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Daniel Peterson

My Column in "Mormon Times"

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What stunning logic.

So lemme see, if I were caught red-handed and hauled into court on fraud charges, and my crime were linked to an identical previous crime, I should be declared innocent of the earlier crime because there's no way I'd do the same thing twice.

LOL. Somebody gave you a doctorate?

I read the article, and it seemed more "We are right because you are wrong, and I just showed you how you are wrong".

That wasn't even remotely my argument.

I was disappointed with the article.

I rather liked it, myself.

Though I appreciate the history shared.

You're welcome.

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LOL. Somebody gave you a doctorate?

Ain't got nothin' eh? It's okay. We all draw a blank sometimes.

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Your problem was either historical ignorance or seriously flawed logic . . . or that you were making a (rather painfully lame) joke.

Because I don't think you're stupid, and because I'm actually (my reputation notwithstanding) a pretty charitable fellow, I assumed the latter and didn't take your comment seriously.

I apologize if I was mistaken.

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What stunning logic.

So lemme see, if I were caught red-handed and hauled into court on fraud charges, and my crime were linked to an identical previous crime, I should be declared innocent of the earlier crime because there's no way I'd do the same thing twice?

Nice try. But not very close.

Not even in the ballpark, actually.

How about this: let's suppose for the sake of argument you perpetrated a Ponzi scheme in 2008, and ripped a few people off.

Then, last week someone tries to get you to sign up to a Ponzi scheme. You recognise it as a Ponzi scheme, and you realise that you are likely to get ripped off.

Do you sign?

Think it over, MM. Take a month or so.

I'm sure the penny will drop. Eventually.

Regards,

Pahoran

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I'll admit Dr. Peterson, I am lost to the purpose of the article other than to provide history.

As to the substance, according the Maxwell Institute Joseph Smith had possession of the plates in Sep 1827, the BoM was not prepared for printing till Nov 1829. Isn't it misleading to state that Strang translation "required the better part of a decade rather than a little more than two months", the statement being is that Joseph Smith only required a little more than 2 months consecutive, rather than outright saying little more than 2 months total over a period of 2 years due to extraneous factors. but i understand the 2 month claim a point of contention, or at least was with a few people I met on my mission. I would have felt less of a dolt, had I been better informed on the translation timetable.

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John Hajicek is none to happy with this piece. He basically says it is sloppy and ill-informed.

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John Hajicek is none to happy with this piece. He basically says it is sloppy and ill-informed.

John has given me permission to quote the following from his FB Wall...

Fawn Brodie and Milo Quaife corresponded with each other as equal colleagues, and while a landmark author in 1945, Brodie is left behind today. Daniel Peterson acknowledges that he spent a mere 45 minutes writing an article he says he thinks about only a few times per decade, mostly based on a 1930 book by Milo Quaife, also outdated. The Roger Van Noord biography in 1988, also referenced, is midway in scholarship between Robert Flanders’ Kingdom on the Mississippi from 1965 and Andrew Smith’s Saintly Scoundrel from 1997, all three from the University of Illinois Press by non-Mormons.

The tone of Peterson is plain to everyone, but there are mistakes of numerical facts that betray how inaccurately he wrote it all: He says the editions of the Book of the Law of the Lord were 84 pages and 350 pages, for example, but in fact they were 80 pages (1851) and 320 pages (1856). He does not provide any balance, either: He quotes Stephen Post as a Rigdonite saying that it was possible Strang made the plates, but he does not use the powerful favorable testimony of Post in the Stephen Post Papers at the Church History Library, nor the unshaken testimony of his brother Warren Post at BYU. And he relies on a third secondary book (which he does not name), which says it used an 1888 magazine, which printed a letter it says was written by an anti-Mormon, which says that Samuel Graham “says” (where or to whom the anti-Mormon did not say) he conspired with Strang to make brass plates; and that Samuel Bacon “says” (where or to whom the anti-Mormon did not say) that he found brass fragments in Strang’s house.

That is hearsay. Regardless, by hearsay or otherwise, none of the witnesses are reported to have denied anything that they saw, touched, or heard. Moreover, the 1888 anti-Mormon says that events he himself prophesied on Beaver Island came true, and that Strang’s 1844 letter of appointment from Joseph Smith was true, yet Daniel Peterson and his secondary sources make no reference to this for balance. Comparatively, Samuel Bacon’s 1880s reminiscence about leaving James Strang has no greater nor less weight than David Whitmer’s 1880s reminiscence about leaving Joseph Smith.

Most importantly, Daniel Peterson fails in his claim that “Strang’s witnesses later denied their testimonies” in that he provided no words from any of them recanting anything that they had said. Samuel Bacon had an unorthodox conclusion of how he thought James Strang obtained his plates, and David Whitmer had an unorthodox conclusion of how he thought Joseph Smith translated his. Neither of them witnessed those collateral events, however, and neither man changed his printed testimony.

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Dan Peterson has given me permission to restate his response to Mr. Hajicek -- which was that nothing Mr. Hajicek said, even if it were taken at face value, would affect the fundamental point of the article.

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Dan Peterson has given me permission to restate his response to Mr. Hajicek -- which was that nothing Mr. Hajicek said, even if it were taken at face value, would affect the fundamental point of the article.

Saying that his Strang's witnesses recanted when John says they did not most certainly affects the article. You shouldn't leave impressions not based in absolute fact.

** I don't have a dog in the fight, as I am a Restorationist RLDS and think you are both wrong. pardon.gif

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Saying that his Strang's witnesses recanted when John says they did not most certainly affects the article.

Not all that much, actually, even if your summation were accurate. But Mr. Hajicek doesn't demonstrate (or even, really, claim) that none of the Strangite witnesses recanted; he simply disputes my evidence that some of them did.

You shouldn't leave impressions not based in absolute fact.

That's a very naïve demand. There are very few non-trivial "absolute facts" in history.

I don't have a dog in the fight, as I am a Restorationist RLDS and think you are both wrong.

You appear to misunderstand the logical structure of the argument.

If I am correct, both your position and my position remain intact. If, on the other hand, Mr. Hajicek's Strangite position is correct, both you and I are wrong.

You have a dog in the fight.

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How about this: let's suppose for the sake of argument you perpetrated a Ponzi scheme in 2008, and ripped a few people off.

Then, last week someone tries to get you to sign up to a Ponzi scheme. You recognise it as a Ponzi scheme, and you realise that you are likely to get ripped off.

Do you sign?

Ah, my young Padawahoran, we musn't switch up Ponzi with his ground-floor investors.

Let's try a new analogy.

Suppose someone dug up a record of the yellow Indian book, confirming the legends to be true. The book contained a remarkable prophecy that special witnesses would be called of God to achieve notoriety among their peers by putting their names in print (2 Nephi 27:12,14,22). Suppose that at least three people, upon hearing of this opportunity to be publicly favored of God, aggressively lobbied for the honor (see note [13]). And suppose that they subsequently did, in fact, obtain high standing and popularity among a rapidly growing group of Saints, until things went sour and their benefactor died.

Then suppose that a new benefactor arose who offered the men a chance to relive their former glory. Do you think that any of them might take it?

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Dr. Peterson, why seemingly disparage Strang for taking a decade and imply that JS only too a little over two months with out acknowleging how the time frame JS had the plates in his possession? As the lenght of time of possession seems central to your statement against Strang.

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Then suppose that a new benefactor arose who offered the men a chance to relive their former glory. Do you think that any of them might take it?

Ah. So it was historical ignorance, after all.

My mistake.

Dr. Peterson, why seemingly disparage Strang for taking a decade and imply that JS only too a little over two months with out acknowleging how the time frame JS had the plates in his possession? As the lenght of time of possession seems central to your statement against Strang.

No. You're wrong.

It's translation/writing time that counts in the argument. We have very good evidence for the length of that time with the Book of Mormon, and excellent evidence for the comparable periods with respect to Mr. Strang.

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Not all that much, actually, even if your summation were accurate. But Mr. Hajicek doesn't demonstrate (or even, really, claim) that none of the Strangite witnesses recanted; he simply disputes my evidence that some of them did.

That's a very naïve demand. There are very few non-trivial "absolute facts" in history.

You appear to misunderstand the logical structure of the argument.

If I am correct, both your position and my position remain intact. If, on the other hand, Mr. Hajicek's Strangite position is correct, both you and I are wrong.

You have a dog in the fight.

According to John you have offered very little evidence of their recantation except your word.

I suppose you are right about having a dog in the fight... touche.

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Ah. So it was historical ignorance, after all.

My mistake.

I think it would be helpful to your audience if you occasionally made an actual argument to go along with your ad hominem attacks.

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According to John you have offered very little evidence of their recantation except your word.

I think you misunderstand. I cited two books. I didn't just invent this stuff. He doesn't like my sources.

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No. You're wrong.

It's translation/writing time that counts in the argument. We have very good evidence for the length of that time with the Book of Mormon, and excellent evidence for the comparable periods with respect to Mr. Strang.

Let me remove foot from mouth long enough to say, I am sorry for not noticing the important wording in the sentence "his translation required ...", Thank you for the clarification.

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MM, mount a serious argument, get a serious response.

You sneer contemptuously at me, virtually without cease, and then demand that I treat you with respect. The tactic isn't likely to work.

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For the fifth time, if you are found fighting against the true geography or Zion, you will be "cut off." Not so unimportant is it. Not unrelated to your salvation either imo.

Poor apostate Dr. Peterson will be "cut off" for favoring a mesoamerican model and having the audacity of thinking that his subscription to a geographical model is not significantly related to his salvation.

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Poor apostate Dr. Peterson will be "cut off" for favoring a mesoamerican model and having the audacity of thinking that his subscription to a geographical model is not significantly related to his salvation.

LOL. Part of the motivation for the article -- only a part -- is the fact that, since late April, I've been receiving massive (and massively insulting) e-mails, each obviously the product of several hours of labor, from a very zealous advocate of the "heartland" model of Book of Mormon geography. I haven't counted them, but I've probably received somewhere between fifteen and twenty of them. And I found out just last week that the same fellow has apparently sent over 150 similar things, altogether, to others.

I'm simply stunned that a member of the Church would behave in such a way. They are really, really nasty.

At first, I responded by simply thanking him for sending his note. Then I stopped replying. But they continued to come. So, just the other day, I wrote and asked him to stop sending such things to me. I can't tell, yet, whether he's going to comply.

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good article and great point, here is what I took from it, living the Gospel is what is important, HT/VT, Temple attendance where applicable, prayer, study etc., where things happened, are not important to individual salvation. For all we know, Ireland could be a BoM place, because of the lack of snakes.

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