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 Post subject: Was no answer a seminal event in Mormon apologetics?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:38 pm 
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Quote:
Book of Mormon Studies

Regarded as the foremost Mormon theologian of his day, Roberts was given a letter with questions about the Book of Mormon from a skeptic to answer. The nature of the questions:

•when the Jews landed in the New World (600 B.C.) is not enough time to explain the diversity of native Indian languages.
•Horses were introduced to the Americas by the Spaniards, thus their appearance in the Book of Mormon is an anachronisms.
•The use of steel in the Book of Mormon is an anachronism.
•The use of scimitars (an Arabian sword) in an anachronism.
•The use of silk was unknown to the Americas.

Unsatisfied with his inability to provide adequate answers to these questions, Roberts requested a meeting with the church's apostles. Roberts figured that since the church claimed to be led by continuous revelation, this matter required revelation to answer it.

Roberts went to work and investigated it from every angle but could not answer it satisfactorily to himself. At his request Pres. Grant called a meeting of the Twelve Apostles and Bro. Roberts presented the matter, told them frankly that he was stumped and ask for their aide in the explanation. In answer, they merely one by one stood up and bore their testimony to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon... Bro. Roberts could not criticize them for not being able to answer it or to assist him, but said that in a Church which claimed continuous revelation, a crisis had arisen where revelation was necessary.

After the meeting he wrote Pres. Grant expressing his disappointment at the failure... These are some of the things which has made Bro. Roberts shift his base on the Book of Mormon. Instead of regarding it as the strongest evidence we have of Church Divinity, he regards it as the one which needs the most bolstering.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
B. H. Roberts conversation with Wesley P. Lloyd, BYU Dean, recorded in his personal journal
As quoted in Studies of the Book of Mormon, p.23-24


Was this bolded portion a seminal event in Mormon Apologetics?

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 Post subject: Re: Was no answer a seminal event in Mormon apologetics?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:51 pm 
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In a sense, I think it was, Moksha. Certainly it prefigures the modern-day phenomenon we know as "Mormon Scholars Testify." Nowadays, though, if Roberts tried to pull something like this, he would have received a blistering treatment from the FARMS Review, and he probably would have been aggressively harassed by Lou Midgley. Maybe some heckling would have taken place, too. Perhaps Tvetnes would have tried to interfere with his career advancement.

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 Post subject: Re: Was no answer a seminal event in Mormon apologetics?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:58 pm 
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Doctor Scratch wrote:
In a sense, I think it was, Moksha. Certainly it prefigures the modern-day phenomenon we know as "Mormon Scholars Testify." Nowadays, though, if Roberts tried to pull something like this, he would have received a blistering treatment from the FARMS Review, and he probably would have been aggressively harassed by Lou Midgley. Maybe some heckling would have taken place, too. Perhaps Tvetnes would have tried to interfere with his career advancement.

And DCP would have contacted B H Roberts' father, to make sure he knew as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Was no answer a seminal event in Mormon apologetics?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:16 pm 
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I have a copy of the entire Lloyd journal entry, as well as a lot of other portions of Lloyd's journal, in my files. I read it in preparing my paper on the "B.H. Roberts-lost-his-testimony" claim several years ago:

http://www.fairlds.org/Book_of_Mormon/Anti-Mormon_Claims_that_BH_Roberts_Lost_His_Testimony.html

I find deliberate focus on this, and equally deliberate avoidance of other things Roberts said (and conveniently contained in "Studies of the Book of Mormon") very interesting in light of the whitewashing, Level A,B,C history, etc. It's certainly a two-way street, isn't it? Critics of the Church engage in avoidance of issues and items and deliberate omissions that undermine their narrative every bit as much as they claim TBMs/Mopologists do.

I do think this whole 1922-1933 saga was a "seminal event" in Mormon apologetics, but not for the same reason moksha thinks. Roberts' "lawyer brief" listing of predicted areas of attack (and emphasis on preemptively dedicating resources and effort to answering) has been uncreatively been the exact course critics have followed, after his annihilation of the Spaulding theory.

It's also interesting that Roberts gave a very effective written answer to William Riter's questions (summarized by moksha above), which is also conveniently located in "Studies of the Book of Mormon" (but never referred to by critics seeking to portray these questions as unanswerable for Roberts and leading to his agonizing and crippling doubt). This answer included discussion of a Limited Geography as well as discussion of Book of Mormon peoples being among numerically superior indigenous peoples. These apologetic approaches were supposed to have been frantically and desperately cooked up during the DNA "Galileo events" of the early 2000s.


Last edited by McKay Jones on Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Was no answer a seminal event in Mormon apologetics?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:21 pm 
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McKay: Which part of the account is incorrect, in your view? Do you think that Roberts was lying when he described the Brethren's reaction? And how, in your opinion, does this other material you allude to affect the fact that the Brethren responded to his inquiries by bearing their testimonies?

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 Post subject: Re: Was no answer a seminal event in Mormon apologetics?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:48 pm 
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Doctor Scratch wrote:
McKay: Which part of the account is incorrect, in your view? Do you think that Roberts was lying when he described the Brethren's reaction?


Before people start throwing around phrases like "Roberts was lying," we need to keep in mind that the source is a journal entry from a former missionary who served under Roberts in the Eastern States mission who visited Roberts shortly before his death (and as he was very ill and despondent). In other words, we don't have Roberts' words at all, we have Lloyd's journal representation of the conversation, a second-hand source.

I think many people have had the experience of writing down a version of events and things that were said that was highly colored by their own mood, temperament, reaction, etc. that turns out to be a less than accurate representation of how the other person/people would portray it, or what they were thinking they said and what the impression was. At the time of this conversation, Roberts was near death and suffering from complications of diabetes (he had recently had a foot amputated). Lloyd's journal entry, in its entirety, chronicles a "busy and important day" for Lloyd, which included several private meetings, a family reunion, a trip into town, and his three and a half hour talk with Roberts, his former mission president. The entry describes his conversation with Roberts chronologically, with the following topics preceding the discussion of the Book of Mormon:

1. Roberts' ordeal trying to get The Truth, the Way, the Life published by the Church. According to Lloyd, Roberts categorized former apostle Orson Hyde as "a more important and more qualified Apostle than Joseph Fielding Smith." This portion of the entry ends with this comment:

"The battle, however, was tabled and his book remains unpublished but will be published under his own direction without Church backing if he can raise the money (He offered to resign)."

2. Roberts' assessment of current missionary policies. Lloyd wrote that Roberts "said we were kidding ourselves in regard to its effectiveness, that the missionaries were too often going out apologetically and that our present mode of refusing to let Elders go into the field until they had a guarantee of financial backing was in opposition to the spirit of missionary work as Joseph Smith organized it."

3. Roberts' thoughts on Brigham Young, who, Roberts explained, "was not a logical man in the sense that Joseph Smith was logical and that our present authoritative dictatorship in Church government was an outgrowth of Brigham Young's practice and that Joseph Smith was much more democratic." Roberts also noted, according to Lloyd, that "when some good historian uncovers the real facts of his stand during the Johnston Army episode, some of his glory or fame will diminish."

I think it's clear that Roberts's tone contributed heavily to how Lloyd recorded it. Those who are familiar with Roberts' writings because they have read them (not just selected excerpts) have a better feel for Roberts' personality and temperament. He was cocky, arrogant, and judgmental (and I say this as a B.H.-ophile. I'm a big fan of Roberts). He often spoke about other general authorities in a manner that we would find today to be conceited and rude. And this carries over into Lloyd's representation.

Quote:
And how, in your opinion, does this other material affect the fact that the Brethren responded to his inquiries by bearing their testimonies?


Well, clearly Roberts looked down on his brethren (and his superiors) because they weren't a brilliant as him. And he was always very clear that he did not care for their lack of concern about future attacks, or their failure to see the coming challenge as seriously as he did. Couple this with his colorful speaking style, and you have a picture similar to what Lloyd recorded, but not with the same ramifications and implications that modern critics and malcontents seek to glean from it. Lloyd certainly wasn't thrown for a loop, as evidenced by subsequent journal entries and how his life turned out (he was later a bishop).


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 Post subject: Re: Was no answer a seminal event in Mormon apologetics?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:23 am 
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McKay Jones:

BH is a hero of mine. After reading his Autobiography (Edited by Gary James Bergera) many years back, I was shocked at the other Brethren's treatment of him. This was my first exposure to the concept that the FP and GA's were not always up on a pedestal of consistent theology, of the one and only true church, filled with nothing but brotherly love for each other.

Unlike his favored peer, Talmage, it seemed to me that BH was shunned by the others. I gather much of this was based on differing theology more so than personality traits. My take is that Talmage helped steer the ship in the direction Smith wanted, while BH held true to that which he had learned from the journals and his official position as the Church Historian.

I don't believe you're portraying BH's aggressive personal traits as the reason he was disliked and remained virtually unknown to even 1970's TBM's is not all together accurate or fair. BH was shut down and silenced, at that time and in history for reasons well beyond his personality.


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 Post subject: Re: Was no answer a seminal event in Mormon apologetics?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:57 am 
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Let's have the whole of the Lloyd journal entry, as quoted in the article by Mckay Jones - although Jones' article is a second hand source, I think we can trust him to have transcribed it correctly enough for us to make up our minds as to its import:

Quote:
The Wesley P. Lloyd Journal

In defending Elder Roberts against innuendo that he lost his testimony of the Book of Mormon in later life, a journal entry from one of his former missionaries in the Eastern States Mission must be considered. Wesley P. Lloyd spoke with his former mission president for three and a half hours on August 7, 1933, just forty-four days before Roberts' death. His journal entry is used by anti-Mormons to insinuate that Roberts doubted the Church's version of Book of Mormon origins at this point in his life. Here is the relevant portion of the entry:

The conversation then drifted to the Book of Mormon and this surprising story he related to me. That while he was Pres. of the Eastern States Mission a Logan man by the name of Riter persuaded a scholarly friend who was a student in Washington to read through and to criticize the Book of Mormon. The criticism that the student made was that at the time of the discovery of America there were fifty eight distinct languages in existence among the American Indians, not dialects but languages as different as English is from Spanish and that all human knowledge indicates that fundamental languages change very slowly whereas at the time of the Book of Mormon the people were supposed to have been speaking all one tongue. The student asked Riter to explain that proposition. Riter sent the letter to Dr. Talmage who studied it over and during a trip east asked Brother Roberts to make a careful investigation and study and to get an answer for the letter. Roberts went to work and investigated it from every angle but could not answer it satisfactorily to himself. At his request Pres. Grant called a meeting of the Twelve Apostles and Bro. Roberts presented the matter, told them frankly that he was stumped and ask for their aid in the explanation. In answer, they merely one by one stood up and bore testimony to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. George Albert Smith in tears testified that his faith in the Book had not been shaken by the question. Pres. Ivins, the man most likely to be able to answer a question on that subject was unable to provide the solution. No answer was available. Bro. Roberts could not criticize them for not being able to answer it or to assist him, but said that in a Church which claimed continuous revelation, a crisis had arisen where revelation was necessary. After the meeting, he wrote Pres. Grant expressing his disappointment at the failure of Pres. Ivins to contribute to the problem. It was mentioned at the meeting by Bro Roberts that there were other Book of Mormon problems that needed special attention. Richard R. Lyman spoke up and ask if they were things that would help our prestige and when Bro Roberts answered no, he said then why discuss them. This attitude was too much for the historically minded Roberts. There was however a committee appointed to study this problem, consisting of Bros Talmage, Ballard, Roberts, and one other Apostle. They met and looked vacantly at one and other, but none seemed to know what to do about it. Finally, Bro Roberts mentioned that he had at least attempted an answer and he had it in his drawer. That it was an answer that would satisfy people that didn't think, but a very inadequate answer to a thinking man. They asked him to read it and after hearing it they adopted it by vote and said that was about the best they could do. After this Bro Roberts made a special Book of Mormon study. Treated the problem systematically and historically and in a 400 type written page thesis set forth a revolutionary article on the origin of the Book of Mormon and sent it to Pres. Grant. It's an article far too strong for the average Church member but for the intellectual group he considers it a contribution to assist in explaining Mormonism. He swings to a psychological explanation of the Book of Mormon and shows that the plates were not objective but subjective with Joseph Smith. That his exceptional imagination qualified him psychologically for the experience which he had in presenting to the world the Book of Mormon and that the plates with the Urim and Thummim were not objective. He explained certain literary difficulties in the Book such as the miraculous incident of the entire nation of the Jaredites, the dramatic story of one man being left on each side, and one of them finally being slain, also the New England flat hill surroundings of a great civilization of another part of the country. We see none of the cliffs of the Mayas or the high mountain peaks or other geographical environments of early American civilization that the entire story laid in a New England flat hill surrounding. These are some of the things which have made Bro Roberts shift his base on the Book of Mormon. Instead of regarding it as the strongest evidence we have of the Church Divinity, he regards it as the one which needs the more bolstering. His greatest claim for the divinity of the Prophet Joseph lies in the Doctrine and Covenants.


Unless we have other evidence that Lloyd was a rather recklessly untruthful or inaccurate person in regard to important matters relating to people he can be expected to have regarded with respect, it is not easy to read this without concluding that there is a considerable likelihood that the broad lines of this account are true, at least as regards what B.H. Roberts said to Lloyd about it at that particular meeting, when both of them must have known that Roberts was not far from death.

McKay Jones article is titled "Evasive Ignorance: Anti-Mormon Claims that B.H. Roberts Lost His Testimony". Personally, my experience of the extreme elasticity in many intelligent individuals - I would say particularly in intelligent individuals - of beliefs absorbed in childhood against almost any negative evidence gives me no reason to expect that someone in B.H. Roberts' situation would have ended up "losing his testimony". That is not the issue raised by the OP in this thread, in any case.

The point is, rather, what appears to have been the lack of ability in the leadership of the CoJCoLDS in Roberts' day not so much to answer, as merely to acknowledge, the kind of problems that Roberts (in my view) quite rightly identified as likely to be central to any educated person's reactions to the Book of Mormon.

Are there any signs that a modern B.H. Roberts talking to the Twelve would do better? (I leave aside the fact that the Twelve have since taken firm steps to make sure that members of the CoJCoLDS are no longer permitted to trouble them directly with such problems.)

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 Post subject: Re: Was no answer a seminal event in Mormon apologetics?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:44 am 
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That doesn't really answer my question, McKay. Sure: perhaps Roberts looked down his nose at the GAs, thought they were less intelligent, etc. And sure: the account is from the Lloyd journal. That said, is there any reason to doubt the account about them bearing their testimonies? Do you think that they "actually" did something else?

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 Post subject: Re: Was no answer a seminal event in Mormon apologetics?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:12 pm 
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Quote:
Was this bolded portion a seminal event in Mormon Apologetics?


Only for Roberts. I can answer those questions to most people's satisfaction. In deference to Roberts though, he probably didn't have anywhere near as much experience as I do with antiMormons.

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 Post subject: Re: Was no answer a seminal event in Mormon apologetics?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:22 am 
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bcspace wrote:
Quote:
Was this bolded portion a seminal event in Mormon Apologetics?


Only for Roberts. I can answer those questions to most people's satisfaction. In deference to Roberts though, he probably didn't have anywhere near as much experience as I do with antiMormons.


I suspect your experience far exceeded his in being acquainted with antimormons. He had only his wits and knowledge of the history of the Church with which to begin answering those questions that stumped him. I suspect he was hoping that there could be both some added insight and perhaps even newly revealed information that could help answer these dilemma-type questions.

Having access to the FAIR database, could you provide those answers to Brother Roberts in five numbered short sentences? BTW, don't you find that the testimonies themselves are adequate when actual answers are absent?

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 Post subject: Re: Was no answer a seminal event in Mormon apologetics?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 5:50 am 
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McKay Jones wrote:
I find deliberate focus on this, and equally deliberate avoidance of other things Roberts said (and conveniently contained in "Studies of the Book of Mormon") very interesting in light of the whitewashing, Level A,B,C history, etc. It's certainly a two-way street, isn't it? Critics of the Church engage in avoidance of issues and items and deliberate omissions that undermine their narrative every bit as much as they claim TBMs/Mopologists do.


Now that is some good, old fashioned Mormon hyperbole, Brigham Young-style. What monolithic organization do the critics all belong to and as part of which intentionally 'correlate' out uncomfortable points? What critics-agreed-upon narrative are you talking about? Critics are not in the business, as is COTPOTCOJCOLDS, of fashioning a storyline to be used for the subjugation of people (out of fear of 'god') to a bureaucracy made up of the likes of BKP, obsessed over young boys' little factories. Critics are not in the business, as is COTPOTCOJCOLDS, of fashioning a storyline to be used for the collection of 10%.

Critics thrive on facts and reason. That such casts an illuminating light on COTPOTCOJCOLDS for all to see its warts--well, why you'd need to resort to hyperbole becomes clearly evident.

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 Post subject: Re: Was no answer a seminal event in Mormon apologetics?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:48 pm 
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"In other words, we don't have Roberts' words at all, we have Lloyd's journal representation of the conversation, a second-hand source."
Once again, preserving lds-inc deniability like with the kinderhook plates?

How interesting that none of the top dogs asked the holy ghost, for the truth of all things stuff? Didn't they trust him?

So, tell us what the answers are. Should be pretty simple.

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 Post subject: Re: Was no answer a seminal event in Mormon apologetics?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:14 pm 
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RockSlider wrote:
McKay Jones:

BH is a hero of mine.


Mine, too! I tried desperately to come up with a name for our last son with the initials B.H., but it just wouldn’t work (all of my sons’ names stem from my line of authority).

Quote:
After reading his Autobiography (Edited by Gary James Bergera) many years back, I was shocked at the other Brethren's treatment of him. This was my first exposure to the concept that the FP and GA's were not always up on a pedestal of consistent theology, of the one and only true church, filled with nothing but brotherly love for each other.


Roberts’ autobiography is one of my favorite books, and when read, it should squarely put to rest any doubt about his testimony of the Book of Mormon or the Church in his last decade of life (just look at when it was dictated to one of his missionaries relative to when he died relative to the whole Book of Mormon studies timeframe --- it, and “The Truth, the Way, the Life” were the last things he wrote).

I think people sometimes run into trouble when their romanticized, cardboard cutout notions about what prophets and apostles must be like are dispelled. It’s always good when people can learn that prophets and apostles put their pants on one leg at a time like everyone else without losing their faith. This means that they, too, can have a bad day or have character traits/flaws they need to work on.

Quote:
Unlike his favored peer, Talmage, it seemed to me that BH was shunned by the others. I gather much of this was based on differing theology more so than personality traits. My take is that Talmage helped steer the ship in the direction Smith wanted, while BH held true to that which he had learned from the journals and his official position as the Church Historian.


I’ve never thought of it quite this way before, but I think there might be something to this as you lay it out here.

Quote:
I don't believe your portraying BH's aggressive personal traits as the reason he was disliked and remained virtually unknown to even 1970's TBM's is all together accurate or fair. BH was shut down and silenced, at that time and in history for reasons well beyond his personality.


I don't think it's accurate at all to say that Roberts was virtually unknown to TBMS until the 1970s. He edited DHC, with its lengthy introductions to each volume, and he wrote CHC, which used to be ubiquitous in LDS homes (I have my grandparents set).

I don’t think he was silenced so much as his abrasive manner and lack of patience with people, (Madsen and McMurrin describe him as a “buzz saw” in the introductory material in SotBoM, which fits him perfectly, I think) create this impression. One of the essays at the back of “TWL” puts things in good perspective: Roberts’ life was really a series of major conflicts, one after another. The rough and tumble tussles with anti-Mormons, his loner position against women’s suffrage in Utah (contrary to most of the Church and all of the Brethren), arrest for polygamy, the fight to be seated in the U.S. House of Representatives, etc. are just the tip of the iceberg. He was the right man with the right native talent at the right time for the Church, and we feel his effects and influence today. He also was isolated mainly due to these special talents and abilities. Geniuses and eigenartig people usually are.

I’m glad you reminded me about Roberts’ autobiography, because the part right at the end of it illustrates pretty well what I’m getting at. Roberts includes an exchange with President Heber J. Grant about a point of doctrine regarding the seventies (he was one of the seven general presidents of the quorums of the seventy) near the time of the dictation of his autobiography. Roberts is, as always, pugnacious, aggressive, and arrogant. I found him very persuasive about his position, and it was not a position President Grant ultimately went with. The thing to note in the exchange is that President Grant was calm, gracious, and classy, and Roberts was not. That wasn’t his personality or character, and never was, although he would have been furious to hear anyone disparage President Grant or the prophets. Yet, he didn’t shrink from frankness that bordered on rudeness in arguing for his position and against others’ --- even the President of the Church. And this has an important bearing on his reported statement to Wesley Lloyd that the Brethren simply bore their testimonies in response to the issues he wanted them to take seriously. Roberts could and did, simultaneously, respect their position while being extremely impatient and dismissive of their (to him) lack of concern or seeing eye-to-eye about the importance of being able to effectively answer more sophisticated attacks than the Church was used to. In other words, he wasn’t mocking the Brethren bearing their testimonies in response, he was expressing his frustration that they didn’t share his temperament and outlook. And I think he would be shocked and furious at the use critics and malcontents attempt to make of him and his manner.


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 Post subject: Re: Was no answer a seminal event in Mormon apologetics?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:24 pm 
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Chap wrote:
Unless we have other evidence that Lloyd was a rather recklessly untruthful or inaccurate person in regard to important matters relating to people he can be expected to have regarded with respect, it is not easy to read this without concluding that there is a considerable likelihood that the broad lines of this account are true, at least as regards what B.H. Roberts said to Lloyd about it at that particular meeting, when both of them must have known that Roberts was not far from death.


I agree. I have never argued that Lloyd is unreliable or inaccurate. But I also don’t think I am, either, and I have found that I have recorded notes and impressions that have differed substantially from what other participants felt, or what they think they said (and how they think they said it).

Quote:
McKay Jones' article is titled "Evasive Ignorance: Anti-Mormon Claims that B.H. Roberts Lost His Testimony". Personally, my experience of the extreme elasticity in many intelligent individuals - I would say particularly in intelligent individuals - of beliefs absorbed in childhood against almost any negative evidence gives me no reason to expect that someone in B.H. Roberts' situation would have ended up "losing his testimony". That is not the issue raised by the OP in this thread, in any case.


Maybe moksha doesn't think that Roberts lost his testimony over this "seminal event in Mormon apologetics." I agree. The notion that Roberts was a closet doubter is ridiculous.

Quote:
The point is, rather, what appears to have been the lack of ability in the leadership of the CoJCoLDS in Roberts' day not so much to answer, as merely to acknowledge, the kind of problems that Roberts (in my view) quite rightly identified as likely to be central to any educated person's reactions to the Book of Mormon.


Again, agreed. This sounds reasonable to me. Well said!

Quote:
Are there any signs that a modern B.H. Roberts talking to the Twelve would do better? (I leave aside the fact that the Twelve have since taken firm steps to make sure that members of the CoJCoLDS are no longer permitted to trouble them directly with such problems.)


I think a latter-day B.H. Roberts would be able to speak his mind at least as much as Roberts, and would probably have a much better probability of having more of an immediate impact. There is, you know, all those funds the Brethren pump into FAIR/FARMS . . . :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Was no answer a seminal event in Mormon apologetics?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:29 pm 
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Doctor Scratch wrote:
That doesn't really answer my question, McKay. Sure: perhaps Roberts looked down his nose at the GAs, thought they were less intelligent, etc. And sure: the account is from the Lloyd journal. That said, is there any reason to doubt the account about them bearing their testimonies? Do you think that they "actually" did something else?


Not about them bearing their testimonies, no. But the particular slant and innuendo that malcontents and critics place on “just” bearing their testimonies? Or that Roberts meant by “bearing their testimonies” what modern critics and malcontents mean when they sneeringly deride it? Yes.

I think it’s clear that what he meant was that they affirmed the foundational items of the Church without seriously taking up the nuts and bolts of the types of sophisticated attacks that he (rightly) thought would affect the faith and confidence of what he called “thinking people.” And that he found this lack of concern frustrating and (to him) unrelatable.


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 Post subject: Re: Was no answer a seminal event in Mormon apologetics?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:35 pm 
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moksha wrote:
I suspect your experience far exceeded his in being acquainted with antimormons. He had only his wits and knowledge of the history of the Church with which to begin answering those questions that stumped him. I suspect he was hoping that there could be both some added insight and perhaps even newly revealed information that could help answer these dilemma-type questions.


B.H. Roberts? He had more experience with anti-Mormons, both overall and in the trenches, than anyone today.

I think more than anything he would have appreciated some sharing of the load. Being the sole go-to guy can get lonely and tiring.

Quote:
Having access to the FAIR database, could you provide those answers to Brother Roberts in five numbered short sentences?


What's the "FAIR database?" The search features on the web site and fairwiki.org are equal opportunity --- you can search as well as anyone else, FAIR members included.

His (very capable, even for the 1920s) response to William Riter’s five questions are on pages 51-55 of “Studies of the Book of Mormon.” I note again that part of his response included the FARMS/FAIR Limited Geography Model and discussion about Lehi’s colony being vastly outnumbered and incorporated by native indigenous peoples. These are supposed to be explanations that Mopologists frantically cooked up under the duress of the DNA “Galileo events” of the early 2000s.

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BTW, don't you find that the testimonies themselves are adequate when actual answers are absent?


It depends on the person and the nature of the Just-Bearing-Your-Testimony™ For some people, they are, and for others, they aren’t. Especially when they are pre-determined not to be open to the explanations.


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 Post subject: Re: Was no answer a seminal event in Mormon apologetics?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:39 pm 
Nursery

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sock puppet wrote:
Now that is some good, old fashioned Mormon hyperbole, Brigham Young-style. What monolithic organization do the critics all belong to and as part of which intentionally 'correlate' out uncomfortable points?


Nobody has said that critics and malcontents are part of a “monolithic organization.” I simply referred to the attempts to use B.H. Roberts as a stick to beat the Church as an example of critics doing exactly what they accuse The Church™, Mopologists™, etc. of doing. I have never seen anybody using B.H. Roberts’ Book of Mormon studies to undermine confidence in the Book of Mormon who has honestly treated or dealt with the mountain of information that contradicts this. And while many are simply parroting what they have read or seen and have not even read the studies or Roberts’ writings, at some point conscious decisions are made as to what to include and emphasize, and what to leave out. Critics and malcontents make every bit as many decisions to include or omit information in crafting their narratives as they accuse TBMs or apologists. And this has nothing to do with anybody claiming that they are a “monolithic organization.”

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Critics are not in the business, as is COTPOTCOJCOLDS, of fashioning a storyline to be used for the subjugation of people (out of fear of 'god') to a bureaucracy made up of the likes of BKP, obsessed over young boys' little factories. Critics are not in the business, as is COTPOTCOJCOLDS, of fashioning a storyline to be used for the collection of 10%.


Wow. This says much more about you and your emotional state than it does about the Church or its members. Projection, anyone?

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Critics thrive on facts and reason.


Yes, we’re constantly told this, as if Critics™ are whistling past the graveyard and trying to convince themselves that it’s true. From where I’m sitting, though, things like the above (BKP obsessing over little boys’ factories, etc.) tend to undermine such smug declarations of faith.

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That such casts an illuminating light on COTPOTCOJCOLDS for all to see its warts--well, why you'd need to resort to hyperbole becomes clearly evident.


Ah, the irony of also being accused of hyperbole in the same post as such gems as “COTPOTCOJCOLDS . . . fashioning a storyline to be used for the subjugation of people (out of fear of 'god') to . . . the likes of BKP, obsessed over young boys' little factories . . . fashioning a storyline to be used for the collection of 10%.”

Critics and malcontents, engage in hyperbole? Naaaaaaah. Just cold, hard reason & facts, thank you very much . . .


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 Post subject: Re: Was no answer a seminal event in Mormon apologetics?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:59 pm 
God
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Quote:
He had only his wits and knowledge of the history of the Church with which to begin answering those questions that stumped him.


He certainly didn't have the advantage of an ever shrinking list of criticisms and "anachronisms" with no archeological or anthropological answer.

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 Post subject: Re: Was no answer a seminal event in Mormon apologetics?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:25 pm 
Dark Lord of the Sith
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bcspace wrote:
Quote:
He had only his wits and knowledge of the history of the Church with which to begin answering those questions that stumped him.


He certainly didn't have the advantage of an ever shrinking list of criticisms and "anachronisms" with no archeological or anthropological answer.


bcspace:

Where was Zarahemla located?

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 Post subject: Re: Was no answer a seminal event in Mormon apologetics?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:30 pm 
God
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bcspace wrote:
Quote:
He had only his wits and knowledge of the history of the Church with which to begin answering those questions that stumped him.


He certainly didn't have the advantage of an ever shrinking list of criticisms and "anachronisms" with no archeological or anthropological answer.


OK, that made me chuckle.

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