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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My Favorite Books on the Book of Mormon

I thought that I would quickly post a bibliography of some of my favorite books written on the Book of Mormon. These books range from books that described the history, context, doctrine and evidences of the Book of Mormon. As you study the Book of Mormon, may I suggest that, if possible, you pick up some of these titles as secondary reading.

1. Second Witness: Analytical and Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, 6 volumes, by Brant Gardner

2. Echos and Evidences of the Book of Mormon, edited by Daniel C. Peterson, Donald W. Parry and John W. Welch

3. Lehi in the Desert/The World of the Jaredites/There Were Jaredites by Hugh Nibley

4. Pressing Forward with the Book of Mormon edited by John W. Welch and Melvin J. Thorne

5. Book of Mormon Authorship Revisited: The Evidence for Ancient Origins edited by Noel B. Reynolds

6. Testaments: Links Between the Book of Mormon and the Hebrew Bible by John Tvedtnes and David Bokovoy

7. Christ and the New Covenant by Elder Jeffry R. Holland

8. Since Cumorah by Hugh Nibley

9. Book of Mormon Authorship: New Light on Ancient Origins edited by Noel B. Reynolds

10. King Benjamin's Speech: "That Ye May Learn Wisdom" edited by John W. Welch and Stephen D. Ricks

11. New Witnesses for God, 3 volumes, by Elder B. H. Roberts

12. The Book of Mormon and Other Hidden Books: Out of Darkness, Unto Light by John Tvedtnes

13. An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon by John Sorenson

14. Isaiah in the Book of Mormon edited by John W. Welch and Donald W. Parry

15. Glimpses of Lehi's Jerusalem edited by John W. Welch and David and Jo Ann Seely

16. Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses by Richard L. Anderson

17. Plates of Gold: The Book of Mormon Comes Forth by Matthew B. Brown

18. New Witness for Christ in America, 2 volumes, by Francis W. Kirkham

19. By the Hand of Mormon by Terryl Givens

20. Teachings of the Book of Mormon, 4 volumes, by Hugh Nibley

Well, there is a short list of my favorite books. There are many more that I could add, but this will suffice for now. Any of these titles are very good and invaluable for your personal Book of Mormon study.

Is Joe an Anti-Christian?

A Note to the Reader: Normally this blog deals with Book of Mormon issues, but I was compelled to post this on the blog. So, enjoy.

Recently, on the Mormon Apologetics & Discussion Board, some non-LDS Christians complained that Mormons do not have the right to call the Street Preachers at the Manti Pageant or at Temple Square "Anti-Mormons". Furthermore, they said, the word "Anti-Mormon" is nothing but a slanderous epithet.

Because of this, I posted the following parable, what I like to call the parable of Joe the Atheist, on MADB in order to illustrate how those who will not allow the Latter-day Saints to call said Street Preachers Anti-Mormon are using a double standard. Well, here it is:

Meet Joe. Joe was once a Christian, saved, mind you, when he was 14. But now Joe is an atheist. Joe, according to his autobiography My Life Out of the Christian Cult: How I Lost Christianity and Embraced Darwinism, saw past the "lies, delusions and falsehoods of Christianity" when he was in college and took courses in Biology, Geology and History. He was shocked, he writes in his book, when he learned that the Earth is 6 Billion years old and that man evolved from lower species over millions of years. Furthermore, he was shocked to discover in his History class about the Crusades, that Martin Luther was a virulent anti-Semite, that John Calvin condoned the burning of a rival theologian and how the Puritans engaged in full blown genocide against the Native Americans in order to secure their "City Upon a Hill". Why hadden't his Pastor told him about this? As Joe researched more, he was flabbergasted to learn of the textual errors in both the Old and New Testament and that the original manuscripts do not exist. Why had this never been discussed in Sunday School?

Well, that was it for Joe. He became convinced that Christianity was false and renounced his faith.

Now, meet Joe 20 years later. Joe is the proprietor and web-master of Jesuslied.com and a local bookstore Atheist Press wherein Joe happily writes, prints, and distributes pamphlets entitled Is the Bible Inerrant?, Behind the Mask of Christianity, 20 Reasons Why Jesus Lied, Problems with Christian History and The False Teachings of Christianity. He even makes high production value DVDs such as Jesus Vs. Science and has had friends distribute this, and his other materials, to Christian patrons who are arriving for Church or large gatherings. While at these gatherings of Christians, Joe wipes his rear with the New Testament. He throws crosses on the ground and proudly waves banners proclaiming that Peter was a violent thug for cutting off the ear of the soldier trying to arrest Jesus and that Paul was a lunatic and simply hallucinating. He calls out Christians and records them (for his blog and Youtube, no less) as he asks questions designed to prey on their ignorance.

"Did you know that Mary would have been a teenager when she got pregnant with Jesus? That makes God a pedophile! He impregnated a teenage girl!" Joe Screams.

"Did you know that Paul's first recorded version of his "vision" on the road to Damascus was over two decades after it supposedly happened?" He asks another young Christian couple minding their own business.

"Your religion is stupid. It is virulent. It tares apart families! There is no God! Jesus was not the Messiah! He was a liar!" Joe continues.

Well, that is not all Joe has up his sleeve. He has brought along some friends, and together they dress up as the wives and concubines of Abraham, David and Solomon (to show just how amoral they were) and parade around as these Christians try to enjoy their services.*

Later, Joe writes on his blog that Christians who complain that his activities are less than honorable and downright uncivil are simply "anti-Atheist" and refuses to allow them to call him and "Anti-Christian" because it is just the "Christian N-word"**

Now, here is my question to the likes of Aaron and his ilk (or anyone else for that matter):

1. Is Joe an Anti-Christian?

A simple "Yes" or "No" with an explanation would suffice.

2. If you voted "Yes" then what is the difference between Joe's actions and those of Street Preachers like Aaron?

3. If you answered "No" then see the follow up question #2.

* Note: At the 2008 Manti Pageant, anti-Mormon protesters dressed up as Joseph Smith and his 34 wives in an attempt to shock Mormons at the pageant and show just how immoral Joseph Smith must have been.
**Note: Bill McKeever has described the word "anti-Mormon" as the "Mormon N-Word" on his website.