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churchistrue

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About churchistrue

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  1. Relevant to this switch. https://www.churchistrue.com/blog/book-of-mormon-stylometry-l-voice/
  2. What if it was something like that? I'm trying to think of a model that would allow for all anachronisms yet still be inspired. What if the "translation" process was something like that and started in 1823. What if during this time Joseph simply received vague impressions, sort of like a non-linear dream, or flashbacks piecing things together from old memories. Then, the dictation process came in the 85 days while Joseph was locked on with the seer stone, pulling all the translation from his own brain he had been working on, and refined by the Holy Ghost in the moment to know what to include and exclude and maybe even at times the Holy Ghost completely overrode him and put words on the seer stone he hadn't even though of previously.
  3. "New" in the sense that it is new a lot of times to the person reading the CES Letter.
  4. This is all related to the dictation, correct? I think I have heard you say you believe in a loose/humanistic translation that was done externally to Joseph. Is that right?
  5. Thanks for this. I think most LDS Defenders would agree, at least the well-informed people that are in the trenches of the current BOM historicity debates. So, my question is why was Callister invited to FairMormon? Why does FairMormon promote his work by sharing on social media, doing podcast interview, etc? Why does Kirk Magleby give glowing endorsement in his FairMormon presentation? His stuff is closer to Heartlander style anti-intellectual than FairMormon style. Why cozy up to him so much?
  6. My comment on this presentation: Scott Gordon presented on the CES Letter at the FairMormon conference last week. He got emotional and choked up while talking about the effectiveness of this document as an “anti-Mormon” proselyting tool and the gravity of the CES Letter’s impact on the LDS world. Many families have been broken up and many people have had their lives disrupted. I share that emotion. I love this church, and I don’t like to see the number of people leaving it. Scott spends part of the presentation describing generally the CES Letter and then spends a large amount of time going point by point for the first chapter of the CES Letter, showing that it is poor researched, sloppy, full of lies and half truths. By doing so, I think Scott completely misses why the CES Letter is so compelling and so effective in deconstructing a traditional LDS belief set. Yes, the CES Letter is a little sloppy. Yes, it includes a few inaccuracies and many “half-truths”. Yes, it includes all the bad and none of the good regarding evidences that support LDS truth claims. All of that is true. But it’s at least 70% accurate. And that 70% is a whopper for most LDS. Next to me, of course (https://www.churchistrue.com/blog/ces-letter/), Patrick Mason has given the best insight into how to process the CES Letter while retaining an LDS testimony. He said the CES Letter does a very good job attacking what he calls an unsustainable view of Mormonism. He then talks about how we have overfilled our “truth cart” and need to empty some of it. He believes there is a sustainable version of Mormonism that will come out on top. The CES Letter is effective in terms of identifying what needs to be tossed and what can stay. I don’t think Scott Gordon’s defense of the CES Letter is effective, because I didn’t hear him acknowledge that point or encourage those struggling with doubt to shift their paradigm or adopt a more humble view of our doctrine and truth claims. His approach seems to be to just simply write it all off and defend the traditional narrative, with the overflowing truth cart, stuffing it back in as it keeps falling out. Book of Abraham problems. Polygamy problems. Priesthood ban. Book of Mormon translation issues. Conflict in First Vision accounts. Details lacking in the priesthood restoration narrative. Old Testament Documentary Hypothesis. New Testament textual criticism. Evolution of doctrine in the restoration (and anciently). None of these are simple problems. Every single one is a land mine ready to explode a traditional/literal/fundamentalistic testimony. The CES Letter is extremely effective at pointing this out. The process goes like this: 1. Many LDS have a simple, white-washed, historically indefensible view on the issue. Usually the view includes a perspective that God is involved in a way that’s 100% certain, in a fundamentalistic, inerrant manner. 2. The CES Letter blows away this view. (and imo, rightly so) 3. The faith struggler then has three options. a. Combat the new information to settle back into the initial perspective, or a slightly nuanced version that’s essentially the same. But basically retaining the notion that God is involved in a way that’s nearly 100% certain and inerrant. b. Accept the new information and come to believe the Church is not “true” and either leave or try to stay in a state that’s very uncomfortable. c. Accept the new information and reprocess the view of the Church into a version that’s less certain and more humanistic and built on true faith. This new view may not retain beliefs such that LDS is the one and only exclusively true church. But it does retain beliefs that God is in this Church in some way, and that it’s worthy of us devoting ourselves to. I have a hunch that Scott Gordon and most of FairMormon would agree with me on this. But it’s very scary to say directly, considering that this more humanistic more epistemologically humble perspective is not the one taught over the pulpit at General Conference or on Sundays in our wards. It’s much easier to snipe around the borders of the CES Letter without really taking it on.
  7. Yes, that's what I'm getting at. So, do I have it right? I think most LDS Defenders would go with some sort of loose/expanded translation. Then within that, there would be two subsets. 1) Those that think the loose/expanded translation came through the mind of Joseph and are not so insistent on a tightly controlled revelation of words and/or they believe that Joseph had some contribution in how those tightly controlled revelation of words appeared. This would be Ostler I think? And I think most LDS Defenders would come in line with this. 2) Those that think the loose/expanded translation came external of Joseph and he was simply a conduit for the tightly controlled revelation. And further, that loose/expanded translation was likely very humanistic in terms of doing things that don't seem perfect or the way God would do it with no human involvement. This would be Carmack-Skousen and also Hales. Is this right? Is there tension between these two perspectives? Are there any articles or otherwise accessible discussion of these two concepts? I'm primarily interested in LDS Defenders engaging each other and not critics on this.
  8. Here's a link to a published article in Dialogue. I didn't compare, but I think this is mostly the same presentation that I'm talking about that he did at Sunstone and FairMormon. https://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V52N02_1.pdf
  9. I've heard Brian Hales latest presentation on the BOM a couple times now, but I'm still not sure if I understand it correctly, especially with regards to the possibility of a loose translation. I think most informed and faithful LDS (avoiding the word Apologist which might be perceived as pejorative) view the Book of Mormon in some important ways to be loosely translated or modern or through the mind of Joseph. That's typically how most informed faithful LDS seem to deal with issues like: anachronisms, New Testament intertextuality, KJV dependency, 19th century Protestant sounding phrases and themes, etc. Ostler's Expansion Theory would be one way to approach that. And there are probably a wide variety of how people fit that in to a historical Book of Mormon (ignoring a non-historical view for now and keeping this to a more traditional historical core combined with loose translation or expanded modern content theory). Maybe Joseph was given ideas and inserted his way of expressing it. Maybe Joseph inserted both his ideas and expression. Maybe Joseph significantly expanded the text beyond just inserting random ideas and expressions. But I think it's very rare at this point for an informed faithful LDS (aka Apologist) to assume there is nothing like that happening from Joseph and that he is acting 100% as the receiver of a dictated text, ie he's just speaking aloud the words given to him by God through the seer stone. With one important caveat, and that's represented by the 16c translation committee idea (or something like that), ie there was some sort of expanded/loose translation with heavy human component prior to Joseph dictating. ie Joseph might have been dictating, but it's not a situation where the flow is directly from the Reformed Egyptian on the plates to Joseph by way of the Holy Ghost. There's a human/modern/expanded element in there somehow. Do I have that right? I think I heard Hales mention the 16c theory in Q & A in one of his presentations, but I could be wrong. I know Hales is trying to fit the data that Skousen/Carmack have shown in terms of Joseph dictated the text to Oliver, but that feels unnecessarily rigid to assume that data proves that Joseph had no contribution to the translation. If I have that wrong and Hales or other Apologists do believe the BOM was translated directly from the Reformed Egyptian on the plates to Joseph by way of Holy Ghost, what does Hales or those people believing that think of Ostler's Expansion Theory, and how do they get around the issues that the Expansion Model resolves (anachronisms, intertextuality, etc)?
  10. I haven't heard any feedback from the FairMormon insiders on this. Do you think I'm unfair or is this OK? https://www.churchistrue.com/blog/fairmormon-conference-report-2019/ Rene Krywult — Fear Leads to the Dark Side: How to Navigate the Shallows of (Mis)Information This presentation accused Mormon critics of lying, using big lists to overwhelm, emotionally manipulating, etc. I don’t think this approach is very helpful. He’s not wrong. Some critics do that. But that’s not the main problem or why we have a faith crisis problem in the church today. I feel like by focusing on that, we’re missing the opportunity of helping people in faith crisis make sense of the difficult information. The information is difficult. Period. If we spend our time bashing the critics for their methods, I think we just end up looking like we’re scared to take the actual information head on and don’t have the tools to help people process new information that challenges their simplistic assumptions of church history and scripture. Scott Gordon also did this in his presentation. It’s a common theme. He also spends time creating mistrust in the internet. The Hafens, in the weakest part of their presentation, also did that. Again, I think it’s a bad tactic. Warning millennials to not trust the internet just is not going to work in today’s world. They know how the internet works. They know there are good sources, bad sources, biased sources, sources that attempt to be more neutral, and how to figure that all out. Here’s a thought experiment I’d like to put back on Rene. If he was given a day to write up a five page paper on the main Apologetic arguments of Jehovah’s Witness and weigh in with his evaluation of their truth claims, what sources would he use? I imagine he would start with Google. He would look at what JW officially said, but that might have the least weight. He would look at what critics say. He would look at what apologists say. He would maybe see if there was anything produced by a scholar or in a journal or publication with any sort of reputation. He would evaluate each source to see how the larger community both for and against JW seemed to trust them. If any source was using particularly emotional or manipulative language, he would drop that and move to the next source and distrust people that backed it. Using this sort of methodology, he could triangulate into the best view. Repeat this for Scientology, Flat Earth, Catholicism, Evangelicalism. Then LDS. Would the process be any different for LDS truth claims? Of course the Holy Ghost is required to help interpret the spiritual truth of religious claims. But to understand the factual historical details and which are correct and which are not? Research is the proper method. And it’s not impossible to sort through internet sources. Millennials know this. Don’t tell them to mistrust the internet. That’s just going to backfire. Help them process the information. Also, another thought experiment. After doing the five page paper on LDS truth claims using this process, compare that to the experience most of us get growing up in the church and how we have been taught. Now you see why this is such a huge problem right now.
  11. It happens. I checked after being out of town and saw several new pages of comments and come to find out most all are tangential. I was hoping to see more discussion of the book or my review of it. Oh well. It's also interesting to see the tangents.
  12. No, I'm not David Ostler. Not related in any way. I'm an active LDS who relates to a lot in the book.
  13. I know I've been accused of this in the past. I'm trying to clean up my act. I think I was very careful not to do that.
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