Sunday, November 13, 2011

Criticisms and Responses: A "Burning in the Bosom"? What's That?

There are various primary criticisms that tend to be hurled at the Book of Mormon, but which have been addressed many times. One need only use Google to dredge them up, but similarly, Google can be used to find the counter-arguments. More people ought to do the latter when they see the former. This is the last article in a series of posts to represent my responses to those criticisms.   

Criticism: Getting a "testimony" or a "burning in the bosom" about the Book of Mormon or even the Bible goes directly against the Bible. 1 John 4:1 says "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." Besides, isn't "burning" something people do in Hell?

Response: Isn't it contradictory to say "do not ask God for an answer about scripture from His Spirit when you should just take it at face value" only to then quote a scripture which explicitly commands us to "test the spirits to see whether they are from God"? I don't follow this logic. And why would 1 John 4:1 conflict with James 1:5-6 and other scriptures which say "ask and ye shall receive" and "knock and it shall be opened to you"? Which doctrine, then, is true? Do we ask God for spiritual wisdom, or dare we not? If God is love, why would He reprimand His children for asking a question? Do we only ask Him for temporal knowledge and blessings and not spiritual knowledge and blessings?

Rather than accuse the Mormons of inventing what anti-Mormons consider to be Satanic-sounding "burning in the bosom" language, they should check the Bible first, particularly Luke 24:15-32.

Not every instance of "burning" in scripture is symbolic of or originates from Satan. If that were true, then the "burning bush" and "pillar of fire" stories of the Book of Exodus certainly need some revision or re-translation. Same with Elijah's duel with the priests of Baal and his miracle of calling down fire to consume the altar. Oh, and Elijah's chariot of fire would certainly be Satanic. Who ever heard of a flying chariot of fire carrying someone to heaven?

Do you see what I mean? Anything can be twisted to make it sound strange or wrong, even when it isn't.

I invite you to accept Moroni's simple promise.
Moroni 10:3-5
 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.