** This post has a lot of Biblical and Book of Mormon ramblings. If you are in any way offended by either of these beliefs, I hope you continue to read anyway. I am not preaching The Book of Mormon, nor am I asking you to believe what it says. That is your decision. The only book that I am in any way hoping to get you to read is the Bible. Should anyone decide to comment I hope you will be able to comment constructively. **
Last night, I met with the sisters again. I know some of you think it’s pointless for me to meet with them because a lot of believers think that Mormons are fanatical and that they deviate too much from God’s word. Some of you don’t like them…. “like them” isn’t the right term…. agree with. Some of you don’t agree with them because they use The Book of Mormon. While I still don’t feel that it is necessary for me to believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that Moroni was introduced to him by Jesus, I do feel that some of the things they say and do make sense. I’m not getting converted and I’m not making a case for them. I’m just being open minded.
I’ve been reading different parts of The Book of Mormon…. usually just a little bit very day. I started out trying to read from the beginning and going straight through, but I kept getting stopped. I would read and then something just WOULDN’T LET me continue. When I read this book, I give it the same treatment as I do the Bible. I pray continuously WHILE I read. I pray for understanding. I pray that God reveal to me the truth about Joseph Smith and whether or not he was a prophet. I pray that I will be able to express the things I learn to others. There is a really long list of my reading prayers. Back to yesterday..
So yesterday I began to read in the 3rd Book of Nephi. I began at Chapter 8, which tells of the crucifixion of Christ. These chapters are a bit more…. dramatic…. than what the Bible describes happened on earth at the same time. Anyways…. so i get to Chapter 11. It says that Jesus appeared to the people. I have an issue with this. It reminded me of Acts 3:21 which states this: “He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.” I’ll continue to verse 22. “For Moses said, The Lord your God will raise up a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you.” So the contradiction here is a big one. The Book of Mormon states that Jesus appeared to them AFTER his ascension. That is to say, after he returned to heaven. This completely threw the Sisters through a loop because they had never been asked before. I will give them tons of credit, though. They are just as interested in learning as much about the Bible as they can as I am. What they supposed could be the answer was in John 10:16-18.”I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life- only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
So they (the people of the LDS church) believe that he meant those who he appeared to in the 3rd Book of Nephi. I tried to find an answer to that before they gave me theirs. I didn’t have one because I had never questioned the statement, “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen.” That’s a lie. I questioned it, but took it to mean that he had sheep that were not those listening to him at the moment or something. If any of you have insights, please feel free to post them in the comments!
Well…. there’s that. So that was the dilemma/question of the day yesterday. Like I have said before, I personally don’t believe that The Book of Mormon was ordained by God, but by me reading it, it has made me dig deeper into the Bible which is one of my most prized possessions. I know there is no way for me to ever EVER comprehend all that it holds, but I am definitely trying to understand as much of it as I possibly can. I’m glad that I had the curiosity to find out more about the Latter Day Saints denomination because otherwise, I may not have ever wondered what Jesus meant.
The Bible is full of verses that you won’t understand until you read another one that could be in a totally different part. You may read a verse in Ezekiel and not understand it until you read a verse in Philippians. It’s just awesome like that. Anyways. Be on the look-out for a follow up post with some other possible answers to this question.
(Originally posted on my old blog on December 6, 2013)