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Dan Vogel

Pious Fraud

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You are trying to escape the clear implications of D&C 19 by suggesting that the meaning of time has changed.

No I'm not. I'm suggesting cultural understandings and conception of time have changed. "Eternal" and "Endless" to the ancient Jews and early Christians may have meant something totally different that it does to us today. God didn't cause the change, shifitng peoples and changing cultures did.

Indeed, concepts of time do vary from culture to culture. But that is not the issue in D&C 19. God is not correcting our erroneous definition of time and restoring to an ancient understanding;

How do you know that's not what he doing? Is He required to expressly state his purpose for everything he does just so the Dan Vogel's of the world won't mistake what he's doing? If the new concept found in D&C 19 is similar to the ancient understanding, then that is what has happened.

in fact, the revelation does not say that

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Are we still waiting for a definition of "Prophet"? If so, whose definition are we waiting for, and why?

-Dan Vogel

-Bill Hamblin

-Joseph Smith

-The early LDS community

-The modern LDS community

-Early LDS church leaders

-Modern LDS church leaders

-The academic community

-God

-The scriptures (standard works)

-The modern LDS apologists

-Society in general.

-www.dictionary.com

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Are you assuming that all of these groups have conflicting definitions of prophet? They don't. Scholarship addresses prophet/prophecy in ways that are very welcoming to Mormonism. It is a huge mistake not to at least take a look at what the academy does with the subject.

But for those that do not know anything but 19th century Mormonism...

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C.I. I've combined a few posts for this response,

Me previously: There is evidence Julian..to determine what Joseph thought about many things and Vogel has backed some of that up on this board in his various posts. One can surmise Joseph's motivation and intent based on that evidence..in other words it is reasonable to draw inferences from the evidence especially when the inferences are not extraordinary given the evidence.

C.I.: Yes, but you can only reach the conclusions he reaches by purposely and consistently ignoring other evidences that contradict Vogel's claim. That's why he chose to start his book from the assumption that the B of M has been "proven" false. It excuses him from having to deal with the many and varied evidences to the contrary.

Can you please provide a quote in which D. Vogel writes the B of M has been

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CI: "It seems to me that the first rule of fraud, piouis or otherwise, is not get caught. Simple frauds tend to go unnoticed. Extremely complex ones inevitably fall apart."

RF: "Not necessarily though"

Counterexamples, please, of complex frauds not having fallen apart at some point.

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CI: "It seems to me that the first rule of fraud, piouis or otherwise, is not get caught. Simple frauds tend to go unnoticed. Extremely complex ones inevitably fall apart."

RF: "Not necessarily though"

Counterexamples, please, of complex frauds not having fallen apart at some point.

O.J. Simpson.

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CI:  "It seems to me that the first rule of fraud, piouis or otherwise, is not get caught. Simple frauds tend to go unnoticed. Extremely complex ones inevitably fall apart."

RF:  "Not necessarily though"

Counterexamples, please, of complex frauds not having fallen apart at some point.

O.J. Simpson.

Or about a thousand Marian apparitions that Latter-day Saints presumably reject...

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CI:  "It seems to me that the first rule of fraud, piouis or otherwise, is not get caught. Simple frauds tend to go unnoticed. Extremely complex ones inevitably fall apart."

RF:  "Not necessarily though"

Counterexamples, please, of complex frauds not having fallen apart at some point.

O.J. Simpson.

And what, pray, was the complex fraud? Who was in on it with the Juice? Did it not fall apart in the later civil case?

You must do better.

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RC, I'm just headed to lunch and then I'm taking the rest of the day off. I'll respond to your larger post above later on if I get a chance, but probably not tonight. My brother called with nosebleed seat tickets to the Jazz game tonight.

You said:

O.J. Simpson.

First, this was a very simple fraud and second, it fell apart from the very beginning. None of the evidence ever supported Simpson's claims. The DNA evidence completely supported his conviction. What derailed the case was the lie by the detective about using the "N" word and, quite frankly, the jury. It wouldn't have mattered what evidence was presented, that jury was letting Simpson go.

Or about a thousand Marian apparitions that Latter-day Saints presumably reject...

This doesn't qualify as a "conspiracy." Conspiracy requires the conscious agreement on the part of every member of a knowing cabal to engage in fraudulent behavior.

The Marian appartitions don't qualify as they represent a group of very sincere people who have not conspired with each other make a claim that they know to be false. Moreover, I don't "reject" such things. I've seen them before. In fact, in several instances, I could actually see what they were referring to (I'm thinking of the case of a big watermark on the window of some tall building. If you viewed it a certain way it could certainly be seen as a female in a hooded robe) and understand what they were seeing, I just didn't attach any supernatural or religious importance to an image that, to me, appeared to be randomly generated.

(I do admit the cheese sandwich mary was funny though. You could clearly see the figure on the bread. It reminded of some of the more modern pumpkin carvings I've seen).

Complex conspiracies that have several components are inherently unstable entities. All it takes is for one to crack to bring it all down. (Think NYC crime families, neo-nazi plots, etc).

But Vogel is avoiding that by at least attemping to keep his conspiracy confined to Smith. Thus, the three witness and Rigdon weren't in on it, but were the subjects of his Rasputin-like powers of suggestion and persuasion. Of course, that adds a whole "nother" layer of complexity, one which I find even less compelling than the idea that it was simply a conspiracy concocted by Smith and into which he cajoled Cowderey, Whitmer, Rigdon, et al.

C.I.

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CI:

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But aside from that..all religions claim..well just about all claim ...supernatural events and entities.

I'm still not clear about what is any different in Vogel's creation of magnetic hypnosis accomplished through the mere presence of JS. If that isn't supernatural, what is?

(And don't look now but your Millivanilli example reinforces CI's theory :P ) But thanks for trying.

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Regardless, D&C 19 makes God the author of deception. What more do you need to know?

I have been discussing this scripture in other venues and was asked to post my thoughts here even though my intent here was not to get into this type of discussion. I want to hear others' ideas more than hear my own right now.

However, as requested:

I don't believe the D&C 19 section must be interpreted as "God is the author of deception." In fact, when I asked someone to interpret it without any other comment, he came up with something entirely different, more in line with my own thoughts below.

The relevant passages are, imo:

6 Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment.

7 Again, it is written eternal damnation; wherefore it is more express than other scriptures, that it might work upon the hearts of the children of men, altogether for my name

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CI,

Joseph claimed he saw God, that God gave him a command to restore the ancient Church. ALL of his subsequent words and deeds are completely in line with that. In fact, he never waivers from that. Even his most personal, private writings and conversations reflect that belief.

This is an oversimplification. Let

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Following his first vision, JS learned that he could find no one to believe his vision, including apparently his father. The story of Moroni and the gold plates was originally told in a treasure-digging context for a reason. It happened to be something his father would find believable: a treasure-guardian spirit revealing the location of a treasure.

Mark Ashurst-McGee disagrees with this idea that Moroni was originally accounted for in more of treasure gaurdian sense in this article:

Returning to the historical record, we can summarize the documentary evidence: (1) All firsthand accounts agree on Moroni

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Is the idea of punishment with no end that much more of a motivator for changing behaviour than a really nasty punishment with a deadline? If one applies the psychological concept of learned helplessness to this position, men are more likely to give up trying to change things if they feel there is no hope than if they feel there is a chance for improvement.

If I knew that I would only spend ten years in prison for murder, manslaughter, or grand larceny, and I was already a punk on the road to bigger crimes than petty theft, I would be much less likely to reform my ways than if I knew I would spend the rest of my life behind bars for stated crimes.

Another illustration: If I knew I could get the death penalty for robbing and killing a gas station attendant I would be less likely to try it than if the punishment was temporary incarceration.

Spare the rod and spoil the child.

As to the law of eternal progression in the next life (LDS doctrine), I would be less likely to repent in this life if I knew I would get a second chance in the netherworld to repent and progress from either Hell or the Telestial heaven to a higher Heaven, than if I thought (Hebrews 9:27) that there is no second chance in the next life and I would spend an eternity (without end) in Hell by not repenting in this life.

As one of your own church members said in his book 'The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People', without consequences there is no motivation for improvement and right behavior in the business world. In other words I see Covey's view that consequences for wrong behavior is the lynchpin for a successful business. Without that you have anarchy and chaos.

James: 'For where greed and selfish ambition exist there is disorder and every evil thing'.

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Now, Mr. Informant, where do you see God discussing the concept of time? Where does he say the Western notion of time is wrong? Where is a Hebrew concept of time employed to correct the misreading of Westerns? Where does God say that “eternal” time is not really “eternal”?

And this is why many see you as fundamentalistic. In your worldview, there is only one correct way of interpreting anything. No deviation will be allowed. There is really no where to go with you and your one note reading if you don't even acknowledge something as fundamental as time in theology. Let me introduce you to Padgett..who can tell you how "a theologian's understanding of the simplicity and immutability of God depends upon the model of divine eternity she adopts. Divine agency, creation and providence, too, turn on the relationship between God's eternity and human time". It is clear that whatever position one takes regarding divine eternity will control the "general shape and texture" of the broader view of God's attributes.

Alan G. Padgett, God, Eternity and the Nature of Time (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992), 1,42

In other words, it is irrelevant if JS is the fake you believe him to be....he still has to deal with time as does every theologian. And he was a theologian. And he just happened to nail the meaning of aeon.

Rather than correcting the concept of time, this revelation explains “eternal” should be capitalized as one of God’s names: “Eternal.”

Well, that is a mighty fine interpretation, Dan. In fact it is just as good as the other possible interpretations.

I think I have an explanation for your really poor methodology. It’s your low standards. On another thread, I quoted the following from one of the leaders of FAIR and you defended the statement.

On second thought...I think the experts have a better explanation as to why you so consistently come off looking like a fundamentalist.

Its [exegesis] goal is quite simple: to reach an informed understanding of the text.  This is different from saying that the exegete seeks to determine the meaning of the text. . . the exegete can never hope to present the exegesis of a passage as if it were the final word.

John H. Hayes and Carl. R. Holladay, Biblical Exegesis: A Beginner’s Handbook, Revised Ed.  (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1973),  23

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What exactly is the evidence which shows J. Smith could not have operated fraudulently..and claimed the BOM was historical? He seemed quite willing to use a seer stone to find gold for others at their expense which was unsuccessful, he seemed quite willing to lie publicly about whether he practiced polygamy, he seemed quite willing to not honor his legal marriage vows with his wife..so you tell me what evidence shows he couldn

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Calmoriah,

Nice try, but your interpretation is unconvincing. You have not given sufficient reason to change the obvious antecedent for

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William,

Thanks for your participation.

With that thought maybe Joseph Smith did see apparitions as he claimed. However instead of being God, Peter, Jesus, etc. as he claimed, maybe these were lieing spirits sent by the Lord to deceive him and his followers. Martin Luther also saw an apparition that looked like Christ. He threw an ink well at it saying, 'Away from me Satan, I've seen enough of Jesus in the scriptures'.

So with the leading of lieing spirits JS wrote the book of Mormon, D & C, and the others (unless Brigham or others authored them).

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Mormon Fool,

Mark Ashurst-McGee: Returning to the historical record, we can summarize the documentary evidence: (1) All firsthand accounts agree on Moroni

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Juliann,

And this is why many see you as fundamentalistic. In your worldview, there is only one correct way of interpreting anything. No deviation will be allowed. There is really no where to go with you and your one note reading if you don't even acknowledge something as fundamental as time in theology.

I didn

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Dan Vogel said:

If the BofM is ahistorical, then Smith did know about it for the simple reason that he represented the plates as being under the cloth and in a box.

I don't think this follows. He translated the Bible without having in front of him a physical copy of the original writing he (in my opinion) believed he was restoring. He could lie about physically having the plates, and still be telling the truth about the plates being ancient. For that matter, he could even be right that the plates were ancient, while still lying about physically possessing them for purposes of necessity. Do you disagree? Either way, if the BoM is ahistorical, I don't think JS would necessarily have to have been aware of its ahistoricity.

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I didn’t know good reading skills was fundamentalistic. I also didn’t know that eisegetical readings were necessary to being a good scholar. If that is the kind of scholar you are trying to be, count me out.

Oh, yawn. A good percentage of your responses are nothing but kindegarten level sarcastic insults. It loses it's impact after the first two times, Dan. No matter how you cut it ....saying "You are adding something that is not there" smacks of anything but mainstream scholarship. My "eisegetical readings" :P are irrelevant to what you are doing.

You don’t get it. Time has nothing to do with D&C 19. It does not introduce a new concept of time, nor does it challenge the reader’s assumptions about time.

Actually, I do get it. Time has everything to do with this. But without knowledge of the trajectory of Christianity you would not know this. This is why those who are opening Mormon Studies program are coming up with a rule about having to know something else besides 19th century Mormonism.

Well, you haven’t offered a better interpretation, so we can’t judge if your “other possible interpretations” are “just as good.” 

You have replied to the other interpretations so you can't credibly claim ignorance (or try to make it an issue of what I have offered.)

I do not present my interpretation of D&C 19 “as if it were the final word.” I eagerly await a better interpretation, which so far has not arrived. I could be wrong, but I do not believe the quote above intends to give license to the notion that all interpretations are equally valid.

Well, Dan...you must be "adding something that is not there". Again, you try to shift the argument to me to avoid addressing the issue. Deal with the quote. What exactly do you not accept from Hayes and Holladay when they say, "the exegete can never hope to present the exegesis of a passage as if it were the final word." ? You see, here is how it works. I acknowledge that your interpretation is entirely possible and then present an alternative that is also possible! I then give support for my interpretation and cite problems with the alternative interpretations in the hopes that I can convince the reader! Perhaps you can convince the secular academy that they can bypass this cumbersome procedure with powerful accusations like "you insist on repeating your misinterpretations and multiplying your ignorance beyond my ability to comprehend." Wow...what a time saver that would be!

I’m beginning to understand your methodology, and it’s a combination of social constructivism and proof-texting scholarly sources much like a Baptist minister proof-texts the Bible.

Whatever. That still leaves you with Hayes and Holladay and countless others. Have at it.

Meanwhile, we are left to ponder over a claim that you aren't claiming the final word while watching the other side of your mouth present your position with convincing proof like this:

You are trying to escape the clear implications of D&C 19

please don’t waste our time with your ad hoc scriptural analysis.

The revelation is to be understood in the context of 19th century Universalist debates over the meaning of “eternal” in the Bible

Regardless, D&C 19 makes God the author of deception. What more do you need to know?

I notice you never explain how the Greek and Hebrew concepts of time differ, only that they did, and how that relates to D&C 19. But it really doesn’t matter because it has nothing to do with interpreting D&C 19

I hope no one is falling for your really bad eisegetical reading of D&C 19. D&C 19 is not correcting the Western concept of time, but rather correcting the interpretation that “Eternal punishment” is endless punishment.

I think I have an explanation for your really poor methodology. It’s your low standards.

Nevertheless, you insist on repeating your misinterpretations and multiplying your ignorance beyond my ability to comprehend.

 

Your analogy is bad.

You are adding something that is not there.

Unless, you think the soul has an end, the BofM describes punishment as being eternal in the Western or modern sense. What do you think is going on now?

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The antecedent for

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Before hitting the library shelves to dust off the most scholarly volumes relevant to the ancient world's understanding of time, maybe it would be a good idea to start with reading the words printed in D&C 19?

Here's the view from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism:

In a second, less familiar usage, the phrase "Endless and Eternal" functions as a noun, another name for God (Moses 1:3; 7:35)

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