There are 4 thoughts on ““Believe All the Words”: A Key to Spiritual Outpouring”.

  1. Sorry, I cannot stop thinking about this.
    I notice that the reverse of this pattern is also present in the Book of Mormon. For example, in Ammonihah they testify to their unbelief three times (Alma 9) in verses 2, 4, and 6, specifying that they do not believe Alma, that they do not believe in his prophesy, and they do not believe in God. Alma proceeds to disclose a divine message – including a mystery – which – because they have testified to their unbelief – ends in their complete destruction. Joseph Smith sure was a clever kid.

    • Well, that makes two of us who can’t stop thinking about this!

      The Jaredites were another Book of Mormon people who were utterly destroyed. In Ether 12:3-5, Moroni explained that the prophet Ether pled with the Jaredites to repent by “exhorting the people to believe in God unto repentance” and teaching that “whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world”, but “they did not believe”. He was unsuccessful and the Jaredites were destroyed.

      Later, the Nephites suffered the same destructive fate as the people of Ammonihah and the Jaredites. During the final phase of the Nephites’ destruction, Mormon stated (Mormon 3:21) that he wrote the Book of Mormon so “that ye may believe the gospel of Jesus Christ.” His final words included this plea (Mormon 7:5): “Know ye that ye must come to the knowledge of your fathers, and repent of all your sins and inquiries, and believe in Jesus Christ, that he is the son of God.” A few verses later he explained how the Book of Mormon supported the testament of the Bible, and vice versa (Mormon 7:9): “For behold, this is written for the intent that ye may believe that; and if ye will believe that ye will believe this also” Mormon’s final words were (Mormon 7:10): “and if it so be that ye believe in Christ, and are baptized, first with water, then with fire and with the Holy Ghost, following the example of our Savior, according to that which he rather commanded us, it shall be well with you in the day of judgment. Amen.”

      Mormon’s son Moroni then took over and addressed his intended-as-final remarks to future unbelievers (Mormon 9:1): “And now, I speak also concerning those who do not believe in Christ.” What followed was a sermon on the blessedness of belief and the cursedness of unbelief, a contrast that Moroni made repeatedly and emphatically throughout Mormon 9.

      One way of summarizing the foregoing is that, when addressing unbelievers, none of Ether, Mormon, or Moroni used the “believe all the words” rhetorical device pointed out in the article. Rather, these prophets’ concern tried to get the unbelievers to believe even the bare minimum, namely that Jesus Christ is the son of God.

      Yet, when Moroni got around to making his final plea to those seeking truth, it included this magnificent promise (Moroni 10: 5): “And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” So, in the end, an earnestly-seeking unbeliever can move from believing just a little to actually knowing that “all the words” of God and His prophets are true.

  2. It turns out that before Latter-day Saints go to the House of the Lord – a place of great spiritual blessings, teaching, and revelation – there are two interviews. A portion of each is devoted to a formal declaration of belief to an authorized messenger. Probably a coincidence.

  3. I was pleased to see Mark Campbell’s essay posted today. Why? It is a pleasure to find that someone has noticed something that, with my former student, Gary Novak, we just stumbled onto while glancing at the most recent periodical literature to arrive at the Brigham Young University Library. We just happened to notice an item written by David Singer in Commentary, which is the leading American Jewish opinion publication. Singer’s essay was entitled “Testimony,” and that drew our attention. Singer claimed that only in only Jewish people had made history something that was a crucial key to their very existence, and hence for whom remembering the past was the key to their survival as a people. We were then led, I believe providentially, to the Jewish insistence on remembrance, understood as Mark Campbell has correctly explained near the beginning of his excellent essay.

    Gary Novak and I immediately discovered that this insistence on what are the Ways of Remembrance are much more stressed in the Book of Mormon than in the Old Testament. I have described all this in detail in my recent review of David F. Holland’s excellent book on Moroni, which is the last, and I believe the very best of the twelve “brief introductions” to books (or portions) of the Book of Mormon that were recently published by the Maxwell Institute in an effort to do at least some of what Elder Jeffrey R. Holland had begged, ordered and demanded that they should do with with the funds gifted to and also provided by those who pay tithing to the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship.

    I have described in some detail how Gary Novak and I discovered, I believe by divine providence, the Ways of Remembrance in the Book of Mormon. Since that discovery now four decade ago, I have, I must stress, taken very seriously the prayers read over the what we call the sacrament, with their promise of what doing what we agree to do when we genuinely renew our sacred covenants with God.

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