long ago ideas

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago." - Friedrich Nietzsche. Long ago, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery conquered false claims that the Book of Mormon was fiction or that it came through a stone in a hat. But these old claims have resurfaced in recent years. To conquer them again, we have to return to what Joseph and Oliver taught.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The rising generation

People wonder why so many of our LDS intellectuals disbelieve what Joseph and Oliver taught about the Urim and Thummim, the New York Cumorah, the plains of the Nephites, etc.

Maybe a passage from the Book of Mormon helps us understand.

Now it came to pass that there were many of the rising generation that could not understand the words of king Benjamin, being little children at the time he spake unto his people; and they did not believe the tradition of their fathers.

(Mosiah 26:1)


The historical record is clear and unambiguous. Joseph learned the name of the hill where the plates were buried from Moroni himself during their first visit. He referred to the hill as Cumorah before he even got the plates. A divine messenger, whom Joseph identified as one of the Nephites, took the abridged plates from Harmony to Cumorah. Joseph and Oliver visited the depository of Nephite records in the Hill Cumorah at least three times. Joseph referred to the source of the Nephite plates as Cumorah in D&C 128:20. Oliver declared it was a fact that the hill in New York was the very hill Mormon referred to in Mormon 6:6. Joseph and Oliver consistently and persistently taught that Joseph translated the plates with the Urim and Thummim.

But many--apparently most--of our current LDS scholars (including historians) reject all of this in favor of the idea that the "real Cumorah" is in southern Mexico.

No wonder people, both inside and outside the Church, are confused and disturbed in their faith in the Book of Mormon.

Of course, we don't have to take the words of scholars as a given. 

We can all read the historical sources for ourselves. 

We can read the words of the prophets who have reiterated and reaffirmed these teachings over and over.

And we can make informed decisions for ourselves.

11 And also it is an imperative duty that we owe to all the rising generation, and to all the pure in heart—
12 For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it—
13 Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven—
14 These should then be attended to with great earnestness.
(Doctrine and Covenants 123:11–14)

the end

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