I’m feeling a bit tempted today so I thought I’d post something and do a bit of study.
This morning I “bumped into” a bit of inappropriate content on Pinterest. However, I happy to report that I didn’t stay or search around.
I want to read more about some of the claims Luke (actually Dr. Walter Martin) made about the fulness of the Gospel not being found in the Book of Mormon.
Here’s the first accusation:
The Book of Mormon doesn’t mention that “God has a body of flesh and bones.”
Perhaps the Book of Mormon is not as straightforward about this subject as Martin would like. He may have been looking for a statement similar to the one in Doctrine and Covenants 130:22—”The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s.” While the Book of Mormon lacks such a statement, it does describe the relationship between the physical appearance of men and God.
The Genesis account of the creation explains that “God created man in his own image” (1:27). Most Christians would follow this prominent scholar by interpreting “in his own image” as:
The likeness to God lies in the mental and moral features of man’s character, such as reason, personality, free will, the capacity for communion with God.5
The Book of Mormon, however, explains:
. . . [Christ] should take upon him the image of man, and it should be the image after which man was created in the beginning; or in other words, he said that man was created after the image of God, and that God should come down among the children of men, and take upon him flesh and blood, and go forth upon the face of the earth. (Mosiah 7:27, italics added.)
The quoted passage in Mosiah clarifies the meaning of Genesis by stating that:
- Christ would come to earth and take the image (or likeness) of man, and
- this likeness would be the same one given to man at the creation,
- which was patterned after the image (or likeness) of God.
How much clearer can this be? When God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26), he intended for man to resemble him in in physical form.
The Book of Mormon further demonstrates that, in his premortal state, Christ’s spirit had a form similar to mortal man’s. In his encounter with the brother of Jared on mount Shelem, Christ explained:
Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image.
Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh. (Ether 3:15-16, italics added.)
The physical body of man looks like Christ’s spirit did before he himself took a body. Cross-referencing this with other scriptures (notably Philippians 2:5-6 and John 14:9b), it is logical to conclude that Christ looked like his Father, who is a physical, exalted Being.
“Pre-existing spirits of men.”
Answer from the article:
It is questions like this that make me truly wonder if Walter Martin ever actually read the Book of Mormon. (bold added since I had the same question come to mind when Luke submitted the questions to me)
Man’s premortal existence is taught by Alma, in connection with his teaching on the responsibilities of the high priesthood:
. . . I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people. . . .
And this is the manner after which they were ordained—being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such.
And thus they have been called to this holy calling on account of their faith, while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds, while, if it had not been for this they might have had as great privilege as their brethren.
Or in fine, in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren; thus this holy calling being prepared from the foundation of the world for such as would not harden their hearts, being in and through the atonement of the Only Begotten Son . . . . (Alma 13:1, 3-5.)
In other words, those who are ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood12 in this life were foreordained13 to hold this priesthood. They were “called and prepared” before they were born and were ordained because of “their exceeding faith and good works” and because in “the first place” (the premortal life) they chose good over evil.
Those who chose evil were cast out of heaven with Satan and denied mortality and the priesthood, and “if it had not been for this they might have had as great privilege as their brethren.”
The Priesthood Authority
Answer from the article:
…the Book of Mormon does refer to many of the priesthood offices in Martin’s list, including:
- Elder: Alma 4:7, 16; 6:1; Moroni 3:1; 4:1; 6:1, 7
- High Priest: Mosiah 23:16; 26:7; 29:42; Alma 4:4; 4:18; 5:3; 8:11; 8:23; 13:1, 2, 14; 16:5; 30:20-22, 29;19 3 Nephi 6:22
- Teacher:20 Jarom 1:11; Mosiah 23:17; 25:19-21; 26:7; 27:5; Alma 1:3, 7; 4:7; 15:13; 23:4; 30:31; 45:22-23; Helaman 3:25; Moroni 3:1-4;21 6:1
- Priest: 2 Nephi 5:26; Jacob 1:18; Jarom 1:11; Mosiah 6:3; 11:5; 18:18; 18:24-26; 23:17; 25:19, 21; 27:1, 5, 22; Alma 1:3, 26; 4:7; 6:1; 15:13; 16:18; 23:4, 16; 30:31; 45:22-23; Moroni 3:1-4; 4:1; 6:1
At the end of this study, I went to LDS.org and found this video first on the list: