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The Most Important Scriptural Book-religion, insight #1
A question one often faces when telling those of other faiths about the Book of Mormon is “Which of the standard works is most important?” This tough question is generally used to force Latter-Day Saints into stating they have no interest in the Bible. The reason why the question is so tough is because evidence can be demonstrated to support that each one of the standard works is extremely important. The first approach to answering this question is to weigh out the benefits and disadvantages of each book and give it a rating to determine its relative importance. Instead of trying this, Latter-Day Saints can appeal to a simple yet powerful truth: As members of a true and living church, they do not have to choose which of the standard works is most important, because they have all of them.

The question about the “most important” standard work was posed to the class in its first meeting. In turn, each standard work was brought up and the class discussed the reason why it should or should not be considered the most important. The Book of Mormon was defended based on the fact that it is a pure translation and contains many of the small and simple things that were left out of the Bible. The Pearl of Great Price was defended based on the increased knowledge it gives the church concerning the Plan of Salvation. The Bible was defended based on the long-standing traditions of the Christian world that were developed on that one witness alone. The Doctrine and Covenants was defended based on the fact that it is a D&C class, and also because it is the one book that is directed only to the last days.

The life improving insight that I have gained from my personal reading and study is that each of the standard works is of great importance. This semester I will be studying out of the D&C, so I will be exposed to revelations directly relating to these times. However, this book is not complete unless I also refer to the Book of Mormon, Bible, Pearl of Great Price, and words of our living prophets. As a Latter-Day Saint, I have the unique advantage that I have old scripture and new revelation at my disposal, and I should utilize this advantage whenever possible.

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Forum, 09-23-03-letter to the editor
I write in response to the editorial entitled “BYU poorly represents spirit of BYU.” While I do not excuse the behavior of BYU students as they applauded at inappropriate times during Helen Thomas’ address, I firmly believe it was their right and duty to walk out on a speech that they found offensive.

We are often taught that if we find a movie offensive, we should leave instead of “digesting the [movie] and trying to understand the [director’s] point of view.”

I am disappointed that students automatically ignored Thomas’ views on the war in Iraq because she did raise valid concerns. However, her overbearing negativity toward conservative beliefs encouraged me to leave with my friends

If Thomas honestly didn’t realize that she was speaking to a very conservative audience, then her lack of research is a disgrace to good journalism. I am more inclined to believe that she carefully scripted the most anti-conservative speech she could. Note that she opted to shuffle notes instead of using the teleprompt, implying that she did not wish to release her speech to BYU.

What Thomas apparently didn’t realize was that at BYU, we often see things as “right or wrong, black or white.” Hence, when she tried to insult President Bush by accusing him of such things, we did applaud the president for being “the most conservative president” and for his strong moral stand. If such things are “much less than complimentary,” I hope that nobody will ever give me a compliment.

In conclusion, I would say Helen Thomas poorly represents the spirit of liberalism. She intentionally said things that would obviously not be well received by what is arguably the nation’s most conservative student body. “What this demonstrated, is that many [liberals] validate the stereotypes [BYU students] impose on [non-conservative viewpoints].”

Jo-Pete Nelson
Flagstaff, AZ

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