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Benjamin Seeker

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  1. Thanks for the response. I'll start by reading the paper. Another conundrum occurred to me yesterday that complicates the idea of revealed language. D. Micheal Quinn's Origins of Power outlines the evolution of several important concepts in early Mormonism, including the establishment of an institutional church, the need for baptism, and the need for priestly authority. Basically, he demonstrates how the early revelations, pre-May 1829 I think, clearly don't call for an institutional church, baptism or authority. He points out both original wordings that support those positions and changes to one of those revelations in the 1835 D&C that reverse the positions in the text and backdate the concepts of the need for authority, baptism, and an institutional church. He also has commentary by David Whitmer supporting the evolution of an earlier non-institutional position to a later institutional position. I've also heard an additional piece of evidence on the earlier non-institutional church position from Vogel, which is the phrase "I will work a reformation among the churches" (or something very close to that). It is original to the same early revelation with all of the other changes, and the phrase was removed for the 1835 edition. I found an additional change to the same revelation, adding a specification for baptism (I have a brief write-up on the changes pointed out by Quinn, Vogel, and myself here). If you're unfamiliar with Quinn's argument, it is very compelling, and you can read it in full on pages 5, 6, and 7 of Origins. If you give any credence to the argument that there were changes to original doctrinal positions represented in early revelation, then a believer's likely conclusion is that JS' revelations represent a mix of inspiration and his own notions, which were corrected as time went on. In that way you could conclude that it was his own mistaken notions that the call to believers was only to repent upon receiving the Book of Mormon (not be baptized and join a new church), that the "church" would consist of a loose group of believers or a reformation among members of established churches, and that no priestly office or authority was called for. The first two of these three positions are explicit in the original revelations, and so if you conclude that they are JS' mistaken notions you also conclude that revelations included JS' ideas or at least context from his own viewpoint. Of course, this would butt up against a revealed language theory, which I would assume necessitates only revealed concepts as even the wording is foreign to JS. I'd like to know how you deal with the argument presented by Quinn and Vogel for evolving/reversing positions in early Mormonism and JS' revelations, and if you do give credence to the argument, how you would square it with the idea that the language of early revelations was revealed.
  2. Btw, I've been doing a little reading on philosophy, just basic intro stuff, but I've been enjoying it. Your drawing on philosophy on the forum got me interested.
  3. P.S. I'm not sure if that was a little dig in my direction, but I am a scholar (music theory and history). I'm definitely out of my element when talking about grammar, but I can't help but be interested!
  4. In asking about earlier vs. later revelations, I'm referring to revelations given in the voice of God, or largely so. That includes nearly all of the revelations that are now included in the D&C, some being very early (1828-1829) and others progressively later. You can't go by the current version of D&C because there were a number of updates to previous revelations in the 1835 debut of the D&C. You would need to go back to the Book of Commandments (on the JSP website) or other early documents like the revelation books, copies in people's journals, etc. Champatsch has stated on the forum that he had found archaic forms in early JS revelations (again referring to voice of God revelations), leading him to believe that the language in those was revealed, similar to gis stance on the BOM. Thus, my question.
  5. Hey, sorry to but in, but I've got a question. Previously on this board you mentioned that that the language of certain of JS' revelations have archaic forms. I think you stated that you had found these in earlier revelations. I'm curious if in continuing that investigation you've found that archaic forms are concentrated in the early revelations and become less prevalent (or non-existent) in later revelations.
  6. Is the Pope more Mormon than our current leaders?

    Yet they are still there in scripture - explicit justification for withholding priesthood or even all of the gospel from a specific lineage. Whether that can be linked to the modern priesthood ban can be a matter of debate, but their existence in JS' revelations are undeniable. You're either on board with that or you're not. I'm not.
  7. Is the Pope more Mormon than our current leaders?

    If you say so cutie pie.
  8. Is the Pope more Mormon than our current leaders?

    True, you don't, but you're kinda missing the point.
  9. Is the Pope more Mormon than our current leaders?

    You'll need to address the scriptures in Moses and Abraham that infer the curse of Cain and the curse of Ham and justify withholding priesthood from those perceived to carry the blood of Cain/Ham.
  10. Is the Pope more Mormon than our current leaders?

    Sorry, I should explain myself. What I mean to say is that the idea that God reveals a pristine bound set of truth again and again seems at odds with the reality of things like the priesthood ban or JS setting up a system of patriarchal Authority with the Smith family of the head which overtime transforms into people sealing families in direct lines. reality just seems a lot more messy than that ideal definition you gave.
  11. Is the Pope more Mormon than our current leaders?

    Care to fit the priesthood ban into that?
  12. Frankly, It's not my area of expertise. However, it doesn't take an expert to see that if there were four individual traditions that preserved Early Modern English into the 19th century and each of those traditions contacted JS, then there is an easy argument for the language of the BOM to be a product of the 19th century, which was one of the obvious anwers to begin with considering the BOM contains both Early Modern English as well as 19th century English unknown to earlier time periods, so if you have to choose one time period over the other you go with the later time period since the early one has at least already occurred, even if it is temporally distant from the latter. As far as the 1832 history not having the more archaic grammar, if this grammar was not JS's normal speech but his archaic-sounding scriptural voice, you could easily see how that could shift over time as JS's perception of the archaic may have changed according to the sources of English he was frequently exposed to. For example, I believe he distanced himself from folk magic and treasure hunting (I.e. Grimoires) during the time he was translating the BOM. Given a couple years of distance, this could have impacted his perception of ancient and his ability to draw on archaic forms that he had been exposed to in grimoires. This is similar to the shift in someone's ability to speak a foreign language after decreased exposure to it. Its too early to know but from what little Carmack has revealed on this board, it appears that archaic forms are more prevalent in JS' earlier revelations than in his later ones. If this is true, than it would support my idea that JS' exposure to Early Modern English may have shifted over time affecting his ancient-sounding scriptural voice.
  13. I've suggested that JS was exposed to Early Modern English through grimoires, American psalmnody and hymnody, prayer language, and perhaps Freemasonry. Carmack doesn't think those are sufficient sources for the amount and fluency of Early Modern English found in the BOM, but at the very least, I believe those are four traditions in which Early Modern English had been preserved into the 19th century.
  14. Joseph Smith's Kingly Birthright (update to an old thread)

    I guess I should say, when trying to understand things from Joseph and the early saints perspective, then it's important to remember such and such.
  15. Joseph Smith's Kingly Birthright (update to an old thread)

    Agreed. I'm interested at getting at the viewpoints of the time period because.. that's what floats my boat I guess.