Understanding the Book of Mormon A uick Christian Guide to

Understanding the Book of Mormon A uick Christian Guide to the Mormon Holy Book Mormons or members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints form a growing population in both numbers and influence Yet few people have than a passing knowledge of the document that defines and drives this important movement—the Book of Mormon A former Mormon and an adult convert to Christianity author Ross Anderson provides a clear summary of the Book of Mormon including its history teachings and uniue features Stories from the author and other ex Mormons illustrate the use of Mormon scripture in the Latter day Saint church Anderson gives special attention to how the Book of Mormon relates to Christian beliefs about God Jesus and the Bible With discussion uestions to facilitate group use and a focus on providing an accurate portrayal of Mormons beliefs Understanding the Book of Mormon is an indispensable guide for anyone wishing to become familiar with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints and its most formative scripture

10 thoughts on “Understanding the Book of Mormon A uick Christian Guide to the Mormon Holy Book

  1. Amandacyphers Amandacyphers says:

    Fair and balanced no bashing gave me insight to the beliefs of my close friends and helps me understand them

  2. Logan Logan says:

    What is the Book of Mormon? If you don’t know it is claimed by the LDS church to be “a collection of writings and teachings of the ancient prophets and followers of Jesus Christ who lived in the Americas from approximately 590 BC to AD 421” translated by Joseph Smith “by divine inspiration from gold plates that he received from the angel Moroni” It is “an ancient account of the inhabitants of Americaconsidered to be descendants of Israel and the principal ancestors of the American Indians” Joseph Smith said that the Book of Mormon is 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”The author a former Mormon offers a temperate critiue of the Book of Mormon and he doesn’t use straw man techniues In fact he submitted the most controversial material to active LDS members including friends and family for review and critiue He gently points out the flaws of the Book of Mormon including the following Its “full blown New Testament” Christ and gospel see for example 1 Nephi 10 which leaves the reader baffled why God would chose to reveal a full New Testament Christ complete with New Testament language to the Nephites while leaving the biblical prophets with a “patchwork picture Its teaching of salvation by works Its obvious sourcing in the KJV rather than ancient sources written on gold bricks Its too good to be true dealings with 19th century American political and religious issues everything from infant baptism to church government to Freemasonry to republican government Its numerous inconsistencies with what we know about ancient Meso America and Israel with regard to architecture in the areas of Metallurgy The Book of Mormon peoples supposedly use gold silver iron brass and copper centuries before metallurgy was introduced to Meso America Weaponry The Book of Mormon mentions steel swords but steel swords were not used in Meso America until the Spanish conuest Zoology The Book of Mormon mentions cattle sheep goats and horses none of which found in any archaeology setting in Meso America in Book of Mormon times but fails to mention deer jaguars and other native species Architecture The Book of Mormon mentions synagogues built after the manner of the Jews Jews however did not use synagogues until the intertestamental period centuries after the supposed departure of Lehi during the reign of Zedekiah 597 586 BC on the eve of the Babylonian sack of Jerusalem Genetics Mormons used to claim that all Native Americans were descended from Lamanites they've had to tone this down in recent years due to DNA evidence linking Native Americans with Asian not Semitic peoples Geography None of the geographical features mentioned in the Book of Mormon can be located anywhere in Meso AmericaIn addition to the book of Mormon the author deals briefly with the other Mormon canonical books Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price He gleans for the reader the key points out of Doctrine and Covenants and also gives a good breakdown of the five components of The Pearl of Great Price The Book of Moses The Book of Abraham along with the story of the falsity of Joseph Smith’s claim of translation from an Egyptian papyrus Joseph Smith—Matthew Joseph Smith—History and The Articles of FaithOther things I learned that I didn’t know before The official Bible of the LDS church is the KJV Mark Twain called the book of Mormon “chloroform in print” What a living Mormon prophet says can supersede Mormon Scripture Mormons believe in three heavens with different degrees of glory Mormons believe you get a second chance to repent after death Mormons see Mormonism and the Book of Mormon prophesied in the Bible John 1016; Isaiah 29411 12; Ezekiel 3716 19 The word Bible is actually used in the Book of Mormon see specifically 2 Nephi 29 in regard to the corruption and incompleteness of the Bible Jesus supposedly gave the Nephites an address extremely similar to the Sermon on the Mount 3 Nephi 12 14 despite the different cultural setting Joseph Smith completed a new version of the Bible in which he altered 1000 verses from the KJV though it has never been published by the LDS church Kinderhook plates Look them up Joseph Smith's polygamy with 33 or 34 women some of whom were already married was secret during his lifetimeBottom line Mormons base their belief on internal experience found within oneself gaining a testimony burning in the bosom etc rather than on external truth found outside of oneselfOne rare criticism the author informs us how the Isaiah passages uoted in the Book of Mormon some 19 chapters' worth contain many of the errors made by the KJV translators who did not have the advantage of the multitude of newly discovered manuscripts and modern biblical scholarshiptextual criticism a fact incongruous with the Book of Mormon being translated directly from ancient sources and uite congruous to Joseph Smith simply copying from the KJV The author however does not provide us with any of what these carryover errors are Much of this information however can be found on Wikipedia here

  3. Bridget Jack Jeffries Bridget Jack Jeffries says:

    As a teenage evangelical Christian encountering the LDS faith for the first time I freuently found myself frustrated by the antagonistic nature of evangelical literature on Mormonism How I wish Ross' book had existed back then In terms of what the book is trying to be a uick guide to the Book of Mormon geared towards evangelical Christians and meant to be accessible to non scholars it would be difficult for evangelicals to come up with a fairer or irenic option than this Ross makes a sincere effort to explain the LDS perspective on many issues pertaining to the Book of Mormon in a balanced manner though he does offer brief evangelical counter arguments on many pointsThis isn't to say that I expect Latter day Saints would be happy with the book It is by an ex Mormon evangelical for an evangelical audience and denies the divinity of the Book of Mormon in addition to pointing out many of the problems with the Book of Mormon such as its rather obvious 19th century racism But I'm not happy when I read in the Gospel Principles manual that Theodosius was a corrupt pagan emperor who adopted a false Christianity I don't go around rating down the GP manual because it was written by Mormons for Mormons not for evangelical Christians like me and those are the perils of belonging to competing missional faiths There are a few things I think I would have changed had I written this book I might have said less about Joseph Smith's gold digging about the 19th century Protestant context of the Book of Mormon and found a way to mention Pearl Curran in the BoM authorship debate But overall I think it would be very difficult for evangelicals to produce a better short guide to the Book of Mormon than this and I applaud Ross for it

  4. Lisa Cline Lisa Cline says:

    I am very new to this topic and I thought that this book did a wonderful job of teaching the basics It was written by an ex Mormon who is still close to his Mormon family but he is also Pastor and if the perfect person I believe to write on this topic He comes at it from not only head knowledge but a compassionate heart as well

  5. Ross Ross says:

    I really like this book because I wrote it

  6. James Cloyd James Cloyd says:

    While I see this as a good well reasoned fair critiue of Mormonism the author seems to be unable or unwilling to see how many of his arguments could just as easily be applied to his own Christian faith As a former Mormon he seems to believe that his new faith can meet the standards of evidence that his old one failed to meet As a former Christian student of apologetics I can say that that is not the case One can reject the truth of both these religions on the same grounds by the same logic Anderson recommends against praying asking God if the Book of Mormon is true which is the primary way Mormons come to belief that should tell you something about the reliability of prayer But if the inward spiritual experience revelations aren't a reliable truth test what is? For Anderson it's how well the Book of Mormon conforms to the teachings of the Bible But what test did he use to establish the Bible as true? When critically evaluated both books fail the same tests both contain contradictions errors inaccuracies anachronisms failed prophecies fraudulent writings interpolations unscientific claims unhistorical events even immoral teachings Of course both books make it a sin to notice or admit these inconvenient facts or to uestion their divine origin ultimate authority rendering believers of both religions virtually incapable of thinking critically or even open mindedly about their beliefs It's no surprise that the Book of Mormon like the Bible strongly emphasizes the importance of faith demonizes doubt

  7. Maya Maya says:

    I am an atheist but I’m uite interested in learning about religions from all over the world I also live in an area heavily populated by Latter Day Saints many of whom I consider good friends Though this book was directed at a Christian audience I found it generally accessible Without infantilization? No But did it encourage respectful conversation? Yes And I find said conversation and respect to be key when discussing different religions and beliefs

  8. Jeremy Cox Jeremy Cox says:

    The book is authored by an evangelical which gives a fairly different perspective then the title suggests The author is kind and respectful yet does not take the time to explore the story AS an outsider I was hoping for a book from a Latter Day Saint perspective that might explain the book and modern theological implications

  9. Danny Joseph Danny Joseph says:

    Solid overview Like most of the reviews said I appreciate that he is compassionate towards the LDS church The substantive explanation of the book of Mormon in my opinion was helpful than than the parts on how the book was put togetherHe could have easily doubled the length and I wish he had

  10. Matthew Matthew says:

    It's all in the title a uick guide I learned uite a few new things about the Mormon faith

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