Thursday, May 7, 2009

Review: An Insider's View of Mormon Origins


Mr. Palmer asserts with heavy clarity and sources that Mr. Smith authored the Book of Mormon. He cites several cases where Mr. Smith claimed to translate something, and the translation was later proven completely incorrect, including one encounter with a man who presented him with a Greek Psalter where Mr. Smith claimed it was reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics, and gave him its translation. The man happened to speak Greek, and knew right away that Mr. Smith had no gift of translation at all. To which, Willard Richards rationalized, 'Sometimes Joseph Smith speaks as a prophet, and sometimes he speaks as a man'

He moves logically through comparisons of Josephus and the Book of Abraham, Book of Mormon and several areas of the Bible, Methodist questions, current Protestant doctrines, etc.

Then moves into a compelling argument considering the spirit. The spiritual swelling in your heart is an unreliable means of proving truth. I.e. all religions claim these spiritual feelings verify the authenticity of their religions, but obviously, they can't all be true because they all teach such differing doctrines.

He asserts that the spirit merely urges souls towards God through Christ. (Personally I don't know how he can make that assertion since Muslims feel it too).

My personal feeling is that this feeling is probably something more evolutionary and biological in nature that instinctively moves humans (and other animals) to affect goodness to their fellow earth dwellers. My thoughts are that Human beings have a primal need to pack together, to form communities, stemming from the human evolution of trying to take over larger animals and make these personal connections, and whatever else. We must respect each other as Gods, for without each other, we would not exist. We would become depressed, violent and ultimately never even come together to reproduce, an instinctive trait present in all animal species.

I postulate we would live something more like Autistic lives, possessing the ability to carry on and reproduce, but without the desire.

After you have read this book, I am curious specifically about your thoughts on Joseph Smith. Did he author the Book of Mormon, in your point of view? Does it matter?

It matters to me. I think the truth should will out, and no matter how much Mr. Smiths 'works' draw people to Christ, they were built on complete falsehood. Like former President Bush was wrong to go into Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein under false pretenses, even though Saddam was bad man, Mr. Smith was wrong to invent this wonderful fairy tale to bring people to Christ. Seems like a good goal, but completely unjustified.

4 comments:

Victor Mace said...

Joseph Smith did indeed author the Book of Mormon as well as The Pearl of Great Price and almost all of the Doctrine and Covenants. He did it to become wealthy, famous and powerful.

markii said...

I found palmer's book very persuasive. I believe he certainly authored it with some help. I think it would be hard for anyone to think otherwise after reading his book. Im still excited to see what will come from the Criddle Wordprint Study.

km said...

Brent, I'm late to the party, but I'm so happy to be reading your story, as I struggled with so many of the same questions myself.

I remember the first time I "felt the spirit" seeing a piece of theater - I wish I could remember the play, but all I can remember is that it was NOT one that my bishop would approve of, and I felt this same ecstatic, joyous feeling that I would occasionally get in church.

It was so confusing to me, having this same "holy Ghost" feeling watching a piece of beautifully produced theatre that I was taught came from the truth being manifested unto my bosom or whatever.

It was only the beginning of my own journey.

km said...

p.s. told you I would FB stalk you!