Master Timeline of Mopologetics

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Tom
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Re: Master Timeline of Mopologetics

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What happened to the million-dollar Book of Mormon encyclopedia?

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Kishkumen
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Re: Master Timeline of Mopologetics

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Tom wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 6:23 pm
What happened to the million-dollar Book of Mormon encyclopedia?
I don't know! Did it morph into the Encyclopedia of Mormonism?

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moksha
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Re: Master Timeline of Mopologetics

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Holy Ghost wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:31 pm

Rustic-looking photos set off the Mopologists? Sounds pretty thin-skinned to me.

If someone has a link to the photos, I'd like to take a look.
Dorothy Lange and Ansel Adams first had to secure permission from President J. Reuben Clark to take pictures of three Utah towns. What they did not disclose was that the photos were to appear in Look Magazine (read at the time by a quarter of all US citizens). Had they made this known, the Church might have withheld its permission. This might sound strange to citizens of the United States from the 21st Century, but this was Utah back in the 1950s.

For what it is worth, the skin thickness of LDS apologists is only 20% of the average human skin thickness. That helps explain the constant need for pitchforks and torches to help prevent dermis injuries.

http://artistsofutah.org/15Bytes/index. ... aboration/

https://www.hcn.org/issues/51.1/books-s ... rmon-towns

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Doctor Scratch
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Re: Master Timeline of Mopologetics

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Huh. I tried to track down the old threads that Holy Ghost was referring to. It would seem that Dr. Shades deleted them after DCP made his legal threats--a real loss for historians of Mopologetics. But you can see evidence that DCP testified during the time period I had in mind: See here, for example:

https://www.ksl.com/article/8111025

The date for that KSL article is early September of 2009, but good luck finding the old thread where Infymus teased that he would send links of Peterson's posts to Mitchell's lawyers. And I know I'm not imagining DCP's threatening PM to Dr. Shades: a copy of it was sent to me. In it, Peterson says, "I will go after the board," and he quotes from Othello. I hope somebody saved a copy of it!

Another interesting thread from that time period is here. Check out this comment from Ray A:
Dan is someone who enjoys apologetic recreation and calls it "work". Seems like apologetics has been his main work for 20 years now. I don't envy him, trying to sustain the idea that the Book of Mormon is "history" must be like paddling up Niagara Falls. Yet he maintains the “fort”, and even advocates that those who consider it “inspired fiction” should be relegated to possible discipline unless they “keep quiet” in Church. You doubt me? Read his PBS interview. He’s waiting for apostates like David Wright to “come around”. And in the meantime, he’ll use all the intellectual sophistication he can to “convince the doubters” that three 2,000 year old men are still roaming the earth looking for converts to Mormonism. This is what the "professor of Arabic" has spent 85% of his time on.

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moksha
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Re: Master Timeline of Mopologetics

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Doctor Scratch wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 9:18 pm
It would seem that Dr. Shades deleted them after DCP made his legal threats--a real loss for historians of Mopologetics.
Preparing for the Mitchell testimony practically wiped the history on the MAD board away. The desire to put Mitchell away was strong so posting sacrifices need to be made lest an ungentlemanly defense attorney would try to impeach Dr. Peterson's testimony with bits and flecks of things he might have said in the heat of apologetics.

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Dr. Shades
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Re: Master Timeline of Mopologetics

Post by Dr. Shades »

Perhaps another occurrence deserving of mention would be when FAIR formally divorced itself from its own message board, thus giving birth to the Mormon Apologetics and Discussion (MA&D) board.

I apologize for not remembering the date.

I have a question
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Re: Master Timeline of Mopologetics

Post by I have a question »

Wasn’t there something called “The Justice League”, a sort of Mopologetic Avengers aimed at correcting the critics? Or have I made that up....

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Kishkumen
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Re: Master Timeline of Mopologetics

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Doctor Scratch wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 9:18 pm
Huh. I tried to track down the old threads that Holy Ghost was referring to. It would seem that Dr. Shades deleted them after DCP made his legal threats--a real loss for historians of Mopologetics. But you can see evidence that DCP testified during the time period I had in mind: See here, for example:

https://www.ksl.com/article/8111025

The date for that KSL article is early September of 2009, but good luck finding the old thread where Infymus teased that he would send links of Peterson's posts to Mitchell's lawyers. And I know I'm not imagining DCP's threatening PM to Dr. Shades: a copy of it was sent to me. In it, Peterson says, "I will go after the board," and he quotes from Othello. I hope somebody saved a copy of it!
So Peterson testified in the hearing regarding whether David Brian Mitchell was competent to stand trial, not the trial itself. OK. I need to edit the timeline. That makes sense.

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Kishkumen
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Re: Master Timeline of Mopologetics

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Interview with John W. Welch and John L. Sorenson in Vol. 19, No. 11 of Insights, p. 2:

How did FARMS begin?
Welch: Very modestly. In the 1970s I practiced law in Los Angeles, working in the tax area. Speaking often at firesides, I saw a great need for an organization that could coordinate and distribute research on the Book of Mormon. One day, after doing legal work to form two nonprofit corporations, I put together a set of articles of incorporation for a third. The name of this organization, FARMS, was selected while I was riding home that day in a car pool. My two carpool friends, Lew Cramer and Clark Waddoups, agreed to serve with me as the initial board of directors.

How did you first become involved in the work of FARMS, and what attracted you to the organization?
Sorenson: In 1980, when John Welch came to BYU for interviews before accepting an offer from the law school, he visited me (I was then chair of the anthropology department) to explain about FARMS. I had not previously met him, but I was very impressed with both the concept and with him. I had been involved for years in similar activity. I was one of the earliest activists in the Society for Early Historic Archaeology (from 1950) but had parted ways with that effort and subsequently discussed possible organizational formats to further Book of Mormon research. I had concluded that no viable prospect for an organization existed. What Jack and FARMS promised was a large, ambitious, inclusive vision plus, particularly, the prospect of successful fund-raising due to Jack's standing as a tax attorney. I immediately wrote out a to-whom-it-may-concern letter giving my unequivocal support to FARMS and recommending that others do so too.

How would you describe the status of Book of Mormon studies when FARMS cam to Provo in 1980?
Sorenson: The field of Book of Mormon studies was tiny and fragmented into little enclaves, each focusing on different areas of endeavor. Moreover, there was no effective communication among the various camps or individual scholars.

Welch: Looking back, it is hard to realize how far the discipline of Book of Mormon studies has come in the last 20 years. In 1980 the library of significant Book of Mormon scholarship was very small. Today that body is large, and it is still growing at a rapid pace. One of the main differences between then and now is that we have come to appreciate the profound depths and subtle complexities of this amazing book, and we allow ourselves to be surprised and instructed by this book in many ways. I think we have learned in recent years to read the Book of Mormon more carefully and to place greater value on its every detail, word by word.

How was the move to Provo congenial to the aims of FARMS?
Sorenson: It promised intellectual energy by moving to the center of the church, plus the prospect of tapping into the practical resources such as secretarial support and work space.

Welch: And it allowed us to work together on a daily basis. As Stephen Ricks has often said, "There was something providential in the group of young scholars who found themselves together in Provo in the early 1980s."

What were the first big publishing projects undertaken once FARMS was established in Provo?
Sorenson: The first thing we needed was a product that would meet important needs of potential readers. We concluded that ought to consist of a library of reprints chosen for reliability of content. Jack and I particularly made the choices until we had some scores of articles we thought we could recommend without serious qualms. The selecting of reprints, instead of merely asking people to write something prospectively, meant that we were actually forming the nucleus of an inclusive yet selective scholarly community. The second priority was to put out a newsletter to begin to wave a banner.

Welch: In short order, we also published a first cut of a Book of Mormon bibliography (arranged on a computer alphabetically and chronologically). Soon we produced a slide show, "The Lands of the Book of Mormon," Several preliminary reports appeared, and in 1984 we put out our first catalog. John Sorenson's book An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon, our first major publication, was a landmark in the year 1985.

In those years, how was FARMS received?
Welch: Different people reacted very differently. The core group of interdisciplinary scholars at BYU who got behind FARMS in 1981 received the idea of FARMS with a burst of creative enthusiasm. Early readers found our initial newsletters a bit informal, but because the articles were innovative, reliable, and informative, people kept coming back. Donors were a little scarce at first, but checks, large and small, came in at just the right times, usually from family and friends, but sometimes from people we didn't even know. Not everyone, of course, was enthusiastic about our fledgling efforts, but most people were happy to give it a chance.

What were some of the big issues facing FARMS during your years as a member of the board of directors?
Sorenson: Survival! How to get enough work done to claim valuable results with so few hands to help. Another concern was how to incorporate diverse researchers and supporters. The work tended to be concentrated among the few who would actually perform the work, but that gave an impression of cliquishness; others viewed the effort with suspicion--too apologetic in orientation, not apologetic enough, too "intellectual," not approved by the Brethren, and so on.

Welch: I have served on the board for all 20 years. Dynamic issues have been discussed and decided in every board meeting. If by "big issues" you mean controversial matters, I can't remember any decision that wasn't unanimous.

It would appear that, despite such challenges, FARMS was successful in its early years.
Welch: I believe so. Many keys combine to explain the rapid success of FARMS. A few come readily to mind.

First, volunteerism: FARMS was nurtured by a rare cadre of dedicated volunteers, scholars, and office workers. Some of the earliest included Kirk Magleby, Bob Smith, Gordon Thomasson, Stephen Ricks, Don Norton, and Paul Hoskisson, each serving crucial roles. Our initial board of advisors included Hugh Nibley, Truman Madsen, Charles Tate, Robert Thomas, and Merrill Bateman. We will always be grateful for their contributions.

Second, providing needed services: FARMS did not create an artificial need; it served to fill already existing needs. The Book of Mormon was under academic attack in those days, especially in the media. FARMS offered needed answers.

Third, originality: FARMS blazed new trails; it gladly left room for others to do their things, while FARMS moved over to do what no one else was doing.

Fourth, credibility: FARMS documented everything carefully and thoroughly, and proceeded cautiously and articulately.

Fifth, in addition, the time was right for FARM in the early 1980s, when President Benson was emphasizing the Book of Mormon so heavily. At that time many scholars at BYU were uniquely prepared and willing to make serious contributions to Book of Mormon research, and BYU administration strongly supported the work of FARMS.

What do you consider to be the most notable achievements of FARMS in the past 20 years?
Sorenson: In the first decade, probably the beginning of book publishing (which often involved a research conference preceding publication). Also, the development (chiefly under Brent Hall) of an organization capable of practical fulfillment in publishing and distributing products reliably and building a core of faithful members. Another notable stride forward was the establishment of standards and mechanisms for publishing quality products (especially involving Mel Thorne). A major development in the late 1980s was the rise of the notion (among FARMS membership and beyond) that critical evaluation of published work is desirable. This led to FARMS's issuance of the Review of Books on the Book of Mormon in 1988 (now the FARMS Review of Books); without Daniel Peterson's adroit management and pen, this effort would probably not have succeeded.

The 1990s saw the publication of some basic media to inform a broader LDS audience about the findings of scriptural scholarship (this was attempted from the beginning but was not very successful). Acceptance and respect for FARMS's scholarly efforts increased in non-LDS scholarly circles, especially as a result of the Dead Sea Scrolls project. Another stride forward was the establishment of an apparatus for evaluating research and supporting research through grants under the direction of M. Gerald Bradford.

How did FARMS ensure the quality of its publications? How is this done today?
Welch: I was lucky to have served on the law review while I was at Duke law school. There I learned to source check every footnote and to require solid support for every claim. Moreover, publishing a law review is a highly collaborative effort. At FARMS we followed the same procedures: every footnote checked, every article reviewed by many people. We still follow the same procedures today.

How reliable is FARMS research? How have the quality procedures worked out?
Welch: The results have been very gratifying. Sure mistakes happen now and then, but I think we have achieved an extremely high reliability rating. Very few publishers these day can afford to check their products as closely as FARMS does. But we believe that the effort is worth it. The Book of Mormon deserves nothing but the best we can give.

Did you sense initially what FARMS could become?
Welch: While we had a strong sense of purpose for this organization from its inception--namely, to do the best possible faithful research and make it available as widely and as inexpensively as possible--we had no idea where this little operation would in fact eventually end up.

Were there times when it looked as though it wouldn't succeed?
Welch: Sure. I remember one day when the bank balance of this little organization had three digits in it, and two of them were to the right of the decimal point. I wasn't sure how we would pay our only half-time employee. I also remember some awkward times with campus politics. FARMS was a start-up upstart. But things always had a way of working out.

Why is FARMS a nonprofit corporation?
Welch: Mainly to allow tax deductions for contributions, to provide stable rules for leadership, and to avoid any personal profiteering. FARMS always has been a nonprofit organization. When money is not an issue, people are much more willing to devote time and talents to the work. From the very start, the articles of incorporation have provided that, upon liquidation, all of the money and assets of FARMS would be donated to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

To be continued...

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moksha
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Re: Master Timeline of Mopologetics

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I have a question wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 5:03 am
Wasn’t there something called “The Justice League”, a sort of Mopologetic Avengers aimed at correcting the critics? Or have I made that up...
Didn't they have a turf battle with the Danites and mysteriously disappeared? Something about sleeping with the brine shrimp.

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Re: Master Timeline of Mopologetics

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Doctor Scratch wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 9:18 pm
It would seem that Dr. Shades deleted them after DCP made his legal threats--a real loss for historians of Mopologetics.
I find it fascinating that in order to be taken seriously in a court of law, Peterson first needed to wipe the slate of not only every post he made here, but also every reference anyone made to any posts he made here...

It certainly puts his posting habits and his reputation into perspective, no?

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Re: Master Timeline of Mopologetics

Post by Gadianton »

Great find, Reverend!

In the beginning, it's a bold vision of teamwork:
I had concluded that no viable prospect for an organization existed. What Jack and FARMS promised was a large, ambitious, inclusive vision plus,
But the reality was getting something off the ground at all resulted in the power of the pen concentrated into the hands of a few:
Survival! How to get enough work done to claim valuable results with so few hands to help. Another concern was how to incorporate diverse researchers and supporters. The work tended to be concentrated among the few who would actually perform the work, but that gave an impression of cliquishness;
With a base of power secured, the inevitable next move was to dominate:
A major development in the late 1980s was the rise of the notion (among FARMS membership and beyond) that critical evaluation of published work is desirable. This led to FARMS's issuance of the Review of Books on the Book of Mormon in 1988 (now the FARMS Review of Books); without Daniel Peterson's adroit management and pen, this effort would probably not have succeeded.

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Re: Master Timeline of Mopologetics

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I have a question wrote: Wasn’t there something called “The Justice League”, a sort of Mopologetic Avengers aimed at correcting the critics? Or have I made that up....
Yeah, I think there was. This was around the time that a core group of second-tier apologists began littering the web with fake organizations to make it look like there was all this energy and innovation within the Church, but it was the same three or four people that entirely made up these bogus organizations that relied on stock photos etc. It was the same game plan as Russian election influencing and bogus local news sites put up by right-wing trolls. It really showed what Mormon apologetics is all about: lying.

Tom
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Re: Master Timeline of Mopologetics

Post by Tom »

FAIR’s Mormon Defense League was launched in August 2011 and quickly renamed MormonVoices:

https://www.deseret.com/platform/amp/20 ... e-launched

https://www.deseret.com/2011/11/22/2023 ... bsite-name

In March 2018, MormonVoices became a fundraising federation made up of the Interpreter Foundation, FairMormon, and BOMC: https://mormonvoices.org/

It hasn’t been successful.

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Dr. Shades
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Re: Master Timeline of Mopologetics

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Gadianton wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 9:21 pm
This was around the time that a core group of second-tier apologists began littering the web with fake organizations to make it look like there was all this energy and innovation within the Church, but it was the same three or four people that entirely made up these bogus organizations that relied on stock photos etc. It was the same game plan as Russian election influencing and bogus local news sites put up by right-wing trolls. It really showed what Mormon apologetics is all about: lying.
Are you referring to The More Good Foundation? Because if so--or if not, for that matter--it started sometime in 2005.

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Doctor Scratch
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Re: Master Timeline of Mopologetics

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Gadianton wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 9:10 pm
Great find, Reverend!

In the beginning, it's a bold vision of teamwork:
I had concluded that no viable prospect for an organization existed. What Jack and FARMS promised was a large, ambitious, inclusive vision plus,
But the reality was getting something off the ground at all resulted in the power of the pen concentrated into the hands of a few:
Survival! How to get enough work done to claim valuable results with so few hands to help. Another concern was how to incorporate diverse researchers and supporters. The work tended to be concentrated among the few who would actually perform the work, but that gave an impression of cliquishness;
With a base of power secured, the inevitable next move was to dominate:
A major development in the late 1980s was the rise of the notion (among FARMS membership and beyond) that critical evaluation of published work is desirable. This led to FARMS's issuance of the Review of Books on the Book of Mormon in 1988 (now the FARMS Review of Books); without Daniel Peterson's adroit management and pen, this effort would probably not have succeeded.
Yes: this seems crucial, and yet look at how Sorenson phrases this: it's all written in the passive voice. (And Welch, the lawyer, seems to know better than to even bring that topic up.) He says, "the rise of the notion" and his phrase, "among FARMS membership and beyond" is vague.... Does he mean the leadership? Donors? And who is the "beyond"? Neal Maxwell? But then we get a massive jump-cut: it was DCP who was responsible for this. The meanness and aggression--the bellicosity: here is Sorenson himself, explaining to a FARMS-friendly audience that Dr. Peterson was the one who pushed the "critical evaluation of published work". Hit pieces, in other words.

That would seem to be DCP's primary contribution to the movement, summed up by the now-infamous quote, "Stupid work deserves to be ridiculed." Very well: stupid Mopologists deserve to be ridiculed, too!

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Doctor Scratch
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Re: Master Timeline of Mopologetics

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Tom wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 10:23 pm
FAIR’s Mormon Defense League was launched in August 2011 and quickly renamed MormonVoices:

https://www.deseret.com/platform/amp/20 ... e-launched

https://www.deseret.com/2011/11/22/2023 ... bsite-name

In March 2018, MormonVoices became a fundraising federation made up of the Interpreter Foundation, FairMormon, and BOMC: https://mormonvoices.org/

It hasn’t been successful.
Tom:

I assume you're defining "success" in financial terms. How much, exactly, has this "federation" managed to drum up? You list Interpreter's fiscal expenditures each quarter, but are you really saying here that those figures *also* include the other two organizations?

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Re: Master Timeline of Mopologetics

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Tom wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 10:23 pm
FAIR’s Mormon Defense League was launched in August 2011 and quickly renamed MormonVoices:

https://www.deseret.com/platform/amp/20 ... e-launched

https://www.deseret.com/2011/11/22/2023 ... bsite-name

In March 2018, MormonVoices became a fundraising federation made up of the Interpreter Foundation, FairMormon, and BOMC: https://mormonvoices.org/

It hasn’t been successful.
Thank you, Tom. Your items have been added to the MToM.

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Gadianton
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Re: Master Timeline of Mopologetics

Post by Gadianton »

FAIR’s Mormon Defense League
ROFL! A League! It must be a huge organization! Isn't this the same as Wade Englund and his C-SAD "center"? LOL!

http://mormondiscussions.com/viewtopic. ... &view=next

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Re: Master Timeline of Mopologetics

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How did FARMS ensure the quality of its publications? How is this done today?

Welch: I was lucky to have served on the law review while I was at Duke law school. There I learned to source check every footnote and to require solid support for every claim. Moreover, publishing a law review is a highly collaborative effort. At FARMS we followed the same procedures: every footnote checked, every article reviewed by many people.
Wow. I recently read something from Quinn that puts this statement from Welch into an interesting perspective. The entire thing is fascinating and lays out Quinn’s proof exquisitely, but here’s an excerpt that makes Welch’s claim about “source check[ing]” and “solid support” quite unbelievable.
The following is footnote 108 from Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, revised and enlarged edition, 1998, pgs 499-504.

“As a graduate student at Brigham Young University in the late-1960s John W. Welch made the extraordinarily important discovery that there are many exam- ples in the Book of Mormon text of a complex pattern of poetic parallelism which also occurs in the Hebrew Bible. Known as chiasmus to modem scholars....

Despite all evidence to the contrary, in 1969 John W. Welch claimed that none of this information was available to Joseph Smith or even to other Americans during Smith s lifetime....

In support of his claim that this information about biblical parallelism was not available to Joseph Smith’s generation, Welch’s 1969 citation to Lowth was deceptive in two ways: (1) by not acknowledging that English-language editions were available since 1787, and (2) by citing Lowth’s 1829 Latin edition as if this were the first time the Anglican bishop published about the matter.

Welch knew differently because his master’s thesis (submitted early enough in 1970 to be read and approved by his graduate committee in April) cited Lowth’s 1815 Ameri- can edition in the English language...

As I told John W. Welch in a 1995 letter, I have always admired and praised his discovery of the ancient poetic technique of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon.

However, I believe that he has done a disservice to all Mormon believers by his decades of misrepresenting America’s pre-1830 knowledge of this biblical parallelism.

As stated in my text discussion, Hugh Nibley’s misstatements in 1975 occurred because of his lack of access to information that was not yet published or not easily available to him.

That was not the case with John W. Welch, whose publications for the LDS audience since 1969, in my opinion, have manifested an escalating, intentional concealment of pre-1830 American publications about chiasmus.

https://faenrandir.github.io/a_careful_ ... -chiasmus/
[bolding added]

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Re: Master Timeline of Mopologetics

Post by Tom »

Doctor Scratch wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 11:09 pm
Tom wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 10:23 pm
FAIR’s Mormon Defense League was launched in August 2011 and quickly renamed MormonVoices:

https://www.deseret.com/platform/amp/20 ... e-launched

https://www.deseret.com/2011/11/22/2023 ... bsite-name

In March 2018, MormonVoices became a fundraising federation made up of the Interpreter Foundation, FairMormon, and BOMC: https://mormonvoices.org/

It hasn’t been successful.
Tom:

I assume you're defining "success" in financial terms. How much, exactly, has this "federation" managed to drum up? You list Interpreter's fiscal expenditures each quarter, but are you really saying here that those figures *also* include the other two organizations?
Yes, it’s failed financially. I assume that Interpreter’s numbers are separate, but who knows.

Dr. Peterson, on Mormon Voices: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeters ... rabia.html

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