The Book of Mormon came out seven years after Joseph Smith had his first sighting of an angel (who was named Moroni). Smith said that the Book of Mormon was the detailed new covenant between God and the House of Israel, wrapping around and yet expanding on the “old” covenant of Judaism and the “new” covenant of Christianity.
The book itself is a synthesis of the covenants. It draws upon the Old and New Testaments in its narrative. The book entered into circulation in March of 1830, and since then, it has been published and sold in almost two hundred million copies.
The Book of Star Wars
Since the first Star Wars movie came out in 1977, tales have flown around the Mormon community that the backward-speaking Jedi master Yoda was based on LDS Church president Spencer W. Kimball. In addition, there are even some that think George Lucas was in contact with the leaders of the church while writing the movies.
However, both myths are quite false, as stated by Anne Merrifield, the secretary to George Lucas when he was at the head of Lucasfilm Ltd. In reality, Yoda's face was modeled after famous scientist Albert Einstein. One can find connections between LDS doctrine and Star Wars, but you can do the same thing everywhere.
No Paid Ministry?
The policy of not having a paid ministry had long been a much-emphasized tenet of the LDS Church. Members of the church that act as “General Authorities” (senior leaders) receive a stipend to meet their expenses while they serve the Church, but the amount is unknown and likely varies from person to person.
The church has also stated that the compensation is much less than executive compensations in other industries. It has also stated that the money for these stipends comes from business income and not from tithe money. Members of the General Authority used to be able to sit on the boards of church-owned businesses and receive compensation for that, but this practice was discontinued in 1996.
The “Book of Mormon” reads like a prequel to the New Testament. Rooted firmly in American soil, it reveals a never-before-heard story about Jesus Christ. It also portrays reboot versions of such biblical accounts as the Garden of Eden and the Gospel of John. According to the “Book of Mormon,” Jesus fled Israel and took refuge amongst Native Americans in the American wilderness about 600 years before biblical accounts of Christ.
This telling, exclusive to the “Book of Mormon” asserts Christ established another promised land on the American frontier. It claims to be historically accurate, but modern archaeology disagrees.
The Book Offers a Plan of Salvation
“The Book of Mormon” differs from the Bible with its treatment of personal salvation. The Bible does not offer guides to salvation, but the newer Book does. The idea of salvation is mentioned at least 30 times throughout the book. It specifically refers to a “plan of salvation,” a “plan of happiness” and a “plan of redemption.”
The path to salvation begins by allowing people to follow the gospel of Christ and concludes with entering heaven. The final judgment is not terrifying but instead positive growth toward joy, freedom, and responsibility.