Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Miracles Part III

I'm reading a really good book called "Best Loved Stories of the LDS People." Here's a short one on page 268. Tell me what you think it means.

Eli H. Peirce
"I...was called to administer [give a healing blessing, a religion rite] to the youngest child of one of the [local pastors called a branch president]. The mother [not a member of the church]seriously objected to anything of the kind in her presence, and she refused to leave the bedside of the dying child.

"Not wishing to intrude, we retired to an upper room to pray, and she, designing our motives, sent her little girl to spy upon us. In a secluded chamber we knelt down and prayed, earnestly and fervently, until we felt that the child would live and knew that our prayers had been heard and answered.

"Turning round, we saw the little girl standing in the half open door gazing intently into the room, but not heeding our movements. She stood as if entranced for some seconds, her eyes fixed immovably upon a certain spot, and did not stir until her father spoke. She then said, 'Papa, who was that other man in there?'

"He answered, 'Brother Peirce.'

"She said, 'No, I mean that other man.'

He replied, 'There was no other, darling except Brother Peirce and myself; we were praying for baby.'

"She shook her head, and, with perfect composure, said, 'Oh yes, there was; I saw him standing between you and Mr. Peirce, and he was all dressed in white.'

"This was repeated to the mother, who tried every means in her power to persuade the child that it was a mere delusion, but all to no purpose. Entreaties, bribes, threats and expostulations were alike unavailing. She knew what she had seen and nothing could shake that conviction. The baby was speedily restored to perfect health."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Book of Mormon Is Objectively True Part II

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence to believe it. After all, many people have advanced kooky claims in the past. No one wants to gullibly believe something just to find out that it is not true.

The Book of Mormon is an extraordinary claim. Joseph Smith claimed he got it from an angel and translated it from an ancient language by the power of God. Pretty far fetched right?

But if the evidence for this account is very strong, then you are justified in believing it.

After all, you believe in some strange things yourself I bet. Do you believe in the Big Bang? That matter and energy are the same thing? (that's what Einstein's E=MC^2 equation states. Energy equals Mass times the speed of light squared). Do you believe that a bunch of chemicals, organized into a brain can cause you to be conscious and have emotions, dreams, loves, pain joy etc?

If so, then you believe some extraordinary things, but you have good reason to do so. There is also very good reason to believe that the Book of Mormon is true.

Today's evidence: the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon, Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris and David Whitmer.

In one of the first pages of the Book of Mormon you find their statement saying that they not only saw the gold plates from which it was supposedly translated, but they also claim to have seen an angel who presented the plates to them and told them the book was true.

All three men were confirmed as having good character and reputation in the community. In particular was David Whitmer's fascinating story. After his death, the newspaper the Richmond Conservator wrote:
"On Sunday evening before his death he called the family and his attending physician, Dr. George W. Buchanan, to his bedside and said, “Doctor do you consider that I am in my right mind?” to which the Doctor replied, “Yes, you are in your right mind, I have just had a conversation with you.” He then addressed himself to all present and said: “I want to give my dying testimony. You must be faithful in Christ. I want to say to you all that the Bible and the record of the Nephites, (The Book of Mormon) are true, so you can say that you have heard me bear my testimony on my death bed....
On Monday morning he again called those present to his bedside, and told them that he had seen another vision which reconfirmed the divinity of the “Book of Mormon,” and said that he had seen Christ in the fullness of his glory and majesty, sitting upon his great white throne in heaven waiting to receive his children.11
The Richmond Democrat also added this comment:
“Skeptics may laugh and scoff if they will, but no man can listen to Mr. Whitmer as he talks of his interview with the Angel of the Lord, without being most forcibly convinced that he has heard an honest man tell what he honestly believes to be true.”" http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Brochures/Book_of_Mormon_Witnesses_4.pdf

The other witnesses also testified on their deathbeds that the Book of Mormon is true.

Their witnesses don't prove the book true, but they are a notch in favor of it being true. My last post gave other reasons and my next post will discuss even more. I hope that the accumulation of evidence will lead you to further research and to reading the book itself. (you can get one for free here http://mormon.org/mormonorg/eng/).