Studying the Book of Mormon 7

28 December

Studying the Book of Mormon 7

 Helaman, the Book of Questions

 Interpolate:  to alter (a text) by the insertion of new matter, esp. deceptively or without authorization.

 Many times in life we come face to face with God and still wonder why we never see Him.  God isn’t an exalted man as the LDS Church would have you believe, nor does He make personal appearances in human form like in the claims of Joseph Smith.  It’d be kind of difficult to do considering John 4:24 says He is spirit.  However, when people do meet Him it’s oftentimes in the form of a stranger, neighbor, loved one or even an enemy.

 That is what I learned when at the age of twenty, the words from a man I would soon consider an enemy challenged me and my heritage.  His name?  Ed Decker.  I’d never heard of him before that day, but his message stuck with me for another decade until I took him up on his challenge.

 His theory was that if the Book of Mormon didn’t hold up, the entire structure of Mormonism fell.  This beloved sacred cannon of the LDS Church was and still is so revered that young men and women are willing to drop everything for two years of their young lives to promote its message around the world.

 Part of their message is found in the book of Helaman, the seventh of twelve books in the Book of Mormon.  Overall, it’s filled with descriptions of unending wars and “contentions” that are much too vague, leaving their claims with no credibility.  The exposition in the prophecies of the unborn Messiah they mysteriously know about and the miraculous change in the hearts of the people are an obvious fabrication for the BC era.  The writings are proof that Smith was the epitome of an iconoclast.

 My major heartbreak as a teenager didn’t come as a result of a boy or not getting front row seats to my favorite band.  My heartbreak came from searching for the Jesus of the Bible in the Book of Mormon and never finding Him.

 I spent years trying to reconcile the non-descript Jesus in places like Helaman to detailed accounts found in the gospels.

 John 7:37-39;

 “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

 My efforts were met with personal disappointment and bewilderment and when I’d voice my frustrations with the bishop, seminary teacher or MIA leaders, I was told we’d find out about “those things when we get there”.  Today, my answer to that is “yes, you definitely will”.  An example of the elusiveness in LDS writings can be seen in Helaman 3:15-18;

 “But behold, there are many books and many records of every kind, and they have been kept chiefly by the Nephites.

 16 And they have been handed down from one generation to another by the Nephites, even until they have fallen into transgression and have been murdered, plundered, and hunted, and driven forth, and slain, and scattered upon the face of the earth, and mixed with the Lamanites until they are no more called the Nephites, becoming wicked, and wild, and ferocious, yea, even becoming Lamanites.

 17 And now I return again to mine account; therefore, what I have spoken had passed after there had been great contentions, and disturbances, and wars, and dissensions, among the people of Nephi.

 18 The forty and sixth year of the reign of the judges ended.

 So did the records fall into transgression or did the people fall into transgression?

 How many wars and contentions took place before and during the time of Helaman?

 Specifically, what records had been passed down?

 How many people died and when did they die?

 What exactly was the aggravation for the wars?

 I only have one question for Helaman chapter 4.

 How in the world did these people walk from one ocean to the other in one day?  The shortest distance between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans is 2,362 miles.  (San Diego, California to Jacksonville Beach, Florida.)  Helaman 4:7.

In Helaman chapter 5 we’re met with a myriad of questionable events that go beyond the subtlety of injecting the gospel into the BC era.  In this chapter it’s 30 BC and we’re told salvation is only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ; Jesus has been given power from the Father to redeem people from their sins; Jesus is the rock;  Christ is a sure foundation.

 Chapter 5 also includes the story of Helaman’s sons Nephi and Lehi preaching with great power and authority and to their astonishment 8,000 Lamanites were baptized.

 After this great scenario took place, they were imprisoned by the Lamanite army where they were subsequently encircled by fire.  When the Lamanites saw what happened, they were struck dumb, but Lehi and Nephi assured them it was safe when an earthquake struck.

 Along with the earthquake, came a dark ominous cloud and a voice emanating from it.  The voice “pierced” them to the soul telling people to repent and stop trying to destroy the servants of God who came to “declare good tidings”.  Immediately afterwards, another earthquake came along and for the third time the “still small voice” spoke.  Amazingly, the things God told everyone there cannot be uttered by man.

 The earth shook again, a natural born Nephite now dissenter, looked over and saw the missionaries who looked like angels.  They were “lifting their eyes to heaven and in the attitude as if talking or lifting their voices to some being whom they beheld”.  The one time dissenter, “Aminidab”, began telling those around him to repent while everyone stood looking at Nephi and Lehi who were by the way, still in the fire.

 We’re then told of how the Holy Spirit came down and entered the hearts of men as if they were “filled with fire”.  Just then another voice (a pleasant one this time) told them “peace” because of their faith in “my Well Beloved who was from the foundation of the world”.  It was at this time the heavens opened and angels came to minister to them.

 Three hundred people saw this and were told to go out and not doubt God.  The Lamanites went out and gave away their land to the Nephites because of their experience.

 So with all that behind us, my questions are many, as I’m sure yours are as well.

 Remember our grammar lesson from a few chapters ago?  “Good tidings” is an Old English term originating circa 1100 AD.

 Christ is a Greek word for Messiah…it’s 30 BC…I’m sure you’re also wondering why people who were speaking “Reformed Egyptian” in Mesoamerica were using this terminology.

 Why is this story of Nephi and Lehi so similar to that of Meshach, Shadrak and Abednego?

 Why was God’s voice in a dark and ominous cloud?

 Why was the Holy Spirit being poured out into people’s hearts before Jesus had appeared?

 Why are they told to lay up a treasure in heaven?  See Helaman 5:8 and Matthew 6:20.

 Why do they use the term “encircled about with fire”?  (5:23) This is what the Gentiles did when they sacrificed their children to their false god Molech.

 Why is the grammar in this “holy writ” so awful?  Helaman 5:36.

 Why were 8,000 people baptized in 30 BC?

 Why does it seem the Book of Mormon stories have to outdo the stories in the Bible?

 These tall tales say something about the god of the Book of Mormon.  His spirit isn’t very powerful if these guys can’t behave more than a few verses at a time.  I’ve had better luck with my Rottweiler behaving longer than these guys do.

 Helaman 5:32 claims the people need to repent for the “kingdom of God is at hand”.  The Kingdom of God is not a place or an entity of a ruler’s kingdom per se.  The Kingdom of God is not mentioned in the Old Testament.  In the New Testament it is referred to by Jesus for the first time in Matthew 13:24.  The kingdom of God is the rule or sovereignty of God.  It is not an organization, nor is it found exclusively within a predetermined denomination.

 Christians step into the kingdom of God and live under His rule when we belong to Him.  We cannot add to His kingdom – only He does that – and we cannot make any better or worse.  God rules the kingdom.  We are either subjects in His kingdom even here on earth or we are not.

 What exactly were the Nephites doing to become so hardened and entangled with the Lamanites and what did the Lamanites do to become worthy as it states in Helaman 6:2-3?  And why were there churches in 25 BC?

 “For behold, there were many of the Nephites who had become hardened and impenitent and grossly wicked, insomuch that they did reject the word of God and all the preaching and prophesying which did come among them.  3 Nevertheless, the people of the church did have great joy because of the conversion of the Lamanites, yea, because of the church of God, which had been established among them. And they did fellowship one with another, and did rejoice one with another, and did have great joy.

 The exchanges of power from one leader to another are rather meaningless and less than memorable when you factor in there were no less than 4-5 authors of Helaman.

 In Helaman 6:22 Smith showed us what he was personally involved with when he says the following;

 “And it came to pass that they did have their signs, yea, their secret signs, and their secret words; and this that they might distinguish a brother who had entered into the covenant, that whatsoever wickedness his brother should do he should not be injured by his brother, nor by those who did belong to his band, who had taken this covenant.

 This is part of the oaths a mason takes.

 Helaman 6:26 should be a real eye-opener for every single Mormon alive.  Pray that my mother sees it won’t you?  It says;

 “Now behold, those secret oaths and covenants did not come forth unto Gadianton from the records which were delivered unto Helaman; but behold, they were put into the heart of Gadianton by that same being who did entice our first parents to partake of the forbidden fruit—

 Compare this with Moses 5:11; “And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.

 So Satan is the one that convinced Adam and Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit and Satan is bad, but in the Pearl of Great Price we see that Adam and Eve praised God they committed a sinful act.

 How can they both be right?

 On my Gospelink program it says this at the end of Helaman Chapter 6;

 “God threatens the people of Nephi that he will visit them in his anger, to their utter destruction except they repent of their wickedness. God smiteth the people of Nephi with pestilence; they repent and turn unto him. Samuel, a Lamanite, prophesies unto the Nephites. Comprising chapters 7 to 16 inclusive.

 Where in the Bible does God ever threaten His people?  God does not threaten. says this about the word threaten:  “to utter a threat against; menace, to be a menace of source of danger to, to offer a punishment, injury by way of a threat, to give an ominous indication of…”

 The website also listed antonyms and synonyms of the word threaten.  Synonym:  endanger.  Antonym:  protect, defend.

 Is your god a source of danger to you or is he a protector and defender?  I always taught my kids that the book of Deuteronomy is a love letter from God to man.  He gives us the very best paths and ways to stay safe, both spiritually and physically.

 I don’t want my children to be so afraid of God they won’t go to Him for comfort and/or advice.  The Mormons have done this to their people.  How very, very sad.

 In Old Testament times the Israelites sacrificed through various blood atonements to make amends with God.  The sacrifices were a covering for their sin.  They repented corporately through the rituals of wearing sackcloth and spreading ashes or everyone participating in a fast.  God’s desire was for them to have a contrite heart during these times which would show they had a willingness to proceed in a new direction for their lives.  Typically just repenting as the New Testament portrays is something the Israelites in the BC era were not accustomed to.

 Where in the Book of Mormon does it give these descriptions of how to repent in the BC era?

 Chapter seven is a story of Nephi crying because he wasn’t born in the days his father was, he calls people out to repent (it’s now 23 BC).  His sermon on the tower is a lot like what John the Baptist did when he told people to repent for the time was at hand.  He used the word repent 8 times in 15 verses.  He also took the liberty to paraphrase heavily from the New Testament on several occasions through his lamentation on the tower.  Helaman 7:23 is another example of how the Book of Mormon is a fraud.  He quotes a  little from Jesus but changes the names and places around in his warning of destruction to the Nephites passing by on the highway.

 Helaman 7:23; “For behold, thus saith the Lord: I will not show unto the wicked of my strength, to one more than the other, save it be unto those who repent of their sins, and hearken unto my words. Now therefore, I would that ye should behold, my brethren, that it shall be better for the Lamanites than for you except ye shall repent.

 Luke 10:13-14; “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.  14 But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.

 Chapter 8 tells us Nephi spoke many things which couldn’t be written in verse 3 and in verse 14 he’s telling them that Jesus would be lifted up as Moses lifted up the brazen serpent.

In verse 17 he’s quoting Jesus when He was chastising the Pharisees.  Compare Helaman 8:17 to John 8:56.  It’s here Jesus told them that Abraham rejoiced to see his day, yet here is Nephi saying the same thing 20 years before Jesus was even born.  Then we see in verse 25 he warned them again about their “treasures in heaven”.

 In chapter nine he’s arguing with the people and said to them “o ye fools, ye uncircumcised of heart,,,”   The Jews had not been told of this yet – it’s 20 BC.

Helaman chapter 10 says that Nephi prayed long and hard to ask God to smite the earth with famine, pestilence and destruction.  This is what God told Jeremiah to warn the Israelites about when Jerusalem was about to be destroyed by the Babylonians.

 Jeremiah 24:10; “And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.

 So God did this twice?

 Chapter ten is rather interesting.  Nephi was given power to smite the earth with famine, pestilence and destruction and then he was allowed to “rent the temple in twain”.

 It’s really too bad Smith didn’t study the Bible…the veil of the temple was rent in twain, not the temple itself.  Matthew 27:51.

 In chapter eleven Nephi plays a little bit of the part in the weeping prophet Jeremiah while pleading with God and takes a little bit of Peter asking God to “stir them to remembrance” and not smite the people, just starve them to death in 11:4.  See 2 Peter 1:13.  He used the phrase again in 11:34 after describing how the contentions were stopped except for when they went out to look for the band of Gadianton robbers on the hill.

 Helaman 12:3 serves as the theme for the entire Book of Mormon and the Mormon god.

 “And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him.

 Helaman 12:7 serves as an example of what the Church thinks of their people and how their god thinks of the Lord’s creation.

 “O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are less than the dust of the earth.

 An obvious false prophecy takes place in Helaman 13:17, 18, 23 when it claims God will curse the earth.  God promised Noah in Genesis 8:21 that He would never curse the earth again.

 Helaman 13:37 says they were surrounded by demons and angels of Satan.  I just can’t imagine why this would be a part of Holy Scriptures or how this could happen to a true believer.

 In chapter fourteen we find out the prophet Samuel the Lamanite also prophesied about things that couldn’t be written.

 This happened ONE TIME in the New Testament with the apostle Paul when God showed him a vision in the third heaven.  He was told he couldn’t even describe what he had seen.  The other allusions to this type of saying came in the gospel of John 21:25 when he said that if they wrote all the miracles of Jesus the world could not contain all the books.

 Yet, nothing is too grandiose with the people in the Book of Mormon is it?  How many times was this phrase used is a mystery to me at this point.

 Helaman 14:2-3 is one of two things.  It’s either the most precise prophecy of when Jesus would be born or this is just another outrageous lie of Joseph Smith.  How could they possibly know that five years from that day Jesus would be born?

 Do their past writings give this prophecy credibility?

 Was the night before Jesus’ birth completely light outside as if there was no night?

 Helaman 14:12 makes no sense at all.  How can Jesus be the Son of God and the Father of Heaven?

 Helaman 14:22 seems to have copied itself from a previous verse when the temple was rent in twain again.  And just three verses later they’re using the words of Matthew telling people how many will raise up out of their graves and everywhere there will be great destruction.  14:27 is a sign to the reader this is a false prophecy.  They say that there will be darkness over the whole earth for three days.  The Bible says it was three hours.

 Helaman ends his writings by sharing with us who they really believe in.  Helaman 16:23 says Satan got hold of their hearts.

 Unfortunately, that is the one verse I believe is true in the Book of Mormon.

 With Love in Christ; Michelle Grim

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