Some thoughts for today...
OK, maybe I need to tone it down a bit. This was meant to be an introduction to the article and I couldn't help but display some of my frustration about people who don't actually read the Book of Mormon (they close their mind against it or are convinced it would be dangerous to even read it). It was pointed out that my words may have been a bit harsh and they sounded demeaning - not my intent at all! After having witnessed so much in the way of prejudice against my own religion, it would be very hypocritical to put down others'.
I absolutely try to not run down any group or religious body for their beliefs unless they trample on those of others (like the ACLU and those pushing agendas that harm others or remove their basic rights in the process - I probably do in those cases). And I would not want my comments to sound like those I abhor. We do get tired of some of the same old stuff of what people think of Mormons or hearing people tell us we aren't Christian because we don't prescribe to a particular definition of "following Christ." And we definitely hate the stereotyping as a group. (There are some groups who would elect Hitler before they would a Mormon).
At least in Utah among the non-LDS, Mormons are fair game and it's "open fire" that I deal with every day at work and elsewhere. People who would never dream of putting down gays or blacks, Hispanics, Hindus or Jews think nothing of doing the same with Mormons (and they get away with it - even those in leadership positions).
So, to those I offended, I apologize. I think I'll delete comments to keep this blog more positive. As most of you know I have a whole family of non-LDS so it's not just friends who may have been insulted by this. I may be disowned by my extended family. (I have to remind myself that they don't have to read this)
So, for the article referenced...
Of course I realize not everyone is interested in this. But, for those who are, this article is quite interesting.
http://www.mormontimes.com/studies_doctrine/research_discoveries/?id=4205 (as usual you can click on the post title to be taken to the article).
I know many people don't believe there is any scripture beyond the New Testament and if they never read it with a sincere heart, there never will be for them. Some even discount the Old Testament because to believe the words of both parts of the Bible would sometimes bring up discrepancies they don't want to think about and they prefer to think that the New Testament replaced all of the Bible rather than enhancing it. With Christ's birth and death some practices were done away, such as animal sacrifice, but the two books work together and in spite of what some may choose to believe, The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, does too.
Read the article if you are interested in knowing a little more from a Hebrew scholar's perspective, but this is not intended as a missionary tool. Testimony of such things only comes from God after reading and studying with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, along with sincere desire. If that scares you, skip the book altogether. For those who believe the book was "written" rather than "translated" by Joseph Smith, I challenge you to consider the likelihood of this from a largely uneducated young boy, done in 12 weeks while experiencing duress and persecution and with a scribe rather than a computer. It's nothing short of miraculous.
On another subject - last Sunday President Boyd K. Packer of the Council of Twelve Apostles made this statement to close his talk,
"I pronounce upon you an Apostolic blessing. Comfort our children. Little children can be afraid of things we might not think of. Comfort them and strengthen our families. Turn off the television and focus on family. Pay your tithing. The promise is there – pay your tithing and you’ll be watched over. You’ll be alright. None of us is exempt from trials. If hard times come upon you and your income dwindles, remember that tithing is equitable for everyone: 10%. If you have nothing, then it’s 10% of practically nothing. Pay your tithing, do what you’re supposed to do. You’ll be comforted. Sure trials will come. Because of them, faith will increase. Happiness will increase. Security will increase. You’ll be glad to be alive at this time. It’s a good time to be living. To be raising children. I leave this testimony, counsel, and blessing with you in the holy name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”We will be comforted and helped through hard times with faith and obedience to God's laws. May the voters in California, and all of us, have the foresight to plan for a brighter and safer future. May the elected leaders, whoever they are, be receptive to spiritual guidance - they will certainly need it.