Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything

Many criticize the Book of Mormon for the lack of physical/tangible proof to validate its authenticity. I admit that except for Joseph Smith and the 11 witnesses view of the gold plates; there is to-date no clear direct physical proof left by the Nephites. There have not been found any bones, spears, bowls, pottery, writings etc. that archaeologist have independently concluded belonged to a Nephite.

However, there are indirect evidences, and to-date, there are no details in the Book of Mormon that absolutely refute its authenticity. The anti-Mormon crowd got excited about the DNA data, but now with the discovery of Haplotype X2a, turned what was once a criticism of the Book of Mormon into yet another indirect evidence of its plausibility (the other indirect evidences I have listed elsewhere).

But that's all there is, indirect evidence that only serves to rebut attacks on the Book of Mormon, but not real evidence for it. There exists to-date only indirect circumstantial evidence that the Book of Mormon is plausible. But by no means does any of it constitute or should be considered irrefutable, peer-reviewed, iron-clad, smoking-gun proof.

But, My fellow Christians, think for a moment about what you are asking. What do you think would happen if God were to give us one undeniable piece of physical evidence proving the existence of the Nephites. What would that have to be? Would it be enough for independent archaeologists to discover an Ancient American steel sword with an inscription in reformed-Heiratic Egyptian with the name Nephi on it; or ancient, biblical, brass plates with the Books and words from Zenos and Zenock? Do you think Satan wants that? Do you think God would want that?

Why would such evidence be world-shaking? Because if you find such a piece of evidence, you just found proof for everything. That piece of antiquity would not only be proof for the Book of Mormon, but also proof for God, proof for Jesus Christ, proof for prophets, proof for the apostasy, proof for the Bible, proof for Joseph Smith, proof for the restoration. One single piece of physical evidence proving the existence of the Nephites would be pointing to the answer to life, the universe and everything (which is Christ).

And that one piece of evidence would completely destroy faith. After that, everyone would have to convert LDS. Not just Christians, but the entire world would have to be convinced that The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the God of the whole world, and Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of all mankind, and Joseph Smith was His prophet of the restoration. Although, there would always be people that would deny the sun and noonday. However, the problem with what Christians are asking is that you are asking God to destroy faith. And I don't know if it is in His plan to do it.

The Book of Mormon again and again states that the Lamanites sought to destroy any signs of the Nephite records and religion. And if the Lamanites didn't destroy it, then the climate would. The Nephite prophets prayed that the gold plates (their testimony) would survive as a "voice from the dust" to a small "remnant of their seed" (genetically speaking) in the last days. The Book of Mormon prophecies there would be no physical evidence. All that would remain from the Nephites who built in timber, metal, and earth and lived in a tropical rain forest limited to a small area in Central America would be dust. So, there is no clear, direct, tangible, physical evidence of to prove the Book of Mormon.

Evidence for the Book of Mormon is so much more powerful than evidence for the Bible. If you find evidence for Biblical events, that doesn't really prove God and Christ and salvation, it just proves that these things were taught. The Bible doesn't prove God to many people (I appreciate the evidence). But many people claim that even the great prophecies about the details of Christ's life could be self-fulfilling. What do the Atheists say and the Hindus, and Buddhists, and Muslims. I am sure they have their logical arguments against Biblical evidences. The Bible has failed to convince many.

But if someone were to find proof of the Nephites. Wow! That would be world shaking. Such evidence would be of greater significance considering how the Book of Mormon miraculously came to be.

A friend asked me how evidence for the Bible is different than evidence for the Book of Mormon would be. There is a lot of evidence that the Muslims existed. But that doesnt make the Quran true. In the same way, evidence that the Jews existed, or Isaiah or St. Matthew doesnt make their testimony true. Additionally, we would know the Jews existed with or without the Bible. On the other hand, such evidence does help us know that Isaiah and Daniel and St. MAtthew were real poeple and helps us feel a little better about listening to their testimonies. But you still have to rely on their word by faith. And you are still expected to seek a spiritual conformation by the Holy Ghost.

And even if you had proof that the Bible was true and from God 100%. The Bible is understood and interpreted so differently, that you would be left not knowing what interpretation is correct without the spirit of prophecy.

The Nephites are different. Since the only reason we know anything about pre-Christ, Jewish-Christians in America is from the Book of Mormon which was discovered and translated by miraculous means. The existence of the Nephites is a miracle. If the Nephites were discoverd to be right where Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon predicted them to be, there would be no other explaination but divine intervention. So, if we were able to actually discover the Nephites with tangible, physical, direct, smoking-gun proof, that would be direct evidence of a miracle from God. And it would be proof of the Book of Mormom, the Bible, Chirst's Resurrection, Joseph Smith, and everything because the Book of Mormon is not ambiguous in its interpretation.

Also, any direct evidence of the Nephites would become more important than the chosen eye-witnesses themselves. Their testimony would pail in comparison to tangible evidence. Why rely on faith in their words when you can see it for yourself. Then, that evidence transforms the person who sees it into an eye-witness of the miracle because you would now know without doubt that the Nephites existed independent of faith and testimony and the Holy Ghost.

I don't think its in God's plan to destroy the need for faith. Because #1, the wicked who did not accept the proof would be held fully accountable for rejecting the proof and could not claim ignorance. #2 I don't think God doesn't wants too many fair-weather converts in the church (wheat and tares). #3 God chooses us when He knows we are ready, we don't choose Him

Rom. 8:29-30 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.

God calls us into His church and calls us to have a relationship with Him. We don't choose God first. We can do not good of ourselves. Although many are called, few are chosen. When God comes calling, he will call His sheep and His sheep will hear his voice. These are they who will be chosen, these will be His sheep and He will be their shepherd.

No comments: