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The Book of Mormon: Selections Annotated & Explained

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  • Posted March 18, 2010

    This author violates Church doctrine in writing this book

    By writing this book and selling it for a profit, Riess ironically appears to violate core teachings of her own Mormon faith. How?
    1) She commits and act of priestcraft. In the Book of Mormon itself, it condemns this act. It is the act of preaching (in this case, writing) for money. Perhaps she has missed that doctrine in Mormonism. She laudably donates the proceeds, but it still falls under the category of priestcraft.
    2) Only Church authorities have the authority to speak and elucidate Church doctrines. Despite good intentions, Riess has NO authority from the Church whatsoever, either as a scholar or as an official Church representative!
    3) In Mormonism, scholarship alone bears no authority. But this is the only claim that this author has -- that her scholarship in religion gives her the right to teach the Book of Mormon. This simply isn't harmonious with Church doctrines!
    4) By abridging the Book of Mormon and putting it in her own words, she has committed the same act as uninspired "translators" and "abridgers" of the Bible. This is also condemned in the Book of Mormon itself! She has imposed her OWN interpretation of the book rather than the "inspired" one as it came from the quill of the prophets (in the case of the Old Testatment and Book of Mormon) and apostles (in the case of the New Testament). She may have placed herself on a firm path to apostasy! Within the tome, she even admits to her own "hubris" in doing so. So why do it, then?
    5) When the Book of Mormon prophets abridged their document, they did so under commandment of God and with proper priesthood authority. Riess had neither of these in hers, so she is thus likely operating without the guiding light of the Holy Spirit or under the direction of proper priesthood authority. She has even deleted entire books (Ether, for example) within the volume and stories that apparently don't match her personal "gospel of Jana". Ironically, one of the powerful arguments in the Book of Mormon is that some uninspired individuals had deleted some fundamental doctrines of Christ from the Bible. And now, she has done the same with the Book of Mormon. Hubris indeed!
    6) The author has violated the Church's own directive. In 1993, the Church asked that writers NOT change the language from its sacred text into modern language. This inevitably introduces opinion and error. The author has thus placed herself into danger of heresy and is in open rebellion against her own leaders.

    There are some excellent commentaries on the Book of Mormon previously written by those who have authority and without altering the text. Some include those by BH Roberts, Sydney Sperry, Reynolds and Sjodahl, Ludlow, McConkie, Millet, and several others. Their writings are a better selection for seeking to understand the Book of Mormon.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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