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the narrator

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About the narrator

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    Back from outer darkness

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  1. I'm jumping into this late and have only skimmed the thread, so forgive me if this is redundant. Concerning Hauglid's use of "abhorrent" to describe Gee and Muhlstein's work, I think he is referring to things like this: One of my favorite moments in any Mormon Studies event was during the 2013 Church History Symposium where John Gee says (around the 19:40 mark): "the majority of the Kirtland Egyptian papers belong to Phelps so they cannot be used to reconstruct Joseph Smith's knowledge of Egyptian. . . . So the only certain source of Joseph Smith on Egyptian is the text of the Book of Abraham excluding the facsimile." Hauglid spoke shortly after Gee (unfortunately the video is not online) and opened with a projected photo of a page from the Egyptian Alphabet and said, "This is Joseph Smith's handwriting." As Bob likes to point out, Hauglid is not trained in Egyptology, and in the past he relied on Gee and other apologists. However, the text of the Book of Abraham itself is eventually what convinced him that it could not have been a translation of an ancient source, which led him to reevaluate Gee and Muhlstein's arguments, which he now finds very problematic and probably at times deceptive. When I was editing David Bokovoy's book, his earlier draft chapter on the BofM discussed the papyri at much greater length, but he eventually agreed to cut most of that out because his arguments based on the documentary hypothesis is IMO far more convincing, rendering apologetics surrounding the papyri rather useless and inconsequential. It's no surprise then that Gee has amped up in recent years his either ignorant or dishonest (to be nice I'll assume the former) dismissals of the documentary hypothesis.
  2. Yeah, the $30 billion includes it's bank and financial investments.
  3. Not making a joke. While the Catholic Church has a lot of real estate directly used by it members or for its charities, only a fraction of the LDS Church's real estate is owned for worship or other "religious" purposes. The vast majority of its real estate is for financial investment, business, and for welfare farms, and the purchases in the last couple decades for the purpose of financial investments have dramatically increased. Furthermore, while the Vatican frequently operates at a deficit, only bringing in 1/100th in donations of what the LDS Church brings in through tithes, IIRC most of the LDS Church's expenditures are paid with the interests made by investing it's $7 billion in annual tithing revenue. I was recently told by someone who is generally in the know that the total assets of the LDS Church right now is at $630 billion.
  4. The real estate of the Vatican itself is only worth about $1 billion, not counting it's priceless art.
  5. I don't think there is any discomfort. I think it just points to how small potatoes the LDS Church is. (Unless we are talking $$$. In that case the total assets of the LDS Church dwarfs that of the Catholic Church.)
  6. Here is the Pope's itinerary for the day. And here is what the Vatican found newsworthy from that day.
  7. I found it interesting, and somewhat funny, how differently Salt Lake and the Vatican viewed this meeting.
  8. Maybe rather than working hard to align with words and labels, just focus more on emulating Jesus. Instead of demanding that others see us as Christians, show them what it means to follow Jesus. Stop obsessing with how many times we can use the word Jesus, and instead read the Gospel accounts about him--especially the slightly more historical synoptic ones--and ask how concerned he is with his name being plastered everywhere, beautiful temples, and nuclear families, as opposed to his concerns about bringing justice to those under temporal oppression. Or, maybe we should just ignore the actual Jesus and be more like this guy:
  9. Nope. Partly because I don't believe in an afterlife. Passage doesn't say anything about trying. In the context of the Sermon on the Mount, those who do the will of the Father are those building the Kingdom of God (where the poor, powerless, starving, and mourning are taken care of). Jesus is saying that's what God cares about, not about transcendent miracles done in his name. Because names and their importance are ultimately about ego and power over others (such that God in the OT is frequently portrayed as horribly ego driven and narcissistic), and Jesus is far more concerned with helping others rather than his own ego.
  10. Matthew 7:21-23 always comes to mind when I'm reminded of this effort.
  11. I turn 40 in less than 3 months, so I truly appreciate this.
  12. Nah. The organizers (who happen to be men by virtue of their roles as directors of the Religious Studies and Mormon Studies programs at UVU) consulted with women on who to invite and, as far as I'm aware, only invited women--probably to prevent old Jordan Peterson loving dudes from grandstanding about how men were sadly discriminated against by not being given equal 50% speaking slots.
  13. The last session on Friday is focused on cross-cultural issues. Don't know what everyone's will be speaking on, but I know that my friend Taunalyn Rutherford's dissertation is on Mormon women in India.
  14. Meh. I'm sure you can find some Jordan Peterson videos to comfort you as you go through this hurtful phase of being discriminated against.
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