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David Bokovoy

Concerning The Divine Council

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David you started the thread. You brought him up and gave him importance.

Sorry my bad, bye.

What part of what Momus said do you not understand? If you want to talk to people who have worn out their welcome here go post to your hearts delight where they are or start your own board. Nobody is stopping you so knock it off. ~ MODs

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David you started the thread. You brought him up and gave him importance.

Sorry my bad, bye.

Yes, I started the thread as a chance to help interested readers see some of the problems with Kevin's criticisms. This was done in light of the fact that Kevin posted, as far as I know, two threads here on MA&D and two threads on Mormon Discussions attacking both me and my views concerning the divine council.

Given Kevin's obsession, for all I know, there may even exist more threads floating out there somewhere in cyberspace where Kevin attacks my article. Heaven knows there are dozens of other such threads produced by Mr. Graham where I am the focus of an oftentimes meanspirited attack.

While addressing each and every one of Kevin's misreadings and/or skewed arguments would simply be a major waste of time, I do feel there exists some value in specifiying for interested readers the types of errors Mr. Graham is sadly all too prone towards producing.

If this brief attention gives Kevin a degree of importance then so be it.

Carry on ~ Mods

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We already said to move on.

Momus

We will never allow Kevin to have a voice on this board again. It was his own choice's that got him kicked off. He had almost 2 years of us trying to work with him. We have zero interest in doing it again. Kevin is best where he is, since he has little to offer this board. Now this will be the last time we allow Kevin any more attention. Anymore attempts to give him more air time then he is worth will be deleted. Kevin has his own board that anyone is more the welcome to join and have many fruitfull discussions. I am sure he could use the company. Plain and simple Kevin burnt his own bridges. What we will allow is persons to defend themselves on our board as usual. We have always allowed that and will continue to do so.

Momus

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I guess I am confused.

This is David's thread, and he said he would be willing to discuss any concerns or questions any of us had regarding Kevin's arguments.

I did not quote Kevin in the previous two posts. I began a discussion with David based on David's comments and both of my posts were immediately deleted.

What's up with that?

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I guess I am confused.

This is David's thread, and he said he would be willing to discuss any concerns or questions any of us had regarding Kevin's arguments.

I did not quote Kevin in the previous two posts. I began a discussion with David based on David's comments and both of my posts were immediately deleted.

What's up with that?

No they didn't. Now this is the last time I am dealing with this. Each post deleted didn't even deal with the topic. It dealt with your version of Kevin's credentials and admonishing David and the Mods for the unfair treatment of Kevin Graham. :P

Momus

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I guess I am confused.

This is David's thread, and he said he would be willing to discuss any concerns or questions any of us had regarding Kevin's arguments.

I did not quote Kevin in the previous two posts. I began a discussion with David based on David's comments and both of my posts were immediately deleted.

What's up with that?

Ok, so here's what I'll respond to. From Kevin:

I see you are shifting your ground a bit. The original claim was that Smith's concept of the divine council in Gen 1 was indicative of his prophetic authority. It must have come to him via divine revelation. On the contrary, I illustrated that from Smith's own mouth we learn nothing of the sort. We see him justify his retranslation of Gen 1 by using those who did so before him. In other words, he merely borrowed it. He refers to "others" who had translated it in the plural, yet there are no contemporary translations that render it that way. This means either 1) Smith was lying or 2) he was referring to "others" from personal correspondence, most probably learned Jews.

In reality, I have never shifted my claims. Kevin has either not understood my views and/or intentionally misrepresented my thoughts.

I do believe that Josephâ??s views regarding a plurality of Gods and the existence of a divine council of heavenly deities provides evidence that Joseph was an inspired prophet. If I have what Kevin refers to as some sort of â??pet theoryâ? it is simply that the now foundational understanding of biblical theology concerning a divine council of deities accepted by all mainstream Biblicists is evidence that Joseph was inspired.

Does the fact that mainstream scholarship supports the general claims of Joseph Smith on these issues prove that Joseph Smith was a Prophet, heavens no!

In a lengthy effort to refute this claim, Kevin has repeatedly emphasized that in his view, in reference to the Prophetâ??s teachings regarding a plurality of Gods, Joseph simply obtained this insight from "others" rather than God himself. Kevin went so far as to suggest (incorrectly) that Joseph might have simply lifted his views regarding the divine council of deities straight out of the Zohar (a book filled with Jewish mysticism, but with nothing all on the divine council).

Iâ??m not going to go back and reread through all of the posts in order to extract quotes, however, I repeatedly tried to help Kevin recognize that my view of revelation allows for the Prophetâ??s ideas to have been influenced by his studies of Hebrew, his conversations with others, and his readings of other ancient sources.

I have always felt, in fact, that such study is an integral part of the true revelatory process emphasized throughout the Doctrine and Covenants.

In sum, I will always reject Kevinâ??s misreading of the Prophetâ??s psyche. Joseph did not claim, as Kevin maintains, that Joseph simply obtained his view regarding a plurality of Gods form â??others.â?

Here is the quote that Kevin uses:

â??It read first, â??In the beginning the head of the Gods brought forth the Gods,â?? or, as others have translated it, â??The head of the Gods called the Gods togetherâ??â? (Teachings, 371).

Contrary to Kevinâ??s suggestion, Josephâ??s reference to the fact that â??othersâ? have translated the verse as â??the head of the Gods called the Gods togetherâ? does not mean that Joseph â??merely borrowedâ? the idea from other human sources. Nor does it even prove that the â??othersâ? to whom Joseph refers did so before Joseph.

Unless we can know who those â??othersâ? were and when they made their translations, Kevin is making a major assumption without any actual basis.

As I see it, Joseph was simply using the fact that unnamed â??othersâ? had translated the verse in the way he interprets the passage as a support for the claim. Kevin is simply wrong to suggest that Joseph claimed that his views regarding a plurality of Gods came via man rather than divine revelation. Joseph does not claim â??by his own mouthâ? that he merely â??borrowed the idea from others.â?

Here is what Joseph said before his use of â??others.â?

â??I will preach on the plurality of Godsâ?¦ I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I have preached on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. It has been preached by the Elders for fifteen yearsâ?¦

â??Some say I do not interpret the Scriptures the same as they doâ?¦without a revelation, I am not going to give them the knowledge of the God of heaven. You know and I testify that Paul had no allusion to the heathen gods, I have it from God, and get over it if you can. I have a witness of the Holy Ghost, and a testimony that Paul had no allusion to the heathen gods in the textâ? (Ibid. 370-371).

Kevin is simply wrong. Joseph did not claim that he obtained his views regarding a plurality of Gods from â??others.â? The Prophet claimed that he obtained this perspective via revelation, from God and to adopt the Prophetâ??s own words, Kevin needs to simply â??get over it.â?

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Actually this is not true at all. Sorry, but it isn't.

I saved my posts so I will just have to post them on the other forum so people can judge for themselves.

What you're doing here is bizzare because you seem scared to death of Kevin Graham. Maybe if you say his name three times he will appear like Beetlejuice. If people were only mildly curious about him before, they should be absolutely intense with curiosity now. Your manifest desire to muzzle anything related to this person shows a dysfunctionality beyond reason. Are Graham's views so powerful that merely alluding to the man somehow threatens MAD?

I can hardly respond to David Bokovoy's comments about Kevin Graham, without them having something to do with Kevin Graham now can I? The only other option is to treat David's comments as lecture, and deny him the feedback he claims he welcomes.

David, will you please come back to the MD forum so we can have a real discussion?

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David, will you please come back to the MD forum so we can have a real discussion?

Thatâ??s actually a very kind invitation to an unfortunately all-too often-unkindly location. Since I enjoy discussing this topic, I may consider at some point returning to the MD boardâ??s celestial section to converse with Kevin upon the topic.

The problem is that I really am a pretty easy-going, fun-loving, individual and Iâ??m happy to entertain other views, but for whatever reasonâ??and I wonâ??t put all of the blame upon Mr. Graham, discussions with Kevin become a bit too confrontational for my liking.

Iâ??m sure that if Kevin and I could sit down in person for a couple hours that things would be different between us, but be it known that I hold no animosity towards the man and sincerely wish him nothing but peace and happiness throughout his life.

Perhaps at some point.

Best,

--DB

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Thanks David,

I like both of you and I hate to see it when two people I like don't get along. I have never seen Kevin post in the celestial forum for some reason. Maybe he realizes his demeanor is more along the terrestrial lines.

PS:And it looks like he has already responded to your post above on the other forum.

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Thatâ??s actually a very kind invitation to an unfortunately all-too often-unkindly location.

I posted there for a while, but grew weary to the bone of the obsessive and implacable (and often slanderous) personal hostility of several of the regular posters. I resolved, finally, to quit the place. There are hundreds of more worthwhile ways to spend one's time, but surely not many that are more exasperating.

I haven't missed it even slightly.

discussions with Kevin become a bit too confrontational for my liking.

Opening myself up yet again, let me simply say "Amen. Been there, done that."

It turns into total war. People who disagree, and even dead people who may once have made a serious mistake, are cast as idiots, incompetents, fools, pseudoscholars, propagandists, purveyors of ridiculous nonsense, etc. Anybody who opts out of the discussion is a "coward."

And as for the place where Mr. Graham holds forth: Anybody is perfectly free to go there. Nobody is trying to "muzzle" him. Nobody here is terrified of him, or dysfunctional.

It's genuinely unfortunate that sustained conversation with him on this (and other topics) has proven so remarkably unpleasant. But that has been my experience, and not only mine.

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Actually this is not true at all. Sorry, but it isn't.

I saved my posts so I will just have to post them on the other forum so people can judge for themselves.

What you're doing here is bizzare because you seem scared to death of Kevin Graham. Maybe if you say his name three times he will appear like Beetlejuice. If people were only mildly curious about him before, they should be absolutely intense with curiosity now. Your manifest desire to muzzle anything related to this person shows a dysfunctionality beyond reason. Are Graham's views so powerful that merely alluding to the man somehow threatens MAD?

I can hardly respond to David Bokovoy's comments about Kevin Graham, without them having something to do with Kevin Graham now can I? The only other option is to treat David's comments as lecture, and deny him the feedback he claims he welcomes.

David, will you please come back to the MD forum so we can have a real discussion?

I have just hit my threshold of patience with you and this entire issue that Kevin continues to do on our board. Get over it noone wants to go over there. Go enjoy mdb and having a real discussion with yourself on that board.

Chaos

Anyone else want to join him? We have his posts they had nothing to do with the thread topic it seems that Kevin Graham has taught him well.

I have deleted off-topic posts and will continue. We haven't made any bones about who we want here and who we don't. Anyone who doesn't like the way this board is run is so very very free to go elsewhere but some will stay here and gripe about how we run our place like it matters. THAT is dysfunctional.

-Orpheus

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Thanks for cleaning this up.

I've been fascinated, personally, by the divine council. I think I'm a pretty average LDS. I also find it interesting that LDS scriptures (some very early ones, including D&C 76) speak of the exalted becoming "gods, even sons of God." This seems to suggest that the exalted take their place in the divine council. It's interesting that Joseph Smith got this terminology right so early on. I think it helps substantiate that he didn't learn the concept from scholars, but by revelation.

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When I saw the title of this thread I became really exicted. I'm a huge fan of the Divine Council, but, when I saw the name of He Who Shall Not Be Mentioned I became concerned. Is this a discussion about the Divine Council or about He Who Shall Not Be Mentioned? Personally, I'd like to learn more about the Council, Brother David!!!

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When I saw the title of this thread I became really exicted. I'm a huge fan of the Divine Council, but, when I saw the name of He Who Shall Not Be Mentioned I became concerned. Is this a discussion about the Divine Council or about He Who Shall Not Be Mentioned? Personally, I'd like to learn more about the Council, Brother David!!!

A point-well taken. In an attempt to move the conversation forward, Iâ??ll share a few references to the divine council that I believe are oftentimes overlooked.

The Prophetâ??s revised version of D&C 76 refers to the divine council as an assembly that met on Kolob, the star nearest the planet where God resides:

â??From the council in Kolob, to time of the earth. And for ages to come unto them I will show my pleasures and will, what my kingdom will do: Eternityâ??s wonders they truly shall knowâ? (v. 7)

The Prophet taught that the council will reconvene in preparation for the Saviorâ??s millennial reign:

â??Daniel in his seventh chapter speaks of the Ancient of Days he means the oldest man, our Father Adam, Michael, he will call his children together and hold a council with them to prepare them for the coming of the Son of Man. He (Adam) is the father of the human family, and presides over the spirits of all men, and all that have had the keys must stand before him in this grand council.â? (Teachings, 157).

I believe that we should recognize LDS teachings in reference to the council that will occur prior to the Second Coming as divine council imagery. Concerning his Fatherâ??s future role in the council, the Prophet declared:

â??He shall be called a prince over his posterity, holding keys of the patriarchal Priesthood over the kingdom of God on earth, even the Church of the Latter-day Saints, and he shall sit in the general assembly of Patriarchs, even in council with the Ancient of Days when he shall sit and all the Patriarchs with him and shall enjoy his right and authority under the direction of the Ancient of Days.â? (Teachings, 39).

Indeed, those who obtain celestial glory become permanent members of the divine council of deities. Modern revelation describes these exalted beings as those who:

â??Have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant (D&C 121:19)

Adopting the divine council terminology from Hebrews 12, Josephâ??s vision of the three degrees of glory refers to:

â??They who have come to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of Enoch, and of the Firstborn (D&C 76:67).

Additional council imagery of course appears through the D&C. Modern revelation refers to the latter-days as a time:

â??According to that which was ordained in the midst of the Council of the Eternal God of all other gods before this world was, that should be reserved unto the finishing and the end thereof, when every man shall enter into his eternal presence and into his immortal restâ? (D&C 121:32)

We know that in Nauvoo, the Prophet was teaching this doctrine concerning the decisions reached in the divine council. As Elder Franklin D. Richards shares, Joseph taught that â??the order and ordinances of the Kingdom were instituted by the Priesthood in the council of heaven before the world wasâ? (Words, 215).

In the Bible, the term â??heavenly hostsâ? or â??hosts of heavenâ? refers to the gods of the divine council. As biblical scholar Lowell K. Handy has recently explained: â??the Bible calls the assembled beings the â??host of heaven,' it is widely understood [however] that these were the gods who made up the heavenly court in Judah and Israelâ? Among the Host of Heaven: The Syro-Palestinian Pantheon as Bureaucracy (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1994), 120.

Though seldom recognized in this manner, I believe that this imagery appears reflected in modern revelation in references to the council:

â??And wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood which ye have received, which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens; and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning youâ? (D&C 84:42)

I believe that the distinction between â??the heavenly hostsâ? and the â??angelsâ? in this revelation suggests a distinction in status between the heavenly hosts, i.e. gods and the beings of a lesser divine status.

Support for this reading is to be found in the description of exalted beings in D&C 132:

â??Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto themâ? (v. 20).

Once we begin to recognize the significance of the divine council in LDS theology, allusions to the assembly become more transparent.

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the Prophet taught that the council will reconvene in preparation for the Saviorâ??s millennial reign:

â??Daniel in his seventh chapter speaks of the Ancient of Days he means the oldest man, our Father Adam, Michael, he will call his children together and hold a council with them to prepare them for the coming of the Son of Man. He (Adam) is the father of the human family, and presides over the spirits of all men, and all that have had the keys must stand before him in this grand council.â? (Teachings, 157).

I believe that we should recognize LDS teachings in reference to the council that will occur prior to the Second Coming as divine council imagery. Concerning his Fatherâ??s future role in the council, the Prophet declared:

â??He shall be called a prince over his posterity, holding keys of the patriarchal Priesthood over the kingdom of God on earth, even the Church of the Latter-day Saints, and he shall sit in the general assembly of Patriarchs, even in council with the Ancient of Days when he shall sit and all the Patriarchs with him and shall enjoy his right and authority under the direction of the Ancient of Days.â? (Teachings, 39).

from my perspective these teachings(among a few others) provide the foundation for the Adam-God (theory/doctrine/opinion)?? do you (Bro Bokovoy) or is anyone else aware of other non-LDS biblical scholars or religious traditions that argue Adam is the "ancient of days" from Daniel ?? just curious

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Orson Pratt delivered a discourse in the presence of the Prophet Joseph Smith in which he analyzed the statements given above by Joseph Smith. He said, without being corrected by Joseph Smith, the following:

"But who is this Ancient of Days that is to act in this glorious and conspicuous part in the grand councils of the last days, and finally deliver up the kingdom organized and prepared, into the hands of the Great King? It cannot be the Son of God, for he afterwards comes to the Ancient of Days. It cannot be the Father, for if the Saints were prepared to meet the Father and sit in council with him, they would also be prepared to meet the Son, for the glory of the Father is equal to that of the Son. . . . The Ancient of Days then is ADAM--the great progenitor of the human race." (Times and Seasons IV: May 15, 1843)

In other words, Orson Pratt (and apparently Joseph Smith) did not see any foundation in these teachings for the so called Adam-God theory.

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David,

Instead of searching all the archives of this message board and others trying to find your ideas and the evidences you have drawn together, is there a place where I can find them all at once?

Thanks.

Sargon

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David,

Instead of searching all the archives of this message board and others trying to find your ideas and the evidences you have drawn together, is there a place where I can find them all at once?

Thanks.

Sargon

I think he has enough information to put together a small book. That's book I'd buy!

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do you (Bro Bokovoy) or is anyone else aware of other non-LDS biblical scholars or religious traditions that argue Adam is the "ancient of days" from Daniel ?? just curious

I don't think there are any. I think the context of the Daniel 7 makes it clear that "Ancient of Days" refers to Elyon.

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I don't think there are any. I think the context of the Daniel 7 makes it clear that "Ancient of Days" refers to Elyon.

that's interesting. I'd love to hear your thoughts on that.

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that's interesting. I'd love to hear your thoughts on that.

I'm traveling at the moment so I am working with limited resources but I'll do what I can to clarify my position for now. :P

In chapter 7 Daniel is having an Ezekiel-like apocalyptic vision (which I think we can all agree on).

9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

Here the Ancient of days appears to be the recipient of worship of thousands and prepares to mete out judgment. As far as I know in Hebrew theology (pre- or post-exilic) Adam was never thought to be the recipient of worship or given authority to judge. I am open for correction here; there may be a Talmudic reference to that effect.

13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Here the "one like the Son of man" may be a reference to Michael's dominion as an angelic prince over the Israelite people, or it may be a Messianic reference. Either way, it is clearly a divine council scene with the Son of man approaching the Ancient of days in a subservient role. In LDS theology, Adam is Michael so it doesn't make sense that he would be approaching himself. Further, I don't see Jesus as receiving authority from Adam unless it is indeed not referring to Jesus but a lesser Messianic figure (prophet or king).

21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High [Elyon]; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

Again, the Ancient of days arrives as a deliverer of "the saints of Elyon" which leads me to believe he is, in fact, Elyon.

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This issue of "one like the Son of Man" is interesting. The same phrase appears in the Book of Abraham.

And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me... (Abraham 3:27)

Here it was clearly Christ (at least, I've never heard it interpreted any other way).

Strange.. What say ye?

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This issue of "one like the Son of Man" is interesting. The same phrase appears in the Book of Abraham.

Here it was clearly Christ (at least, I've never heard it interpreted any other way).

Strange.. What say ye?

I'm sure you're familiar with the Hebrew translation of the word Michael -- literally meaning "El's likeness" but written as "who is like God." In Semitic languages, "son of man" (in this case "bar anash'") denotes a state of being human. In chapter 10 of Daniel we get the only direct reference to Michael in any Hebrew Bible texts which is a little coincidental -- Michael delivers Daniel from danger and Daniel states that Michael is his only supporter (in true Messianic form). So I'm open to the possibility of the "one like the Son of Man" being a human Messianic figure but seems like a possible reference to Michael given the proximity to the Michael reference.

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Orson Pratt delivered a discourse in the presence of the Prophet Joseph Smith in which he analyzed the statements given above by Joseph Smith. He said, without being corrected by Joseph Smith, the following:

"But who is this Ancient of Days that is to act in this glorious and conspicuous part in the grand councils of the last days, and finally deliver up the kingdom organized and prepared, into the hands of the Great King? It cannot be the Son of God, for he afterwards comes to the Ancient of Days. It cannot be the Father, for if the Saints were prepared to meet the Father and sit in council with him, they would also be prepared to meet the Son, for the glory of the Father is equal to that of the Son. . . . The Ancient of Days then is ADAM--the great progenitor of the human race." (Times and Seasons IV: May 15, 1843)

In other words, Orson Pratt (and apparently Joseph Smith) did not see any foundation in these teachings for the so called Adam-God theory.

Other than my blog? No. Thanks though, for your interest.

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David, have you done anything on this phrase "Here am I" Although it does not appear often I find it one of the most compelling phrases in the Bible. (It almost seems antiphonal between heaven and earth).

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