Monday, May 2, 2011

The Book of Mormon Is Not Our Version of the Inerrant Bible

We can believe Nephi and the Lord both and not believe that every word in the Book of Mormon is objective. It can be "the most correct book on earth" without being inerrant and God's pure word. There's a HUGE difference between "objective" and "true" (and "translated correctly") - especially when Nephi himself says he made it "according to my own knowledge" (1 Nephi 1:3), and Moroni said he wrote "according to my memory" (Ether 5:1).

When it comes to the Book of Mormon, I believe it really is a literal record of a real people. I just don't believe it is God's very own words written by man - and none of the writers claimed that either. In other words, I don't believe it is the Mormon version of the evangelical, inerrant Bible. In fact, there are multiple pleas to overlook the mistakes in it as a result of the weakness of the authors and their inability to say it perfectly. (See Ether 12:23, where Moroni says that the Gentiles will mock because the Lord did NOT make them mighty in writing, but actually made them weak in writing.)

Insisting that the Book of Mormon is objective truth and the voice of God recorded in print is holding it to a standard that the authors themselves would reject.