Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


The Book of Mormon, Arno Schmidt, Old Testament, Jewish culture, history


If perhaps I am certain of nothing else, I am indeed certain of one thing: I cannot resist holy books. Understand me correctly, however. I regard all of them highly-the fiery bass voices of the Qur'an; Gautama's all-tolerating claptrap of wisdom; the large compendium of Jewish cultural history called the Old Testament-but I refuse steadfastly to link the word "truth'' with any of them. Whoever imagines that he possesses the truth has lost it in that very same instant. Truth has no meaning for us. Nothing would be more unfortunate than some kind of 5 percent clause of the Spirit, and nothing more ridiculous than when one prophet calls out another as a fanatic. Not one Church, but rather fundamentally Churches; not one Sacred Scripture, but rather numerous Sacred Scriptures. Hence, if you wish, a resigned-but in my experience quite therapeutic-agnosticism as foundation, yet at the same time a tireless hunt for one's own mistakes and one's own lack of knowledge-and, besides that, working diligently.