Wednesday, January 29, 2014
For some of my 16 followers or so and others of you found on various Facebook Chat Groups of discussion may yet remember my Ode to D Lawrence Barksdale's clever reminder that if one is to successfully remove someone from Mormonism, that they should have a clear landing point for them to aim for. (Original Blog Engry Link: http://theldslife.blogspot.com/2013/10/help-us-please-to-come-out-of-mormonism.html) Remembering also that there was no clear EXIT STRATEGY provided by the many Ex-Mo's for Jesus, so let me add a few things which were not included in his assessment of their pleas for us to
"COME OUT OF MORMONISM" but to also remind the folks that in leaving the church, these are some of the nasty things we are expected to give up by renouncing the Prophet Thomas S Monson and the other general authorities of the church.
Topic 1) Abandonment of taking the sacrament and a discontinuation of renewing one's covenants by partaking of the emblems which were also given at the "Last Supper" during the Lord's final hours of life. Yeah that one. Here's a refresher on the prayer(s) we hear each and every Sunday as these emblems are blessed for our benefit.
Doctrine and Covenants Section 20: Verses 76-79
76 "And the elder or priest shall administer it; and after this manner shall he administer it—he shall kneel with the church and call upon the Father in solemn prayer, saying: 77 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 has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen. 78 The manner of administering the wine—he shall take the cup also, and say: 79 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen."
So in leaving Mormonism, we are asking one to abandon the practice of renewing ones covenants also made on a weekly if not a very 'often' basis and those 3 covenants are as follows:
1) ...that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son,
2) ...and always remember him
3) ...and keep his commandments which he has given them;
and by doing so, one may then be forgoing the promised blessing of... "that they may always have his Spirit to be with them." by no longer doing this. (Oh but that's not something that is truly important, right? Test the spirits...right? Harmless? I mean after all, they're in the wrong covenant which to others, is something that is null and void.
So we discover that by leaving Mormonism, it is perfectly acceptable to stop doing those things mentioned? stop taking the Sacrament? or Both? My questions for XINO's or otherwise the Christian Brethren who desire that I leave Mormonism, what is offensive about...
"willing to take upon them the name of Christ in all that I do? seek to always remember him? or keep his commandments? Well we all know that keeping the commandments aren't what get us into heaven. By grace not works. Okay, now moving on.
Topic 2) Temple Covenants:
Because of the love and respect that I have for the temple covenants, I will be brief and mention them in good taste.
One of the first covenants we make in the Temple is to Obey the Law of the Lord and do so under covenant. The sisters are then obliged to follow the Law of the Lord as contained in the Holy Scriptures and do so by following the lead of her husband so long as his paths are righteous and worthy of the Lamb. Similar to swearing on a 'stack of Bibles' which sometimes happens in various ceremonies held in my country. (Any objections? Offensive? Moving on...)
We covenant to obey the Law of Chastity. (Sexual purity before marriage and complete fidelity during marriage.) Is there any part of this that also needs to go unheeded?
We then covenant to participate in the building of Zion upon the earth. Devote our time, talents and energies to the building up of the kingdom of God upon the earth... and yes, we believe that is what we are doing. Doing the Lord's work.
Sound good thus far?
So by doing or rather 'no longer doing these things' how would this make me whole? After all, this is what I would be doing then if I renounce my faith. I might as well, anyhow. Because this is what it would mean for me to lose my Mormonism and settle for something less.
Perhaps I would be less concerned about helping the Boy Scouts in church and performing church service. Hey, I'd get my Sunday's off and some more XBOX time with my fun loving boys then and as one Ex-mo once said to me, I'd get at 10% pay raise!
Topic 3) - The Conclusion: Become an Island unto myself. Be saved in a vacuum. We don't need no stinking church!
This is the part where I would revert to the first entry about the same subject. What would I then do? Stay home and read in the Bible? Would anyone be qualified to teach the gospel doctrines to me? Are there any great T.V. evangelical pastors I should look out for and then follow?
We never do get a clear answer as to what to do next. I guess we could be given a great pamphlet on how to best cross examine Mormons about Isaiah 43:10 and remind them that this verse speaks for itself and that NO MAN may ever think or hope to become like his father in heaven because after him or before him or during him or around him or behind him or on top of him or below him or whatever him one should not find another one to call our God. We LDS believe this too. We do not worship other men or pray to Joseph Smith, in case you were all wondering. ;-) but really, what's next? Put a little $ in the "Salvation Army Bell Ringer's" coin bucket once a year. What else do you suggest?
Pray a lot but to the right Jesus and not the Jesus of Mormonism. However you want to pray. God doesn't judge.
Accept Jesus into my heart to be saved and follow no more after the foolish ambitions of following a modern prophet for we know that any and all prophets should be false. Even the mentioning of False prophets should be enough to deter those silly Mormons from wanting to believe in a modern prophet but they just don't listen.
Saved by grace and not by works! Whew! It's not after all that we can do. We don't have to work anymore in order to earn God's grace. It's a free gift that requires no participation on our part. (Well, minus accepting Jesus into our hearts. That is the work we must do!)
Topic 4)- The Spoilers: For those who choose to remain in the bliss of ignorance, do not look up ANY of these passages of scripture. It may just confuse you or perhaps even the common reader but it will most likely contradict a few of the spiritual lifestyles suggested by the XINO's of today's Christian world and the fates of what Mormons would meet by abiding by the precepts of men...mingled with Scripture.
Romans 6:1-7 - Don't read this one if you think that grace without effort on your part is sufficient.
Revelation Ch 11 - Not to trust any prophets at all ever again for all are false except for these 2?
1 Timothy 2:7 - Trust a T.V. evangelist? a Bible study? That's all you'll get if you don't seek for the anointed.
No where does it say we need fellowship anyway right? (Major SPOILER ALERT! STOP NOW!!!) I echo the words of John when I say this. Come back to church, all they who are currently away from our fellowship.
1 John 1:3 "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." - well I warned you. We invite and await you with open arms!
But if you choose not to leave Mormonism, here's a word of encouragement for you tonight or whenever you end up reading this blog...
Keep Calm and Morm ON!
2 Nephi 33:12 = "And I pray the Father in the name of Christ that many of us, if not all, may be saved in his kingdom at that great and last day." - "...men ought always to pray, and not to faint;" Luke 18:1, and this I leave with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!
Thursday, January 23, 2014
The Romans Vs The Hebrews...
We have been compared to the Roman Empire (for those living in America) but we have been established with Judeo-Christian values. This is an "eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die" sort of lifestyle has been described once before by Nephi. The difference between the two societal differences are in stark contrast with one another but in some ways similar.
One can philosophize and have prosperity as a Mormon and there were probably some good Romans who lived well. I can understand why any good Hebrew boy or girl might look upon the fun that is being enjoyed (and quite so it would appear) by the "Life is a party" crowd because this had described me too, once upon a time. I for one regret to admit that there was something appealing enough about the 'great and spacious building' that I stood in the door way and nearly set my back towards that which I was raised to believe forever once upon a time in my life...but the voice of the spirit had called me back.
The thought of living life for one second without my Heavenly Father and home became unbearable that I made the choice to set right EVERYTHING that was making my life wrong, up until this point. Now I know I am not going to move mountains by sharing this or anything else about my own re-conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ but if you want to talk with me privately regarding the peace that I now feel and what joy this brings me and to my soul, then I would be honored to spend this quality time with you.
If what I have written you here at this point in time has touched your souls in any way, then please P.M. me about that. I testify to you that in overcoming the world, the Lord has helped me to overcome the darkness that living a life apart from that which I came to know as the Lord's true gospel on the earth and his love for me is what allowed me to repent and come unto him. Thanks again to him, I have been given the gift of hope. If I could give anyone a gift of any kind, then it would be this same gift of hope to you.
This I share with you in his sacred name,even the name of Jesus Christ whom I now feel worthy to make mention of, Amen.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Monday, January 20, 2014
The tables are FULL of VOMIT and FILTH!
One wonders whether or not Isaiah had made a proclamation about how the gospel was being taught in his day or whether it was a "latter-day" passage or possibly both. I'll go ahead with Nephi's explanation on the matter and liken this scripture unto ourselves. Why? Because of what is being fed to the honest seekers of the truth and pass off as gospel truth. (See Isaiah 28:7-9) http://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/isa/28.7?lang=eng#
Now we KNOW that this milk is not the life giving waters mentioned of by Jesus Christ or the bread which he should feed his people. It is prophets. They DO THE BEST that they can. Far more nutritious than anything else. (When you consider Vomit and Filth (poop) as the main courses found in other churches or via those engaged in Priestcraft. Why vomit, one asks? It's partially digested gospel message but then spewed out to resemble gospel nutrition. Well filth? Filth has been filtered by men and understandably is now TOXIC and unfit for human consumption. Trust me guys, I don't want you to get a visual of a dude standing on your table and doing EITHER of the 2 things mentioned... absolutely disgusting.
But that is why I love Maxwell's quote as it pertains to Isaiah. October 2003 General Conference, Maxwell said this,
"Just as prophesied, fools deride him, hell rages against him, and his name is “both good and evil spoken of” (JS—H 1:33). This swirl needlessly preoccupies a few who seem to prefer chewing on old bones in the outer courtyard instead of coming inside to the resplendent, revelatory banquet, thus diverting them from giving due attention to Joseph’s mission as “a choice seer” (see 2 Ne. 3:6–7)."
Come join our revelatory banquet, all ye ends of the earth and be FILLED!
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
LDS Youth Mutual (Young Men and Young Women) Announced their 2014 theme early on in January, 2014; This is an official video of the activities and focus of the youth this year. (The video is hosted at TheLdsLife YouTube channel but is originally found at Mormon Messages at the Mormon Channel.)
http://tinyurl.com/ComeUntoChrist2014 - #ComeUntoChrist now has a TinyURL as "ComeUntoChrist2014" to signify the easy, sharable music and message via Twitter and other social media outlets!
http://tinyurl.com/ComeUntoChrist2014 - #ComeUntoChrist now has a TinyURL as "ComeUntoChrist2014" to signify the easy, sharable music and message via Twitter and other social media outlets!
Friday, January 10, 2014
Various critics of the Book of Mormon have raised considerations about it's text.
The criticism has been...
Why did Joseph Smith translate it into the scriptural language of the King James Version of the Bible when folks from that era didn't necessarily speak to one another in the old Biblical Language. (That it was not contemporary.) Although they did not speak this Old English or pardon, "Ye Olde English" nor did they labour, or rather, labor under that paradigm however what ought NOT to be mistaken or misunderstood is it's origin; it is 100% authentically Hebrew and with a touch of some form of Egyptian. (self-described as 'reformed egyptian' by the self same author of this record, Mormon. I hope this semi-plagiarized information makes a better case for you to return and revisit your investigation of this beautifully NON-English book entitled, "The Book of Mormon."
(All credits pertaining to the original content creator listed below.)
Foolish or Hebrew?
In the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon Alma 46:19 reads, "When Moroni had said these words, he went forth among the people, waving the rent of his garment in the air." Of course, the rent is the hole, the tear, the space that now separated what was once a whole. Yes, the Prophet made an error which has been corrected in later printings to read, "rent part." But, perhaps not foolish. Rather, this almost silly omission has become one thread in a tapestry of evidence pointing to the truth of this young prophet's claim: he was really translating a Hebrew text. "Waving the rent," may be ludicrous English but it is a literal translation of perfectly good Hebrew. John Tvedtnes explains that in Hebrew, the noun modified by a verbal substantive like rent is assumed from its context. Thus, "part" would not be included in the Hebrew text. It must be supplied by the translator. Yes, Joseph failed to supply the missing word, thus leaving us this interesting evidential strand.
Mark Twain called the Book of Mormon "chloroform in print," and the 1830 edition would similarly impress most modern readers. Many Latter-day Saints are surprised to learn that there have been nearly 1400 changes in this most perfect of books since its original publication in 1830. These changes have principally been made to correct Joseph Smith's abominable grammar. While these changes have certainly made the text more readable, there is still much language in the current edition that is strange to the English ear.
The problem is that many of the expressions found in this perfect book don't really belong to the English language. Not only are they not good English, they are also not representative of the language of Joseph Smith's rural upstate New York upbringing. Brother Tvedtnes contends "that the Book of Mormon, in its English form as provided by Joseph Smith, is in many respects a nearly literal translation. The Book of Mormon shows all the signs of being a translation of an ancient Semitic record which has been translated into English by someone who had little skill in English grammar and phrasing. The sentence structure, word usage, and peculiar idioms of the original language have been nearly recreated in sometimes very awkward English phrases.
Brother Tvedtnes concludes, "In most cases thus far investigated, Book of Mormon expressions which are ungrammatical in English are perfect Hebrew grammar."
Instances of Hebraic expression found in an English text are called Hebraisms. This paper will examine a number of Hebraisms that are found in the Book of Mormon. A more detailed discussion will be found in the references.
"And it came to pass"
Most have heard Twain's quip that removing "and it came to pass" from the Book of Mormon would reduce it to a pamphlet. Who could blame him? Even in the present edition of the Book of Mormon "it came to pass" occurs 1297 times. However, this phrase also occurs 457 times in the KJV of the Old Testament. There, it's the English translation of the single Hebrew word, hâyâh. We tend to read this phase as indicating a passage of time. However, J Weingreen, in Practical Grammar for Classical Hebrew, suggests that it would best be given the meaning, "now it happened." Strong's Hebrew dictionary suggests "to exist" or "to become" as possible translations of hâyâh. Royal Skousen postulates that hâyâh represents a "discourse marker" and suggests that the phrase and it came to pass "may be considered equivalent to and then or and so." The Hebrew Old Testament has 1114 occurrences of the word hâyâh. Most of these have either been ignored or simply reduced to "AND." In his editing for the 1837 edition of the Book of Mormon Joseph Smith removed 46 occurrences of "it came to pass," rendering them as "and," just as was done by the King James translators. If Mark Twain was reading the 1830 edition he would have encountered passages like this:
2 Nephi 4:10: "and it came to pass that when my father had made an end of speaking unto them behold it came to pass that he spake unto the sons of Ishmael..."
Alma 8:18-19: "now it came to pass that after Alma had received his message from the angel of the Lord he returned speedily to the land of Ammonihah and it came to pass that he entered the city by another way yea by the way which was on the south of the city Ammonihah and it came to pass that as he entered the city..."
Many Old Testament examples could be given of similar construction which would result from a literal translation of the Old Testament Hebrew. One will suffice. The current KJV of Genesis 35:16-18 contains two instances of "it came to pass," but, there are three in the Hebrew (the omitted text is shown in the Hebrew Torah):
"And they journeyed from Bethel; and [it came to pass that] there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour. And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also. And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin."
In a recent interesting discovery, a Mayan language element has been translated "and it came to pass." The function of this element in Mayan texts is rather well defined. Depending on context, it references the reader either forward or backward to a specific date or event. An analysis of the Book of Mormon has shown that many of the instances of "and it came to pass" are reasonably consistent with this Mayan meaning of this expression.
Why is this phrase so common in the Book of Mormon?
The answer is simple: Because Joseph was translating a Hebrew text. If "it came to pass" were not prominent in the Book of Mormon, the Hebrew claims for its origin would be absurd. Hâyâh is an integral part of Hebrew expression. Thus, "it came to pass" must be found as a common expression in any document that claims to be a translation from Hebrew to English. Does this prove the Hebrew origins of the Book of Mormon? No. But another thread is added to our tapestry of evidence.
And, and, and; Too Many "ands"
In Hebrew, words, phrases, and sentences are generally connected by a single character, usually translated "and." Thus, in a literal translation of Hebrew into English "and" appears in many places where English would have a punctuation mark. In this literal translation, many sentences would begin with "and," as in Alma 11 where 20 of the 23 verses begin with "And." Lists in this literal translation would have each item set off by "and," as in "all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of precious ores" (2 Nephi 5:15). Many other strange uses of "and" might also be expected to occur. The following paragraphs illustrate some of these.
"And" or "But" This Hebrew conjunction translated and really has many possible meanings in English. In the Old Testament it has been translated: "or," "then," "certainly," "perhaps," "in order to," "like," "therefore," "so," "thus," and "but." This last, but, leads us to an interesting observation in the Book of Mormon. Consider this sentence from Moroni 9:4, "and when I speak the word of God with sharpness they tremble and anger against me; and when I use no sharpness they harden their hearts against it." Obviously, the sense of this "and. ." would, in English, be better expressed by the word "but. .." However, if Joseph was making a near literal translation Hebrew, "and" is a correct rendering. Another example provides and even better illustration. A promise from the Lord is quoted by Lehi in 2 Nephi 1:20. In 2 Nephi 4:4, this same passage is again quoted, with one interesting difference: the "but" appearing in the first passage is replaced by an "and. ." in the second. The Hebrew for each of these passages would be identical and both renditions are fully acceptable translations of that Hebrew.
Another unusual construction using "and" is the Hebrew use of "and also." In this case, English also uses "and" but Hebrew must add "also." In Hebrew this construct, "and also," is used to denote a strong link between two things. Again, this structure is common throughout the Book of Mormon (it occurs 447 times). For example, in 1 Nephi 8:3 "and also" appears twice: "And behold, because of the thing which I have seen, I have reason to rejoice in the Lord because of Nephi and also of Sam; for I have reason to suppose that they, and also many of their seed, will be saved."
"If . . . . and"
Here is yet another place where the Hebrew "and" shows up in a strange place. The Hebraic equivalent of the English if-then clause is the Hebrew if-and clause. This is not found in the current editions of the Book of Mormon, nor is it found anywhere in and English Old Testament. But, it was in the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon.
For example, this is how Helaman 12:13-21 appeared in that edition: "yea, and if he sayeth unto the earth Move and it is moved; yea, and if he sayeth unto the earth, Thou shalt go back, that it lengthen out the day for many hours, and it is done;"..."And behold, also, if he sayeth unto the waters of the great deep, Be thou dried up, and it is done. Behold, if he sayeth unto this mountain, Be thou raised up, and come over and fall upon that city, that it be buried up and behold it is done...and if the Lord shall say, Be thou accursed, that no man shall find thee from this time henceforth and forever, and behold, no man getteth it henceforth and forever. And behold, if the Lord shall say unto a man, Because of thine iniquities thou shalt be accursed forever, and it shall be done. And if the Lord shall say, Because of thine iniquities thou shalt be cut off from my presence, and he will cause that it shall be so."
The Parenthetical Insert
Hebrew does not use the parenthesis or comma, instead, the and character is used to set off what in English would be a parenthetical phrase or comment. In the English Old Testament, the translation has regularly expressed this using the normal English practice of parentheses and commas (leaving the and character untranslated). But, the Book of Mormon, particularly the 1830 edition, used the Hebraic form, usually introducing a parenthetical statement with a now, and ending with and.
For example, we read in 3 Nephi 12:1, "When Jesus had spoken these words unto Nephi, and to those who had been called, (now...the number of them who had been called, and received power and authority to baptize, was twelve) and...behold, he stretched forth his hand" (remember, the punctuation was inserted by the printer). An example of the and-and construction is found in the 1830 edition of 1 Nephi 10:17.
This reads, "...which power was received by faith in the Son of God and...the Son of God was the Messiah who should come and it came to pass..." This is certainly not good English, but it is very good Hebrew.
There Have Been a Lot of Changes!
"Who" / "Which" / "Where"
In Hebrew, the relative "pronoun" 'aser, which might be translated "which" in English, is used for both human and nonhuman references. This same pronoun is used in place references. The most common correction to the 1830 Book of Mormon grammar has been the change of which to who (891 times). In an additional 66 case, which has been changed to whom. This is another instance where the Hebrew structure of the first edition resulted in unacceptable English sentences. For example, Alma 46:34, in the 1830 edition read, "Now, Moroni being a man which was appointed by the chief judges . . . "
That's Just Too Much
There have been 188 instances of the word that removed from the Book of Mormon since its 1830 publication. Even a casual reference to the original edition would confirm the need for this drastic revision. Yet, many instances of this Hebraic phrasing still remain in the current text. Here are two examples:
"And because that they are redeemed from the fall" (2 Nephi 2:26)
"because that my heart is broken" (2 Nephi 4:32)
John Tvedtnes explains that Hebrew "begins subordinate clauses with prepositions plus a word that translates into that in English." This "that" is generally totally redundant in English. But, if the translation is literal, and the translator just doesn't know any better, that's what happens. This Is Not the Way It's Done in English!!!
Why Not Adverbs?
The Book of Mormon often uses a prepositional phrase in place of an adverb. This is not good English, but then the book does not claim to be English. Joseph said he was translating from Hebrew and Hebrew has very few adverbs. In Hebrew, a preposition is used instead. Consider the following Book of Mormon Hebraisms:
"with harshness" instead of "harshly"
"with joy" instead of "joyfully"
"with gladness" instead of "gladly"
"with patience" instead of "patiently"
"with diligence" instead of "diligently"
"in diligence" instead of "diligently"
"in abundance" instead of "abundantly"
"in righteousness" instead of "righteously"
"in the spirit" instead of "spiritually"
"of worth" instead of "worthy"
"of a surety" instead of "surely"
John Tvedtnes makes this further observation about Hebrew adverbs: "At least one adjective (harebeh, 'many, exceeding') is used adverbially, but more often a prepositional phrase is used. The Book of Mormon is replete with adverbial usage of the adjective 'exceeding' (as in 'exceeding great joy'--instead of 'exceedingly'--in 1 Nephi 8:12). "Just another thread in our tapestry."
"Plates brass" and "Book Mormon"?
Where English uses possessives, Semitic languages like Hebrew and Arabic use what is called the construct state. Instead of saying David's city, the Hebrew literally says city David. This is, of course, translated "city of David." This word order also applies to descriptions. While the normal English phrasing would be brass plates, the Hebrew word order would be plates brass, translated "plates of brass," the "of" being supplied by the translator. The phrase "brass plates" does not occur in the Book of Mormon, while "plates of brass" occurs 27 times. Both possessives and the normal English descriptive statements (like brass plates) are nearly absent from the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon. Instead, the Book of Mormon is full of Hebraisms like:
Descriptives And Possessives : night of darkness, rod of iron, sword of Laban, record of Jared, words of plainness, land of promise, plates of Nephi, Brother of Jared, Mist of darkness, skin of blackness, Book of Mormon, language of Jacob, state of probation, altar of stones, army of Moroni, people of Ammon
What's with These Crazy Pronouns?
Pronouns in Hebrew are frequently overused by English standards. The following are two examples of this Hebraism which are common to both the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon.
Redundant Pronouns: Hebrew often uses a pronoun in a subordinate clause which refers to the same person or object referenced in the main clause. For example, Nephi says, "I beheld, and saw the people of the seed of my brethren that they...had overcome my seed." (1 Nephi 12:20).
Possessive Pronouns: In Hebrew, pronouns used for possession are attached as suffixes to the noun. This is similar to the "plates brass" construction. For example, the literal Hebrew of his house would be equivalent to house-his. Just as in the case of the translation of "plates brass" the translator may supply an "of" resulting in a sometimes strange English expression in the form "house of him." An example of this is found in Jacob 5:2, where Jacob says, "hear the words of me." (Check it out, that's the way it's still written in the latest edition.) More often, this will be translated "his house," or "my words." Even this good English translation results in a strange construction when there is more than one object referenced. Since the pronoun is attached to the noun, a literal translation must repeat the relative pronoun.
This is illustrated in 1 Nephi 2:4. Nephi, describing his father's departure from Jerusalem says. "And he left his. . house, and the land of his...inheritance, and his...gold, and his...silver, and his precious things..."
The expression "from before" occurs 78 times in the King James translation of the Old Testament. These are expressions like: "from before thee," "from before them," "from before thy presence," and "from before thy face." This is a Hebraism and does not occur in the New Testament. This form of expression appears 21 times in the Book of Mormon. Some might say that Joseph just copied this from the Old Testament. With this in mind, one example is interesting. The Hebrew phrase mil-li-phnê can be literally translated "from before the face of." or "from before my face," or "from before the presence of."
Of the 21 Book of Mormon occurrences of "from before," thirteen are closely related to "from before my face." This is exactly the wording of six of these. Only once does "from before my face" appear in the KJV of the Old Testament.
"In" or "To"?
The Hebrew words translated into English as "in" and "to" are sometimes interchangeable in Hebrew sentence structure. Could this explain an interesting "error" in the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon? In that edition, 1 Nephi 7:12 read, "Let us be faithful in him."
Neither "more" Nor "er" ???
In Hebrew there is no equivalent for the normal English phrasing of comparisons. In English we might say, "He is more. . handsome," or "She is taller. .." Neither this use of more nor the addition of the suffix er, is possible in Hebrew. Instead of more, Hebrew uses above all. This should be very familiar to Book of Mormon readers as this "above all" comparison occurs 35 times in the current Book of Mormon text. There are many familiar examples: "choice above all other lands"; "sweet, above all that I ever before tasted"; "the tree which is precious above all. .." And in 1 Nephi 13:30, it occurs twice: "and have been lifted up by the power of God above all. . other nations, upon the face of the land which is choice above all other lands."
There exists in the Semitic languages a construction called the "cognate accusative." It consists of a verb immediately followed by a noun derived from the same root, and is often used for emphasis. The Book of Mormon has many excellent examples:
"they are cursed with a sore cursing" instead of sorely cursed
"work all manner of fine work" instead of do fine work
"and he did judge righteous judgments" instead of judge righteously
"Behold I have dreamed a dream" instead of I had a dream
"taxed with a tax" Instead of taxed
Name that Name
In 1 Nephi 2:8, the following appears: "And it came to pass that he called the name of the river, Laman... "In English, we would ordinarily expect to read "he called the river Laman," or "he named the river Laman." However, in both Hebrew and Arabic the construction of this phrase would be similar to the cognate accusative: "he named. . the name." This construction is seen throughout the Book of Mormon. Almost always it's the name that is named.
In English compound numbers are hyphenated. We write twenty-five. In Hebrew the conjunction "and" is always used to express this compound (twenty and five). The Book of Mormon always uses this Hebrew form for expressing compound numbers.
In proper English, when a person speaks of themselves and another, the reference to the speaker should always come last. In Hebrew, this is reversed. Thus, "my brother and I" would be "I and my brother." The Book of Mormon consistently uses this Hebrew form.
While rare in the English Bible, the Hebrew compound preposition is found throughout the Book of Mormon. Here are some examples: by the hand of your enemies instead of "by your enemy's hand" ...by the mouth of all the prophets instead of "said by all the prophets," or "by the prophet's mouth" ... down into the land of Nephi instead of "down to Nephi," or "down to the land of Nephi" ...fled from before my presence instead of "fled from me," or "fled from my presence"
In Hebrew when a preposition refers to multiple objects, it is usual for the preposition to be repeated with the mention of each object. In English we might say, "I was pleased with the work of Tom, Dick, and Harry." In Hebrew this would be: "I was pleased with the work of Tom, and of Dick, and of Harry." It might even be: ". . . the work of Tom, and the work of Dick, and the work of Harry." This can be seen in 2 Samuel 6:5, where we read, "Even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals." This construction is also common in the Book of Mormon. For example, in Lehi's instruction to his son, Jacob (2 Nephi 2:5), he says: "And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil. And the law is given unto men. And by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off. Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off; and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good, and become miserable forever."
This one is interesting. Angela Crowell tells us that in Hebrew an action is either completed or uncompleted--there are no past, present, or future tenses. Instead, they have what are called the perfect and the imperfect tense. The perfect tense is used when speaking of the past and the imperfect when speaking of the future. However, in a fascinating exception to this rule, Hebrew prophets generally use the perfect tense when speaking of future events. This is called the prophetic perfect. Thus, the prophet will describe a future event as if it had already occurred. "For unto us a child is. . born," is a familiar example from Isaiah. Anyone who has read the Book of Mormon is aware that this pattern is followed throughout. The Nephi prophets continually speak of Christ as if he had already come. They continually speak of the atonement as if it had already occurred. They continually speak as if they were Hebrew prophets.
The plural form in Hebrew would seem strange and ambiguous to most of us. There are words that are always plural, like: hayyim ("lives"); samayim ("heavens"); mayim ("waters"). Some words, like hand, head, moth, tongue, and voice are generally singular, even when referring to more than one person. Plurals are used for emphasis and the plural form of "God" (Elohim) always takes a singular verb. This is strange and complex stuff. It's so far from English usage that any translator whose primary language was English would be expected to convert these plurals to standard English form. But, what if this translator had limited education, perhaps not sufficiently familiar with his mother tongue to even compose an intelligible letter? Joseph just told Oliver what he saw in the words of the record and this educated, yet humble, scribe just wrote as he was told. So we have:
"Great slaughters with the sword" (1 Nephi 12:2)
"I did exhort them with all the energies of my soul" (1 Nephi 15:25)
"and did reap with your mights" (Alma 26:5 - 1830 edition)
"by the voice of his angels" (Alma 10:20 & 21)
"by the mouth of his holy prophets" (2 Nephi 9:2)
Did the original Book of Mormon contain word plays which are not apparent to us in the English translation. We know that the Hebrew of the Old Testament is replete with cleaver word selections, names being the principal example. Of course, without reference to the original language, these kinds of word plays are really impossible to identify in the Book of Mormon. At the same time, if we assume that the original language had a Semitic derivation, there are some interesting coincidences that can be observed. I here look at four of these: the place names Nahom, and Jershon, together with Lehi's river and valley. Dr. Nibley, in his consideration of the origin of proper names in the Book of Mormon, provides many more interesting examples.
Nahom (or NHM, the vowels must be added) is a Hebrew word meaning "consolation" or "comfort." In Arabic, this same word has the meaning of "to sigh" or "to moan." As Lehi's party were traveling in the wilderness, they buried Ishmael "in a place called Nahom." Is it just coincidence that in describing this event, Nephi commented that Ishmael's daughters "did mourn exceedingly."
In Hebrew, Jershon means "place of inheritance." Jershon was the name that the Nephi's gave to the land given as a refuge to Ammon's convert Lamanites. In Alma 27:22 we read that this land was given to these Lamanites" for an inheritance."
A "nhr" and an "êtn"
NHR is a Hebrew word for river. It comes from a root meaning "to flow" and also has the secondary meaning of "to shine." Similarly, êtn is a Hebrew word for valley. More specifically, it speaks of a valley that is "perennial, overflowing, enduring, and firm." Could these be the words Lehi used when he admonished Laman to, "Be like unto this river, continually running into the fountain of all righteousness;" and Lemuel to, "Be like this valley, firm and steadfast, and immovable?"
Yes, the original text of the Book of Mormon, and even our current edition, contains many expressions that are not characteristic of English. It is true that in many places that original text betrayed the scanty schooling of its translator. As the above examples have illustrated, that translator appears to have been unable to go far beyond the literal representation of the text before him. That the word order and semantic expression of that text was Semitic and at least a near cousin to Hebrew can hardly be questioned. Does this prove the Book of Mormon true? No. But, the book certainly REALLY isn't the product of the imagination of an uneducated New York farm boy.
http://www.cometozarahemla.org/hebraisms/hebraisms.html - Credit goes to this webpage below. This has been formatted and prepared for easy scripture finding. No harm to the creator is intended by reprinting this material.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
I have had various questions placed before me about the need or their opinions that there is lacking the need for restoration when we speak of Christianity or Christianities church. Let me see if I can bring an example about that could illustrate what I feel is a good case for restoration. I will do this in a certain language and there will not be much talk over a church... you'll have to use your spiritual ears on this one.
If someone told you that this is a Porche, would you get excited enough to ride in it? (And I don't mean just so you could laugh about it and take a 'selfie photo' while in it to share with your friends.) Seriously though, if someone told you that this is a Porche, would you believe them?
Now if anyone could find a Drivers Manual for this Porsche, then nothing about the above image could convince me that it was being operated under its proper intended use.
Agree or disagree, the only thing that could restore this Porsche to its original glory and intended use is by the Master Mechanic or the car's creator. The car owner here might not think it needs restoration to meet his needs and besides, there really isn't any gasoline (priesthood) where he lives so it's going to run a bit differently than it's intended use. Some prefer to walk everywhere they go, have no car or belong to. (ie, no organized religion) Having a vehicle capable of taking the hopefuls to their eventual destination has just gotten a brief lesson on picking the right vehicle. To the well trained eye, one may say that this isn't a Porsche at all and they're probably right if their expectation of the Porsche is different than the one presented here.
Some may ask, "an you find that anywhere outside of LDS literature? Is there any extra-LDS documentation to show that was there originally and needed to be restored?"
One might not believe me that this is a Porsche. Likewise, when people show me this Porsche, I have a perfect knowledge of what a Porsche should look like based on seeing the newer working model. I can tell that this was once a car. It is evident in the body and the two wheels that remain and from what I read in the owner's manual. I have a "Porche Perspective" and I don't have any Non-Porsche literature available to tell me that this porsche needed restoration. I just have my own observations.
When I say that this is the Porsche which was the original Porsche, one would also say no way. I am not saying that it is an exact copy of the one that fell into ruin. I'm saying that it is made by the Manufacturer, Porsche. In like manner, people will disagree and say, "I don't see where the engine is necessary. We have a mule. This is sufficient." Not that we're trying to make that older Porsche run again... but the name Porsche has been restored. And anyone can see compared to the two images, that both were cars and meant to run on Gasoline.
Now what the world says (who only knew of the further above image currently only using the above mentioned model) "I should suppose that this new car is unnecessary because there is no place to put the mule to name just one reason why this restoration of the Porsche should be necessary."
I don't have to look into much Non-LDS published material but if I can use the Bible (also LDS used) then perhaps this is something that can shed some more light on the awareness that there would be an Apostasy and its accompanying restoration needed and foreseen. Scriptures:
Acts 3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
Isaiah 11:11 - And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
Joel 2:27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. 28 ¶And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come. 32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.
Matt 17:11 - And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
Revelation 14: 6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
1 Nephi 15:13 - And now, the thing which our father meaneth concerning the grafting in of the natural branches through the fulness of the Gentiles, is, that in the latter days, when our seed shall have dwindled in unbelief, yea, for the space of many years, and many generations after the Messiah shall be manifested in body unto the children of men, then shall the fulness of the gospel of the Messiah come unto the Gentiles, and from the Gentiles unto the remnant of our seed—
Isaiah 49:22-23 - Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. 23 And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.
I testify that God has done this thing. That upon the Lord's return, this vast effort to prepare the earth for his coming has been under way for the past 200 years, thereabouts. This would be necessary for both prophecies about his coming and the further fulfillment of Malachi's prophecy about Elijah's return to the earth and our work to remember our kindred dead. We will be quite busy in the temples, night and day, to finish that all important work for the dead. (Revelation 7:15) - this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Monday, January 6, 2014
Dear God-fearing friend, DON'T LISTEN TO THOSE DELUSIONAL CHRISTIANS!!! This is your area Rabbi, Rabbi Yohanan bar Alcalai, and the year according to Christians is 66 A.D. I have authority in which to write of the matter. For I write the truth and wish to correct the error of your new found Christianity.
I am writing this letter because of a great threat to the cherished words which the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has given us through His holy prophets.
You've probably had Christians come around to your door, wanting to engage you in "discussions" about their faith. And maybe, as a good Jew, you've let them in the door. They seem to be nice, well-dressed, well-mannered. They may speak about Israel's God, and they may carry the Bible under their arms, but don't be deceived-they are not Jewish. Christianity is an insidious cult that seeks to tear real adherents of Judaism away from Moses and the Bible.
Take, for example, their principal message, about the Messiah. They bring you their "New Testament, Another Witness of the Prophets" and try to convince you that their founder, Jesus, was the Messiah. But believe me, this is not the Messiah of the Bible. No, my friend, the Christians teach a very a different messiah than what the holy prophets wrote about. While the biblical Messiah is a king who will liberate us from our enemies, the Christian messiah is said to have died to liberate us from our sins, despite the fact that the Bible teaches that every man is responsible for his own sins (Leviticus 20:19-20). If a man commits murder, for example, he is to be executed for his sin, and there is no provision for someone else dying in his stead (Genesis 9:6). The law of God clearly states that "every man shall be put to death for his own sin" (Deuteronomy 24:16). For those not guilty of capital crimes, the Bible is clear about the procedure that must be followed in order to be cleansed from sin. One must confess his sins, make restitution for wrongs, and offer the proper sacrifice (Leviticus 4:2-4; Numbers 5:6-7).
The Christians believe that, because their leader died, it is no longer necessary to offer sacrifices at the temple. But the Bible says otherwise, commanding, "thou shalt offer every day a bullock for a sin offering for atonement . . . two lambs of the first year day by day continually" (Exodus 29:36, 38). These sacrifices are to be made "throughout your generations" (Exodus 30:10).
Ironically, the founder of the Christian Church was conceived out of wedlock, which, under the Law of Moses, disqualifies him from participating in religious functions (Deuteronomy 23:2). The Christians' own scriptures acknowledge that Jesus was a winebibber (Matthew 11:19). The Bible warns us, saying, "a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink" (Micah 2:11). The false prophet Jesus, who also claimed divine prerogatives, was tried and found guilty of high crimes (blasphemy and treason) and executed by crucifixion. And yet some people are gullible enough to believe that he was sent by God!
And what of those who perpetuated this false messiah? The Christians claim that some of the disciples of Jesus, including a sometime fisherman and money-digger (Matthew 17:27) named Simon (who goes under the alias of Peter), along with a traitorous Roman money collector named Matthew and ten others who go by the title of apostles, are prophets who speak with God. But their messages contradict the word of God as given through ancient prophets such as Moses, Isaiah, and Jeremiah and their behavior violates all the laws of God.
Peter was once arrested and put into prison until he could answer charges brought against him. But the night before he was to be arraigned before King Herod, he escaped from the guards and ran away (Acts 12:6-9). Tradition has it that after fleeing to Rome and practicing his treasonous religion there, he was again imprisoned, this time by the Roman authorities, who found him guilty of crimes against the state and was executed by crucifixion.
The most outspoken of the followers of Christ was a Roman Jew who preferred to be known more by his Gentile name, Paul, than by his God given Israelite name, Saul. It is this man, more than all the others, who is responsible for writing the "new" testament which Christians deem more holy than the law God gave to Israel through Moses. What kind of a person was he? I will tell you. He was expelled from the cities of Antioch (Acts 13:50), Iconium (Acts 14:5,6), and Lystra (14:19) where his preaching had stirred up riots. In the city of Thyatira Paul and one of his companions were brought before the magistrate and accused of being trouble-makers. When the evidence was presented, Paul was found guilty and sentenced to a beating and ordered to do time in prison. (Acts 16:20-25) The last eight years of his life he spent in a Roman prison and was eventually executed according to Roman law because of his crimes. These are the kinds of people Christians look up to and whose words they claim came from God.
But their words cannot be from God for one simple reason: Malachi's record marks the end of the scriptures which God intended to give mankind. Since prophecy ceased some four centuries before the time Jesus was even born, this is absolute proof that Jesus was a false prophet! Along with the ending of scripture, so did the visitation of angles. Yet Christians claim that angels appeared to Mary, the mother of Jesus and to her cousin Zacharias, to Peter and to Paul. The Bible tells us to beware of false prophets (Isaiah 9:15; Jeremiah 28:15), and the Lord warned us through Moses not to add or detract from his word (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32). The Bible, from Genesis to Malachi, is inerrant and all-sufficient, and it is blasphemous to suggest that God should give us additional scriptures, a "new" testament that contradicts in every particular what he has already given us. And yet, that is exactly what the followers of the man Jesus have done. They dare to give us more of God's word, which, in reality, contradicts the words of God's true prophets.
One such contradiction is found in a supposed "revelation" of Simon Peter's where he claims that God told him not to make a distinction between clean and unclean animals (Acts 10:9-16), despite the fact that the Bible clearly commands that we make such a distinction (Leviticus 10:10; 11:2-31, 41-47; 20:25; Deuteronomy 14:3-20). The "revelation" which he had itself contains a clue to its false nature. It says (verse 10) that Peter was suffering hunger when "he fell into a trance" (Acts 10:10) His supposed "vision" (Acts 10:17)-or should we call it what it really is, an hallucination-was from the feeling in his stomach, not from God. I had a dream very much like Peter's one night, but instead of attributing it to a heavenly revelation, I chalked it up to a morsel of undigested food.
This same Peter states that all Christians belong to a holy priesthood (1 Peter 2:5,9). The Bible makes it clear that the priesthood is restricted to the tribe of Levi, and that God curses anyone else who tries to officiate in priesthood functions (2 Chronicles 26:18-19). When Aaron and his sons were anointed, God said, "for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations" (Exodus 40:15). God made a "covenant of an everlasting priesthood" with Aaron's grandson Pinehas (Numbers 25:13). It is people like the Christians whom the Bible condemns because they have "cast out the priests of the Lord, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and have made you priests after the manner of the nations of other lands so that whosoever cometh to consecrate himself with a young bullock and seven rams, the same may be a priest of them that are no gods" (2 Chronicles 13:9).
As for the supposed Christian "miracles," it is clear that they do not follow the biblical pattern. Their founder is said to have healed people by telling them their sins were forgiven (Matthew 9:2), while some people were supposedly healed by touching his garment (Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 6:55-56). This practice of magical rites is confirmed in another Christian scripture, Acts 19:12, which says people can be healed by being touched with handkerchiefs or aprons touched by someone who has healing powers. Even more fantastic is the story in Acts 5:15, where we read that people were healed when the shadow of Peter fell on them!
The Christians also deny the efficacy of circumcision, wanting to replace it with baptism. But in the Bible, God clearly states that circumcision is "a token of the covenant betwixt me and you," and is to be "an everlasting covenant." If a man is not circumcised, God says, "that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant" (Genesis 17:10-14). But Christians do not believe God's word. Instead, they invent a "new testament" to justify breaking sacred, everlasting, holy commandments.
In his "sermon on the mount," the founder of the Christian Church openly spoke out against Bible teachings that had been revealed from heaven. Even while professing that he had not "come to destroy the law, or the prophets" (Matthew 5:17), he changed the sixth commandment from "thou shalt not kill" to "whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment" (Matthew 5:21-22). He also reworded the seventh commandment, rejecting the words "thou shalt not commit adultery" and substituting, "whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:27-28). And though the Bible specifically says that we should perform oaths in the name of the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:13; 10:20), Jesus abrogated the commandment and taught "swear not at all" (Matthew 5:34). He also denounced the biblical law of divorce (Matthew 5:31-32). In the same sermon, he showed his utter depravity and demented state by telling his disciples to pluck out their right eyes and to cut off their right hands (Matthew 5:29- 30). It is hard to believe that anyone could accept someone like this as the Messiah.
Still, Christians revere their leader as a martyr, one who "gave his life" willingly. Yet the facts tell a different story: When the chief priests came to lawfully arrest this Jesus, his principal disciple lashed out with a sword, inflicting serious head wounds upon the high priest's servant (John 18:3- 10)! Jesus, the "martyr," was involved in a sword fight shortly before his death! By both Jewish law (blasphemy) and Roman law (treason and sedition), Jesus was condemned to death as a common criminal. This is the kind of man whom his followers admire and ask us to put our faith and trust in.
Then we are told that this condemned criminal rose from the grave as an immortal being three days later! But how do we know this? Where is the proof that such a thing actually happened? Christians can only point to their "new" testament. But who wrote this testament? Why, it was the followers of Jesus, and, more especially, his closest friends and associates. So the only real proof we have is what they tell us. As I have already shown, these disciples were not men of moral virtue and trustworthiness. The proof of this is that Peter admittedly lied three times in one night! (Mark 14:66-72). Judas betrayed his own master. And these were supposedly the most devoted admirers of Jesus. Yet, Christians ask us to believe that the words which such men wrote are just as holy and inspired as the true prophets of God!
Finally, Israel's God pronounced a curse upon anyone who put their trust in another man. Moreover, the Bible clearly states that the heart of such a person had departed from the Lord (Jeremiah 17:5). In direct opposition to God's holy word, Jesus told his disciples to come follow him (Luke 18:22). Not even our great lawgiver, Moses,
ever told us to follow him. He always commanded our fathers to put their trust in God. But the followers of Jesus go so far as to take upon themselves his name rather than the name of God. That is why they call themselves "Christians." We honor Moses but we don't take upon ourselves his name. We revere the prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Elijah, Samuel and all the others, but we don't claim our allegiance to them. We worship God, not some man who claims to speak for God. But Christians have no such belief. They put their trust in the man Jesus.
Now, you might want to try helping your Christian neighbor find his way to the God of the Bible. But bear in mind that it will be difficult to talk to him because Christians have their own unique definition of biblical terms. So when they use the term "Messiah," they're not thinking of the biblical Messiah, but of the criminal Jesus. When they speak of "sacrifice," they don't mean the sacred rites of the temple of God, but refer to the execution of the criminal Jesus. A true Jew understands salvation to be God's intervention in the affairs of men to save his people, Israel, from their enemies. But Christians use the term "salvation" to mean resurrection and going to heaven to live with God. And this comes only if you believe in their other messiah!
We love the Christian people and need to do everything in our power to bring them back to the God of the Bible. You should, of course, pray for your Christian friends. But you can do more. The ministry we have organized here at Yeshivah Ahuvat ha-Shem needs your help in order to continue its work in exposing the insidious Christian conspiracy against the Jewish people. Please send your love offerings to us at Yavneh-Yam. Thank you and God bless you for your faithfulness to his ways and your generosity in helping us protect his word.
Rabbi Yohanan bar Alcalai
(adapted from "Solving the Christian Puzzle" by John Tvedtnes)
Before anyone accuses a Mormon of belonging to a Cult, one should take Christianity from the "point of view" as it might be seen from a Jewish perspective. Now this was done in parody or in jest but perhaps you wouldn't be "SO SURE" that what you are saying isn't the same nonsense that you could be hearing from a Jew regarding our savior, Jesus Christ.
Moreover, instead of deal harshly with the Mormons and give them a hard time, making judgments without cause, consider what Christ said in the "Sermon on the Mount."
"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12
POSTSCRIPT: It might be argued that the above characterization of Christian beliefs is inaccurate or misleading. However, every allegation, as seen from the Jewish viewpoint, has been stated factually. What a Christian would really object to is how those facts have been presented in an unflattering and biased way, while ignoring other important information which might convince an objective reader to view Christians differently. Yet, that is exactly how Latter-day Saints feel about the way most Christian writers and preachers often characterize Mormons to their followers.
P.S.S. Christianity. A standard would be set up and it would reclaim Israel!
Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. Isaiah 49:22
(This was derived from an article found at: http://www.14lds.com/cult.htm)
Elder Gene R. Cook of the then First Quorum of the Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shared with us, this pearl of wisdom and of warning. (This is a 25th Anniversary Mention of the talk and information given. Feel free to share this with your families in FHE.
See also a video of the same name found on my YouTube Channel, "TheLdsLife")
(This is an excerpt from a talk given by Elder Gene R. Cook at Ricks College, in 1989, on morality. In this text he tells of an experience sitting next to Mick Jagger on a plane for 2 1/2 hours, discussing the effect of rock music on the youth. This was said almost 25 years ago and is most likely still true today. Nothing today would suggest that Jagger changed his tune (pun intended)
Sometimes young people have a feeling that the music they listen to doesn't have anything to do with chastity. And yet, as I've had the opportunity to interview many youth in varying countries throughout the world, I've found that it is just not so. I believe, without any doubt, that there is music of the Lord. I also believe there is good music that men have created--some romantic music, maybe some good cowboy music, and just plain fun songs, etc.
Those can be okay. They can cheer you up and they're fun to be involved with. It ought not to surprise us that the devil has his own music as well. That kind of music is found throughout the world and has a great impact on young people especially. Let me try to bring this principle alive by relating a true story that happened with an individual of whom you have probably heard. How many of you have heard of Mick Jagger? I think almost everyone has as he is one of the most famous rock stars in the world. Well, you might be surprised to know that I had about 2 and half hours with him on an airplane and it was quite an experience. I'm going to relate part of that to you to try to illustrate this important point about selecting wholesome music.
Mr. Jagger and I were on a flight that originated in Mexico and were headed, I believe, to either Houston or Dallas. As I sat down in the plane, the seat next to me was empty. Later a man came and sat down by me. I noticed immediately that he was reading a rock magazine. I offered a silent prayer as I often do when I try to talk to people about the Church. I prayed that the Lord would inspire me in what to say as I talked to this man.
After the prayer, I said something like, "My name is Gene Cook. I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. What's your name?"
And he said, "My name is Mick Jagger."
Not realizing who he was I said, "Well, I'm glad to meet you, Mick."
And then he said, "I said my name is Mick Jagger."
I said, "I heard you, Mick."
And then he opened up the magazine and pointed to his picture and said, "This is me." Of course, then I finally realized who he was. I just hadn't ever thought about sitting next to him, but it was so. What I'm going to say is in no way speaking evil of Mick Jagger himself. Please understand that. I'm not speaking evil of the man, but I am of what he represents because it is wrong. It is of the devil himself, in my opinion.
Even before I knew who Mick was, I noticed that his pant leg was pulled up a little on his calf. As I looked at his leg I thought for some reason, "This fellow looks a little sick." I'm not sure why, but that caught my attention before I even knew who he was.
After we visited back and forth a minute or two about what we were doing and all, I finally said something like, "You know, Mick, I have a question for you that I'd like you to answer for me."
He said, "Well, I'll be glad to try."
Then I said to him, "I have opportunity to be with young people in many different places around the world, and some of them have told me that the kind of music you and others like you sing has no effect on them, that it's okay, and that it doesn't affect them adversely in any way. Then other young people have told me very honestly that your kind of music has a real effect on them for evil and that it affects them in a very bad way. You've been in this business a long time, Mick. I'd like to know your opinion. What do you think is the impact of your music on the young people?"
This is a direct quote, brothers and sisters. He said, "Our music is calculated to drive the kids to sex."
I'm sure I had a real look of shock on my face in receiving such a bold response. He quickly added, "Well, it's not my fault what they do. That's up to them. I'm just making a lot of money." Then he told me he'd been in Mexico making a video because he could make it for about one third of what it would cost in the United States. He told me this was a great day for them because now instead of just having audio where they could portray some of what they wanted to about sex and all, they now had videos and could have the people both hear it and see it portrayed. He said this would have much more impact on the youth, that his music was selling much more, and thus he was making much more money.
As I said, we talked for a couple of hours. Let me just share a few things that happened because it teaches the importance of what we are discussing with respect to music.
As we chatted, I told him I was married and had eight children. He told me that he was not married but that he had three children and was proud of it. He told me that he had one woman pregnant in Virginia, one in New York, and one in England, as I recall. He told me that it didn't matter what you did in life, that you could take whatever you wanted, and you could do whatever you wanted. He said there were no commandments, there was no God, and nothing really mattered. He indicated there was no judgment day and you could just do whatever you felt like doing. Whatever I told him in our discussion was white he said was black. And whatever he said was white I told him was black.
He indicated that he had had the missionary lessons. In the beginning I didn't believe that, but as we talked further I think he probably had. He told me he had two or three lessons, and I think that was probably true because of some of his responses to me. According to him, he had been taught by missionaries in England.
He said, "As I listen to you Mormons, your problem is that you think you have things all figured out. Life isn't that simple." Then he would go on and explain some complex things, some theory of man. I would answer him in a very simple way from the scriptures, and he would say, "See what I mean?" He was always trying to make things much more complicated than they really were.
Our conversation continued. He told me that he believed in evolution and that he also believed he had descended from a monkey.
I told him, with a smile, "That might be the only thing you are right about."
We pursued the idea of evolution and the fact that if one is going to subscribe to the philosophy that he did, then he'd have to believe there was no God and that he just evolved. And if there is no God, then there are no commandments. There are no rules, and thus you can do whatever you want. He told me the importance, in his view, of freeing up the youth. He felt that they ought to be able to do whatever they wanted in spite of their parents. He said that parents were inhibiting them too much and controlling things and they ought not to be doing that. It was truly astounding to me. He told me that he was thankful the family, as an entity, was being destroyed. And I gathered from what he was saying that he was doing his best to help that along.
I've only been mad at two investigators in my life where I kind of got upset, and he was one of them. As we proceeded in the discussion, he probably had four or five alcoholic drinks. As you know, when one does that one tends to be a little looser in the way he talks and thinks. Finally, in a rather loud voice towards the end of our discussion, he said something like, "Furthermore, about your Book of Mormon-- your Book of Mormon is a lie, and any man that believes it is a liar." He said it in such a way that most people nearby could hear it. That really did upset me.
I thought to myself, here's a man who is representing evil and trying to announce it now to the whole cabin to try to make them feel that the Book of Mormon is not true.
I then felt impressed to say something like, "Well, Mick, you're mighty fortunate today, mighty fortunate."
He said, "What are you talking about?"
And I said, "Because you're sitting next to a servant of the Lord who plans on correcting what you just said."
He then said, "What do you mean?"
I said, "Well, you're really lucky. I just happen to have a Book of Mormon right here in my briefcase," and I pulled out a Book of Mormon and put it in his lap. I told him something to this effect, "Mick, this book has changed my life. I love the Book of Mormon. And I have read it many, many times. It is the greatest book, in my mind, on the face of the earth. In my view it has changed me, it has made me a better man. You say it's a lie. I must have missed that part. Show me."
My young friends, there was just total, dead silence. He didn't say a word. I finally said, "Well, maybe you were offended by the part where Lehi told his sons to be honest men or where he taught them to rely upon the Lord and have faith in God. Maybe you were offended when Alma told his boy, Coriantumr, that he had broken the law of chastity and then he told him what he had to do to correct it. Maybe that offended you. Or maybe it was the part when Christ came to America. Or maybe it really bothered you when he said that one is to love his wife with all his heart and not commit adultery. Maybe that offended you." I carried on a little bit with him that way, and of course again he said nothing. I finally said, "Well, if you can't show me a chapter, then at least show me a page, or maybe a paragraph will do. That would be all right. Just show me one paragraph." And again, brothers and sisters, dead silence. I finally said, "Well, then how about a line, or one word." I finally bore my testimony to him and said something like, "My friend, the lie is not in the Book of Mormon. The lie is in you. And I bear witness to you in the name of the Lord that if you don't turn your life around, you'll be going to hell. The devil himself will come and get hold of you." I bore my testimony to him as strongly as I could about what he was doing, that it was not right, and that it was not according to the Lord's plan. I felt very emotionally involved when I bore my testimony because I thought to myself, "Here I am going about the earth trying to strengthen young people, trying to make them better and turn them to the Lord. And men like this are coming around right behind me trying to tear it all down, destroying the family, and destroying their reliance on God. I bore a very fervent testimony to him and told him that I would be a witness that I had at least given him "the word."
Well, he calmed down quite a bit in that encounter and didn't say any more. That at least quieted him down so he didn't continue in the vein he was in.
Just before our couple of hours together concluded he said, "Oh, now I remember something about your Book of Mormon" (referring to my challenge to him to show me something that was out of order.) He said, "Well, here it is. It's the part about Brigham Young."
Then I informed him that Brigham Young was not mentioned in the Book of Mormon one time. My response kind of took him aback. We talked the last five or ten minutes in a more general way, and then finally bid each other farewell and split up.
As I arrived home from that trip and shared the experience with my family, I was very moved, as you would have been. I was mostly moved by the spirit of the Lord that bore witness to me of the evil nature of that kind of music and the impact it has on people. In our Family Home Evening that night, we made a commitment, as a family, that we would never, ever allow any of that kind of music in our home. Not ever! We had a great spiritual experience together where we felt the Spirit and committed to that decision. Now, as those years have gone by since I visited with him on the plane, I'm pleased to say that that kind of music has never been in our home and I think never will be as a result of that experience. I share it with you to impress upon your minds that there is music of the Lord and there is music of the devil. I would be mighty, mighty, careful with the music you listen to. The Church isn't ever going to publish a list of approved songs and say, "Here are 146 that you can listen to and 246 that you can't." You'll have to choose, won't you? Use your conscience. Use the Spirit of the Lord and have enough sense to make those judgments correctly and don't listen to that kind of music. Just one other comment. A few days after I arrived home, my wife and I were up late on a Friday evening. I turned the television on, or maybe we looked in the paper, and saw that there was going to be a Mick Jagger special on that night. Well, I'd never even watched anything like that before and I thought, well, let's see what it's like. So we sat up for an hour or so and watched this show. I was really taken aback. Not so much by what I saw, as I expected that, but by all the innuendos sown in the lyrics of which a young person might not be very aware. Lyrics like, "Do what you want. No one can tell you what to do. You're your own man. Take what you want. Pick what you want." It was the same stuff I'd heard on the airplane for two hours-- there were no rules in it, no God in it, no "what's right" in it. It was, do whatever you want to do. You're free, you can take what you want, do what you want. I was very much taken aback by how those thoughts had been sown very subtly in all that music. Many young people would not realize how those thoughts are sown in. However after listening to that music time after time, one can begin to parrot that kind of philosophy and those inward feelings to their parents and not be as obedient as they ought to be.
I bear testimony to you again, that good music can have a great impact on you and evil music surely is of the devil. Think of the great contrast in the lyrics, "I am a child of God, and He has sent me here, has given me an earthly home, with parents kind and dear. Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way. Teach me all that I must do, to live with Him some day." What a dramatic difference. That hymn would lead you to think of the Lord, wouldn't it? It would humble you in your heart. It would lead you to be obedient to your parents. Look at the different impact that would have. What if you sang a song like, "Oh my Father, thou that dwellest in the high and glorious place, when shall I regain thy presence, and again behold thy face?" What if you had that in your repertoire, as it were, of what you sang, of what you thought, of what you listened to. What a difference! Little Primary songs like, "Jesus said love everyone, treat them kindly too, when your heart is filled with love, others will love you." Very simple, isn't it? One of my favorite ones is an easy one, a simple one. "Oh Father, look on us today and bless us with thy love. In Jesus name we humbly pray, O Father up above." So simple, isn't it? I have sung that song to myself many times as I have wandered around alone in airports or other places to keep my mind focused on good, worthy things. Think of the impact on you or your children singing over and over, "I love to see the temple; I'm going there someday, to feel the Holy Spirit, to listen and to pray. For the temple is a house of God, a place of love and beauty. I'll prepare myself while I am young. This is my sacred duty." Wouldn't that have a great impact? It would, and one day your children would end up in the temple. If the music is of this other kind, they may end up somewhere else. (This was an excerpt from a talk given by Elder Gene R. Cook at Ricks College, in 1989, on morality. In this text he tells of an experience sitting next to Mick Jagger on a plane for 2 1/2 hours, discussing the effect of rock music on the youth. This was said almost 25 years ago and is most likely still true today. Nothing today would suggest that Jagger changed his tune (pun intended)
Elder Gene R. Cook meets Mick Jagger in 1988 and returns with this story from the plane. Did Mick Jagger Say That (His) Music or the Music Industries' purpose (according to Mick, at least) Drives Kids To Sex?
The answer is "YES!"
Friday, January 3, 2014
My dear Brothers and Sisters.
I can't begin to express my love and appreciation that I have for my father in heaven for the timing and his constant awareness of me and my family. From time to time, that dark cloud of trouble which hangs over the world allows for rays of sunshine to poke through and brighten our days. This light I am referring to is that of the "Windows of Heaven" which pours out blessings upon the faithful.
IT is both a blessing and a curse, for the Lord is bound when we do as he says but when we do not what he says, we have no promise as the story goes. (Compare D&C 82:10) I struggle through bouts of anxiety and depression and for brief moments, my body allows me to feel of his spirit and his love. I was able to feel that spirit burn within me on one occasion where I was able to perform some work with Indexing. It must have meant that those in question that day were pleased with my work to help their names be noticed by their current living relative who is researching their family tree.
So I get a call last night that my long time team member has now decided to get started in her Nikken business (which is a part of my team of newbies from the year 2013) and a mere 48 hours after I had constrained my wife to write the tithing check which was only held back in reserve for fear that certain bills would not have been paid otherwise. I testify to you that it is no coincidence that my current business success is inseparably connected with the powers of heaven. My only reason to continue in the path that I've been permitted to walk in has been a culmination of faith and faith promoting exercises throughout the year 2013. Indeed, 2013 WAS a year of growth for me! On to 2014 and beyond!
God lives. He is mindful of me and my little family. He has tested me in 2013 and has found that I can be charitable in the face of adversity. That I can give when I don't really have that to give. Abundance is on its way and shall come to me in his own due time! Everything till now has been a series of small stepping stones. One can't make me NOT believe in Tithing because I don't have ears to hear it. If one has a beef with the church or with tithing, then it's time to turn around and put your own faith to the test or to grow it. Faith without works is truly dead.
Updated: January 6th, 2013 I don't do this for the naysayers in particular (the I quit church and I've gained 1 more day a week and got a 10% pay raise, etc...) but I thought that this would benefit the faithful so this is why I'm sharing it with you. It is not to convince but to simply give my father in heaven THANKS that was so duly deserved for giving me these gifts.
The last day of the month, we went to the bank and paid it. We have NO REAL business paying that tithing except for we wanted to be full tithe payers in 2013. God knows we have bills to pay and they went unpaid. Our cable got shut off... but so what. My wife and I both acknowledged the variance and made sure it got placed into the mail on the 31st... checks in the mail. Now what?
Later on that night, I received a text for a sizable order to fill while on my Facebook saying someone wanted to buy something from me last minute. It was for my business. This helped me to personally qualify for an additional international bonus and this will augment my check by a factor of 4x greater thanks to the sale! And on the 2nd of January, I receive an unexpected call from my Dad who is my business partner, saying that we are going to be busy all month of January. Out of the blue, one of my former partners now wanted to get back into the game. They are coming to Portland for 3 weeks and we want to get started seeing some of his people to either form their business locally with us more fully to then return to Boise and start their own office. Coincidence? Not a chance. I hadn't called or talked to them for over 6 months. I sent 1 email their way and this was it. I stand to help create thousands of dollars in revenue with this husband and wife team before January's end and I give credit to the Lord 100% for making the miracle possible! Thanks Lord but I don't need to keep the extra 10% because it's not all about me or what I want. It's about helping to build the kingdom. God knows I've paid it and the windows of heaven are beginning to pour out more blessings upon me just as a bathtub spouts' leak starts out small but inevitably becomes a stream spewing out gallons of water per hour. This is one leak I never intend to fix.
I truly believe that God's statement to his children is just and accurate when he inspired this part of the D&C, when we received this word from the prophet Joseph Smith, "I (the Lord) am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." - D&C 82:10 I'm a living example of success in business and in my personal life by obeying this law of the Lord and the windows of heaven have truly opened themselves to myself and my family such as in all things temporal and all things spiritual.