It is currently Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:41 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 27 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Mormon Scholars Testify officially defunct?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:54 pm 
Hermit
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 11:12 pm
Posts: 7947
Location: Cave
On a recent thread, Ms. Jack mentioned in passing a blog she has that she described as "defunct". Upon reading that sentence, three words came into my mind that I don't recall having thought about in years -- "Mormon Scholars Testify". Some of our newer forum members may never have heard these words. I imagine Symmachus must be thinking to himself -- "Mormon Scholars Testify -- what on earth is that all about? Who could possibly care?"

Those would be great questions that I do not have an answer to. What I can say is that back around 2009, a new, flashy website was unleashed upon the world called "Mormon Scholars Testify". The site promised to deliver several new "testimonies" from LDS scholars every week. It quickly registered as somewhat of an elitist club -- what an inductee came up with in terms of testifying was optional, what was strictly enforced was a Ph.D.. Exceptions were made only for close Mopologist friends. And so, the site in practice was something of a "who's who" directory, where the Mopologists inducted themselves very early on and tooted their own horns.

When the preeminent scholar, Doctor Scratch, encountered the website for the first time, he was immediately concerned about the sustainability of the model that drove the site. He predicted an early demise. And in fact, within a few short months of life, it seems as if the site was doomed, proving him correct.

What was interesting to me about Ms. Jack's comment was her ability to speak so forthright: she has a blog, the blog isn't adding content, and so it's defunct. I mean, who cares really? Most of us probably have at least one blog if not multiple blogs that are defunct. But the apologists were very sensitive about MST, and insisted that growth was steady, if not accelerating, and that "all is well" even when all the metrics indicated it just wasn't keeping up.

I'm not sure when the transition occurred, but I checked today, and it appears that MST is no more. Well -- it's archived at fair. Yes, the URL now redirects to FAIR \ testimonies \ MST. And so if you're reading a Deseret News article from long ago that contains a link, you'll land on the hidden back pages of FAIR. A basic and drab static content archive. Good luck encountering the material any other way. FAIR does not provide a link to it anywhere that I can see. It's not even linked under the "Archive" tab. The vexing question for me is, now after all of this, would the apologists admit that MST is indeed a defunct site? Or would they insist that growth is deeply in the black?

ETA: My apologies Dr. Shades. In the spirit of Charles Anthon, I cannot link a defunct site.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Mormon Scholars Testify officially defunct?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:10 pm 
B.H. Roberts Chair of Mopologetic Studies
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:44 am
Posts: 6976
Location: Cassius University
Dr. Robbers:

Thank you very much for calling this to our attention. I am a bit chagrined to admit it, but you are right that I was right. I predicted from the start that "Mormon Scholars Testify" would peter out, and sure enough, it has pretty much come to a standstill. Meanwhile, in another corner of cyberspace, there are certain Mopologists who are over the moon in terms of bragging about the regularity of posts on the Mormon Interpreter blog (and yes: it is indeed a *BLOG*) and about how prolific the Interpreter Foundation is. The bragging about how MST was thriving lasted how long, exactly? A couple of years?

Well, whatever the case, "Mormon Scholars Testify" has now been relegated to the same sort of Mopologetic trash-heap that SHIELDS and "Enigmatic Mirror" now occupy.

_________________
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Mormon Scholars Testify officially defunct?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:38 pm 
God

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:25 pm
Posts: 6970
Is this the site where dead people were found to be testifying?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Mormon Scholars Testify officially defunct?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:03 pm 
Seedy Academician
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:00 pm
Posts: 18933
Location: The Brutus Memorial Rectory at Cassius University
Lemmie wrote:
Is this the site where dead people were found to be testifying?


That’s the one!

Well, I am really sorry to see this project mothballed. There are so many testimonies I feel denied. So many Mormon scholars who never testified. Still, I was happy to recommend a couple of my friends to DCP. It’s good to know I can still visit the archived site and read their testimonies.

What is conspicuously missing, for me, is the witness of friend of the board, Don Bradley. Now, there is a coup of a testimony from a fine Mormon historian. DCP could have had the testimony of a guy who at one time was posting here on “an obscure, mostly atheist discussion board” as an atheist ex-Mormon, but who is now a faithful re-baptized member.

It’s a shame he didn’t get to showcase that story.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Mormon Scholars Testify officially defunct?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:09 pm 
God
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:04 am
Posts: 4448
Location: Firmly on this earth
Doctor Scratch wrote:
Dr. Robbers:

Thank you very much for calling this to our attention. I am a bit chagrined to admit it, but you are right that I was right. I predicted from the start that "Mormon Scholars Testify" would peter out, and sure enough, it has pretty much come to a standstill. Meanwhile, in another corner of cyberspace, there are certain Mopologists who are over the moon in terms of bragging about the regularity of posts on the Mormon Interpreter blog (and yes: it is indeed a *BLOG*) and about how prolific the Interpreter Foundation is. The bragging about how MST was thriving lasted how long, exactly? A couple of years?

Well, whatever the case, "Mormon Scholars Testify" has now been relegated to the same sort of Mopologetic trash-heap that SHIELDS and "Enigmatic Mirror" now occupy.


And don't forget the Kerry Shirts apologetic website/blog "Mormonism Researched" the one that had all the goodies on the Book of Abraham facsimiles, is now so defunct that he assured me that he himself cannot even reach it anymore! It simply disappeared, probably due to lack of interest.

_________________
"Being and nonbeing arise mutually. Thus not to see the unity of self and other is the fear of life, and not to see the unity of being and nonbeing is the fear of death." Alan Watts

"The problem is most religions proceed to try and explain the truth and then insist that you agree with their explanation." Brad Warner


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Mormon Scholars Testify officially defunct?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:15 pm 
Son of Perdition
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:48 pm
Posts: 6862
Philo Sofee wrote:
And don't forget the Kerry Shirts apologetic website/blog "Mormonism Researched" the one that had all the goodies on the Book of Abraham facsimiles, is now so defunct that he assured me that he himself cannot even reach it anymore! It simply disappeared, probably due to lack of interest.


How can we possibly forget all that?

:lol:

_________________
SECOND TOKEN OF THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD

Be sure to check back for changes, updates, and additions


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Mormon Scholars Testify officially defunct?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:28 pm 
B.H. Roberts Chair of Mopologetic Studies
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:44 am
Posts: 6976
Location: Cassius University
Lemmie wrote:
Is this the site where dead people were found to be testifying?


Lol. I think you must be referring to the Leonard Arrington "testimony." The context is that DCP basically just went and cut-and-pasted a published testimony from Arrington. A number of us objected, saying that there is no way that Arrington--were he still alive--would have openly agreed to affiliate himself with the Mopologists. If he did do things with/for them, it would have been done in a very controlled way (think here of the way that T. Givens has allowed Interpreter to publish things, or think about Grant Hardy's involvement with the FAIR Conference; it's almost as if they are involved just to be polite, despite the fact that they are no doubt holding their noses through the whole thing), if at all. And as we probed a little further, we learned that DCP did not even bother to get permission from Arrington's family to quote the testimony. DCP's thinking seemed to be, "Hey, Arrington was Mormon, and smart, too! Plus, he's famous! Let's just copy this whole darn thing and slap it on the website!" People chastised DCP over this, and his response was to redo his sig-line so that it said "I quote dead people." What he did, though, was problematic: it amounts to a kind of puppetry where DCP was making it seem as if Arrington agreed to go along with his basic "programme" of Mopologetics, and this was done without Arrington's consent.

_________________
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Mormon Scholars Testify officially defunct?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:39 pm 
Hermit
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 11:12 pm
Posts: 7947
Location: Cave
Doctor Scratch wrote:
Hey, Arrington was Mormon, and smart, too! Plus, he's famous!


Hugh Nibley is also in the archive.

Well, if you're going to create a hall of fame to induct yourself into, then you want bring others in whose shoulders you can stand on.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Mormon Scholars Testify officially defunct?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:40 am 
θεά
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 11:06 pm
Posts: 4108
Location: Mount Prospect, IL
To be clear: ClobberBlog isn't just defunct because I'm not adding content. I let the domain registration expire and took the entire thing down. The blog started in 2008 as mostly a personal diary of whatever I felt like talking about, then blossomed into a blog on interfaith dialogue and interfaith marriage as people took interest in my story (I would have chosen a different name if I'd thought the blog would be about that from the start). In 2014, after I got divorced, I terminated the blog (and my focus on Mormonism and interfaith issues) in favor of blogging about Christian issues at Weighted Glory. My post rate there is a little infrequent, but I'm active there.

When I have something to say about Mormonism, I have other options or can submit a guest post elsewhere (as I did recently for The Exponent).

There is a plagiarized copycat blog out there somewhere that has most of my old ClobberBlog posts, but I have no idea who set that up.

All that said: when there have been no posts on a blog in over a year, but it's still up, I'd probably call that blog "inactive" rather than "defunct."

_________________
"It seems to me that these women were the head (κεφάλαιον) of the church which was at Philippi." ~ John Chrysostom, Homilies on Philippians 13

My Blogs: Weighted Glory | Worlds Without End: A Mormon Studies Roundtable | Twitter


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Mormon Scholars Testify officially defunct?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:35 pm 
God
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:32 pm
Posts: 1111
Location: Parowan, Utah
Gadianton wrote:
On a recent thread, Ms. Jack mentioned in passing a blog she has that she described as "defunct". Upon reading that sentence, three words came into my mind that I don't recall having thought about in years -- "Mormon Scholars Testify". Some of our newer forum members may never have heard these words. I imagine Symmachus must be thinking to himself -- "Mormon Scholars Testify -- what on earth is that all about? Who could possibly care?"


I certainly was thinking that when I first came upon John Gee's profile there last summer, wherein he asserts that the Egyptology is a waste of time unless his version of Mormonism is the one true reality. He also seemed to say there, though perhaps he wasn't paying full attention when he wrote his testimony, that the only imperative for accuracy in his scholarship was the possibility that he would one day have to answer to some Egyptians on the side who, presumably, have been following his published work in the issues of Göttinger Miszellen and the Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture. I'm sure the Egyptians patiently awaiting baptism in Spirit Prison are avid readers of both. Accuracy for its own sake I guess isn't as strong a motivation as the imagined threat of a post-mortal tongue lashing (or just a lashing) from Hor and Imhotep.

Quote:
ETA: My apologies Dr. Shades. In the spirit of Charles Anthon, I cannot link a defunct site.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Doctor Scratch wrote:
I think you must be referring to the Leonard Arrington "testimony." The context is that DCP basically just went and cut-and-pasted a published testimony from Arrington. A number of us objected, saying that there is no way that Arrington--were he still alive--would have openly agreed to affiliate himself with the Mopologists.


Well, at least he cited his source.

_________________
"As to any slivers of light or any particles of darkness of the past, we forget about them."

—B. Redd McConkie


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Mormon Scholars Testify officially defunct?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:42 pm 
God
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:03 pm
Posts: 2573
Location: ON, Canada
MsJack wrote:
T...

All that said: when there have been no posts on a blog in over a year, but it's still up, I'd probably call that blog "inactive" rather than "defunct."

I believe that the proper term is "less active" :smile: - or does that apply only to Mormon blogs?

_________________
NOMinal member

Maksutov: "... if you give someone else the means to always push your buttons, you're lost."


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Mormon Scholars Testify officially defunct?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:06 pm 
God
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:53 am
Posts: 3946
Location: Oregon
malkie wrote:
I believe that the proper term is "less active"


Great. I will use that the next time my family ask if I'm going to church.

_________________
"Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn’t participate enthusiastically." - Robert Kirby

Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer. -- Henry Lawson


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Mormon Scholars Testify officially defunct?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:27 am 
Founder & Visionary
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:07 pm
Posts: 12834
Location: Shady Acres Status: MODERATOR
It was inevitable that it'd be defunct sooner or later, because the number of Mormons who have Ph.D.s is finite.

If you want to talk about defunct, though, who here remembers The World Table and how it'd irrevocably change the way we all dialogue on the Internet henceforth and forever?

_________________
"[Elder] Pearson says he uses a 'black box' for those issues that bother him. . . He forgot to mention that his black box has gotten so big he had to put an addition onto his house."

--kairos, 08-08-2018


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Mormon Scholars Testify officially defunct?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:29 am 
God
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:53 am
Posts: 3946
Location: Oregon
Dr. Shades wrote:
It was inevitable that it'd be defunct sooner or later, because the number of Mormons who have Ph.D.s is finite.

If you want to talk about defunct, though, who here remembers The World Table and how it'd irrevocably change the way we all dialogue on the Internet henceforth and forever?



Here here. Wait. I don't think that lasted 6 months

_________________
"Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn’t participate enthusiastically." - Robert Kirby

Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer. -- Henry Lawson


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Mormon Scholars Testify officially defunct?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:20 am 
God

Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:17 am
Posts: 4395
Location: California
The Ex Mormon Scholars Testify website is also defunct and is up for sale.

_________________
No precept or claim is more deservedly suspect or more likely to be false than one that can only be supported by invoking the claim of Divine authority for it--no matter who or what claims such authority.

“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll hate you.”
― Harlan Ellison


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Mormon Scholars Testify officially defunct?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:04 am 
Seedy Academician
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:00 pm
Posts: 18933
Location: The Brutus Memorial Rectory at Cassius University
Gunnar wrote:
The Ex Mormon Scholars Testify website is also defunct and is up for sale.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Mormon Scholars Testify officially defunct?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:52 am 
1st Quorum of Seventy

Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:21 pm
Posts: 747
Dr. Shades wrote:
It was inevitable that it'd be defunct sooner or later, because the number of Mormons who have Ph.D.s is finite.

If you want to talk about defunct, though, who here remembers The World Table and how it'd irrevocably change the way we all dialogue on the Internet henceforth and forever?


There's a newly minted Mormon Ph.D., on average, once a week, I'm guessing (numbers suggest in the US there are 100 Mormons a year getting Ph.D.s 52,000 ph.ds a year given in the US if Mormons make up .2% of that population). Some may not have any interest in sharing their testimony I suppose. But some amount would. They could have kept it going, perhaps a slower pace, if they wanted.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Mormon Scholars Testify officially defunct?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:57 am 
Seedy Academician
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:00 pm
Posts: 18933
Location: The Brutus Memorial Rectory at Cassius University
Stem wrote:
There's a newly minted Mormon Ph.D., on average, once a week, I'm guessing (numbers suggest in the US there are 100 Mormons a year getting Ph.D.s 52,000 ph.ds a year given in the US if Mormons make up .2% of that population). Some may not have any interest in sharing their testimony I suppose. But some amount would. They could have kept it going, perhaps a slower pace, if they wanted.


Indeed they could have. I am surprised that no one was interested in picking up the baton.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Mormon Scholars Testify officially defunct?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:40 am 
Stake President
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:45 pm
Posts: 577
Gunnar wrote:
The Ex Mormon Scholars Testify website is also defunct and is up for sale.


One of those 'exmo scholars' that responds to some of the other scholars, was saved before it got shut down:

Stephen Jones wrote his testimony for the Ex-Mormon Scholars Testify website. His story and testimony is reproduced here with his permission:

When I perused the Mormon Scholars Testify website, I found that virtually all of the scholars' testimonies were simply people bearing their testimonies and not providing much scholarly reasoning to their statements. Although the point of their website is to show that there are many intelligent people out there that believe the Mormon Church is true, the fact is that there are many more intelligent people that do not believe that the Mormon Church is true. Few members know the disturbing details of actual church history. When Mormons find out the full, unaltered, non-sugar-coated history of the Mormon Church origins, many members, particularly the more educated members, begin to accept a more plausible explanation of the events they use to believe as unquestionably factual.

Testimony

The testimonies of the Mormon scholars, or anybody else, doesn't really mean anything. I've never heard a good argument to explain how a testimony is different than emotion. People of all religions have testimonies of their own religions. The Mormon testimonies are not unique. A Mormon scholar testimony means no more than a Scientologist or Jehovah's Witness' testimony.

I no longer have a testimony of the Mormon Church. I think a testimony should be in harmony with facts and science and a testimony shouldn't have to override external evidences. After objectively studying the disturbing Mormon Church issues, that aren't taught in Church, I sincerely prayed every day for years if the Church was still somehow true and I never got any answer to let me know that it was. Instead I just have a persistent thought that it isn't God's true church.

I have a Jehovah's Witness friend that I discuss religion with. I would bring up the ‘errors' in her church like the many false ‘end of the world' prophecies. To which she would reply that she had a ‘testimony' that her church was still true despite the evidence against it. People in religions all over the world say the same thing. Look at the testimonies of the followers of Warren Jeffs (former prophet of the FLDS Church). They all have testimonies too. Why is a Latter-day Saint testimony true and testimonies of other religions false?

Why I generally distrust Mormon scholars

When I was growing up in the Mormon Church, I liked the Church but didn't really have a testimony of it. I wanted to really know if the Church was true. I prayed about it after reading the BofM and didn't receive any confirmation either way. I went to the LDS bookstore and bought several books written by Mormon scholars. One that had a profound impact on me was the book The Book of Mormon on Trial by Jack West. It gave some pretty convincing evidence that the BofM was true. It showed all these big statues in Central and South America that were Egyptian as evidence that people had come across the ocean like the BofM said. It recounted conversations with Native Americans, who when asked what the name of a local mountain was, they said “Nephihah” and when asked what the name of a river was, they said “Moronihah”. That was proof to me as these are the very names given as cities and lands in the BofM. There was no way Joseph could have known that. Books like this one really helped give me a testimony that the Church was true. Why would I even think to question that a book I bought at the Church Bookstore, written by a Mormon scholar would be anything less than truthful?

In wasn't until many years later that I tried to verify the claims of the book to find out that the author, Jack West, made this stuff up. There are no Native Americans that knew those places as Nephihah and Moronihah. Those pictures of ancient statues that he said were Egyptian were actually Aztec. I was pretty unnerved to find out I had bolstered my testimony on lies made up by a Mormon scholar that seemed to believe that ‘the ends justifies the means'. Get people to believe any way you can seemed to be his philosophy. Or maybe he just wanted to sell books and made up stuff to make his case for the BofM stronger than it really was. Current LDS apologists like Kerry Shirts candidly admit Jack West and other zealous LDS authors made stuff up in their books Ida.net/Graphics

Furthermore, for almost 140 years Mormon scholars maintained that six metal plates found in Illinois, known as the Kinderhook Plates, were real Ancient American artifacts that Joseph Smith started to translate. In the book History of the Church by Joseph Smith, some eight pages are devoted to the matter: "I insert fac-similes of the six brass plates found near Kinderhook... I have translated a portion of them, and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, and that he received his Kingdom from the ruler of heaven and earth." Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., History of the Church, v. 5, p. 372

Mormon scholars cited this as additional evidence that Joseph was a prophet and that he could indeed translate ancient writings. The Kinderhook Plates and Joseph's translation of them were believed by Mormon historians to be real until they scientifically tested one of the re-discovered plates in 1980. In his book Rough Stone Rolling, LDS scholar Richard Bushman states:

“Church historians continued to insist on the authenticity of the Kinderhook plates until 1980 when an examination conducted by the Chicago Historical Society, possessor of one plate, proved it was a nineteenth-century creation. “ Rough Stone Rolling, Richard Bushman, p 490.

Now that science has proved that the Kinderhook Plates were fake, even though Mormon historians believed them to be real and used them as evidence in favor of the Church, why should we not be skeptical of other claims by Mormon scholars, especially since non-Mormon scholars totally reject the BofM as a real, historical history?

Misleading claims trying to promote the BofM as true are not confined to the Mormon scholars of the past. Rodney Meldrum, author, researcher and president of the Foundation for Indigenous Research and Mormonism (FIRM) is gaining a following by hosting conferences, tours and cruises where he unleashes a never-ending supply of evidence that the BofM took place in North America like the early church taught. Most Mormon scholars strongly disagree with Brother Meldrum and his evidence and of his personal testimony, yet more and more Mormons are bearing testimony of Brother Meldrum's false evidences. Book of Mormon Evidences

With that bias, I would caution any Mormon from blindly believing Mormon scholars' tales that show evidence for the BofM without thoroughly investigating those claims. On the other hand, some of the Mormon scholars, like Richard Bushman, seem to be pretty honorable in their approach to church history.

I'd like to address a couple of the things that the Mormon scholars testified about:

Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon is basically about two groups of peoples that lived in the Americas some 1,000 years apart. They were steel-smelting, chariot-driving, temple-building people that grew so numerous that 2 Million people died in a single battle. Yet there is absolutely no evidence that any of these people ever existed. The BofM is not backed up by any archeological, anthropological or linguistic evidence. There is no evidence of any Hebrew culture in the Americas as you would expect from descendants of Israel as is the premise of the BofM. DNA evidence indicate that the natives of the Americas originated from Siberia, and probably came across the Bering Strait, just as scientists have thought for decades and not from the Middle East.

Isn't it strange that we have found much evidence of many other cultures that existed in the Americas like the Aztecs, Mayans,Toltecs, etc. yet not a single Nephite coin, steel sword, armor, or ‘Reformed Egyptian‘ writing has ever been found which is unbelievable considering the span of Jaredites, Nephites & Lamanites which numbered in the millions over the almost 3,000 years that these various peoples reportedly flourished.

There are so many anachronisms in the BofM such as the numerous animals, plants, metals, and cultural artifacts mentioned in the BofM like horses, elephants, wheat, barley, steel, silk, etc. that it seems inconceivable that the BofM could be historically accurate. According to the BofM, the travelers from the Old World of course brought the greatest invention of all time with them – the wheel, which they used to make chariots as mentioned many times in the BofM. There have never been any chariots or other wheeled objects found in Ancient America except for perhaps some small toys. Also, they used this knowledge to make chariots, and presumably other wheeled inventions, but somehow the entire knowledge of this most useful invention was lost and not used by their descendants. This is very improbable.

The list of reasons why the BofM is not really a historical document is very long and well-researched. I encourage serious believers in the BofM to review them.

Arabian Peninsula Evidence for the BofM?

In Jeff Lindsay's testimony he states “many impressive evidences for plausibility have been found (I will simply mention the Arabian Peninsula evidence as a starting point for those interested)”. He apparently is referring to a stone found in Yemen with the letters NHM on it which some Mormons are touting as the first real archeological evidence in support of the BofM. This is really grasping at straws to say this single stone found in Yemen, with three letters on it (which could mean anything), validates the millions of BofM people that reportedly lived in the Americas for which there is no evidence for. Surprisingly, this isn't making headlines as you would expect for evidence that some over-zealous Mormons say proves the BofM true.

The Book of Abraham

Despite what LDS Egyptologist John Gee claims, the Book of Abraham is extremely damaging to the Mormon faith. The fact is that the canonized title page of the Book of Abraham said it was translated from Egyptian papyri. Much of that papyri was found in 1966 and it has nothing to do with Abraham. We know it was used in the translation of the Book of Abraham because the characters match up with Joseph Smith's Book of Alphabet and Grammar. Also, these papyri fragments were connected directly to the facsimiles in the Book of Abraham so isn't it logical that they refer to them instead of being about a totally different subject?

The Facsimiles

There simply is no reasonable explanation for Joseph's mistranslation of the facsimiles in the Book of Abraham proposed by the Mormon scholars that makes any sense at all. There isn't one non-Mormon Egyptologist that gives any credence to the Mormon scholars' wild theories to explain this severe problem. Joseph was very specific in identifying the very Egyptian characters in the facsimiles that he gave translations for such as:

Facsimile#3, explanation of figure 2, Joseph writes: "King Pharaoh, whose name is given in the characters above his head." What those characters above his head really say is: "The great Isis, mother of the god."

Facsimile 3, explanation 4 reads: "Prince of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, as written above the hand." Above the hand it actually says "Ma'at, Lady of the West."

Facsimile 3, explanation 5 reads: "Shulem, one of the King's principal waiters, as represented by the characters above his hand." What those characters actually say is "Osiris Hor, the justified forever."

How can anyone say Joseph was right on these specific translations when he identifies the very Egyptian characters that he is translating? Egyptologists are in total agreement that they mean something totally different than what Joseph Smith claimed.

Regarding Mormon Scholar John Gee's interpretations, I read his former professor's analysis of it – Robert Ritner. Ritner states of Gee's writings ”Such interpretations are uninspired fantasies and are defended only with the forfeiture of scholarly judgement and credibility."Link is here.

Note the footnotes on the first page where he goes into detail explaining why Gee is wrong. I'm no Egyptologist and certainly any of these guys can BS me but they can't BS each other. I'm inclined to believe Ritner and every other Egyptologist in the world over the two Egyptologists that are on the Church's payroll.

Professor Ritner's interpretation of the papyri is typical of what every nonMormon Egyptologist that has been asked to look at the papyri has stated. There are no nonMormon Egyptologists that agree with Joseph Smith's interpretations of the papyri. Not one of the nonMormon Egyptologists agree with any of the LDS scholars' reasoning either.

A question for John Gee: Do you really think if they found the rest of the papyri that it would support Joseph's translations? None of the existing fragments mention Abraham at all and I doubt any missing ones do either. And this still wouldn't explain Joseph's incorrect explanations of the facsimiles.

Mormon vs non-Mormon Scholars

Which makes more sense to you? Should you believe the 99.99% of Egyptologists in the world that would say Joseph Smith incorrectly translated the facsimiles in the Book of Abraham or the two Mormon Egyptologists that try to come up with wild, absurd explanations to show that somehow Joseph was correct in his Egyptian facsimile translations?

Should you believe non-Mormon historians that believe the Mormon temple ceremonies originated from Masonry in the Middle Ages with no specific ties to ancient ceremonies or Mormon Scholars who claim, with only speculation, that the Masonry and Temple rituals are directly descended from some ancient ceremonies practiced by the Jews and early Christians that they apparently got directly from God?

Should you believe the non-Mormon scientists that explain how the early Native Americans likely came to America from Siberia by crossing the Bering Strait long ago or Mormon scholars that support the BofM account that Israelites crossed the ocean in submarines lit by magic stones?

Conclusion

There are so many, many, many more serious problems with Mormonism that the church leaders refuse to address and they let these Mormon scholars attempt to answer them presumably so the Church can't be held accountable for the answers if they are later proved wrong. Examples would be when the early leaders said blacks were cursed in the pre-existence or that the American Indians were the principle ancestors of the Lamanites (The Church recently has reworded the introduction in future editions of the BofM to accommodate the correction).

Many LDS members, that trust the answers provided by the Mormon scholars, don't realize that often the scholars give answers that are in direct opposition to what the General Authorities have said. Members are then tasked with the difficult dilemma of whether to support their leaders or trust the scholars. For example, Mormon scholar Jeff Lindsay doesn't believe that Noah's flood was global yet the prophets have stated that clearly in conference talks. For example Donald Parry boldly declared in the January 1998 Ensign “we Latter-day Saints believe that Noah was an actual man, a prophet of God, who preached repentance and raised a voice of warning, built an ark, gathered his family and a host of animals onto the ark, and floated safely away as waters covered the entire earth. We are assured that these events actually occurred by the multiple testimonies of God's prophets.” So who are you going to believe – the church leaders and Mormon scriptures or Mormon scholars?

If you support the scholars and ignore the General Authorities on various subjects like Noah's Flood, Adam and Eve, Tower of Babel, Age of the Earth, BofM geography, Book of Abraham origins, etc. then perhaps you should consider that maybe the LDS prophets are wrong about other things fundamental to the Mormon Church?

There are so many issues that most members don't know about that may change their view of the church's claims of being the one, true church. Like why did Joseph Smith marry 11 women that were already married? Even the Mormon scholars admit that he likely had sex with them. How can that be justified? Why does the LDS temple ceremony have the same signs and tokens (and many other similarities) as the Masonry rituals? The Mormon scholars admit that the often-told church response that the Masons had the original ceremony from Solomon's time is not true and that the Masons originated in the Middle Ages and their ceremonies have nothing in common with Solomon's temple rituals.

The Kinderhook Plates clearly show that Joseph Smith wasn't above deceiving people to get people to believe he was a prophet. This is only the tip of the iceberg about things that should be taught to investigators before they join the Church. There are about 20 significant, very disturbing issues in the Mormon Church that every member should look at before accepting the Church's claims as being God's one, true church.

I would encourage every Latter-day Saint to study at least some of the true details of the Church history for themselves to see how it compares to what they've been taught in Church and what seems more likely. A good place to begin is using the links provided on this website. You'll be amazed at just how many serious problems there are with Mormonism and how the Church responds if you bring them up.

Stephen Jones has both a Master's degree and Bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University. He is a successful businessman with a wife and two children. Stephen and his family live in the Park City area of Utah where he is an avid reader of all things Mormon. In his many church callings, Stephen went above and beyond what most gospel doctrine teachers do when they prepare for lessons. His research of Mormonism's beginnings is what led to his unbelief in the LDS Church. When he was still an active member of the LDS Church, Stephen compiled much information on two areas of Mormon study that he was very interested in - The Book of Abraham and the Kinderhook Plates. He authored most of those two sections of the MormonThink website.

http://www.mormonthink.com/personalstor ... -jones.htm


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Mormon Scholars Testify officially defunct?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:00 pm 
God

Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:17 am
Posts: 4395
Location: California
That quote from Stephen Jones closely mirrors my own eventual disillusionment about LDS truth claims. I haven't studied these issues nearly as extensively as he did, but enough to convince me that Mormonism is far from what it claims to be. The first big chink in my testimony was the realization, as he pointed out, that most, if not all, religions claim with equal fervor that their mutually contradictory testimonies based on their faith in divine inspiration are true and infallible. There can be no stronger evidence than that of the inherent unreliability of that approach to discerning truth!

_________________
No precept or claim is more deservedly suspect or more likely to be false than one that can only be supported by invoking the claim of Divine authority for it--no matter who or what claims such authority.

“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll hate you.”
― Harlan Ellison


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Mormon Scholars Testify officially defunct?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:54 pm 
God
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:32 pm
Posts: 1111
Location: Parowan, Utah
You know, I find something rather insidious and distasteful about both projects. Except in a court case as an expert witness, it's not the role of a scholar to testify. The phrase "scholars testify" (on either side of the believing line) seems as ridiculous to me as "rabbis hypothesize" or "pastors prove" or "imams demonstrate."

_________________
"As to any slivers of light or any particles of darkness of the past, we forget about them."

—B. Redd McConkie


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 27 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 24 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Revival Theme By Brandon Designs By B.Design-Studio © 2007-2008 Brandon
Revival Theme Based off SubLite By Echo © 2007-2008 Echo
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group