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Saturday
Mar262011

Should I pray about the Book of Mormon?

Mormons appeal to the Book of Mormon, Moroni 10:4, for the criteria to determine if the book itself is true:
Book of Mormon 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.
Moroni 10:4

The Book of Mormon Book of Mormon
Notice that this verse already presumes that the book is true. Thus if you don't receive a feeling of its truthfulness, your prayer must not have been sincere enough.
  • Feelings based confirmation is the foundation of all Mormon truth.
  • Mormons are discouraged from examining the origins and particulars of their religion, but have no problems scrutinizing the Bible and other Christian denominations.
  • A feelings based criteria provides no way to arbitrate between different groups that claim to receive confirmative feelings about their own religion.
  • Since many churches consider the Book of Mormon scripture, even if one receives a testimony of the Book of Mormon, it itself provides no direction as to which church to join.
  • Since the Book of Mormon claims to be an authentic historical record—of people, places, things, dates, and events—these underlying facts can and should be examined. Spiritual experiences are subjective and cannot be relied upon exclusively to determine if the Book of Mormon is a work of fact or fiction.
    see The Mormon Testimony


The Biblical criteria: Faith + Facts

Aside from the experiential, the Bible instructs us to study, test and prove what is true. Pisteuo is the Greek word for "believe", such as used in John 3:16, which means: "to think to be true, to be persuaded of, an acknowledgement of fact or event, intellectual faith".
Holy Bible Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
— 1 Thessalonians 5:21

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
— 2 Timothy 2:15

Beloved, 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.
— 1 John 4:1
We must have good reason that the Book of Mormon is an authentic historical record before we pray about its alleged spiritual truthfulness.

Otherwise, is the Book of Mormon true without prayer?



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