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Robert F. Smith

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About Robert F. Smith

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    Creates Man & Woman

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  1. Lexical Duplicity and Trust in Communication

    Does this mean that Dehlinites do now or will constitute a Fifth Column inside the Church, for whatever purpose? And will future demographers take account of the actual and pretend Mormons within the LDS Church? With graphs of each?
  2. Active on the outside, inactive on the inside

    The problem with "a carbon copy" is that it is identical. However, the differences are far more extensive than "superficial." For one thing, the endowment ceremony itself is taken very heavily directly from Scripture (the Creation and Garden stories in Genesis and the Book of Moses), and we have discussed many times on this board the antique parallels of washing, anointing, clothing, and naming with the same actions in Hindu puja, in royal coronations (including Elizabeth II) and in the Bible. The style of robe and the oaths and covenants entered into are even closer at the annual Islamic Hajj in Mecca. The late Professor Mervin B. Hogan of the Univ of Utah wrote extensively on Mormon temple rites as compared to the Masonic rites, since he had intimate knowledge of both, and he concluded that they are not identical. That does not mean that there are not similarities: See especially Michael Homer, “‘Similarity of Priesthood in Masonry: The Relationship Between Freemasonry and Mormonism,” Dialogue, 27/3 (Fall 1994), 1-113, online at https://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V27N03_15.pdf .
  3. I'd be very interested in a citation to that noteworthy event, if it occurred. Canon, but not Scripture? Did I understand you right here, Bob?
  4. They do say that "perception is everything," and this appears to be what you are saying. However, making reality a mere matter of perception is illogical at best and irresponsible at worst. Most Mormons have never used the word "canon" and have no idea what it is. Some of them do occasionally think of the introductions and chapter headings as authoritative Scripture. What they may think of the JST footnotes and endnotes yet remains to be examined by poll. My experience is that it seldom comes up to be used, but when it does I do not find anyone treating it as official Scripture (maybe because hardly anyone comments on that aspect of the footnote -- they simply read it and go on, without further discussion). In any case, the JST footnotes have only been in LDS Scriptures since 1979, so that only the younger generation has seen it as a normal concomitant of their Scriptures. If that is the case for you, that might explain why you give it such an unquestioned position of authority.
  5. Galileo in the Book of Mormon

    Did you read my reply to Clark Goble? You are on the right track, but you need to go a little further (read the cited pages in my piece).
  6. Active on the outside, inactive on the inside

    I guess the primary problems for you should be: 1. that the LDS temple ritual is not a carbon copy of Masonic rites; 2. that Cowdery lived in the same town as the author of the 1823 View of the Hebrews, 7 years before publication of the BofM -- which is not similar to View of the Hebrews, and the author was not Oliver's pastor; 3. although it is possible, we know of no case in which Joseph fathered any children (except by Emma) during all these plural sealings (despite DNA tests); 4. the BofAbraham is remarkably accurate in its claims as a matter of standard Egyptology; 5. and the LDS Church has not been telling you whom to vote for and has not been increasingly political. Your problem is not that you have read the LDS Gospel Topics (which contain none of that folderol), but that you have bought into anti-Mormon lies with reckless abandon. If the fire of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (the powerful stuff He taught in the New Testament) has died inside you, a cessation of your belief in God cannot be far behind. Once all that has been abandoned, your good heart too will turn on you, and you will find it impossible to live as a double-minded man. You will become less active, and your wife will wonder whom she married. At some point, you will no longer recognize yourself. If you have children in the future, they will wonder what's wrong with Daddy.
  7. Migrations by Boat to America

    You always come up with such thought-provoking info, Rajah. Thanks again. However, that ""quarter of the Earth where there never had man been" (Ether 2:5) refers to crossing central Asia, long before the Jaredites arrive at the Pacific Ocean. It is very likely meant to be hyperbole, i.e., a probable description of areas in which they found no inhabitants present.
  8. Not so. Had the JST been canonized, I would expect that a formal proposal on that would have been forthcoming at Conference time. I would further expect that it would have been fully published as a replacement for the KJV. Such has never been the case, and I think that wise since the JST is clearly an effort to merely clarify the biblical text. Joseph and his successors have done the same thing with the Book of Mormon and the Book of Commandments, updating and improving them where it seemed possible. A matter of inspiration in some cases, and of common sense in others. God gives us brains and expects us to use them. The notion that anything contained inside the covers of a quad, or downloadable on a smartphone is Canon, including the Topical Guide, doesn't make any sense at all, Bob. Are you sure that you've had your morning Postum? I suppose, if you are referring to the actual 1611 KJV, which had important marginal translation notes which were considered by the editor and the translators to be equal with the words used in the text -- to the extent that such notes were removed and replaced by other kinds of notes, which change with each edition. Otherwise, to put footnotes, endnotes, and chapter headings on the same level as the Holy text is absurd -- regardless of language or version. Perhaps, but only to the extent that members adopt a notion of Scriptural "authority" which rests primarily on folklore. Without a deeply searching poll, I doubt that we can say much about that. However, I would be very uncomfortable with the notion of "canon" by opinion poll, since most people don't even know what the word means.
  9. New First Presidency

    At the most simplistic level, of course, but that is not what we are talking about. We are discussing the reading of facial expression or other gestures by people who are not members of our immediate family, and that is a high risk enterprise, often leading to false judgments which can imprison an innocent man, and free a guilty one. You seem bound and determined to avoid or ignore the hard lessons gleaned from real world experience. We need hard evidence, not opinion-mongering. As Brother Brigham said, "No man's opinion is worth a straw."
  10. You failed to read the highlighted portion I was replying to ("its all in the canon we have today." ), which makes your reply to that comment a non sequitur. You need to follow carefully what is in fact happening in the actual conversation. No. It is a matter of your jettisoning logic and evidence in claiming validity for your opinions. It is your responsibility to come to grips with the facts.
  11. Galileo in the Book of Mormon

    Abraham lectured the Egyptians on astronomy (Fac 3) based on his more sophisticated background in Mesopotamian astronomy. See my reply to Clark Goble.
  12. The plain fact is that, for whatever reason, the Brethren have not seen fit to dignify the JST as canon. That may boggle your mind, but it might be wise for you to accept it. As to your sweeping claim about the broader influence of the 1828 Phinney Bible, perhaps you would like to back that up with some good sources. The Phinney Bible used for markup by Rigdon & Smith wasn't purchased until Oct 1829, long after the Book of Mormon translation had been completed. Each article in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism is written by a particular author, who provides us with his opinion. It was you who discounted Rigdon's influence, not me. I have repeatedly taken issue with your discounting of his ability and influence. I provided you with some excellent citations (resources) on revelation, which you have apparently avoided coming to grips with.
  13. Galileo in the Book of Mormon

    I wasn't convinced. I preferred the approach of Mike Rhodes and Ward Moody in chapter 2 (Gee & Hauglid, eds., Astronomy, Papyrus, and Covenant [FARMS, 2005]. 17-69), concluding that it corresponds with modern science as understood in the 20th century. More importantly, my own research revealed that Abraham was fully knowledgeable of ancient Mesopotamian astronomy, which he called upon extensively -- see pages 22-25 of my “A Brief Assessment of the LDS Book of Abraham,” version 8 online August 18, 2014, at http://www.scribd.com/doc/118810727/A-Brief-Assessment-of-the-LDS-Book-of-Abraham .
  14. Galileo in the Book of Mormon

    What do you make of the astronomical stuff in the Book of Abraham? Especially in chapter 3.
  15. Dan Vogel often argues along such lines. The advantage of such loose argument is that it cannot be refuted. The information environment is just there. No research in the library at Harvard College is necessary. Everything necessary is simply in the air.