Tuesday, February 28, 2012

1 Nephi 10: Who's Confused?

More Useless Prophecy
Lehi sure was one smart guy. In this chapter, he makes boatloads of already-fulfilled prophecies about the destruction of Jerusalem, the slavery and liberation of the Jews, the coming of John the Baptist, as well as the coming of Christ, his role, baptism, and death. But, of course, this should impress no one, as the record of these prophecies didn't see the light of day until almost two thousand years after the predicted events had already happened and the existence of that record as an artifact was only verified by a few witnesses and not examined in any detail by any actual historians.

Nephi Mixes Up His Books
Nephi makes a strange comment in verse 15:
And after this manner of language did my father prophesy and speak unto my brethren, and also many more things which I do not write in this book; for I have written as many of them as were expedient for me in mine other book.
But Nephi just told us, in the previous chapter, that he's created two separate sets of records--one for the history of his people, and this one, for "the ministry" of his people. So, if the Book of Mormon is the sacred record of "the ministry" of his people and the other record is the secular history of the "reign of kings" and "wars and contentions," then why does he claim here to have made a more detailed account of his father's extremely religion-related prophecies in the other record? Wouldn't it have belonged in the sacred record that later became the Book of Mormon?

Yesterday, Today, and...Actually Only Yesterday
In verse 18, Nephi teaches that the Mormon God "is the same yesterday, today, and forever". Not only does this contradict the Mormon doctrine of eternal progression (that God was once a human like us who proved his faithfulness in life and entered the celestial kingdom after his death, at which time he became a god), but it also causes the Book of Mormon to clash with the modern church.

If God's behavior is constant, why did he send Nephi an angel and a magic ball (the Magical, Mystical Liahona) and tell him to kill Laban? When's the last time a modern prophet claimed to have been visited by an angel in the presence of at least two non-believers, or took direction from a mysterious artifact or committed what he claims to have been justifiable homicide? Why would God give his prophets revelation for polygamy, denying the priesthood to blacks, or the law of consecration, only to have his prophets later repeal or withdraw these decisions?

The Mormon God seems to change his mind and his methods a lot.

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