Should You Pray About The Book Of Mormon?

The Book Of Mormon

Photo Attribution: Wikipedia

Prayer To Get A Feeling

If you have ever had a Bible study with the Mormons, then you undoubtedly have been encouraged to pray and ask God if the Book Of Mormon is true [1]. Yes, they’re hoping that you’ll get that “burning in the bosom” that they have received. There are major problems with this proposition however. As we all know, even if you did sincerely pray about it but got the answer that, no, it’s not true, then of course your prayer was not sincere; otherwise you would have gotten that feeling. Lets talk about feelings. Are feelings the way to determine truth? In a word, no. The Bible says that the “heart is deceitful above all things” [2], and that he who trusts his heart is a fool [3]; so you really can’t trust or rely on it for determining truth.

We must remind our Mormon friends -that Biblically speaking- we are to try/test that which we are presented, to see if it is of God. 1John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. The word for “try” in this passage (dokimazō) means to “examine, prove, scrutinise (to see whether a thing is genuine or not)” [4]. We are told in Acts that the Bereans “searched the scriptures” to see if what they were being told, was true [5]. I always make it a habit to tell Mormons (and other such groups) that I would like to examine the claims, history, writings etc of their organization to get a proper analysis of who they are. Many don’t like this -even though in the beginning they may say it’s not a problem, in time that tune will change- but when the court needs a verdict, all evidence needs to be examined. Otherwise, it’s not a fair trial of truth.


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Endnotes

1. This is a passage that they are likely referencing: Moroni 10:4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

2. (King James Version) Proverbs 28:26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

3. (King James Version) Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

4. Thayer (eSword)

5. (King James Version) Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

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About Razor Swift

Rich Christian who is the founder of Razor Swift, seeks to open hearts and minds through the platform of apologetics. It's his desire to approach Biblical, faith, and other issues from a different perspective rather than just preaching to the choir in the Christianese dialect. He maintains that faith and reason mustn’t necessarily be at odds with each other, but can be complementary. May no stone lay unturned.
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8 Responses to Should You Pray About The Book Of Mormon?

  1. Sam says:

    In all, I would say this post offers very little intellectual meat on the subject of praying about the book of Mormon. You offer some evidence that we should think and ponder about something to know if it’s true, but also that we should not trust our heart. What is our heart? Is it a metaphor for our brain, for our feelings, for our soul? When we pray, does an answer come from our heart or from the spirit? Does God not answer prayers? Is James 1:5 bad advice where he says to ask God when you lack wisdom? Is 1 Cor 2 irrelevant when it discusses how God’s wisdom is revealed by the spirit?

    It sure seems like you are not taking a very balanced approach to answering the question about whether or not someone should pray about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

    • razorswift says:

      Thank you for reading and for your comment. I hope to address your questions tomorrow. Take care.

    • razorswift says:

      “When we pray, does an answer come from our heart or from the spirit?”
      >>>

      I’ll try to make this short. According to Doctrine and Covenants 9:8, Mormon answers are based on what you “feel”; not at all Biblical. The LDS exegesis makes it clear that the searching of answers is based on an emotional response rather than the admonishment of 1John 4:1 and such scriptures. When a particular set of teachings e. g. the Book Of Mormon contradicts the 66, there’s no need to pray about something that is against the Bible. Blind faith helps no one…

      • Sam says:

        Alright Mr. Razorswift, thanks for the reply. I actually would have appreciated you trying to make it long rather than short. The shortness does not add credibility to your line of reasoning. You would have done well to discuss James 1:5 and 1 Cor 2, but you did neither.

        Since you gave me the courtesy of a reply, I will reply to you.

        First off, you quote 1 John 4:1 but then fail to bring in verse 2 and 3. I’ll do that for you:

        2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

        3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

        I realize you didn’t quote verse 2 and 3 because they don’t really seem applicable to modern times. Back then, they didn’t have to worry about different factions of Christianity. You basically either believed in Christ or you didn’t. Since the apostles were still alive, people had a tangible place to go to about what the true doctrine of Christ was. Nowadays, anyone can set up a church and teach whatever crazy things they want to (which I understand you probably think is what happened with Mormons), but almost every church will declare that Jesus Christ came in the flesh.

        Thus, it’s no surprise that you wouldn’t quote this scripture. Not only does it not support your argument one bit, but there’s also good reason to believe that modern context is different and thus the scripture is not relevant. Nevermind that many Christians will declare the Bible is the fullness of God’s word and that God won’t speak anymore because he already gave us the Bible, these same Christians conveniently hold a double standard and pick and choose which sections of the Bible are not relevant today.

        But I digress.

        The verse you referenced from the Doctrine and Covenants (D&C 9:8) discusses studying a topic out in your mind, praying about it, and paying attention to how the Lord responds. I just want to point out that you failed to describe how the verse calls for studying the topic out. Thus, Mormons believe in the exact sort of examination and scrutinization that you called for by referencing 1 John 4:1. You also referenced Moroni 10:4 without referencing the previous verse, which calls for pondering prior to prayer. There are many other verses i could quote, but I just want to point out that Mormons are encouraged to be thinkers, which is a point I’m not sure you exactly hit on.

        You did hit on, however, the point that we believe in praying to God to understand truth (after we have pondered and thought about it). We believe there are many fruits of the spirit that help us understand what God through his Holy Spirit is communicating to us. Galatians 5 teaches us: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

        The warm, pleasant, burning feeling that is described in D&C 9:8 is simply an example of one of these fruits of the spirit.

        Do you need more Biblical proof that D&C 9:8 is in harmony with Biblical teachings?

        Galatians 4:6 “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”

        Luke 24:32: “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”

        Acts 2:37 “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

        Also, don’t forget the exhortation of the Master: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you”

        I mean you no disrespect with any of the above comments, I just hope to convey my disagreement that the idea of praying to know if the Book of Mormon is true or not is entirely within the bounds of Biblical teaching. Prior to praying, however, there should indeed be some thoughtful reflection. You should probably have read the book first. Furthermore, for a prayer to be sincere you have to be willing to act on the answer. I think a lot of people are too scared of the idea of becoming Mormon and don’t want the book to be true and are thus too afraid to really offer a genuine prayer about it.

        Anyways, this post has gone on too long, please forgive me. I don’t want it to turn into a mean debate or anything like that, so I’m probably not going to keep replying. If you do reply, however, I might have a hard time resisting adding my 2 cents.

        God bless you!

    • razorswift says:

      Hey sorry I haven’t gotten back to you sooner. It’s been a little hectic around here. If you’re interested in talking about this further, I would love to chat with ya on Skype or Paltalk. Audio works best for me as text discussions are just too time consuming. I hope you understand. Take care. Here’s my contact page.

  2. Paul Buller says:

    Sam, I appreciate your comments immensely. I am glad thinkers like you exist in the LDS church. From my experience, however, I have had Mormon missionaries specifically dissuade me from asking about archeological evidence for the BOM. When I ask the questions, they go out of their way to explain how reasoning and evidence is so fickle and can lead us astray. The underlying theme is quite clearly a “trust first, think later” attitude, which I am glad you do not agree with.

    With respect to your interpretation of the Bible, I would have to respectfully disagree. Even if you are right about the 1 John 4 passage – how people could just go back to the apostles themselves – you’ll notice they are seeking evidence through non-prayer means. They are dealing with human witnesses and evidence and so forth, not an inflamed bosom.

    Gal 4:6 speaks of the transformation of our hearts that occurs AFTER we accept Christ, not as a means of discerning truth about Christ.

    Luke24:32 is the only passage that could possibly support the idea that we find truth through personal affirmation. Several problems with this. First, their reaction is specifically in response to Jesus’ explanation of the scriptural evidence, so the intellectual aspect is first and foremost. As you suggest, this is your view anyway (thankfully) but other Mormon missionaries see things differently. Secondly, though, they knew Jesus before hand, so their burning sensation was due to their pre-existing familiarity with Jesus. Why should we expect this to apply to people in today’s context who have not walked with Jesus in person? Their burning in the bosom was due to their already existing close relationship; something that new believers clearly do not have. To expect the same results is to misrepesent the essence of the passage.

    Acts 2:37 This one is a fundamentally different experience than the burning in the bosom. The idea here is that they were “cut to the heart” which is a decidedly negative experience, unlike an affirmation we might get in our soul that something is true. Furthermore, it is a reaction to the evidence that has just been presented to them; no prayer has been involved.

    I think you and I would agree that evidence and reason is not always a 100% reliable means of discovering truth. I would strongly suggest, however, that various forms of personal affirmation can also lead people wildly astray. The best way that people can find truth is to utilize all the means at their disposal, including seeking the best available evidence and scrutinizing it carefully, and also bringing your search for truth before God. However, it would be unwise to put all your eggs in any single basket, which I think was the point of the original article.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Good to see you back….

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