Elder Holland: Conference Address Video

Elder Holland gave a riveting sermon about the Book of Mormon in General Conference yesterday (Sunday, Oct 4, 2009). This talk will be quoted for a long time to come, and Elder Holland has quickly become a favorite for many LDS apologists. One notable quote among many:

For 179 years this book has been examined, and attacked. Denied and deconstructed. Targeted and torn apart, like perhaps no other book in modern religious history. Perhaps like no other book in any religious history, and still, it stands. Failed theories about its origins have been born, parroted and died. From Ethan Smith to Solomon Spalding, to deranged paranoid, to cunning genius. None of these frankly pathetic answers for this book has ever withstood examination, because there is no other answer than the one Joseph gave as its young, unlearned translator.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, General Conference talk, Oct. 4, 2009

Here is that sermon, which is better watched then read.

Part 1

Part 2

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8 comments on “Elder Holland: Conference Address Video

  1. Lance says:

    I have often thought the same way… knowing that their were many after their lives, particularly Joseph’s, knowing that certainly he was going to die soon (or even in old age), how could he lie or make up the Book of Mormon knowing that eternal damnation was the only reward that he would receive for misleading all the LDS Saints then, now and until the end of time…

    Elder Holland says it better than I could ever depict or ponder it. Even said, I am certain that it was our Lord, Jesus Christ, only using Elder Holland as a vessel to deliver the truth of this message (Jesus is the Truth!)


  2. nicole says:

    You do realize that the book he is holding up is NOT the orignial book from Hyrum, right?
    Books that old and precious are held in a museum in controlled environments. You don’t see anyone carrying around the Declaration of Independence, now do you ? :D

    So, is Holland lying? At General Conference to 14 Million people !?

  3. James says:

    Nicole, if you’ve got some evidence for this claim I’d be interested in hearing it. For now, I’m not going to simply take your word for it :)

  4. James says:

    Hi Nicole. I figured this was what you were getting at, I just wanted to wait to be sure… :)

    We’ve seen this criticism before, and it has been addressed. You should check out this blog post on the topic:

    http://www.lifeongoldplates.com/2009/10/few-comments-on-elder-hollands.html (especially footnote 7). Here, I’ll just copy and past it for you:

    “There is another claimant for this book. A same-edition copy owned by Bathsheba W. Smith was donated to the Church archives in 2007. Those making the donation showed a similar page fold and the Church News article seems to claim it was that edition from which Hyrum Smith read as described in D&C 135. A photo caption, however, notes that the leaf on the page was turned down, “perhaps in honor of Hyrum Smith.” See John L. Hart, “Fabric of history: Geo. A. and Bathsheba Smith artifacts donated to Church,” Church News, 5 May 2007. The copy previously owned by the Church and displayed by Elder Holland belonged to Joseph F. Smith, Hyrum’s son. I favor it as being the more likely candidate as opposed to the copy owned by Hyrum’s cousin’s wife. Richard Turley, Assistant Church historian, clarified as follows: “One book descends from Mercy Fielding Smith and is the one Hyrum took from the shelf and marked before leaving for Carthage. It has a provenance statement in it written by Hyrum’s son Joseph F. Smith on December 25, 1898. It is housed in the Church History Library and is the volume held up by Elder Holland. Another recently donated copy is quite similar and descends from Bathsheba Smith. The same page is marked, but in our reasoned opinion, the person who marked that page was merely indicating the spot Hyrum marked. We don’t believe this is the volume Hyrum removed that day” (personal e-mail in my possession, 7 October, 2009). For more about the book see Emiley Morgan, “‘A chain of testimony’: 1841 copy of Book of Mormon stays preserved,” Deseret News, 8 October 2009″

    Here is another helpful article: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705335296/A-chain-of-testimony-1841-copy-of-Book-of-Mormon-stays-preserved.html

    • nicole says:

      fun stuff, though I don’t regard some random website/blog that states itself ”
      The views expressed on Life On Gold Plates belong to the author and are not official statements of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” as proof at all :D
      In any case, the book Holland is holding up is Not a book from 18XX. Like I said before, documents that old and with such value are not handled with plain hands and carried around like Holland did. You would be in an controlled environment, wearing white cotton gloves ;)
      You Mormons are funny people…

  5. nicole says:

    on a different note: according to Brigham Young Polygamy had been introduced because not every man on Earth was willing to get married. Even today this is true. So, why did God ever command you to stop ? :D
    Doctrines come and go constantly, commandments come and go, Blacks are discriminated against then they are not… for a Church that calls itself “the only true Church on Earth” you guys sure go through tons of reformations and changes… Alpha-Omega ?
    I don’t think so :)

  6. James says:

    Regarding the book that Holland used, you are of course free to ignore the evidence if you want to. I don’t recommend it, but you are welcome to do whatever you want. I encourage you to read the Deseret News article which explicitly addresses (in the first sentence) the argument you are making (that the book would never be removed from its controlled environment).

    As an aside, do you really think Elder Holland is that stupid to think he could “trick” the world? And why would he even try? What would he gain?

    Anyway, if you really want I’d be happy to discuss the other issues you’ve raised (as irrelevant to this blog post as they are) privately. Feel free to email me at lehislibrary@gmail.com if you want to discuss them privately.

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