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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Antichrists in The Book of Mormon: Part 10: A New Theory of Sherem

This is a new theory of Sherem. 

I have carefully researched all references to Sherem in Church publications, gospel commentary, Conference addresses and more and, to my knowledge, this theory has never been proffered before.

Remember, I'm telling you this up front. It is new and it is a theory.

First, let's review the pertinent facts, all from Jacob, chapter 7. Sherem sought a conversation with Jacob who was presumably considered a prophet and/or a church leader (verses 3, 6). Sherem addressed Jacob as "Brother Jacob" (verse 6). Sherem believed in the Law of Moses just not the doctrine of Christ (verse 7). Sherem also claimed to believe in the scriptures (verse 10) but seemed to have his own peculiar interpretation of them. Sherem was afraid he had committed the "unpardonable sin" (verse 19).

I think Sherem was a member of the Church.

Is this why the story of Sherem was included in the Book of Mormon? Is it so that we can be alert to the antichrists that can be found within our own ranks?

Why else would Sherem address Jacob as "Brother"? Also, he wasn't trying to build his own Church like Nehor or shift people to secularism like Korihor. He professed to be a believer and a righteous one. He was ostensibly worried that false doctrine was being taught in the Church.

How could Sherem possibly know about the "unpardonable sin," or fear committing it, unless he was a member?

The Book of Mormon was written for our day. It contains instruction for us. The story of Sherem must have modern relevance or it wouldn't have been included in that sacred book.

Do we have antichrists in the Church now? If so, who are they and where are they?

We have to go back to the story of Sherem in order to find our answers.

Sherem does not appear to be trying to set up his own Church or overtly deflect people away from it. He was operating from inside it although he obviously wasn't a true believer or, more likely, had ceased to be one at some point.

He was teaching his own interpretation of the scriptures which did not coincide with scriptures, Church leaders or Church teachings. Sherem's teachings served to deflect people away from Christ and His gospel. He perverted the actual gospel by teaching his own views.

2 comments:

  1. Just as they had anti-Christs who acknowledged God and Scripture, but didn't exactly understand what God the scriptures were pointing to, I believe we have anti-Christs in the church who acknowledge Christ and his prophets but don't actually follow him.

    The latest ensign has an interesting 300+ year old citation delivered by Pres. Monson, “He does not believe that does not live according to his belief.”

    I think we have many who acknowledge Christ and then promptly live their lives as if Christ said nothing other than: don't smoke, have food storage, go to church, and pay tithing.

    In other words, just as Sherem who looked to the law and denied the Christ, we have many who acknowledge Christ in word, but in deed look to the law.

    Of course, we need both law and Christ, and I'm certainly not denying any of goodness of the list above (church, tithing, etc).

    But the minute we have dozens of people in our congregations knodding their head about Christ and then refusing to develop Christ-like attributes of charity and service, and being willing to descend beneath all things ("love as I have loved") then we are not showing our belief in action.

    And as Pres. Monson quoted, if we don't live according to our beliefs we don't really believe at all.

    The "soft" anti-Christs are all around us. They aren't denying the Christ vocally, but unknowingly denying him through their actions (when they should know better). Not everyone who says Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of Heaven. There will be many in the church who will be divided out of the nations on the world to whom the Lord will say, depart I never knew thee.

    I think the only way to not have this "soft" anti-Christ attitude is to have charity, the pure love of Christ, be the foundation for all our interactions with not only man, but as the motivation for our observance of the law of the gospel. Keeping a dead law is useless, the law is alive in Christ, which to me means that when we focus on Christ's life and the manner he lived his live then we can see how we can begin to apply the law to our lives in a Christ-like way.

    Hope that made some sense... not trying to be too harsh, even though it sounds rough. But it's saddening to see so many sitting around nodding their heads on Sunday and then turning around and refusing to help others in need because "they deserve it", etc.

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  2. The most compelling argument I have seen, is that he was a Dueteronomist - one of the priests at the time of Jeremiah who were editing Christ out of the Old Testament. Possibly this guy came over with Melek.

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