Sunday, July 08, 2018

Heart vs. Kidneys

Admittedly, there isn’t as much concrete archeological evidence to support the Book of Mormon, like the Bible.  While we can visit Jerusalem, there are no ruins or artifacts which say “Zarahemla was here”.  Also, we haven’t discovered the burials of Book of Mormon prophets like Nephi, Jacob, King Benjamin, King Mosiah, Alma the Younger, Helaman, Mormon or Moroni. Nevertheless, there are plenty of historical accuracies and consistencies (Wayne May, Heartland, Hopewell).  These accuracies and consistencies are only recently being appreciated. But, for the tens of millions who believe in the Book of Mormon as scripture equal with, and in harmony with the Bible; our belief is based in revelation from God by the Holy Ghost. 

The Bible teaches that that the Holy Ghost would lead the believer into all truth. However, critics of the Book of Mormon commonly attack the LDS testimony as only miss-guided “good feeling in our hearts”. Critics of the Book or Mormon deny the testimony and witness of the Holy Ghost claiming the Bible condems the “heart of man”

Gen 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Proverbs 28:26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

However, the Old Testament doesn't ascribe the same meaning to the vital organs as we do today or in the New Testament.  In modern times, appetites are assigned to the stomach, pure love and restraint to the heart, and thoughts are assigned to the brain. Despite our more advanced knowledge of anatomy and physiology, we know feelings are not actually generated by or emanate from the heart. The heart pumps blood.  But we ascribe feelings to the heart because many intense emotions are felt in the breast over the heart.

In contrast, the Old Testament actually assigns thoughts and imagination to the heart and not feelings (search: thoughts and heart). 

Deut 15:9 Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand;

1 Chron 8:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.

Daniel 2:30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.

The feelings of restraint and love in the Old Testament emanates from the kidneys or “reins”. In the Bible, the kidneys and not the heart are the seat of emotion and affection.  

Job 19:27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

Proverbs 23:16 Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.

Psalms 16:7 I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.

Psalm 73:21 Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins.

Jer 12:2 Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.

Jer 11:20 But, O Lord of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause.

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
10 I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

An interesting side note is thar the Community of Christ (formaly RLDS) is now disavowing the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and the need for any ordinances.  The RLDS Church is disavowing its Mormon heritage, has joined the World Council or Churches and is transforming itself into becoming a standard Evangelical church. These changes are alienating its membership who believed the RLDS Church preserved the true Mormon religion of Joseph Smith.  Now the RLDS Church is altogether abandoning Joseph Smith. The consequence of this short-sighted shift is the RLDS Church is broke, with significant unpaid liabilities in terms of pensions.  This is causing the RLDS Church to need to sell its historical assets to the LDS Church such as: printers manuscript of the Book of Mormon, and may in the future involve selling other assets like the Kirkland temple, properties in Nauvoo, and the temple lot in Independence, MO.

Like the LDS Church, the Book of Mormon is the keystone of the RLDS religion.  If the Community of Christ has become embarrassed by the Book of Mormon, and now disavow its authenticity, then they must also disavow the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith.  But these circumstances would have never come about if the Book of Mormon had a more popular opinion and more accepted evidence. God wants to preserve His elect who are not compelled to believe because of undeniable proof.  There is ample evidence to create a healthy soil for belief, but testimony of the Book or Mormon can only come by the Holy Ghost. 

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