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What are the implications if the BoA is false?

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I'd rather not discuss whether or not the BoA translation is accurate - there are many long (and often tedious) threads debating that topic. What I'm asking is, what is the implication if it's false? Is there room for continued faith in the LDS church regardless? I think there is, but I'd like to hear your perspectives.

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I'd rather not discuss whether or not the BoA translation is accurate - there are many long (and often tedious) threads debating that topic. What I'm asking is, what is the implication if it's false? Is there room for continued faith in the LDS church regardless? I think there is, but I'd like to hear your perspectives.

The Book of Abraham is not central to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. The Church survived for the first fifty years of its existence without the Book of Abraham as part of the scriptural canon. So the first thing to remember about the role of the Book of Abraham in apologetics is that the Church does not rise and fall on the veracity of the Book of Abraham. "The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it." So declared Joseph Smith. The Book of Abraham is an appendage. In importance, it ranks below the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. - John Gee (2009 FAIR Conference)

:P

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I'd rather not discuss whether or not the BoA translation is accurate - there are many long (and often tedious) threads debating that topic. What I'm asking is, what is the implication if it's false? Is there room for continued faith in the LDS church regardless? I think there is, but I'd like to hear your perspectives.

If you sincerely happen to believe spiritual experience is a good means of getting truth, and by such experiences you happen to believe that Joseph Smith was God's messanger and did in fact set-up God's one authorized Church, then there really are no interesting implications in the case that the Book of Abraham (or the Book of Mormon, for that matter) is proven false.

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I'd rather not discuss whether or not the BoA translation is accurate - there are many long (and often tedious) threads debating that topic. What I'm asking is, what is the implication if it's false? Is there room for continued faith in the LDS church regardless? I think there is, but I'd like to hear your perspectives.

It depends on what you mean by "false". That term had a completely different meaning in the early 19th century than it does today. You have to understand what JS meant by it. You have to adjust your paradigms, give up your presentism, reevaluate your expectations, read more Kuhn etc.

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I'd rather not discuss whether or not the BoA translation is accurate - there are many long (and often tedious) threads debating that topic. What I'm asking is, what is the implication if it's false? Is there room for continued faith in the LDS church regardless? I think there is, but I'd like to hear your perspectives.

I think that there is room for the Church to survive but that survival would be after the largest apostasy in the recorded history of the Church, IMO.

The remnants that remain will do so with little if nothing of the Church that existed before, in all reality the Book of Moses being "proven false" would have far less impact on the Church than the BOA. Any apologist that argues otherwise is oblivious to the implications of the BoA being proven false (which is unlikely if not impossible, it would be a lot easier to prove the Bible or the Book of Mormon false, IMO).

The BoA, was translated by the power of God from the papyrus, so if the BoA is a fraud then one must logically question if the BoM is a fraud. Now it is completely logical and possible that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God, and that peer pressure to have more translations come forth pressured Smith into making the BoA. This will be the apologetic defense if such an event was to happen, but this defense wouldn't overcome the loss of faith that would occur from the members who are now being told that the BoA is false, IMO.

If the BoA is false then one has to question if the BoM, either way it will destroy the faith of millions who accepted that the BoA was the Word of God for so long.

So ultimately I think the Church would survive but it would do so in a fallen state and would never be a strong or prosperus again, IMO.

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It depends on what you mean by "false". That term had a completely different meaning in the early 19th century than it does today. You have to understand what JS meant by it. You have to adjust your paradigms, give up your presentism, reevaluate your expectations, read more Kuhn etc.

I am only laughing at your wit. Geeze dude.

Read more Kuhn.

I think you are making fun of Kevin.

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It depends on what you mean by "false". That term had a completely different meaning in the early 19th century than it does today. You have to understand what JS meant by it. You have to adjust your paradigms, give up your presentism, reevaluate your expectations, read more Kuhn etc.

Is this sarcasim here?

What could "false" have meant in the 19th century that's any different from what it means today (and what could JS have meant by the word that's any different from what the average person understands it to mean now)?

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Is this sarcasim here?

Why, Yes it is.

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I'd rather not discuss whether or not the BoA translation is accurate - there are many long (and often tedious) threads debating that topic. What I'm asking is, what is the implication if it's false? Is there room for continued faith in the LDS church regardless? I think there is, but I'd like to hear your perspectives.

By "accurate", I assume you mean the story of how we got the BoA, not just the contents of the BofA.

If the story of how we got the BoA is inconsistent with the facts then your faith will go through an alteration if you keep it at all. My brother is "out" because of the BoA. To me it isn't a deal breaker.

The BoA is scripture. It is also Joseph Smith's creation, as is the BoM and his "translation" of the Bible. I believe that scripture is writing under an intense influence or "contact" with the metaphysical realm in your mind. Joseph Smith, I allow, believed that he had a gift. What he was, evidently, was hyper spiritual, i.e. he had a very strong connection to the metaphysical. Therefore we have received a very high "scriptural" content in his writings.

Finally, scripture does not have to be consistent to be scripture. If that is your requirement, then you can start by tossing huge chunks of the Bible....

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It depends on what you mean by "false". That term had a completely different meaning in the early 19th century than it does today. You have to understand what JS meant by it. You have to adjust your paradigms, give up your presentism, reevaluate your expectations, read more Kuhn etc.

By false I mean that it has nothing to do with what's on the papyrus.

I'm talking about the implications today. "Presentism" is not an issue in this topic.

Edit: oh, I didn't catch the sarcasm. Whoops!

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I don't believe I have missed out on anything having set the BofA aside several years ago.

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I'd rather not discuss whether or not the BoA translation is accurate - there are many long (and often tedious) threads debating that topic. What I'm asking is, what is the implication if it's false? Is there room for continued faith in the LDS church regardless? I think there is, but I'd like to hear your perspectives.

The implications: a massively shifted understanding/paradigm of the nature prophethood and revelation that most LDS no not have, and might not be able to handle.

Most of us Internet Mormons have already reached this paradigm to greater or lesser degree, and still maintain faith - albeit with a more introspective, less dogmatic worldview.

Now I would add the distinction that if Joseph Smith blew it on the facsimiles, there is plenty of room for faith in the text-portions of the Books of Abraham and Moses. Indeed, some of our best Doctrines and Cosmology comes from those books.

Ultimately there is still plenty of room for continued faith in mormonism so long as the Book of Mormon survives. If it is ever falsified (to the degree that the BoA has been) then I think it might time to close up shop and go home.

I would add that we are not alone in the issue eroding scriptural authority. The bible has been crumbling since Galileo and before, and certain narratives, namely the Creation and Flood Stories, have been completely falsified. Yet many people continue to believe in the bible despite this.

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I would add that we are not alone in the issue eroding scriptural authority. The bible has been crumbling since Galileo and before, and certain narratives, namely the Creation and Flood Stories, have been completely falsified. Yet many people continue to believe in the bible despite this.

Good point!

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It is hard to conceive of the BOA being false, no matter how we got it. I'm one who believes it doesn't matter and that it was more likely a result of inspiration/revelation while perusing ancient texts.

If you are talking about the text itself, I don't know how you would show it to be false in what it teaches. It is very profound and deep doctrine that is fundamental to our understanding of pre-mortal life and spirits and is in conformity with other teachings on these matters.

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I'd rather not discuss whether or not the BoA translation is accurate - there are many long (and often tedious) threads debating that topic. What I'm asking is, what is the implication if it's false? Is there room for continued faith in the LDS church regardless? I think there is, but I'd like to hear your perspectives.

I suspect that the Church would, if needed, gradually remove the Book of Abraham from the "canon" over the course of a few decades.

I'm not referring to an actual physical removal, but a spiritual removal, where it is left in the Pearl of Great Price but it is de-emphasized in talks and lessons, and it gradually becomes forgotten and irrelevant. Kind of like the last 38 verses of Section 132.

There would be no public pronouncement or retraction. Within a few generations, only a small percentage of Church members would be aware of the BoA and its history, and it would be looked at as nothing more than an obscure curiosity. Kind of like the last 38 verses of Section 132.

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Is there room for continued faith in the LDS church regardless?

None whatsoever. It is presented as historical and there are critical doctrines contained therein. As usual, one could say that some details are metaphorical or allegorical, but since it is claimed to be a translation by the power of God, it must ultimately be true in some tangible sense.

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If the text of the Book of Abra(ha)m has nothing to do with what's on the papyrus then:

1. people who draw conclusions based off the data will have to reevaluate their faith and either

a. add to the list of things they allow the Church to do and still appear credible to them or

b. change their mind on the Church being true to

i. a nice organization that they would belong to even if it isn't really God's Real Church

ii. just another group that wants to control other people's lives

iii. the Church being the embodiment of the Devil's mockery, write an anti-Mormon book and start a hokey little anti-Mormon cable channel broadcasting from an 8-watt outhouse out of West Valley City...

iv. other

2. people who draw their conclusions first, with then either

a. interpret data in a way to support their conclusion or

b. catalog the new data as 'unimportant', 'not central', 'not a deal-breaker', etc., and maintain the preformed conclusion.

c. other

I think a lot of whether a person sticks with the Church or not doesn't come down to the details of how it got here, but how much they believe they have to lose, what they fear and what they love. I also think that people of every single religion in the world who abandon their old faith to join Mormonism might face the same sort of mental exercise.

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None whatsoever. It is presented as historical and there are critical doctrines contained therein. As usual, one could say that some details are metaphorical or allegorical, but since it is claimed to be a translation by the power of God, it must ultimately be true in some tangible sense.

I can see that the answer to my question is going to vary wildly from person to person.

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I can see that the answer to my question is going to vary wildly from person to person.

no kidding . . .

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I would add the distinction that if Joseph Smith blew it on the facsimiles, there is plenty of room for faith in the text-portions of the Books of Abraham

The facsimiles are tightly woven into the main text; they can't be separated.

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It further opens possibility that all of his "revelations" were little (or nothing) more than the results of a Rorschach Test

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I suspect that the Church would, if needed, gradually remove the Book of Abraham from the "canon" over the course of a few decades.

I'm not referring to an actual physical removal, but a spiritual removal, where it is left in the Pearl of Great Price but it is de-emphasized in talks and lessons, and it gradually becomes forgotten and irrelevant. Kind of like the last 38 verses of Section 132.

There would be no public pronouncement or retraction. Within a few generations, only a small percentage of Church members would be aware of the BoA and its history, and it would be looked at as nothing more than an obscure curiosity.

Of course, this has already happened.

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It's a definite deal breaker for me, but I know there are members who have already dismissed the origin stories of both the BoA and the BoM, while still regarding both as inspired scripture (not from gold plates or papyrus, and not actually historical).

They separate the message from the historicity.

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I suppose it's all in how high you set the bar for Joseph Smith's prophetic title.

If one evidently botched 'translation' completely destroys his credibility, then I guess the matter is decided.

Otherwise, you move the bar to a lower rung, and keep believing.

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Of course, this has already happened.

Well, part of the process is for the members to take a few decades to figure out that it's happening (or already happened). After a generation or two, most Church members will find it odd that it was ever any different.

But the first thing to do is to stop publishing articles like this.

After all, I don't think too many members will mourn the demise of teachings such as this:

President Joseph Fielding Smith stated that in this verse the Lord

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