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Benjamin Seeker

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About Benjamin Seeker

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    Seasoned Member: Separates Light & Dark

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  1. Benjamin Seeker

    Joseph Smith Treasure Digging - MS Truth Claims Essay

    There are other possibilities along these lines: JS jr. could have dug up the body without JS sr.’s knowledge. Rumors get started, and then the article and Sr.’s dig happen. or Stories of JS needing Alvin to get the plates could have circulated in the community. Someone in the community could have dug up the body to check and didn’t tell anyone when everything was normal (unexciting news doesn’t spread?). Rumors strengthen when broken ground is seen. Then Sr. responds to the rumors, and the broken ground compels him to dig and check.
  2. Benjamin Seeker

    The KEP?

    The question isn’t whether JS had anything to do with it, just whether he led the effort and if the process involved revelation. At least one copy of one of the alphabet or grammar documents is in JS’ hand writing, an interesting rarity. Don Bradley found an account where JS calls for his Egyptian Grammar and Alphabet document to aid examining the Kinderhook plates, which as Don’s argument goes exonerates JS from an inspired/prophetic translation of the Kinderhook plates. However, it also illustrates JS had some kind of close tie to the KEP. Entries in JS’ journal make it clear he was involved as well. He records working on the Alphabet or Grammar more than once. One journal entry in particular points towards revelation being involved in the process of developing the Alphabet and Grammar. The following comes from a BYU publication linked below: ”On October 1, 1835 Joseph Smith’s journal records, “This after noon labored on the Egyptian alphabet, in company with brsr O[liver] Cowdery and W[illiam] W. Phelps: The system of astronomy was unfolded.”[33] It is difficult to determine precisely what this entry means, but since the entry appears within the context of the study of the Egyptian alphabet it seems unlikely that it refers to a specific translation session. More likely it has to do with Joseph and associates attaining some kind of (astronomical) epiphany through their study of the Egyptian alphabet and then recording their findings in the “Grammar and A[l]phabet of the Egyptian Language,” which later may have been expanded into the astronomical explanations for Facsimile 2 (especially fig. 5).” https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/approaching-antiquity-joseph-smith-and-ancient-world/book-abraham-and-egyptian-project The portions of the KEP papers that JS’ journal entry reference are self evident. There are various discussions of planets, stars, governing powers and other astronomy-related aspects in pages 24-34 of the “Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language” document. https://josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/grammar-and-alphabet-of-the-egyptian-language-circa-july-circa-november-1835/94 The word “unfolded” from JS’ journal entry suggests not just an epiphany, but revelation. Other content from the Grammar/Alphabet document suggests revelation. There are narrative aspects about Ham and his lineage that are not found anywhere else except in the Grammar/Alphabet, for example. There are also details about priesthood in the document that may be unique. While this isn’t conclusive evidence, it is suggestive.
  3. Benjamin Seeker

    NDEs and no singularly true faith

    From what I’ve read it is a reoccurring theme, though not as common as some of the other aspects. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the issue.
  4. Benjamin Seeker

    NDEs and no singularly true faith

    And this is the discussion that I'm interested in having. I believe you've just cast another vote for ultimate truth can't be given out until after the real finish line.
  5. Benjamin Seeker

    NDEs and no singularly true faith

    I think this is sidestepping the question. Basically, Mormonism teaches that to get to the Celestial kingdom, you need to believe in Christ and receive ordinances by the authority of the priesthood. On the other hand, one of the straightforward interpretations of the aspect of NDEs being discussed is that a particular brand of faith isn't universally vital. This thread is about that disparity/conundrum, not about the literalness of visionary experience generally.
  6. Benjamin Seeker

    Middle Way Mormonism

    I do see what you're saying. It's this kind of perspective that allows me to find joy in Mormonism. But there are plenty who don't have such a perspective, so the question I'm getting at still feels relevant to my experience living Momonism.
  7. Benjamin Seeker

    Middle Way Mormonism

    I'm not sure there is a middle way consensus on the reality of God. I'd be interested to find that out, and maybe that will happen is there is more space for those discussions on blogs and message boards, etc. Like churchsitrue pointed out in his Wheat and Tares post, there are attacks from either side of the aisle (TBM and Critic) when trying to discuss a "middle way" approach.
  8. Benjamin Seeker

    Middle Way Mormonism

    Temple worthy, at least on the surface of action and profession considering they are "acting."
  9. Benjamin Seeker

    Middle Way Mormonism

    Thanks for sharing. Taking truth claims literally means someone believes in the literalness of various claims made by Mormon doctrine, history, etc. So, if we took the priesthood as an example, someone who believes in that literally believes that the real and resurrected John the Baptist, Peter, James, and John visited JS and bestowed the true authority/power of God. Someone who doesn't take those claims literally may have issues with or disbelieve that any or all aspects of that narrative and corresponding doctrine are literally true but may find value in them still. Obviously, that value can differ wildly from person to person.
  10. Benjamin Seeker

    Middle Way Mormonism

    The story is a bit suspect because not only do you need two extra flexible bishops but you also need at least one stake president to go along with it.
  11. Benjamin Seeker

    Middle Way Mormonism

    The literal truth of Mormonism is a very important question. It can be the difference between someone being considered worthy, affect their social standing, etc. In day to day living it’s important.
  12. Benjamin Seeker

    Middle Way Mormonism

    I certainly didn’t represent that in the poll, but I imagine there are a significant number of members out there doing that.
  13. Benjamin Seeker

    Middle Way Mormonism

    Well, I didn’t make up the term, nor am I wedded it to it. The substance of my question really just boils down to who here takes the truth claims literally and who here participates and finds value in the church but doesn’t believe literally in Mormonism’s truth claims.
  14. Benjamin Seeker

    Middle Way Mormonism

    Thanks for sharing. I didn’t really know your story.
  15. Benjamin Seeker

    NDEs and no singularly true faith

    I think that much of what is experienced seems to be not literal while some aspects seem like they could be literal.
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