JS-H 1:1-26

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The Pearl of Great Price > Joseph Smith-History > Verses 1-26
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The relationship of verses 1-26 to the rest of the book is discussed at Joseph Smith-History.


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Verse 6[edit]

  • "Opinions." The word "opinion/s" occurs also in 1 Kgs 18:21; Job 32:6, 10, 17; Alma 40:20; D&C 134:4, 7; JS-H 1:10. In each of these usages, the word seems to connote a sense of weakness relative to faithful decisions. This is perhaps best illustrated in 1 Kgs 18:21 where Elijah seems to rebuke the people for "halt[ing] . . . between two opinions." This might be related to the usage here, and in JS-H 1:10, where opinions are expressed in a way that lend themselves to being contestable and generating strife. The actual experience and subsequent testimony that Joseph Smith has and exhibits might be read as contrasting with "mere opinions" that other religious leaders are expressing. Although other usages of the word "opinion" seem to have a positive connotation as it relates to the restrictions of government power not infringing on the rights to opinions (e.g., D&C 134:4, 9]]), or as it is used to sign-post scriptural speculation (e.g., Alma 40:20), these usages can still be read as underscoring the limited nature of opinions.
  • Verse 19: Corrupt -- According to Webster's 1828 dictionary, the word "corrupt" referred primarily to something that was spoiled or tainted; less common meanings included being depraved, wicked, in error or not genuine. Since then, the word has more commonly come to refer to dishonesty as influenced by money or power, although today's meaning does not appear to have been the most common understanding of the word at the time this was written.

Points to ponder[edit]

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I have a question[edit]

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  • Why would the Lord call all Christian creeds an "abomination" (v. 19)?
  • How should this understanding of Christian creeds influence our views of other churches and our interactions with other Christians?
  • How do other churches have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof (v. 19)?
  • In verse 19, does "professors" refer to those who professed the Christian faith of the time, or to the instructors at the Christian colleges and/or seminaries of the time?


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