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Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon > A Steady Stream of Significant Recognitions | Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

Last year I had a Protestant on Facebook argue with me regarding the Savior’s condemnation of anger, which the KJV and most modern Biblical translations include with the caveat “without a cause”, but which the Joseph Smith Translation presents without any such qualification. The Protestant in question tried to use the phrase “without a cause” essentially to justify being angry with another person if one felt like they should be, which in effect neuters the entire verse of scripture. I argued that the words were arbitrarily added into the scriptures at some later point, that Joseph Smith was right to remove them, and that consequently anger is always sinful and unjustifiable in God’s eyes, no matter how much someone may try to rationalize it.

As it turns out, the Book of Mormon, which quotes Jesus delivering the Sermon on the Mount to the ancient inhabitants of the Americas, also excludes the phrase “without a cause”—which is curious if one assumes that Joseph Smith simply copied the existing text out of the KJV, as opposed to translating an authentic separate ancient record. I didn’t notice this when I was reading that chapter, but it is interesting to note, as it demonstrates that the portions of the Book of Mormon that reiterate passages or ideas that are also taught in the Bible are not simply a case of copypasta, but at the very least represent thoughtful changes to the text as it was then available.

But then, in addition to the Book of Mormon, there is this:

“While studying at Oxford in the early 1970s, I became aware of an interesting textual variant in the New Testament. In a well-known passage in the Sermon on the Mount, the King James translation of Matthew 5:22 reads, “Whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause [eikei] shall be in danger of the judgment” (emphasis added). Yet the phrase without a cause is absent in most of the best and earliest Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. Joseph Smith could hardly have guessed that this phrase did not originally belong in this passage, because textual criticism of the Bible was scarcely in its infancy in America in 1829. And yet, significantly, the parallel text in the Sermon at the Temple in the Book of Mormon agrees with those early manuscripts, precisely lacking the phrase without a cause (3 Nephi 12:22).” 

As it turns out, Joseph Smith was not alone in declaring that anger in and of itself—not just anger “without a cause”—is inconsistent with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Other early Christian writers, including Matthew himself, seemed to have come to the same conclusion. At some point, however, the words “without a cause” were added into the Biblical text arbitrarily, probably in order to justify some sort of practice or action of the medieval apostate church. 

Errors such as this are commonplace throughout the Bible, which is why it is not fully reliable as a source of religious truth. The Book of Mormon provides a second witness of the truths contained within the Bible while dispelling of the errors in doctrine that have been perpetuated in it through the centuries. Living prophets today also testify of the truths of the Scriptures of their own accord and reveal to us what God’s will and commandments are for us in this day and age. We need all of these things in order to be able to follow strictly down the strait and narrow path that Christ would have us take back to him. Without any one of them, the path is not nearly as clear, and it is far too easy to get led astray, into the dark and forbidden paths created by the Adversary, which just happen to lead through the aisles of many ostensibly Christian churches in the world today. 

twinkletwinkleyoulittlefuck:

cell-mate:

crackerhell:

ethanwearsprada:

i think it’s a universal truth that everyone in our generation takes pluto’s losing its planetary status as a personal offense

yes

pluto is smaller than russia. why did we ever even consider it a planet?

BECAUSE IT’S A PART OF OUR SOLAR SYSTEM

OHANA MEANS FAMILY

OHANA MEANS NO ONE IS LEFT BEHIND

The asteroid belt is part of the solar system too; doesn’t make them planets.

Bible's U.S. popularity steady, but scripture skeptics number rises | Deseret News

This isn’t as bad a thing as the article makes it out to be, to be honest. There is plenty of reason to be skeptical of the Bible, because a lot of what is contained within it is either incomplete or untrue. The abandonment of the Protestant doctrines of Biblical inerrancy and infallibility, which have no real basis in scripture itself, but are instead just traditions, designed to replace the (Catholic) priesthood as the foundation of Christianity after the Reformation, is, I would argue, overall a positive development. The Bible contains errors, deliberate mistranslations, and forgeries, and there are many ancient texts that deserved to be a part of it but were excluded by those who compiled it, often for very unholy reasons. If someone asked me if “the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life,” I too would have to unequivocally answer “no”: the Book of Mormon alone has taught me far, far more about how to live a meaningful life than the Bible ever could. The Bible was never meant to be used to the exclusion of all other sources of light, knowledge, and truth; that it has become a tool of darkness, ignorance, and oppression in the hands of the leaders of apostate Christianity is a total perversion of the original intent of its authors.

Also,

"I love the Bible as much as anyone, but when we use it as weapon sometimes, and expect conformity to it from people who don’t value it, we’re using it for purposes other than what it was intended for, to find (Jesus), and to point to Him.” —Truer words cannot be found even within the Bible itself, but this statement is nevertheless heresy in the minds of the “Christian” right in America.

And…

"apparently 10 percent of people surveyed believe Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife.” —This just shows that Americans are just as illiterate about history as they are about religion, and everything else for that matter.

Normons: A site to prove just how normal Mormons are | Deseret News

She is right about one thing, that we are not “normal” in the sense of being like the rest of the world. Nor should we be. The world is corrupt, immoral, and full of evil at every turn. Latter-Day Saints ought to shun anything and everything that is contrary to the laws and commandments of God and that drives away the Spirit, and very rightly, most of them do (to some extent or another).

However, the idea that we should even need a blog to tell people how “normal” we are is in and of itself rather condescending and insulting. We shouldn’t have to explain these sorts of things to the world at this point, particularly after Mitt Romney, and were it not for persistent religious prejudice against us, misinformation being spread about us in the media and in mainline Protestant churches, and obscene, vulgar, and deceitful abominations like the Book of Mormon musical being celebrated in popular culture, we wouldn’t have to. Righteous indignation against society’s double standards may not win converts, but I think it would be more than justified at this point.

Half of Americans skeptical of Big Bang | Deseret News

This is really quite sad, and embarrassing, to be honest…but not at all surprising. A proper understanding of the nature and method of Creation, as well as of the Scriptures, gives no reason whatsoever why sound, firmly established scientific principles such as evolution and the Big Bang can’t coexist with—and indeed, even be incorporated into—religious truth. Unfortunately, most of the Christian world tends to be anti-science and anti-intellectual in general, in spite of the great scientific achievements that have been wrought in the past by Christians. Evangelical Protestantism’s insistence on a strict, blind, literal interpretation of scripture (while interpreting some things that ought to be taken literally, such as the nature of the Godhead, as metaphorical) has done a tremendous amount of damage to Christianity’s reputation among the scientifically literate. Thankfully, however, the LDS Church has always taught that scientific truth ought to be embraced alongside religious truth, and its doctrines clarify certain points that leave other Christians who confine their knowledge solely to the Bible (as they have it) in darkness. Once again why I’m grateful to belong to this Church and no other.

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