How Mormons Know the Truth About the Book of Mormon

Posted: March 21, 2011 by Brett Kunkle in Choosing My Religion, Truth Matters
  1. Sam Harper says:

    This just turns my stomach.

  2. Laura says:

    I was raised a Mormon. I went to BYU. I married a return missionary in the DC temple. The ONE, true God, (the God of the Bible) saved my husband and me 10 years ago. My heart breaks for these women. Finding out that Mormonism was false caused us a lot of pain. Sometimes the truth does not feel good. It was quite distressing to realize that my “righteousness [is] as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6) and “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked…” (Jeremiah 17:9) I discovered that there was a purpose in God giving me a mind. I’m supposed to use it (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

  3. You’d think that if the epic events on the American continent described in the BoM were true, there’d be at least a teensy bit of archaeological evidence to corroborate them. I mean other than the pseudo archaeology that Mormon apologists come up with.

  4. Peter says:

    There is tons of archeological evidence for the Book of Mormon. There are whole books written on it. I have read 2 of them myself and they are quite convincing.

    I tend to read allot of posts on the internet about Mormonism and the amount of false information here baffles me.

    It does bother me when people say that they know the Book of Mormon is true based on a feeling. I tend to gag at this kind of talk. I have received my own revelation that the Book of Mormon is true but I do not describe it as pure feeling, though there are feelings of warmth and peace that come with it. The process for me came as I studied and pondered the Book of Mormon. The way I describe it is as if my understanding became really powerful. The scriptures describe is as the eyes of our understanding being opened. There is no doubt because you can see everything. It is like you are in the daylight and everyone else is in the night. It becomes obvious. When this happens, you recognize that we are usually walking in a fog.

    It is important to receive this kind of spiritual witness because there are so many voices against the church. A spiritual manifestation overpowers the philosophies of men.

    There was one other time when I received as strong a spiritual manifestation. It was 23 years ago when I interviewed for a job. This was one of many interviews and I did not think I would get this one. While on my way home, I had this same kind of experience and I so strongly knew that I would get the job that I told my wife so. They called me back 2 weeks later and offered me the job. I have been there for 23 years.

    Another thing that happens to me as I read the Book of Mormon (especially in the morning when my mind is clear), is that ideas pop into my mind that are not always related to what I am reading. They are things that I shoud do or things that I need to know. In this way, the Book of Mormon tunes me into the spirit and teaches me how to hear it.

    • Sam Harper says:

      Peter, I’ve read about some of the archaeological evidence for the book of Mormon on the internet from Mormons, like Jeff Lindsey and some of the folks from FARMS and FAIR, but I have always wondered how this evidence has been received by the archaeological community as a whole. I wonder how it stands up to peer review, but I haven’t been able to find anything. Are there any peer reviewed articles published in academic journals on the subject of archaeology and the Book of Mormon? Or are there any non-Mormon academic articles that seem to support the Book of Mormon? It’s hard for a layman such as myself to assess a lot of these evidences, so I’m curious what non-Mormon scholars have to say about it.

      In the case of the Bible, it seems that archaeologists, whether friendly to Christianity or not, don’t have a problem publishing material that supports the Biblical record. So I wouldn’t expect professional archaeologists to refuse to publish their findings that happen to support the BoM just because they had an ax to grind.

      Do you think some of your fellow Mormons are being irrational or irresponsible by placing so much confidence in your religion just based on their emotional experiences? Do you doubt the legitimacy of their experiences just because they aren’t exactly like yours? Do you think the Holy Spirit really was convicting them through their feelings? If so, why does it bother you? Or do you think they are mistaken to attribute their feelings to the work of the Holy Spirit?

      I have experience something similar to you where you reached a point of clarity. It happened after about three years after I started studying apologetics and all the historical and philosophical stuff that goes along with it. Over a short amount of time, I gained a clarity. I had studied all kinds of different topics, and all of a sudden, I saw how they all fit together. I saw the big picture. I saw how the Christian worldview was coherent, and it was kind of like an “enlightenment” experience. That’s the best way I know how to describe it. I remember that was the most certain I had ever become that Christianity was true, and after that, I didn’t think it would ever be possible for me to lose my faith. I just had such a clarity about it. I don’t have the same clarity now as I had then. I became lazy after that. Part of why I studied apologetics was because I wanted to know the truth. I wanted to know if Christianity was true or not. Since I had that experience of clarity, I just didn’t feel the urgent need anymore. I felt like I had found what I was looking for. So I got lazy and stopped reading so much. I stopped debating as much, too, which caused me to get rusty. But I still have a great deal of confidence in Christianity just because I trust that experience. Even though i don’t see things as clearly now, I know that I once did see things with a great deal of clarity. I remember it.

      As far as things popping into my mind when I’m reading, that seems to happen to me no matter what I read, but it especially happens when I’m reading philosophical literature. My mind will wander sometimes. I can read two pages and have no idea what I just read because my mind was elsewhere.

      If the ideas that pop into your mind when you’re reading the Book of Mormon have nothing to do with what you’re reading, then I’m not sure how you can say the Book of Mormon is tuning you into the spirit or teaching you anything. It seems like if the BoM were teaching you something, that teaching would have something to do what is actually written in the BoM. But I may not be understanding what you’re saying.

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by. I’m always interested to know how Mormons will respond to we non-Mormons when we post things on our blogs about Mormonism.

    • Adrian Urias says:

      I’m just wondering, and I won’t reply to your reply, but how do you handle the Book of Abraham being a phony?

  5. Peter says:

    Sam, thanks for responding.

    I can relate totally to what you said about your spiritual experience. Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that knowledge from the spirit is more solid and convincing then the thoughts of other men and that spiritual evidence is better than physical evidence. However, I suppose it is all evidence and in the end we choose to believe what we believe based on the evidence we have been provided.

    When I read the Book of Mormon in the morning, the thoughts that come into my mind have a certain quickness that is different than just a wondering mind. It is an enlightening feeling and I do not get it from other things I read. There are times when you can tell that there is something more going on.

    I am not a very emotional person (maybe I suppress emotions) and sometimes I wonder if some of the more feelings kind of people (mostly women?) tend to mistake feelings for the spirit. I guess I should not judge. I was a bishop for 5 years and saw some people make flawed decisions based on what they thought was the spirit. I saw young girls that thought a guy was spiritual just because he cried while bearing his testimony. I do not doubt that these peole had a testimony though.

    Accept for occasional strong spiritual expereinces, I believe that testimonies tend to grow gradually. All people have a God given abitlity to judge good from bad. When we are reading something that is good or doing things that are good, I believe that the Holy Ghost speaks to our spirit and testifies that it is good. I believe that this pure witness that what is happening is good is the foundation for our testimony. So it is important to study the scriptures and live according to Gods teachings.

    A person can read the Book of Mormon with the intent to find evidence against it, or they can read it with a sincere desire to understand, so motive has allot to do with it. At the last converence, one of the apostles said that the Book of Mormon is true because a bad man could not have written it and a good man would not have written it if it were not true. I totally relate to this idea.

    On the other hand, I remember a powerful experience that I had on the day I was baptized 37 years ago at age 24. when I arrived at the church, I had no particular feelings though it was an exciting day for me. When I walked into the room where the service was to be held, an almost uncontrollable emotion instantly came upon me. It was unmistakeably from a source outside of me. I had a hard time keeping tears away. There were only about 5 people at my service, 2 of which were my non member mother and sister. I looked back at them and they were in tears also. This kind of powerful emotional experience never happened to me again.