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Found 9 results

  1. Hi all! In looking at the thread title I was wondering what you felt has strengthened or weakened your testimony of the BoM the most. I can start out by saying I have always found sheum to be a fascinating tidbit of evidence, in that it is an Akkadian word that was used in the text. I also could include neas in this as well. I could think of more but those stand out the most to me. Tell us yours!
  2. Peppermint Patty's thread, "Grant Hardy's Presentation on The Book of Mormon" got shut down before salgare's question to Scott Lloyd ("can one claim the BoM is inspired fiction and still be exalted?") could be clearly & concisely answered--so I thought I'd turn it into a poll. What do you think? --Erik
  3. As I've been studying the BoM this year for Gospel Doctrine I have a nagging question I can't fully itch. We are taught that Lehi and his family are led from Jerusalem to the new world to establish a righteous people. But there is no discernible remnant of Lehi's people in America. So I wonder if the purpose is to raise up the BoM for the people of this day. But I still have to wonder why Lehi would have been necessary. Why wouldn't Christ have established his church among the people who were already here? It's kind of like Raiders of the Lost Ark. If you take Indiana Jones completely out of the story the Nazi's still accomplish their aim and open the ark of the covenant and get their faces melted off. Take Lehi and his family out of the story and we have the same outcome and evidence of their existence as if they had really been in the Americas. There was no righteous posterity to connect his day with ours. There was no lasting Christian tradition that survived after Moroni. The only "evidence" of the value of Lehi's involvement is the BoM which just as easily could have been written by the American natives.
  4. Posting this even before I get a chance to read it (dinner bell just rang and I missed it conference time) . That is how much I like you guys: http://www.fairmormon.org/perspectives/fair-conferences/2015-fairmormon-conference/history-and-historicity-in-the-book-of-mormon
  5. I don't really have the time right now to push this thread along, but in terms of full disclosure this is about historicity making value statements true, or whether or not historical individuals endorsing them make them more true or credible. This is the proposition: "People should give of themselves selflessly" I would maintain that we "know this is true" just based on being human and having lived a few years on this planet. It works for humanity, and so we see it as a "good thing to do". Here David Letterman "bears his testimony" of the principle, as recorded in Reader's Digest, March, 2014, page 34 I think this is a true principle, but not because David Letterman wrote it. I think that Santa Claus would also endorse it. But someone might argue that it could not be a true principle because there is no evidence that Santa lives at the North Pole or that Santa even exists. But even mythic figures can teach true principles. (By that I am not meaning to imply that God or Christ are "myths" in the sense that word is often taken hereabouts- ie: "fictitious" ) I find this similar to those who think that the scriptures require historical evidence to be "true". I do not hold that position. I believe that the scriptures ARE "historical", contain true history, but that fact must be taken on faith where no evidence exists, which is actually most cases. So historicity of scripture is itself a faith-based position. That is why those who do not have the faith, debate the position. Further, Mother Theresa, a historiclal figure, who lived in India, would definitely also endorse the statement on giving as being "true". Are you more likely to endorse the principle because David Letterman is a historical person? Or would you endorse it because you know it is true based on your own experience? How is historicity relevant to the truth of this statement? It appears that some believe such moral statements are "true" strictly because they are in the scriptures and the scriptures can be proven "true" by their historicity. Again, I do not intend to contribute much because I have made my opinions clear here already. I fail to see how historicity is at all relevant to the truth of such statements as this moral belief, and therefore I question that historicity is relevant to the moral beliefs preached in scripture, though many seem to think that historicity absolutely makes or breaks the truth of such propositions. I don't see it at all. Educate me.
  6. In another thread about the historicity of the Book of Mormon, now locked for inexplicable reasons, I made the following comment http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/64358-is-belief-in-the-book-mormon-as-history-important/?p=1209432815 bcuzbcuz returned this VERY important point, about which I think everyone has questions. This raises important issues key to most people here, and I propose we deal with it directly in this thread I thought for a minute and had very little time, and my first notion was to answer quickly and somewhat snarkily - as is my usual "natural man" tendency when I post with little time, something like this: Yeah, well we all have to deal with the fact that ALL scriptural interpretation effectively IS the "philosophies of men mingled with scripture", like it or not. It is impossible to separate scripture from its interpretation when we think about theological issues, because we grow up with philosophical predispositions inherited from our times. Those who grew up in the church inherited 19th century interpretations, and now we have at least 20th century interpretations- no telling what will happen when we finally start making 21st century interpretations of the Book of Mormon. Of course I never made that reply because the thread was locked. Hence this discussion. New data brings with it new interpretations of data, and that is the natural process of human thought. Looking out at the horizon, one could well believe the earth is flat, and so many thought for thousands of years. But the data made that belief difficult. Ships going over the horizon disappeared from the bottom up, the last thing visible being the top of their mast. The view from the ship was similar- the first thing to disappear looking back into port was the shoreline, then the hills, then the highest mountains, but eventually they also disappeared into the distance. The only explanation possible for this phenomenon was that the earth was "in fact" round, and so that "modern" conception was born. There is no reason to think that religious thinking is any different. YET MORMONS GET CRITICISM for following the same rules of thought that have been used by mankind forever. Paradigms shift. There is a famous philosopher of Science, Thomas Kuhn, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Kuhn, who has gotten credit largely for "discovering" paradigm shifts, but that idea had been around for perhaps a hundred years before he came along. If you aren't familiar with the concept, that wikipedia article is a good place to start. But because we have been raised with the paradigm that "TRUTH never changes" - a pagan Greek idea- we are stuck with the Neoplatonic sectarian Christian idea that this is the case. Now we are reaping the damage from accepting the philosophy and theology of the apostasy, and grafting the apostasy "philosophies of men mingled with scripture" into the Restoration "philosophies of men mingled with scripture" with results that leave us with questions like the one bcuzbcuz raises. This is not a trivial issue, it goes to the core of Mormon doctrine and its interpretation. So how do we get out of this quandary? Come on class, pretend we are seminary. What is the usual right answer to all questions in seminary? "Pray, follow the spirit, and keep the commandments" Philosophies come and go, interpretations come and go, science even comes and goes, new paradigms come and go, but God will always communicate with his children. It is what He does. It's his job as our Father. He has to bring to pass our immortality and eternal lives. You can't do that without communication.
  7. Edit: I am adding something which I wrote in post 44 which should have probably been the opening line of the OP: What I refer to as the "history game" is the belief that if we could only find the right historical information, we could "prove Mormonism". Critics use this against us all the time to show that Mormonism is "false" because their personal understanding of "history" does not live up to their perceptions of the "truth claims" of the church. I want to attack those types of claims against us, head on. But the real problem is that we buy into their argument and we end up playing the "It's not historical" - "Yes it is"- "No it's not" game which never ends.- End of edit. As someone of a philosophical bent, there is something I have not really understood about Mormonism. Sorry, this is gonna be kinda long, so if you don't want to get into it, don't bother. I brought this up at the Fair Conference to a few who would know the answers, who will remain unnamed, but their answers still bother me and did not convince me that they were right, although they were good answers. I look at philosophical arguments by first examining the main thesis of the argument- the assumptions, if you will, and then from that, what supports the rest of the argument. The main thesis of Mormonism as I understand it, is that God exists in a bodily form like a Man, that his Son, Jesus Christ, came to earth to atone for our sins, that we accept the revelations of Joseph Smith as restoring the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth. We accept other details about the Plan of Salvation as well, as defined in the Articles of Faith and in other places, about pre-earth life, some things about the nature of intelligences, the nature of matter, and the nature of the afterlife, including the amazing assertion that we can become like God himself if indeed we follow the true path. We accept that the Bible represents one Testimony (Testament, Witness) of the divinity of Jesus Christ, and the Book of Mormon as another. We have other "Standard Works" which are canonized and are accepted as divine revelations. We accept the Proclamation on the Family as a statement about gender and family values and how they are grounded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we know it and accept it to be "true". We accept all this completely on faith because there is no possible way any of this can be "proven" by logic, or any other means. On a personal level, knowing fully through my training, the implications of saying that "I know that "x" is true" I feel I can say with full assurance that "I know the church is true". Some have problems with saying those words without hedging, but my spiritual experiences have convinced me that I can say that with some boldness. Here's my problem: The existence of God cannot be proven in any way. There is no historical evidence for the existence of God. There is no possible evidence that this invisible, ephemeral being we call "God" IF indeed "He" exists, is capable of having, or in fact did have a "son" who came to earth in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. In fact most people in the world find the assertion, well, let's just say unbelievable. Just as unbelievable are all the details about this alleged divine-human person, including the odd notion that his death could somehow take away all the bad things we have done in this world and make it all as if they had never happened if we only believe in him and do our best to not do them again. The layers of what can be seen as nonsense keep getting deeper. Not only do we not have evidence for God, or his Son, or the Atonement, we now add to it the idea that ANYONE can have a "true knowledge" of any of this, much less humans called "prophets". Then we have the problem of how these alleged "prophets" received their knowledge of this unbelievable God and his unbelievable Son and their mission. There is no possible historical evidence which can show any of this to be true. Even if we jumped into a time machine and took a video of the alleged crucifixion of the alleged person Jesus of Nazareth and his alleged agony in Gethsemane, it would still not prove that these alleged activities could in any way remove the alleged "spiritual" effects of our doing "bad things" called alleged "sins" now 2000 years later. Hopefully by this point you get the idea. Again, I want to say that I am a TBM in every way and have answered all these questions to my satisfaction. Why are we not concerned about the rationality of believing all these apparently irrational beliefs? What are we concerned about really? Whether or not the names of some gods were correctly translated on an obscure Egyptian papyrus? Are you serious? We are concerned about historical evidence that some Ugaritic inscription somehow "parallels" our beliefs and therefore the beliefs are "true"? That if Joseph "mistranslated" Egyptian, that therefore God does not exist? That because we have no plates for the Book of Mormon and that we have not found a sign saying "Welcome to Zarahemla" then all the incredible insights on the human condition in the Book of Mormon should be thrown out? Why in heaven's name do we gloss over the big picture and concentrate on meaningless and irrelevant minutia? Just askin'.
  8. Some will claim that there is no Mormon orthodoxy and in fact no such thing as true Mormon doctrine. The faith of Mormonism seems to be vastly more concerned with orthopraxy rather than orthodoxy. A friend recently tried to become a baptized member of the LDS church and he related this story This isn't a matter of doubt for my friend. He is firmly and unshakeably convinced that the Book of Mormon does not reflect a history of any people. What do you think, were the missionaries right to deny him membership? Should he have shopped for a different set of priesthood holders? Should he have have nuanced his beliefs so that the missionaries heard what they needed to hear? If historicity is a requirement to obtain membership, should it be a requirement to maintian membership?