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Robert F. Smith

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  1. Muslims have commented on the difficulties of polygyny, and the new State of Israel outlawed any future polygyny in 1948, although not breaking up existing Jewish or Muslim polygynist marriages -- both of which were legal in Muslim countries, and still are. The presentism of modern times cannot possibly understand polygyny and concubinage in very ancient times. The same applies to the institutions of eunuchs and slaves anciently, when such was entirely normal.
  2. He may indeed have expressed his own opinions on these matters to associates in the 60s and 70s. He has been a demonstrably compassionate man all along. These were big issues then on the East Coast among the Saints. If so, we will eventually hear about it.
  3. Sorry, Kenngo, I wasn't thinking of the terrorist assault on the Pulse Nightclub. I think that Pres Nelson wanted to show his compassion and sorrow for the loss of life there by speaking with the owner and people at Pulse. I was merely thinking of the nightclub lifestyle, and thought it a bit much for Pres Nelson. Just didn't think it through to the violence as you did.
  4. Anthropologists think that polygyny is the most common form of human marriage historically, and it is currently practiced widely among Muslims. Jeanna Bryner, “ Are Humans Meant to Be Monogamous?” LiveScience, September 06, 2012, online at http://www.livescience.com/32146-are-humans-meant-to-be-monogamous.html . Michael E. Price, “Are People ‘Naturally’ Polygamous?” The human mind evolved in a polygynous world,” Psychology Today, August 18, 2011, online at http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/darwin-eternity/201108/are-people-naturally-polygamous-0 Ewen Callaway, “Polygamy left its mark on the human genome,” New Scientist, September 26, 2008, online at http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14817-polygamy-left-its-mark-on-the-human-genome.html#.VIvgoSvF98E . David P. Barash and Judth Eve Lipton, The Myth of Monogamy (Holt, 2002). http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/human_evolution/2012/10/are_humans_monogamous_or_polygamous_the_evolution_of_human_mating_strategies_.html
  5. There were accusations of common wifery, and some married women being simultaneously sealed to another man. Some men being sealed to each other. The complexities are enormous.
  6. Hes' been around a long time, and surely people he has met have heard him give his views on some of these questions. Fellow LDS physician Lester Bush held some very strong and public opinions. Did Dr Nelson at least express some views on race privately? When Nelson was teaching cardiac surgery at Harvard Medical School, he probably knew Dr Lester Bush personally. I have a brother in law who was a physician on the East Coast then and who knew Lester Bush personally. Why would we think that he had no opinions at all? Pres Nelson's wife speaks as though her husband has just been waiting his chance to act boldly.
  7. ........................................ Having marched with the NAACP and SCLC back in 1964, I am very proud of this rapprochement. Its been a long time coming.
  8. Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith (SLC: CJCLDS, 2013), 272, citing Conference Report, Oct 1919, pages 89-90, There were also men like Robert Mason, who was known as "Prophet Mason," and who prophesied the future establishment of the LDS Church with great clarity to young Wilford Woodruff, and declared that Wilford would be a part of it. See Woodruff, Leaves from My Journal. Elder Orson F. Whitney, “[God] is using not only his covenant people, but other peoples as well, to consummate a work, stupendous, magnificent, and altogether too arduous for this little handful of Saints to accomplish by and of themselves.” D&C 49:8 says that God has reserved unto himself "holy men that ye know not of." 3 Ne 15:21, 24, “ye [Nephites] are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd [John 10:16]…. But behold, ye have both heard my voice, and seen me; and ye are my sheep, and ye are numbered among those whom the Father hath given me.” 3 Ne 15:20 “I say unto you again that the other tribes hath the Father separated from them; and it is because of their iniquity that they know not of them.”
  9. I haven't seen it yet, but I love his poetic or literary translation above. Thanks, Cory.
  10. There is tension between belief in the cessation of spiritual gifts and prophecy (with closure of the Canon), and the continuation of such: Add to that the question of how to determine authentic prophecy, either by sola scriptura (does it cohere with Scripture?), or the Deuteronomic test (Deut 18:20-22) of verification/falsification. Many scholars maintain that Paul is primarily responsible for Christian theology as we know it, and that he upended the teachings of Jesus. For example, Jesus emphasized works (as did his brother James), while Paul emphasized faith. The additional problem of the enigmatic or esoteric post Resurrection teachings of Jesus has to be addressed, since they had such a profound effect on Christianity: See https://fortydayministry.com/ .
  11. Correct. There are clearly different points of view in the NT writings, and not just between Hellenizers and Judaizers. Not formal denominations, but some very divergent POVs, and that has continued down to the present day.
  12. Yeh, Parry, Poetic Parallelisms in the Book of Mormon (NAMIRS, 2007), at $79.95 softbound used is way too much. Hundreds of dollars new. I have asked BMC to archive it, but don't know if they will.
  13. I guess you missed my point entirely, oh Rider of Storms: I am not interested in why people are so desperate that they leave their homes and come to the USA, even though I understand that desperation -- MS 13 is making life a living hell for ordinary people in El Salvador. It is a matter of life and death. What interests me is that these people are treated like rats and that we act like Sadducees and Pharisees, as though holding them in squalor is OK, thus violating our own ethical and moral norms. Jesus wouldn't be making excuses. He'd be taking action. Our Church normally takes action in emergencies, and doesn't ask whether the needy are deserving, be it in a flooded New Orleans or in Haiti, and we are not the only ones who do so. LDS Welfare Services responds worldwide without asking whether the needy are members of our Church. We are not speaking foolishly about open borders, or granting healthcare to all who wish, but merely some food, water, and proper care of families in dire straits in ICE border facilities. I said nothing about building houses. I said tents and showers. Our military has some very good ones which are portable. We have used them in Africa during some health crises there. Do you recall that at all? How about ministering compassionately to these people at the border? Do we really care, or is it all just talk? In fact, in the past, those arriving at our border are normally in better health than our ordinary American citizens. Why? Because they do not eat processed foods and they work at hard physical labor. That leaves them much healthier than the average American Joe. They honor marriage and children much better than most Americans, and they are much more loyal. You seem to have a number of false projections on what these people represent and who they are. They are not the spoiled rich kids who inhabit our tabloids.
  14. Yes, I took strong note of that great Washburn Bible in my intro when I edited the three volume Book of Mormon Critical Text for FARMS (1984-1987). I was deeply impressed by it.
  15. The best scholars agree that it is a series of circumstantial clauses ending in a main clause. Ephraim Speiser rendered it in 1964 (Anchor Bible) as
  16. He might also act and feed the multitude immediately. Doing the right thing is sometimes obvious, but maybe I'm too slow.
  17. The former. ...................... What should we do with hard core objection by Roman Catholics to the sin of contraception (which by the way prevents abortion)?
  18. The simple answer is that it doesn't. Life is continuous. Sperm and ova are both alive, and come from living beings, as part of a continuous chain of being. There was no beginning and there shall be no end -- God being upset with Onan in coitus interruptus, thus wasting his seed. As you know, the U.S. Supreme Court set the standard for life at viability outside the womb, which gets ever earlier with advances in technology. What they might say in the future is up in the air, but with 3 Jews and 6 Roman Catholics on the Court it is anyone's guess. Meantime, we are a nation of laws, not biologists, nor religionists. The Roman Catholic POV does not allow nuances. What happens then? What I would like to see the pro-life people do, in addition to opposing abortion, would be to take a pro-life stance on infant mortality by ardently supporting pre-natal care for the expectant mothers and good post-natal care. The real thing, not just pretend, as it is now. I want to see the evnagelical and Roman Catholic pro-life people actively demonstrating against separation of babies from their mothers at the border, and a refusal to allow babies and toddlers to be held in squalid conditions on the border. This should apply equally to those who hold the Proclamation on the Family in high esteem: Why aren't they objecting to the assault on the families which show up at the border seeking asylum? Do LDS members of Congress and LDS General Authorities pull out all the stops to seek proper treatment of families on the border -- including emergency tents, food, showers, etc., from Welfare Square in SLC? When have we clothed the naked, fed the hungry, and visited them in jail? WWJD?
  19. I enjoyed the video, Dan. Thanks. I agree with nearly everything he said. What he did not deal with, however, is equally important: Translation. The best type face on earth will not help a bad translation, and I noticed that virtually all the suggested translations he mentioned fail to get Gen 1:1-3 right. That aside, I do like the type face and kerning used by the LDS editions of Scripture. I find them easy to read. Some very expensive editions seem to have a predilection for soft tones even though in an admittedly nice type face, thus making it difficult to read (Skousen's Earliest Text is too light, even though his brother placed it in a nice type face). The Restored Covenant Edition (edited by my friend Shirley Heater) of the Book of Mormon not only has a good type face, but the layout is excellent as well. Could be used as both a study edition and a reader's edition. The LDS Church Scriptures Publication Committee could do itself a real favor by bringing in non-member Cory Howell from Nashville to give them his finely honed opinion on what a good edition of Scripture entails -- from the POV of a connoisseur of Books of Mormon.
  20. The situation is dire in some cases, with more nominal "Christians" dying in Europe than are being born. In a century, nearly all of Europe will be Muslim. In actually, there are very few actual Christians in Europe. The only real question is What will get you first? Your suicidal secularism, or global warming?
  21. You may find this just-completed Maxwell Institute symposium of interest (July 14, 2019). Professors Joe Spencer and Terryl Givens find 1 and 2 Nephi to be overwhelmingly convenantal. Indeed, that is the focus of each book.
  22. There is no reason to believe that the majority of LDS millennials in the USA have left the church, and I don't see a citation to back that figure up.
  23. Only two states had fertility above replacement levels in 2017. Utah was one of them, Jan 9, 2019, https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900049924/only-two-states-had-fertility-levels-above-replacement-levels-in-2017-utah-was-one-of-them.html?_cid=Email-1&utm_campaign=445fef9062-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_01_10_12_00&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Deseret News&utm_term=0_2e4a89ae88-445fef9062-585640965 . https://gardner.utah.edu/wp-content/uploads/Fertility-Fact-Sheet.pdf . http://www.fullerconsideration.com/membership.php . https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/22/mormons-more-likely-to-marry-have-more-children-than-other-u-s-religious-groups/ . https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/05/12/charted-the-religions-that-make-the-most-babies/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.1a74f6234301 (atheists and agnostics the least fertile) You will note that it is the younger people of child-bearing age who are unpartnered. “Religion’s Relationship to Happiness, Civic Engagement and Health Around the World,” Pew Research Center, Jan 31, 2019, online at http://www.pewforum.org/2019/01/31/religions-relationship-to-happiness-civic-engagement-and-health-around-the-world/ , There is a discrepancy in happiness reporting between actively religious and unaffiliated/inactive. In the U.S. and other countries, participation in a congregation is a key factor.
  24. Cory, you are so perceptive that, even though you are not LDS, you should be a member of the LDS Scripture Publications Committee.
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