Can a cultural Mormon believe in the Book of Mormon?

Tim Malone in his recent posting discussed various stages of Mormons who did not believe in the church any more and why they may have done so.

One point he brings up is the idea of Cultural Mormons, not originally his idea, the consept that people stay in the Church for reasons which no longer have anything to do with Doctrine.  They do not believe in the Gospel or the authority of the church but simply have reasons to still attend.

Now I have read enough of the blogosphere to know that some argue that they believe in the BOM as being from God as written by a 19th century man about issues of his day, no Mormon, no Moroni, just a clever, inspired writer.   I am dubious of that notion for several reasons but the chief among them being what the “writer” claimed about how he got them.  It is just a little to Fawn Brodie for me.

So here is my question then.

Could a Cultural Mormon still believe in the book of Mormon, as a writing of ancient record yet still believe the doctrine is wrong?  Now I am not saying in an COC way or Strangite way or any other ite, where somewhere along the line the Prophet they disagreed with went wrong, I mean could you believe in the historiocity of the BOM without the Angel?  Without the constructed doctrine that surrounds it?

It is something that just crossed my mind because of how some will still justify things in their own minds to accept other things.  We all do it.  After all if i believe in Evolution does that mean I do not believe in the main story of three religious groups with more than half the population who believe in Adam and Eve?  Does that mean I follow those Christians or Jews, and possibly Muslims who argue that Genisis is simply a metaphor?

Or do I make up a complicated middle ground that in my own mind just fits the circumstances to include both sides, just not completely and wholly accepting either.  That seems to be where I am today.  Yet there is a lot of meshing and changing of understandings to fit it into that neat little box.

So what do you think?


2 Responses to Can a cultural Mormon believe in the Book of Mormon?

  1. Mike says:

    I’m unsure how the BoM could be historically accurate without the angel. How did Joseph Smith get the records? How did he translate them? In order for one to accept the BoM as historical without the angel requires a much more fantastic story, IMHO. (Maybe Moroni’s descendants passed the record from generation to generation and then somehow picked out Mr. Smith to reveal it to the world, while allowing or directing him to include a story of the angel as backdrop?)

  2. BHodges says:

    I suppose it is possible, though I’ve not really met a person that fits that description. Usually that type breaks off and sets up a splinter group.

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