From the Book: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting the Prophet Joseph Smith
by Michael R. Ash
In 1976, during America’s bicentennial, Latter-day Saint historian Dr. Richard Bushman was preparing a speech and turned to The Book of Mormon to find some quotes that would resonate with the principles in our Constitution. To his surprise, he found that besides some superficial similarities, The Book of Mormon did not reflect typical U.S. political thought. Instead, Bushman found that the Nephite scripture was “an anomaly on the political scene of 1830”. He continues, “Instead of heroically resisting despots, the people of God fled their oppressors and credited God alone with deliverance. Instead of enlightened people overthrowing their kings in defense of their natural rights, the common people repeatedly raised up kings, and the prophets and the kings themselves had to persuade the people of the inexpediency of monarchy”. According to Bushman, The Book of Mormon is “strangely distant from the time and place of its publication” but it’s political attitudes are at home when we compare it to the history of the Israelites.
Michael R. Ash is the author of: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting The Prophet Joseph Smith. He is the owner and operator of MormonFortress.com and is on the management team for FairMormon. He has been published in Sunstone, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, the Maxwell Institute’s FARMS Review, and is the author of Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt. He and his wife live in Ogden, Utah, and have three daughters.
Julianne Dehlin Hatton is a broadcast journalist living in Louisville, Kentucky. She has worked as a News Director at an NPR affiliate, Radio and Television Host, and Airborne Traffic Reporter. She graduated with an MSSc from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 2008. Julianne and her husband Thomas are the parents of four children.
Music for Faith and Reason is provided by Arthur Hatton.