Monthly Archives: June 2009

Plain and Precious Things

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A vision given to Nephi in chapter thirteen of the first book that bears his name contains a statement that has raised the eyebrows of critics. It reads in verse 28:

“Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and aprecious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God.”

Critics challenge Latter-day Saints to itemize those plain and precious items that are found missing in the Bible and that are unique to the Book of Mormon. Believing that this challenge will be impossible to meet, these critics seek to undermine the confidence of Mormon’s in this keystone book of scripture. Such an approach becomes a “catch 22″ trap. Whatever doctrine that is mentioned in the Book of Mormon that is unique is used against us to prove that we do not believe in Biblical teachings. Whatever is pointed to as evidence in the Book of Mormon that is also in the Bible is dismissed, because it proves the same plain and precious truths are also in the Bible, undermining this passage.
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Book Review: A Pillar of Light

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Title: A Pillar of Light: The History and Message of the First Vision
Author: Matthew B. Brown
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Genre: Non-fiction
Year Published: 2009
Number of Pages: 268
Binding: Hardcover
ISBN10: 1-59811-795-5
ISBN13: 978-1-59811-795-0
Price: $23.95

Reviewed by Trevor Holyoak

In the October 1998 General Conference, Gordon B. Hinckley said that “our entire case as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rests on the validity of this glorious First Vision….Nothing on which we base our doctrine, nothing we teach, nothing we live by is of greater importance than this initial declaration.” (Page ix.) In April 1984, James E. Faust pointed out that “since no one was with Joseph when this great vision took place in the wooded grove near Palmyra, a testimony concerning its reality can come only by believing the truthfulness of Joseph Smith’s own account or by the witness of the Holy Ghost, or both.” (Page x.) With these statements in mind, it is not surprising that the First Vision has been one of the favorite things for critics of Joseph Smith to attack. In this book, Matthew Brown lays out the historical facts from which one can be helped to gain a testimony of the event, strengthen existing convictions, and help answer any doubts or confusion arising from critics’ claims.
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“Brother” Eli Johnson

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This is my second installment where I tackle the accusation that Joseph Smith was a rake (Ken Jennings wouldn’t say so either.) before he ever received a revelation about plural marriage. I am partial to Dan Bachman’s theory that section 132 was received in stages as he lays out in “The Ohio Origins of the Revelation on Eternal Marriage” in a JMH 1978 article. Critics have likewise turned to the Ohio period to frame Joseph Smith as a sexual predator before the revelation was made public. Clark Braden, in his 1884 debate with an RLDS apostle pursued this agenda. He claimed that the [March 24,1832] tar and feathering was brought about by Eli Johnson’s brotherly outrage of Joseph Smith’s impropriety against Eli’s sister, Marinda Nancy Johnson. I am going to present some new information about Eli Johnson, but if I don’t make much sense please see the following links for background information: 1 2 3 .
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May FAIR Journal

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THE FAIR JOURNAL                                              May 2009

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The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research

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Apologetics: The branch of theology that is concerned with

defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines. (The

American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth

Edition, 2000.)

INSIDE THE JOURNAL

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* MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT. The FAIR Conference is fast

approaching! It is time to register.
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