There are 10 thoughts on “An Important Addition to the Library”.

  1. Thanks to Kevin Christensen for the careful and nuanced review of Hardy’s Annotated Book of Mormon.

    The overall effect of the Annotated Book of Mormon for me is to greatly increase my faith in and appreciation for the Book of Mormon. Most importantly, it makes me aware of the literary depth and brilliance of the text and helps me more carefully read this book of scripture. For example, the careful and thorough resources on intertextuality with the King James Bible help me appreciate the ways in which the Book of Mormon is in a rich conversation with the King James Bible. I additionally appreciate the formatting and the inclusion of helpful study resources.

    I agree with Christensen that Hardy’s “attempt to both promote objectivity and to convey the grounds for one’s faith in turn generates several unresolved tensions”. For me, those unresolved tensions include most importantly 1) reconciling contemporary views of Isaiah authorship with Book of Mormon quotations of Isaiah, 2) understanding reasons for intertextuality with the New Testament, 3) Hardy’s citation of specific New World anachronisms (including metal working and wine making), and 4) understanding the extent to which 19th century idioms and religious ideas in the Book of Mormon balance with idioms and religious ideas from other eras. It would be great if the Interpreter Foundation could have some articles adressing some of the most important “unresolved tensions” introduced in Hardy’s Annotated Book of Mormon.

  2. How thankful I am to Bro. Grant Hardy for writing this book! I am reminded what Elder David B. Haight said in April 1994 Conference,
    “Our scriptures teach us gospel truths, and inspired writers add to our understanding.”
    How grateful we should be for the inspiration Bro. Hardy had to write this book and for OUP for publishing it, it’s more evidence that God is flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon, and inspiring Gospel writers, and reaching audiences that could not otherwise be reached. It’s sad that some members refuse to learn new truths about the Book of Mormon and fail to follow what Pres. Benson said in the April 1986 Conference, “Because we have treated lightly the Book of Mormon, the Lord has stated in the 84th section of the Doctrine and Covenants that the whole Church is under condemnation. (See D & C 84:56-57.)

    “Now we not only need to say more about the Book of Mormon, but we need to do more with it,”
    Thank you Bro. Hardy for helping us to learn more and therefore “do more” with the Book of Mormon

  3. I have not read the reviewed book and will not be, so this is not a direct comment on the review or the book. Grant Hardy is quoted as saying the below in a recently published interview:

    “Sometimes we’re embarrassed by the Book of Mormon. We’re embarrassed by the lack of evidence for its historicity, by the racism and the absence of women, and about how it uses the King James Bible, particularly the New Testament. There are things in the Book of Mormon that are problematic, and I don’t think we should skip over those. Nephi had attitudes that we would regard as racist today. Apparently even prophets do not always live up to their ideals or to their revelations.”

    I completely disagree. I am embarrassed by nothing in the Book of Mormon; I know it to be the word of God.
    We can either judge the views of modern society by the standard works (the word of God), or judge the standards works by the views of modern society.

    Some prophetic quotations regarding the Book of Mormon that I personally place great value on:

    Pres. Benson:

    The Lord inspired His servant Lorenzo Snow to reemphasize the principle of tithing to redeem the Church from financial bondage. In those days the General Authorities took that message to the members of the Church.
    Now, in our day, the Lord has revealed the need to reemphasize the Book of Mormon to get the Church and all the children of Zion out from under condemnation—the scourge and judgment. (See D&C 84:54–58.) This message must be carried to the members of the Church throughout the world. . . .
    Now, in the authority of the sacred priesthood in me vested, I invoke my blessing upon the Latter-day Saints and upon good people everywhere.
    I bless you with increased discernment to judge between Christ and anti-Christ. I bless you with increased power to do good and to resist evil. I bless you with increased understanding of the Book of Mormon. I promise you that from this moment forward, if we will daily sup from its pages and abide by its precepts, God will pour out upon each child of Zion and the Church a blessing hitherto unknown—and we will plead to the Lord that He will begin to lift the condemnation—the scourge and judgment. Of this I bear solemn witness.

    “Moses never entered the promised land. Joseph Smith never saw Zion redeemed. Some of us may not live long enough to see the day when the Book of Mormon floods the earth and when the Lord lifts His condemnation. (See D&C 84:54–58.) But, God willing, I intend to spend all my remaining days in that glorious effort.”

    Elder Richard G. Scott:
    During the dedication of the Mexico City Temple, I had one of those singular experiences that readjusts the course of a life. It occurred during the eighth dedicatory session, where many of the men and women leaders of Mexico and Central America were present. When unexpectedly asked to speak, I attempted to convey the strong impressions that poured into my heart. I spoke of those beyond the veil who, in fulfillment of prophecy, had served, suffered, and given greatly to form the foundation which permitted the opening of a new era of the work.
    I expressed a feeling to plead in behalf of former prophets who had prepared and protected the sacred records of the Book of Mormon. I sensed that they were saddened as they see us walk from place to place with an unopened Book of Mormon under our arm or see it kept in homes where it gathers dust and is not read, pondered, nor its contents applied.
    The Book of Mormon was prepared by divine assignment for the blessing and enlightenment of all those who receive it.
    As I spoke, I realized in my heart that all the efforts that I had expended for six years in trying to help those beloved leaders overcome the effects of false traditions and learn to apply the teachings of the Lord would have been better directed had I strongly encouraged them to ponder and apply the teachings of the Book of Mormon.

    “At the conclusion of the meeting, Ezra Taft Benson, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve, invited me to join him in a private room in the temple. He asked me to be seated, drew his chair close to mine, looked penetratingly into my eyes, and with an earnestness that I will never forget, witnessed of his profound conviction that every member of the Church must learn to use the Book of Mormon as the Lord intended. As he spoke I knew that the Lord had inspired him to have those feelings. I had a witness borne to my heart that he was speaking the will of the Lord.”

    • Pres. Marion G. Romney talking about the Book of Mormon in Conference; no embarrassment or selective belief here, quite the opposite; he knew it was true:

      Another reason I like the Book of Mormon and want you to read it is that it will sustain you against attacks being made by the modernists against that other great scripture, the Bible. The Book of Mormon is not only a new witness for God; it is also a witness to the truth of the Bible. If I had the time, I could give you many specific instances on that point. The Book of Mormon accepts the Bible unreservedly as the word of God. It accepts the five books of Moses as having been written by Moses. This the modernists deny. It accepts the great prophecies of Isaiah as the prophecies of the son of Amos. The resurrected Lord himself said, as recorded in the Book of Mormon, “Great are the words of Isaiah,” and he advises us to read them. Further, this Book of Mormon, the doctrines in it will sustain you against many false doctrines that are current in the world today.
      About two weeks ago, I sat in a group where a learned man was directing a discussion. He presented the modern doctrine that there is no personal responsibility for wrongdoing. I have heard that doctrine pressed so far as to hold that if a man commits a crime — lies, steals, commits adultery, or even murders — he has no personal responsibility for his act, but that it is the responsibility of society. I compared that evil doctrine with the teachings Lehi gave to his sons as he was about to go down into his grave. I remember how he taught his sons that men were placed upon the earth between good and evil, that they were sufficiently taught to know the difference between them, that they were endowed by their Creator with power to act for themselves, and that they are held responsible for their decisions and actions. And as the Lord liveth, that doctrine is true. Lehi carefully instructed his sons on these important principles under which they were to live and under which all people on the earth are to live. He taught them that there was an opposition in all things, as Brother Merrill explained this morning, the power of evil and the power of good. He told them that they were
      . . . free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life; … or to choose captivity and death. (II Nephi 2:27.)
      This doctrine that man is not morally responsible for his own acts, which is gaining wide acceptance in the world today, is the doctrine of the evil one. If you will read the Book of Mormon, you will be convinced of that, and you will have a defense against it if you will accept the Book of Mormon.
      Now, I like the Book of Mormon, and you will like it, because it is a great American book. It was written in America, by Americans, for Americans. It has peculiar application to America. It is not full of foreign ideologies and uninspired interpretations of men. I believe that I am within the mark when I say that between the pages of that great book there is more ultimate truth about the overall history of America than there is in any other book and, I will go so far as to say, more than in all the libraries of the world where there isn’t a Book of Mormon….
      I urge you to get acquainted with this great book. Read it to your children; they are not too young to understand it. I remember reading it with one of my lads when he was very young. On one occasion I lay in the lower bunk and he in the upper bunk. We were each reading aloud alternate paragraphs of those last three marvelous chapters of Second Nephi. I heard his voice breaking and thought he had a cold, but we went on to the end of the three chapters. As we finished he said to me, “Daddy, do you ever cry when you read the Book of Mormon?”
      “Yes, Son,” I answered. “Sometimes the Spirit of the Lord so witnesses to my soul that the Book of Mormon is true that I do cry.” “Well,” he said, “that is what happened to me tonight.”
      I know not all of them will respond like that, but I know that some of them will, and I tell you this book was given to us of God to read and to live by, and it will hold us as close to the Spirit of the Lord as anything I know. Won’t you please read it?

    • Dennis,

      I agree completely with you. And this book by Hardy betrays a fatal flaw with Mormon scholarship in general: they speak as the scribes and not as one having authority.

      The BOM can only be known by the power of the Holy Ghost carried on the words of authoritative testimony. Weak, craven scholarly presentations will never reveal the things of God.

      “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom . . . For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified.

      “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

      1 Corinthians 2:1-2 & 4-5

      • I assume that you, like Dennis, haven’t read the book and are simply going off of impressions. That is unfair to an author. It is also unfair to an author to criticize them for not doing something their work didn’t intend to do. Hardy’s Annotated Book of Mormon is designed for non-Later-day Saint audiences as well as the faithful. That is a hard line to walk, but attempting to do so doesn’t disqualify the effort. I suspect that if you read the commentary he adds, you would find many enlightening and doing more of what you are looking for than you are imagining.

      • Would you say the same about the books that Dennis Horne has written? What about books written by the Leaders of the Church? How far do we take your advice? Should we trash all books written by and for the Church? What if you feel the Holy Ghost and I don’t about a book? Should me feeling the Holy Ghost trump you not? It seems highly subjective and wouldn’t work at all in reality

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

All comments are moderated to ensure respectful discourse. It is assumed that it is possible to disagree agreeably and intelligently and comments that intend to increase overall understanding are particularly encouraged. Individual authors are given the option to disallow commenting or end commenting after a certain period at their discretion.

Close this window

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This