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David Waltz

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About David Waltz

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    Books, karate, running, tennis, and weight training.

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  1. Hi Clark, There are two references of the quote prior to the Times and Seasons. They are both found in The Joseph Smith Papers - Histories Volume 1, 1832-1844. The first is termed "Draft 2" of Joseph Smith's History transcribed by James Mulholland and Robert B. Thompson (1838-ca. 1841), found on page 252: "After I had obtained the above revelation, both the plates and the Urim and Thummin were taken from me again, but in a few days they were returned to me." The second is termed "Draft 3" of Joseph Smith's History transcribed by Howard Coray (ca. 1841), found on page 253: "After I had obtained the above revelation, both the plates and the Urim and Thummin were taken from me again; but in a few days they were returned to me, when I enquired of the Lord." I believe that one must conclude that the reference contained in the History of the Church which was quoted by McConkie and Ostler is quite accurate. Grace and peace, David
  2. I have not fully made my mind up, though I am currently leaning to "Joseph only used the ancient interpreters (that were with the gold plates)" because that is what he conveyed (as well as Oliver Cowdery) when he talked and/or wrote about the translation method. As I am sure you have discerned from a number of my comments, I have some difficulty placing confidence in the early anti-Mormon accounts, as well as the decades later statements from David Whitmer and Emma Smith. Folk who seem to have a high level of confidence in those decades later accounts marginalize way too much conflicting data for my taste. For instance, Brant Gardner pointed out in his book The Gift and Power, that "the five people [who] had the most direct opportunity to see and hear the process of translation"--Martin Harris, Emma Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Joseph Knight and David Whitmer--all agree on one aspect of the translation process--i.e. the appearance of actual words on the translating device--but that they were all WRONG on this. Red flag for me... Grace and peace, David
  3. Hello again Clark, From your last post, we read: >>I think the details of the post-116 pages history is itself not agreed upon in terms of the translation method.>> I believe that the above assessment is in accord with the extant records. >>I think most, on the basis of the later accounts especially Emma's, think the brown seer stone was used. However a solid case could be made that the Interpreters were restored sometime after being taken away and Martin Harris ceasing to be scribe.>> Earlier in this thread, I provided a quote from Joseph Smith himself who said: "both the plates and the Urim and Thummim were taken from me again; but in a few days they were returned to me". Unless one maintains that Joseph was lying, little doubt should remain concerning whether or not the Interpreters/Urim and Thummim were returned. >>For those writing the manuals in the 80's it's worth noting did not have the easy access to the abundance of historical sources and studies we have today.>> Yes, they did not have the internet back then. However, the large library at the in Church HQ building did in fact have an "abundance of historical sources and studies"—sources and studies which I personally used in the 80s and 90s. I seriously doubt that the folk writing the manuals of the 80s were ignorant of those resources. Grace and peace, David
  4. Hi Rory, Hope you do not mind that I am jumping into the conversation and sharing my own musings on the topic of 'supernatural'—I feel compelled to do so. I am theist, through and through. The type of theism that I affirm is primarily based on the Bible. As such, I reject certain subcategories of theism such as deism and pantheism. The God I acknowledge is fully active and present in the realm termed by many as the 'universe'. I concur with the apostle Paul who wrote: "For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring." (Acts 17:28) I also embrace the following: "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?" (Psalm 139:7) The above verses bring to memory something the LDS philosopher Blake Ostler wrote; note the following: >>In 1832, Joseph Smith received a revelation which elucidated God's immanence—the doctrine that God is present to but is not identical with all realities. Immanence is more than omnipresence or being present at all places. Immanence includes the notion that God is: (1) present in terms of power and awareness at all places; (2) able to effectuate his will at all places without intermediary; and (3) the experience or information of every reality is included within God's experience and knowledge. Put another way, all things indwell in God and God indwells in all things. Immanence, as conceived by Joseph Smith, is preeminently a reciprocal relation, for it is true that God is in and through all things as that all things are in and through God. A revelation to Joseph Smith referred to God's power and knowledge in terms of supreme relatedness and immediacy to all aspects of the physical universe" "He comprehended all things, that the might be in all and through all things, the light of truth. . . . Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space" (D&C 88:6, 12).>> [Exploring Mormon Thought - The Attributes of God, pp. 75, 76 - bold emphasis mine.] With the above in mind, I maintain that it is 'unnatural' to believe in a universe devoid of God, and that the 'natural' order of reality concerning the universe we reside in must affirm a God who "indwells in all things", and that "all things indwell in God". Moving on, I personally restrict the term 'supernatural' to events, manifestations and realities which lie beyond current 'scientific' explanation. For instance, science can neither affirm nor deny 'spirit'/'spirits' as mentioned in the Bible and LDS quad. I believe that when I 'die' (or any other human), there is a component of my being which continues to exist—i.e. my 'spirit'. I also believe that there are 'spirit' entities termed 'devils'/'demons' in the Bible and LDS quad that are able in reside/cohabit in human bodies (and pigs !!!), and that these evil entities can be expelled/exorcised. In one sense, the above is 'natural' in that we are talking about reality; but in another sense, 'supernatural' due to the fact that we are dealing with aspects of reality that science can neither affirm nor deny. Grace and peace, David
  5. Hi Julie, Earlier today you asked: I have not researched "all of Cowdery's statements", so I do not feel informed enough to say yes or no. But I have researched his statements concerning the translation method of the Book of Mormon, and I believe them for two important reasons: first, he was the scribe for almost all of the Book of Mormon; and second, his statements concerning the translation method of the Book of Mormon are virtually identical with those from Joseph Smith. Yes. No. I think "lie" is much too strong of a term; I personally would use confused. One must keep in mind that David's statements concerning the translation method came decades after those of Oliver and Joseph. I do not think this fact should discounted when pondering over the issue of translation. Grace and peace, David
  6. Hi Brant, So good to see you commenting on this topic. Your book, The Gift and Power - Translating the Book of Mormon, was the third book length, 21st century treatment in this genre that I read (Joseph Smith's Seer Stones, and From Darkness unto Light - Joseph Smith's Translation and Publication of the Book of Mormon, being the first and second). Years before, I had already read Quinn's two editions of, Mormonism and the Magic World View, and as I related in one of the links I provided in my OP, Richard Van Wagoner's and Steven Walker's, "Joseph Smith: 'The Gift of Seeing'". I have also read literally dozens of anti-Mormon books, buying literally all the reprints published by Gerald and Sandra Tanner's Utah Lighthouse Ministry, as well a obtaining a good number of first editions in used bookstores. As such, I have been aware of the peep/seer stone in the hat method for about 3 decades now. As I was collecting and reading the above referenced materials, I was also collecting and reading pro-LDS contributions. In that collection, four authors in particular had significant impact on me: Francis Kirkham, Bruce R. McConkie, Hugh Nibley and B. H. Roberts. I cannot remember McConkie commenting on the peep/seer stone in the hat method—his son, Joseph Fielding McConkie did so, more on this later—but the other three did, with all of them rejecting the alleged use. I do not believe that this rejection was due to a lack of germane source materials, for all three had access to, and clearly had read, a good deal of anti-Mormon contributions. Further, Kirkham in his book, Source Material Concerning the Origin of the Book Mormon (1937 -192 pages), provided extracts from letters, newspaper articles, journals, and, of course, anti-Mormon books. Kirkham went on the write a two-volume apologetic work titled, A New Witness for Christ in America (1942, 1951/1959 - 1,015 pages) focusing on the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and combating a legion of anti-Mormon attacks and works. I am quite sure you are fully aware of Kirkham's published contributions, but for the benefit of others who may read this post, I would like to provide Kirkham's conclusion concerning the peep/seer stone in the hat method—in his own words: "In the opinion of the writer, the Prophet used no seer stone in translating the Book of Mormon, neither did he translate in the manner described by David Whitmer and Martin Harris. The statements of both of these men are to be explained by the eagerness of old age to call upon a fading and uncertain memory for the details of events which still remained real and objective to them." ("The Manner of Translating the Book of Mormon", in Improvement Era, 42.10, page 632.) Moving on, you wrote: >> At some point, he found it easier to return to one of his previous seer stones, apparently translating most of the Book of Mormon with the chocolate-colored one. This might have been after the angel took the plates back, and presumably the interpreters. It isn't known if the interpreters were returned when Joseph began to translate again.>> (Bold emphasis added.) Have you read the following: >>Question: Did Joseph Smith say anything about the process of translation? Answer: Yes. Joseph affirmed that he "translated from the plates," and that he used the Urim and Thummim to do so. After the loss of the 116 pages by Martin Harris, both the plates and the Urim and Thummim were taken from him. Without the Urim and Thummim he could not translate. During this period Joseph made a short visit to his parents in Manchester, New York, and then returned again to Pennsylvania. "Immediately after my return home," he recounted, "I was walking out a little distance, when, behold, the former heavenly messenger appeared and handed to me the Urim and Thummim again for it had been taken from me in consequence of my having wearied the Lord in asking for the privilege of letting Martin Harris take the writings, which he lost by transgression and I inquired of the Lord through it, and obtained the following [section 3]" (Smith, History of the Church, 1:21-22). "After I had obtained the above revelation," the Prophet continued, "both the plates and the Urim and Thummim were taken from me again; but in a few days they were returned to me, when I inquired of the Lord, and the Lord said thus unto me: "Now, behold, I say unto you, that because you delivered up those writings which you had power given unto you to translate by the means of the Urim and Thummim, into the hands of a wicked man, you have lost them. And you also lost your gift at the same time, and your mind became darkened" (Smith, History of the Church, 1:23-24).>> [Joseph Fielding McConkie and Craig J. Ostler, Revelations of the Restoration: A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants and Other Modern Revelations, p.92 - bold emphasis added.] Grace and peace, David
  7. Nehor, Thanks much for the info on "the OP". Armed with this knowledge, I would now like to respond to the following from Clark: Indeed. With that said, even just quick perusal of the posts I linked to in "the OP" would inform one that we a dealing with a complex history/topic. Further, it seems to me that a good deal of the 21st century narrative concerning the translation method/process suggests that the post 116 pages translation was primarily through the seerstone in a hat method, while I believe that it "is far more unclear". Grace and peace, David
  8. Hi Clark, A thought provoking post for sure...you wrote: Is there an online source for "Don Bradley's research on the 116 pages" ? Also, forgive my ignorance, but what is "the OP"? Grace and peace, David
  9. From the Scottwoodard site linked to by Cinepro: Oliver Cowdery (Scribe) 1834. These were days never to be forgotten to sit under the sound of a voice dictated by the inspiration of heaven, awakened the utmost gratitude of this bosom! Day after day I continued, uninterrupted, to write from his mouth, as he translated, with the Urim and Thummim, or, as the Nephites would have said, "Interpreters," the history or record called "The book of Mormon." (Messenger and Advocate, 1:14) Shaker Richard McNemar (a Shaker from Union Village) 1830. In late 1830 Oliver Cowdery traveled through the Shaker community of Union Village, Ohio. One Shaker recorded that, while there, Oliver Cowdery explained the translation process as follows: "The engraving being unintelligible to learned & unlearned. there is said to have been in the box with the plates two transparent stones in the form of spectacles thro which the translator looked on the engraving & afterwards put his face into a hat & the interpretation then flowed into his mind. which he uttered to the amanuensis who wrote it down." (Goodwillie, "Shaker Richard McNemar," 143; quoted in The Joseph Smith Papers: Documents, Volume 1, xxxi-xxxii). Evangelical Magazine (hostile magazine report) 1831. Oliver Cowdery, one of the three witnesses to the book, testified under oath [during the June 1830 Colesville trials], that said Smith found with the plates, from which he translated his book, two transparent stones, resembling glass, set in silver bows. That by looking through these, he was able to read in English, the reformed Egyptian characters, which were engraved on the plates. (Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate, 9 April 1831. Note: that this is quoted by an unbeliever, in an antagonistic magazine, in a spirit of incredulity adds to the force of Oliver's statement) Reuben Miller (Reported Oliver Cowdery's words) 1848. [Oliver said:] Friends and brethren my name is Cowdrey, Oliver Cowdrey, In the early history of this church I stood Identified with her. And [was] one in her councils.... I wrote with my own pen the intire book of mormon (Save a few pages) as it fell from the Lips of the prophet [Joseph Smith]. As he translated <it> by the gift and power of god, By [the] means of the urum and thummim, or as it is called by that book holy Interperters. I beheld with my eyes. And handled with my hands the gold plates from which it was translated. I also beheld the Interperters. That book is true. Sidney Rigdon did not write it. Mr [Solomon] Spaulding did not write it. I wrote it myself as it fell from the Lips of the prophet. ("Reuben Miller, Recorder of Oliver Cowdery's Reaffirmations," BYU Studies 8, no. 3 (1968):277-293) [https://scottwoodward.org/bookofmormon_translationprocess_accounts.html]
  10. Cinepro, Thanks much for the link to the Scottwoodward site. I have been to the site a few months back, appreciating the format. Now, you asked: Good question. Some salient points: first, her statement comes from 1870, over forty years after what she allegedly saw. Second, her version contradicts the much earlier descriptions provided by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. Third, she was no longer a member of the CoJCoLDS, but rather, a member of a competing sect--perhaps she saw some value in promulgating a version that was different than the one presented by Joseph and Oliver. Grace and peace, David
  11. Hello again Cinepro, You wrote: Not ALL the people who "saw Joseph translating". Oliver Cowdery, the primary scribe for the vast majority of the BoM, did not do so. Further, if memory serves me correctly, those who differ with Cowdery had left the CoJCoLDS for good, never returning, and their accounts came decades (mostly in the 1870s and 1880s) later. Grace and peace, David
  12. Hello Stargazer, You wrote: Interesting. What data has compelled you to reject Oliver Cowdery's description (which has support from other sources) and accept the early anti-Mormon explanation of a 'peepstone' in the hat method? Grace and peace, David
  13. Hi Calm, You asked: The questions. I have been fully aware (since the late 80s) that the use of a seerstone/peepstone in the hat method had been promulgated as early as 1834. Grace and peace, David
  14. Hello Cinepro, You asked: I will try, but given the fact that the "context" is broad and deep, it will be somewhat difficult to condense it. Here goes... Fact #1 - Up until the 21st century, the vast majority of Latter-Saints had an understanding of the method/process of the translation of the Book of Mormon as one which had Joseph Smith using the "Interpreters" over the golden plates to translate those said plates. Such a method was supported by statements from Oliver Cowdery and SOME statements from David Whitmer. Further, this method was also supported by one of the earliest non-LDS sources---i.e. Truman Cole (1836). Fact #2 - The above translation method/process was contested by early anti-Mormon critics--e.g. E. D. Howe, "Doctor" Philastus Hurlburt--who collaborated in publishing the anti=Mormon book, Mormonism Unvailed (1834) which contained some affidavits supporting the 'peepstone' in the hat method., Fact #3 - Prior to the 21st century, most LDS scholars discounted the 'peepstone' in the hat method. It was not as if scholars like Francis Kirkham and Hugh Nibley were unaware of the 'peepstone' in the hat method--quite the contrary--they thoroughly engaged such sources, providing solid reasons for not accepting such sources as reliable. Fact #4 - Following the publication of the Mark Hoffman forgeries, the attitude towards the 'peepstone' in the hat method began to change amongst some LDS folk. Fact #5 - Even though the Mark Hoffman forgeries were later to proved to just that, 'Pandora's Box' had been opened, and the move towards accepting the 'peepstone' in the hat method as fact began to gain broader acceptance. QUESTION: Why has this happened? What has compelled so many to accept the 'peepstone' in the hat method promulgated by a number of early anti-Mormons (also later adopted by apostates such as David Whitmer and others who left the CoJCoLDS) ??? Grace and peace, David
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