50 Questions: Mormon Scriptures, part 4

6 Apr

On another blog Tim has been writing answers to a series of questions asked by a Latter Day Saint named Greg Trimble. The list was titled 51 Questions That Might Lead You To Mormonism. So far Tim has posts 5 parts in his series, and I don’t know how many more it will take to answer all 51. However, in part 4 he mentions another list of questions that was made back in 2001. This was titled 50 Questions to Ask Mormons. So, I have decided to follow Tim’s example and make a short series to answer these 50 questions.

I will answer the questions in the order they are given and in the categories they are sorted into. Each post will be less than 1000 words, so only a few questions will be answered in each.

Read 50 Questions: Prophets, part 1; Prophets, part 2; Mormon Scriptures, part 1; Mormon Scriptures, part 2; Mormon Scripture, part 3

QUESTIONS 22-27

22.  Why does the Book of Abraham, chapters 4 & 5, contradict Alma 11 in stating that there is more than one God?  

It doesn’t. Abraham speaks of the gods in reference to all those who exist in a state of perfection. Alma tells us there is only one God, meaning a supreme being that is worshiped by us on Earth. The word may be the same, but the meaning is different.

23.  Why does Doctrine and Covenants 42:18 say there is no forgiveness for a murderer when 3 Nephi 30:2 says there is forgiveness for him? 

3 Nephi 30: 2 is speaking to the Gentiles as a group, while Doctrine and Covenants 42: 18 is speaking of individuals.

A people, or a society, can repent of murder and be forgiven. That is, a society that had once excused or permitted murder without punishing it or seeking out those who are guilty, can repent and do away with such allowances. This is what is being admonished in third Nephi; that the gentiles in the last days need to repent of their allowances of sin or be condemned for it.

On the other hand, an individual that actually commits murder will have no forgiveness, at least not total forgiveness. The grace of Christ will still reach them, but will not raise them beyond the Telestial Kingdom, the lowest of the degrees of glory. They cannot receive full forgiveness, but God is still merciful.

24.  If the Adam-God doctrine isn’t true, how come Doctrine and Covenants 27:11 calls Adam the Ancient of Days which is clearly a title for God in Daniel chapter 7? 

This question is really asking why “Why do we interpret Daniel chapter 7 differently than others do?” To claim that ‘the Ancient of Days’ is a title for God is an interpretation of Daniel, not the stated meaning. It is not surprising that we interpret prophecy differently than other denominations. We have a much different, and much broader view as to the possible meanings of these prophecies.

25.  Why does the Book of Mormon contain extensive, word-for-word quotes from the Bible if the LDS Church is correct in teaching that the Bible has been corrupted? 

Just because some portions were changed over time does not mean that every passage in the Bible has been corrupted. The Book of Mormon does make extensive quotes, and these we know are not corrupted. It also makes extensive changes to the text we have in the Bible, which attest to the fact that the Bible was corrupted.

26.  Why do the Bible verses quoted in the Book of Mormon contain the italicized words from the King James Version that were added into the KJV text by the translators in the 16th and 17th centuries? 

The italicized words were added for the purpose of linguistics. A direct translation from one language to another (especially from different language families) would not have made much sense. So the translators added words so that the readers would understand the meaning of passages.

The Book of Mormon quotes the Bible, and, as is good practice, it uses the most correct English translation when doing so. As such, the italicized words are used because their use made the translation correct as to meaning. The people in America were already familiar with the KJV and so, again following good practice, the familiarity was kept as long as the translation was correct.

27.  If the Book of Mormon was engraved on gold plates thousands of years ago, why does it read in perfect 1611 King James Version English?

Because it was translated through the power of God and he wanted it to read in perfect 1611 King James Version English.

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