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hope_for_things last won the day on November 22 2016

hope_for_things had the most liked content!

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About hope_for_things

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    Separates Water & Dry Land

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  1. Chronic shaking from all that time up in the cold North. I just hope that they don't get all uppity with the rest of us.
  2. Well, there are those lost tribes in the North Pole that someone has to find still. Glad I wasn't born up there, way too cold!
  3. I haven't read much of Margaret Barker's work, and I'm curious how widely her ideas would be accepted by mainstream biblical scholars. It sounds like she's trying to date the book of Revelation to much earlier time period than I've heard before. I know she's been a favorite of many Mormons, so does her scholarship hold up in the biblical scholarly community from your perspective?
  4. Its seems like there has been a switch in recent years in the church where the church's employed PR professionals who recognize the value of good publicity are looking for every opportunity to take advantage of and use these service activities, donations, etc, for PR gains. I find this very understandable for your average corporation to have the desire to have good PR for the organization. But personally I think it goes against the values of the Christian message, and we need principled leaders who can say no to this kind or corporatism and put the principles of Christianity above the corporate interests of the institution.
  5. I think you're missing my point, the description of the process, i.e. putting a stone into a hat to translate the BoM, is a description that was mocked by critics and caused troubles in the early years for Joseph and Oliver. When the narrative was constructed about beginnings of the church, they intentionally didn't discuss the mechanics of the process partly to deflect the criticisms they were receiving from Joseph's treasure seeking days. Unless you have another plausible explanation for why accounts of an individual seer stone and the hat were not mentioned by Oliver and Joseph.
  6. I'm not sure there is much utility in a state constitution honestly, compared to just regular state laws, both of which if they violate the federal constitution could be overturned by the supreme court. I'm not a lawyer, maybe someone with more experience can comment on that. The push and pull between states and the federal government are as old as the country.
  7. I'm just thinking another thing that I can't recall Oliver ever mentioning is the hat. Did he ever make reference to a hat being part of the translation process, I can't think of any time this was referenced by Oliver. Come to think of it, I can't remember Joseph ever mentioning a hat either. Could the deliberate omission of the hat as part of the process, be similar to the deliberate referencing of the Nephite interpreters as well? The answer for me, is yes.
  8. You could make the argument that state amendments actually accelerated this effort to be overturned by the Supreme Court.
  9. Its the beginning signs of church leaders realizing that these efforts are morally difficult to defend. There continues to be a shift in policy along these lines, sometimes followed by a retrenchment and then another shift towards assimilation within the wider culture. If I were to predict, based on my instincts and observations of history, the church will continue to shift towards the views of the broader culture, especially as older generations of leaders die and new leaders from younger generations replace them. Its only a matter of time.
  10. I agree with you that other countries will have very different dynamics at play, especially in less developed nations. The church can certainly continue to exist even with reduced numbers. There are many churches with less than 1M members that continue to exist, their influence on the broader culture will be weakened significantly, but that doesn't mean they go out of business with fewer numbers. As for your comments about living the commandments, I think you're implying that the choice the church would have to make to appeal to the younger generations would be in direct violation of commandments. If thats what you mean, I strongly disagree, as I think its a failure to follow commandments that has created this predicament in the first place.
  11. I think you're ignoring any critical sources that corroborate the later reminiscences of a single stone being used. The E.B. Howe sources have significantly important contemporary evidence, much of which has been corroborated by friendly accounts, so you can't dismiss these sources that also describe the single stone being used. Some people believe that the whole idea for the interpreters came from Samuel Lawrence one of Joseph's fellow treasure seeker who gave him this idea. From E.B. Howe's Mormonism Unveiled
  12. I see the Cowdery accounts as specifically crafted to deflect criticism about treasure digging with scrying stones. This is a possible explanation for why Cowdery, who remember he had the brown stone in his possession when he wrote these accounts of the Urim and Thummin being used. He knew full well that Joseph was using a brown stone because he was there and watched it happen, and consequently was given this stone by Joseph I believe in the 1830/1831 time-frame is what the evidence shows. I find all of Oliver's writings about the history of the church to be well written and promoting a particular message about the origins of the church. He was the most educated of the witnesses and good at writing. I see his intentionally writing about interpreters in plural as opposed to a singular stone as an apologetic defense.
  13. I've listened to a couple podcast interviews/panels that he participated on, and he claims to be holding back on a lot of material and only releasing things that he can realistically corroborate and he thinks is of public interest. He wouldn't disclose what his specific methodology is for what he chooses to release vs. what he holds back though.
  14. Those are good points. I do believe in market forces, and as the church experiences market forces by way of declining revenues, I still hold out hope that it will adjust. I don't know if these adjustments will come quickly enough to effectively mitigate the declines they will see. I also don't have confidence that leaders who are at least two generations removed from the youth, have the capacity to make the kinds of changes that need to be made in order to effectively steer the old ship Zion before it hits an iceberg.