Mormon Think wrote:
The youtube vidoe will be up in several days.
I did not see it. But I will offer up this post from Battle-Ax on RFM:
It was interesting. I was amazed the memory and knowledge of Grant and how he talked directly to the audience. Alma took the approach of arguing individual small points like was it a trial or a hearing. Also if Joseph Smith saw stuff in the stone at first. He took the approach it prepared him to be prophet. Some times the lord uses a persons imperfections. Grant went on to say yes but Joseph Smith went on to keep doing worse and worse things like adultery, felonies, counterfeiting, treason. Alma was good at trying too look at evrything in the micro but when, Grant took it to the Macro Alma's arguments fell apart. When Grant pointed out that there were five witnesses that said Joseph Smith admitted he saw nothing in the stone all Alma could say was that they could've been lying. When Grant pointed out that three of them were Court affidavits Alma said well people lie in court to. So everybody's a liar and unless they support the church. The one thing that got everybody riled up during the question-and-answer was when Alma said that it was our fault that we didn't know these things about seer stones and marriages and other things. My observation is since Alma is a CES director of the University of Utah he has been given wide latitude to say do and teach things that others would not be able to for example last night he was not wearing a white shirt as most CES instructors are required to do.
I'm very interested to watch this debate, now. Here are some things that were written by an observer over on the reddit/exmormon webpage.
(According to Alma Jensen)Why were the plates not physically present for most of the translation? The physical plates helped increase Joseph's faith early on in the translation. As his faith grew, he switched to using the seer stone and the plates did not need to be present. As his faith grew even further, he stopped using the stone altogether to translate.
In my opinion, Alma Jensen (CES Director) did a better job than Grant Palmer. Alma has been in the CES program for over 20 years teaching at the UofU, is very educated, and has references to back up his statements. Grant Palmer, while very respectable, had a difficult time citing where he was getting his information. Alma continuously refuted Grant by asking him for the source or correcting him on the actual scripture, rather than discussing the topic at hand. Ad Hominem to the tee. If I was a neutral audience member sitting in on the debate, I would give the victory to Alma, unfortunately. Grant was easily flustered by Alma's questions/rebuttals.
How did the audience respond? The ex-mos were very outspoken and actually disrupted the debate by standing up and voicing their own rebuttal after Alma answered a question. That bothered me the most. I didn't want to hear angry audience members. I wanted to hear the two debaters. There were also a lot of members who would go, "hmmmmmm" after Alma made a good argument.
Overall it was a great experience. Emotions were high. A lot of exmos in attendance. I feel I understand TBM reasoning clearer than before.
The same CES director (Alma Jensen at UofU Institute) said it's the member's fault if they are unaware of these historical facts and seemingly strange nuances. The church is not responsible for teaching every small detail. The members must do their own research. He called members who did not know 'ignorant'.
Points Alma Jensen emphasized below:
•It's the individual's fault/ignorance if he or she has not studied the seemingly strange nuances of the church. It is not the church's responsibility to teach every fact of the church (this really upset a lot of audience members).
•Yes, Joseph used the seer stone to search for treasure. Just because he misused the stone, does that mean he's not a prophet?
•A friend of his made a replica of the gold plates. He claims he could 'heft' the plates and run with them.
•Why were the plates not physically present for most of the translation? The physical plates helped increase Joseph's faith early on in the translation. As his faith grew, he switched to using the seer stone and the plates did not need to be present. As his faith grew even further, he stopped using the stone altogether to translate.
•Just because Joseph had visions of ancient plates in the Hill Cumorah does not mean there are actual plates hidden in the hill. 'I do believe Joseph saw a vision of records in the hill, but I do not believe there are actually records there'. (He's making the point that Joseph was actually seeing visions, not just second sight.)