Saturday, November 3, 2012

Answering Recent Comments – Part XXIX

Continuing with the comments previously mentioned in the last post, the first one hundred and seventeen comments were answered in the previous 28 posts, the one hundred and eighteenth and additional comments are answered beginning below:
Comment #118 If, as John L. Sorenson and other writers suggest, most Book of Mormon history took place in Mesoamerica, what can we conclude regarding the discovery of the bones of a white Lamanite in Illinois and the plates in New York? It seems possible that some Lamanites could have wandered north after Moroni closed his narrative and fought battles on American soil, and the discovery of Zelph could be used by Latter-day Saints as prima facie evidence. We know, too, that the plates Joseph Smith translated came from a hill near his home and were deposited there by Moroni. Someday I hope Moroni explains more fully just where he was during those last three decades of his life, and I hope Zelph is by his side; and after Moroni is finished, I hope Zelph tells his story, geography and all.” Angelina R.
Response: First, as has been mentioned here numerous times, the entire Western Hemisphere is the overall Land of Promise, though only a portion of that was involved in the events of the Book of Mormon. Hagoth’s ships brought thousands of emigrants into Central America, where Nephite ruins, like those in the Andean area, can be seen. Zelph merely shows that Nephites and Lamanites also migrated into North America.
As for where Moroni was during the last three decades of his life, we need to understand that at the conclusion of that time, about 421 A.D., Moroni made his last entry into the Book of Mormon record—it does not say or imply that he died right after that. We don’t know when Moroni died, or under what circumstances—he could have lived for quite some time beyond that point, or taken up as was Moses. As for Zelph’s story—there would be tens of thousands of stories worth knowing regarding all the Nephites and Lamanites who lived in areas outside the land listed in the Book of Mormon. I believe that someday we will have that information.
Comment #119 “Joseph Smith has made numerous false prophecies. In September of 1832 Joseph Smith claimed that the Lord told him that the latter-day Saints would build the New Jerusalem and its temple in Zion, Missouri during his generation: “For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house…which house shall be built unto the Lord in this generation, upon the consecrated spot as I have appointed.” Gunter.
Response: Joseph Smith was never told it would happen in his generation. He was told this generation. In the Lord’s terminology, “This generation” has always meant a certain period of time—not particularly based on someone’s or a specific group’s lifespan. This generation could well mean this entire dispensation. According to the 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, a generation covers a broad range of definitions, including "The people of the same period, a series of children or descendants from the same stock, a family, a race, progeny and offspring." You have placed a very narrow interpretation on the word, but obviously, Joseph Smith was using the term in its broadest sense. Because a prophet doesn't fit your interpretation does not make him any less of a prophet.
Comment #120 “Joseph Smith said, “I prophesy in the name of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the Saints in the state of Missouri and punish the crimes committed by her officers that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left”. 

Well, the United States Government did not redress (or rectify) any of the wrongs committed against the Mormons in Missouri, and now over 150 years later, the U.S. Government is still standing. Here we have another example of a false prophecy. 

Deuteronomy 18:22 tells us what we should think about false prophets: 

“When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” DeMarco.
Response: Joseph Smith never put a time frame upon the redress or the punishment. The term “in a few years” is not indicative of a few years from the moment Joseph made the statement, but in the Lord’s time, which is based on a far longer day than ours, “a few days” has not yet come about. Nor do we know what “redress the wrongs” entailed. Generally, a prophesy cannot be determined in our time, but in the Lord’s time. The punishment of the Lamanites did not come for a little more than 1000 years after they destroyed the Nephites, though it had long been prophesied. As he Lord told Joseph Smith, “Behold, mine eyes see and  know all their works, and I have in reserve a swift judgment in  the season thereof, for them all; For there is a time appointed for every man, according as his works shall be (D&C 121:24-25); For their bounds are set, they cannot pass (D&C 123:9). Though it took a thousand years for the Lamanites to meet their punishment, it came "swiftly." In less than a handful of years, they went from the epitome of civilization to becoming slaves--three entire cultures numbering in the millions, almost "overnight" as you will. Estimates are that 169 Spaniards under Pizarro defeated and subjugated 16,000,000 Inca between 1528 and 1532.
Comment #121 I’ve read where Joseph Smith said that he translated the golden plates (from which he got the Book of Mormon) letter-by-letter, “by the power of God” and that it was “the most correct of any book on earth." If that’s true why has the Mormon Church had to make more than 4,000 changes to the Book of Mormon that was originally published in 1830?” Holmes F.
Response: Joseph Smith’s comment was in regard to the doctrines of the gospel contained in the Book of Mormon, and if you would read Joseph’s entire statement about that, you would find that was what he said. As for changes, the vast majority of changes was in regard to spelling, grammar, etc., which has been clearly defined and covered here on several occasions, as well as elsewhere.
Comment #122 Why do Mormons say that Jesus and Lucifer are spirit brothers when both the first chapter of John 1:1-3 and Colossians 1:16 teach that Jesus is the creator of all things, including Lucifer?” Tatiana.
Response: We are all sons of God, the Father of us all. Jesus is shown in numerous biblical scriptures that he said he is the Son of God, the Father. As for the creator of all things, God the Father has said that he created all things through his son, Jesus Christ, but He, himself, created man (Genesis 1:26).
Comment #123 “In the book of Jacob, he condemns polygamy, yet Joseph Smith condoned polygamy as an ordinance of God.” Jillian.
Response: Throughout the Bible period, God has, from time to time, directed certain people and groups to practice polygamy, and that has never ceased. On the other hand, He has shown He is not pleased when people involve themselves in polygamy without His direction or approval. Polygamy, when practiced in any dispensation under God’s approval, was done under certain circumstances with definitive rules and provisions. When man has decided on his own to do what God has not granted to him to do, God is not pleased. It should be noted that Polygamy is mentioned in the Mosaic law and made inclusive on the basis of legislation, and continued to be practiced all down through the period of Jewish history to the Captivity, after which there is no instance of it on record.
Left: When Elijah called down the fires from heaven to destroy Ahab’s priests of Baal, he prayed:” "Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that Thou art God in Israel." Of course, Abraham, Isaac and Israel were polygamists; Right: from the polygamist Jacob, came the Twelve Tribes of Israel
(See the next post, “Answering Recent Comments – Part XXX,” for the last of the comments made about different posts on this website)

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