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230: Tower Of Babel


When we think of issues that are barriers to faith, we often think of issues such as Joseph Smith’s Treasure Digging, the Book of Abraham, Stones & Hats, and Prophetic Errors…. yet for me the two biggest are a Global/Local Flood and the Tower of Babel.  We talked about the flood in episode #142 and today we talk about the tower of Babel.  While apologists are wanting us to edge carefully into a mythical interpretation, Mormonism officially demands a literal view.  In my perspective either angle begs so many questions and compels us to step further into the darkness where faith’s rubber hits the road.


9 thoughts on “230: Tower Of Babel”

  1. Powerful podcast, very compelling.

    When I was a recent convert I questioned a lot of things, but having received a witness from the Holy Ghost I believed, but still doubted.

    However, a missionary companion told me that when the Prophet or scriptures speaks the thinking stops. How sad I am for having taken that advice to heart.

    In some ways believing was absolutely beautiful, it created a wonderful universe to live in, but I’m happy to move into a more adult open minded universe again.

    How amazing it will be when Mormonism grows up, and I hope that we as Members of the Church stick through thick and thin and figure all this out together. Hopefully we can stand for truth and goodness no matter where it may take us.

  2. Couldn’t the same argument that was used for the Arc of Noah be used for the Tower of Babel?

    Say a big tower was being built, it collapsed and let a lot of destruction leaving the people confused and scattered to each family essentially to save themselves. 9/11 Baby.

  3. I think it important to distinguish between Mormon’s abridgement/account of Ether vs what Ether wrote. Mormon would have simply been reporting about what was in Ether’s record.

  4. The other thing, I think, is that SOMETHING big happened, but that it was probably was not global or original as to the confounding of languages. Ether says in 1:33 “…from the great tower, at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, and swore in his wrath that they should be scattered upon all the face of the earth.”

    Similar to the story of Noah’s flood, the tower story need not have been global to have occurred. I don’t think that the Book of Mormon implies either. It sounds global in the Bible, very likely because the little band of Hebrews were crafting their history to sound equal to the mighty Akkadians, Sumerians, Assyrians, and/or Babylonians that they had to live amidst.

  5. Thanks for being so honest on these difficult topics Bill.

    The local tower event doesn’t work for me given the proximity to the flood event and what we are taught regarding locations.

    Adam and Eve 4,000BC in present day Missouri (North America)
    Flood 2,350BC must have started in Missouri and then moved to Middle East and was therefore a global event (else how was this the baptism of the earth)
    Babel 2,250BC journey back to America

    I’ve given up on the faith for this reason and many others. It’s very liberating to not have to do mental gymnastics around these things.

  6. Pingback: POST: The Dominant Narrative Is Not True - Mormon Discussion PodcastMormon Discussion Podcast

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