Captain Obvious:I hate the JWs as much as you do, but I find it irritating to see you making posts and observations about CREDIBILITY as a MORMON. Do you really think the general public thinks more highly of Mormons than JWs? Your religion MORE of a joke than JWs. How can you not see that?
First, laddie, I don’t hate the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and two, yes, I think Mormonism has far more credibility than the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and many other religions. Most folks who think otherwise are people who have never read the Book of Mormon, never studied our theology or its claims.
And I'd like to hear how the LDS church is MORE of a joke than JWs.
Our scholars have branched out from merely defending the Book of Mormon and “Mormonism” and have first rate programs dedicated to the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Nag Hammadi Library (both discovered in the latter 1940s), the Qur’an and Muslim history and theology and early Arabic philosophical writers and writings, as well as Mesoamerican Studies and ancient 600 B.C. world history. And that’s only a part of it. We’ve partnered with Muslims, Jews, Catholic theologians such as Father John McRae (head of the Harvard Divinity School) and many others, and more current theologians such as the well known Dr. Margaret Barter, a prolific Temple Studies expert in England. Barker recently wrote:
The tree of life made one happy, according to the Book of Proverbs (Proverbs 3:18), but for detailed descriptions of the tree we have to rely on noncanonical texts. Enoch described it as perfumed, with fruit like grapes (1 Enoch 32:5), and a text discovered in Egypt in 1945 described the tree as beautiful, fiery, and with fruit like white grapes. I do not know of any other source that describes the fruit as white grapes. Imagine my surprise when I read the account of Lehi’s vision of the tree whose white fruit made one happy...
Consider as well the mysterious rod of iron in this Book of Mormon vision (1 Nephi 8:20; 11:25). In the Bible, the rod of iron is mentioned four times as the rod of the Messiah. Each mention in the King James Version says the Messiah uses the rod to “break” the nations (Psalm 2:9) or to “rule” them (Revelation 2:27; 12:5; 19:15). The ancient Greek translation (the Septuagint) is significantly different; it understood the Hebrew word in Psalm 2:9 to mean “shepherd” and it reads, “He will shepherd them with a rod of iron.” The two Hebrew verbs for “break” and “shepherd, pasture, tend, lead” look very similar and in some forms are identical. The Greek text of the Book of Revelation actually uses the word “shepherd,” poimanei, of the Messiah and his iron rod, so the English versions here are not accurate. The hold child who was taken up to heaven (Revelation 12:5) was to “shepherd the nations with a rod of iron.” The King James Version of Micah 7:14 translates this same word as “Feed thy people with thy rod,” where “guide” would be a better translation. Psalm 78:72 has, “He fed them...he guided them,” where the parallelism of Hebrew poetry would expect the two verbs to have a similar meaning: “He led them...he guided them.” Lehi’s vision has the iron rod guiding people to the great tree—the older and probably the original understanding of the word. (Source)
Barker has added significantly to what we know about temple worship and 600 B.C. Jerusalem, and the more that’s learned about these topics and, interestingly, the culture and geography of 600 B.C. Arabia, the more plausible the Book of Mormon becomes. The more we learn about the Mayans and Mesoamerican geography, the more credible the Book of Mormon becomes. Also, the Book of Mormon testifies that after it comes forth, “other books” also would come forth to establish the truth of the first. A little more than a hundred years later, scholars were inundated by volumes of books, including the aforementioned Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hammadi libraries, which have contributed enormously to our knowledge of ancient Judaism and Christianity.
So believe what you wish and remain blind to the Lord’s work in the latter days. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only Christian sect on the earth that is organized as Jesus’ church was in the first century, with apostles, prophets, elders, deacons, teachers, priests, bishops and others and which claims to receive revelation and guidance. Like the ancient church, we have an open canon. We revile ritualistic shunning, have no problems with what our members read on their own time, take questions and doubts without fear of discipline, and we encourage higher education and responsible investments. Members may contribute as they wish, though we are tithe payers. Every person has the free agency to believe as they wish, attend whatever churches they see fit and read other church’s literature.
We also believe in latter-day revelation, the ministry of angels, theophanies and a lay priesthood.
So yes, we do expect more credibility from people who know what they’re talking about. But if you’re someone with a Southpark mentality, who only knows what they read on evangelical websites and from anti-Mormon literature and wacko YouTube videos, it’s difficult to get on the same wavelength.