The Book Of Mormon

What’s this you ask? I know you didn’t come here for a sermon, prayer meeting or any kind of religion. No one wants to be preached to, especially when they just stopped by for a cup of joe, and maybe a good read. How can a person feel comfortable with religion suddenly thrown in their face? Now I’ve made you uncomfortable, and that was not my intention. I had hoped to give you a background on a book most of you wouldn’t ever thinking about picking up, let alone actually read.
On my first post in this blog, I wrote about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, more commonly called Mormons. I am one, no, don’t get scared, I won’t try to convert you. I’m just not that kind of guy. A persons beliefs are personal, and really shouldn’t be brought up just anywhere. Maybe not here either, but now it’s too late because I already brought the subject up. Why would I do that to you?
You came here to see what I’m all about, and regardless of my affiliations, you want to know if I am worth knowing or just another waste of time and resources. I am conservative, with time, resources, power, water, and opinions. You don’t have to worry about the “Mormon” thing, you won’t go to Hell for not reading about this particular topic.
The Book Of Mormon is: Scriptures. Of course you already knew that, but did you know it was translated into the English language by Joseph Smith (no relation) in the early 1800’s? This particular book is more than, Thee’s Thou’s and Thy’s. It’s about a society of people, and their history. I didn’t read the Book Of Mormon for years when I was looking for a path in which to express myself in churchly ways. Because of the title, I refused to read it! It’s actual title is The Book Of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ.
Why would I want to read that, when I could read Doc Savage-The man of bronze, or The Incredible Journey, or Journey To The Center Of The Earth? So I didn’t read it for years after I first encountered it. Knowing a person can’t knock what they know nothing about, I had to check it out. I didn’t want to read it, but my daughter was going to be baptised and become a member of the L.D.S. church, so I gritted my few teeth and looked into it.
I read The Book Of Mormon as a novel. I just sat in a corner and read it. I pretended all of the scriptural advice wasn’t slapping me in the face, and just read it for what it was. It’s actually interesting. It’s the history of a group of people, a family who were out of their element in the mid-east. They were considered righteous and faithful to the commandments of God. Being so, they were told by an angel Jerusalem was to be destroyed, and they should leave the area. The family was told how to accomplish this, and what they needed to do to prepare for a journey to what was called “A Land Of Promise”. The promise was, if they were willing to follow all of God’s commandments, and live righteously, they would be a great people and prosper.
Their history was recorded on plates of brass in the mid-east, and on plates of gold in the new promised land. The idea of bringing this book up wasn’t to be all religious or to convert you, but to let you know what I discovered when I was younger. What’s that you ask?
Don’t judge a book by its title and don’t read one because it has a great cover with nice illustrations! I found the books with catchy titles and flashy covers were really not all that good, in fact usually the flashy covers and cool titles are the best content!
Sorry to have bored some of you, scared some of you, and freaked out the rest of you.

photo book of mormon

Book Of Mormon

Currently, Not Out Of The Water Yet

I am going to try to not be very negative while writing all the things that just seem to get my goat. I am presently in Sparks Nevada helping family in a time of need.  While I help here in Sparks, I thought I might retry to get things going again on the web.

Who Are The Mormons or Latter-Day Saints, And Are They Christian Or Do They Worship Satan?
There seems to be a lot of folks that don’t know much about the Mormon religion or philosophies. So much bad press and misunderstandings have hampered the American people, and probably the world, from learning the nature of this particular sect of Christianity. The Mormon faith is christian based, meaning they do believe in God and Christ.

Many of the misconceptions come from people not having a full understanding of the faith. The Mormon church is actually named The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints. Founded in the 1830’s by Joseph Smith, through devine guidance, the Mormon faith came about with the translation of some ancient brass and gold plates found in America (in the Ohio area).

Those plates were the history of some people that had lived in Jerusalem, around 600 b.c., who then by decree from God, were told to build a boat of an unusual design, board the craft and leave that area. When those people sealed themselves up in the boat, they had faith their God would bring them to ” The Promised Land “. That land of promise is the ” New World ” now known as the Americas.

Those folks that made that journey were told Jerusalem was to be destroyed, as the area was becoming corrupt and was an abomination in the eyes of their God. They were warned of the impending destruction of their homes, and told to leave the city taking only their livestock and a very few possesions. The one commandment they were given had to do with a history of their people, written on brass plates. They were to secure those plates and leave to follow Gods will. That history is an history of the Ten Tribes of Israel.

The basis of the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints are the brass plates those people brought with them, and further histories, written on gold plates after they came ashore in the Americas. Those plates contain some of the history, doctrines and scriptures of that group of faithful people, we now call the Nephites. Those plates are what was translated into The Book Of Mormon, one of the sets of scripture the church uses even today.

Many of the misconceptions about the Mormon faith are semantics. All ancient histories are written in the perspective of the time they were written. As modern people with a more full understanding of what has happened throughout history, we need to look beyond the words and to recognize the meanings of what has been recorded and passed down to us from old. The Book of Mormon is a history of the ancient people that came to the new world, by the hand of God, and reveals the fact: When a people are rightous, honest, and just, and follow the commandments of God, they will prosper. When they turn their backs on that philosophy, they are attacked, enslaved, or killed. The history contained in the Book of Mormon is about 1000 years of duration from about 600 b.c. until 420 a.d. and describes the lives and then the demise of that people.

Without getting too confusing about the semantics of the faith, I’ll just state a few things people seem to have trouble with, don’t understand or have learned entirely wrong.
Myth 1) The Mormons don’t worship God or Christ but worship Joseph Smith. That is the opposite of the facts. Mormons, or the people of the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints, do believe in and worship both God and Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith is venerated and given credit for his role in translating the ancient plates and starting the church, but he is not worshipped.

Myth 2) Mormons don’t follow the rules of the country and are into deviant acts such as polygamy. This is another case of not understanding the situations of the past and not allowing all of the facts to be presented.
During an especially difficult time in the mid 1800’s while our country was at war, a group of soldiers fought for America. One Battalion, the Mormons, although persecuted, still took to arms at the behest of the president of the United States. These 1000 men left their wives and children to help our nation. Polygamy was the answer the Saints came up with to care for the wives and children of those soldiers.
This was not an open invitation for sex or lust, but an idea to keep the families of these men strong and productive. The way it was set up, an able man would wed the wife of another man and care for her and the children, while her first husband was away at war. For each wife a seperate household had to be provided, so if a man was able and willing to marry two or three women, he’ld have to provide that many seperate residences, and provide for each family he promised to care for. Only the wealthiest of men could even do this.
This was done so the children could grow up with the knowledge and blessings of the church and family, and be taught all of the responsibilities of being a member of the church. The Mormon faith is such that family is the central focus of the religion. At the end of the war, and with the President of our country saying polygamy isn’t in line with our country’s beliefs or policies, polygamy was halted by the members of the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints. Other churches, or ex-members of the Morman faith, started up new sects of the religion, and still follow some of those practices, but the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints halted that practice, and abides by all of the laws and rules of our country.

Myth 3) The Mormons are devil worshippers. Those that don’t want to know how a system is set up might suggest that, but the truth is the members of the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints don’t worship the devil, or Lucefer. Although they will admit the devil is a brother to Jesus, I am not going to get into all of the reasoning for that statement. The Morman philosophy is not about worshipping Satan, but God through Jesus Christ.

Myth 4) Mormans don’t use the Bible, but have their own scriptures. The truth is the Bible, providing it it a true translation, such as the King James Version, is one of four sets of scriptures the members of the church use. The other scriptures in use by those of this faith are, The Pearl of Great Price ( a translation of some papyrus scrolls found near the Dead Sea ) the Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenents, a book with many of the church’s tenants recorded therein.

In conclusion, all religions have a foundation in truth, although we may never know how much is true and how much is wishful thinking. In this era of scientific thinking, many of the things we’ve been taught are in fact turning out to be of a factual basis. It’s up to the individual to decide for themselves what may be true for them, and what is not.

One tenant of the Mormon faith is: Pray earnestly, and ask of God, in the name of Jesus Christ, that you may come to know the truth of these things. You are not expected to blindly follow any ideas, or just blindly have faith. Seek the answers earnestly, read and study the scriptures, and pray for an understanding. Reflection will give you some of the answers you seek.

For more information or clarification of anything I’ve written here, call on the L.D.S. Missionaries in your area. They will welcome a discussion with you about all things pertaining to the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints, and any questions you may have regarding the faith or philosophies I’ve written of.
Rusty Garner-Smith