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Rajah Manchou

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About Rajah Manchou

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    Separates Water & Dry Land

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  1. Rajah Manchou

    Skousen & Carmack Lecture Take Aways

    It wasn't uncommon for 17th century Irish and Scottish historians to mix history and mythology to strengthen national identity. I'm reminded of Geoffrey Keating's History of Ireland and Hector Boece’s Scottorum Historiae: "Keating’s history was written in the context of other national histories that were in circulation in early modern Europe. Hector Boece’s Scottorum Historiae (Paris 1527) was one of the works Keating had in mind when he said that he wished Ireland to have a national history such as other nations have. Boece’s history had as its framework a list of Scottish kings and depicted the Scottish people as loyal Christians never veering from the true faith. Boece’s narratives of war and defence were a mechanism through which national identity was delineated and defined. The king was depicted as a central symbol of that identity. Boece’s work is very closely paralleled by Keating’s choice of the succession of kings of Ireland as the framework around which the Foras Feasa was constructed." (source) The Smiths may have been aware of their genetic links to the great (Mor) King Niall, and the Book of Mormon was an attempt at doing for America what Keating did for Ireland and Boece did for Scotland, namely establishing a succession of Christian kings in the New World. The Detroit Manuscript that surfaced in 1823 was a Keating text written in a Latin shorthand that some have compared to the Anthon Transcript. Pages of the Detroit Manuscript were sent to Samuel Mitchell in 1823. Just a few years later, Martin Harris would take the Anthon Transcript to Samuel Mitchill. Its been mentioned elsewhere that you've found similarities between the Book of Mormon and English chronicles. Have you look at EmodE translations of related Irish and Scottish chronicles?
  2. Rajah Manchou

    Slippery Treasures and EModE

    It was based on his reading of the Book of Mormon.
  3. Rajah Manchou

    Slippery Treasures and EModE

    Isn't the idea that the Book of Mormon is meant to explain how the mysterious buried treasures end up in the hills that the diggers were digging up? I'm reminded of Joseph Smith Sr's comment in the Lapham interviews. This is how Joseph Smith Sr. interpreted the Book of Mormon account of the Lehites arriving in the Promise Land: "After sailing a long time, [the Lehites] came to land, went on shore, and thence they traveled through boundless forests, until, at length, they came to a country where there were a great many lakes; which country had once been settled by a very large race of men, who were very rich, having a great deal of money. From some unknown cause, this nation had become extinct; "but that money," said Smith, "is here, now, every dollar of it." Those men buried their wonderful treasures in these cursed hills. But we'll find it! Of course they could have found an EmodE text describing cursed slippery treasures, and that motivated them to dig. Or they could have written cursed slippery treasures into the Book of Mormon to justify their digging. Either way, they intended to find those treasures.
  4. Rajah Manchou

    Skousen & Carmack Lecture Take Aways

    None of these is difficult to do.
  5. Rajah Manchou

    Skousen & Carmack Lecture Take Aways

    It's already happened. I know a good number of Christians who profess a belief in Christ and follow his teachings, but have no opinion on whether or not he was literally resurrected. Is a belief in angels and seerstones required to have a testimony of the Book of Mormon? Would more people accept the teachings within the Book of Mormon if it wasn't inextricably linked to the account of Joseph Smith seeing the letters glowing on a rock in a hat? For me, the account of the origins of the Book of Mormon (a narrative that is not from the Book of Mormon itself) is the hardest pill to swallow. I have no concerns about the content of the Book of Mormon, its the story about where it came from that I can't get a handle on.
  6. Rajah Manchou

    Skousen & Carmack Lecture Take Aways

    For a few reasons, this third source could be much more difficult for Mormons than it would be for critics. For example, imagine this third source corrects some of the "traditions of our fathers" or comes from a mundane source that is independent of the Church. Imagine the tension. Critics can easily accept ancient texts, so long as there aren't fantastic claims surrounding their provenance, while Mormons seem to demand fantastic origins. My feeling is that had Joseph Smith just said that he found the Book of Mormon, we would have a very different relationship with critics today. I also expect if there is to be a third witness, it will be a simple "found" text. No angels, no seerstones, no drama. In this day and age, people don't need that mystery. Eliminating all that would be the quickest way for a restoration text to reach everyone.
  7. Rajah Manchou

    Skousen & Carmack Lecture Take Aways

    The reason alternative theories are resorted to is because a theory that relies on angels and seer stones is comparatively weak and is, as far as we know, impossible.
  8. Rajah Manchou

    Slippery Treasures and EModE

    This is not uncommon. I've already mentioned the traditions of the jinn. I pulled this from a text about magic and tin mining in the Malay animist culture with strong Arabic/Islamic influences: "Malays, as animists, believed in a soul-spirit, not only for human beings but also for animals and certain inanimate objects like tin. Although this soul-spirit was usually thought of as an exact replica of the physical form, in the manner of the ‘ka' of the ancient Egyptians or astral body among western spiritualists, the soul of one of the lower strata of creation, a metal for example, might occasionally assume the guise of an animal or bird (Skeat, p 52). "For every Malay knew that the tin did not just happen, but that it was brought to a specified place by power of the pawang's incantations, which caused its soul-spirit, usually in the guise of a buffalo, to travel underground to the area he had selected (Skeat, p. 250). The pawang formerly had a lucrative calling, for not only had provision to be made to ensure that continuing supplies of ore would be available to the diggers, but precautions had also to be taken against some magical misfortune that might have led to the disappearance of the tin already there. At the time of the opening of the mine he had to erect an altar, and then with due ceremony evoke the local land-spirit to assist in the enterprise. There were also ill-natured demons lurking in the background who had to be propitiated, for they were just waiting for the opportunity too haunt anyone incautious enough to break one of the many taboos that existed in the tin industry. Only the pawang with his secret charms and magic animals could achieve this. Tin "hat" and animal money, by William Shaw and Mohd. Kassim Haji Ali Kuala Lumpur, Muzium Negara [1970] 17, [11] p. illus., map, 9 plates. 22 cm.
  9. Rajah Manchou

    Slippery Treasures and EModE

    Interesting stuff. Reminds me of texts that started out as oral histories. The repetitive forms made it easier to memorize long strings.
  10. Rajah Manchou

    Slippery Treasures and EModE

    Other than Moroni 8, where else do you find these? or could you link me to your previous posts on the topic? Thanks
  11. Rajah Manchou

    “Relaxed but Engaged” Mormons

    From my experience, and from what I've observed. Someone can go years and years not wearing garments, or not paying tithing. Not doing this or that while drinking this or that. Doing whatever on Saturday or Sunday. Quietly observing in their own way. Not making a big deal out of it because they feel it is their "quiet personal relationship with Christ." And then a family member or a friend finds out, and feels betrayed that you never mentioned it. They might even start labelling you something like a "fence sitter" and have a whole lot of things to say about what your quiet personal relationship with Christ. My guess is for every person that tells you straight up that they stopped going to the temple, there are 10 that will say nothing.
  12. Rajah Manchou

    Slippery Treasures and EModE

    Treasure hiding is universal. People in many parts of the world still hide their gold chains in the garden. Its the slippery treasure "curse" that comes from bad behavior that would be unique.
  13. Rajah Manchou

    Slippery Treasures and EModE

    The references to slippery treasures remind me of stories of jinn in Arabic texts. Accounts of jinn as treasure guardians are not uncommon in medieval texts such as the Arabic versions of the Alexander Romance. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treasure_guardians_in_folklore Jinn often take the form of an animal, such as a serpent or a salamander, and the treasure seeker must follow the rules given by the jinn. If the rules aren't followed, or some taboo is committed, the treasure will be removed. In some cases the seeker will be struck by a supernatural power and will experience paralysis or some other effect. Curiously, in the Malay tradition the entity that guards the treasure is known as Maroni. This, of course, is one of the original spellings of Moroni.
  14. Rajah Manchou

    Skousen & Carmack Lecture Take Aways

    The Birth of Orientalism Urs App 568 pages | 6 x 9 | 20 illus. Paper 2015 | ISBN 9780812223460 The chapters on Chevalier Ramsay, JZ Holwell, and Jacob Ilive in particular. Ilive "translated" the Pseudo-Book of Jasher in the 1700s. It was re-published in the UK just before the Book of Mormon (1829). Even though it has been identified as a psuedo-Biblical forgery, the Rosicrucians republished it as an inspired text. Ilive's Book of Jasher is full of "and it came to pass" and failed archaisms. It would be interesting to word crunch it.
  15. Rajah Manchou

    Skousen & Carmack Lecture Take Aways

    I'm working on a more detailed writeup on The Birth of Orientalism and Mormonism. But a good place to start is the wiki on Terma (Religion), which has some footnotes: "In the Western world a similar tradition is held in Mormonism. Underwood notes, "[Joseph] Smith looks like an American terton-seer translating ancient [terma] texts written in cryptic Reformed Egyptian," like the dakini script, "by the great prophets of the past, Mormon and Moroni." Similar to Padmasambhava, the purpose cited by these prophets for hiding the texts for a future time was in "keeping the faith on track by making clear the fundamental 'plain and precious' principles of the tradition." And as mind-terma are "not physically discovered but are revealed through the mind of the terton," Joseph Smith's revelations of the prophecies of Enoch and the parchment of John did not have any direct physical source but were revealed through Smith's mind. Skousen contrasts Smith's work with the terma tradition, particularly the Book of Mormon, in claiming that Smith did not rely on "mindstream transmission," but was translating from a text written on gold plates.(1) However, witnesses note that Smith didn't use what was allegedly the gold plates during the translation, but translated by scrying with a seer stone in a hat, dictating the text as he saw it appear in his mind in a trance-like state of consciousness, suggesting a mystical translation with the text coming from Smith's mind." (source) (1) Skousen, Royal, ed. (2009). The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text. Translated by Smith, Joseph. New Haven: Yale University Press. pp. xxvi. ISBN 0300142188. OCLC 317471754.) If you'd like to dig deeper into anything there, I can share notes.
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