The Book of Mormon, 1/18
Today, I am starting a series on the Book of Mormon that I've been putting off since last year. Every time I think about what I'm going to put in this series, I always come up with all kind of background information I want to give first. Sometimes the background information is more lengthy than what I plan to write about the Book of Mormon, which leads me to believe I need to cut back on it.
But I'm going to go ahead and give you the skinny. Since I figure Mormons are going to read this, and since Mormons always want to know why I'm interested in these subjects, I'll give you the skinny on that first. Last July, a good friend of mine (let's call her Kay to protect the innocent and prevent me from having to repeat 'my friend' all the time) wrote me a letter giving me a lengthy version of her testimony and how she became a Mormon. I had known her for about seven months without knowing she was a Mormon. So I became interested initially for that reason. As a result, I read the Book of Mormon, and I took notes as I went along. This series is going to be about those notes I took and what I think about the Book of Mormon.
After a while, my enthusiasm waned, and I never took my notes to blog. My enthusiasm has picked up recently, though, because Kay introduced me to another Mormon girl (let's call her Sierra) back in March. Sierra turned out to be quite fetching, and I took a shine to her, so naturally I became interested in the subject of Mormonism again. Sierra is the one who invited me to her church.
That's the background about me. Now for the background about the Book of Mormon. I figure since non-Mormons are also going to be reading this, and since some of them may not know much about Mormonism or what the Book of Mormon is, I ought to give the skinny on that as well.
Supposedly, the church of Jesus Christ disappeared from the earth entirely once all the original apostles were dead. God restored Christ's church in 1830 through the prophet, Joseph Smith. That's how the LDS Church was born. It's supposedly the only true church of Christ on earth.
Before that happened, Joseph Smith was visited by God himself as well as an angel who led him to a hill where Smith found some gold plates with ancient writing on it. The Book of Mormon was translated from those gold plates. It is a record of some ancient civilizations that lived in America who had migrated here from the middle east. Mormons consider the Book of Mormon to be scripture. It is, as it says on the cover, "another testament of Jesus Christ."
The Book of Mormon is important because it speaks to the credibility of Joseph Smith as a prophet. If the Book of Mormon is not a translation of an ancient American document, then Joseph Smith is a false prophet, and if Joseph Smith is a false prophet, then the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (as well as its many off-shoots) is not the true church of Christ restored by God through Joseph Smith.
Although I've read quite a bit since last July, I still consider myself a beginner. It turns out that when it comes to Mormonism, there's a whole lot to know. I've barely scratched the surface. So please think of these blog entries, not as well-researched essays, but as initial impressions.