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  2. Glad to have you. (We're more of a family here than most social media sites, so if you want to tell us something about yourself, many of us would like that.)
  3. I don’t know how anyone can listen to the December 2017 recording and not conclude that Bishop’s elevator wasn’t reaching the top floor, post-op medications notwithstanding. Nobody dealing from a full deck would have talked one minute longer to Denson once it became clear that the latter had used deception to arrange the meeting and was actively collecting incriminating statements. There is nothing in the leaked portions of the BYUPD interview that makes Bishop seem any more lucid, and the absurd notion that the church paid for Denson (or anyone else) to have a boob job should be a giant red flag. (Remember that Denson herself laughed off the idea—see p. 37 of the PDF transcript—that she and Bishop had ever discussed her breasts in the MTC, as she “had no breasts at 21.”) I still cannot fathom people’s taking Bishop’s babblings at face value, not to mention forming essentially out-of-the-brown conclusions with no other basis. There are witnesses who can cast light on this whole situation—especially other missionaries who knew Denson in the MTC, her ex-husband, and the other MTC accuser.
  4. They didn't 'delete the words'. They elided them. This is standard practice. And then they intentionally and clearly marked the elision by including points of ellipsis. This is also standard practice. And then they provided the reference to the source material so that anyone who might want to could look up the quotation in its entirety. This is likewise standard practice. And anyone who actually goes back and reads Pres Snow's sermon in its entirety will quickly realise that the meme you posted is not just mistaken or even mildly dishonest but is a blatant attempt to deceive. The sermon calls the Saints to repentance for not having been paying their tithes and thanks those who have recently repented. Some selected quotes: 'No man can keep this law unless he pay a conscientious tithing' (p. 27). 'Bishop Preston ... would show you that the name of every man, woman and child who pays tithing is recorded [in the book of the law of the Lord] and none others' (p. 27). Please note how I handled this quote. Then I invite you to look at the entire paragraph it has been taken from and tell me if I have not been faithful to the original. Also, please note how one gets her or his name in the book of the law of the Lord. 'The Lord manifested to me most clearly ... to teach this principle to the Latter-day Saints, because there had been woeful neglect of this law, and the Latter-day Saints should be shown the necessity of observing this law most faithfully' (p. 28) Same deal holds on the elision in this quote. 'In looking over the books we found that a great many of the Latter-day Saints had not paid one cent of tithing. I was perfectly astonished, for I had no idea that there had been so much neglect' (p. 28). Note that not paying any tithing is a source of astonishment, not something he would expect -- and in fact is considered 'neglect'. 'I know the Lord will forgive the Latter-day Saints for their past negligence in paying tithing, if they will now repent and pay a conscientious tithing from this time on' (p. 28). And lastly: 'It is God's truth that the time has now come when He will not look favorably upon our negligence of this principle. I plead with you in the name of the Lord, and I pray that every man, woman and child who has means shall pay one-tenth of their income as a tithing' (p. 28). By the way, Pres Snow consistently used the word means in this sermon to refer to income/money. Specifically check out pp. 23 and 24. So, important question: If the person who crafted the meme you posted actually checked this sermon, why did s/he then design the meme to convey a demonstrably false impression?
  5. I ran some numbers based off of the list from Todd Comptom (grabbed form https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Joseph_Smith's_wives). Out of the 33 marriages after Emma Smith, 9 of them (27%) were to woman older than him. The women older than him were on average 10 years older. The women younger than him were on average 13 years younger. All the women were on average only 7 years younger than him. Using the "half age plus seven" rule of thumb on dating and marriage, 19 of the women (58%) were within that range. So, it does look like he was "targeting" women across a wide variety of ages and most of his marriages (58%) would be acceptable under the "half age plus seven" rule of thumb.
  6. Have you ever looked into the accounts from the Cochin Jews in India and the Lemba Jews in Zimbabwe? Both groups talk about a similar migration from Jerusalem to a place called Sena [1] along the same trail in the same time period. The similarities between their accounts and the Book of Mormon are striking. ----- [1] Sena was a thriving Jewish city at the time of the Babylonian empire around 500 BC, and is believed to have been dominated by Israelites who had fled Jerusalem during the Babylonian invasion.
  7. Hi, my name is Tony. just joined recently and hope to learn and ask some questions. Thanks
  8. Today
  9. Identifying the earliest usage of words or phrases has essentially the same constraints and limitations as identifying obsolescence. The issue isn't merely about dating the text, but whether or not the nature of the text can help reliably identify the medium of its production--i.e. whether it was produced by Joseph Smith or was revealed to him (or, under some theories, somehow naturally transmitted to him or discovered by him). Obviously, being able to identify the agent(s) responsible (or at least those not responsible) for producing the English text will potentially influence interpretations of its meaning and the rhetorical purposes of its words and phrases.
  10. I affirm that one of the primary reasons the early LDS were commanded to practice polygamy was to “raise seed to the Lord.”. These things being unless commanded by God. Please use the entire quote.
  11. As long as that's not the only thing they desire or the most important thing, otherwise the marriage is destined to end or end in dissatisfaction and resentment and maybe even hate. Same thing with a woman marrying for money. What happens if he loses it?
  12. To my knowledge, Carmack has never stated or implied that the rhetorical purpose of the archaic language is merely to convey a text written in Early Modern English. He does a lot of research that simply doesn't address the issue of the text's potential rhetorical purposes, but that shouldn't be confused with an assertion that the purpose of the archaic language is merely to be categorized as EModE.
  13. Yesterday
  14. Well, good to know I guess. You do bring up something true, that the church doesn't expect someone with no income to pay, but still they shouldn't delete the words, IMO. Just let it go and if someone asks, explain.
  15. The Book of Mormon clarifies the position of the United States, North America and the new world in the latter days. As an EV we studied with various different preachers and there were various different scenarios for the US to play in the latter days but we are never called out as a nation. I thought it was rather odd that the most powerful nation in the world was not mentioned in any Old Testament prophecies regarding the latter days. A study of the lost 10 tribes of Israel with these preachers would make it seem that Ephraim and Manasseh were the United States and England (or Vise versa).This would appear to turn out to be true. The thing that struck me the most when I discovered the Book of Mormon and the LDS Church was that I knew Christ had come to America. It was an aha! moment for me. The Book of Mormon confirmed it for me.
  16. Really? Eliza Snow, one of his most prominent wives was older. Given JS had no issue from any of his plural marriages, I acquit him of “targeting” anyone.
  17. I recall a story from the bible. Jesus was with Mary, who was anointing his feet with some very expensive oil. Judas asked if it would have been better to sell the oil in order to provide for the poor. Jesus said there will always be poverty, but he would not always be with them. We are tithed to give to Christ's church. We are not tithed to give to the poor. And these two things are not mutually exclusive. A person can both pay tithing and give money to charitable organizations.
  18. I mean a couple of things. We can discuss English language usage in terms of its earliest usage (and Skousen does). We can go through the OED and look at what documentation exists for a specific kind of usage first appearing. But, what is much more difficult is looking for the latest usage. Skousen points to all of this EME in the Book of Mormon, but the problem is that we don't really care about when it first shows up, but rather, whether or not it would be understood at the time the Book of Mormon was published. It is much more difficult to put a date on when a usage would no longer be understood by English language speakers and readers. So the idea that EME appears in the Book of Mormon does not convince me in any way that the Book of Mormon text (or portions of it) originate in a time frame earlier than the 1828-1830 translation period. (This is another issue I bring up in my FAIR presentation on the translation of the Book of Mormon). So when we talk about the EME in the Book of Mormon, much of that EME still exists in ME. And even more would have still existed within the awareness of readers in 1830. And so we can talk about when specific words and usages enter the English language, but we usually cannot talk with any certainty about when they leave. My belief is that the Book of Mormon in translation uses archaic language as a rhetorical style, as a way of making the text as a whole mean something different. As I noted: Ben
  19. I'm not sure 'looser' is what you meant to write here ...
  20. Just to add a little more context to Tacenda's Drive by statistics, you can find actual, real bankruptcy statics at this website. https://www.abi.org/newsroom/bankruptcy-statistics if you download the spreadsheet, you will see that over the years, Utah has been as high as 4th place and currently is 10th place.
  21. There are always better reasons to doubt religious assertions than there are to scientifically believe them.
  22. Clark writes: This just isn't true Clark. Authors have no control over who actually reads what they write, but they have absolute control over the hypothetical audience that they are writing for. Authors always write to some audience, even if the audience that they write for and to bears no resemblance to the real audience that eventually reads the material. I do go over this in that essay. The degree to which a real audience understands the text as intended by its author is to some extent the degree to which that audience resembles the hypothetical audience that the author is writing to. I write this: The author doesn't actually write to the real audience over which he has no control. At the same time, the question of composite authorship is not as meaningful as you suggest in this discussion. Why? Because we don't have the text as-it-was, we only have the text-as-it-is. And the meaning of the text can change dramatically as it goes through a complex history, but, we don't have the text in the form in which it starts (we can only speculate about this). When we deal with reader-response, we don't deal with the text in terms of how the reader is responding to the earlier forms of the text because the reader doesn't encounter them. We can discuss how the later editors/redactors/contributors function both as readers and as authors, but in the end the text that we have is the text that we encounter. We don't have to understand the complexity of the history of a text (and a textual tradition) to find meaning in a text. And in fact, it is likely that a person who believes that they understand the complexity of the textual tradition will read a text much differently than someone who has no clue. But, unless the author of a text was writing to someone who understands the complexity of the textual tradition, our understanding of that textual tradition doesn't necessarily make us better at reading the text and coming to the meaning intended by the final author(s) of the text. This is certainly true in places. The problem is that in 2 Nephi 26-27, where Nephi is quoting Isaiah, he also quotes Nephi. Here is 2 Nephi 26:14 -15 - This isn't Isaiah's prophecy, it is Nephi's prophecy. But in verse 15, we get Isaiah 29, right (starting with that bit from 29:3-4a)? We can reconstruct this from two sources - Isaiah 29 and 1 Nephi 13:34-25. And while a lot of this comes from Isaiah, we progress through the prophecy given to Nephi in 1 Nephi 13. the Lord God shall bring these things forth (2 Nephi 26:14) I will bring forth unto them (1 Nephi 13:34) After my seed and the seed of my brethren shall have dwindled in unbelief (2 Nephi 26:15) after thy seed shall be destroyed, and dwindle in unbelief, and also the seed of thy brethren (1 Nephi 13:35) and shall have been smitten by the Gentiles (2 Nephi 26:15) and smitten them by the hand of the Gentiles (1 Nephi 13:34) They shall write the things which shall be done among them (2 Nephi 26:17) they shall write many things which I shall minister unto them (1 Nephi 13:35) And so on. This isn't to say that Nephi isn't using a different version of Isaiah (something I think is inevitable - it gets corrected to the KJV in translation because it has to become meaningful in translation - something I discussed at the FAIRMormon conference a few years ago). What I am saying is that Nephi employs Isaiah as a way of interpreting his own prophecy. And in doing so, he recontextualizes the events that Isaiah describes into a context that no one in Jerusalem at the time that Isaiah 29 was written would have ever considered. This means that it isn't a traditional pesher, or a midrash. And this is why I disagree with your comment here: Nephi is more than willing to tell us (and I do think it is unusual in a way) about what he intends to convey in his text. We have very, very few ancient sources that explicitly describe the appropriation of texts in the way that Nephi does. And it seems to me that Nephi is giving us examples of this sort of thing in his text, not just talking about it. Clearly, this is colored by expectations (which isn't a bad thing). The challenge is that for any specific reader, the text isn't ambiguous at all. Isaiah was wildly popular, we have plenty of interpretations of Isaiah, all of which change as the contextualization changes (as the reader changes). So our argument that there's no unambiguous prophecy in the Old Testament is only a reflection of the interpretive history of the text spread across many different communities. This doesn't mean that Isaiah wrote ambiguously. What it means is that the audience becomes partners with the author in terms of forming meaning. And just as the author writes to a hypothetical idealized audience, so to, audiences read with assumptions about a hypothetical, idealized author. Obviously we can't read the author of Isaiah's mind. Ben McGuire
  23. This. People who pontificate on this topic always seem to pass right over this. We had a family in our ward a few years ago when I was serving in the bishopric. She lost her job, and they could no longer afford to pay tithing and make their home loan repayments. Since we know the blessings of tithing, this is easy. I encouraged them to tithe, and the ward contributed what was needed to meet their loan obligations until their situation improved. It's just that simple. No, let's do. If one consults the 19th-century Dictionary of American English, one will find the definition of the word means current at the time that Pres Snow spoke these words: 'income, revenue'. And if one consults the Cambridge English Dictionary, mindful of the fact that Pres Snow had a good education and may have spoken a more British English, one will find that the British definition was quite similar: 'money, for example from an income'. So what did Pres Snow say to the Saints in 1899? That every man, woman and child with an income should tithe. Now, what does an honest person do with a historical quote when the meaning of a word has shifted enough that the original intention might be misconstrued? One option would be to insert '[an income]' in place of 'means'. But of course, that would still result in people falsely accusing the Church of quote fiddling. One could also leave the quote intact but add an explanation in a footnote. In a piece of academic writing, that would be preferred. Or one could do exactly what the Church has done in this case. But to pretend that the Church has altered this quote in order to obscure a doctrinal shift is historically inaccurate, misleading, and, quite possibly, dishonest.
  24. Every time I try to Control-C anything it yells at me "Do you wanna a log in? NO?!? Well press this obnoxious in your face button to copy even though it makes no difference." I would like to ask what the heck is going on.
  25. You are relying on a bankruptcy law firms advertisement to reach your conclusions about bankruptcy statistics in Utah. Try and use statistics more responsibly next time.
  26. As I already said to the narrator, I never claimed were better qualified than Bokovoy on this issue. I'll also say again, not all our feedback was incorporated. I am not going to go into details about what we disagreed with, but I'd suggest not assuming you know what we did or did not tell him about Isaiah 29. Honestly, at the end of the day, I really don't care if people think Elder Callister should have gotten feedback more better people than us or whatever. I was simply correcting the assertion that Elder Callister didn't have any scholars at all. If people really want to believe we are just apologetic hacks who weren't really qualified to give Elder Callister good advice, that's y'alls prerogative.
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