About A. Keith Thompson

A. Keith Thompson LLB (Hons); M Jur; PhD is the Associate Dean at the University of Notre Dame Australia School of Law, Sydney. He also practices commercial and property law in New South Wales and Victoria, Australia. He formerly served 20 years as International Legal Counsel for the Church in the Pacific and Africa Areas and has also served in the Church as Bishop, Stake President, and Mission President. He and his wife, Anita, have eight children and eight grandchildren so far.

The Doctrine of Resurrection in the Book of Mormon

Abstract: The doctrine of resurrection was taught by Lehi and Jacob among the first Nephites but was not mentioned again in the record until the time of Abinadi, perhaps 350 years later. In the court of King Noah that doctrine and the idea of a suffering Messiah who would bear the sins of his people and redeem them, were heresies and Abinadi paid for them with his life. While Abinadi’s testimony converted Alma1 and the doctrine of the resurrection inspired Alma2 after his conversion, it was a source of schism in the church at Zarahemla along lines that remind us of the Sadducees at Jerusalem. The doctrine of the resurrection taught in the Book of Mormon is a precursor to the doctrine now understood by the Latter-day Saints in the light of modern revelation. One example is that the Nephite prophets used the term first resurrection differently than we do. But perhaps the most remarkable thing about the way that the doctrine of resurrection develops in the Book of Mormon, is that it develops consistently. That consistency bears further testimony to the prophetic mission of Joseph Smith. He could not have done that by himself. Continue reading

Who Was Sherem?

Abstract: The Book of Mormon’s first anti-Christ, Sherem, “came among” the Nephites before their first generation was ended. Because he was an eloquent believer in the Law of Moses, there has been a variety of surmise as to his background. Was he a Lamanite, or a Jaredite or Mulekite trader? Was his presence among the separated Nephites evidence of early interaction between the Nephites and other civilisations in Nephite lands from the time of their first arrival? This short article reviews the various suggestions about Sherem’s identity and suggests he was most likely a descendant of the original Lehite party but that his identity was purposely suppressed so as not to give him more credibility than he deserved. Continue reading

Fashion or Proof? A Challenge for Pacific Anthropology

Abstract: This article is a call to Pacific anthropologists to write the story of the origin of mankind in the Pacific a bit larger and perhaps to look scientifically for additional explanations. Is it possible that the early diffusionists may have gotten some things right, albeit for the wrong reasons? Continue reading

Nephite insights into Israelite Worship Practices before the Babylonian Captivity

Abstract: General historical consensus holds that synagogues originated before the destruction of the Second Temple in AD 70, and therefore probably originated during the Babylonian captivity. The suggestion in Philo and Josephus that synagogues may have originated during the exodus was discredited by some historians in the 17th century, yet the Book of Mormon speaks of synagogues, sanctuaries, and places of worship in a manner which suggests that Lehi and his party brought some form of synagogal worship with them when they left Jerusalem around 600 BC. This essay revisits the most up to date scholarship regarding the origin of the synagogue and suggests that the Book of Mormon record provides ample reason to look for the origins of the synagogue much earlier that has become the academic custom. Continue reading