There are 3 thoughts on “Perhaps Close can Count in More than Horseshoes”.

  1. The book author’s thesis is that “the Book of Mormon had a profound formative influence on Joseph Smith’s doctrinal and institutional development during the nascent days of the nineteenth-century Mormon restoration.” The thrust of this statement makes me somewhat uncomfortable. While the Book of Mormon is the Book of Books, to suggest that it is the basis for Joseph’s doctrinal development puts too much to the side for me the guidance of the Holy Ghost and revelation. It has been my belief and understanding that the doctrines of the Church are the result of revelation, modern day and direct, to living prophets. I think rooting Joseph’s “doctrinal development” in that revelatory process and not the Book of Mormon is the better way to understand what unfolded. That Joseph revealed doctrines in line with the Book of Mormon is not surprising. The Book is the word of God after all. Further, rooting our doctrine in revelation and not the Book of Mormon does not take away from that Book. In the end perhaps my concern is a mere quibble for some, but I think centering the foundations of the Church, doctrinally at least, in revelation is a better more powerful and understandable explanation of the Restoration than the doctrines and influence of the Book of Mormon.

    • While I think you are right, I also think it is important to remember that revelation begets revelation. James 1:5 led to the first vision. That revelation led to visit by Moroni and the giving of the Book of Mormon. The translation work on the Book of Mormon led to baptism. The translation work on the Bible led to other revelation such as D&C 76. And the lists goes on. Even within the Book of Mormon itself we examples such as Nephi pondering on the revelation to his father Lehi which leads to his receiving a revelation that takes up much of the end of 1 Nephi. There are so many other instances that could be cited like D&C 138 where a prophet receives new revelation because of previous revelation. I’ve found this to be true in my own life. The majority of revelation that I have received was begotten as I prayed and pondered upon previous revelation. It seems to me that the amount of revelation that is based on previous revelation is in the majority.

  2. It’s clear that the Book of Mormon contains, as is evident in the Introduction to the book, the Fullness of the Gospel: I.e. faith, repentance, baptism, and enduring to the end. From the Book of Mormon, we can trace our salvation ordinances directly: Baptism and the sacrament. These are how we gain forgiveness of sins; and it’s straight from the Book of Mormon.
    The doctrine of faith is most fully explained in the Book of Mormon as well, in all our scriptures. The great sermons included in the Book of Mormon are meant to demonstrate faith, justice and mercy and how to live.
    In short, it’s practical religion, and the basics; the foundation of the gospel. It is the minimum necessary to get to heaven. Mormon explicitly notes he’s forbidden from putting down the more advanced doctrines; and the same with the Brother of Jared’s accounts. We don’t get those.
    Yes, we can see vestiges and hints of more of the full teachings, but honestly: the Book of Mormon is not the well from which the Temple springs; or eternal marriage; the plan of salvation as fully revealed, etc.
    So I take issue with the book that’s reviewed. In a way, he’s right in that the very foundational doctrines and ordinances are very clearly straight from the Book of Mormon (indeed, the book of Moroni is in many ways the Handbook of Instructions of their church). But the development of further doctrines is concealed. And to be honest, this is to be expected: the vast majority of the Book of Mormon is from before Christ, when the Law of Moses–a preparatory law; focused on the minimum saving ordinances as administered by the Aaronic priesthood — was in full effect. And then after Christ came, we only get the very first part of Christ’s message before the Lord cuts off Mormon. After that, we get a world full of wickedness and Mormon and Moroni struggling to keep the flickering fire of faith alive; not discourse on the “meat” of the doctrine, as it were.
    Kind of like how todays church leaders never seem to speak of the “advanced” stuff — it’s all faith, repentance and keeping our covenants. Probably because we are fighting a rearguard action against Satan. Just like Mormon and Moroni.

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