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thews

History of the Church, v. 5, p. 372

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I have a question I can't seem to find an answer for regarding Mormon history and I hope that you can shed some light regarding its significance/non-significance. In looking through various sources for the answer, I'm honestly confused. I don't wish to offend anyone by asking the question, but based on you collective knowledge about the History of the church, what do you make of this journal entry of William Clayton regarding the descendant of Ham? Was William Clayton misquoted, or mistaken, or is this fact?

Thanks

http://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/clayton-diaries

1 May 1843, Monday

Nauvoo 2

May 1st. A.M at the Temple. at 10. m J to L.W. P.M at prest. Josephs

... I have seen 6 brass plates which were found in Adams County ...

Prest J. has translated a portion and says they contain the history of

the person with whom they were found & he was a descendant of Ham

through the loins of Pharoah king of Egypt, and that he received his

kingdom from the ruler of heaven & earth

Allen 2, p. 117

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Those are the Kinderhook plates. Answers can be found in the link provided. Notice the differing accounts......

Conclusion

The best argument against Joseph's attempt to translate the Kinderhook plates is most likely that no one said anything about it at the time. A trap was laid for Joseph, but he did not step into it. Decades later, with Joseph safely dead, the conspirators came forward and announced they had 'tricked' the prophet. But, if they wanted to show Joseph up, why wait for decades to do it? Why didn't they crow their success from the rooftops in Nauvoo and Illinois? Quite simply, Joseph didn't fall for their trap, and so there was nothing to announce.

All we can conclude from the Clayton account is that there was considerable interest in the plates, a variety of stories concerning them, and anticipation that Joseph might translate, as the conspirators claimed they hoped he would.

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Those are the Kinderhook plates. Answers can be found in the link provided. Notice the differing accounts......

If the "best argument" is that no one said anything, then how do you account for the journal entry? Are you suggesting William Clayton made it up?

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You and I have had considerable discussion on this very topic elsewhere so I don't know how you might be confused.

It is my position that Clayton just got this wrong in light of other contemporaneous statements by others as well as him at the time. Journalists can make mistakes.

1. I don't think Joseph Smith ever attempted a translation. I discount William Clayton's statement as wrong, principally because it isn't corroborated by either himself or others. The official journalist at the time was Williard Richards. There is a principle of evidence that gives much higher authority to the contents of an organization's official journal (both as to its contents and absence of contents) as opposed to the journals of observers. I leave open the possibility that Joseph Smith attempted a translation, but the evidence seems to be that he didn't. Nothing in Church papers published during Joseph Smith's lifetime suggest an attempt to translate.

2. Statements from others about an attempt to translate just don't square with either the Clayton account or the Williard Richards account, which suggests to me that people were recounting rumor. In particular, the story about a nine-foot skeleton which is absent from the accounts of the finders suggests that there is something wrong with these accounts.

3. After Joseph Smith died, sure, there were statements from church leaders indicating a belief in a translation. I think they were wrong and got it wrong and had no first-hand (saw it themselves) or second-hand (Joseph Smith told them) information. There was plenty of opportunity for people who knew the prophet to say -- Joseph Smith told me he was in the midst of translating the Kinderhook Plates -- but nobody did, and as to the sole exception of Clayton, he never repeated it again although he could have done so.

4. What further confused the historical record was B.H. Roberts' practice of taking Clayton's words and re-transcribing them as Joseph Smith's. Roberts was wrong in doing so, looking back, but it was apparently a common practice then. Roberts was not a trained historian.

5. So, in summary, if it weren't for the sole Clayton entry, never corroborated, we wouldn't be having this debate.

But, you and I and others have extensively discussed this elsewhere. I might suggest that to say that you are "confused" is a little disingenuous because I know you have pretty hard views on the subject and discount any other explanation.

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You and I have had considerable discussion on this very topic elsewhere so I don't know how you might be confused.

It is my position that Clayton just got this wrong in light of other contemporaneous statements by others as well as him at the time. Journalists can make mistakes.

1. I don't think Joseph Smith ever attempted a translation. I discount William Clayton's statement as wrong, principally because it isn't corroborated by either himself or others. The official journalist at the time was Williard Richards. There is a principle of evidence that gives much higher authority to the contents of an organization's official journal (both as to its contents and absence of contents) as opposed to the journals of observers. I leave open the possibility that Joseph Smith attempted a translation, but the evidence seems to be that he didn't. Nothing in Church papers published during Joseph Smith's lifetime suggest an attempt to translate.

2. Statements from others about an attempt to translate just don't square with either the Clayton account or the Williard Richards account, which suggests to me that people were recounting rumor. In particular, the story about a nine-foot skeleton which is absent from the accounts of the finders suggests that there is something wrong with these accounts.

3. After Joseph Smith died, sure, there were statements from church leaders indicating a belief in a translation. I think they were wrong and got it wrong and had no first-hand (saw it themselves) or second-hand (Joseph Smith told them) information. There was plenty of opportunity for people who knew the prophet to say -- Joseph Smith told me he was in the midst of translating the Kinderhook Plates -- but nobody did, and as to the sole exception of Clayton, he never repeated it again although he could have done so.

4. What further confused the historical record was B.H. Roberts' practice of taking Clayton's words and re-transcribing them as Joseph Smith's. Roberts was wrong in doing so, looking back, but it was apparently a common practice then. Roberts was not a trained historian.

5. So, in summary, if it weren't for the sole Clayton entry, never corroborated, we wouldn't be having this debate.

But, you and I and others have extensively discussed this elsewhere. I might suggest that to say that you are "confused" is a little disingenuous because I know you have pretty hard views on the subject and discount any other explanation.

Just to add to what has already been said: I think it is highly possible that JS just looked at the plates, thought they looked Egyptian, and rattled off a possible origin and narrative as an off-hand comment. Heck, he was feeling on top of the world in 1843. Then whatever he said may have spread further and turned into a more elaborate story, with or without JS's knowledge. Most importantly, I think the key fact is that after JS makes this original statement recorded by Clayton, it is significant that we hear nothing else. Whatever his interest or feelings were, he seemed to have lost interest really quick, which is revealing given his tradition of turning all his attention to a new topic to the extent of losing focus on other things at hand.

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You and I have had considerable discussion on this very topic elsewhere so I don't know how you might be confused.

I don't know who you are, but I asked the question because I have not found a source that acknowledges the facts.

It is my position that Clayton just got this wrong in light of other contemporaneous statements by others as well as him at the time. Journalists can make mistakes.

Fair enough. If Clayton got it wrong, then he made it up? correct?

1. I don't think Joseph Smith ever attempted a translation. I discount William Clayton's statement as wrong, principally because it isn't corroborated by either himself or others. The official journalist at the time was Williard Richards. There is a principle of evidence that gives much higher authority to the contents of an organization's official journal (both as to its contents and absence of contents) as opposed to the journals of observers. I leave open the possibility that Joseph Smith attempted a translation, but the evidence seems to be that he didn't. Nothing in Church papers published during Joseph Smith's lifetime suggest an attempt to translate.

This is where we disagree. The history of the church published this, the posters that were made (with input from John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff) claim a translation is coming, the Times and seasons spoke of a translation, and the journal directly quotes "President J." so I'm finding how you claim the evidence suggests anything other than what it actually states hard to follow.

2. Statements from others about an attempt to translate just don't square with either the Clayton account or the Williard Richards account, which suggests to me that people were recounting rumor. In particular, the story about a nine-foot skeleton which is absent from the accounts of the finders suggests that there is something wrong with these accounts.

In what I've read on the subject, this aspect is part of the bigger picture. I don't deny the entire story has some issues, but all I'm interested in is the story of the descendant of Ham and where it came from.

3. After Joseph Smith died, sure, there were statements from church leaders indicating a belief in a translation. I think they were wrong and got it wrong and had no first-hand (saw it themselves) or second-hand (Joseph Smith told them) information. There was plenty of opportunity for people who knew the prophet to say -- Joseph Smith told me he was in the midst of translating the Kinderhook Plates -- but nobody did, and as to the sole exception of Clayton, he never repeated it again although he could have done so.

Are you directly saying that William Clayton made it up?

4. What further confused the historical record was B.H. Roberts' practice of taking Clayton's words and re-transcribing them as Joseph Smith's. Roberts was wrong in doing so, looking back, but it was apparently a common practice then. Roberts was not a trained historian.

We have two direct quotes from the journal that reference "President J." so I fail to see your point here.

5. So, in summary, if it weren't for the sole Clayton entry, never corroborated, we wouldn't be having this debate.

But William Clayton was Joseph Smith's scribe and dear friend. To claim he made it up would take motive, but to claim he made it up would take a direct allegation. Are you alleging that William Clayton made the story of the descendant of Ham up?

But, you and I and others have extensively discussed this elsewhere. I might suggest that to say that you are "confused" is a little disingenuous because I know you have pretty hard views on the subject and discount any other explanation.

I do have hard views and am just looking for an answer. To conclude, based on the facts, that no one said anything leaves the mention of the descendant of Ham belonging to no one. Someone said it in order for it to be written down, and I'm just looking for possible scenarios where this is defined. If you claim William Clayton made it up, then that is my answer.

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Just to add to what has already been said: I think it is highly possible that JS just looked at the plates, thought they looked Egyptian, and rattled off a possible origin and narrative as an off-hand comment. Heck, he was feeling on top of the world in 1843. Then whatever he said may have spread further and turned into a more elaborate story, with or without JS's knowledge. Most importantly, I think the key fact is that after JS makes this original statement recorded by Clayton, it is significant that we hear nothing else. Whatever his interest or feelings were, he seemed to have lost interest really quick, which is revealing given his tradition of turning all his attention to a new topic to the extent of losing focus on other things at hand.

Thanks for answering the question asked. If I understand you correctly, it was an off-hand comment on what the plates could be, which was the story of the descendant of Ham.

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But William Clayton was Joseph Smith's scribe and dear friend. To claim he made it up would take motive, but to claim he made it up would take a direct allegation. Are you alleging that William Clayton made the story of the descendant of Ham up?

He was not the official scribe that day. This was not the official journal. The official journal for that day doesn't mention that, a point I've made above.

In answer to the question you've post to me, the answer is "no." Unlike many who attempt to create a petard upon which to hoist the church, I am willing to admit to the normal human failing of error, a more likely explanation than rank duplicity. I don't think the event occurred, and I think Clayton's entry to be a mere error or an erroneous report, but I don't think it necessary to accuse him of duplicity. For instance, I have read John D. Lee's journals extensively and see lots of mistakes, but don't think they are matters of duplicity.

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He was not the official scribe that day. This was not the official journal. The official journal for that day doesn't mention that, a point I've made above.

Whether or not he was the "official" scribe doesn't negate the fact that he was with Joseph Smith and quoted him in his journal.

In answer to the question you've post to me, the answer is "no." Unlike many who attempt to create a petard upon which to hoist the church, I am willing to admit to the normal human failing of error, a more likely explanation than rank duplicity. I don't think the event occurred, and I think Clayton's entry to be a mere error or an erroneous report, but I don't think it necessary to accuse him of duplicity.

I don't understand what you're implying. Are you saying William Clayton was in error of making up the descendant of Ham entry in his journal, but he didn't make it up? If it wasn't William Clayton, then who was it who stated the translation of the descendant of Ham? This isn't a minor reference, but very specific.

For instance, I have read John D. Lee's journals extensively and see lots of mistakes, but don't think they are matters of duplicity.

What are you using as a standard metric of "mistake" in the above? An error is stating something when one means something else can be explained in ways, but what I'm asking is very specific. Someone said the words to include the descendant of Ham? Help me understand you. If it wasn't "President J." as William Clayton quoted, then who said those words?

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Those are the Kinderhook plates. Answers can be found in the link provided. Notice the differing accounts......
If the "best argument" is that no one said anything, then how do you account for the journal entry? Are you suggesting William Clayton made it up?

Or was the entry also edited by someone else?

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If your only options are that Joseph Smith actually said this or that Clayton made it up then I think you aren't capable of seeing objectively the prospect of human error in historical matters.

Because the official journal doesn't mention this and because something like this would plainly make it into an official journal I think the answer which I have given you is better than your two options. Official journals have some significance. Only important items go in and they are reviewed for accuracy.

Why feign confusion? Why not be forthright?

I've dealt with you many times before.

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Or was the entry also edited by someone else?

When you say "edited" in the above, changing "President J." to "I" doesn't negate the content as they are the same. See post 1 for the actual entry into the journal of William Clayton.

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If your only options are that Joseph Smith actually said this or that Clayton made it up then I think you aren't capable of seeing objectively the prospect of human error in historical matters.

I'm not following you. I'm asking you who was quoted regarding the descendant of Ham. When you claim I can't be objective in seeing the prospect of human error, it should be attributed to some logical path based on the facts. The facts include an entry in the Times and seasons claiming a translation was coming, which both John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff had a hand in to include the posters that published the plates. These facts, as far as I can tell by your answers, are not acknowledged. What part of error are you attributing the combinded references to?

Because the official journal doesn't mention this and because something like this would plainly make it into an official journal I think the answer which I have given you is better than your two options. Official journals have some significance. Only important items go in and they are reviewed for accuracy.

You place more weight on the "official" scribe for the day without acknowledging that William Clayton was with Joseph Smith the day of the journal entry. Again, William Clayton was a dear friend of Joseph Smith and performed a marriage that day, so if he wasn't the "official" scribe that day it could have been due to his schedule.

Why feign confusion? Why not be forthright?

I contend you're confusing things without an explanation. You have not stated who it was who was quoted on the descendant of Ham, claimed William Clayton was in error, but fail to assert that William Clayton just made it up or quoted someone else. By what logic does this make sense when John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff were also involved in publishing a forthcoming translation?

I've dealt with you many times before.

I don't know who you are, and if I should it doesn't negate the facts involved. The information available on this subject is not very specific and fails (IMO) to explain who did make the very specific claim that the plates contained the story of the descendant of Ham as was published by the Times and Seasons and it part of the "official" church history. If you don't wish to continue this discussion I'll understand, but without an explanation of who did state the story of the descendant of Ham I'll continue to fail to see your point... someone said it. Who? ...or did William Clayton make it up? Those aren't your only two options, but the question requires an answer to validate your argument/logic.

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I'm not following you. I'm asking you who was quoted regarding the descendant of Ham. When you claim I can't be objective in seeing the prospect of human error, it should be attributed to some logical path based on the facts. The facts include an entry in the Times and seasons claiming a translation was coming, which both John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff had a hand in to include the posters that published the plates. These facts, as far as I can tell by your answers, are not acknowledged. What part of error are you attributing the combinded references to?

Are you always this obtuse? Even I can understand that he may not have been quoting anyone.

You place more weight on the "official" scribe for the day without acknowledging that William Clayton was with Joseph Smith the day of the journal entry. Again, William Clayton was a dear friend of Joseph Smith and performed a marriage that day, so if he wasn't the "official" scribe that day it could have been due to his schedule.

I contend you're confusing things without an explanation. You have not stated who it was who was quoted on the descendant of Ham, claimed William Clayton was in error, but fail to assert that William Clayton just made it up or quoted someone else. By what logic does this make sense when John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff were also involved in publishing a forthcoming translation?

It doesn't follow that he was not quoting someone so else he must have made it up. He need not be quoting someone else but may be reporting speculation not attributable to anyone.

I don't know who you are, and if I should it doesn't negate the facts involved. The information available on this subject is not very specific and fails (IMO) to explain who did make the very specific claim that the plates contained the story of the descendant of Ham as was published by the Times and Seasons and it part of the "official" church history. If you don't wish to continue this discussion I'll understand, but without an explanation of who did state the story of the descendant of Ham I'll continue to fail to see your point... someone said it. Who? ...or did William Clayton make it up? Those aren't your only two options, but the question requires an answer to validate your argument/logic.

Your coy naivety is unbecoming.

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Are you always this obtuse? Even I can understand that he may not have been quoting anyone.

The journal entry is very specific. By what logic would you use to explain that he "may not have been quoting anyone" when he states "President J." in the journal entry?

It doesn't follow that he was not quoting someone so else he must have made it up. He need not be quoting someone else but may be reporting speculation not attributable to anyone.

OK, so your theory is William Clayton made it up... at least that explains who is attributed with making the claim that the plates contained the story of the descendant of Ham.

Your coy naivety is unbecoming.

If I offended you by asking the question I apologize, but I don't see how a discussion of documented Mormon history would offend anyone.

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It is my position that Clayton just got this wrong in light of other contemporaneous statements by others as well as him at the time. Journalists can make mistakes.

Just to clarify. Is that what you really believe?

Its one thing to say that "its possible that Clayton may have been wrong," but to come right out and say "Clayton got this wrong" would suggest a degree of certainly that is just not supported by the evidence.

Also when you say "in light of" have you not left of the most important fact that drives your conclusion ... the fact that Smith was really and truly a prophet and seer.

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"May have got it wrong" is my view. It seems a real probability given the official journal.

One can't be certain and I am not.

But I deal with official journals frequently and also know Clayton's personal issues so I think I am correct.

Thews discredits himself by pretending not to see the other point of view and feigning confusion. I see his point and would agree with it but for an absence elsewhere. Something like this would have been a huge deal.

When Clayton picks this up elsewhere he mentions nothing of it other than matter of fact discovery.

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"May have got it wrong" is my view. It seems a real probability given the official journal.

One can't be certain and I am not.

But I deal with official journals frequently and also know Clayton's personal issues so I think I am correct.

I have read nothing negative about William Clayton. Since a large portion of church history is based on his journal entries, please elaborate on what you mean by "personal issues" in the above.

Thews discredits himself by pretending not to see the other point of view and feigning confusion. I see his point and would agree with it but for an absence elsewhere. Something like this would have been a huge deal.

If I am "discredited" because I fail to see your point of view, it's not based on "feigning confusion" as you assert, but based on you failing to acknowledge the other sources relative to the history by John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff, and any theory as to who was quoted regarding the direct reference to the descendant of Ham.

From the poster:

Crawley 180:

1) Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ". . . inscribed at the bottom in Wilford Woodruff's hand, 'Printed By Taylor & Woodruff June 24th 1843.'"

Just above the facsimile of the plates, we find the promise that "The contents of the Plates, together with a Fac-Simile of the same, will be published in the ' Times & Seasons,' as soon as the translation is completed."

As described in the above, there was great excitement when this happened, and I would find it natural for Mormons at the time to be curious about them.

John Taylor was then editor of the Times and Seasons, and the editorial for May 1, 1843, cheered:

ANCIENT RECORDS.

Circumstances are daily transpiring which give additional testimony to the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. . . . it was [once considered] improbable, nay, almost impossible—notwithstanding the testimony of history to the contrary, that anything like plates could have been used anciently; particularly among this people. The following letter and certificate, will, perhaps have a tendency to convince the sceptical, that such things have been used, and that even the obnoxious Book of Mormon, may be true; and as the people in Columbus' day were obliged to believe that there was such a place as America; so will the people in this day be obliged to believe, however reluctantly, that there may have been such plates as those from which the Book of Mormon was translated. [Times and Seasons 4 (May 1, 1843), pp. 185-6]

As noted in the above, the Times and Seasons published a direct reference to a "translation". Whether or not a translation was ever made isn't the point of contention, but rather the specific reference to the descendant of Ham as note in William Clayton's journal.

When Clayton picks this up elsewhere he mentions nothing of it other than matter of fact discovery.

Do you have a reference for where this is mentioned elsewhere? I thought only one journal entry was mentioned by William Clayton.

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OK, so your theory is William Clayton made it up... at least that explains who is attributed with making the claim that the plates contained the story of the descendant of Ham.

Actually he said "it does NOT follow"....

Have you never been aware of rumours and how something may start out relatively accurate but by the time it's passed through the ninth or tenth individual the story has morphed into something significantly different? People hear things that aren't said and read things into what others write or misread them altogether...evidence of such is in this thread even), they then add on what they thought they heard believing it to be the truth, not because they "made it up" or are outright lying.

Clayton could have simply been repeating some of the rumours and speculations he had heard around town., not making it up but possibly misunderstanding what was said though the misunderstanding may have occurred earlier by someone else.

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The journal entry is very specific. By what logic would you use to explain that he "may not have been quoting anyone" when he states "President J." in the journal entry?

OK, so your theory is William Clayton made it up... at least that explains who is attributed with making the claim that the plates contained the story of the descendant of Ham.

If I offended you by asking the question I apologize, but I don't see how a discussion of documented Mormon history would offend anyone.

Ok I guess you have proven you really are that obtuse. I did not say that William Clayton made it up. Please quite attributing statements to me that I have not made. I can get in enough trouble on my own. I don't need your help.

I am not offended by a discussion of history. I am offended at stubborn persistent attempts at making history say what it does not.

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I have a question I can't seem to find an answer for regarding Mormon history and I hope that you can shed some light regarding its significance/non-significance. In looking through various sources for the answer, I'm honestly confused. I don't wish to offend anyone by asking the question, but based on you collective knowledge about the History of the church, what do you make of this journal entry of William Clayton regarding the descendant of Ham? Was William Clayton misquoted, or mistaken, or is this fact?

No, you are not "honestly confused." You are not "honestly" anything at all.

As you perfectly well know, Thews, this is a standard anti-Mormon talking point. As you perfectly well know, Thews, it is a popular topic of discussion over at the Sty, where you are a regular poster who must just about qualify for a brass name-plate on your stall.

And as I perfectly well know, Thews, you frequently trot it out as a "gotcha" question over there. Here is just one example out of many:

To date, I have not had one single Mormon apologist willing to just admit that it was in fact Joseph Smith who made the translation of the Kinderhook plates to tell of the descendant of Ham. The reason they cannot is simple... because it proves Joseph Smith was a fraud who lied about translating things.

So when you claim to be "confused" and want an "answer," you are obviously lying.

And you do it with such practiced skill.

I'm sure it has been pointed out to you in discussions elsewhere that Clayton does not purport to offer a direct quotation from Joseph Smith, despite your counterfactual claim to the contrary. Rather, it reports something "Prest. J" supposedly "says" -- i.e. not something he actually said to Clayton on any particular occasion, but something he was reputed to have been saying at the time.

The Times and Seasons article to which you allude, but do not quote because it does not support your argument, does not announce an actual forthcoming translation. Rather, it expresses the hope that a translation will at some time be made.

But you know all this already, don't you?

Regards,

Pahoran

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Actually he said "it does NOT follow"....

Have you never been aware of rumours and how something may start out relatively accurate but by the time it's passed through the ninth or tenth individual the story has morphed into something significantly different? People hear things that aren't said and read things into what others write or misread them altogether...evidence of such is in this thread even), they then add on what they thought they heard believing it to be the truth, not because they "made it up" or are outright lying.

Clayton could have simply been repeating some of the rumours and speculations he had heard around town., not making it up but possibly misunderstanding what was said though the misunderstanding may have occurred earlier by someone else.

When the actual journal entry is looked at objectively, the reference to the descendant of Ham is very specific. It doesn't say something on the lines that it could contain further reformed Egyptian or a vague reference, but a very specific reference to the descendant of Ham.

Prest J. has translated a portion and says they contain the history of

the person with whom they were found & he was a descendant of Ham

through the loins of Pharoah king of Egypt, and that he received his

kingdom from the ruler of heaven & earth

Using your analogy of rumor, John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff would also have had to be speculating when they published a reference to a translation in the Times and Seasons. I realize we disagree, but my cards are on the table and I don't see how William Clayton could be so specific in his journal entry and just incorrect citing rumor.

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Ok I guess you have proven you really are that obtuse. I did not say that William Clayton made it up. Please quite attributing statements to me that I have not made. I can get in enough trouble on my own. I don't need your help.

I apologize for misstating your argument.

I am not offended by a discussion of history. I am offended at stubborn persistent attempts at making history say what it does not.

I am not "stubborn" because I fail to agree with you. You are claiming that church history is incorrect and I'm questioning the reasons why in a discussion of the facts involved.

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I apologize for misstating your argument.

I am not "stubborn" because I fail to agree with you. You are claiming that church history is incorrect and I'm questioning the reasons why in a discussion of the facts involved.Trying to make it a gotcha.

There I fixed it for you. I haven't got time to waste on your games so will be bowing out of this.

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No, you are not "honestly confused." You are not "honestly" anything at all.

I don't deserve to be called dishonest by you. My cards are on the table and as a critic my opinion will voice the opposing side. I am not calling you any names nor asserting you are anything but intellectually honest in your replies.

As you perfectly well know, Thews, this is a standard anti-Mormon talking point. As you perfectly well know, Thews, it is a popular topic of discussion over at the Sty, where you are a regular poster who must just about qualify for a brass name-plate on your stall.

I was just re-instated here which is where I asked the question. Since this is a format for discussion, I see nothing wrong in discussing Mormon history.

And as I perfectly well know, Thews, you frequently trot it out as a "gotcha" question over there. Here is just one example out of many:

So when you claim to be "confused" and want an "answer," you are obviously lying.

I resent your implication and assert they are false and based on your opinion.

And you do it with such practiced skill.

I am knowledgeable on the subject and was looking for resolution to a question that has not been answered.

I'm sure it has been pointed out to you in discussions elsewhere that Clayton does not purport to offer a direct quotation from Joseph Smith, despite your counterfactual claim to the contrary. Rather, it reports something "Prest. J" supposedly "says" -- i.e. not something he actually said to Clayton on any particular occasion, but something he was reputed to have been saying at the time.

I respectfully disagree as this is not what is published in the history of the church.

The Times and Seasons article to which you allude, but do not quote because it does not support your argument, does not announce an actual forthcoming translation. Rather, it expresses the hope that a translation will at some time be made.

Please correct my supposed mistake and quote your point as I'm not aware of what doesn't support my claim... it's why I asked the question.

But you know all this already, don't you?

Regards,

Pahoran

No, which is why I asked the question and have received some valuable insight.

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