On the Attempted “Anti-Masonic” Explanation for the Book of Mormon

On the Attempted “Anti-Masonic” Explanation for the Book of Mormon December 14, 2018


San Diego Temple at night at Christmas
The San Diego California Temple at Christmastime   (LDS.org)


New, for your enjoyment and edification (and at no charge!) in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture:


“Gossamer Thin: 2 Nephi’s “Flaxen Cord” and the Anti-Masonic Thesis”




A good piece from Jeff Lindsay, drawing on an essay by Stan Spencer:


“It Depends on What the Meaning of ‘It’ Is: Reconsidering the ‘Burning in the Bosom’ and ‘Studying It Out’ in Doctrine & Covenants 9”


This makes good sense to me.  I’ve never understood how the counsel given in Doctrine and Covenants 9:8 — that “you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right” — could actually apply to translating a text written in a language of which you were utterly and entirely ignorant.


You could place me in front of a text written in Chinese, for example, and I could sit there and stare at it all day long, and I would have no more idea what it was saying when the night fell than I did at the first light of morning.  There would be nothing for me to present to the Lord in order to ask for his confirmation of it.




An interesting development:


“Age Changes for Youth Progression and Ordination Announced”




You might like this:


“A Touching True Christmas Story from a Latter-day Saint in a Nazi Prisoner of War Camp”




A very intelligent Evangelical Protestant perspective on the credibility of the story that we celebrate each December:


“4 Reasons to Believe in the Christmas Miracle: Why the supernatural events of this season are both credible and incredible.”




As I do every year, I share one of my very favorite Christmas poems.  This one — entitled, simply, “Christmas” — is by Sir John Betjeman (1906-1984), who served as Poet Laureate of England from 1972 until his death:


The bells of waiting Advent ring,
The Tortoise stove is lit again
And lamp-oil light across the night
Has caught the streaks of winter rain
In many a stained-glass window sheen
From Crimson Lake to Hookers Green.The holly in the windy hedge
And round the Manor House the yew
Will soon be stripped to deck the ledge,
The altar, font and arch and pew,
So that the villagers can say
‘The church looks nice’ on Christmas Day.

Provincial Public Houses blaze,
Corporation tramcars clang,
On lighted tenements I gaze,
Where paper decorations hang,
And bunting in the red Town Hall
Says ‘Merry Christmas to you all’.

And London shops on Christmas Eve
Are strung with silver bells and flowers
As hurrying clerks the City leave
To pigeon-haunted classic towers,
And marbled clouds go scudding by
The many-steepled London sky.

And girls in slacks remember Dad,
And oafish louts remember Mum,
And sleepless children’s hearts are glad.
And Christmas-morning bells say ‘Come!’
Even to shining ones who dwell
Safe in the Dorchester Hotel.

And is it true,
This most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window’s hue,
A Baby in an ox’s stall ?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me ?

And is it true ? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant,

No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare –

That God was man in Palestine
And lives today in Bread and Wine.



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