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 Post subject: Re: The official, faithful fiction Book of Mormon Watchdog t
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:24 pm 
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Doctor Scratch wrote:
[We know how much there is something of an internal power struggle within this coterie of people (and now I want to lump in other Mormon apologists, including the MI people: that, to me, is the basic social circle that these people operate within). So the hardcore Mopologists are feeling pressure from other, more liberal, more "Mormon Studies" academics, such as Grant Hardy and Thomas Wayment. Meanwhile, they Mopologists have a seemingly bottomless inferiority complex: they are so desperate for approval and affirmation--from anyone, sadly, including the yokels and zealots who post in the Comments sections of their blogs, but really from the Brethren, from other LDS scholars who aren't too liberal, and especially from the secular academic establishment (particularly the more conservative elements of it--i.e., the parts that venerate the Ivy League, and Oxford, and that sort of thing). What I'm saying is that I believe there are complex political and motive-related waters that have to be navigated here.


My understanding of the apologetic movement, constrained by my own interests, is not worthy to be compared to yours, my dear Doctor Scratch, so I believe my disagreement lies not at the end point but at the premise. My premise is tucked away above: "assuming that ideas are not merely interchangeable tools of social advancement or projections of power, a fictionalist apologist will have to assemble an intellectual product out of the materials currently available and recognized as valid in apologetic scholarship."

One could take issue with the word "merely," but where the emphasis is put matters. I think they really believe the Book of Mormon happened in the way they learned as children. Their confidence in the rightness of that belief, in my opinion, is what has given them intellectual license to comport themselves in the way they do when they're acting as scholars. Nibley's scholarship, in my view, is best explained as the work of someone who doesn't feel he really needs to explain himself to anybody for two reasons: 1) because at the omega of time, the fundamental rightness of his views will be confirmed by the judgments of God, and 2) because the sense that such judgments are near at hand makes scholarship nothing more than an amusing parlor game (the parlor being academia, in the case of the more capable FARMSians). He said as much himself numerous times in print and public.

On the other hand, perhaps this is not an either/or proposition, and you might be right that the ideas, whatever their independent value, are simply the stage for apologetic war games. Peterson's response is interesting. Of course, he quite predictably inflates the activity and interest of those who disagree up to the thin-air altitude of his own ego—was anybody even talking about him especially? I thought we were talking about traditionalists in general—but he cannot isolate the ideas of historicity and fictionality from the social contest you're addressing here, Doctor Scratch. We here are having a humble and anonymous little conversation about the current apologetic models, some of their absurdities, and some potential lines of development, as well as some obstacles. Names have been mentioned only insofar as we're playing a guessing game: who could pull off a fictional Book of Mormon, and who would? Somehow, however, Peterson sees it like this:

Quote:
I’ve been watching a small handful of overeager critics of the Church with amusement. They’ve been peering desperately at the distant horizon, hoping for a sign, any sign, that the Church is abandoning its longstanding claim that the Book of Mormon is an authentically ancient record. And now they think that the sign has finally come. (Or perhaps they’re just feigning it. Frankly, it’s quite difficult to tell whether this particular bunch have ever actually been serious.)...According to these folks, what the Church is carefully saying here — en route, they devoutly hope, to its eventually abandoning the historicity of the Book of Mormon altogether — is that only a portion of the book is genuine historical writing, while the remainder of it is presumably something else.


They. Them. Their.

What the hell is he talking about? "Hope" and "whatever the Church says about the Book of Mormon" are not concepts that link up in my mind. I couldn't give a good god damn one way or the other, nor do I think eminent students of apologetics like Gad, Kish, and yourself do either. To his point, yes of course the Book of Mormon contains more than historical narrative and purported historical records. It is not a single genre. No one disputes that, but it is also a fair point that the word "including" opens up some ambiguity. One does not necessarily need to assume that ambiguity is intentional nor is there need to exploit that ambiguity—Peterson clearly does not want to go there—but others might want to. In light of our conversation here, it was a deeply important observation. Peterson's response itself leaves some ambiguity, whether he intends it or not, as a result of the dichotomy between "ancient" and "historical." He says that it is an "authentically ancient document" (so are the Testament of Abraham and the Sibylline Oracles and Gospel of Peter, but they're not primary documents from Abraham, the Sibyll, and Peter). He reiterates the Church's statement that it is "a history of an ancient people." So are the first 5 books of Livy, but there is little in them that is historically accurate. It's mostly myth. Greater minds and smaller egos than his might find within this ambiguous space something interesting, even something valuable to say.

No doubt such work will earn a snarky 100-page review from the FARMSians.

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 Post subject: Re: The official, faithful fiction Book of Mormon Watchdog t
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:27 pm 
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Res Ipsa wrote:
It’s been a long time for me, but aren’t there prophecies in the Book of Mormon that tie it to the Americas?

Too long for me too! I thought I remembered that, as well as Joseph Smith saying things about Cumorah, etc., so I was quite surprised to read a couple of posts recently from Brant Gardner:
Quote:
....The most economical reading of Joseph was that he saw all of the Americas as a possible Book of Mormon land. When he found better evidence of civilization in Central America, he adopted it. Since he had never received revelation, and had never dictated the location, there was no reason not to.

....We are back to the issue of Joseph knowing the geography. I have laid out the fact that there is zero evidence that he knew.

Quote:
Oliver is a second-hand witness. The one person who could have settled this completely, Joseph, did not (until a decade or more later). No matter what Oliver said, you have to deal with the two essential facts: 1) Joseph didn't make the claim, and adopted it only after it was in common usage, and 2) no leader of the church after Joseph ever suggested that the Book of Mormon lands had been located.
Quote:
...The case for Oliver and the naming of the New York hill as Cumorah is one of those cases. We have it early from Oliver, but not from Joseph--even when Joseph is talking about the same hill. That happens for close to a decade, where Joseph didn't use Cumorah, but Oliver (and increasingly the whole of the community) began using Cumorah. Since there is no evidence that Oliver received revelation on the topic, we have to look at who his source might have been. The only one who could declare the name from revelation was Joseph--but that would be hard to conclude since Joseph himself didn't use that name.

So, you are incorrect that I am discounting the validity of everything that Oliver said. I am saying that he didn't get the information from Moroni, and the case for getting it from Joseph is contradicted by Joseph's avoidance of the name when discussing the hill.

Yes, Oliver said it was Cumorah. No, that doesn't mean that Joseph did, and the evidence is that he didn't.

Therefore, it seems to be a name that Oliver applied, and it was picked up. Citing Oliver on the topic does not establish that the hill was Cumorah, only that Oliver called it that by the time he wrote those letters (and I suspect earlier).
bolding added. Comments are from this thread:
Statement on Book of Mormon geography, http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/715 ... 1209888630

This surprises me a lot, because it is most definitely not the LDS religion I grew up with, but I'm not a historian, so maybe grindael can explain. On the other hand, it seems like another step along that path in the direction of concluding the Book of Mormon is not historical.


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 Post subject: Re: The official, faithful fiction Book of Mormon Watchdog thread
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:19 pm 
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These Mormon apologists like K. Christensen are morons. Oliver used the 1832 History...??? NO HE DID NOT. But he was told by Joseph about the Reverend Lane, and about Cumorah. They will continue to stupidly deny this because they know it is devastating to their stupid ad hoc limited geography theories. Cowdery claims that Joseph was instrumental in helping him with the 1834-35 History and he was. (Writing an article on all this that will be published shortly)... Cowdery/Smith:

Quote:
“By turning to the 529th and 530th pages of the Book of Mormon you will read Mormon’s account of the last great struggle as they were encamped round this hill Cumorah (Mormon 5; 6). In this valley fell the remaining strength and pride of a once powerful people, the Nephites—once so highly favored of the Lord, but at that time in darkness, doomed to suffer extermination by the hand of their barbarous and uncivilized brethren. From the top of this hill, Mormon, with a few others, after the battle, gazed with horror upon the mangled remains of those who, the day before, were filled with anxiety, hope, or doubt. A few had fled to the south, who were hunted down by the victorious party, and all who would not deny the Savior and his religion, were put to death. Mormon himself, according to the record of his son Moroni, was also slain.

“But a long time previous to this national disaster it appears, from his own account, he foresaw approaching destruction. In fact, if he perused the records of his fathers, which were in his possession, he could have learned that such would be the case. Alma, who lived before the coming of the Messiah, prophesied this. He, however, by divine appointment, abridged from those records, in his own style and language, a short account of the more important and prominent items, from the days of Lehi to his own time, after which he deposited, as he says, on the 529th page (Mormon 6:6), all the records in this same hill, Cumorah, and after gave his small record to his son Moroni, who, as appears from the same, finished, after witnessing the extinction of his people as a nation….”

“This hill, by the Jaredites, was called Ramah; by it, or around it, pitched the famous army of Coriantumr their tents. Coriantumr was the last king of the Jaredites. The opposing army were to the west, and in this same valley and near by, from day to day, did that mighty race spill their blood, in wrath, contending, as it were brother against brother, and father against son. In this same spot, in full view from the top of this same hill, one may gaze with astonishment upon the ground which was twice covered with the dead and dying of our fellowmen….“In this vale lie commingled, in one mass of ruin, the ashes of thousands, and in this vale was destined to consume the fair forms and vigorous systems of tens of thousands of the human race—blood mixed with blood, flesh with flesh, bones with bones, and dust with dust.” (Messenger and Advocate, July 1835, pp. 158–159)


Written by Joseph Smith & Oliver Cowdery. I know when and where they wrote it, also, something the stupid Mopologists know nothing about...

But here is Joseph himself:

Quote:
And again, what do we hear? Glad tidings from Cumorah! Moroni, an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfilment of the prophets—the book to be revealed, A voice of the Lord in the wilderness of Fayette, Seneca county, declaring the three witnesses to bear record of the book!” (D&C 128:20)


The Book to be revealed, this was the angel in 1823, and the hill that had the plates.... CUMORAH. Joseph... referring to the hill right by his old New York home as CUMORAH. And then there is this:

Quote:
Sunday, June 1st, 1834, We had preaching, and many of the inhabitants of the town came to heart. Elder John Carter, who had formerly been a Baptist preacher, spoke in the morning, and was followed by four other Elders in the course of the day all of whom had formerly been preachers for different denominations.-When the inhabitants heard these elders they appeared much interested, and were very desirous to know who we were, and we told them one had been a Baptist preacher, and one a Campbellite; one a Reformed Methodist, and another a Restorationer, &C. During the day many questions were asked but no one could learn our names, profession, business or destination, and, although they suspected we were Mormons they were very civil. Our enemies had threatened that we should not cross the Illinois river, but on Monday the 2nd we were ferried over without any difficulty. The ferryman counted and declared there were five hundred of us; yet our true number was about one hundred and fifty. Our company had been increased since our departure from Kirtland, by volunteers from different branches of the church through which we had passed. We encamped on the bank of the river until Tuesday the 3rd during our travels we visited several of the mounds which had been thrown up by the ancient inhabitants of this county, Nephite, Lamanites, &c., and this morning I went up on a high mound, near the river, accompanied by the brethren. From this mound we could overlook the tops of the trees and view the prairie on each side of the river as far as our vision could extend, and the scenery was truly delightful.

On the top of the mound were stones which presented the appearance of three alters [altars] having been erected one above the other, according to ancient order; and human bones were strewn over the surface of the ground. The brethren procured a shovel and hoe, and removing the earth to the depth of about one foot discovered skeleton of a man, almost entire, and between his ribs was a Lamanitish arrow, which evidently produced his death, Elder Brigham Young retained the arrow and the brethren carried some pieces of the skeleton to Clay county. The contemplation of the scenery before us produced peculiar sensations in our bosoms; and the visions of the past being opened to my understanding by the sprit [spirit] of the Almighty I discovered that the person whose skeleton was before us, was a white Lamanite, a large thick set man, and a man of God. He was a warrior and chieftain under the great prophet Omandagus, who was known from the hill Cumorah, or Eastern sea, to the Rocky Mountains. His name was Zelph. The curse was taken from him, or at least, in part; one of his thigh bones was broken, by a stone flung from a sling, while in battle years before his death. He was killed in battle, by the arrow found among his ribs, during the last great struggle of the Lamanites and Nephites. Times & Seasons, January 1, 1846, pg. 1076.


Of course these d__a__ Mopologists can't get anything right. Christensen is a moron. He writes,

Quote:
The statement that Cowdery gave describing the events of the Book of Mormon translation does not necessarily apply to describing the historical letters he wrote, nor does he give equal authority to every letter, but "the fore part."


But COWDERY HAD NOT WRITTEN THE REST OF THE LETTERS! He was only commenting about what had been written TO THAT POINT. Cowdery wrote this AT THE VERY START:

Quote:
“That OUR narrative may be correct, and particularly the introduction, [SINCE SMITH WROTE A LETTER ABOUT IT] it is proper to inform our patrons, that our Brother J. Smith Jr., has offered to assist us. Indeed, there are many items connected with the fore part of this subject that render his labor indispensable. [HIS LETTER][COWDERY THEN CONTINUES:]

With his labor and with authentic documents now in our possession WE hope to render this a pleasing and agreeable narrative, well worth the examination and perusal of the saints.” (Messenger and Advocate, Oct., 1834, p. 13)


DOCUMENTS ... PLURAL. OUR NARRATIVE... PLURAL. Where was Cowdery? He tells us: "Norton, Medina co. Ohio, Sabbath evening, September 7, 1834."

At a Conference WITH JOSEPH SMITH. He continues,

Quote:
On Friday, the 5th, in company with our brother JOSEPH SMITH jr. I left Kirtland for this place (New Portage,) to attend the conference previously appointed. To be permitted, once more, to travel with this brother, occasions reflections of no ordinary kind. Many have been the fateagues [fatigues] and privations which have fallen to my lot to endure, for the gospel's sake, since 1828, with this brother.


And I've tracked them during the whole letter writing process. They wrote them all together.

They think that Cowdery just made it all up. They are crazy. Joseph was with him every step of the way. Joseph told him it was the same hill. Cowdery had they authority to declare it. The Mopologist posturing on this is simply hilarious.

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Lost in the riddle of a quatrain; Stuck in an elevator between floors.
One focal point in a random world can change your direction:
One step where events converge may alter your perception.


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 Post subject: Re: The official, faithful fiction Book of Mormon Watchdog t
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:59 pm 
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Symmachus wrote:
whether he intends it or not, as a result of the dichotomy between "ancient" and "historical." He says that it is an "authentically ancient document" (so are the Testament of Abraham and the Sibylline Oracles and Gospel of Peter, but they're not primary documents from Abraham, the Sibyll, and Peter)


The great fork once again: will it be the queen or the rook? Peterson gives up his rook, history, to save the record as "ancient". Given at least one of those three, Abraham, is totally "fictional," to participate in the fossil record of ancient texts is to accept and identify with the "flaws" of those texts. (A nod to Lemmie's recovery of Gardner here) Brandt has also claimed that the Book of Mormon bears the mark of an ancient text by exaggerating wars and political situations -- for instance the absurd numbers given at the great final battle are exaggerated, and this is a clue the text is ancient because ancient texts make these kinds of exaggerations. To assert historical accuracy, and save the rook, is to fall upon the sword and loose the queen: the Book of Mormon becomes totally anachronistic in the known world of ancient texts. This wouldn't be a problem for Bruce R. and most Chapel Mormons.

Symmachus wrote:
I think they really believe the Book of Mormon happened in the way they learned as children.


A profound insight that I might agree with. Dr. Shades long maintained that all the fancy Internet Mormon beliefs disappeared for the apologist as soon as his computer was shut down for the evening. But don't you think this cuts both ways? If the apologists aren't so terribly invested in their own theories outside of combat with critics, then wouldn't it be all the easier to cross the line of fiction if it promises an advantage?

Sic et Non wrote:
that the Church is abandoning its longstanding claim that the Book of Mormon is an authentically ancient record


The Church appears to be deferring to apologist theories as it needs to. It was news to me the other day that the Church endorsed the Catalyst theory as a possibility. If the Church beats the apologists to accepting fictional theory as a possibility, it will probably be because the apologists have difficulties appreciating the logical consequences of their own ideas.

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"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero


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 Post subject: Re: The official, faithful fiction Book of Mormon Watchdog t
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:56 pm 
B.H. Roberts Chair of Mopologetic Studies
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Symmachus wrote:
Doctor Scratch wrote:
[We know how much there is something of an internal power struggle within this coterie of people (and now I want to lump in other Mormon apologists, including the MI people: that, to me, is the basic social circle that these people operate within). So the hardcore Mopologists are feeling pressure from other, more liberal, more "Mormon Studies" academics, such as Grant Hardy and Thomas Wayment. Meanwhile, they Mopologists have a seemingly bottomless inferiority complex: they are so desperate for approval and affirmation--from anyone, sadly, including the yokels and zealots who post in the Comments sections of their blogs, but really from the Brethren, from other LDS scholars who aren't too liberal, and especially from the secular academic establishment (particularly the more conservative elements of it--i.e., the parts that venerate the Ivy League, and Oxford, and that sort of thing). What I'm saying is that I believe there are complex political and motive-related waters that have to be navigated here.


My understanding of the apologetic movement, constrained by my own interests, is not worthy to be compared to yours, my dear Doctor Scratch, so I believe my disagreement lies not at the end point but at the premise. My premise is tucked away above: "assuming that ideas are not merely interchangeable tools of social advancement or projections of power, a fictionalist apologist will have to assemble an intellectual product out of the materials currently available and recognized as valid in apologetic scholarship."

One could take issue with the word "merely," but where the emphasis is put matters. I think they really believe the Book of Mormon happened in the way they learned as children. Their confidence in the rightness of that belief, in my opinion, is what has given them intellectual license to comport themselves in the way they do when they're acting as scholars. Nibley's scholarship, in my view, is best explained as the work of someone who doesn't feel he really needs to explain himself to anybody for two reasons: 1) because at the omega of time, the fundamental rightness of his views will be confirmed by the judgments of God, and 2) because the sense that such judgments are near at hand makes scholarship nothing more than an amusing parlor game (the parlor being academia, in the case of the more capable FARMSians). He said as much himself numerous times in print and public.

On the other hand, perhaps this is not an either/or proposition, and you might be right that the ideas, whatever their independent value, are simply the stage for apologetic war games. Peterson's response is interesting.


I don't think our views differ all that much, Symmachus. Midgley has said things that echo Nibley's point: i.e., Midgley has spoken of how sitting through sacrament meeting is some terrible, boring burden that he nonetheless is going to have to endure in order to make it to the CK. So I think that, yes, there are certainly some of the Mopologists who share that opinion. Midgley's position seems to be that one should trash all critics' opinions as "rubbish" and to never engage with the truly problematic stuff, because, hey: he's got a one-way ticket to the CK that he hopes to cash in any day now. And what of the notion that scholarship is all just "an amusing parlor game"? Lol--I have to admit, it's certainly tempting to view it that way. It's a very generous reading of the "Metcalfe is Butthead" acrostic, along with a whole host of their antics. ("Bill and Dan's Excellent Adventure in Anti-Mormon Zombie Hell," anyone? Or the screenings of anti-Mormon silent films for Family Home Evening?) And let's fact it: it doesn't have to be one or the other. It may be that, in especially mirthful times, it *is* all fun and games: ridiculing Metcalfe and Vogel; slapping one another on the back; basking in the adoration of the rubes at the FAIR Conference. On the other hand, you've hopefully seen how angry and vicious they can be. DCP has threatened to sue people so many times that I've lost count: including very "serious"-sounding private messages, where he even quotes Shakespeare! There are, as you rightly point out, some fragile egos at play here.

Symmachus wrote:
Of course, he quite predictably inflates the activity and interest of those who disagree up to the thin-air altitude of his own ego—was anybody even talking about him especially? I thought we were talking about traditionalists in general—but he cannot isolate the ideas of historicity and fictionality from the social contest you're addressing here, Doctor Scratch. We here are having a humble and anonymous little conversation about the current apologetic models, some of their absurdities, and some potential lines of development, as well as some obstacles. Names have been mentioned only insofar as we're playing a guessing game: who could pull off a fictional Book of Mormon, and who would? Somehow, however, Peterson sees it like this:

Quote:
I’ve been watching a small handful of overeager critics of the Church with amusement. They’ve been peering desperately at the distant horizon, hoping for a sign, any sign, that the Church is abandoning its longstanding claim that the Book of Mormon is an authentically ancient record. And now they think that the sign has finally come. (Or perhaps they’re just feigning it. Frankly, it’s quite difficult to tell whether this particular bunch have ever actually been serious.)...According to these folks, what the Church is carefully saying here — en route, they devoutly hope, to its eventually abandoning the historicity of the Book of Mormon altogether — is that only a portion of the book is genuine historical writing, while the remainder of it is presumably something else.


They. Them. Their.

What the hell is he talking about? "Hope" and "whatever the Church says about the Book of Mormon" are not concepts that link up in my mind. I couldn't give a good god damn one way or the other, nor do I think eminent students of apologetics like Gad, Kish, and yourself do either. To his point, yes of course the Book of Mormon contains more than historical narrative and purported historical records. It is not a single genre. No one disputes that, but it is also a fair point that the word "including" opens up some ambiguity. One does not necessarily need to assume that ambiguity is intentional nor is there need to exploit that ambiguity—Peterson clearly does not want to go there—but others might want to. In light of our conversation here, it was a deeply important observation. Peterson's response itself leaves some ambiguity, whether he intends it or not, as a result of the dichotomy between "ancient" and "historical." He says that it is an "authentically ancient document" (so are the Testament of Abraham and the Sibylline Oracles and Gospel of Peter, but they're not primary documents from Abraham, the Sibyll, and Peter). He reiterates the Church's statement that it is "a history of an ancient people." So are the first 5 books of Livy, but there is little in them that is historically accurate. It's mostly myth. Greater minds and smaller egos than his might find within this ambiguous space something interesting, even something valuable to say.

No doubt such work will earn a snarky 100-page review from the FARMSians.


I think that Peterson has always wanted to be seen as a serious intellectual, but he knows that most of the academic establishment thinks that he and his views are a joke. (This is a major reason why he refused to debate Philip Jenkins.) So, he's forced to settle for something lesser, which is being seen as an "intellectual" by a small group of self-selected arm-chair apologists, most of whom are conservative, LDS white males with varying levels of formal education. (Notice how often he alludes to his 'blue collar' background? There's a reason for that, too.) But he resents this. And so when he *is* challenged with actual ideas, his main response--always. Every time.--is to lean heavily on the snark and not deal with the actual issues. Is he doing this for (or *to*) his "audience," most of whom he resents? Or does he really and truly lack the ability to comprehend what's being said? I guess the real tragedy in the end is that, at this point, it's no longer possible to tell.

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 Post subject: Re: The official, faithful fiction Book of Mormon Watchdog thread
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:22 am 
Dragon
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Scratch,

Could have sworn you were talking about this guy:

Quote:
47 minutes ago, Kevin Christensen said:
I linked to Sperry's essay and quoted a few specifics, enough to make a point. And I have read Palmer's In Search of Cumorah, Sorenson's Mormon's Map and Sourcebook, and Ancient American Setting, Poulson's FAIR talks (has his website come down with his death?), and John Clark's detailed analysis of Book of Mormon New World geographic statements, as well as the recent book on The Geology of the Book of Mormon, and several things at FAIR, Maxwell, and elsewhere. San Lorenzo as the Jaredite City of Lib. Everything needs to fit together sensibly. Not perfectly, but at least in a progressively promising and productive way. And there are several exceedingly clear statements that provide important constraints on what is and is not plausible and sensible. And things like Stephen's Incidents of Travel and on to the LiDar surveys continue to encourage me. The case and evidence has progressed and radically improved since I first watched Ancient America Speaks and browsed Jack West's The Trial of the Stick of Joseph. The way I see it, the puzzle pieces are fitting together into a recognizable picture. It's not just a confusing, disconnected heap of confusing shapes best left in the box till some responsible adult comes along to make sense of life.

If we can distinguish the Bountiful where Nephi built his ship from the Bountiful where Jesus came to the temple based on the details of the text, then getting hung up on the dual use of a name like Cumorah strikes me as pointless. Especially since it is so easy to multiply examples.

for what it's worth

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA


Quote:
Well, that wasn't what I had in mind. I see you saying you see how a MesoAmerican setting fits scripture. But what I don't see is anything clear on how a setting around New York cannot fit. I understand that you find the evidence for a MesoAmerican setting more compelling, but is there something specific about a New York setting which you can point to as some insurmountable problem which would rule it out? Like a lack of archaeological sites? What specifically? Thanks.


Quote:
Regarding D&C 1, I'm an English major and professional writer since 1984. I've published three dozen articles on things LDS. I'm not proposing an esoteric interpretation of what it means to describe human weakness in authorized servants, err that shall be made manifest and conditional, rather than unconditional paths to knowledge and revelation. Sections of the D&C that chronologically come after D&C 1, as well as all of our history supports my reading.

The guarantee on the LDS leaders extends to "expedience" from God's perspective. Some the meanings of "Sustain" are suffer, allow, permit. What makes it all worth while are authority, ordinances and covenants, and ongoing revelation. Not infallibility or omniscience.

Sorenson put together a useful listing or problems with any North American correlation to the Book of Mormon.

http://www.bmaf.org/articles/bunch_reas ... __sorensen

It's a start.

I had a section in one of my responses to Vogel on issues with the traditional New York Cumorah and Hemispheric readings, but Larry Poulson's work is far more detailed and specific.

for what it's worth

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

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 Post subject: Re: The official, faithful fiction Book of Mormon Watchdog thread
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:26 am 
Dragon
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Quote:
On 2/21/2019 at 10:14 PM, Burnside said:
BMAF is biased by design:

http://bmaf.org/about/mission_statement

So, naturally it would ignore North America. It’s part of its mission statement and IRS-approved 501(c)(3) documents to do so.

BMAF is the legal organization behind Book of Mormon Central:

https://bookofmormoncentral.org/about

”The legal organization behind Book of Mormon Central is the Book of Mormon Archaeological Forum, Inc., a 501 (c) 3 non-profit public charity chartered in the state of Utah in 2004. Book of Mormon Central is not an official part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but rather an independent organization.”

It’s a nifty little business model. $$

This is why Letter VII on JosephSmithPapers doesn’t make them happy. https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper ... 34-1836/90

It’s sort of odd in a way. If I understand it correctly, the Church was criticized for not being transparent with its history, so it created the JosephSmithPapers.org site - It’s owned and thus copyright protected by Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Intellectual Reserve, Inc is a corporation under control of the President of The Church:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_Reserve

Yet the critics of Letter VII are members who promote a Mesoamerica geography theory.


Quote:
Kevin Christensen:
Rather than address the specific, detailed criticisms Sorenson provides, and provide a viable, equally detailed alternative that accounts for the 500+ geographic details in the Book of Mormon, label, smear, and distract.

Yep. Gift of discernment, persuasion and pure knowledge, where is thy sting?

By definition, Sorenson's numerous points explaining why the Book of Mormon does not work in a North American setting demonstrate that he is not ignoring it. He's giving his view of problems that any defense ought to account for. And your not accounting for them is, by dictionary definition, ignoring them.

for what it's worth

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA


Burnside is kicking their ass with Letter VII and they are answering with esoteric BS and links to apologist nonsense. I find it hilarious.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:19 pm 
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An interesting comment on yonder echo chamber made the point that, during your temple recommend interview (the pinnacle assessment of your worthiness status) you aren't asked if you believe in the Book Of Mormon is fact or fiction, in fact you aren't asked about belief in the keystone of the religion at all. In that respect, a belief in an ancient and historical Book Of Mormon is not a requirement for your eternal salvation, whereas not drinking coffee is...that's worth ponderising.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:55 am 
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I have a question wrote:
An interesting comment on yonder echo chamber made the point that, during your temple recommend interview (the pinnacle assessment of your worthiness status) you aren't asked if you believe in the Book Of Mormon is fact or fiction, in fact you aren't asked about belief in the keystone of the religion at all. In that respect, a belief in an ancient and historical Book Of Mormon is not a requirement for your eternal salvation, whereas not drinking coffee is...that's worth ponderising.


Two reasons.

Money. It's always about money. If a member is willing to pay, pray, and obey, top leadership does not care what private opinions he/she may hold. Orthopraxy > Orthodoxy.
And secondly I suspect that there is not a vocal enough movement anywhere to have attracted the attention of a mostly deaf elderly leadership. I honestly doubt anyone would have the balls to make a presentation to the 12 in which he suggested they might want to consider public statements allowing for a fictional Book of Mormon. I would guess such a presentation would lead to several vacancies in the 12 due to heart attacks.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:32 pm 
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Symmachus wrote:
I think the current fascination wtih Skousen is a symptom not of its persuasive power but of their desperation for something new to say about the Book of Mormon, especially something that feels empirically verified, since everything else has failed and no one else really has any ideas. [emphasis added]


I had a discussion with Carmack himself on the other board a few months ago, in which the big discovery for me was that Carmack was not comparing his theory of Early Modern composition to any serious alternatives. Apart from one brief comparison with a few pseudo-Biblical texts that were all composed in ways much too different from what Smith would have done to make a valid control group, Carmack wasn't even asking whether hypercorrection or other mechanisms could have let Smith produce the Book of Mormon text by clumsy fake archaism.

In the end Carmack was simply claiming that EModE expertise on the part of the author would account for the Book of Mormon's odd language—and that this efficient explanation made the EModE theory likely to be true. In other words, he was operating on a verification model of empirical research. ("If this fortune teller had psychic powers, that would efficiently explain all those accurate things she said about my mother. This verifies the theory that she has psychic powers. I don't need to think about whether she checked out my Facebook page.")

I was a bit stunned to find that Carmack really thought verification was how science should work. I have to confess that by the time I got over being stunned I was also busy with other things, so I never got back to that thread to see how Carmack replied to my last post of stunned-ness. Perhaps he had a defense.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:44 pm 
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Physics Guy wrote:
Symmachus wrote:
I think the current fascination wtih Skousen is a symptom not of its persuasive power but of their desperation for something new to say about the Book of Mormon, especially something that feels empirically verified, since everything else has failed and no one else really has any ideas. [emphasis added]


I had a discussion with Carmack himself on the other board a few months ago, in which the big discovery for me was that Carmack was not comparing his theory of Early Modern composition to any serious alternatives. Apart from one brief comparison with a few pseudo-Biblical texts that were all composed in ways much too different from what Smith would have done to make a valid control group, Carmack wasn't even asking whether hypercorrection or other mechanisms could have let Smith produce the Book of Mormon text by clumsy fake archaism.

In the end Carmack was simply claiming that EModE expertise on the part of the author would account for the Book of Mormon's odd language—and that this efficient explanation made the EModE theory likely to be true. In other words, he was operating on a verification model of empirical research. ("If this fortune teller had psychic powers, that would efficiently explain all those accurate things she said about my mother. This verifies the theory that she has psychic powers. I don't need to think about whether she checked out my Facebook page.")

I was a bit stunned to find that Carmack really thought verification was how science should work. I have to confess that by the time I got over being stunned I was also busy with other things, so I never got back to that thread to see how Carmack replied to my last post of stunned-ness. Perhaps he had a defense.

I followed that conversation, I don't think he ever did address the issue, and he recently posted this:
Champatsch, Jan 24, wrote:
Now, the foundational and least subjective evidence to consider in determining Book of Mormon authorship is its syntax. The large majority of syntax is produced subconsciously, so it resists conscious manipulation. Authorship reveals itself in the syntax. The grammar, or morphosyntax, is somewhat more susceptible to conscious manipulation, but even some of that bears on the question of Book of Mormon authorship.

Thanks to Skousen's text-critical work and the increasing availability of digital corpora, it is possible to compare the language of the dictation with past usage and see how it stacks up against the biblical, the extrabiblical (nonbiblical, archaic), the pseudobiblical, the modern, and the dialectal.

Some of you may know that I have published a few studies, but I have carried out many more that have never been published. The comparative, descriptive linguistic work I've done has obliged me to conclude that the probability that Joseph Smith authored or translated (in the default sense) the Book of Mormon text is basically zero percent. The syntax, with lexical support as well, indicates that what Skousen wrote way back in 1994 is accurate: 
Quote:
the Lord . . . is the source for the original text of the Book of Mormon.

(This conclusion was originally based on manuscript evidence and statements from witnesses of the translation [in the non-default sense].)

The Book of Mormon's extrabiblical lexis and syntax and the well-known circumstances of the dictation firmly establish this position on sourcing, a position that leads one to view other considerations as secondary.

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/715 ... 1209883955
In my opinion, his analysis of comparisons is so statistically disjointed and his conclusions so inconsistent with each other as to render the results meaningless.

He also made this comment on the same day:
Quote:
Robert F. Smith wrote:
I have carefully followed your and Royal's work, and I agree that Joseph was not the author or translator of the BofM, but it is obvious that some human did that translation into English a couple of centuries before Joseph.

Bob, that doesn't really work unless the human had access to the resources we currently do (digital corpora). And there are other details to consider as well. Stan


I imagine he thinks this strengthens his position, as he has already concluded that a supernatural being is the source (ignoring the massive problem that his starting assumption is ALSO that a supernatural being is the source :rolleyes:).

However, what it actually does is make your concern about his failure to compare his hypothesis to alternative explanations even more pertinent. Who indeed would have access to various sources when trying to imitate a type of writing?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:43 pm 
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Ach.

I felt forced to conclude that Carmack is one of those technicians who managed to get a Ph.D. by rote learning of procedures but never really understood why anything worked. Never realized, for instance, that statistical analysis is a way of expressing logical reasoning, not a trick that trumps reason with magic.

That kind of thing happens more than one might think. You take on a promising student, you give them a couple of years to figure things out. By then they may have paid hefty fees, they've certainly spent time, they've done work, they're your academic child. If they can manage to go through the motions to produce a superficially competent dissertation, it takes an awfully hard-nosed advisor or committee to fire a student at that point.

They're never going to end up on a faculty, because no matter how sympathetic one may be to one's student, when it comes to letters of recommendation for academic positions people are honest enough in these cases to write the mildly positive kiss of death. Plenty of profoundly gifted people who would be excellent professors fail to land a cushy academic job because they just don't have the luck to be in the right place at the right time, so it's pretty rare for anyone wobbly to beat out all the fierce competition. So as far as the ivory tower is concerned, no harm has been done when someone gets a Ph.D. without really understanding their subject.

There may be a downside outside academia. Maybe it brings scholarship into disrepute with the general public whenever smart non-academics see a Doctor saying silly things. But I'm not sure how much one can do about it.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:11 pm 
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Physics Guy wrote:
Ach.

I felt forced to conclude that Carmack is one of those technicians who managed to get a Ph.D. by rote learning of procedures but never really understood why anything worked. That happens more than one might think. You take on a promising student, you give them a couple of years to figure things out. By then they may have paid hefty fees, they've certainly spent time, they've done work, they're your academic child. If they can manage to go through the motions to produce a superficially competent dissertation, it takes an awfully hard-nosed advisor or committee to fire a student at that point.

They're never going to end up on a faculty, because no matter how sympathetic one may be to one's student, when it comes to letters of recommendation for academic positions people are honest enough in these cases to write the mildly positive kiss of death. Plenty of profoundly gifted people who would be excellent professors fail to land an academic job because they just don't have the luck to be in the right place at the right time, so it's pretty rare for anyone wobbly to beat out all the fierce competition. So as far as the ivory tower is concerned, no harm has been done when someone gets a Ph.D. without really understanding their subject.

There may be a downside outside academia. Maybe it brings scholarship into disrepute with the general public whenever smart non-academics see a Doctor saying silly things. But I'm not sure how much one can do about it.

Working within a Mormon vacuum doesn't help either. He publishes at the Interpreter, which in theory involves peer review, but in my opinion, no competent statistician has ever been seriously involved at that journal. Every paper with a statistical component that I have looked at from there has had massive issues. One paper even theorized a result for a data set, but then used a completely different data set for the actual analysis. The conclusion was then written up, based on the original, non-analyzed data set. How did that egregious of an error get through the review process? Publishing exclusively in that venue is a disadvantage for this researcher.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:22 pm 
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Do average church members even care? Nope. That's who the Interpreter is published for. They know they can publish almost anything and it will be believed and never checked or second guessed. You think that would make them more honest, but it doesn't. They are all about, and have always been about the ends justifying the means. FAIRMORMON and FARMS are/were an abomination.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:21 pm 
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Lemmie wrote:
Working within a Mormon vacuum doesn't help either. He publishes at the Interpreter, which in theory involves peer review, but in my opinion, no competent statistician has ever been seriously involved at that journal.

A bunch of Flat Earthers could publish a Journal of Planar Geography and get manuscripts vetted by other flat Earth authors, and that would technically be peer review. In fairness I think there may well be some physics journals that are so narrow they end up publishing junk through the same vacuum effect. Peer review is only as good as the peers.

I did also at one point have an exchange with Carmack about publishing in a mainstream journal. I tried to be encouraging and suggest a presentation approach that I thought might be workable for him, emphasizing the analysis itself and not discussing authorship. He seemed to think that might be worth trying but he didn't seem enthusiastic. I think he felt it would be too much work for the expected reward.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:50 pm 
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Fence Sitter wrote:
Two reasons.

Money. It's always about money. If a member is willing to pay, pray, and obey, top leadership does not care what private opinions he/she may hold. Orthopraxy > Orthodoxy.
And secondly I suspect that there is not a vocal enough movement anywhere to have attracted the attention of a mostly deaf elderly leadership. I honestly doubt anyone would have the balls to make a presentation to the 12 in which he suggested they might want to consider public statements allowing for a fictional Book of Mormon. I would guess such a presentation would lead to several vacancies in the 12 due to heart attacks.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:32 pm 
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Physics Guy wrote:
...one of those technicians who managed to get a Ph.D. by rote learning of procedures but never really understood why anything worked. Never realized, for instance, that statistical analysis is a way of expressing logical reasoning, not a trick that trumps reason with magic.


Beautifully put, Physics Guy.

Quote:
That kind of thing happens more than one might think. You take on a promising student, you give them a couple of years to figure things out. By then they may have paid hefty fees, they've certainly spent time, they've done work, they're your academic child. If they can manage to go through the motions to produce a superficially competent dissertation, it takes an awfully hard-nosed advisor or committee to fire a student at that point.

They're never going to end up on a faculty, because no matter how sympathetic one may be to one's student, when it comes to letters of recommendation for academic positions people are honest enough in these cases to write the mildly positive kiss of death. Plenty of profoundly gifted people who would be excellent professors fail to land a cushy academic job because they just don't have the luck to be in the right place at the right time, so it's pretty rare for anyone wobbly to beat out all the fierce competition. So as far as the ivory tower is concerned, no harm has been done when someone gets a Ph.D. without really understanding their subject.

There may be a downside outside academia. Maybe it brings scholarship into disrepute with the general public whenever smart non-academics see a Doctor saying silly things. But I'm not sure how much one can do about it.


Whoah. The main reason academics with PhDs don't get jobs is because there is 200 applicants for every 1 job. I wouldn't want to speculate as to why someone doesn't have an academic position. For all I know, Carmack's non-Book-of-Mormon work is brilliant.

Carmack's linguistic work on the Book of Mormon, though, is appalling. Your characterization of his use of statistics matches up very well with the excellent analyses and rebuttal that Lemmie has posted here a few times. On the linguistic issues, it is so obvious that he is just painting the word "conclusion" over the word "premise" and proclaiming the mission accomplished.

He is also either ignorant of or misleading about the state of our knowledge of syntax of spoken American dialects (or any dialects, really) during the 19th century. Phonology (pronunciation, roughly) was the main criteria used to classify dialects until well into the 20th century, but their arguments are all about syntax. So to say, "nobody talked this way" is to assert what remains to be proven. But rather than demonstrate that or admit that such a baseline cannot be established with our present evidence (e.g.we have no recordings and few transcriptions, the Book of Mormon being a noteworthy exception), he draws conclusions from it. His circular reasoning depends on a fallacious argument from silence.

I'm not even impressed with the handful of examples that Skousen and Carmack hold up as discoveries. Did-syntax is likely a hypercorrective tick imitating Biblical style, where it occurs plenty, but my favorite is the "and" in the apodosis of conditional statements. For example, what is today Helaman 12:13-14 contained this line in the 1830 version:

"if he saith unto the earth move and [=then] it is moved yea if he say unto the earth thou shalt go back that it lengthen out the day for many hours and [=then] it is done."

Where the old FARMSians saw in this opaque pool of run-on sentences a clear reflection of Biblical Hebrew conditional syntax, acolytes of the Carmack-Skousen theory see early modern English. Hmmm...well, even if this is not simply a series of run-on sentences that got away from Joseph Smith as he was communicating with the other world through his hat, conditions related to this type actually do survive in spoken English today. For example: "Touch me and I will sue you" = "If you touch me, then I will sue you." That is a clearly a case where "and" = "then." Notice that in modern English the suppressed protasis (the "If you" part taken out) makes the resulting syntax formally identical to an imperative (a command), and if you look at Helaman above, then you will notice that embedded in the conditional statement is imperative syntax. In fact, we use this syntax with commands all the time. I can rephrase my own conditional: "[if you] look at Helaman above and [=then] you will notice that..."

So, it's not clear that this example and others like it aren't just 1) run-on sentences or 2) modern English, and one would have to eliminate both of those persuasively in order to make room for 15th or 16th century English, which they have never bothered to do. If you can do that first, then the case might be more persuasive (or as the Ghost Committee would say it, "do that first, and the case might be more persuasive").

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:22 pm 
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Book of Mormon as "inspired fiction"?

Not until the Coen Brothers do a movie about it.

FARGO for Lamanites, anyone?

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 Post subject: Re: The official, faithful fiction Book of Mormon Watchdog thread
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:42 pm 
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grindael wrote:
Scratch,

Could have sworn you were talking about this guy:

Quote:
47 minutes ago, Kevin Christensen said:
I linked to Sperry's essay and quoted a few specifics, enough to make a point. And I have read Palmer's In Search of Cumorah, Sorenson's Mormon's Map and Sourcebook, and Ancient American Setting, Poulson's FAIR talks (has his website come down with his death?), and John Clark's detailed analysis of Book of Mormon New World geographic statements, as well as the recent book on The Geology of the Book of Mormon, and several things at FAIR, Maxwell, and elsewhere. San Lorenzo as the Jaredite City of Lib. Everything needs to fit together sensibly. Not perfectly, but at least in a progressively promising and productive way. And there are several exceedingly clear statements that provide important constraints on what is and is not plausible and sensible. And things like Stephen's Incidents of Travel and on to the LiDar surveys continue to encourage me. The case and evidence has progressed and radically improved since I first watched Ancient America Speaks and browsed Jack West's The Trial of the Stick of Joseph. The way I see it, the puzzle pieces are fitting together into a recognizable picture. It's not just a confusing, disconnected heap of confusing shapes best left in the box till some responsible adult comes along to make sense of life.

If we can distinguish the Bountiful where Nephi built his ship from the Bountiful where Jesus came to the temple based on the details of the text, then getting hung up on the dual use of a name like Cumorah strikes me as pointless. Especially since it is so easy to multiply examples.

for what it's worth

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA


Quote:
Well, that wasn't what I had in mind. I see you saying you see how a MesoAmerican setting fits scripture. But what I don't see is anything clear on how a setting around New York cannot fit. I understand that you find the evidence for a MesoAmerican setting more compelling, but is there something specific about a New York setting which you can point to as some insurmountable problem which would rule it out? Like a lack of archaeological sites? What specifically? Thanks.


Quote:
Regarding D&C 1, I'm an English major and professional writer since 1984. I've published three dozen articles on things LDS. I'm not proposing an esoteric interpretation of what it means to describe human weakness in authorized servants, err that shall be made manifest and conditional, rather than unconditional paths to knowledge and revelation. Sections of the D&C that chronologically come after D&C 1, as well as all of our history supports my reading.

The guarantee on the LDS leaders extends to "expedience" from God's perspective. Some the meanings of "Sustain" are suffer, allow, permit. What makes it all worth while are authority, ordinances and covenants, and ongoing revelation. Not infallibility or omniscience.

Sorenson put together a useful listing or problems with any North American correlation to the Book of Mormon.

http://www.bmaf.org/articles/bunch_reas ... __sorensen

It's a start.

I had a section in one of my responses to Vogel on issues with the traditional New York Cumorah and Hemispheric readings, but Larry Poulson's work is far more detailed and specific.

for what it's worth

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA


Christensen has always struck me as an earnest, maybe second- or third-tier Mopologist. He's not mean enough to rank up there with Peterson, Midgley, and the rest of the more influential Mopologists, but he's definitely someone who wants to make a dent in things. What's funny is that he's playing strictly to a Mopologetic audience: pretty much all the authors and texts he lists are friendly to Mopologetics. But notice how he says "I'm an English major," meaning, I guess, that he does not have a graduate degree, which is something that is also going to exclude him from the "higher degrees of glory," as it were.

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 Post subject: Re: The official, faithful fiction Book of Mormon Watchdog thread
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:17 am 
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Thanks for the reply, Dr.

Ever since I read this testimony from the 1826 Examination, I knew there was smoking gun evidence that the Book of Mormon story was a fraud. Here is Smith's father, in March, 1826 claiming that he and his son:

Quote:
“were mortified that this wonderful [seeric] power which God had so miraculously given to the boy should be used only in search of filthy lucre, or its equivalent in earthly treasures.” Joseph Smith Sr “trusted that the Son of Righteousness would some day illumine the heart of the boy and enable him to see his will concerning him.”


This was the guy who supposedly heard "the boy" tell him in a field the night after a visit from an angel of God that he had a vision the night before and that he had to go to the hill and get the gold plates.

How in the world could Smith Sr. then be testifying THREE YEARS LATER that he hoped that SOMEDAY God would illumine the boy's heart and enable him to see his will?

There was no angel in 1823-4, it was a ghost. There was no first or second religious vision, there was only ghost stories.

We have the Glass Looker document. We have the trial minutes. The Book of Mormon is a fraud.

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 Post subject: Re: The official, faithful fiction Book of Mormon Watchdog thread
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:15 pm 
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This thread deserves a bump, given Gadianton’s quite prescient explanation, over a year ago, of the options most likely to be taken by apologists when considering the both the alleged historicity and the alleged miraculous nature of the Book of Mormon.

Recall first Skousen’s most recent comment:

Quote:
....What this means is that the Book of Mormon is a creative and cultural translation of what was on the plates, not a literal one.

Based on the linguistic evidence, the translation must have involved serious intervention from the English-language translator, who was not Joseph Smith.

Nonetheless, the text was revealed to Joseph Smith by means of his translation instrument, and he read it off word for word to his scribe. To our modern-day, skeptical minds, this is indeed “a marvelous work and a wonder”.

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeters ... ion-1.html

And now, some excerpts from the OP of this thread:

Quote:
....It is clear to us, that old-school FARMS Mopologetics forges its way to fiction in order to vindicate an angelic and miraculous production of the Book of Mormon. We do understand that some fiction theories feel more like hollow attempts to "secularize" Mormonism, but not all fiction theories do so, and the holy grail of fiction that the apologists may one day claim for themselves will not be a resignation to the secular, but a triumph of fundamentalism....

The most direct route to a faith-promoting, fictional Book of Mormon follows from a quandary known to some as the Fork of Symmachus. Apologists haplessly stumble into the fork as they conflate an "ancient" text with a "historical" one...
Quote:
Peterson:

critics...hoping for a sign, any sign, that the Church is abandoning its longstanding claim that the Book of Mormon is an authentically ancient record...

Symmachus wrote:
Peterson's response itself leaves some ambiguity, whether he intends it or not, as a result of the dichotomy between "ancient" and "historical." He says that it is an "authentically ancient document" ...but they're not primary documents...

The clearest case study of the Fork comes from John Gee's work on the Book of Abraham....Since a "historically accurate" autobiography from Abraham himself would be utterly anachronistic, as no reputable scholar asserts Abraham ever even existed, if Joseph Smith really did get the Book of Abraham from a longer scroll now missing, then like the extant Joseph Smith papyri, it is of a class of manuscript the real world actually knows about. If the Book of Abraham really is ancient, then it is almost certainly "fiction"....

Fictional Studies students such as myself believe that the old-school FARMS Mopologists are confused when they erupt in anger over suggestions that the Book of Mormon is fiction.... It does not logically follow, as the apologists demand, that if the Book of Mormon is fiction, that the Angel Moroni didn't appear to Joseph Smith. The Angel Moroni very well may have appeared to Joseph with a stack of Gold Plates and the Book of Mormon may very well be a work of fiction....

Gadianton anticipated the current position quite well, didn’t he? Well done.


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