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.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

A Mole at the Ensign?

Ensign, Sept. 2018
The September Ensign/Liahona includes an awesome article on the last page titled "Led by Living Prophets."

Everyone should read it.

We have to wonder if there's a mole working at the Ensign to persuade members of the Church--including the M2C intellectuals--to follow the prophets.

A few more articles such as this and we might end up with more members of the Church aligning with the prophets instead of the intellectuals.

Next, we hope the mole somehow gets Letter VII republished in the Ensign/Liahona, the way it was republished in the Times and Seasons, the Gospel Reflector, the Millennial Star, The Prophet, and The Improvement Era. It is also in the Joseph Smith Papers, but hardly anyone knows it.


Ensign, Jan. 1973
The current Ensign/Liahona article is an excerpt from a talk given by Elder Mark E. Petersen in General Conference in October, 1972.

It was published in the Ensign in January, 1973.

Six years later, Elder Petersen gave a talk in General Conference titled "The Last Words of Moroni."

You can read and listen to it here:

As we've come to expect by now, the M2C intellectuals say he was wrong. But remember that Elder Petersen was merely reaffirming the consistent and persistent teachings all of his Apostolic predecessors; i.e., that the Hill Cumorah is in New York.

Here are key excerpts from the current Ensign/Liahona, along with additional excerpts from Elder Petersen's 1972 talk in blue and his 1978 talk in purple, interspersed with statements from our M2C intellectuals, all in pink.

It's one of many examples of how this issues gives us a clear choice between scholars and prophets.

Which set of teachings do you believe?

Always when the Lord has had a people on the earth whom He has recognized as His own, He has led them by living prophets to whom He has given guidance from heaven. …

Who can worship intelligently if kept in ignorance?

Human beings are slow to learn the ways of the Lord, and particularly are they dilatory in accepting the fact that although He is willing to communicate with them, His method of doing so is through inspired living men whom He designates as prophets.

Paul told the Ephesians that the church of Jesus Christ was built upon a foundation of apostles and prophets, with the Savior himself as the chief cornerstone. (See Eph. 2:20.)

Who were the prophets of that day?

The Twelve were included, of course. 

Moroni’s father was commander of the armies of this ancient people, known as Nephites. His name was Mormon. The war of which we speak took place here in America some four hundred years after Christ. (See Morm. 6.)

As the fighting neared its end, Mormon gathered the remnant of his forces about a hill which they called Cumorah, located in what is now the western part of the state of New York.

Their enemies, known as Lamanites, came against them on this hill. 

There remain Latter-day Saints who insist that the final destruction of the Nephites took place in New York, but any such idea is manifestly absurd... a scenario worthy only of a witless sci-fi movie, not of history.

Since the Savior commanded his people to become perfect as their Father in heaven (see Matt. 5:48), he set up his church to provide the means by which this could be accomplished. Hence, he gave them apostles and prophets.

When finished with the record, Moroni was to hide it up in that same Hill Cumorah which was their battlefield. It would come forth in modern times as the Book of Mormon, named after Moroni’s father, the historian who compiled it.

The Hill in New York, mistakenly named Cumorah by early Saints...

The name stuck and over the years the tradition developed that the hill was the site of the last Nephite battles.

The primary issue at stake for Latter-day Saints is how to correlate the traditional concept that the last battles were fought in New York with the newer concept that they were fought in Mexico.

These inspired men were in the church also to preserve unity among the saints and to heal divisions in the flock “that we henceforth be no more … tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine. …” (Eph. 4:14.)

In Isaiah’s day it was the people who turned away from God. The Lord did not turn from the people.

Since the 1950s, opinion among Book of Mormon scholars has increasingly trended toward the realization that the Nephite Cumorah and the Hill in New York cannot be the same.

It was the same in the Savior’s day. Do you recall that he said to those about him: “… how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matt. 23:37.)

God does not abandon his people. It is the people who abandon God.

It is true that a number of Church leaders in the past expressed the opinion that the hill in New York is the same hill described in the Book of Mormon. Statements from Joseph Smith or others on geography are not binding on the Church

We solemnly testify that communication between heaven and earth has been reestablished in our day. We declare that God is not isolated from the world.

He speaks, eloquently, to his living prophets and through them to the world at large.

Had not the Lord said to them, as he says to us now, that America is a choice land and that those who live here must obey God or be swept off?

In closing his record, and knowing that it would come to us, Moroni pleaded with us, the modern inhabitants of this land, to escape the kind of tragic end which had obliterated his people.

Mormon then wrote directly to us as modern Americans who now occupy this promised land and said: “How can ye stand before the power of God, except ye shall repent and turn from your evil ways?

So this is the message of Moroni. He came back from the dead to deliver it—in these modern times.

His people were Americans, too. His words constituted a people-to-people message, ancient Americans speaking to modern Americans. 

The last words of Moroni! Dare we forget them? God grant that we never will, I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment