31 martie 2017

Peoples and prejudice in the Book of Mormon

One of the messages that I keep finding in the Book of Mormon has to do with how we view one another culturally, and what the roles are of different peoples in the world then and now.

I just read Jacob 3, which includes a stern warning towards the Nephites regarding how they treated or viewed the Lamanites. Jacob was in charge at this point, Nephi having passed on, so they were only one generation away from the original conflict that separated the two peoples. In fact, it's possible that Laman and/or Lemuel were still alive; we don't know. Here's what the Lord says about the Lamanites to the Nephites:

17 februarie 2017

On being an intellectual

What does it mean to be an intellectual?

Someone asked me this question recently when I claimed to be one, and for once I stopped to think what it meant. Two important points came to mind.

06 septembrie 2016

Preotie, partea 2

Înainte de am discuta Alma capitolul 13, trebuie să stabilim niște definiții, bazate pe discuție în partea 1.

Preoție
Preoție este o asociația. Când cineva este ordinat ca preot în biserica, intră în asociația preoțească de oameni. Aceasta asociație omenească este accesibilă numai pentru bărbați, și ei au grijă de lucruri administrative. Dar preoția, despre care citim în scripturi (Alma 13, D&L 84, etc) este o asociația cerească. Sunt mai multe niveluri, cum cineva se aproprie de Dumnezeu. Primul nivel este asociere  cu îngeri și ultimul nivel este asociere cu Dumnezeu Însuși (D&L 84:19-22). Și oricine poate să ia legătură cu cerul: adulți și copii, bărbați și femeii.

31 august 2016

Preotie, partea 1

Aș dori să traduc sau rescriu în limba română articolul meu din februarie, în care am scris despre Alma 13. Este un capitol unic în Cartea lui Mormon, pentru că este singurul loc în care apară cuvântul "preoție." Interesant, nu? Ne am gândi ca ar fi o tema mai importantă. Și când vorbim despre capitolul la biserica, nici nu incercăm să înțelegem despre ce e vorba, sau folosim pasajul ca evidență căliderii noștri sunt chemați de înainte ca să fie lideri și preoți. Chiar dacă interpretarea asta este corectă, este așa de superficială ca să ascundă mesajul mai importantă, care este pentru noi toți, nu numai pentru liderii.

Ca să incepem discuția despre preoție, trebuie să citim și în afară de Cartea lui Mormon. Vă rog să citiți D&L 84 și JST Geneza 14: 25-40 (din Perla de Mare Preț). După ce ați citit, vă invit să considerați niște intrebări:

04 aprilie 2016

Christopher Nemelka: My Take

I no longer remember the context, but a few years ago someone told me about the sealed portion of the Book Mormon supposedly being translated. I found it online, glanced through it, and dismissed it almost immediately as a fake, and thought no more about it.

It has come up again recently, and so I decided to take a better look at it and Christopher Nemelka, the guy who claims he translated it. Apparently he has a bit of a following, and a few people are taking his work seriously.

There are a couple problems with just writing him off like everyone else does. If you do a google search on his name, you will come up with a bunch of anti-Chris Nemelka sites filled with vitriol and malice. The tone of a lot of the criticism is exactly like the tone of much of the anti-Joseph Smith stuff. I'm sure that fact alone makes him and his followers feel vindicated. And of course, if you simply dismiss Nemelka's work as fraudulent, he can just point out that you can't judge the work if you haven't read it (the way many LDS often respond to critics regarding the Book of Mormon).

So I decided this morning I would delve in and decide whether the "Sealed Portion of the Book of Mormon" has merit on its own terms, regardless of who the author is. I wasn't able to read all 600+ pages, but I got through enough of it to make a reasonable judgment, I believe. Here are a few key observations.

06 martie 2016

The Fulness of the Gospel

There was a mention in church today about how the Book of Mormon contains the "fulness of the gospel". Somehow that sounded off to me all of a sudden, so I decided to investigate. Here is what I found:

In his history, Joseph reported that the angel told him about a book written on gold plates. "He also said that the fulness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants" (JS-H 1:34). So if we believe the angel, the gold plates contain the fulness of the gospel. This is repeated several times in the D&C.

In the first paragraph of the introduction to the Book of Mormon, the editors extended this statement, saying, "the Book of Mormon...contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel."

Is that true?

If the fulness of the gospel is one of the things in the book written on gold plates (often referred to in the revelations as the Book of Mormon), but today's Book of Mormon is only an extract from the original, what guarantee do we have that we have that the book published by the church today actually, truly contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel?

I realize that in the D&C, the Lord says multiple times that the "Book of Mormon" contains the fulness. But after rereading those passages, I'm not convinced that he is referring to what Joseph translated and published--I think it more likely that he means the entire book Mormon wrote.

In general, I think we are too quick to congratulate ourselves for all the truth we have, when the scriptures are clear that (1) there is a ton more that needs to be revealed, and (2) we are doing a pretty terrible job with what has already been revealed.