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Guest Lux

Cave Containing the Plates

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Guest Lux

Ok folks, help me out with this one. If the BOM lands are to be found in Central America, then how is this explained? I'm really struggling with this right now.

Brigham Young, on June 17, 1877, related the following: "I lived right in the country where the plates were found from which the Book of Mormon was translated, and I know a great many things pertaining to that country. I believe I will take the liberty to tell you of another circumstance that will be as marvelous as anything can be. This is an incident in the life of Oliver Cowdery, that he did not take the liberty of telling such things in meeting as I take.

"I tell these things to you, and I have a motive for doing so. I want to carry them to the ears of my brethren and sisters, and to the children also, that they may grow to an understanding of some things that seem to be entirely hidden from the human family. Oliver Cowdery went with the Prophet Joseph when he deposited these plates. Joseph did not translate all of the plates; there was a portion of them sealed, which you can learn from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. When Joseph got the plates, the angel instructed him to carry them back to the Hill Cumorah, which he did.

"Oliver says that when Joseph and Oliver went there, the hill opened, and they walked into a cave, in which there was a large and spacious room. He says he did not think, at the time, whether they had the light of the sun or artificial light, but that it was just as light as day. They laid the plates on a table; it was a large table that stood in the room. Under this table there was a pile of plates as much as two feet high, and there were altogether in this room more plates than probably many wagon loads; they were piled up in corners and along the walls.

"The first time they went there the SWORD OF LABAN hung upon the wall; but when they went again it had been taken down and laid upon the table across the gold plates; it was unsheathed, and on it was written these words: 'This sword will never be sheathed again until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and his Christ." I tell you this is coming not only from Oliver Cowdery, but others who were familiar with it, and who understood it... I take the liberty of referring to those things so they will not be forgotten and lost." (19 Journal of Discourses 38)

Thanks guys.

Until . . .

Lux

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I'll give some possible explanations leaving it to the reader to evaluate:

1) The New York "Cumorah" and "BOM land" Cumorah are different AND

a) The experience was real and the "BOM land" stash was temporarily moved to NY. God has power over the location of "slippery treasure" as I think Brigham mentions earlier in his discourse.

cool.gif The experience was a shared vision.

c) The participants themselves were teleported to BOM land.

d) Brigham is telling a tall tale like some of his other stories in the sermon are.

2) The two Cumorahs are the same and the evidence for Nephites was moved to Central America.

Hope that helps

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Guest Lux

Things to consider . . .

If the BOM events took place in Central America, how did all of those plates get to New York? 30 years back and forth?

If this was a vision of another location (lets presume Central America), then how did the sword get back there? Moroni (the angel)?

If this was merely a vision, why does it come across as reality? Does the prophet (Young) have his facts mixed up? Is he not telling the story exactly as it happened?

I'm not "just curious," I'm just confused.

Until . . .

Lux

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Umm....Journal of Discourses! Doesn't count. (*wipes brow*)

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And for what it's worth, my Gospel Doctrine teacher printed this story up on a handout and read it to the class.

It's amazing what the teachers come up with when they stray from the correlated materials.

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Guest Just Curious
I'm not "just curious," I'm just confused.

:blink::huh::P:P:angry::unsure:cool.gif:wub::lol::ph34r:<_<

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I am back with some more relevant info on the topic at hand. I hope dslayer hasn't eaten all the popcorn yet. I also hope I don't get into trouble with the moderators for violating the 50% original to 50% cut-and-paste material rule. But at least I give the attribute where I am cutting and pasting from--unlike another notable poster. I am not saying I am better though.

This comes from John Clark, yes that John Clark, the topic of another recent thread. He is doing a book review of some New York geography theories. The very passage has been used by misguided people as evidence for this.

http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=153

The meager evidence adduced to support this claim come from the "traditional" view and a few early statements of dubious origin. Curtis's primary text is the Oliver Cowdery story of the Nephite records repository, as related by Brigham Young many years later. Until now, it has been quite easy to ignore this story as being devoid of specific content. But in light of its place in Curtis's argument I cite it here and consider it briefly.

On June 17, 1877, Brigham Young addressed the Saints in Farmington, Utah, on the occasion of organizing a stake there. The primary focus of the first part of his discourse was to warn the Saints against seeking after money and precious metals. As part of this message he conveyed the following story:

[snip already quoted part in 1st post]

If we accept this story at face value, it would seem to indicate that the hill Cumorah in New York is indeed the one in which Mormon deposited all of the plates. There is no indication in this story that Joseph and Oliver were carried away in vision, rather, the circumstances appear quite pedestrian

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Guest Just Curious

OK now I am "just curious and just confused".....is the story/event real or something made up as a faith promoting story...anyone with real knowledge on this subject care to comment?

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Guest Lux

The "tall tale" suggestion is rather weak for me. This is a sacred matter . . . Joseph and Oliver were righteous and honorable men (at least to me) . . . why fabricate a story about them? Ok, I know the whole George Washington cherry tree thing, but that has nothing to do with the Lord's work. This does. Is this not a serious matter?

It seems to me, at least on the surface, that Brigham Young accomplished many great things in his presidency. When I start to boil it down and think about what he preached, I'm left scratching my head (not in the Isaiah way). I realize he was a man and had many flaws . . . we all do . . . but he was the prophet. And I'm not focusing on actions - I'm focusing on words. Very confusing sometimes . . .

Until . . .

Lux

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OK now I am "just curious and just confused".....is the story/event real or something made up as a faith promoting story...anyone with real knowledge on this subject care to comment?

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The "tall tale" suggestion is rather weak for me.

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For this account NOT to be true we have a few possibilities:

-Oliver Cowdery lied to Brigham Young.

-Brigham Young lied, or took creative license to embellish a story to hit home a point of doctrine or truth of the BoM or of something relevant to the church.

-Oliver cowdery cannot distinguish between normal waking consciousness and lucid dreaming imagination/spiritual vision, and believes a hallucination or revelation was factual reality.

-If above, Brigham Young could not distinguish another's narrative as fiction or revelation, and was fooled into believing it was waking objective reality just as Oliver was.

Otherwise, this narrative is not an opinion of one person in their respective interpretation or opinion of scripture, doctrine or creed. It is a first hand account, that was experienced first hand and related. How can it not be taken at face value exactly as read?

Looks like some LDS archealogists and BoM hunters had better pack up their mosquito nets, grab their metal detectors and head back up to the Hill Cumorah in New York and look where all the clues are pointing to. :P

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For this account NOT to be true we have a few possibilities:

-Oliver Cowdery lied to Brigham Young.

-Brigham Young lied, or took creative license to embellish a story to hit home a point of doctrine or truth of the BoM or of something relevant to the church.

-Oliver cowdery cannot distinguish between normal waking consciousness and lucid dreaming imagination/spiritual vision, and believes a hallucination or revelation was factual reality.

-If above, Brigham Young could not distinguish another's narrative as fiction or revelation, and was fooled into believing it was waking objective reality just as Oliver was.

Otherwise, this narrative is not an opinion of one person in their respective interpretation or opinion of scripture, doctrine or creed. It is a first hand account, that was experienced first hand and related. How can it not be taken at face value exactly as read?

Looks like some LDS archealogists and BoM hunters had better pack up their mosquito nets, grab their metal detectors and head back up to the Hill Cumorah in New York and look where all the clues are pointing to. :P

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It is a first hand account, that was experienced first hand and related.

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Lux:

Is he not telling the story exactly as it happened?

No one, ever, in the history of this planet, ever, told a story "exactly as it happened." Details are omitted, or not remembered correctly, or communicated via a poor choice of words, etc. The matter gets exponentially more complicated when we are dealing with a secondhand account. Human awareness has its limitations. Human memory has its limitations. Human communication has its limitations.

tchild2:

For this account NOT to be true we have a few possibilities:

-Oliver Cowdery lied to Brigham Young.

-Brigham Young lied, or took creative license to embellish a story to hit home a point of doctrine or truth of the BoM or of something relevant to the church.

-Oliver cowdery cannot distinguish between normal waking consciousness and lucid dreaming imagination/spiritual vision, and believes a hallucination or revelation was factual reality.

-If above, Brigham Young could not distinguish another's narrative as fiction or revelation, and was fooled into believing it was waking objective reality just as Oliver was.

Not a bad start, but there are infinitely more possibilities, of course.

1 - Oliver Cowdery correctly understood the experience, but didn't correctly remember the details when relaying the story to Brigham Young.

2 - Oliver correctly remembered the details of the story, but miscommunicated them to Brigham.

3 - Oliver correctly communicated the experience to Brigham, but Brigham misunderstood anyway.

4 - Brigham correctly understood Oliver, but didn't correctly remember the details when relaying the story to the congregation.

5 - Brigham correctly remembered, but miscommunicated to the congregation.

6 - Brigham communicated correctly to the congregation, but was misunderstood by the recorder(s).

7 - The recorder(s) understood, but misrecorded or chose poor wording to describe the events.

... Just to name a few. Honest miscommunication is not only common, it is practically the rule.

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Lux:

...

Not a bad start, but there are infinitely more possibilities, of course.

1 - Oliver Cowdery correctly understood the experience, but didn't correctly remember the details when relaying the story to Brigham Young.

2 - Oliver correctly remembered the details of the story, but miscommunicated them to Brigham.

3 - Oliver correctly communicated the experience to Brigham, but Brigham misunderstood anyway.

4 - Brigham correctly understood Oliver, but didn't correctly remember the details when relaying the story to the congregation.

5 - Brigham correctly remembered, but miscommunicated to the congregation.

6 - Brigham communicated correctly to the congregation, but was misunderstood by the recorder(s).

7 - The recorder(s) understood, but misrecorded or chose poor wording to describe the events.

... Just to name a few. Honest miscommunication is not only common, it is practically the rule.

First, there are not an infinte number possible explainations, a finite number of people and a finite set of circumstances create a finite set of possibilities (a VERY large set but finite nonetheless).

Second, you missed a few obvious possibilities:

8 - Joseph made up the story, Oliver didn't get the correct details.

9 - Joseph and Oliver made up the story and Brigham Young didn't get the correct details.

10 - Joseph, Oliver and Brigham made things up as they went.

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Trespasser - Yes, obviously narratives as they are related from one person to another may lose some of the details, but core details one would expect to be constant, especially details that enter the realm of the utterly fantastic and otherworldly...how could anybody get those wrong?

Trespasser wrote:

1 - Oliver Cowdery correctly understood the experience, but didn't correctly remember the details when relaying the story to Brigham Young.

Have you ever heard or read of a cave opening up revealing a treasure trove of plates, swords and treasures besides this story? Yeah, maybe some of the side details could be lost in translation...the color of the clothing worn, time of day, weather outside, etc...but the core details are the cave, the plates inside, realizing you are awake and not dreaming. These details ARE the narrative and must be correct or else nothing can be deemed a credible experience.

2 - Oliver correctly remembered the details of the story, but miscommunicated them to Brigham.

Did a cave not really open up? Was it really a pirate ship? Was it a space craft descending down? Maybe a tree fort appearing from the forest mist? Again we have core details..."cave, brass/gold plates, treasure inside, awake and not dreaming". Either we get the basics straight or we do not understand the english language at all the same.

3 - Oliver correctly communicated the experience to Brigham, but Brigham misunderstood anyway.

Again, cave, plates, treasure and being awake.

4 - Brigham correctly understood Oliver, but didn't correctly remember the details when relaying the story to the congregation.

Same as #3

5 - Brigham correctly remembered, but miscommunicated to the congregation.

6 - Brigham communicated correctly to the congregation, but was misunderstood by the recorder(s).

7 - The recorder(s) understood, but misrecorded or chose poor wording to describe the events.

All same as #3

it is the extraordinary nature of the event that makes it nearly impossible to miscommunicate the core details of the event (exactly like the first vision). Some events are so extraordinary that if we can't agree on the basics, we have to agree that we exist in different universes altogether, and somehow our parallel worlds have inexplicably merged in some sort of time, space continuum/vortex/tear in the fabric of matter, type of thing. :P

What then is the purpose of God visiting people, angels coming to visit, the living raised from the dead, miracles, and other extraordinary events happening, if the person they happen to can't make heads or tails of the experience and relates it to others completely turned around with all the core details wrong or not understood?

That is what separates humans from the animals...our ability to use language with some skill to communicate.

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Second, you missed a few obvious possibilities:

8 - Joseph made up the story, Oliver didn't get the correct details.

9 - Joseph and Oliver made up the story and Brigham Young didn't get the correct details.

10 - Joseph, Oliver and Brigham made things up as they went.

I guess perhaps my point wasn't very well made. What I was getting at is that it is a false dichotomy to assert that "Either someone is telling the 100% accurate truth, or they're deliberately lying." Real life simply isn't that cut and dry. Thank you for helping me make this point more clearly.

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Second, you missed a few obvious possibilities:

8 - Joseph made up the story, Oliver didn't get the correct details.

9 - Joseph and Oliver made up the story and Brigham Young didn't get the correct details.

10 - Joseph, Oliver and Brigham made things up as they went.

I guess perhaps my point wasn't very well made. What I was getting at is that it is a false dichotomy to assert that "Either someone is telling the 100% accurate truth, or they're deliberately lying." Real life simply isn't that cut and dry. Thank you for helping me make this point more clearly.

Well if that was your intented point, I appologize for not reading inbetween the lines.

However, your "false dichotomy" theorem doesn't preclude the possibility that JS, OC, and BY were "winging it".

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Ya dern mermens just don't get it. Ya have to think and believe the way we tell ya to so we can shoot ya full of holes and end mermenism once and fer all. If it is in the JOD it is the inerrant word of yer God and only our interpretation of it is correct. How many times do we have to pound this into yer thick skulls?!

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Tchild2:

1 - Oliver Cowdery correctly understood the experience, but didn't correctly remember the details when relaying the story to Brigham Young.

Have you ever heard or read of a cave opening up revealing a treasure trove of plates, swords and treasures besides this story? Yeah, maybe some of the side details could be lost in translation...the color of the clothing worn, time of day, weather outside, etc...but the core details are the cave, the plates inside, realizing you are awake and not dreaming. These details ARE the narrative and must be correct or else nothing can be deemed a credible experience.

Does the story of Ali Baba count? :P

Yes, I certainly agree that there are core details that would have to be the same for it to remain the same story. I'm not sure what "being awake" has to do with it, though. Having a spiritual vision is not necessarily the same thing as being asleep and dreaming. The scriptures contain a couple of incidents where individuals could not tell whether they had a spiritual vision or a physical experience (see 2 Cor 12:2). I think it's entirely possible that Oliver may not have known whether it was a vision or not. I also think it is possible that Oliver may have, at the time, for a fleeting moment, understood that it was only a vision (or not), but in the excitement and awe of the moment, that realization did not become part of his conscious memory of the event.

2 - Oliver correctly remembered the details of the story, but miscommunicated them to Brigham.

Did a cave not really open up? Was it really a pirate ship? Was it a space craft descending down? Maybe a tree fort appearing from the forest mist? Again we have core details..."cave, brass/gold plates, treasure inside, awake and not dreaming". Either we get the basics straight or we do not understand the english language at all the same.

I don't really understand how your response relates to my proposed scenario. I didn't intend to suggest that any of the essential events didn't happen. Only that it is possible that when Oliver told Brigham the story, he may have chosen his words poorly, resulting in Brigham misunderstanding whether it was, or was not, a spiritual vision.

it is the extraordinary nature of the event that makes it nearly impossible to miscommunicate the core details of the event (exactly like the first vision). Some events are so extraordinary that if we can't agree on the basics, we have to agree that we exist in different universes altogether, and somehow our parallel worlds have inexplicably merged in some sort of time, space continuum/vortex/tear in the fabric of matter, type of thing. <_<

And I suppose it all depends on what one considers to be "core details." Ultimately, what you consider important details of the story and what I consider to be important details of the story matter very little. What did Oliver consider important? What did Brigham consider important? Those are the questions that matter, and we don't know the answers to them. Whether or not it was a vision or a physical experience -- is that an important detail to Oliver and Brigham? I really don't know.

I completely disagree that it is ever "nearly impossible to miscommunicate" anything. I think it is also entirely possible that Oliver did consider the vision/physical question important, and intended to relate that to Brigham, but simply got ahead of himself during the narrative and unintentionally omitted that point. Things like that happen all the time. I've been guilty of this any number of times (a halfway decent example of me doing it is on this very thread). I don't accept the assertion that such omissions are "nearly impossible." Even for extraordinary events. The words we say don't always exactly match the thoughts we form in our minds.

What then is the purpose of God visiting people, angels coming to visit, the living raised from the dead, miracles, and other extraordinary events happening, if the person they happen to can't make heads or tails of the experience and relates it to others completely turned around with all the core details wrong or not understood?

That is what separates humans from the animals...our ability to use language with some skill to communicate.

I think you've gotten overly caught up in your argument. I never suggested that communication was impossible. Only that it is not as precise as we like to pretend it is sometimes.

I'm a little confused by your resistance to my post. All I was suggesting is that it isn't inconceivable that either Oliver or Brigham didn't communicate that particular detail very well and it was misunderstood. Are you suggesting that this is not a possibility?

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CLee:

Well if that was your intented point, I appologize for not reading inbetween the lines.

And if I failed to supply any coherent data between those lines, I likewise apologize. :P

However, your "false dichotomy" theorem doesn't preclude the possibility that JS, OC, and BY were "winging it".

No. And it wasn't intended to.

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Many years ago, I heard a Univ of Utah professor talk on the process of communication. I still remember and try to apply the principle he taught that

"When we speak we speak out of the background of OUR experience. The person who listens hears out of the background of HIS/HER experience."

edit: corrected spelling

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Many years ago, I heard a Univ of Utah professor talk on the process of communication. I still remember and try to apply the principle he taight that

"When we speak we speak out of the background of OUR experience. The person who listens hears out of the background of HIS/HER experience."

poulsenll,

You have a nice website on Book of Mormon geography issues. What are your views on Brigham Young's discourse cited in the first post? Do you think it all supportive of a NY geography? What are your views on the whole Zelph thing?

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