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soren

Why ONUG Is Poor

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(Latter-day Saints have sided with the wrong group):

What's that supposed to mean? Are you suggesting that the Sons of Light were the "wrong group"?

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Oh, is that what it says? I don't think so. It's a classic FAIR spin. I love how FAIR does this stuff.

The introduction states â??firstly . . . receiving the testimony from on high." FAIR is telling you that this means Smith saw the father in the account that he goes on to give. But the truth is that "from on high" simply means from God, from the Lord above...etc etc etc.

Thats an intresting spin Richard. Especially since... the opening sentence in the response contradicts your claim...

"The theophany portion of the 1832 account does not specifically indicate that the Father appeared to Joseph Smith together with Jesus Christ."

Where do we have Joseph explaining that this REALLY means â??firstly . . . receiving the testimony from on high; from the father who actually appeared in this vision with the Son." ANSWER: Nowhere.

I agree whole heartedly. And so did the fair article. You can stop patting yourself on the back now.

The only thing FAIR says is: "When this phrase is placed in conjunction with the Prophet's 1835 and 1838 accounts of the First Vision it becomes obvious that the 1832 phraseology closely corresponds with the words spoken by God the Father when He introduced His Son in the Sacred Grove."

Yes it does.

Sorry, this means nothing. It's pure, unadulterated conjecture and pulling together an argument out of assumptions.

Now you're confusing Fair with ONUG.

Smith tells you exactly what was in the vision. And the Father isn't mentioned. Small thing to overlook, no? As FAIR notes: "The theophany portion of the 1832 account does not specifically indicate that the Father appeared to Joseph Smith together with Jesus Christ. . . . The theophany portion of the 1832 account does not specifically indicate that the Father appeared to Joseph Smith together with Jesus Christ."

Thank you. That's the truth.

Correct. It doesn't. But the "PROLOG" does.

Care to make comment on the fact that this same version reads: "In the 16th year of my age"?

Not a probelm for me. The bible can't keep ages and dates straight either so why would I require it of JS?

"Jesus himself was about 30 years old when he began his ministry. He was (so it was thought) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli,"

Luke 3:23

Wesley's Notes

3:23 And Jesus was - John's beginning was computed by the years of princes: our Saviour's by the years of his own life, as a more august era. About thirty years of age - He did not now enter upon his thirtieth year (as the common translation would induce one to think) but he now entered on his public ministry: being of such an age as the Mosaic law required. Our great Master attained not, as it seems, to the conclusion of his thirty - fourth year. Yet what glorious achievements did he accomplish within those narrow limits of time! Happy that servant, who, with any proportionable zeal, despatches the great business of life; and so much the more happy, if his sun go down at noon. For the space that is taken from the labours of time, shall be added to the rewards of eternity. The son of Heli - That is, the son - in - law: for Heli was the father of Mary. So St. Matthew writes the genealogy of Joseph, descended from David by Solomon; St. Luke that of Mary, descended from David by Nathan. In the genealogy of Joseph (recited by St. Matthew) that of Mary is implied, the Jews being accustomed to marry into their own families.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:23-38 Matthew's list of the forefathers of Jesus showed that Christ was the son of Abraham, in whom all the families of the earth are blessed, and heir to the throne of David; but Luke shows that Jesus was the Seed of the woman that should break the serpent's head, and traces the line up to Adam, beginning with Eli, or Heli, the father, not of Joseph, but of Mary. The seeming differences between the two evangelists in these lists of names have been removed by learned men. But our salvation does not depend upon our being able to solve these difficulties, nor is the Divine authority of the Gospels at all weakened by them. The list of names ends thus, Who was the son of Adam, the son of God; that is, the offspring of God by creation. Christ was both the son of Adam and the Son of God, that he might be a proper Mediator between God and the sons of Adam, and might bring the sons of Adam to be, through him, the sons of God. All flesh, as descended from the first Adam, is as grass, and withers as the flower of the field; but he who partakes of the Holy Spirit of life from the Second Adam, has that eternal happiness, which by the gospel is preached unto us.

Or, care to comment on how we see in ths 1832 version that it is Smith himself who decided for himself that all the churches were wrong, instead of it being the Father or Jesus telling him that?

No probelm for me. "Wether it be from me or the mouth of my servants it is the same". Joseph reading the Bible and being directed by the spirit could easily be told by God that all churches where wrong.

That little bit about the other churches (as you read it today) didn't come into the vision account until later versions!

Soooo... that part of Pauls vision about how he and everyone that was with him fell to the ground and couldn't get up didn't appear in his story until the 3rd retelling infront of the king of kings. Everyone falls to the earth infront of a king... how much more the king of heaven. Inquiring minds want to know if you question Pauls story Richard?

It's missing from 1832 and the two 1835 versions (see Nov. 9, 1835 & Nov. 14, 1835). And according to Richard Bushman, the reason why we don't see the Father at all because in 1832 Joseph didn't see this particular aspect of the vision to be very important (Bushman, Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism, p. 52). What? Oh, yeah, right. Heavenly Father himself appears to someone, but that's not very important. :P

RA

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Richard:

Have you read Mormons and Their Historians? Have you read Believing History? Have you read Adventures of a Church Historian? Have you read Mormon History?

What percentage of the materials listed in Allen, Walker, and Whittaker, eds., Studies in Mormon History, 1830-1997: An Indexed Bibliography, would you estimate that you've read?

Have you read Milton Backman's The First Vision? Have you read Jack Welch's Opening the Heavens?

I genuinely want to know.

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Richard: Have you read.....
I hope this answers you.

Mormons and Their Historians: 1988
-
No.

Believing History: 2006
-
Yes
(but only after my two books on Mormonism were released).

I can agree with various points here and there. There is no such thing s a TOTAL, COMPLETE, OBJECTIVE history from anyone, including me. I agree. true. It is, as Woodworth and Neilson say, a "dream" (p. x). But I cannot accept the kind of "revisionism" and contextualization of LDS history that is generally known and seen.

Now, as for Bushman. He's is an interesting character. I find myself alternating between holding a respect for him, and then thinking, "I can't believe you just said that." (And just FYI, I would not be so foolish as to reduce the origins of Mormonism to competely naturalistic means. It is a very complex, rich, spiritual mix of good, bad, and truly ugly.) I find Bushman flipping between sound reasoning (to a point), offering good/honest history, and then backing off to preserve his faith (or spinning it). My problem, I think with Bushman, is how he does allow his personal faith to interpret some truly sticky things in LDS history.
Even Shipps has criticized Bushman for being too sympathetic to Smith
(if I recall). That's how I see it. Just an opinion. Excellent book, though. I like Bushman, TBH. I view him much as I view you. I think this is my favorite Bushman quote from some interview he did:
"Every time you meet a reasonable Mormon, you have to readjust your beliefs about how wacky Mormon beliefs are," Professor Bushman said. "You have to say, 'I can't stomach it myself, but apparently it really works for these people.'"

Mormon History
: 2001 - Yes.
Informative, certainly, but I am not seeing how it's relevant to what we're talking about here. It discusses the flow of Mormon history-making in general, which really doesn't apply to the very specific issues we're discussing here. I prefer
The New Mormon History
(I read this one, too).

Moreover, at times, IMHO,
Mormon History
was not history, but an apologetic for Mormonism and a defense against attacks on Mormonism via discussions of history. I mean, Dan, for example, in reference to E.D. Howe, it states: "For whatever reason, shortly after the Mormons began to arrive in Northern Ohio in the early 1830s, Howe started a spirited newspaper campaign against them."

Excuse me, but....
"For whatever reason"
? There were plenty of reasons. Between 1830-1834, the Mormons caused no end of conflict with their neighbors, complete with doomsday pronouncements of judgment on whole towns and communities -- and even America! There was the Zion's Camp debacle, rumors of polygamy (which had already started, thank you, Fanny Alger), and claims by Smith's crowd of divine leadership.

Adventures of a Church Historian:
1998 - No.

Opening the Heavens:
2005 - No (
post-my two books).

Milton Backman's The First Vision
: 1971. Yes.
OF COURSE. This is a classic.

What percentage of the materials listed in Allen, Walker, and Whittaker, eds., Studies in Mormon History, 1830-1997: An Indexed Bibliography, would you estimate that you've read?
I have no idea. When I apply for a job in the history department of BYU, I'll go through it and do a counting. Will you put in a good word for me? :P

RA

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When I apply for a job in the history department of BYU, I'll go through it and do a counting. Will you put in a good word for me? :P

Sorry, but No.

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Have you read Mormons and Their Historians? Have you read Believing History? Have you read Adventures of a Church Historian? Have you read Mormon History?

What percentage of the materials listed in Allen, Walker, and Whittaker, eds., Studies in Mormon History, 1830-1997: An Indexed Bibliography, would you estimate that you've read?

Have you read Milton Backman's The First Vision? Have you read Jack Welch's Opening the Heavens?

I genuinely want to know.

Well I'm not Mr. Abanes, but I'll answer for me. I haven't read any of them (and until today didn't know -- and didn't care -- that such existed), but now that you bring them up I suddenly have an interest. I'm pretty sure it would be interesting. Which do you think is the best of this reading list to start with? At least among the shorter works. The title "Opening the Heavens" sounds particularly intriquing, but if you care to advise me, I'll start where you indicate. If you are able to take a second to respond.

Thanks!

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Sorry, but No.
:P I was afraid of that. Have a good weekend, Dan.

RA

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I think Opening the Heavens is a wonderful book that every intellectually serious Latter-day Saint (and student of Mormonism) should read.

Here's a note I published about it a while back:

John W. Welch with Erick B. Carlson, eds., Opening the Heavens: Accounts of Divine Manifestations, 1820-1844 (Provo and Salt Lake City: Brigham Young University Press and Deseret Book, 2005).

This anthology of important articles and yet more important primary sources will strengthen the faith of believing Latter-day Saint readers and even inspire them. On the other hand, it will challenge any unbelievers who honestly confront the data it contains. Two articles, written respectively by Dean Jessee and by James Allen and John Welch, carefully examine the earliest accounts of the First Vision, demonstrating that those documents tell a deeply harmonious story. Professor Welch then considers, with meticulous attention to detail, the data relevant to â??The Miraculous Translation of the Book of Mormon,â? concluding that the English text of that ancient record was produced at a stunningly rapidâ??and, one might plausibly argue, a humanly inexplicableâ??pace. Brian Q. Cannon and the BYU Studies staff gather and discuss seventy contemporary documents relating to the restoration of the priesthood, and Alexander Baugh treats Joseph Smithâ??s seventy-six documented visions. Steven Harper considers six eyewitness accounts of the pentecostal manifestations that attended the dedication of the Kirtland Temple, and Lynne Watkins Jorgensen discusses an impressive one hundred and twenty-one individual testimoniesâ??which she justly terms â??a collective spiritual witnessâ?â??of the famous descent of the mantle of Joseph Smith on Brigham Young in August 1844. (Readers interested in that event may also enjoy Robert C. Mouritsenâ??s rather difficult to obtain 2004 bookâ??first published in 1974â??Mantle: Windy Day in August, at Nauvoo.) Closing with a selection of early documents relating to other key events in formative Latter-day Saint history, this is an indispensable book. Along with a very small shelf including such earlier volumes as Richard L. Andersonâ??s classic Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses, Opening the Heavens presents information that should be considered by anyone seriously concerned with the truth of the claims of Mormonism. Attempts to dismiss crucial elements of the Restoration as merely metaphorical or subjective are blocked by these powerful reminders that those events occurred in the real, material worldâ??rather than in some mystical or metaphysical realm, whatever that might beâ??and that they are attested to by abundant historical documentation.

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Given M. Abanes manful defense of his work on a message board peopled by folks of no particular distinction (but for a couple of counterexamples, I suppose), I think we can safely say that if the level of his defense of his opus approximates the best it has to offer, I made the right call not bothering to read it.

USU "Or not" 78

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What's that supposed to mean? Are you suggesting that the Sons of Light were the "wrong group"?

What I usually include as a comment after the quote you're referring to is the following:

[*Jesus was at the same time the priestly and Davidic â??Anointed Oneâ?â?? He also was the prophet that was to come, â??like unto Mosesâ?- Prophet/Priest/King.]

Jesus Himself selected the apostles, not the Qumran community, to be the bearers of His message of the good news of salvation to those who accept Him as the Messiah of Israel. While they can confirm certain Biblical teachings, it is not the Qumran community we are to look to for our doctrine.

What I mean by that is Mormonism (in The Ensign) identifies with a group of Jews who were not the ones selected by Jesus to impart the Gospel message to. In so doing they compare themselves in the context of everyone else not Mormon:

The scrolls indicate that the Qumran sectarians regarded themselves as the true Israel surrounded by spiritual traitors and false brethren in a corrupt world.

In contrast to this:

only true and living church on the face of the whole earth. (D&C 1:30)

Also note this comment:

The idea of Restoration

Another reason for Latter-day Saint interest in the Dead Sea Scrolls community is the theme of apostasy and restoration found among both groups. The scrolls indicate that the Qumran sectarians regarded themselves as the true Israel surrounded by spiritual traitors and false brethren in a corrupt world. They possessed the true covenant that God had restored or renewed with them. They went off by themselves to establish the â??Community of the Renewed Covenantâ?. . . and to await the advent of two messiahs [*](a priestly Anointed One and a Davidic or political Anointed One) in desert country right next to a vast salt lake fed by a freshwater stream called the Jordan River. No wonder Latter-day Saints are interested in the documents of a people whose circumstances and geographical habitation parallel their own history. . . ]

Jesus didnâ??t go to the Qumran community but chose those whom He spent three years with in ministry. After the resurrection:

Then He said to them, â??These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.â? And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, â??Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.â? Luke 24:44-49)

His last command to them (There was a not telling of a â??completeâ? â??totalâ? apostasy):

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, â??All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-20)

But through Paul later (after he was called by Jesus personally) said concerning the future that (total/complete are not the same as some):

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, . . .In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. (1 Timothy 4:1 2, 6)

And eloborates further:

Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)

Mormons choose to believe the lies of Joseph Smith instead of Jesus.

What Mormonism teaches:

3. There was a complete apostasy affecting both Catholic and Protestant churches. . . .2. There was a total apostasy affecting the Catholic and Protestant churches. . . . (A UNIFORM SYSTEM FOR TEACHING INVESTIGATORS, Aug. 1961, pp.32, 58).

The realization that the Lordâ??s true church was not only vulnerable, but destructible, comes as a shock to many people. But if wicked men were able to put to death the Messiah himself, is it so strange that they should have power to destroy his church? (APOSTASY AND RESTORATION pamphlet, p.11)

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His last command to them (There was a not telling of a "complete" "total" apostasy):

And yet he knew they would be rejected by the world and be killed and utlimately fail in this mission he commissioned them with... (Matt. 23:34) and thus he prepared another way...

Rev. 14: 6

6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

How can the earth have the Gospel If an angel has to be sent from heaven with it to preach?

Coolkrok7 chooses to beleive the strong delusions the lord has blinded him with rather than beleive his bible.

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