Many Latter-Day Saints would no doubt speak about how Moroni’s promise of the Book of Mormon tells us to pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true, and I’d have to disagree with them on that. I’m not trying to be a contrarian here, and it may just be a figure of speech, but Moroni doesn’t say that. He actually says to ask if it’s NOT true. Did you know that?
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. (Moroni 10:4, emphasis added)
Now I understand the meanings of the two are almost the same thing, so what does it matter? And to be totally honest with you, I don’t know that it does matter, but it’s an observation I’ve been making lately.
There are many, many instances where Mormon’s hold certain things as absolute truths, only to find out that those things just aren’t so. Here let me give you a few examples:
How many of you hold the belief that after the 3 days of darkness in the Americas is when the Nephites heard the voice of the Spirit and the Lord appeared?
Well, that’s not what happened.
Go to 3 Nephi 8:2 it says that there was no mistake made in the reckoning of the timeline. Why do you think they mentioned that? I believe it’s because they wanted the reader to know the timeline they were about to show was accurate.
Then go to verses 4 and 6 of the same chapter:
5 And it came to pass in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land.
6 And there was also a great and terrible tempest; and there was terrible thunder, insomuch that it did shake the whole earth as if it was about to divide asunder. (3 Nephi 8:5-6, emphasis added)
We don’t know if the Nephite calendar had a January or not, but for arguments sake, we’re going to say that on January 4 of the 34th year there began to be great storms, and earthquakes. And in the following verses there’s terrible turmoil and destruction that happens to the Nephites.
And then in verses 20 – 22 it talks about the thick darkness that covered the land.
23 And it came to pass that it did last for the space of three days that there was no light seen; and there was great mourning and howling and weeping among all the people continually; yea, great were the groanings of the people, because of the darkness and the great destruction which had come upon them. (3 Nephi 8:23, emphasis added)
So if you are one of those who believes that the very next thing that happens is the voice of the Lord is heard, you are mistaken. That doesn’t happen till 3 Nephi chapter 10.
18 And it came to pass that in the ending of the thirty and fourth year, behold, I will show unto you that the people of Nephi who were spared, and also those who had been called Lamanites, who had been spared, did have great favors shown unto them, and great blessings poured out upon their heads, insomuch that soon after the ascension of Christ into heaven he did truly manifest himself unto them— (3 Nephi 10:18, emphasis added)
So Christ didn’t appear to the Nephites until almost a year later, at the end of the thirty-fourth year.
Again, does it really matter if you were one of those who thought it was right after the 3 days of darkness? Does it really matter if you were mistaken? I don’t know – I’m not going to comment. Just trying to make a point.
Here’s another one. Warning: this one is almost universal, even the General Authorities have spoken it in General Conference. Who am I to judge the General Authorities? Again, I’m just trying to make a point.
Almost every single member of the church thinks that they covenant to “take upon them the name of Christ” in the Sacrament.
But friends, it doesn’t say that.
3 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen. (Moroni 4:3, emphasis added)
Again, I may be swatting at gnats, but the words don’t say that we covenant to take upon us the name of the Son, they only say that we are willing to take upon us the name of the Son. Actually it says that we are willing to do three things: to take upon us the name of the Son (comma – and) always remember him (comma – and) keep his commandments.
Like I said, it may not matter too much whether you believe it one way or the other, I’m just trying to make a point. But on this one I happen to have an opinion. Isn’t the temple endowment where we actually take upon us the name of the Son? I’m not saying any more than that. If you are endowed you know what I’m talking about. I believe the Sacrament prayer is where we say we are willing, but in the temple is where we actually do. Just sayin’.
Alright Michael, what’s your point? Glad you asked.
The point I’m trying to make is this: There are many, many of these kinds of incorrect beliefs sprinkled throughout Mormondom. Be careful that you don’t become a stiff necked and hard hearted jerk, that has plateaued in your understanding of gospel truths, and is unwilling to budge in your beliefs.
Now Mike, those are fighting words. Yes, I know, I’ve been in many a spat with so called Mormon intellects who swear up and down that certain doctrines are a certain way, only to read the very words from the scriptures, where they find they are unequivocally wrong in their beliefs. Most times they just dig in and fight harder.
Alma warns of such:
9 And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.
10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.
11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell. (Alma 12:9-11, emphasis added)
I’m not gloating that I know more than you. It’s not a competition. And believe me, I know more than most my absolute need to be humble. Remember, humility is always the key.
I’m making my point as a gentle warning to be open minded and soft hearted. There are some powerful doctrines hidden in the mysteries of God. And if you want them to be unfolded to you, it is an absolute imperative you are humble. Always remember, humility is the key.
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