things of the spirit.

    In the realm of things of the spirit those who have been given much are required to give much in return. In other words, those who are successful spiritually need to help and encourage others so they too can be successful in things of the sprit.

    Note: A 5 minute mile is fast, however their are athletes who run sub 4 minutes miles. I’ve read that about 10% of all runners can do sub 5 minutes.

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  25. Mormon Heretic on September 27, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Jared, I won’t speak for Bro Jake, but I do think you are often condescending to people who don’t have the same spiritual experience you have experienced. Hence, people don’t give you the benefit of the doubt.

    Certainly with respect to athletes, there are coaches like Bobby Knight that refer to anemic athletes, or coaches like Jim Leyland or Tommy Lasorda that try to build up their athletes without condescending. While I admire your spiritual experiences, when you describe them, you sound more like Bobby Knight than Tommy Lasorda.

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  26. brjones on September 27, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Jared, I understand the point you make and I think I understand where you’re always coming from. I don’t doubt that you genuinely want people to experience the things you have because you believe it will make their lives better.

    One problem with your analogy, though, is that a sub-5 minute miler is a measurably and objectively “better” runner than other milers with slower times. It’s not presumptuous of him or her to a) assume inferior runners want to be like him or her; b) assume he or she knows the secret to others achieving their goals; or c) give them advice about how to become better. By comparison, as laudable as it is for anyone to feel like he’s found the secret to HIS happiness, your experiences are not only not measurable or verifiable, but even if taken at face value, they’re not objectively better than those that may have led another person out of the church or away from religion. Adopting an air of superiority in matters that are of inherently subjective value is, by its nature, condescending and presumptuous, even if your intentions are good.

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  27. Jeff Spector on September 27, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Jake said:

    “But in my opinion, that is done in spite of Church influence, not because of it. Those who are disillusioned by it are merely taking what the Church at its word, which, by almost every observable measure, fails to live up to the standard it set up for itself in this case.’

    Actually, I don’t think this is quite true. The Church makes the simple claim that Joseph Smith translated one of the papyri that were acquired by Joseph in Kirtland. It is others who have made the claim that it is impossible based on the surviving parts of that collection. Since one do not know which one was used in the actual process or what the actual process entailed, one is left with a faith-based decision on who to believe.

    The Old and New Testaments could not pass that test either.

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  28. shenpa warrior on September 27, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    If the gold plates existed, and we had them today, I wonder if they’d be something entirely different as well. Perhaps the BoA was a case of automatic writing (whether it was “inspired” or not is another matter), which it seems to me the Book of Mormon was, given how it came about.

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  29. Jared on September 27, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    The bloggernacle is an interesting branch of LDS culture. I’m in my 7th year now. I’m both drawn to and repulsed by what is here.

    I’m drawn to the intelligent and wonderful people and repulsed by their embracing the percepts of men instead of the gift of the Holy Ghost (2 Nephi 28:26).

    The Savior speaks of our day in these words:

    32 Wo be unto the Gentiles…For notwithstanding I shall lengthen out mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto them, saith the Lord God, if they will repent and come unto me; for mine arm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts. 2 Nephi 28:32

    I wonder how much longer the day of the Gentile will continue?

    MH spoke of coaches like Bobby Knight and Tommy Lasorda. He sees my comments and efforts here as being harsh, and condescending like many view Bobby Knight’s style.

    Of course, this hurt, but I’m used to it. Many have said similar things. Of course, MH and others haven’t seen the emails I’ve received. I’ll share one I received this morning.

    “Hello ,
    My name is…and am LDS.i just wanted to let you know that appreciate your articles in LDS Alive in Christ.They are so inspiring .Am an institute teacher and primary president in my ward-and ur website is a great resource.Thank you,you are very much appreciated.”

    This is exactly how it was written with the name removed.

    I receive these kinds of emails from all over the world, so I keep at it. Recently, I’ve noted a lot of activity from Africa.

    I believe the Spirit of the Lord is steadily withdrawing from the Gentiles and moving to other peoples and will at eventually move to the Jews when the days of the Gentiles come to an end. 3 Nephi 13:10-16

    When I read about the prophets in the BoM I wonder what kind of men they were. Were they more like Bobby Knight or Tommy Lasorda?

    Men like Nephi, Jacob, Alma the older and younger, the four sons of Mosiah, Abinadi, to name a few.

    I’m certainly not comparing myself to them. Some here would really run with that if I didn’t clearly state it.

    I didn’t share my sacred experiences with many people outside of my immediate family until June 2006. I had an experience then where I learned it was pleasing to the Lord if I started testifying and sharing some of my experiences. So I started in my home ward and was surprised at the results. There are many church members who don’t like to hear about sacred experience from those who are still alive. They love to hear about manifestations of the spirit from those who are dead or they don’t personally know.

    I think I’m done here.

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  30. Mormon Heretic on September 27, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    Jared,

    I do think that some prophets were like Bobby Knight (such as Peter, Paul, Joshua, Elijah, David, Jael, even Jesus at times), and some are like Tommy Lasorda (such as Sam, Ruth, John, the Good Samaritan, Nicodemus, even Jesus at times.) God uses all types, even if they come across as a Bobby or a Tommy. But some people are turned off at Tommy, others at Bobby.

    Didn’t Ammon’s brothers complain of his “boasting in the Lord”? I’m sure that Ammon probably felt as you. Wasn’t Christ numbered with the “publicans and the sinners”? I don’t think that was a compliment to Christ when that was said either. Just sayin. (Perhaps you are emotionally anemic on this blog when you get something you don’t like to hear?)

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