The prevalence of a spirit of contention amongst a people is a certain sign of deadness with respect to the things of religion. When men's spirits are hot with contention, they are cold to religion. - Jonathan Edwards “The Book of Mormon does not supplant the Bible. It expands, extends, clarifies, and amplifies our knowledge of the Savior. Surely, this second witness should be cause for great rejoicing by all Christians.” - Joseph B. Wirthlin

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Stumbling Blocks

The Apostle Paul described impediments to consensus and unity as stumbling blocks.

Romans 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.

In his day, Paul dealt with problems such as these:

- Circumcision: Do you have to be Jewish before you accept the Gospel?

- Meat: Can you eat meat, or should you be vegetarian?

- Idols: Can you eat meat dedicated to idols?

He addressed these points in several of his epistles. In Romans 14, he specifically addressed eating meat:

2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not;
and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth:
for God hath received him.

The problem of despisers and judges persists in our day, but recognizing the problems can help us get through them and resolve conflicts.

As I've thought about stumbling blocks, particularly with respect to Book of Mormon historicity, I've made a short list that summarizes what I've tried to discuss on this blog so far. I'm making these the focus of my presentations lately. Eventually, I think it will be possible to agree on the basic facts, while leaving interpretation open to individual preferences.

- Two-Cumorah theory
- Reliance on anonymous articles in the Times and Seasons
- Reading things into the text that aren't there (e.g., headwaters of Sidon, etc.)

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