Seth recently suggested that there were a number of ways to view the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. Several of them suggest that they are true. In which was do you view the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith:
Let me break it down for clarity. There are a few ways to view the Book of Mormon:
- An actual “true” historical document about what went down in the Americas
- A true religious document containing God’s stated prophesies and teachings
- A useful book of moral teachings
- A dangerous and false book
There are several different ways to view Joseph Smith:
- An infallible prophet who always spoke with perfection when addressing spiritual or God-related matters.
- A fallible prophet who got things right most of the time or perhaps only half the time on “spiritual matters.” Or a variation on this one – a fallen prophet who began well, but eventually fell off the wagon.
- An often well-intentioned fraud who had some neat ideas and was possibly inspired on occasion
- A wicked sort of fraud who should be discounted entirely.
Personally I go between #3 and 4 on both (BoM more 3 and JS more 4). But I would be THRILLED with the LDS church accepting #3 for both items. Former President Hinckley said that there is no middle ground. Either it’s all true or it’s a wicked fraud. Was he right? What does the LDS church teach about both?