There are 6 thoughts on “Working out Salvation History in the Book of Mormon Politeia with Fear and Trembling”.

  1. In mild defense of Western civilization (and–full disclosure–as the author of a “brief introduction”-type book myself, I’d like to respond to this statement:

    “Something about contemporary Western cultural conditioning trains readers to demand brevity.”

    Perhaps, but it’s also worth considering that maybe something about Western cultural conditioning trains us to seek broad knowledge. Given that no one can become a doctoral-level expert in every field of inquiry, surely “brief introductions” provide, on balance, a net benefit to the intellectual project of Western civilization. For me, becoming an economist and a sociologist and a quantum physicist and a classical musician and a jazz musician and an American historian (while also holding down a job and serving in a Church calling) is just not possible–but I don’t think that means I shouldn’t try to understand the broad parameters of all of those fields. And doesn’t Western culture stand to gain more than it would lose when I and others do so?

  2. An excellent introduction to Faulconer’s book. However, Goff did elicit the following responses from me:
    The Hebrew terms Mosiah and Messiah are completely unrelated: The -h- in Mosiah is vocalic, while the -h- in Messiah is consonantal and aspirated. It is true that the Ashkenazi Yiddish pronunciation of Mashiach “Messiah, Anointed-One” is Moshiach, but that is in no way indicative of a relationship to Mosiah, which is biblical Hebrew Mošia’ “Savior, Deliverer” (from same root as the name Jesus), as discussed by Jack Welch and others – .

    The dischronology of the book of Mosiah is caused primarily by Mormon’s editorial creation of a booklength chiasm, as laid out for example by Jack Welch in BYU Studies, 10/1 (1970):82, online at .

    Humans as clay pots made by a potter (Jer 18:1-12) is also a theme found in the NT (II Cor 4:7 “earthen vessels”).

    The murderer Cain was a farmer, while it was the victim Abel who was the herdsman who sacrificed animals (which were readily acceptable to God). How does that fit the vegeterianism advanced herewith?

    Faulconer seems to have forgotten or misunderstood the purpose of the American Constitutional political system, which was actually formulated by men inspired by God to deal with the fact that “men are not angels” (Madison, Federalist 51). It is not just another failed attempt to design good gov’t.

    Different socio-economic classes are a natural concomitant of effort, competence, and a lot of luck. Opportunity is not the same for all, but we are all beggars only because we rely ultimately on God for the rain which falls on both the just and unjust, and for God’s suffrance in allowing us to cultivate His property. We need to acknowledge His grace and show the same grace to our brethren, some of whom may not have been as fortunate as we. That does not imply a forced redistribution of wealth, but it does offer an opportunity to show love and grace, and to participate in a communal effort to aid the needy – whether that effort is part of a formal political, social, or religious contract. The U.S. Constitution, for example, is the supreme law of the land, and nowhere mentions God. Since it is an inspired document, how is that possible?

  3. About 1916 the First Presidency issued a letter saying why Jesus is often called the Father. The First Presidency gave 3 reasons why Jesus is often called the Father:

    1) Jesus speaks on behalf of the Father.
    2) Jesus created the earth (under the direction of the Father) and thus is also called the Creator in the Book of Mormon.
    3) Through Jesus’ atonement we can be spiritually begotten of Jesus such that the scriptures often say that if we are obedient, we may BECOME the children of God. Church President Joseph Fielding Smith said, “I have every right to call Jesus my father.”

  4. NO institution, NO government, NO church – NOT even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – can survive without VIRTUE. The Church of Jesus Christ has itself suffered many apostasies as told, and retold, and retold in the Book of Mormon and in the Old Testament. It was the apostasy of the Nephites in Mormon’s and his son Moroni’s day that led to the utter destruction of the Nephites. Even when the perfect, magnificent, glorious Savior was in the Church during His mortality, his Church was in apostasy, and its leaders (the pharisees) pushed for His crucifixion. In Matthew 23 Jesus calls the leaders of His church (the pharisees) hypocrites 7 times in 11 verses, and calls them “vipers” and “whited sepulchers.” Thus, Jesus had to restore the true church by calling Peter, James, John, and others to be apostles. If Latter-day Saints wrongly think that the apostasy in Joseph Smith’s time was the worst or only apostasy, they need to recall that the whole earth was flooded in Noah’s day and all – except Noah and his family – were destroyed; during Jesus’ mortality church leaders pushed for his death; apostasy led to the utter destruction of the Nephites.

    Thus the ONLY solution is – as the Savior taught Nicodemus, as the prophets have repeatedly taught – is to be born again, is to be purified and sanctified by the Holy Ghost – which is made possible only by the atonement of Jesus Christ. The whole world will enjoy the magnificent gift of Christ’s atonement by everyone’s being resurrected and by everyone having the light of Christ (a conscience). But only those with the Gift of the Holy Ghost have the opportunity to be born again by being purified and sanctified by the Holy Ghost. Thus, as Joseph Smith taught, the baptism of water means NOTHING without the baptism of fire and of the spirit by the Holy Ghost – which is made possible only by the Savior’s atonement and the Gift of Holy Ghost.

    I do want to correct in this article one statement: “I say unto you [ not thus saith the Lord ]” as said in the article’s following paragraph:

    “…he never-past-and-not-to-be-featured king persuades the people to rescind their desires, citing evil King Noah as an example of the potential, bad consequences, referring to his own experience and desire rather than attributing the leadership arrangement to God, for “I say unto you [not thus saith the Lord] it is not expedient that ye should have a king” (Mosiah 23:7). Similarly, when Mosiah2 urges the people to transition from kingship, he doesn’t attribute the institutional change to God’s command but to his own prudential judgment: “I command you to do these things, and that ye have no king” (Mosiah 29n w:30);” 

    A prophet does NOT need to say “thus saith the Lord” in order to speak as a prophet. Thus, Alma’s saying “I say unto you” does NOT mean that he was speaking only as a man and not as a prophet. He was speaking as a prophet. Alma was too close to the Lord to have made such a statement without the Lord’s approval. I seriously doubt that the prophet Mormon would have included in his abridgment Alma’s statement if Alma was speaking only as a man and not as a prophet.

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