For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Having Visions: The Book of Mormon
Translated and Exposed in Plain English
  • Susan Stansfield Wolverton
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Having Visions: The Book of Mormon. Translated and Exposed in Plain English
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The Book of Mormon was originally written is cumbersome to read and difficult to understand for 21st-century readers, making the language itself a barrier to knowing its content. In Having Visions, the author presents an objective, respectful, and faithful translation of its content, accompanied with an historical and scientific context for understanding its insertion into the body of human affairs. In The Book of Mormon, the ancient American prophet Mormon presents the history of his people, the Nephites. The intent of the present book is to present "his story as told," and its relationship to "history as known," without altering its essence, and to trace the narrative through a bewildering stream of verbiage (without straying from a function of translation into analysis).


About the Author

The author, a resident of Idaho who set out to meet her Mormon neighbors half way, prepared this translation of the Book of Mormon to help others understand the basics of this, perhaps the fastest growing religion in the United States. Susan Stansfield Wolverton is a pen name.

About the Book

Some important American political and business leaders are members of the Mormon Church, and the Mormon religion is one of the fastest growing religions in the world. Perhaps  the first new worldwide religion to emerge in over a thousand years...

Some important American political and business leaders are members of the Mormon Church, and the Mormon religion is one of the fastest growing religions in the world. Perhaps  the first new worldwide religion to emerge in over a thousand years . . . but what is it? The Mormon Church has mounted massive political campaigns to promote its conservative social agendas, and is instrumental in changing public policy nationwide. If the current growth rate of the Mormon Church in the United States is sustained, they may well dominate American politics within the next 50 years. Given its potential for domestic and international influence, it only makes sense to know the foundations of the Mormon religion.

It should be noted that exhaustive archeological, genetic, and linguistic research has been undertaken by both proponents for, and detractors of, the existence of the Nephites. So far, no evidence supporting the claim has ever been found for any place, person, or event mentioned in The Book of Mormon, while abundant contradictory evidence has been discovered and independently verified.

The Mormon Church has over 11 million members worldwide, making it larger than the Jewish religion. It is the fastest growing religion on both of the American continents. If it sustains its current growth rate, it could grow to over 250 million members in the next 75 years. In the United States there are already more Mormons than Episcopalians or Presbyterians.

The Mormon Church currently fields an army of 60,000 missionaries in the United States and abroad. They hand out The Book of Mormon and tell the world that theirs is the only true gospel of Jesus Christ - believe it and be saved, or dismiss it and be condemned to everlasting hell.


Introduction

Faith, dictionaries inform us, is an unquestioning belief in something: in a person, a religious doctrine, or an ideal. Faith asks the believer to accept an absence of proof, and to overlook contradictory evidence. There are countless religious sects, past and present, that ask their members to believe, on faith, that their...

Faith, dictionaries inform us, is an unquestioning belief in something: in a person, a religious doctrine, or an ideal. Faith asks the believer to accept an absence of proof, and to overlook contradictory evidence. There are countless religious sects, past and present, that ask their members to believe, on faith, that their religion is exclusively the correct one, and that all others are incorrect. In this respect the Mormon religion is no different from many others.

Before 1991, I had virtually no knowledge of the Mormon faith, or The Book of Mormon from which that faith is derived. It was in that year that my husband accepted a company transfer to an office in southern Idaho, and our young family moved west. Having grown up in the East, my vision of the West was one of mountains, broad open spaces, and clean air. The idea that we would be moving to a predominantly Mormon community never even occurred to me. Since then, I have become a student of the Mormon faith and its doctrine. I did this to understand the community I live among.

As we settled into our new home that summer, we were very soon approached by our neighbors. Most of them were Mormons and they wanted to share their faith with us. Our children were invited to attend church social functions and we were all welcomed to Sunday services. Before I’d been there a week, I was given my first copy of The Book of Mormon and was earnestly told that it was the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I opened it with great curiosity but was blocked from reading very much of it by language such as this: “Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the Devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.”1 When I asked if there was a modern language version of The Book of Mormon, I was told that there was not. . . .

When I asked my neighbors about their understanding of its content, I discovered that I was not the only one who had difficulty reading and clearly understanding it. Surprisingly, most of the Mormon women that I knew had found it as impenetrable as I had, and had put it aside, devoting themselves instead to the social and cultural aspects of the broad Mormon community. The more I learned, the more curious I became….

I do not presume to judge the truthfulness or untruthfulness of The Book of Mormon. What I want to do is to present an objective, respectful, and faithful translation of its content, accompanied with an historical and scientific context for understanding its insertion into the body of human affairs. In The Book of Mormon, the ancient American prophet Mormon presents the history of his people, the Nephites. My intent is to present “his story as told,” and its relationship to “history as known,” without altering its essence….

More . . .
More Information

Facts and History of the Mormon Church

Mitt Romney is a Mormon, Bill Marriott is a Mormon...but what is the Mormon Church? Are Mormons Christians? What do Mormons believe?

In 1992 Wallace B. Smith, a former president of the Reorganized Church of...

Facts and History of the Mormon Church

Mitt Romney is a Mormon, Bill Marriott is a Mormon...but what is the Mormon Church? Are Mormons Christians? What do Mormons believe?

In 1992 Wallace B. Smith, a former president of the Reorganized Church of Latter-Day Saints and direct descendant of Joseph, wrote, "One thing is clear. The genie is out of the bottle and it cannot be put back. Facts uncovered and the questions raised by the new Mormon historians will not go away. They will have to be dealt with if we are to maintain a position of honesty and integrity in our dealings with our own members as well as our friends in the larger religious community."

In 2002, Mormon anthropology professor Thomas W. Murphy startled the Mormon Church with a paper entitled Lamanite Genesis, Genealogy, and Genetics. In what has been called a "Gallileo event," this paper brought forward to a broad public audience conclusive evidence that the genetic ancestry of the Native American Indians is derivative from northeastern Asians, and not from Middle Eastern emigrants to the Americas as represented in The Book of Mormon. The information is discussed in detail in a subsequent chapter of this book. When proceedings for his excommunication were initiated, public outcry from within the Mormon Church was so strong that the effort was withdrawn.

Also in 2002, Grant H. Palmer, a fourth generation Mormon, 34-year Mormon Church career educator, and director of Mormon studies, published a book entitled, An Insider's View of Mormon Origins. With unflinching honesty he confronted and examined the problems with the Mormon Church's present representation of its past.



Pages 344
Year: 2004
LC Classification: BX8627.A2W65
Dewey code: 289.3'22—dc22
BISAC: REL046000
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ISBN: 978-0-87586-308-5
Price: USD 24.95
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ISBN: 978-0-87586-309-2
Price: USD 32.95
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