Readers of the Book of Mormon have, since it was first published, been aware of the existence of allusions to, echoes of, or quotations of biblical passages scattered throughout its text. However, in addition to the more obvious biblical writings that could have been present on the plates of brass, there is also a considerable amount of language in the Book of Mormon that would seem to have originated after the time when Lehi left Jerusalem.
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As recorded in Acts 10–15, the leaders of the church of Jesus Christ shepherded early saints through tumultuous times. These chapters highlight how the early apostles faced such challenges as social upheaval, martyrdom and persecution, organizing missionary work, and “much disputing” among the leadership of the church that arose over unanswered doctrinal and procedural questions.
One of Christ's inner circle of 12 apostles betrayed him, nine fled at his arrest, and another — Peter — pretended not to know him. The last, John, seems to have watched events unfold from a safe distance. Thereafter, as prominent followers of a convicted and executed “criminal,” they went into hiding. Only a few weeks later, though, the 11 surviving apostles were transformed. They even appointed a willing replacement for Judas. What happened?
Stephen was one of seven disciples in the New Testament who were assigned to watch over the temporal needs and welfare in the Church. He was “full of faith and power” and “did great wonders and miracles among the people”. As Stephen was out among the people, some individuals from the local synagogue began “disputing” with him. They stirred up a larger group of those willing to accuse Stephen, who testified that they had “heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God”. Standing before the council, they bore false witness against him, further accused him of blasphemy and associated him with popular accusations against Jesus of Nazareth.
Elder Boyd K. Packer positioned the law of chastity as “the very key” to our mortal success in becoming capable to live in a celestial world, under celestial laws. Tied to the Atonement of Christ, personal discipline, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, set in a context of promised paradisiacal light and peace, the Menorah stands symbolically to invite us first to see, then to be, so that we can then become.
The Book of Mormon frequently discusses warfare from 1 Nephi to Moroni.1 Yet, despite the frequency with which warfare is mentioned, it is sometimes difficult to know why these wars started.2 The causes of wars are complex and are not often easy to summarize. Even so, comparisons between the events described in the Book of Mormon and other historical events may shed some light.
Clearly, textual questions about the ending of Mark remain open and unsettled. Overall, the variety of possibilities mentioned reveals that whether it was originally part of Mark or not, Mark 16:15–18 likely reflects authentic words and teachings of the resurrected Lord in the Old World. If the resurrected Lord gave these words to his apostles in Galilee, it is reasonable to believe, that the resurrected Savior gave the same teachings and assurances to his twelve Nephite disciples in Bountiful, as quoted in Mormon 9:22–24.