Sometimes people say “All right, name your single best evidence for the Book of Mormon” or “Name the three absolute proofs for the Book of Mormon.” “I don’t believe there are any such things...even if we found a stela in Central America that said, “I, Nephi, was here” people would still find a way to get around that." So, why do we believe?
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For those of us who can remember a time not so long ago when respect for religion was a given in American society, it may be surprising and even disturbing to consider that the character of our society has so changed that religion is now on the defensive.
Some early LDS critics decided to set up a sting operation wherein they hoped to expose Joseph Smith as a fraud. In the spring of 1843, one of these men claimed to have had dreams of a treasure buried in a mound near Kinderhook Illinois.
Here is an interview conducted by a French magazine Il Foglio with Pierre Manent. We run this because he comments tellingly on the French response to a terrorist murder of a Catholic priest and what it demonstrates about the emptiness of our modern, secular world.
Just seven weeks after rising to the level of Master Mason and in the very same space that the Masonic rites had been performed, Joseph Smith introduced the endowment. The endowment presented teachings, ordinances, and covenants to participants in a format that closely resembled a few parts of the ceremony used in Freemasonry.
In some strange way, my receptivity to the writings of BYU religion professor emeritus M. Catherine Thomas began at routine physical check-up years back. My internist walked into the exam room holding my mental health evaluation in her hand with an expression at turns exasperated and concerned.