Latter-day Saints have three different scriptural accounts of the creation: one in Genesis, one in the Book of Moses, and one in the Book of Abraham. One might wonder, at first, why this is so. One important thing to consider is that just because a story has multiple versions, it doesn’t mean that they are incorrect.
More Scripture Study Features
For many, the Old Testament is a challenge to understand. Layers of changes of time, culture, people, institutions, and language seem to act as stumbling blocks to our understanding of and engagement with the Old Testament. Those concerns and worries are real and well-founded. But not to despair.
The authors of the Old Testament told very few "stories" for a story's sake. Scriptural accounts were meant to illustrate a point usually having to do with Israel's relationship to God. Join Laura Harris Hales of the LDS Perspectives Podcast as she discusses with Paul Hoskisson some of the possible meanings of the Flood story and what it meant for the earth to be cleansed from its environment.
To date, the combined data from several valid stylometric studies on the Book of Mormon have demonstrated that it has multiple, distinct writing styles and that those styles are consistent with the authors designated within the text itself. One may naturally wonder, though, if the Book of Mormon’s diversity of style is in any way unique or impressive. Is it possible that a creative writer could have produced its variety of distinct styles?
When Alma, son of Alma, was speaking to the people in Ammonihah, he taught them about the premortal existence: “And this is the manner after which they were ordained—being called and prepared from the foundation of the world”. Yet the rest of Alma’s address is about repentance. This poses the question: Why would Alma interrupt a sermon about repentance with a discussion about the pre-mortal life?
For both ancient and modern Judaism, the spiritual foundation of the Hebrew scriptures is the Torah or “Law” (i.e. the opening five books traditionally ascribed to Moses). As a reflection of this tradition, I have chosen five things that I would encourage LDS readers to keep in mind—my own personal “torah,” if you will, for a religious study of the Old Testament.
No matter how many years (or seasons) Joseph attended school, or how helpful his supplemental educational opportunities may have been, or how quick he was as a learner, or how sharp his memory, or how creative his imagination—it doesn’t change the fact that he and those around him, both friend and foe, described him as relatively unlearned. So, why would the Lord choose him as a translator?