Oh, Really?

I was just sitting here studying and preparing for the fourth visit from our LDS missionaries when I came upon this verse in the Book of Mormon. It is found at 2nd Nephi 31:3

For my soul delighteth in plainness; for after this manner doth the Lord God work among the children of men. For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding.

Oh, really? Then why the King FREAKIN’ James language?

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  1. In the early 19th century (when the Book of Mormon was first published), the KJV was the standard biblical text for most Protestants, both traditional and evangelical alike.It certainly was the “scriptural” language of the day. For English speakers, the “language of God,” if you will; and for many, the language of prayer.Times and translations have changed and will continue to change, but the Book of Mormon text of 1830 is what it is. And so is the KJV of 1611.It’s sad, really, that some modern Protestants make light of their spiritual heritage.Sincerely,Dale Caswell

  2. Dale,You hit on my point exactly when you stated, “It certainly was the ‘scriptural’ language of the day.”My emphasis would be on the word, was. The BoM was produced almost 200 years ago. If God speaks according to our language, why not have a much needed update? The LDS church never hesitates to tell us that we need a modern day prophet, yet never really does anything to demonstrate that. It seems to me that the least Hinckley could do is take 2nd Nephi 31:3 seriously and update the BoM according to our language.

  3. Keith, I appreciate the response.You know, with the Book of Mormon, the claim is we have the word of God. We Mormons do not take that claim lightly. Could the current LDS leadership direct the language to be altered to conform to a more modern speech, and still be within their traditional eccleciastical right? Certainly, after all we do sustain them as “prophets, seers, and revelators.” Does this mean that whatever they do is inspired by God? No.Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing a language update on the Book of Mormon, but as a believer in the miracle of its divine transmision, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that God “touches it up” no further. While I largely support the modern critical efforts to restore and clarify the biblical text to the modern reader, I don’t believe that God’s will as revelator is in any degree beholden to this rather large endeavor.As a LDS, while I cherish God’s revelation in the Book of Mormon as a word-for-word dictation (that isn’t beyond human error on several fronts), I can see why God would choose to let his divine words stand as they are, and simply dictate entirely new revelations when he so chooses.After all, he is not bound by the flaps of a book–and never has been. While Mormons see the Book of Mormon as equal in revelatory authority as the Bible, we see neither book as representing IN ANY WAY a closure to the word of God to humanity.While one may choose to be alarmed by the lack of prophetic dynamic with LDS leaders since Joseph Smith, I find wisdom in the fact that in Jesus Christ’s day neither the likes of Samuel, Isaiah, Daniel, Elijah, etc, etc, etc, removed (nor apparently alterred) the majesty and preeminence of God’s words to Moses.It was only Jesus himself who did that (and even he went so far as to emphasize that neither a jot nor tittle would be removed from Moses or the Prophets–but all would be simply fullfilled through his life and sacrifice). There was no looking back then, so why as a believing Christian should I expect it now?Sincerely,Dale Caswell.

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