THE “TESTIMONY” OF THE BOOK OF MORMON
[TBC: At the October 2009 Latter Day Saint (Mormon) General Conference LDS “apostle” Jeffrey Holland gave a “testimony” of the Book of Mormon. He said, “I testify that one cannot come to full faith in this Latter-day work and thereby find the fullest measure of peace and comfort in these our times until he or she embraces the divinity of the Book of Mormon and the Lord Jesus Christ of whom it testifies. If anyone is foolish enough or misled enough to reject 531 pages of a heretofore unknown text, teeming with literary and Semitic complexity, without honestly attempting to account for the origin of those pages somehow-especially without accounting for their powerful witness of Jesus Christ and the profound spiritual impact that witness has had on what is now tens of millions of readers-if that’s the case then such persons, elect or otherwise, have been deceived. And if they leave this Church, they must do so by crawling over, or under, or around the Book of Mormon to make their exit.” (Jeffrey R. Holland, Oct. 4, 2009, reported in Salt Lake Tribune.)
This same Jeffrey Holland, back in 1994, had also said, “I am suggesting that we make exactly the same kind of do-or-die bold assertion about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ [as we do of] the divine origins of the Book of Mormon. We have to. Reason and rightness require it. Accept Joseph Smith as a prophet and the book [of Mormon] as miraculously revealed and revered word of the Lord it is or else consign both man and book to Hades for the devastating deception of it all, but let’s not have any bizarre middle ground about the wonderful contours of a young boy’s imagination or his remarkable facility for turning a literary phrase. That is an unacceptable position to take…” (New Era, June 1995, p. 64).
Apostle Holland does not list actual doctrinal teachings from the BoM that would make the BoM important to the Church. He cannot, for none of the important Mormon doctrines are found in the Book of Mormon. He is just saying that it is Joseph Smith’s credibility that is in question, that if the book is not true, then Joseph Smith is a deceiver and his church a hoax.
I can you tell from my personal experience that if the missionaries can get people to accept the Book of Mormon as what the Church says it is, then they will accept all the rest and convert to Mormonism. The missionaries did not even ask me to read the entire book, just sample it and believe that it is what the Church says it is. Potential converts, as I was then, are only asked to pray about it, and if they “ask with a sincere heart” they will receive confirmation that it is true. If no positive confirmation is coming, then it must be that they were not sincere – and they must keep praying until they receive such an answer! Suggestions for actually testing the Book of Mormon and its authenticity, receive disapproval and a reply that it is only “an evil and adulterous generation that seeks for a sign”. They say that believing the BoM is a matter of faith, not of proof, contrasting biblical command to “prove all things” (1 Thes. 5:21; 1 John 4:1), so that, as Jesus said, “no man deceive you” (Matt. 24:4). We must remember: “Faith that cannot be tested, cannot be trusted.”
(Higley, H.I.S. Ministries Newsletter, November 1, 2009).
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