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.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Toward no more contention: the Phoenicia

Extrinsic evidence of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon continues to come forth. Here's an outstanding example of Latter-day Saints working together to present such evidence.

Scripture Central and FIRM Foundation Explore Evidence of Phoenician Connections to the New World

Post contributed by Scripture Central
Scripture Central's picture
April 23, 2024
Phoenician ship Carved on the face of a sarcophagus. 2nd century AD. Original image by Elias Ziade. CC BY-SA 3.0.
Phoenician ship Carved on the face of a sarcophagus. 2nd century AD. Original image by Elias Ziade. CC BY-SA 3.0.

Saturday evening, April 20, 2024, Richard Ferguson accepted the gracious invitation to speak alongside Rod Meldrum at the FIRM Foundation conference. Both agreed that the most important purpose of the Book of Mormon is to bring people to Jesus Christ, and the volume’s role as a witness to His divinity. 

Both discussed how contention over geographic models is not only unproductive, but destructive in furthering the Restoration’s progress. They agreed that faithful people can have different interpretations of early church leader statements and of scientific evidence. 

Rod and Richard discussed what specific areas the two groups have in common, namely: 

  • The Book of Mormon is real history.
  • Old World connections, such as Lehi’s travel along identifiable points of the spice trails through Arabia before reaching Oman to build a ship in a place called Bountiful.
  • Hebraisms and other clear indications of the book having been written by ancient scribal prophets.
  • Transoceanic voyages.
  • Potential Phoenician contact to help Mulek arrive to the new world.
  • Seed of Lehi over North and South America.
  • Prophecies and promises in the Book of Mormon are true.

In an effort to collaborate in these areas of common agreement, Scripture Central agreed to work with FIRM Foundation to publish findings regarding the potential Mulekite and Phoenician connections, by exploring evidence for transoceanic voyages and contact prior to Columbus. Though other strictly potential avenues for collaboration were discussed on stage, Mr. Ferguson also affirmed that for now, Scripture Central will concentrate only on areas of agreement. Future events may present opportunities for expanding cooperation. 

Rod and Richard also stressed the importance that all believing members of the church should avoid contention or judging the characters of various writers or speakers, and communicate respectfully, reasonably, and cordially. They should refrain from using any pejorative or derogatory language. 

“We hope this will be the beginning of a new era of mutual respect, regardless of opinions as to where the Book of Mormon events occurred. We believe that this joint research can lead to further opportunities for collaboration. In the meantime, Scripture Central will continue its mission to illuminate and defend divine truth, its central mission,” said Richard Ferguson, Volunteer Executive Director, Scripture Central. 

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