In my ongoing pursuit to learn what “on the ground” Mormons believe, here’s another Missionary Chat. This one on God the Father and his wife/wives.
Marcel: welcome back (creepy that they know it’s me again)
Bob (me): Hi. I have a question for the two of you.
Bob: Do you, personally, believe that God the Father has multiple wives?
Ken: we are here to represent the Church’s official position-in regards to this question there is no official doctrine on the matter
Bob: I can appreciate that you represent the Church’s official position. But you have personal views on these issues, right? So, I’m wondering what your personal views are.
Ken: sure, but they are no more than speculation
Bob: Perfect! I love speculation!
Marcel: what interest you about that topic?
Bob: Just wondering what actual Mormons believe about this.
Marcel: Just like ken said, there is no official belief
Ken: there are varying opinions on matters that are not clear-however, we know that there is no need to focus on such matters because they are not essential knowledge at this point-it is much more important to have a testimony of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon
Bob: I can grep that. What is your opinion on this?
Marcel: I do not have an opinion on this topic
Ken: honestly, I haven’t given it enough thought to come to a certain stance-again because its not important to know at this stage in my life
Ken: have you had the opportunity to read and pray about the Book of Mormon?
Marcel: ok, do you believe the book of mormon to be true?
Bob: What do you mean by “true”?
Marcel: I mean true, or its from God
Bob: That’s an intriguing definition of true. The dictionary defines it as: “in accordance with fact or reality”
Marce: you know what I mean, you can define it however you want
Ken: this is a talk that our church leader has given on the matter. we invite you to take a look!
Bob: Reading it now.
Ken: He does a great job of explaining what we mean by that term-and how it applies in our understanding of physical and spiritual matters
Ken: awesome-get back to us when you’re done
Bob: According to that article, truth is, “His gospel. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ.” So, was Marcel asking me if the Book of Mormon is the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Bob. Oh. Okay. Interesting question.
Marcel: why interesting?
Bob: Well, how can anyone “know” what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is? Christ was illiterate and didn’t write down his “gospel.” And the few records we have of his supposed teachings are very contradictory as they were written decades after his death by a variety of people with different agendas. So, how could I know if the Book of Mormon is the gospel of Jesus Christ if I have no idea what the gospel of Jesus Christ is?
Marcel: You will know what the gospel of jesus christ is by reading the book of mormon and praying to God
Marcel: even though those men wrote after christ death, they were inspired by God to write the record
Bob: Hmmm… Marcel, your first point seems like circular logic. I’m supposed to determine if the Book of Mormon is the gospel of Jesus Christ without knowing what the gospel of Jesus Christ is by reading a book that is claiming to be the gospel of Jesus Christ. What evidence is there that it is the gospel of Jesus Christ? Did Jesus write it? Do you have evidence external to the book itself indicating that Jesus wrote it?