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Lareliw

A newcomer's Church History for Dummies...

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Goodness, Pahoran, there's no need to be cynical. The fact that I pointed that it is apologetic AND somewhat biased should show I was using the word correctly.

I don't agree.

Bushman's approach was essentially one of "submerging his own deepest convictions in an effort to get non

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If you understand how history is written, you will know that history always has a bias. It is simply not possible for it to be otherwise. There has never been an "objective" history, and there never will be.

And contrary to the naive faith of some in this forum, those who prate the loudest about "objectivity" are those who are actually the most biased.

Well, I'm glad we could finally agree on something. You'll note, I wasn't demanding that Bushman strive for objectivity; in fact, I praised the book for what it covered.

But, you are on a mission, Pahoran, to point out with as much vitriol as possible, to distort and discredit anyone who you've pegged as an anti-mormon.

So, continue on, good sir, have at me.

H.

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Well, I'm glad we could finally agree on something. You'll note, I wasn't demanding that Bushman strive for objectivity; in fact, I praised the book for what it covered.

Yes; you said that it was apologetic and biased, but on the other hand, it covered a lot. The "on the other hand" bit was the praise.

Perhaps you meant to say that being apologetic and biased is a good thing. Unfortunately, I missed that inference.

But, you are on a mission, Pahoran, to point out with as much vitriol as possible, to distort and discredit anyone who you've pegged as an anti-mormon.

I think you are mistaken about what you perceive my "mission" to be.

Regards,

Pahoran

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Bless-ed art thou, oh great Pahoran....

... but on the other hand, it covered a lot. The "on the other hand" bit was the praise.

...for thou hast been given the gift of seership, for thou art an interpreter, a great clarifier of eternal truth, thou dost perceiveth the meaning of that which is obscured to others...

I think you are mistaken about what you perceive my "mission" to be.

...and thou shalt do all manner of secret works in darkness, oh great Pahoran, and form thy secret oaths and covenants before me!

H.

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Bless-ed art thou, oh great Pahoran....

...for thou hast been given the gift of seership, for thou art an interpreter, a great clarifier of eternal truth, thou dost perceiveth the meaning of that which is obscured to others...

...and thou shalt do all manner of secret works in darkness, oh great Pahoran, and form thy secret oaths and covenants before me!

I'll give you 7/10 for that one.

I'm docking points because, first, I'm unaware of any scriptures where someone is called "blessed" and "great" at the same time.

Hebrews 7:7

And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.

Second, it didn't take any "seership" or anything like unto it; see below.

Third, "thou dost perceiveth" is incorrect. "Perceiveth" is in the third person. You can say "thou perceivest," or "thou dost perceive."

Still and all, it wasn't a bad effort.

Now, back to the "seership" issue. You previously wrote:

This book provides insight into the the complete history of Joseph Smith. I venture to say that is apologetic in nature, and somewhat biased. On the other hand, it is quite thorough and covers some of the excommunications and power struggles in the early church. Useful for it's bibliography alone.

Then subsequently:

You'll note, I wasn't demanding that Bushman strive for objectivity; in fact, I praised the book for what it covered.

So, alas, I must disclaim any clairvoyant powers. Simple reading was all that it took to discover that "what it covered" was "on the other hand" from its regrettably "apologetic nature."

I'm sorry if I come across as nit-picky; but "apologetic" and its cognates are frequently used as terms of derision, if not opprobrium, around here. I cannot recall seeing you use them with approval.

If you feel that I have misunderstood your position, then I will let you have the last word on the topic.

Regards,

Pahoran

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I'm sorry if I come across as nit-picky; but "apologetic" and its cognates are frequently used as terms of derision, if not opprobrium, around here. I cannot recall seeing you use them with approval.

If you feel that I have misunderstood your position, then I will let you have the last word on the topic.

Look, you as much as admitted the book was apologetic and biased, so at least extend me the same charity you apply to your own use of the terms. I think I've already mentioned, I like the book... it's apologetic, it's biased towards a positive view of the prophet, and it stands as a decent piece of reference material.

Sometimes you need to take off the cynical lenses, Pahoran...

H.

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You need to do more research. All of the so called witnesses were either related or a mark for the con. Jospeh Smith was clever in that one could close their eyes and imagine seeing the golden plates and BAM it was considered REAL. The testimony is not a testomony at all, but instead a pre written note that Joseph Smith wrote up. Do a search for "spritual eyes" for the real truth. Also, there are literaly millions who have sworn testimony on being abducted by UFO's should we also belive them? What about Strangite . org the REAL LDS church who actually had gold plates...they have sworn witnesses also.

You might want to do more research on this topic. The witnesses all had their eyes open and it was outside in midday. Other witnesses held the plates, felt the engravings and turned the pages. One witness complained that it was too heavy sitting on his lap. Additionally, we have Kathryn who hid the plates in her bed with her when the mobs searched. We have several witnesses to the fact that there were plates. Eight of those signed the affidavit. None of them denied it, even when it was to their advantage.

Three witnesses saw the plates along with a vision which included Angels, the voice of God and several other artifacts. They too had opportunities to deny that would have been in their best interest. Instead they insisted it was true.

As for the Strangite plates--the existed. No one denies that. But there were no angels involved, and they are very, very small in comparison.

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Look, you as much as admitted the book was apologetic and biased, so at least extend me the same charity you apply to your own use of the terms. I think I've already mentioned, I like the book... it's apologetic, it's biased towards a positive view of the prophet, and it stands as a decent piece of reference material.

Sometimes you need to take off the cynical lenses, Pahoran...

H.

Almost all of the books on Joseph Smith are apologetic. Palmer's book is extremely negative apologetic, while Bushman attempted to choose a middle path. When writing about Joseph Smith, the writers all seem to take sides and then write. At least Bushman is a recognized scholar who has a published track record. While Palmer's book is an easy read, it is so flawed it falls into the useless category. It really is too bad because I like Palmer's writing style.

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Almost all of the books on Joseph Smith are apologetic. Palmer's book is extremely negative apologetic, while Bushman attempted to choose a middle path. When writing about Joseph Smith, the writers all seem to take sides and then write. At least Bushman is a recognized scholar who has a published track record. While Palmer's book is an easy read, it is so flawed it falls into the useless category. It really is too bad because I like Palmer's writing style.

I've heard the opposite of Palmer's book but have not read it (though I had intended to read it) What do you find flawed with it?

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I've heard the opposite of Palmer's book but have not read it (though I had intended to read it) What do you find flawed with it?

Palmer's thesis is that Joseph Smith was a liar, and then spends the rest of the book trying to prove that point. That's why I say it is a negative apologetic. The problem with Palmer's book is that he takes a few quotes from a few scholars such as Ostler and Welch, but then fails to acknowledge the points they were making. The quotes he takes are out of context, and then Palmer proceeds to pretend that the body of literature that exists on the topic doesn't exist. He completely ignores facts that don't support his thesis. It is a very one-sided offering.

All but one chapter in his book is a rehash of traditional anti Mormonism, he just couches it in much nicer language. Like I said, he has a very good writing style. The book is a simple rewrite of what you read on this message board.

He completely distorts the facts on the Witnesses. His opening salvo is the Greek Psaltery translation which has been discussed on this message board.

He completely ignores well known quotes, and sources and accepts rumors and innuendo as fact.

His golden pot thesis came out of the Hoffman forgeries.

His claims of "near consensus" on the issues he brings up brought historians out of the woodwork to criticize him. They didn't agree with his "near consensus" conclusions.

I know, this post sounds like a very negative "shot across the bow" but I found it to be factually a really awful book. But, Palmer is a very good writer and a very good story teller. I can see why people like his book. I also understand that Palmer is a very nice man. So it is difficult to find personal fault with that. But, this book is a rewrite of the Tanner's anti Mormon Website. I find it to be factually insufficient.

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I read a book by Joseph F. Smith I believe it was? About the history of the church. I wish I could remember the name of it, but it was from a library in a town that I do not live in any longer. Anyway, there were a couple of things that I found interesting and of course confusing! It seemed like a lot of the early church Elders/Apostles ended up being excommunicated, sometimes for reasons that I could not even determine based on the text. Was this a normal practice during the first decades of the LDS church? The thing that I found interesting is that even those who had been excommunicated or had left the church, and had witnessed the Golden Plates that Joseph Smith translated, never recanted the existance of those places. From what I understand, not ONE of them changed their stance on the existence of the plates. Do I have this correct? Why were there so many excommunications? And even though I understand that plural marriage is no longer practiced based on the Manifesto of 1890, why does the Church currently excommunicate members who continue to practice this doctrine that is still listed in D&C? Thank you for helping me to understand better, and please be gentle, I am still learning :P

Here's the deal about church history.

As you can tell from this thread, there is much about history we can never know for sure, and in this area especially, (Church History) EVERYONE has their agenda to push.

You weren't there, I wasn't there and the rest is hearsay. Nobody alive today knows all the details, motivations and nuances of emotion and motivation which was behind any of this.

If you have ever listened to two people who were getting a divorce- you will get three different stories, and this is all similar, except it all happened 150 years ago!

Bottom line is, take it ALL with a grain of salt, and then go by the spirit.

That's the bottom line.

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This topic has been closed by a moderator.

Reason: bickering

Thank you,

Mormon Dialogue & Discussion Board Staff

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