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An Introduction to Mormonism (Introduction to Religion) by Douglas J. Davies

By Douglas J. Davies

Even though one of many quickest transforming into spiritual hobbies on this planet, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to be a secret when it comes to its middle ideals and theological constitution. This well timed ebook offers a massive advent to the elemental heritage, doctrines and practices of The LDS--the "Mormon" Church. Emphasizing sacred texts and prophecies in addition to the the most important Temple rituals of endowments, marriage and baptism, it truly is written by way of a non-believer, who describes Mormonism in ways in which non-Mormons can comprehend.

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The plain text of the Doctrine and Covenants, however, could be interpreted to mean that these tribes would find their fulfilment in the new Zion of America. Certainly, an interest in the lost tribes of Israel as the possible source of the indigenous populations of America had been on the intellectual agenda both in Europe and America from the seventeenth century (Bushman 1984: 134–90). The Book of Mormon refocused that interest in the light of both its millennial teaching and its missionary practice.

The very use of the word can also, for example, convey a meaning to the initiated that is not accessible to others. Public use of the word ‘keys’ can thus carry a message to Mormons who have undergone temple education and ritual but would mean little to those who have not. Such ‘keys’ do not simply refer to the historical past and the contemporary organization of the Church; they also hold prospective power associated with the afterlife and the conquest of death, as we see in chapters 4 and 8. Keys and the dispensation for the fullness of times belong together, for they explain Mormonism’s notion Prophets and texts 43 of prophet and prophecy, of its own restoration and of the continuous revelation that underpins its sacred texts.

During much of the time that Joseph spent rendering the King James text into his own version he worked very closely with Sidney Rigdon, a former Baptist minister, who was far more deeply versed in the Bible than Joseph and who influenced Joseph Smith a great deal (van Wagoner 1994: 71–4). A feature of this work lay in the way in which biblical texts prompted Joseph to ponder hitherto ignored issues. These included ideas of the innocence of children relating to sin, the plan of salvation, and ideas of priesthood as well as reflections on the enigmatic figure of Enoch – with whom Joseph can be seen to have closely identified himself – and on the city that Enoch was said to have founded before it was translated into heaven prior to its future reappearance on earth (Matthews 1992: 763–9).

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