Mark Twain and the Mormons

"America's Humorist" Mark Twain is one of the great authentic American writers. He was a humorist who relied on exaggeration. He was an iconoclast who poked fun at religions, churches, scriptures, and well-established beliefs and practices.   Mormons were not immune to his jabs. Mark Twain’s “Roughing It” is about his travels through the Wild … Continue reading Mark Twain and the Mormons

The Book of Mormon Contains the “Fulness of the Gospel”

As we conclude our year-long study of the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants declares that the Book of Mormon contains “the fulness of the gospel.” (D&C 20:9) How can that be?  The Book of Mormon does not contain many wonderful doctrines, like: Premortal council in heavenDegrees of gloryTemple ordinances for the deadEternal marriage … Continue reading The Book of Mormon Contains the “Fulness of the Gospel”

Profound and Inspired Book of Mormon “One-liners”

As we studied the The Book of Mormon this year, we noticed it is overflowing with “one-liners.”  These are very short profound and memorable quotes. Each of these one-liners can be a motto or slogan to guide our lives. Each of these one-liners can be a topic for a sermon. These one-liners not only inspire … Continue reading Profound and Inspired Book of Mormon “One-liners”

Book of Mormon Internal Evidence (25). Final Article: The Undeniable Witness of the Spirit

The internal evidence of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon is overwhelming. Unquestionably, the Book of Mormon is an inspired translation of an ancient religious text by multiple authors.  No one, especially not Joseph Smith, was capable of creating such a sophisticated work of fiction in such a short period of time in the … Continue reading Book of Mormon Internal Evidence (25). Final Article: The Undeniable Witness of the Spirit

“Grace” in the Book of Mormon

"We Don't Believe in Grace" Prominent BYU Religion Professor Robert Millet recalls: "I was reared in a Latter-day Saint home in Louisiana, where most of my boyhood friends were Protestant. Just before leaving on my mission, I asked my father -- a lifelong Southerner and member of the Church -- a few doctrinal questions. One … Continue reading “Grace” in the Book of Mormon

Book of Mormon Internal Evidence (23A): Complex Structure of the Metal Plates

The structure of the metal plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated is very complex and yet totally consistent.  The organization of the metal plates is so complicated that the church has published an insert in the introduction entitled, “A Brief Explanation About the Book of Mormon.”   The Plates of Nephi “The … Continue reading Book of Mormon Internal Evidence (23A): Complex Structure of the Metal Plates

Book of Mormon Internal Evidence (19): Memorable Profound Verses – Alma

The Book of Mormon is filled with memorable verses that contain profound truths and rich doctrine. These verses are a powerful witness of the Book of Mormon divinity.  Every chapter includes verses and phrases worth highlighting. Each of these profound verses can, and have been, the basis for talks and lessons.  Some of these verses … Continue reading Book of Mormon Internal Evidence (19): Memorable Profound Verses – Alma

Book of Mormon Internal Evidence (14): Major Recurring Doctrinal Themes

Interspersed among alll of the geographical locations, the chronological systems, the military strategies, and complex literary components are the major recurring doctrinal themes. These themes are both inspired and inspiring.   Come Unto Christ  One of the central recurring doctrinal themes in the Book of Mormon is “come unto Christ.”  From the title page to … Continue reading Book of Mormon Internal Evidence (14): Major Recurring Doctrinal Themes

Book of Mormon Internal Evidence (13): Characterizaton (Part 2)

Quality fiction requires characterization that is diverse, consistent, and realistic. For non-fiction, the people must be diverse, consistent, and realistic. Analyzing the quality of characterization is one way to separate fiction from non-fiction. This is one measure of the Book of Mormon’s authenticity. (See previous article.) Here are just a few excerpts from my thirty-page literary … Continue reading Book of Mormon Internal Evidence (13): Characterizaton (Part 2)

Book of Mormon Internal Evidence (9): Literary Imagery

Imagery gives life to literature Recognizing this, Shakespeare inserted “image clusters” and “image motifs” into his plays. For example, the merciless destruction of King Lear is enhanced by the surrounding animal imagery. Images of death, corruption, and disease abound in Hamlet. Bolingbroke’s takeover in Richard II is reflected in weed pulling, root plucking, and tree pruning. Romeo … Continue reading Book of Mormon Internal Evidence (9): Literary Imagery