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Robert F. Smith

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Everything posted by Robert F. Smith

  1. Speaking of God being the ultimate author of everything is a very old trope, but it is not meant to be taken literally. One must distinguish between the efficient cause and the ultimate cause.
  2. "Feigned"? Why accuse me of dishonesty? Point out anything which I have not correctly stated, frankly and directly. I am not the one hiding behind a pseudonym.
  3. I cannot speak for linguistics experts in or out of the LDS Church. This research is cutting-edge and may be so new that it has not penetrated outside a very small circle of interested parties, hardly any of whom is qualified to comment. Royal Skousen is certainly a world-class linguistics expert, so I am not sure what you mean by "reputable." In addition, this is objective secular research, not a missionary effort. I am surprised that you would confuse the two very different approaches.
  4. Language is like a river. It flows and changes along the way through time. The KJV is indeed written in EModE, but it does not contain the high rates of EModE characteristics which one would find half a century earlier, say in 1540, which are reflected in the BofM. In other words, the KJV and BofM differ markedly in many areas of grammar and vocabulary. Carmack has shown that stark difference, so that we can be certain that simply copying KJV grammar and vocabulary would not create what we find in the BofM. The comparisons have been done and they are worlds apart. Just consider all the "bad grammar" in the dictated form of the BofM. You can find it on full display in the Yale Edition of the BofM, The Earliest Text. One does not find that "bad grammar" in the KJV. Yet that "bad grammar" is not bad at all, but is actually good grammar in 1540 EModE. That cannot be if the KJV is merely the source of the BofM. See Book of Mormon Central, "Does the Book of Mormon Really Have 'Bad' Grammar? (Ether 12:25)," KnoWhy #490, Dec 4, 2018, online at https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/knowhy/does-the-book-of-mormon-really-have-bad-grammar . Even Joseph Smith thought the grammar of the BofM to be bad, and he made an effort to correct it in the 2nd and 3rd editions (which was completed by James Talmage in 1920). Nothing in Joseph's early personal writings (which were awful) shows anything like EModE, and there is no hint of an EModE dialect in upstate New York in any records of any kind. Even when Fanny Trollope passes through Palmyra on the Erie Canal in 1830, she doesn't reflect any such EModE dialect in her efforts to quote local jargon or dialect. See her Domestic Manners of the Americans, 2 vols. (1832). Perhaps if Rip Van Winkle had gone to sleep in 1540 England, he might have woken up in 1820 in New York speaking EModE, but that is likely the only way it might have happened. Only a fairy faith is going to account for such a phenomenon.
  5. I doubt that the Brethren are conversant with this issue at all, and this would likely be true also for over 99% of all Latter-day Saints or their detractors. Moreover, Carmack & Skousen have been publishing on this issue now for several years, with Carmack providing the kind of detailed research data which is necessary in order to establish the basic facts. If those facts are in dispute, it is important that detailed research be brought forward showing that there are holes in the case -- whatever that case may be. We need to maintain this discussion within the realm of reason rather than faith.
  6. This would seem to be doubly the case if Wendy Nelson is the prime mover she is rumored to be.
  7. The Gospel seems to create all sorts of opportunities for change. By the way, I was asked earlier today how to enter a transgender person into the familysearch system. Does one follow the gender of choice, or birth? How about same gender marriages and sealings?
  8. Aside from all that, how do you feel about women being university presidents, CEOs, or other high executives and leaders in secular institutions? Or in religious universities, colleges, and LDS institutes?
  9. Wasn't Pres Oaks just asking recently what else than priesthood power could sister missionaries be exercising? He meant to be understood that those sisters were indeed exercising priesthood power.
  10. Very strange. In my ward, women frequently comment during Sunday School. I have never been in a ward in which that is not the case, and have had many female Sunday School teachers. Women also frequently teach early morning seminary. Indeed, in the New Testament and early Christian church, women were very important and even held leadership positions.
  11. That reversal is ironic, but understandable when one realizes that champatsch is not an apologist but a scientist who takes the case where the evidence leads him. It is not clear in any way that his conclusions are helpful to the LDS faith. It does, however, insert overwhelming complexity and confusion into the discussion.
  12. Actually just the opposite is true: Disinterested scholarly examination of the grammar and vocabulary of the BofM led to a surprise which no one sought and no one expected. Indeed, no one (so far as I can tell) has a rational explanation for the result. Not only do we not have any evidence for the survival of a type of EModE dialect in New York or Vermont in the 19th century, but even Joseph Smith thought the grammar of the BofM was bad, and immediately set about correcting it in the 1837 and 1840 editions. Everyone including Joseph faulted it as poorly written, later including even Mark Twain. If the EModE in the BofM were slapdash and slipshod that would be one thing, but we have instead a systematic form of it, and no evidence of any survival of that language into Joseph's time. I did recently point out to Stan Carmack a dialect in Wales which continued to use some forms of Middle English phrases and expressions down into very recent times (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74glI1lg1CQ ), but that does not indicate full-scale survival of Old English into modern Wales. The dogged belief that EModE survived into the 19th century is a fairy faith unsupported by any corroboration.
  13. These are very common surface explanations for all things Mormon. In each case, however, they don't hold up well on the rocks and shoals of reality.
  14. Which types of anachronisms are the following? Zephaniah 1:12, Job 18:6, Ps 18:28, Prov 24:20, etc., have “candles” being used by Israelites, which is merely a KJV translation error. Israelites used oil lamps, not candles. II Sam 22:35, Job 20:24, Psalm 18:34, Jer 15:12 KJV “steel” or “brass”? Mistranslation is a very common problem. https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/candle-candlestick/ . Psalms 74:14, 104:26, Isa 27:1, Job 3:8, 40:1-34 speak of Leviathan as a seven-headed mythological beast. Is that okay in Holy Writ? Psalms 87:4, 89:10-11, Job 9:13-14, 26:12-13, Isa 30:7, 51:9, Ezk 29:3-5, 32:2-8 have Rahab as a mythological sea serpent or dragon. Is that okay in Holy Writ? Isa 13:21-22, 27:1, 34:13-14, 35:7 satyrs and dragons? Really? I Kings 7:26 vs II Chr 4:5 bronze sea of 2,000, or of 3,000 baths? Which is correct? How can the Bible disagree with itself? False. There are a myriad of ways in which we can test the BofM by means of objective reality, since many things having become apparent to science since the 1820s. See my “The Preposterous Book of Mormon: A Singular Advantage,” lecture, Aug 8, 2014, at the annual FAIRMORMON Conference, Provo, Utah, online at https://www.fairmormon.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/PREPOSTEROUS-BOOK-OF-MORMON.pdf . Since the BofM could not have been concocted in the 1820s by anyone, we would have to look at the period about 2 centuries earlier to find the charlatan who authored it. Why? Because it was dictated to the 1829 scribes in Early Modern English, a language unknown to Joseph Smith Jr. See Book of Mormon Central, “Does the Book of Mormon Really Have ‘Bad’ Grammar? (Ether 12:25),” KnoWhy #490, Dec 4, 2018, online at https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/knowhy/does-the-book-of-mormon-really-have-bad-grammar .
  15. There is indeed a great deal of historical or archeological evidence that the Bible describes some real people and real events, i.e., contemporary records or ruins can be found which corroborate claims made in parts of the Bible. Some biblical kings are even shown in relief or recorded by name in cuneiform tablets. We also have a good record of the process of scribal transmission of the Bible down through time. However, this is not true for most of the Bible, which exhibits thousands of anachronisms (for which Protestant and Roman Catholic apologists publish many books and articles). For example, most of the Pentateuch cannot be verified by any substantive evidence: We have no hard evidence that there was ever an Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, or Moses. Not only can we not prove the Exodus took place as described in the Bible, but we cannot find any evidence for the Resurrection. We cannot corroborate any of the miracles of the Bible. Just like Homeric Epic and other ancient poems, there is some actual history interlarded by miracles. Believing those miracles to be true is a matter of faith, not science. Aside from a very different mode of transmission, the same is true of the Book of Mormon.
  16. More recently than that. If you visit Independence, Missouri, the headquarters of the Community of Christ, just walking around town you will see a number of offshoots of the CoC which emphasize the Book of Mormon and inveigh against the Community of Christ.
  17. Sorry, I had a full answer here and the system dropped the whole thing. Doesn't the system save a draft?
  18. Tim Pool believes that a real civil war is in the offing. Is that what you are suggesting?
  19. There is nothing at all wrong with reason and logic. What you may not realize is that Mormonism is an entirely naturalistic religion, seeing no contradiction between faith and reason. It posits an entirely natural God(s) in a natural universe. Even spirit is merely a finer form of matter, and God himself was once a man. This is a frank denial of Judeo-Christian-Muslim tradition. Since we know that the Book of Mormon text was received in Early Modern English, it cannot have been composed by anyone in the 19th century. Why? Because EModE was already extinct at that time. BMC, “Does the Book of Mormon Really Have ‘Bad’ Grammar? (Ether 12:25),” KnoWhy #490, Dec 4, 2018, online at https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/knowhy/does-the-book-of-mormon-really-have-bad-grammar . What about the thousands of claimed anachronisms in the Bible and Book of Mormon? Many of those are merely misunderstandings or mistranslations of the text. Many exhibit our lack of knowledge about the ancient world. Professional linguistics, archeology, and history have shown us, for example, that most of the alleged anachronisms were based on lack of hard data. There are actually very few true anachronisms in the Bible or Book of Mormon. What is remarkable are the many accurate statements in both books, which can now be verified scientifically. That is via reason. If either book is phony, that should not be possible. Correct. However, I know of no one who is so foolish as to "automatically" place "subjective experience . . . into the category of scientific accuracy." Perhaps you could cite someone who has made that idiotic claim. The formal Witness Statements and one's own personal witness are quite subjective, and so only hold water as personal testimonies. Most people just don't understand that a personal testimony is non-transferrable, that it is only applicable to that person alone. If one does not have a personal testimony from the Holy Spirit, then all the testimonies of others combined carry little weight. That is what is called faith. That is not the same as reason.
  20. Nay. What we are witnessing is the result of parents treating their millennial and gen Z children as fragile victims and removing from them the joie de vivre. They are no longer allowed unsupervised playtime, and no caregivers can be trusted. Their young lives are fraught by trigger warnings and fear. School is no longer a meritocracy, but a place for coddling and pretense without substance, and college a meaningless social occasion -- without real grading. It is a cowardly new world of success for everyone. Failure is not an option.
  21. Women are now the majority of college students, and they have careers, and will only marry "up," not down, so that the masses of inferior men are not up to their expectations. College debt is also such a burden now that couples cannot afford to marry until years after graduation, if at all, by which time many have just given up the effort. Then too, children are a major expense, which many cannot afford, not to mention the marriage penalty in federal and state taxes. Marriage itself is very high risk, often leaving the men outside in the cold, paying child-support, not allowed access to their children. Why suffer those cruelties? One can hear Rex Harrison happily singing the virtues of bachelorhood: "I was serenely independent and content before we met," Today in America, there are fewer couples, fewer marriages, and more people living childless and alone than at any time in our history. The same is true in Japan and other advanced countries. Is that all to be blamed on gaming and porn?
  22. Easier access to the article is at https://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V39N04_70.pdf . Launius is one of the most important historians of the RLDS/Community of Christ tradition, so his comments should be taken very seriously. At the same time, many of the most traditional members of that church have left and formed their own church organizations.
  23. Yes, but I prefer the old-fashioned spelling:
  24. Maybe all that you say here is correct on the planet Gorgon, but here on planet Earth the statistics are clear: The totalitarian Right is on a killing rampage, as I pointed out above, and I'll repeat it here for you: ". . . in 2017, ... most attacks in the US were committed by right-wing extremists. Out of 65 incidents last year, 37 were tied to racist, anti-Muslim, homophobic, anti-Semitic, fascist, anti-government, or xenophobic motivations." https://qz.com/1435885/data-shows-more-us-terror-attacks-by-right-wing-and-religious-extremists/ .
  25. You are correct, but we need to bear in mind that the extreme Left now has a hammerlock on liberal arts college faculties in the USA and Canada, which are churning out Marxist and postmodernist ideologues at a very high rate -- and they definitely reject free speech and the U.S. Constitution in favor of a totalitarian leftist revolution. As Dr Jordan Peterson likes to point out, the 20th century experience with that ideology gave us over a hundred million corpses (in pursuit of a Marxist Millennium of automatic harmony).
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