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Defending the Faith: Joseph Smith wasn't arrogant or boastful

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  • greatbam22 andrews afb, MD
    Sept. 4, 2014 7:03 a.m.

    "I told them I was but a man and they must not expect me to be perfect," Joseph Smith said. "If they expected perfection from me, I should expect it from them, but if they would bear with my infirmities and the infirmities of the brethren, I would likewise bear with their infirmities."

    This is one of the most admirable things that can be said of Joseph that he was humble. I believe that It is specifically because of this humility that he was chosen to be the First Prophet of the Restoration.

    In Doctrine in Covenants 112 verse 10 it states "Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers."

    As a youth when he prayed and had the First Vision and as an Adult I believe that Joseph Smith followed this council.

    In James 1 verse 5(KJV) it states "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

    These verses should be shared frequently.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 4, 2014 7:10 a.m.

    "Second, Joseph seems actually to be praising his followers’ faithfulness, not himself."

    There sure are a lot of "I's" in there for someone who was "praising his followers"

    So which is it? It wasn't being "arrogant or boastful" or he didn't write it.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 4, 2014 8:39 a.m.

    “Third, Joseph didn’t write the quotation; it was reconstructed after his death. Thus, it almost certainly doesn’t represent his precise words.”

    Dr. Peterson has a point – though I wonder if he sees the irony any time he picks up the Bible and reads the “words of Jesus.”

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Sept. 4, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    From Daniel Peterson's weekly columns, I’ve learned not to underestimate Mormon apologist's astonishing capacity for rationalization of any fact or evidence that reflects unfavorably on Joseph Smith.

  • greatbam22 andrews afb, MD
    Sept. 4, 2014 9:49 a.m.

    @ Craig Clark

    From weekly comments from detractors, I've learned not to underestimate some people inability to empathize and understand a group of peoples history.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Sept. 4, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    greatbam22,

    "From weekly comments from detractors, I've learned not to underestimate some people inability to empathize and understand a group of peoples history."
    ______________________________

    Fair criticism. But don’t expect every interpretation of Mormon history to dovetail with what is standardly taught in the Mormon Sunday School class manual.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 10:23 a.m.

    Accept his message or not, Joseph Smith was a unique man. Yes, there are controversies, but he was quite remarkable.

  • teeoh Anytown, KY
    Sept. 4, 2014 10:25 a.m.

    @Craig Clark

    Each week, I read Dr. Peterson's columns and find a great sense of understanding and reasonable evaluation of the issues. I usually think to myself, "this makes perfect sense! How can anyone not see the reasonableness of this perspective." Then, invariably, I read the comments and find the naysayers displaying their stumbling blocks in hopes of bringing others to their immobilized view of the good news of the gospel. So sad.

    To judge Joseph on 3rd party statements attributed to him years after his death is the irrational perspective.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 4, 2014 10:48 a.m.

    @Craig Clark – “I’ve learned not to underestimate Mormon apologist's astonishing capacity for rationalization…”

    I agree however I’ve also learned that their mission is not about making strong rational arguments and certainly not about making arguments that would hold up in a court of law, even in a civil trial.

    Rather it’s about providing the faithful small slivers of hope that their faith is not totally unreasonable. That these arguments often insult the intelligence of the non-faithful (or incredulous) is, from an apologists’ perspective, an unfortunate byproduct.

    But this mission seems misguided because trying to make faith reasonable (let alone based on real evidence) is a challenging effort that has been slapped down by the facts of history and science so often we’ve lost count.

    I think the smartest theologian Christianity has ever produced (Kierkegaard) got it right – religious faith is not about believing in something reasonable or rational. Religious faith is powerful because it rests on believing things that are, by all rational accounts, absurd.

  • Anthracite Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 10:55 a.m.

    Maybe he was being boastful and arrogant. Just wondering, if that's the case, does that nullify any LDS teachings about the Atonement or the Plan of Salvation?

  • teeoh Anytown, KY
    Sept. 4, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    @Tyler D,

    Speaking of arguments that wouldn't hold up in a court of law, how about a quote attributed to a person by a 3rd party years after his death in a time when there are no recordings? How would that hold up in a court of law? It seems to me that the naysayers are equal to the believers in expecting the world to make judgements based on unverifiable stories.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Sept. 4, 2014 11:15 a.m.

    Tyler D,

    I enjoy reading your insightful and measured views. I’m glad you reminded us that the gospels in quoting Jesus are every bit as much hearsay as the quotation in question here. Nonetheless, believers often take the position that the Bible is the infallible and inerrant word of God.

    Apologetics has its place. My objection is to its pretense that apologetics is objective scholarship when it is not. Its aim is to validate conjecture to the exclusion of any conclusion other than the one they are advocating. That is not scholarship.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    Sept. 4, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    @Craig Clark re "...don’t expect every interpretation of Mormon history...". That good comment applies to every history of every topic. We can't have an exact, exhaustive knowledge of history. Therefore I don't think that criticism apropos.

    @Tyler D re "...that their mission is not about making strong rational arguments...". Friend, my brain had conniptions when I read that departure from your generally good comments. Of course the Mormon apologists aim is to make rational arguments. I've never seen an apologist tackle tough issues with an open mind as the lads at FAIR do, for example.

    And the genius Kierkegaard got it wrong on that point. There is no need for a 'leap of faith.' Although at present we only 'know in part' that part is sufficient to allow reasonable, rational conclusions surrounding the events of the resurrection and its affects on humanity.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    Sept. 4, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    'effects' on humanity, too.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 4, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    @Moontan – “Friend, my brain had conniptions when I read that departure from your generally good comments.”

    Your comments are great even when they are taking me down like an extra in a Steven Seagal movie. You have that enviable trait of telling people to go to “heck” and making them enjoy the journey.

    Probably could have worded that better – something like “rational arguments that would pass the “reasonable man” test among non-believers” or words to that effect (e.g. see Craig’s last comment about objective scholarship).

    Anyway, keep up the hard hitting retorts – “our critics are our best friends.”



    @Craig Clark – “believers often take the position that the Bible is the infallible and inerrant word of God.”

    I used to think so too until I read the book (objectively) as an adult and realized it portrayed a god that was a vindictive sociopath with an ego more fragile than a middle schooler (Jesus notwithstanding).

    @teeoh – “how about a quote attributed to a person by a 3rd party…”

    Well I typically don’t organize my life around these things, but if you have an example please share.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 12:26 p.m.

    @teeoh
    "To judge Joseph on 3rd party statements attributed to him years after his death is the irrational perspective."

    I think most judge him based on their opinions of the Book of Mormon because there's so much that goes into the Book of Mormon (the plates, etc) that it really does leave only three logical options for people to have: belief in it, disbelief in it (which comes with all sorts of negative implications for Joseph), or uncertainty. It's fairly easy to reject Lutheranism while thinking Martin Luther was a decent guy who was just incorrect; it's difficult for that to be done with the LDS/Joseph Smith since the plates were either real or a fraud.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    Sept. 4, 2014 12:31 p.m.

    @Tyler D ... I'm glad you enjoy the give-and-take of polite disagreement without taking it personally, as do I. A fellow debater can call me anything but late for dinner, and I'll still enjoy the exchange.

    As for Craig Clark's comment you referenced, I cannot fathom it. Apologetic's is not objective scholarship? I don't know where that comes from. If C.S. Lewis were still living, I'd pay all expenses to see someone go to Oxford and tell him he's not a scholar. Best money I ever spent, it would be. Concerning hearsay, Peter's statement "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty" is not hearsay. It is an eyewitness testimony. A testimony that demands confrontation, decision. Was he truthful, or not?

    Perhaps he and you mean it is not Science. True, it cannot be test-tubed, but that is to say only Science offers truth. This is an untenable proposition.

  • teeoh Anytown, KY
    Sept. 4, 2014 12:33 p.m.

    @Tyler D,

    "...but if you have an example please share."

    I thought the example in the article was perfect. (Are we discussing the same article?) But I'll reiterate: The quote attributed to JS in the 2nd paragraph would not hold up in a court of law as being accurately attributed to JS based on Dr. Peterson's point, "Third, Joseph didn’t write the quotation; it was reconstructed after his death. Thus, it almost certainly doesn’t represent his precise words."

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 12:40 p.m.

    RE: Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.…. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort(LDS),as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.(2 Peter 3:15-16).

    (2 Cor 11:16-19) V. 16. I say again,from (2Co 11:1)the apology for his boasting. If otherwise, but if ye will not grant this; if ye will think me a fool.

    "yet even as a fool receive me"; grant me the indulgent hearing conceded even to one suspected of folly. The Greek denotes one who does not rightly use his mental powers; not having the idea of blame necessarily attached to it; one deceived by foolish vanities, yet boasting himself (2Co 11: 17,19)E.g…, Eph 3:8… who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given.

    RE: Moontan. VS, DHC 6:318-320.”)God made Aaron to be the mouthpiece for the children of Israel, and He will make me be ‘god’ to you in His stead, and the Elders to be mouth for me; and if you don’t like it, you must lump it.

  • greatbam22 andrews afb, MD
    Sept. 4, 2014 12:49 p.m.

    @ Craig Clark

    It is interesting how you and many other critics expect perfection from the LDS church. Without hardly a thought for what it has done.

    It is also interesting to note that the LDS church has been correcting recently a lot of the things that you have railed against it for.

    Take for example the Joseph Smith Papers. The Church has devoted a lot of energy, money, and scholarship to the publication of them. They have made these papers easily available online and have also created multimedia presentations available through BYU TV to understand them further.

    Do I expect you or the other detractors to look at them or the presentations no not really.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Sept. 4, 2014 12:54 p.m.

    Moontan,

    "....As for Craig Clark's comment you referenced, I cannot fathom it. Apologetic's is not objective scholarship?...."
    ______________________________

    To do an academic study with honesty and integrity, you must follow the trail of evidence to wherever it leads, even when it leads to a conclusion that goes against what you’ve always believed to be the case. You can’t do that by attempting to predetermine the outcome which is precisely what apologetics attempts to do.

    I have some definite views on C.S. Lewis’ supposed academic study of Christology but I’ll have to hold that for another discussion. There’s just not enough space left here for that.

    (reached comment limit for this discussion.)

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    Sept. 4, 2014 1:17 p.m.

    @Craig Clark ... Well, that comment presupposes that all objective apologists will conclude that God doesn't exist, and that apologists who conclude otherwise were not objective to begin with. This is a false presupposition if there ever was one.

    @Sharrona ... You say LDS are 'ignorant and unstable people'. I'm reminded of the man who goes to family reunions only to pronounce everyone present illegitimate, save him. Yet he's always received respectfully, and eats to excess.

    But given the perspective, we are all ignorant and unstable.

    Last post here. See y'all next week.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 4, 2014 1:41 p.m.

    @Moontan

    I think (respectfully & politely) you’re wrong on Kierkegaard but that’s a long discussion. It is in fact a leap of faith to believe and take the Bible at face value, which could easily be viewed differently… for example:

    Biblical problems and contradictions - Far from the mysterious and often misunderstood teacher portrayed in Mark or the enlightened Rabbi found in Matthew, the Jesus portrayed in John sounds like a trumpeting celestial superhero (see Book of Revelation for this portrayal on steroids).

    And the NT’s most prolific author, Paul?

    Either the NT is largely the opinions of someone who never knew Jesus personally (in which case it would be more accurate for Christians to refer to themselves as Paulians or Biblians), or Paul is “channeling” Jesus.


    Christian beliefs seem to be are more ABOUT Jesus than they are about the teachings OF Jesus. And given what we now know about the diversity of early Christian writings (which orthodoxy tried to wipe out – thank you jar burying monks in Egyptian desert) it is completely plausible that Jesus is more misunderstood mystic-sage than celestial super-being.

    Reached comment limit…

  • Church member North Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 2:01 p.m.

    To: teeoh

    How can you say it is so sad to see people trying to convert Mormons to another belief system and then support missionaries from your church who try and convert others to your belief system.

    We can't have it both ways. Either it is okay to try and convert people or it is not. It can't be okay for you to teach people truth but when others do it to you "it is sad".

    I just seems a little hypocritical.

  • Weber State Graduate Clearfield, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 2:07 p.m.

    @Tyler D

    "...religious faith is not about believing in something reasonable or rational."

    Logic often hides around corners amongst those who are determined to believe.

    @Craig Clark

    "My objection is to its pretense that apologetics is objective scholarship when it is not."

    Precisely my biggest complaint about Peterson...he attempts to pass off much of his apologetic writings as legitimate scholarship when indeed it's nothing more than clever use of rhetorical patterns that misdirect, overlook, and obscure any evidence to the contrary. That’s not true scholarship.

  • teeoh Anytown, KY
    Sept. 4, 2014 3:39 p.m.

    @Church Member

    So, I am supposed to be neither happy nor sad for any conversion to or from the belief system that I espouse? Or maybe it's okay to express my opinion here as does everyone else?

    I'll restate: I find it to be so sad. I'm sure others (like Satan, for example) rejoice in seeing so many stumble.

    And for those of you who continue to speak of what is or isn't true scholarship, please look up scholar in the dictionary. It has nothing to do with science or empirical evidence. It has everything to do with being learned in a particular subject or set of beliefs. Dr. Peterson easily qualifies.

  • Rockyrd Gilbert, AZ
    Sept. 4, 2014 6:10 p.m.

    I am always amazed that a column can be written which reasonably addresses issues handsome commenters write asking the same question that has just been answered! There are too many here to even list. if a person doesn't want to believe, fine. I understand that. I don't understand being disagreeable, but again, this is a public forum, no problem. But some sees to have taken a sentence or two for comment and not even read the rest. Remarkable.

  • Church member North Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 10:35 p.m.

    TO: teeoh

    Many members of the LDS faith believe that the worst people in the world are the people who "try and destroy members testimonies". They think that people who try and convert Mormons are evil people who are working for Satan. In reality the people that I know who try and show Mormons facts about their church are truly trying to help. They really believe that people would be happier and better off if they left the church. It is not a case of "misery loves company" but a case of people trying to show you how you might be the one who is mistaken.

    There is a YouTube video where people fly into Utah to knock doors and try and convert LDS members to another faith. The LDS members are seriously outraged and say "how dare you come to my house and try to get me to question my beliefs". And yet the irony is LDS missionaries do this everyday (or they used to, now they use social media).

    I am honestly okay with my LDS friends trying to convert me. I just wish they were cool with me doing the same thing to them.

  • TyeDye San Antonio, TX
    Sept. 5, 2014 12:04 a.m.

    So let me get this straight. "I have more to boast about" isn't a boast? If it was meant to be a boast, how would it be worded any differently?

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Sept. 5, 2014 7:16 a.m.

    From reading the comments on here, I am convinced, again, that all people see the world and everything in it, not as things really are, but as they are! In other words, we see what we want to see! If you want to see Joseph Smith as an arrogant charlatan, you will see him that way, regardless! If you want to see him as a humble servant of God, that's how you will see him! Which is the truth? I judge people less and less on what they say, especially I discount what people say about people they never met, and more and more on what they actually do! What did Joseph Smith accomplish, what did he produce? In that light, I personally continue to be impressed with Joseph Smith! Sir Winston Churchill said it best,"Truth is incontrovertible, ignorance will always deride it, malice will always attack it, but in the end, there it (truth) is". In the end, there are Joseph Smith's accomplishments! Drat them!

  • G L W8 SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Sept. 5, 2014 7:55 a.m.

    The Book of Mormon calls it right again: "When they are learned, they think they are wise..." 2 Nephi 9:28. That should be a caution for both LDS and Non-LDS who place too much reliance on so-called scholarship, which has its own set of limitations. The central question is: where is your faith based--in empiricism, logic, so-called rational thought,in the five senses that are often sources of unreliable evidence, or in Jesus Christ? I've said it before--our conclusions are all faith-based; depending on where one is willing to place his or her faith.
    I, for one, will accept conclusions based on scientific, scholarly evidence when the study is well-constructed and draws conclusions from the study itself--not extrapolated, "educated guesses" drawn from a concoction of assembled, unrelated "facts." But I also find knowledge and comfort in revealed truths. No other body of man's knowledge makes the complete sense that the theology of the LDS Church, in it's entirety, does to me. That from a lifetime of study of all of the above.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Sept. 5, 2014 7:36 p.m.

    Article quote: "Given the manner of its composition, the nuances, tone and details of “History of the Church” should be treated with caution. Curiously, though, at least in this case, Joseph’s critics insist that the overall narrative of the “History” is incorrect (e.g. divine intervention, revelation, Joseph Smith's prophetic calling, etc.) while expecting us to accept as precisely accurate its details of tone and mood — at least when those details seem to cast the Prophet in a bad light."

    Gee, you mean that many anti-Mormons skew their judgements and comments to fit their anti-Joseph Smith message?

    Gee, I am shocked. Yes-siree, just shocked.

    (end sarcasm)

    Joseph Smith was a giant of a man and I cannot wait to meet him.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Sept. 6, 2014 7:43 a.m.

    In Bushman's "Rough Stone Rolling", there are numerous quotes, eye witness accounts, documents, and evidences that Joseph Smith was, at times, extremely self-righteous, arrogant, and boastful. Anyone who would claim otherwise must have a reading comprehension problem.

    Of more interest to me is the admission by Peterson that quotes and accounts were created, embellished, and even fabricated years after the fact, and even years after Joseph's death, both pro and con. This is also what happened with Christianity and the quotes and accounts of/about Jesus (may he RIP).

    Apologists frequently focus in on one smallish quote or event, as Peterson is doing here, and try to convince us that this one instance has been misunderstood - all to give some plausibility on which members can hang their belief. But at the same time they ignore the numerous examples of embellishments, forgeries, explicitly contradictory quotes and accounts that at very least should completely undermine our confidence in anything Joseph (or Paul) claimed!

    Once a person is caught in a lie, how can you trust anything else they say?

  • daenhud Prosper, TX
    Sept. 6, 2014 9:24 a.m.

    Can we get the same 'spin', and redefinition of dictionary words on these too?
    ‘I am a lawgiver; I am a big lawyer and comprehend heaven, earth and hell, to bring forth knowledge that shall cover up all lawyers, doctors and other big bodies.’ History of the Church, Vol. 5, p. 289.
    ‘I solve mathematical problems of universities with truth - diamond truth; and God is my right hand man.’ ibid. Vol. 6, p. 78."
    ‘Joseph Smith requested and received from Governor Carlin the commission of Lieutenant General and thereafter frequently jested about his outranking every military officer in the United States. He came to prefer the title General even to President and used it in much of his correspondence. His uniform was smartly designed… on his hip he carried a sword and two big horse pistols. Delighting in the pomp and splendour of parades, he called out the legion on every possible occasion…’ No Man Knows my History, pp. 270-271.'

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Sept. 6, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    I'm so surprised that written history seems to be ignored and swept away and stories and articles can be written, testimonies born and strengthened and life goes on with these written "truths" and "facts" are totally ignored.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Sept. 6, 2014 10:18 a.m.

    RE: The Caravan Moves On. Those Who Knew the Prophet Joseph Smith. “… examine the’ character of the Savior’, and examine the characters of those who have written the Old and New Testaments; and then compare them with the ‘character of Joseph Smith’, the founder of this work—the man whom God called and to whom he gave the keys of Priesthood, and through whom he has established his Church and kingdom for the last time, and you will find that his character stands as fair as that of any man's mentioned in the Bible.” Was JS really as fair as the Savior the sinless Son of God? ( JOD v. 14 p. 203)Yet,

    "The death of JS I remember what Joseph said, a short time before he was slain in one of the last sermons I ever heard him preach. Said he, “Men are here today who are seeking my blood, and they are those who have held the Priesthood and have received their washings and anointings; men who have received their endowments.” I saw the faces of those men at that time, and they had a hand in slaying the Prophet" (JOD v 4 p 149).

  • AerilusMaximus Berryville, VA
    Sept. 6, 2014 1:35 p.m.

    @ The Scientist

    I am sure those eye witness accounts were in no way biased against him either hmmm?

    Also what were the customs of the times? What may seem self-righteous, arrogant and boastful today might have been pretty normal back then.

    Also did he have moments of boastfulness and pride or what is part of his overall normal character?

  • Verdad Orem, UT
    Sept. 6, 2014 7:59 p.m.

    I can't see anything in Peterson's article, Scientist, saying that Joseph Smith's followers were "lying" or that they "fabricated" this or any other quotation.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Sept. 6, 2014 10:53 p.m.

    One of the claims that occurs in these comments is that science (or any other intellectual pursuit) is the best or preferred method for determining what is true and what is not. But the best that science or the human intellect can ever say is "I'm not wrong yet." It is especially difficult to even pretend to get close to truth when trying to reconstruct history from the few fragments we have. In "soft" disciplines such as history there is no reason to believe that we ever know anything perfectly.

    We learn truth through our spirit, not through our intellect. Those who suppress their spirit and rely solely on intellect have cut themselves off from the only source of truth they possess. (Those who suppress their intellect also have a problem, but that's a different story.) We can draw a lot of conclusions about Joseph Smith by studying history, and some of them might even be correct. We can only know if Joseph Smith was a prophet by spiritual means.

    Well did President Uchtdorf advise us to doubt our doubts and trust our faith.

  • G L W8 SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Sept. 7, 2014 3:37 p.m.

    Right on, pops! The so-called pure sciences, like chemistry and physics, can produce consistent results through empirical lab work. The social sciences (history among them) are more tenuous. To draw expansive conclusions over the entirety of life based on scientific data and reasoned intellect is to place one's faith in an incomplete and ever-changing knowledge base. Even physicists of a generation ago would be amazed at quantum mechanics and chaos theory. And human behavior is so complex, the list of potential studies in psychology and sociology is ever expanding. Those who think history has arrived at all the answers are like the gentleman in the early 20th Century that thought the U.S. Patent Office should be closed because everything that could be invented had been. To be "learned" is never to be confused with to be "wise."

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Sept. 7, 2014 6:24 p.m.

    RE: Pops, Are the LDS Church History and writings reliable? “That seer… his name shall be called Joseph and it shall be after the name of his father”. (Gen 50:33 JST). A prophecy about Joseph Smith. NOT found in Greek LXX or dead sea scrolls?

    RE: GLW8,”The Book of Mormon "When they are learned, they think they are wise...”2 Nephi 9:28).

    (3 Ne.21:9)A Marvelous Work and Wonder. A Modern Translation,“ Therefore I will take awesome vengeance on these hypocrites, and make their wisest counselors as fools.”(Isa 29:14 L B.)

    Or,(Is 29:14 XX)”Therefore behold I will proceed to remove this people, and I will remove them: *I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will hide the understanding of the prudent.

    *I will Destroy the wisdom of the *wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent” ee,(1 Cor 1:19 KJV) .” Paul quotes from, (Isa 29:14 LXX.

    Not the BoM but,Fulfilled ultimately in the Jews reject Jesus. “because the cross is to them that perish foolishness;...(1 Cor 1:18).

  • cval Hyde Park, UT
    Sept. 8, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    I appreciate his efforts to provide historical context. My understanding is always enhanced by reading these columns.

    Of course, critics immediately dismiss it as simple apologetics. Context or apologetics?

    Some of you criticize apologists because they start with a foundation of belief and search for evidence to support it. I believe that is consistent with the scientific method as I learned it.

    Placing things in context is never a bad thing, whether or not you accept it as legitimate scholarship. It enhances our ability to understand.

  • HaoleBoy N. Las Vegas, NV
    Sept. 8, 2014 3:28 p.m.

    This is a perfect church restored in these latter days. We the members are imperfect, all of us, no one is exempted. But we are heeding the Lord's call to be like unto Him. Thanks be to Almighty God for His tender mercies as we work toward that end. Joseph Smith Jr. was a prophet of God, imperfect, but nonetheless a Prophet.