Episode 80: Moroni 8-9

May 17, 2015

Episodes

Click to Listen: Episode 80: Moroni 8-9

Almost done the book, but not quite yet. In this episode we learn about the gravest of all sins, baptising little children! Just thinking about it can send you straight to hell, so watch out. Then we hear about the pleasant living conditions in the Lamanite and Nephite prisoner of war camps. I’ll just put it this way, you’d be much better off to die in battle.

Not a ton of drinks in this one, but we do get a bonus shot!

“Drink” Count – 3, plus one shot

So, a shot and half a beer

Shot Glass-Small1f37a[1]

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13 Comments on “Episode 80: Moroni 8-9”

  1. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    Is there in fact some arbitrary age a person reaches, where Satan is considered almost magically to have power to start tempting that person as soon as their birthday passes, and after which immediate baptism is insisted upon by the church? (Sorry, D&C spoiler!) And what of the larger question, what happens not just to children, but to anyone else who didn’t have the chance to be baptized? (Double D&C spoiler!!)

    Even though Mormon 8 drones on and on about its subject of infant baptism long after the message has been pounded in, if I’m looking at the Book of Mormon as an attempt to shift the perspective of early 19th century Christianity, I’ll give it a pass. Who knows if it influenced anyone outside Mormonism, but it’s a step in the right direction. In a society where baptism was considered indeed an essential rite to enter heaven, where priests would tell broken-hearted mothers of deceased unbaptized babies that their children had surely gone to hell, rather than take the theological leap that maybe baptism is a just a nice symbol but no biggie, I say good on you, Book of Mormon, for at least taking a half-leap. Of course, now the church is saddled with a bunch of progressive-in-their-day-but-now-horribly-outdated 200-year old doctrinal ideas that it can’t see a way out of changing, at least not painlessly.

    Which brings me to Moroni 9:9, where we see an example of 19th century primness, with the euphemistic description of rape as having been “deprived of virtue”. If cornered on the subject, the LDS church will state that its official stance is that rape victims have not sinned, and have no need to repent. But still, this verse has been quoted by church leaders, and recently so, to point out how chastity is “dear and precious above all things”, but without commenting on the underlying implication that rape victims do, in fact, lose their virtue. The whole thing caused a stir in the liberal Mormon blogosphere, about two years ago:

    http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org/2013/04/attn-emeritus-president-dalton-virtue-can-not-be-stolen/

    And of course, a certain book, written about 50 years ago by a beloved LDS apostle and later church president (Prophet, Seer, and Revelator!), which remains in print and is a popular read to this day, has this to say about rape:

    “Also far-reaching is the effect of loss of chastity. Once given or taken or stolen it can never be regained. Even in a forced contact such as rape or incest, the injured one is greatly outraged. If she has not cooperated and contributed to the foul deed, she is of course in a more favorable position. There is no condemnation where there is no voluntary participation. It is better to die in defending one’s virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle.”

    Reply

    • GingerBeard Says:

      I think the BOM’s (and by extension, Joseph Smith’s) views on infant baptism are more a barometer of Protestant views of the time, and less an actual agent for change. I’m not an expert on early 19th century American Frontier Protestantism, but from what I understand there is little to no original doctrine in the Book of Mormon. Most of what is in there had been said before by various other people. The BOM may be the first time they were all brought together in one place and a synthesis of the ideas was attempted, but I’m pretty sure most of the individual points of doctrine are ideas that had been around the block at least once before Joseph Smith showed up.

      Reply

    • Tina Says:

      I can hardly wait for David to get to the part in D&C about helping out all those billions of people who have lived on Earth and haven’t had the chance to be baptized a Mormon. Say what you will about Joseph Smith – and there’s plenty negative to be said – that dude was progressive. Giving out the priesthood to black people and finding ways for dead pagans to still make it into heaven… the guy was pretty cutting edge for his day. (He even advocated the abolishment of most prisons in his campaign for President!) Not all his ideas were great ones, but he was certainly full of ideas!

      Reply

  2. Dave Says:

    David – I agree 100% with your comments at the end of this podcast. You have created a great Mymo family!

    As you stated from the beginning, you are a nevermo reading this book for the first time. I have a few questions as you close out the final podcast that I believe many of us would love to know:

    1. Are you glad you did it?

    2. Has your opinion about the Mormon church changed?

    3. How does this compare to the Bible? Quran? Other religious book?

    4. Why do you think this book created a movement that lead to a major religion?

    5. Who was your favorite character?

    6. Who was the most annoying character?

    7. What was the best message you took away from the book?

    8. What was the worst message you took away from the book?

    9. What was the craziest story from the book?

    10 Would you recommend this book to your friends? why or why not?

    Looking forward to the Pearl of Great Price brother!!!!

    Dave Hubble

    Reply

  3. St. Ralph Says:

    Do I dare hope that the entire spiritual content of the book resides in the last chapter? So far I’ve been amazed at just how little spiritual content there is. Except for the parts copied out of the KJV bible, it’s mostly about people hacking other people to death for reasons the reader/listener can’t even remember after a few minutes. With some some intense editing, it might make a fair addition to the Lord of the Rings collection, but a holy book? Try the Tao Te Ching.

    Reply

  4. Arthur Ruger Says:

    Little children incapable of sin.
    Why then would Jesus execute them along with their parents in 3rd Nephi when he destroyed the wicked … after which he took full responsibility for mass murder, offering a dubious justification based on righteousness versus unrighteousness and who deserves what.

    Reply

    • Tina Says:

      TBM answer: it’s all cool b/c they’re guaranteed a ticket straight to the highest kingdom of heaven.

      Reply

  5. Danny the Infidel Says:

    “Baptism; an ancient pagan weird donkey practice of wetness.”

    Reply

    • My Book of Mormon Says:

      I think I said “dunky” as in “dunking someone under water”, but since that isn’t an actual word, I can see where you’d get donkey. Actually, donkey is kinda funnier anyway.

      Reply

  6. ColdDodger Says:

    I used to think Moroni 8 was one of the most profound chapters, doctrinally speaking.

    “24 Behold, my son, this thing ought not to be; for repentance is unto them that are under condemnation and under the curse of a broken law.

    25 And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins;”

    As a missionary in the field, my job was to endlessly contemplate the “first principles and ordinances of the gospel,” namely faith, repentance, baptism, and the reception of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, so that I could be the best teacher of the gospel that I could.

    These verses seemed to me to be the perfect, shortest summary of how the first three fit together. It explained to me how dunking someone in water accomplished anything and what it meant.

    There’s a law. An opportunity for repentance is granted to those who have broken the law, that they might avoid the punishment. Baptism is a vow––not just a ritual––that you are willing to keep all the commandments. This vow essentially fulfills the commandments, or the need to keep the commandments, because its a promise to work at it until you have been “sanctified” of all your sin and the desire to commit sin. “Baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling of the commandments,” which is a vow of perfect repentance, “and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins.” This is because God did not grant a chance to repent to make the law void––only to “restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity” (Ezekiel 33:15). “Therefore, according to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state, yea, this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God.” (Alma 42:13).

    Up until several years ago, this kind of stuff––cross-referencing scripture and gleaning spiritual insights from it––was sweeter than life to me. It was my high, and it felt superior to any other kind of high, because it was drug-free and lucid as could be. It was spirituality, and it was exciting to me. It takes a lot to understand that frame of mind, but it is the frame of mind of many mormons who love the Book of Mormon.

    Reply

  7. colddodger2015 Says:

    I used to think Moroni 8 was one of the most profound chapters, doctrinally speaking.

    “24 Behold, my son, this thing ought not to be; for repentance is unto them that are under condemnation and under the curse of a broken law.

    25 And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins;”

    As a missionary in the field, my job was to endlessly contemplate the “first principles and ordinances of the gospel,” namely faith, repentance, baptism, and the reception of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, so that I could be the best teacher of the gospel that I could.

    These verses seemed to me to be the perfect, shortest summary of how the first three fit together. It explained to me how dunking someone in water accomplished anything and what it meant.

    There’s a law. An opportunity for repentance is granted to those who have broken the law, that they might avoid the punishment. Baptism is a vow––not just a ritual––that you are willing to keep all the commandments. This vow essentially fulfills the commandments, or the need to keep the commandments, because its a promise to work at it until you have been “sanctified” of all your sin and the desire to commit sin. “Baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling of the commandments,” which is a vow of perfect repentance, “and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins.” This is because God did not grant a chance to repent to make the law void––only to “restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity” (Ezekiel 33:15). “Therefore, according to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state, yea, this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God.” (Alma 42:13).

    Up until several years ago, this kind of stuff––cross-referencing scripture and gleaning spiritual insights from it––was sweeter than life to me. It was my high, and it felt superior to any other kind of high, because it was drug-free and lucid as could be. It was spirituality, and it was exciting to me. It takes a lot to understand that frame of mind, but it is the frame of mind of many mormons who love the Book of Mormon.

    Reply

  8. Bishop Lucy Says:

    Many episodes ago, you talked about possibly stating what you think Mormons believe based on what you read in the BoM. That would be interesting to hear.

    Reply

  9. dkswagger Says:

    Sorry I’m late to the party – still catching up on my listening. Fun story time from my wedding in the Mormon temple!

    So when you get married as a Mormon the ritual itself is extremely short. An old guy you’ve probably never met before essentially says a quick word for word blessing, each person say yes (not “I do”), bam, over. So to spice it up, random old dude (called the “sealer”) gives some words of advice. Well, when my wife and I got married we had a geezer that must have been 90, and he had apparently just read Moroni 9 and decided it would be swell to be the central message of his pre-ceremomy advice. So here we are looking forward to some nice words of wisdom, and instead we hear about the nephites and lamanites raping the women to show how precious my wife’s “virtue” was. Yeah, that was a really great way to get in the mood! Don’t worry though – this was our official permission to have sex for the first time, so we just put it out of our minds and got it on that night!

    Reply

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