Tell a literalist the you and the Father are one and they will be immediately afraid.
A literalist will tell you that what you declare is not in the book.
A literalist considers that anything you learn that is not written in the book is dangerously occult; a tool of Satan.
Satan is dangerously occult.
Satan is also a Christian Myth.
Those who worry that you are living outside the words of a book consider themselves smarter than you.
They consider themselves spiritually wiser than you …
… because after a preacher, a friend or a relative told them what the book says, they were challenged to read it with their new advance knowledge..
… because they are lazy and let someone else tell them who God is …
Because they let someone else tell them what God is like …
They are not smarter than you.
What they think they know is not wisdom.
There is nothing about their knowing or what they know that justifies a pride about knowing …
… or justifies thinking they are further along a progression than you.
There is nothing about what they know that says they should save you.
You do not need to be saved.
They do not know that you do not need to be saved.
They do not know that they do not need to be saved.
On “knowing” : A “born again” moment when feelings=prompting from God, something that they themselves insist requires no logic, no “what is right.”
Next illogical frame is morality – “what is right” – as the basis of correct social feeling. Subsequently, emotional responses such as “outrage” drive the judgmental attitudes and behavior which should be denied and rejected.
First conversion to the group by feelings, then denial of feelings (compassion) when they conflict with the new knowing of that 19th-century absolute that still lurks in every congregation.
But then again … perhaps I’m a literalist myself.
Posing the question in a way that makes one’s beliefs about the Book of Mormon a matter of truth creates a narrow version of the BOM and its value.
Portraying disagreement that the BOM is inerrant and the most correct book on earth as my desire to reject and declare the the BOM void is a debating tactic designed to win the argument.
What of deductive reasoning, deep thought and being lead by the Spirit?
These are but starting points. With a sincere desire for understanding, one can exercise Paul’s gifts – given by the spirit- of the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge.
Mormons who view the BOM as an opportunity for a conversation with God ought to include a willingness to use deductive reasoning, deep thought and to ask the spirit to lead.
If one looks merely for absolute commandments with no desire other than a formula, do we not interrupt God’s conversation with us and limit Him to the literality of a verse?
God needs no defenders and that the idea that God does not have to justify Himself is unreasonable.
The most significant implication of the Moroni promises is that it is not rude, faithless or blasphemous to ask God to justify or clarify something in the BOM or something someone has said that He has commanded.
But I say that this whole notion is only a notion. It has always been my experience that God is approachable – willing, in fact – to give more to all who will ask, seek and knock.
So I am a literalist.
I Do take that passage literal.
“Ask and it shall be given Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened unto you.”
By taking that passage literal, I discover that it’s okay with God if I approach scripture with deductive reasoning, deep thought and the knowledge that I’m being led by the spirit.