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Mortal Ministry of the Savior ...

After perusing The Mortal Ministry of the Savior as Understood by the Book of Mormon Prophets by Richard D. Draper at the suggestion of a reader here (going by the name of 'alma'), I feel impressed to say something about it.

Apologies to Richard Draper, but I don't think I've ever read a piece of work which denied or contradicted so many principles of the restored gospel in one fell swoop as this. Eternal Progression and any understanding of mans destiny seems to have been thrown out the window by Draper, who seems to have unclear goals in his essay. The absurd claim that Jesus "was neither man nor human but ever God" and that "He was different from all his mortal kin in that he was never man, and he was never human." introduces an ontological gap that elevates Jesus either above God himself, or casts him as some sort of a mule. I can't quite figure out which it is.

In attempting to harmonize what Draper seemed to consider obscure or easily misunderstood passages in the Book of Mormon, he appears to have spun an entirely new theology distant from anything present in Mormonism past or present, whether "orthodox" or not. This never becomes more clear than in his concluding paragraph:

The Book of Mormon witnesses that we worship a God who can be touched with both our strivings and failures, for he was indeed tried, tempted, and in this way filled with mercy and compassion. Though he was neither man nor human but ever God, he knew mortality and loved mortals, perfectly understanding them because of his experience.

Father in Heaven seems to have been forgotten in this scenario, and we have something left very similar to what one might find in a Protestant sermon. In contrast to this, I worship and serve God - meaning Heavenly Father. Anything short of this seems to be asking for trouble. Draper might try reading some of the amazingly clear passages in the Book of Mormon, instead of spinning theology from only the most obscure passages.

Do you agree? Disagree? Did you read the article in a different way than I did?

Thanksgiving update

I've read through Ether 3... Actually I had completed this far a while ago, and had forgot to post the update here.

I am amazed at the striking differences between Ether and the rest of the Book of Mormon. I think there may be room here to show evidence of either a Caananite or other Pre-Hebrew understanding of deity, but with some doses of Christian language thrown in as well.


Another reading update.

I've now read through Alma 13.

One comment: I must say that Abinadi's speech in Mosiah 15:1-5 is very odd, and seems to have very little or nothing to do with Mormon theology, unless the words are all redefined such that "Well, he said that but by using that phrase he really meant this." It sounds a bit like a description of modalism, though not sequential modalism. It is fascinating to me that modalism would have even been a concept at all in the B.C. years, let alone prevalent enough to have infiltrated the teachings given to believers of that time.