Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thoughts on the Book of Mormon

From  Dan Jones, “The Book of Mormon–Its Description,” Prophet of the Jubiliee (August 1846): 42-43.

I suppose no book ever had so much said against it by those who knew so little about it, as the Book of Mormon. Wherever it goes in every country, the ears of the populace are filled to the brim with stories and tales as numerous and varied as their authors, which consequently contradict each other; many of them published and preached by those who have never seen the book; others by those who have dipped into it here and there, purposefully to pick faults, and not infrequently one sees quotations from it greatly distorted and twisted. Some describe it as an invented tale; others say it is a new Bible, to supersede the old. Some condemn it for being the most worthless tissue of foolishness they ever saw; others say that it is the most skillful fraud possible. Some find fault with it because it is too similar to the Bible, that its testimony coincides with it, and is therefore unnecessary; but others assert that it is a fraud because it is not similar enough to the Bible. Some condemn the principles it contains because they are immoral, totally evil, and blasphemous; but others of their brothers proclaim to their faces that the principles teach morality, chastity, and holiness, as though it had been purposely composed to trick in that way. Amongst others, one learned minister went to the trouble of publishing a 60-page treatise, against the Book of Mormon, &c., accusing it unsparingly of comprising a strangely foolish mixture, “faith and acts, of God’s mercies, and of asking obedience to his creatures.” Some of the great men of the age have proclaimed that its idiom, its language, and its contents prove its antiquity; and others of the same class, that it bears every mark of recent forgery. Some cannot make our what use it could be, or how to prove its truth, unless there were some prophecies in it to be fulfilled, from which they could prove its divinity; others quote extensively from the prophecies that are about to be fulfilled, and they condemn it for being too clear: the old prophets did not do thus, they say.

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