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What are the implications if the BoA is false?

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All,

I'd really be interested if anyone here has a response to my post, earlier in this thread, commenting on Gee's 2009 lecture that argued that the Book of Abraham is not of crucial importance to LDS faith. Gee's lecture was of signal relevance to the question posed in this thread, but for some reason my detailed analysis of Gee's argument has been ignored or missed.

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All,

I'd really be interested if anyone here has a response to my post, earlier in this thread, commenting on Gee's 2009 lecture that argued that the Book of Abraham is not of crucial importance to LDS faith. Gee's lecture was of signal relevance to the question posed in this thread, but for some reason my detailed analysis of Gee's argument has been ignored or missed.

See, to me that reads like Gee thinks there are troubling issues with the Book of Abraham. Maybe eventually it will occupy the same space as the JoD?

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See, to me that reads like Gee thinks there are troubling issues with the Book of Abraham. Maybe eventually it will occupy the same space as the JoD?

Having been there when he gave this presentation I didn't get that impression at all. His point was more that the critics make it sound like the church stands or falls on the BOA, when it doesn't. The BOM is the foundation work of the church. His point wasn't that we shouldn't continue studying it or it was any less an important piece of scripture, only that if we didn't have it it would not change the foundation of the church. He is still very much involved in studying it.

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Having been there when he gave this presentation I didn't get that impression at all. His point was more that the critics make it sound like the church stands or falls on the BOA, when it doesn't. The BOM is the foundation work of the church. His point wasn't that we shouldn't continue studying it or it was any less an important piece of scripture, only that if we didn't have it it would not change the foundation of the church. He is still very much involved in studying it.

Maybe I was reading too much into it. I agree that the BoM is really the key book for the church.

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All,

I'd really be interested if anyone here has a response to my post, earlier in this thread, commenting on Gee's 2009 lecture that argued that the Book of Abraham is not of crucial importance to LDS faith. Gee's lecture was of signal relevance to the question posed in this thread, but for some reason my detailed analysis of Gee's argument has been ignored or missed.

This was discussed here.

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MM,

Thanks, but it doesn't appear that the thread discussed the same issues I raised in my post.

This was discussed here.

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Again, what value is there in carrying on a conversation with a pathological liar?

You deliberately quoted Rhodes and Thompson out of context. When I and kolipoki09 (posts 109 and 145) called you on it, you pretended that you had done no such thing, and that anyhow quoting out of context was perfectly O.K. -- at least for you. When Dan Peterson nicely informed you that he knew Gee personally and that you were misrepresenting his views, you continued to misrepresent him.

An honest man would be at great pains not to misrepresent or misquote others (which always includes quoting out of context). What is sad is that you know no shame for such lack of integrity. Even sadder: We could have had a real discussion of the substantive issues, without worrying about what Rhodes, Gee, Thompson, or any other LDS Scholar might or might not have said on the subject. But you were so fearful of what might happen in such an opened-ended discussion, that you panicked and began a small propaganda war. And you were right to be fearful. For, if we had had a real discussion, you would have found yourself wondering whether you might have tied your horse to the losing side in this debate. Your biggest fear: Cognitive dissonance. That's something you can't handle.

I put FoxTrot on my ignore list long ago. And life is good. I suggest you--and everyone else for that matter--do so as well. It's almost as wonderful as the delete key!

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Mr. Bowman might be another candidate.

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The consequences of the Book of Abraham being false is enormous for the church. And no, I don't think the church's credibility could survive it's being proven false. Having said that, the methodology used to prove its falsity would be the key to proving the church and Joseph Smith false. On the other hand, what are the ramifications of it being proven true? Again, the methodology would be the key. Personally, I believe its content goes a long way to proving its verity. There are other apocalypses that have been discovered that compare very favorably to the Book of Abraham and the grand premortal council.

So the short answer is no, the church could not survive evidence that proved conclusively that the Book of Abraham is false. It would prove that Joseph Smith had the ability and determination to perpetrate the Book of Mormon and the other revelations.

.

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For yet another illustration, see his shotgun blast of irrelevant and highly debatable charges immediately above.

He plainly wishes to avoid a serious discussion with you. Which, admittedly, demonstrates some genuine degree of wisdom on his part

Dr. Peterson,

Given that it is possible to provide references from LDS scriptures or other Church approved sources regarding validity of each of the "charges" I made in the subject post, perhaps you would be willing to let us know which of these in your mind are "highly debatable".

As to the relevancy of my "shotgun blast", you seem to have missed the point. When one considers the overwhelming weight of evidence that Joseph Smith had no capability to translate ancient languages, that he further misrepresented his ability to do so, that he claimed revelation from God when he wrote passages into scriptures that contradicted his earlier scriptures in order to justify behavior very similar to that for which a modern FLDS prophet now finds himself in prison, why exactly is it that you would think I wish to enter into "serious discussions" aimed at showing that all this is not as bad as it looks?

I came on to this thread and provided my requested opinion as to the implications of a false BoA. My widely held opinion apparently made some here uncomfortable, and I was immediately the object of ad hominem attacks. These attacks included charges to which I responded.

In the greater scheme of things, "serious discussions" regarding theories about how Joseph Smith came up with the Book of Abraham are about as worthwhile as "serious discussions" regarding theories concerning alien abductions (which given the relevant physical evidence are more believable than the best of the myriad of faithful LDS narratives regarding the origins of the BoA).

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I don't recall if it was already discussed but the issue of the BOA text being false or the method of how we got it being false are two separate issues. One would have a hard time proving the text false when one compares it to other ancient writing and thought.

As to proving how we got it being false, how can you do that when there is nothing to show what Joseph actually did. It stands to reason that the actual papyri Joseph supposedly translated from were lost, given all that was going on at the time and the loss of so many other things. Until you can prove that it wasn't lost then what you have doesn't allow you to do anything but speculate and extrapolate.

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Imho, anyone who would "stifle" (ignore) anyone else has a problem with sincerity, if they also claim to be open to other people's ideas and opinions. And anyone who claims to be a truth-seeker, and yet stifles another person's presence, is being a hypocrite at least. I would make an exception for a specific persecutor, a nemesis: but on this forum that "relationship" would have the kibosh put on it pronto by the mods, so that exception does not exist on this forum....

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It partly depends on how one defines "false." If it had been written and presented as a work of fiction, it could still contain much truth, it could be an inspiring and instructive story. Take the Lord of the Rings, for example. We all know it is not historically accurate, but it was never presented as such, and it contains a lot of truth. A person could reasonably state that the Lord of the Rings is "true," referring to the true lessons contained therein, not to whether or not the events described therein actually happened in our world.

If the Book of Abraham was not, in fact, written by Abraham, and if the events described therein never happened, it could still be an inspiring work of fiction with lots of truth in it. However, it would seem problematic for the Church leaders to present it as something it's not, as literally, historically true, and written "by the hand of Abraham," if that was not actually the case.

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It partly depends on how one defines "false." If it had been written and presented as a work of fiction, it could still contain much truth, it could be an inspiring and instructive story. Take the Lord of the Rings, for example. We all know it is not historically accurate, but it was never presented as such, and it contains a lot of truth. A person could reasonably state that the Lord of the Rings is "true," referring to the true lessons contained therein, not to whether or not the events described therein actually happened in our world.

If the Book of Abraham was not, in fact, written by Abraham, and if the events described therein never happened, it could still be an inspiring work of fiction with lots of truth in it. However, it would seem problematic for the Church leaders to present it as something it's not, as literally, historically true, and written "by the hand of Abraham," if that was not actually the case.

Excellent points, which can be extended to include any Holy Writ from anywhere -- from the Mahabharata to the Bible. Of course the process of transmission may introduce explanatory glosses or revisions to any archaic text, whether originally in Sanskrit or proto-Hebrew. Scholars regularly wrestle with such questions and the fields generally remain in turmoil -- especially since one has to deal with issues of metaphor and legend about very early events.

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<br>This was discussed <a href=" class="bbc_url" title="">here</a>.<br> This was discussed here.

The MDDB system garbled your post, and I have tried to fix it.

Anyhow, thanks for referring us, however, I am unable to find the original source on John Dehlin's assertion:

"FAIR/FARMS approach has actually accelerated people's ultimate disaffection from the church.

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Excellent points, which can be extended to include any Holy Writ from anywhere -- from the Mahabharata to the Bible. Of course the process of transmission may introduce explanatory glosses or revisions to any archaic text, whether originally in Sanskrit or proto-Hebrew. Scholars regularly wrestle with such questions and the fields generally remain in turmoil -- especially since one has to deal with issues of metaphor and legend about very early events.

I think that what we understand is often what others do not understand. I am speaking for myself here and no one else, but I think I represent a large majority of those who are LDS who are familiar with these issues. Those for example who ridicule the church- the Bowmans and Tanners of the world, and the Southpark writers, (who are coming from even a different position); what they do NOT understand is that NONE of what is "sacred" to anyone can be proven or disproven with "evidence"!

Because our history is so young, this becomes a "problem" for those who do not understand this general principle, and they think that "facts" are relevant here, but for any devotee to any religious position, who is sophisticated in the problems with metaphor and legend, it doesn't matter if these events "actually happened" (whatever that even means in this context).

What is important is that the religious devotee believes that they could have happened, according to their belief, and their "evidence" is found in their hearts

For me, all the argument about papyri is destructive because it concentrates on what is irrelevant and unknowable in principle anyway, just as we cannot know the Bible OR the Mahabharata is "true" either- unless we believe it is.

We who have a testimony of our respective beliefs are certain about what we are certain about, in our respective spheres, though none of it can be proven to anyone else.

And there's nothing wrong with that- our doctrine even allows for it, with the knowledge that our learning will continue in the afterlife.

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mfbukowski,

You wrote:

Those for example who ridicule the church- the Bowmans and Tanners of the world, and the Southpark writers, (who are coming from even a different position); what they do NOT understand is that NONE of what is "sacred" to anyone can be proven or disproven with "evidence"!

Perhaps it is asking too much, but would you please not lie about me? I do not ridicule the LDS Church.

If you think I have ridiculed the LDS Church, consider this a CFR.

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Fine.

Change it to "attack".

Another offense for a word hey?

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Mr. Bukowski,

You wrote:

Fine.

Change it to "attack".

Another offense for a word hey?

You know, if I were to say that you "ridicule" evangelicals, or that you "attack" us, you would vigorously deny it and take offense at me saying anything of the sort. You allow yourself to say such things about me, however, and refuse to be held accountable when you misrepresent me or other evangelical critics of the LDS religion.

For your convenience, I list some expressions you might use that would be accurate, unlike both "ridicule" and "attack". You could say that I:

  • disagree with the LDS Church
  • criticize the teachings/practices of the LDS Church
  • consider/regard/view the LDS Church to be heretical
  • challenge the doctrinal system of the LDS Church
  • reject the claims of the LDS Church

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Gosh really?

I could use those words?

They don't mean what I mean.

I stand by what I wrote.

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I think that what we understand is often what others do not understand. I am speaking for myself here and no one else, but I think I represent a large majority of those who are LDS who are familiar with these issues. Those for example who ridicule the church- the Bowmans and Tanners of the world, and the Southpark writers, (who are coming from even a different position); what they do NOT understand is that NONE of what is "sacred" to anyone can be proven or disproven with "evidence"!

Because our history is so young, this becomes a "problem" for those who do not understand this general principle, and they think that "facts" are relevant here, but for any devotee to any religious position, who is sophisticated in the problems with metaphor and legend, it doesn't matter if these events "actually happened" (whatever that even means in this context).

What is important is that the religious devotee believes that they could have happened, according to their belief, and their "evidence" is found in their hearts

For me, all the argument about papyri is destructive because it concentrates on what is irrelevant and unknowable in principle anyway, just as we cannot know the Bible OR the Mahabharata is "true" either- unless we believe it is.

We who have a testimony of our respective beliefs are certain about what we are certain about, in our respective spheres, though none of it can be proven to anyone else.

And there's nothing wrong with that- our doctrine even allows for it, with the knowledge that our learning will continue in the afterlife.

Yes, testimonies are not transferrable. One must seek and obtain his own. As Brother Brigham used to say, "we cannot live on borrowed light" (something like that anyway). That is an epistemology which the evangelicals reject.

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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.

One could argue the use of metaphor for Noah's flood and the ride in the belly of a whale, after all this is a collective set of stories done by many men vs. one man. The argument of the post isn't as cut and dry IMO when it comes to using the bible in a parallel analogy, as the process (translation of the papyrus) is what's criticized most often with the BofA.

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Robert,

You wrote:

Yes, testimonies are not transferrable. One must seek and obtain his own. As Brother Brigham used to say, "we cannot live on borrowed light" (something like that anyway). That is an epistemology which the evangelicals reject.

Have you ever even met an evangelical? :huh:

It is a commonplace among evangelicals that "God doesn't have grandchildren" -- that is, that each person must have a personal faith in Christ, not merely accepting the faith of another. Hence, the evangelical insistence on knowing Christ as "one's personal Lord and Savior." Evangelicals also typically have personal "testimonies" about how they came to Christ and what he has meant in their lives. These testimonies are also not transferable.

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Evangelicals also typically have personal "testimonies" about how they came to Christ and what he has meant in their lives. These testimonies are also not transferable.

And these testimonies are (typically) remarkably like LDS testimonies in one very odd way: They usually refer to the subject's "feelings", which, when it happens to a Saint, Evangelicals pooh-pooh and say we cannot trust our feelings, that only the Bible is good enough to believe. Phrases like "I felt in my heart," and "I felt God in my room/heart/soul," are common among them. We, however, are not allowed to have the biblical "burning in the bosom" to justify our testimonies.

Yet another double standard we Saints are not allowed to meet.

Lehi

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And these testimonies are (typically) remarkably like LDS testimonies in one very odd way: They usually refer to the subject's "feelings", which, when it happens to a Saint, Evangelicals pooh-pooh and say we cannot trust our feelings, that only the Bible is good enough to believe. Phrases like "I felt in my heart," and "I felt God in my room/heart/soul," are common among them. We, however, are not allowed to have the biblical "burning in the bosom" to justify our testimonies.

Yet another double standard we Saints are not allowed to meet.

Lehi

Yes! :clapping:

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