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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. Baptism - Doctrinal Evolution

    LIke polygamy, and some other practices of early Mormonism, it may be less about development or evolution and more about use and disuse of some legitimate practices -- which could be reimplemented today. Baptisms are ritual immersions in water, and can presumably be done for a variety of reasons. Which reminds me of the longtime Jewish practice of ritual washing, which preceded the NT period, and which remain in effect. One Jewish practice is ritual immersion for conversion to Judaism, which the other is immersion for ritual purity in which all Jews participate. Both take place in a formal mikveh.
  2. A Prophet of God

    That is a setup, waterdog. Even Jesus didn't make such hoity-toity and self-important declarations. He might ask, "Who do men say that I am?" Or he might get up and read a portion of Torah on the Sabbath in his home synagogue, then sit down and comment in powerful fashion. You might want to ask first, What do prophets ordinarily do and say, now and in times past? What sort of patterns do authentic prophets follow? Do you prefer reality or mockery?
  3. How do you find trusting faith when you don't feel it?

    Two things: First, give up on the cute aphorisms, which may or may not be applicable, and just put your best foot forward. Employers are not so much interested in expertise as in a good attitude. Second, try following Alma 32: 26-43.
  4. If the Church bought the Kirtland Temple

    I agree. It serves a valuable historical purpose now, and has great missionary potential. We need to take it over and make sure that it functions much like our many tabernacles.
  5. A Prophet of God

    Hogwash, waterdog. You probably need to read this thread before popping off with poppycock.
  6. A Prophet of God

    Elijah received at that time a very specific, detailed set of orders from God, very much the same way in which the late Apostle Richard G. Scott reported receiving detailed instructions for his assignment in Mexico (cited above). I see no effective difference between the time of Elijah and nowadays on that score. So, I am in full agreement with you on this. We vastly underestimate what modern revelation entails.
  7. God probably won't allow us to find Nahom

    All true enough, but not relevant to what you say next. There is in fact no immediate turn. We get the turn only five or six verses later, which is more than an interlude in which some complaints are voiced. We know from that set of verses that the complainers repented, and that the Lord provided food. How much time was summed up in all of that? We even encounter the phrase "it came to pass," which is a narrative marker of transition (16:39), and then another instance of that same marker (17:1) before the text mentions them continuing in the wilderness on a "nearly eastward" track (17:1). Perhaps a change in direction took place near Nahom, but there is in fact no way to know that. Nephi is only giving us a general picture, with very few specific stops and incidents along the way. It is not a sitrep with topographic military accuracy. We can only speculate on the details nearly 2600 years later, even if we believe that it all actually happened.
  8. Sounds reasonable. I used to know a number of the top and middle-level leadership of the old RLDS Church, and I found them to be good people. They worked hard and deserved a good retirement.
  9. A Prophet of God

    Unfortunately, I don't think that inspiration and revelation can be neatly separated so easily.
  10. God probably won't allow us to find Nahom

    I see no reason to connect Nahom with the turn nearly eastward. They are not that closely connected in the text. Hence, we don't really know when or where they turned. Even using their final destination is not indicative, since the site of Bountiful had to be reached by going south from their general direction of travel. Clan Lehi spent no time in any impassable desert. Wilderness, yes, but not in desert. These are the standard directions in Arabic usage, and they do not differ from the way Hebrew speakers oriented themselves:
  11. Curious about cafeteria doctrines

    And that is the heart and soul of Mormonism.
  12. A Prophet of God

    It does depend on whose version of reality you listen to. Some claim that revelation/inspiration is a continuous, daily affair in running the Church. Others suggest (as you do) that it is an extraordinary and infrequent event. I think that the Brethren are very humble and chary of discussing such holy things in any offhand manner. I do commend to you one very specific POV, based on the regular practice of the late Apostle Richard G. Scott, “To Acquire Spiritual Guidance,” LDS General Conference, Oct 2009, Ensign, 39/11 (Nov 2009), online at https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2009/10/to-acquire-spiritual-guidance?lang=eng . A very workmanlike approach. Aside from that, I recommend an important series of articles dealing directly with your concern: Duane Boyce, “A Lengthening Shadow: Is Quality of Thought Deteriorating in LDS Scholarly Discourse Regarding Prophets and Revelation? Part One,” Interpreter, 26 (2017): 1-48, online at http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/a-lengthening-shadow-is-quality-of-thought-deteriorating-in-lds-scholarly-discourse-regarding-prophets-and-revelation-part-one/ . Duane Boyce, “A Lengthening Shadow: Is Quality of Thought Deteriorating in LDS Scholarly Discourse Regarding Prophets and Revelation? Part Two,” Interpreter, 26 (2017):49-92, online at http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/a-lengthening-shadow-is-quality-of-thought-deteriorating-in-lds-scholarly-discourse-regarding-prophets-and-revelation-part-two/ . Duane Boyce, “A Lengthening Shadow: Is Quality of Thought Deteriorating in LDS Scholarly Discourse Regarding Prophets and Revelation? Part Three,” Interpreter, 26 (2017):93-122, online at http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/a-lengthening-shadow-is-quality-of-thought-deteriorating-in-lds-scholarly-discourse-regarding-prophets-and-revelation-part-three/ .
  13. Regional Priesthood Leadership Conference

    You may be missing the point, which is that solid state devices are rocks -- semiconductors made from silicon, gallium, arsenide, germanium, etc. The crystal sets which we played with as kids (I'm an old guy) were rocks, natural crystals which we manipulated with wires to receive radio waves. Solar cells are semiconductors made from crystalline silicon. An LED is a semiconductor, a rock which is stimulated with a small voltage into providing electroluminescence for a readable screen.
  14. God probably won't allow us to find Nahom

    Hebrew ʼahărōn (Numbers 8:2-26, Deuteronomy 32:50, Micah 6:4) = LXX Greek aarōn. Without vowels the consonants are 'hrn. The initial tick at the beginning of the four consonants is a glottal stop called 'alef.
  15. Regional Priesthood Leadership Conference

    It is not laughable at all, whether comparing a rock to a light emitting diode (both are solid state devices), or comparing the liahona to a modern gps. Of course, in Joseph's day no one knew anything about such modern devices, but God is presumably able to provide high technology devices when needed. Perhaps you prefer magic and miracle rather than a God who uses natural law to accomplish his ends. The Protestants and Roman Catholics prefer the magic and miracle explanation, which I find laughable. You have it backward, HappyJack. Reading a human-generated Early Modern English translation (from ca 1540) from an LED screen on a solid state device in a hat has nothing to do with "tight" translation. It merely transmits an already extant translation. The errors can come in when the reader makes a mistake in reading, or the scribe makes a mistake in hearing or copying -- both types of mistakes being well-known. Since the English translation is generated by a fallible human ca 1540, there are always going to be errors from his end as well. No infallible or inerrant Scripture can exist.