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why the book of mormon is true

At the request of our Mormon friends here at Mormon Coffee, today s topic for discussion is, The Book of Mormon: True or False? Before the discussion starts, however, I need to lay down some ground rules. It is understood by all here that Mormons ultimately believe the Book of Mormon is true due to personal revelation. For this discussion, possession of LDS testimonies will be assumed. Therefore, the bearing of these testimonies in the following comments is not permitted. When making evidentiary statements of fact, please provide supporting source references. Please dialog here in your own words; do not fill your comments with lengthy quotes from others. Remember (and follow) the Mormon Coffee comment policy that calls for the summation of main points (in your own words) before linking to another source. On a recent Mormon Coffee thread, after being asked about external evidence supporting the Book of Mormon, an LDS commenter wrote:
[Y]ou said, What is the most compelling piece if archeological evidence that proves to you that the Book of Mormon is true? I will responde with, Oh you of little faith. If we needed scientific/archeological proof to mandate and coincide our beliefs, we would be cast into the same category as the pharisees and saducees. That opinion notwithstanding, this discussion will focus on evidence outside of testimony for the Book of Mormon. Another Latter-day Saint who participates in the conversations at Mormon Coffee has made this argument (taken from a few different comments of his): [T]he question of the Book of Mormon is absolutely black and white- it is either what it claims to be, or it is not.

If it is not what it claims, the whole religion falls. If it is true, the church stands as THE Church of Christ. If it [the Book of Mormon] is true (an ancient record of scripture), JS was a prophet. If he was a prophet, the church is what it claims to be, etc. , etc. Your claim that there is no evidence for the BOM is certainly persistent. I await the thread that allows us to discuss the book straight up. the whole of the LDS church depends on the Book of Mormon being true- every claim depends on it, so I would think that would be a natural center of debate. Okay. To get us started, Michael Coe, Yale University s renowned Professor of Anthropology emeritus, was for PBS s Frontline program The Mormons. After describing some of the major problems facing Mormon archeologists who are seeking to find evidence that the Book of Mormon is true, Dr. Coe said, I don t really know how my friends that are Mormon archaeologists cope with this non-evidence, the fact that the evidence really hasn t shown up how they make the jump from the data to faith or from faith back to the data, because the data and the faith are two different worlds.

There s simply no way to bring them together. Apart from personal revelation, how do the readers of Mormon Coffee (both Mormons and non-Mormons) cope with the non-evidence spoken of by Dr. Coe? For an interesting look at issues surrounding the historicity of the Book of Mormon see the Sunstone article, by John-Charles Duffy. Mormons typically challenge non-Mormons to pray about the Book of Mormon and ask God if it s true. What s the best way to respond when put in this situation? Mormons commonly give their personal testimonies when they re asked how they can be so sure that the Book of Mormon is true. Citing a passage in the Book of Mormon itself, Mormons promise that you can have the same inner assurance they call it the burning in the bosom if you simply pray to God about it. Furthermore, James 1:5 is regularly quoted to argue that the Bible supports the practice of praying to God in order to confirm the truth of Mormonism. Well, next time you re confronted in this fashion, there are a number of things you can do. First, tell Mormons that James 1:5 can t be legitimately quoted when they urge non-Mormons to pray about the Book of Mormon. The obvious reason is that the passage talks about Christians asking God for wisdom when they re facing trials and temptations. It has absolutely nothing to do with praying for some sort of revelation to determine the truth of the Mormon church or the book of Mormon.

Second, you may also want to explain that praying about the Book of Mormon is unnecessary because God s answer has already been revealed by the Bible. You can show, for example, that there is no need to pray about Sun Myung Moon s counterfeit book entitled Divine Principle, because it, too, obviously contradicts Scripture. Point out that passages like 1 Thessalonians 5:21 and Acts 17:11 instruct us to test all things by the Word of God, rather than relying solely on our own feelings. Third, you, too, can offer a testimony that is to say, your testimony concerning the truth of the Bible and the historic orthodox Christian faith. Share your own inner assurance about having eternal life with God, mentioning such passages as John 5:24 and Romans 8:38-39. By combining the subjective element of your personal experience with the strategic response when asked to pray about the Book of Mormon. And remember, you need not only to be equipped to deal with the deviations of the Mormon church; you also must be prepared to sensitively and effectively communicate the Good News that salvation is not by works but, rather, by grace alone through faith in Christ. We are saved by grace, and by grace alone; we are saved unto good works (Eph. 2:8-10). On praying about the Book of Mormon and the burning in the bosom, that s the CRI Perspective. I m Hank Hanegraaff.

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