The Book of Mormon

Pros of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
Per Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon is “the most correct of any Book on earth & the keystone of our religion & a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other Book.” Many believing members retain their testimony because of the spiritual strength they find in the Book of Mormon. It is filled with uplifting passages about love and charity and self-improvement. They cannot deny the spirit they feel when reading it, or that reading it makes them better people and helps them be kind and loving and happy.
        Since the Book of Mormon is true, it is thus one of the most powerful witnesses we have that God is real, he loves us, that the atonement is real, and that God has given us latter-day prophets to guide and help us.
        The idea that Jesus visited the ancient Americas and other places around the world after resurrection promotes a more loving, just god than we might imagine in other faiths.
There are many uplifting passages about love and charity and self-improvement in the Book of Mormon.
        Some nonbelievers will admit that the idea that Jesus visited the ancient Americas and other places around the world after resurrection promotes a more loving, just god than we might imagine in other faiths.
        In explaining the origin of the Book of Mormon, many non- believers give Joseph Smith credit for its composition, and cite the Book of Mormon as an important and impressive piece in the oral tradition of American story telling.

 

 

Cons of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
When the Book of Mormon is attacked by critics, it can be difficult to deal with some of the controversial issues that are brought up, such as the Book of Mormon translation process, DNA studies and the Book of Mormon, and anachronisms. Ultimately, however, many of these criticisms can be explained, or in the very least they are not important enough to deny the spirit felt while reading the Book of Mormon or to deny how the book improves lives.
        Although some believers love to read the Book of Mormon and find it riveting, others find the Book of Mormon boring, especially after they have read it 15 times and are encouraged to keep reading it again and again and again.
        The believer might find some of the teachings in the Book of Mormon harmful, but probably only if they are interpreted incorrectly or taken out of context.
The nonbeliever is likely to find the Book of Mormon boring.
        Due to controversial issues that are brought up, such as the Book of Mormon translation process, DNA studies and the Book of Mormon, anachronisms, and more issues that will not be discussed in this document, the nonbeliever does not believe the Book of Mormon comes from God. With this belief comes immediate alienation, such as when apostles call their new perspective “frankly pathetic”. Nonetheless, the nonbeliever is forced to acknowledge the Book of Mormon as a diabolical hoax if they don’t believe it to be true.
        The nonbeliever is also likely to find many of the teachings in the Book of Mormon harmful, such as: 
  • Racism (see 1, 2, 3) – black skin is a curse from God
  • Perfectionism, that God will only save us after all we can do (see “Guilt, shame, and anxiety”)
  • Robs native Americans / Polynesians of their culture / history with the idea that they are actually Lamanites
  • The idea that God will deliver the faithful from all trials and afflictions (what about the faithful who suffer?)
  • The prosperity gospel, that righteousness equals riches
    and prosperity (what about the faithful who don’t prosper?)
  • Promotes the idea that God scourged the Jews
  • Promotes sexism (little role of women in the Book of Mormon)
  • Teaches it’s OK to kill someone if God says so / Justifies war crimes
  • Promotes sexual guilt and puts sex outside of marriage next to murder
  • Describes God as a God who purposely destroys entire cities

 

Comments relating to your lived experience with Mormonism are welcome. Although it can be difficult to distinguish at times, please focus on how the church helps and harms rather than it being true vs untrue.

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