Tag Archives: The Book of Mormon (Musical)

My Thoughts on Today’s Supreme Court Review

Yesterday, you might not have known what was on the Supreme Court’s docket for today.

Today, you know.

You know because you probably have a Facebook account (1 billion of us do, as of October 2012) and your news feed was likely filled up by activists and constitutional “experts” on both sides of the argument, all commenting on news coming out of the Supreme Court.

My Anecdotal Observations of Fellow Latter-day Saints

I’ve written before on the subject of so-called same sex marriage, but I feel like I can contribute to the conversation in one way tonight. I’d like to talk about some of my observations of the LDS community. Certainly I don’t have a good view of all Latter-day Saints, so my observations will be little more than anecdotal. Still, that doesn’t make them invalid. I, at least, think that they’ll be worth considering.

A Diverse Body with An Important Foundation 

We Latter-day Saints are a fairly diverse group of people. You might not think it, getting pop culture hints from “The Book of Mormon” musical and Big Love, but Latter-day Saints are a 14 million member strong group who live all over the earth and have varied levels of activity and belief, and a wide range of personalities, opinions, and mannerisms.

I’ve mused before about what, among such a diverse group of individuals, unites us, and you can read that post for those thoughts. Since then, Elder Robert D. Hales spoke in General Conference about “Being a More Christian Christian”. His criteria for what it means to be Christian (and I think “Christian” here is interchangeable with “Mormon” or “Latter-day Saint”, as will be clear in a moment) is also a fine study about what should be the same among Latter-day Saints. A Latter-day Saint is:

    • Someone who follows the gospel pattern of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end (paragraphs 2 – 4).
    • Someone who believes that God has followed a pattern of calling prophets to teach His children, and that this pattern has continued in our day with Joseph Smith and his successors (paragraph 5).
    • Someone who believes in the Godhead as taught in the scriptures and by modern prophets. This belief regarding the nature of God is at odds with Trinitarian theology (paragraph 6).

There is quite a bit in there that mainstream Christianity would find objectionable, but that should suggest to us that when Elder Hales asks, “With these doctrines as the foundations of our faith, can there be any doubt or disputation that we (Latter-day Saints) are Christian?”, he’s not comparing Latter-day Saints to modern, mainstream, creedal Christianity as much as he’s comparing Latter-day Saints to biblical Christianity.

But that’s a talk for another day and another post.

The point is that Elder Hales highlights a belief in the principle of prophets and a testimony that the leaders of the Mormon Church are the modern-day equivalents of  Peter, Moses, or Paul. That’s not an idle statement to make or believe in. Paul wrote to new church members of his day,

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone (Ephesians 2:19-20).

Distance from Modern Prophets

Whether or not you’re familiar with the LDS position on the issue of so-called same-sex marriage, consider these posts from some of my Latter-day Saint Facebook friends:

“Hopefully today is the first step towards increasing equality in our nation.”

“Real equality would be government that is not in charge of marriage.”

“taking agency away from a group of people is what satan (sic) wants…..”

And many of them posted graphics, like these:

Posts like these really confuse me. They confuse me because, for example, the leadership of our Church said just today:

Today the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments regarding the definition of marriage in this country.

We firmly support the divinely appointed definition of marriage as the union between a man and a woman because it is the single most important institution for strengthening children, families, and society.

We hope the court will agree, and we look forward to the decision on this important matter.

That’s not even the least of all they’ve said, but it suffices for this post. It’s not difficult for the sincere student to learn more about the LDS position (try here, at Mormons and Gays, which then links to other legitimate sources at the bottom of the page). This position is in direct conflict with many of the sentiments and graphics above.

Something seems off….

A Story with a Moral – Faithful Obedience

I’m reminded of the story of Martin Harris and the lost 116 pages. For those who are unfamiliar with the story, here is a refresher.

Joseph Smith began translating the Book of Mormon plates in the late 1820s. He had a scant education, and enlisted the help of Martin Harris, a local of Palmyra, New York, to act as scribe. Harris’ help was invaluable – not only was Harris a respected member of the community, but he also gave significant resources to help finance the translation and publication of the Book of Mormon.

By the middle of 1828, Joseph had dictated 116 pages to Harris. Unfortunately, Harris’ relationship with his wife was tenuous at the time. Additionally, she was suspicious of Joseph, and opposed to the resources her husband was devoting to Joseph’s cause. Harris asked Joseph if he could take the manuscript home to show his wife. He thought this would help encourage her support and help heal some of their strained relationship.

Joseph asked the Lord if Harris could take the manuscript. The Lord refused. Still, Harris pressured Joseph to ask a second time. Again, the Lord refused. Harris pressured Joseph once more, and the Lord agreed to let him take the manuscript as long as he showed it to only a few specified family members.

Tragically, Harris lost the 116 pages of the manuscript. They were never recovered, and Joseph was commanded not to re-translate those pages (the thieves who had stolen them had changed the words so that, were Joseph to re-translate, the two versions would not agree – see Doctrine and Covenants 10).

The Lord, with his omniscient foresight, had prepared for this loss. He told Nephi, one of the primary authors of the Book of Mormon, to make two sets of records covering the same time period.

And the reason for making two sets of records? Nephi didn’t have a clue. He tells us,

“Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me to make these plates for a wise purpose in him, which purpose I know not.

“But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men” (see 1 Nephi 9).

Mormon, who almost 1,000 years later would be inspired to include Nephi’s record in concert with his abridgment, would write,

“And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will” (see Words of Mormon 1:3-7).

Joseph continued to translate, but from this additional record instead of the material he’d previously translated. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has said,

“We got back more than we lost. And it was known from the beginning that it would be so.”

For more on that story, you can also read my post, “God’s Divine Backup Plan”.

Some Principles to Follow

Often when we hear this story, we focus on Martin Harris and Joseph Smith. There’s nothing wrong with this – there’s an important lesson to be learned from them. But I’d like to focus on two different individuals. I’d like to focus on Nephi and Mormon, and particularly Nephi.

Nephi, as we saw, was commanded to make a second record detailing the same period he’d just covered. Keep in mind that this is an age before copy-and-paste, before xerox, before the printing press. Nephi was making records on metal plates while traveling as a nomad through uninhabited Arabia and (likely) South America. That would have been extremely arduous and tedious. Yet he did it.

Nephi did this, all without (as far as we know) ever knowing why. He never received any indication of what the Lord’s “wise purpose” was, what fruit would be born from his laborious seed planting. Not even Mormon, who spent his life protecting and abridging these records, ever knew the end from the beginning in regards to these records. Yet they obeyed. And because they obeyed, we have the Book of Mormon today, complete with the powerful testimony of early Nephite prophets.

What’s the connection for Latter-day Saints to same-sex marriage?

In 1995, then president Gordon B. Hinckley presented “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”. It highlighted the vital family values that our Church stands for, and called for members and citizens to support measures aimed at upholding the traditional family unit. This proclamation reads, in part,

“We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children….

“We warn that… the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

When Prop 8 was prepared as a ballot measure, the First Presidency, led by current president Thomas S. Monson, sent a letter to California congregations. It encouraged Latter-day Saints to do all that they could to support the measure. It read,

“Preserving Traditional Marriage and Strengthening Families:

“In March 2000 California voters overwhelmingly approved a state law providing that “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” The California Supreme Court recently reversed this vote of the people. On November 4, 2008, Californians will vote on a proposed amendment to the California state constitution that will now restore the March 2000 definition of marriage approved by the voters.

“The Church’s teachings and position on this moral issue are unequivocal. Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, and the formation of families is central to the Creator’s plan for His children. Children are entitled to be born within this bond of marriage.

“A broad-based coalition of churches and other organizations placed the proposed amendment on the ballot. The Church will participate with this coalition in seeking its passage. Local Church leaders will provide information about how you may become involved in this important cause.

We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman. Our best efforts are required to preserve the sacred institution of marriage.

Regardless of the other issues at work here – and make no mistake, this is a highly complex and controversial issue – the Church leaders have been very clear about what is expected of faithful Latter-day Saints. After that, the decision is ours to decide which way we face.

The choice is, of course, ours to make. But let’s make no mistake about what’s happening when we follow personal whims, lean on political correctness, or disregard prophetic counsel. Perhaps President Brigham Young said it best:

“You cannot destroy the appointment of a prophet of God, but you can cut the thread that binds you to the prophet of God, and sink yourselves to hell.”

Stand with the prophets, even if you don’t understand why. You may never understand – we learn that much from Nephi and Mormon – but you can have faith that the Lord knows what he’s doing.


Coming to Know Spiritual Truth – “Come, Feel and See”

I’ve recently been engaging in discussions with two friends (you can find one of those discussions in my post “An Apple Not Quite Ripe”, and the other in my post “More Discussion About Spiritual Truth”) where the subject of knowing truth came up. I thought I might share my thoughts with you.

How do we answer the question,

“How can I come to know truth? How can I come to know spiritual truth?”

A Cunning Plan, A Vicious Murder

The portion of Nephite history covered by the book of Alma was tumultuous and violent. Not only were the Nephites engaged in a bitter, long-lasting war with the Lamanites, but they were experiencing political turmoil from within as wicked men sought to usurp power.

In chapter 47, a Nephite dissenter named Amalickiah takes control of the Lamanite army at the direction of the Lamanite king (you can read of the takeover in verses 1-19). With control of the army, Amalickiah marched back to the Lamanite capital to meet the king. The scriptures tell us,

“And the king came out to meet [Amalickiah] with his guards, for he supposed that Amalickiah had fulfilled his commands, and that Amalickiah had gathered together so great an army to go against the Nephites to battle.

“But behold, as the king came out to meet him Amalickiah caused that his servants should go forth to meet the king. And they went and bowed themselves before the king, as if to reverence him because of his greatness.

“And it came to pass that the king put forth his hand to raise them, as was the custom with the Lamanites, as a token of peace, which custom they had taken from the Nephites.

“And it came to pass that when he had raised the first from the ground, behold he stabbed the king to the heart; and he fell to the earth” (Alma 47:21-24).

With the king dead, Amalickiah and his men needed to fabricate a scenario to give the appearance that they were innocent. The scriptures continue,

“Now the servants of the king fled; and the servants of Amalickiah raised a cry, saying:

Behold, the servants of the king have stabbed him to the heart, and he has fallen and they have fled; behold, come and see.

“And it came to pass that Amalickiah commanded that his armies should march forth and see what had happened to the king; and when they had come to the spot, and found the king lying in his gore, Amalickiah pretended to be wroth, and said: Whosoever loved the king, let him go forth, and pursue his servants that they may be slain.

“And it came to pass that all they who loved the king, when they heard these words, came forth and pursued after the servants of the king….

“And the army which pursued after them returned, having pursued after them in vain; and thus Amalickiah, by his fraud, gained the hearts of the people” (Alma 47:25-30).

I find the invitation of Amalickiah’s men, to “come and see” the physical evidence of the fabricated version of the murder, very interesting. By all appearances, and according to eye-witness testimony, Amalickiah was telling the truth. And because the Lamanites relied on evidence that was readily and easily seen, the deception worked.

A Precious Gospel, A Loving Invitation

Decades after Amalickiah, the Nephites were blessed by the personal visitation of the Lord Jesus Christ. After his resurrection, he appeared to and taught members of the lost tribes of Israel, including the people who authored the Book of Mormon (you can see this post on the song “Hello” from the Book of Mormon musical for more).

This portion of the Book of Mormon is one of the most tender sections of scripture you can find. The Savior instructed them about his gospel, baptism, the sacrament, and much more. He also allowed each person to individually feel the marks of the nails in his hands and feet. He prayed for them, and groups were ministered to by angels.

During this visit, he told them,

“And ye see that I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me, that ye might feel and see; even so shall ye do unto the world; and whosoever breaketh this commandment suffereth himself to be led into temptation” (3 Nephi 18:25).

Doubtless, the Savior’s mention of “feeling” is a reference to the opportunity each person had to feel the evidence of the Atoning sacrifice in his hands, feet, and side. Still, it got me thinking about the manner in which the Lord has provided for us to learn truth. He allows us to study physical and empiric evidence, but he also expects us to seek a witness from the Holy Ghost. It is this witness from the Spirit upon which I base my testimony of the Savior and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Of those who were part of the Savior’s visit to the Americas it is written,

“And it came to pass that the disciples whom Jesus had chosen began from that time forth to baptize and to teach as many as did come unto them; and as many as were baptized in the name of Jesus were filled with the Holy Ghost….

And the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and [Jesus]; and the Father giveth the Holy Ghost unto the children of men, because of [Jesus]” (3 Nephi 26:17; 3 Nephi 28:11)

God doesn’t expect, or even want, us to just rely on physical, empiric evidence. Those who know nothing of linguistics or archaeology can still know, in a very real way, that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world. This is because the ability to “see” is balanced with the ability to “feel,” not with our hands, but with our hearts.

A Divine Companion, A Burning Heart

The scriptures are replete with accounts of the Spirit’s involvement in testifying of divine truth. It’s not my intent to present a comprehensive list or argue the point ad nauseam, but rather to present the doctrine in a memorable way, and perhaps pave the way for further personal study. With that intent, I’d like to share one more account, this time from the New Testament.

There were many of the Savior’s ancient disciples who did not understand his death. Two of these disciples were journeying to Emmaus when they were joined by the Savior (see Luke 24). He kept his identity hidden from them, and as they walked, they talked of the events in Jerusalem – the “prophet mighty in deed and word”, his trial and crucifixion, and the empty tomb.

Recognizing their astonishment, the Savior taught them, “expound(ing) unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning [Jesus]” (Luke 24:27).

After arriving and sharing supper, the Savior revealed himself to the disciples and then vanished. At this, the two said to each other,

Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:32).

In the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord tells us,

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, that assuredly as the Lord liveth, who is your God and your Redeemer, even so surely shall you receive a knowledge of whatsoever things you shall ask in faith, with an honest heart, believing that you shall receive….

“Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.

“Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation” (Doctrine and Covenants 8:1-3).

Divine Revelation

Learning is by and large a cerebral process, and the Lord does not want us to abandon logic or reason or empiric evidence in our quest for spiritual truth, Yet, the Holy Ghost working in our hearts is an essential element in coming to know spiritual truth, even if it is not the lone element. Both our hearts and minds must be actively involved in the development of faith.

Hugh Nibly commented on this balance between secular learning and divine revelation. He said,

‎”…The words of the prophets cannot be held to the tentative and defective tests that men have devised for them. Science, philosophy, and common sense all have a right to their day in court. But the last word does not lie with them. Every time men in their wisdom have come forth with the last word, other words have promptly followed. The last word is a testimony of the gospel that comes only by direct revelation. Our Father in heaven speaks it, and if it were in perfect agreement with the science of today, it would surely be out of line with the science of tomorrow. Let us not, therefore, seek to hold God to the learned opinions of the moment when he speaks the language of eternity.”

How true are those words! May we remember this as we seek spiritual truth, particularly before we demean others for basing their testimony on “feelings”.

Mormon Observations on “The Book of Mormon” the Musical – Tomorrow is a Latter Day

All the posts in this series.

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Efficacious Ordinances
“We are still Latter-day Saints”

What does it take for an ordinance to be efficacious. In the post “Baptize Me” we discussed how it was vital for baptism to be performed in the proper way and by the proper authority. It is just as important for other ordinances to be performed in the proper way and by the proper authority. But is that all there is?

The Holy Spirit of Promise is also an essential element in order for ordinances to be efficacious. The Lord says,

“And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise… are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.

“Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion” (Doctrine and Covenants 132:7-8).

Elder Bruce R. McConkie has said,

“The operation and power of the Holy Spirit of Promise is best illustrated by the ordinance and contract of baptism. An unworthy candidate for baptism might deceive the elders and get the ordinance performed, but no one can lie to the Holy Ghost and get by undetected. Accordingly, the baptism of an unworthy and unrepentant person would not be sealed by the Spirit; it would not be ratified by the Holy Ghost; the unworthy person would not be justified by the Spirit in his actions. If thereafter he became worthy through repentance and obedience, the seal would then be put in force. Similarly, if a worthy person is baptized, with the ratifying approval of the Holy Ghost attending the performance, the seal may be broken by subsequent sin.”

Mormon Observations on “The Book of Mormon” the Musical – Tomorrow is a Latter Day

All the posts in this series.

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Temporal and Spiritual Needs
“The only latter day that matters is tomorrow”

For more on the tug-of-war game played between temporal and spiritual needs, see my post here.

In brief, though, we must not overly focus on temporal needs to the exclusion of spiritual needs. They are both important, but it is not more important for religion to help people’s temporal needs.

Mormon Observations on “The Book of Mormon” the Musical – Tomorrow is a Latter Day

All the posts in this series.

Go back to “Tomorrow is a Latter Day”.

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
“What happens when we’re dead?
We shouldn’t think that far ahead”

What of this carefree attitude that we should not think of tomorrow, or the afterlife? Nephi taught us that in the last days

“there shall be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us.

“And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.

“Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines” (2 Nephi 28:7-9).

Alma taught,

“And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.

“Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world” (Alma 34:33-34).

Surely, what we do in this life will directly impacts what happens in the life to come. Is it wise to ignore that when there is a clear end to this probationary state?

Now, some will say, “I just don’t know. I won’t make any choice.” What of that?

William James, in his excellent essay “The Will to Believe”, ended with a quote by Fitz James Stephen. Stephen said,

“What do you think of yourself? What do you think of the world? Are you a mere machine, and is your consciousness, as has been said, a mere resultant? Is the world a mere fact suggesting nothing beyond itself worth thinking about? These are questions with which all must deal as it seems good to them. They are riddles of the Sphinx, and in some way or other we must deal with them. If we decide to leave them unanswered, that is a choice. If we waver in our answer, that too is a choice; but whatever choice we make, we make it at our peril.

“If a man chooses to turn his back altogether on God and the future, no one can prevent him. No one can show beyond all reasonable doubt that he is mistaken. If a man thinks otherwise, and acts as he thinks, I do not see how anyone can prove that he is mistaken. Each must act as he thinks best, and if he is wrong so much the worse for him. We stand on a mountain pass in the midst of whirling snow and blinding mist, through which we get glimpses now and then of paths which may be deceptive. If we stand still, we shall be frozen to death. If we take the wrong road, we shall be dashed to pieces. We do not certainly know whether there is any right one. What must we do? “Be strong and of a good courage.” Act for the best, hope for the best, and take what comes…. If death ends all, we cannot meet it better.”

We cannot avoid the choice by not making a choice, for not to make a choice is a choice in itself. It would be like freezing to death after refusing to choose whether to take the left fork or right fork.

Mormon Observations on “The Book of Mormon” the Musical – Tomorrow is a Latter Day

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“We are still Latter Day Saints, all of us, even if we change some things or we break the rules or we have complete doubt that God exists.”

Why is it such a big deal when people “change some things”?

Nephi saw in vision our day, and the problems that were caused when changes were made to the plain gospel taught by Christ and his apostles. He was told,

“Wherefore, thou seest that after [the Bible] hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God.

“And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles… because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book, which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men, according to the plainness which is in the Lamb of God—because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them” (1 Nephi 13:28-29).

The Savior has given us his gospel so that we can be happy in this life, and qualify for eternal life in the life to come. Any changes to that gospel will make us “stumble” on that path, and perhaps even lose our way and prevent us from receiving either of those two gifts.

Apostasy is a very serious thing. The Restoration of the gospel was the only way to overcome the “stumbling” that occurred as a result of the Great Apostasy (see here).

Mormon Observations on “The Book of Mormon” the Musical – Tomorrow is a Latter Day

All the posts in this series.

Go back to “Tomorrow is a Latter Day”.

What is a Latter-day Saint?
“We are still Latter Day Saints, all of us, even if we change some things or we break the rules or we have complete doubt that God exists.”

This claim is not necessarily true, and reminds me of something C. S. Lewis said in Mere Christianity:

“People ask: ‘Who are you, to lay down who is, and who is not a Christian?’: or ‘May not many a man who cannot believe these doctrines be far more truly a Christian, far closer to the spirit of Christ, than some who do?’ Now this objection is in one sense very right, very charitable, very spiritual, very sensitive. It has every available quality except that of being useful.”

We can degrade the meaning of “Latter-day Saint” as Elder Price suggests, but at this point the word will have lost all meaning and, consequently, all usefulness (for more on this discussion in relation to the term “Christian”, see this post on the preface of Mere Christianity).

So what is a Latter-day Saint? What does a Latter-day Saint believe? A good place to start might be with the baptismal questions (see this post on the song “Baptize Me”). A Latter-day Saint believes that:

  • God is the Eternal Father
  • Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and redeemer of the world
  • The Church and gospel of Jesus Christ was restored through Joseph Smith
  • The Church is led by a prophet, currently Thomas S. Monson

Those that change the teachings of the scriptures or living prophets, or suggest disobedience to those teachings, don’t qualify as a Latter-day Saint. This is why members of splinter groups like the Fundamentalist LDS Church or Reorganized LDS Church are not considered Latter-day Saints. The group of villagers in the song would similarly not be considered Latter-day Saints as long as they taught from the “Book of Arnold”.

The good news is, though, that if they desired to belong to the Church it would only take a few missionary lessons!

What of those who break the rules? Certainly simple mistakes are not disqualifying. The Atonement provides us the ability to repent and return to him when we commit sin. It is true that some serious sins lead to Church discipline, but disfellowship and excommunication are paths meant to lead through repentance and to full forgiveness and fellowship in the Church once again.

Mormon Observations on “The Book of Mormon” the Musical – Tomorrow is a Latter Day

All the posts in this series.

Go back to “Tomorrow is a Latter Day”.

A Latter-day
“Tomorrow is a Latter Day”

Like I said in the post “I Am Here for You”, I’m not sure what the term “Latter-day” means in the context of the show. To learn what Latter-day Saints believe about the term “Latter-day”, see that post.

Mormon Observations on “The Book of Mormon” the Musical – Tomorrow is a Latter Day

For a list of all the posts in this series, see here.


After the pageant presentation, the Mission President is outraged and orders the missionaries home. He tells the villagers that they are not Mormons, and Elder Cunningham becomes discouraged because he ended up causing even more trouble for the villagers. Elder Price, on the other hand, has an epiphany and realizes that Elder Cunningham was right all along – even though scriptures are important, it’s more important for religion to help people. Elder Price and Elder Cunningham decide to stay and help the villagers together.

The warlord returns to the village, but is driven off by Elder Price and Elder Cunningham. They accept Elder Cunningham’s earlier stories as metaphors to help them in daily life, rather than literal truth, and Elder Price rallies everyone to work together to make their village and life a paradise.

Full Lyrics – “Tomorrow is a Latter-day”

Elder Price: We are still Latter-day Saints (and here), all of us, even if we change some things or we break the rules or we have complete doubt that God exists. We can still all work together and make this our paradise planet.

Elder Cunningham:You, you want to stay here with me?

Elder Price: I’d do anything for you. You’re my best friend.

Don’t worry little buddy
Know this much is true
Tomorrow is a latter day
And I am here for you

Tomorrow is a latter day

I am a Latter-day Saint
I help all those I can

Elder Cunningham: I see my friends through times of joy and sorrow

Elder Price: What happens when we’re dead?
We shouldn’t think that far ahead

Both: The only latter day that matters is tomorrow

The skies are clear and now the suns coming out
It’s a latter day tomorrow
Put your worries and your sorrows and your cares away
And focus on a latter day
Tomorrow is a latter day

Nabulungi: I am a Latter-day Saint
Along with all my town
We always stick together come what may

Elder Cunningham: We love to dance and shout
And let all the feelings out
And work to make a better latter day

Villagers: Hum na-haya, hum, hum na-haya
We’ll be here for each other every step of the way
And make a latter day tomorrow

Americans already found a cure for AIDS
But they’re saving it for a latter day
Tomorrow is a latter day

Elder Price: I believe
(Tomorrow is a latter day)
I believe
(Love and joy and all the things that matter day)
I believe
(Tomorrow is a bigger, badder latter day)

I believe
(Tomorrow, tomorrow is a latter day)
I believe
(A happy ending on a platter day)
I believe
(Tomorrow is a doper, phatter latter day)

Villagers: Why are Mormons happy?
It’s because we know
It’s a latter day tomorrow
So if you’re sad put you’re hands together and pray
That tomorrow’s gonna be a latter day
And then it probably will be a latter day
Tomorrow is a latter day

Elder Price: So what will tomorrow bring?
What does the future hold?
I can almost see it now

Villagers: Hello.
My name is Elder Matumbo.
And I would like to share with you the most amazing book

My name is Sister Kimbe
It’s a book about a people who were poor and sad like you

A sacred text
Of pioneers and frogs
And how you can find salvation if you if you just believe

Hi ho (Ding dong)
Hello (Boba Fett)
You have a lovely mud hut
And if you just put down the gun I’ll show you, oh, okay, I’ll leave

My name is Elder Galli
You will love all of the happiness this book can bring

My name is Elder Butt-*******-Naked
Did you know that the ******** is a holy sacred thing?

Find paradise
(With Jesus Christ)
And no more war
(Hello, nice door)
You read that Book of Mormon – did you know there’s more?

We swear
(We really care)
This is not a scam
(No ma’am)

Have you heard the story of our
Prophet Arnold Cunningham?

Our church is going strong
And if you let us in we’ll show you how you can belong

Join our family
And set your spirit free
We can fully guarantee you that this book will change your life
The Book of Arnold


We are Latter-day Saints
We take, like, one day at a time
When the chips are down we know just what to say

The past may be in tatters
But today is all that matters
Because today is yesterday’s latter day

Thank you God
Ma ha nei bu, Eebowai
Tomorrow is a latter day

Gotswana: I still have maggots in my scrotum