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Dan Vogel

Pious Fraud

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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.

Since we are discussing the milk before meat teaching principle, this is not really an issue as far as I can see.

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Because Vogel informed us that he was only using the term "pious fraud" because others had, these quotes should give a better understanding of what the debate is about.

B. H. Roberts, New Witnesses for God, Vol.2,

Ch.29, p.439 - p.440

Those who accept the Book of Mormon know by what means and how the ancient Americans became acquainted with these scriptural truths. Those writers who seek

to discredit the native traditions resort in the main to the theory that these so-called creation, flood, and tower legends have not escaped the "renovating touch of the Spanish priests and chroniclers, who, throughout their writings, seem to think it their bounden duty to make the ideas of the history of the new world correspond to those of the old;"n while others see in them an adaptation by pious fraud of Indian mythologies to Bible statements.

Responsible Apologetics

Dialogue, Vol.16, No.4, p.140

Book of Mormon Authorship: New Light on Ancient

Origins, Noel B. Reynolds, ea., BYU Religious

Studies Monograph Series (Salt Lake City, Utah:

Bookcraft/BYU Religious Studies Center, 1982),

244 pp., $9.95.

Reviewed by Blake T. Ostler, graduate student in

law and philosophy at the University of Utah.

Book of Mormon Authorship is comprised of essays which confront divergent theories that have emerged to explain the origin of the Book of

Mormon. Richard L. Anderson tacitly addresses the theory popular among detractors that Joseph Smith knowingly produced a pious fraud (pp. 213-37). Anderson provides evidence and insightful analysis demonstrating that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery sincerely believed the Book of Mormon was genuine. 

The Book of Mormon As a

Modern Expansion of An Ancient Source

Blake T. Ostler*

Dialogue, Vol.20, No.1, p.66

Even a casual reference to studies treating the Book of Mormon reveals a range of divergent explanations of its origins. At one extreme are those who are skeptical of the book's claims to antiquity who generally conclude that it is a pious fraud, written by Joseph Smith from information available in his immediate environment. At the other extreme are those who accept the book as scripture and suggest that it can be explained exclusively by reference to ancient sources either not available to Joseph Smith or available only if he were capable of the most recondite research and near-genius ability in comparative literature and ancient studies.

Dialogue, Vol.20, No.1, p.115

The conclusion that the Book of Mormon is pious fraud derived from nineteenth-century influences does not logically follow from the observation that it contains KJV quotations and is expressed in terms of a nineteenth-century world view. Nor does it follow that doctrinal developments cast doubts on whether earlier expressions reflected an authentic encounter with God. All expressions of revelation must be communicated within their author's framework of thought, a framework limited by its assumptions. Nor does it follow that if the book derives from the revelation of an ancient source it must be explained exclusively in ancient terms. Fundamentalist views of revelation and scripture that give rise to such assumptions are grossly inadequate.

Changes in the Revelations,

1833 to 1835

Karl F. Best

Dialogue, Vol.25, No.1, p.102

Pious and personal fraud are different things. Joseph Smith could have changed the revelations to benefit the Church or to benefit himself. Though one method may be more benevolent, they are both still fraud. I point this out only to make a distinction in the purpose of the change

(see Hutchinson 1988, 18).

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Mr. Vogel, you have referred to some of the comments here as "ad hoc." I am wondering why you are assuming this is the first time that some of us have examined the scriptures in this way. It's not as if others haven't had these same thoughts that we are stating before, as evidenced from the commentary quote I provided (revised edition, 1972).

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I would think that someone who claims to be an expert in Mormonism would be aware of standard interpretations used in the evolution of their theology.

My 1950 edition of Sjohdal's Doctrine and Covenants Commentary has also engaged in similar "ad hoc" interpretation on pg. 93:

This is an explanation of the doctrine of eternal damnation.

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This is an explanation of the doctrine of eternal damnation.

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Thanks for responding to my questions. I am a bit out of my league here trying to understand ideas brought up by historians who look at the same data and come up with remarkably different conclusions. There seems to be three significant takes on the role of treasure seeking in early church history.

(1) Go with the pro-mormon accounts that maximize the religious importance of the events and downplay the folk lore aspects.

(2) Privelige the antagonistic accounts and other crumbs and set up a dominant magic interpretation.

(3) Synthesize the two types of sources in a way that leaves the pro-mormon accounts intact but also embraces the folklore influences on the events.

Ashurst-McGee is blazing trails with the latter take, but to generalize from your citation in your book and comments in the previous post he isn't being taken seriously yet.

On to your questions and observations:

Moroni as an angel: Historically

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Mr. Vogel, even if one were to accept D&C 19 for the purpose that you attribute to it, I am not sure how far it can take you with Joseph justifying "pious fraud".

At most, what it appears to describe is God giving an accurate description (using an accurate term "endless torment") but leaving out critical (as in important) information (in this case "endless" should be defined as "God's," not "without end.")

While this possible idea of allowing men to mislead themselves for positive purposes (also echoed in the Abraham-Sarah-Pharoah episode where Abraham gave the accurate information "Sarah is my sister," but left off the critical information "she is also my wife"--ever wonder why Pharoah whose family was required at times to marry their sisters never asked the next logical question himself?) could be applied to certain aspects of Joseph's behaviour (polygamy--the statement "I only have one wife" is accurate, but only in the legal sense, not religious; the critical information "I am married under another a nonlegal form of contract" is left out), it does not cover situations where inaccurate information is given.

Your suggestion that the BoM is ahistorical might be fitted to the D&C 19 scenario taken by itself if one sees it as a parable, but not if you add on the descriptions given by Joseph of the historical events surrounding its appearance.

Nor can the D&C 19 scenario be applied without stretching to the mythos surrounding the Restoration of the Priesthood which established the authoritative line more strongly for Joseph. The additional information given by Joseph is not the half-truths that are missing critical information according to you, but outright falsehoods.

I think your case that Joseph is justifying fraudulent behaviour using D&C 19 only goes so far and covers only the cases where additional information is lacking. It does not cover the cases where additional false information is given by Joseph (if this is indeed the case).

I do not know if you address this in your book.

Is D&C 19 your strongest evidence for "God as the author of deception"? Or do you have something that would better fit your scenario?

PS: I am very much enjoying this conversation and appreciate the time you are putting into it, especially since I have neglected to get your book (almost managed to do so today, but got tied up at the mall for an extra hour totally out of my control; I should know better than to shop on Sat. but it was an emergency.) I always find examining others' interpretations of events and scriptures to be fascinating and educational.

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Response to Dan continued:

Does he use this explanation for the

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Mr. Vogel, you have referred to some of the comments here as "ad hoc."  I am wondering why you are assuming this is the first time that some of us have examined the scriptures in this way.  It's not as if others haven't had these same thoughts that we are stating before, as evidenced from the commentary quote I provided (revised edition, 1972).

Having some time before bed tonight and wondering just how widespread my reading was, I decided to check out my Infobase Library 1998 for any sources.

I got 20 hits on one search on "more express than other scriptures." Of those 20, two were of Mr. Vogel's reading, but one of those two (Ludlow's Companion) was a quote from the first, JFS's Church History and Modern Revelation. Among the rest of the 20, most just dwelt with the concept of the definition of "endless torment," but there were five that included that the accurate defintion of "endless torment" is "God's torment" what is meant when it is stated "more express." This included two quotes from BY.

Adding a search on "might work upon the hearts" adds two more citations, split between the readings. The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Endless and Eternal, favours Vogel's reading, which is not surprising when the reference is given as Ludlow, who as I mentioned above quoted JFS.

My conclusion does not appear to be all that unusual. Against me are Ludlow and Joseph Fielding, with me are Brigham Young, Marvin J. Ballard, Charles H. Har, and Joseph Fielding McKonkie, Robert L. Millet, and Brent L. Top

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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.

Thanks for your question. Perhaps I wasn

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A good percentage of your responses are nothing but kindegarten level sarcastic insults. It loses it's impact after the first two times, Dan.

Now, is that the response of a REAL scholar? I must be getting to you! You sure can dish it out, but I guess you can

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Aside from analyzing Dan's specific example, are those who are challenging him asserting that God would not inspire followers to lie?

Most theists tend to be a bit more relativist than this argument would seem to imply, and simply state that whatever God orders is right and good, including possibly commanding his followers to violate previously given edicts. I would be surprised if posters here are actually arguing that God would never inspire a follower to lie. With all the attention on the one D&C example, it's a bit hazy to me right now if that is the actual argument or not.

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Now, is that the response of a REAL scholar? I must be getting to you! You sure can dish it out, but I guess you can’t take it. Aside from your cronies, I don’t think you’ll get much sympathy from the many others you have tormented on this board. I’ve notice that you seem to have a rather lasting negative effect on those you disagree with.

Um, Dan...I have never claimed to be a scholar. You are the one that does that. I have also admitted to being everything that you have accused me of...a dimwitted sissy who knows nothing..nothing! But I really don't know what any of this has to do with the topic.

What does the “trajectory of Christianity” have to do with D&C 19? It seems to incorrectly assume that there was only one “Christianity” in the first century and that there was a continuum to Mormonism.

You said you knew NT better than I did. How could you not know what the "trajectory of Christianity" means? There have been articles written with that as a title. Surely you have read them.

You do know the difference between eisegegis and exegesis?


Would the “mainstream scholarship” to which you allude be social constructivism? And are you representing that scholarship as believing that all interpretations, no matter how improbable, are equally valid? It certainly appears so. Is this your brand of inclusiveness?


Are you saying these other interpretations are “just as good” merely because they exist?


You must have stayed up all night collecting these.

Unfortunately, all those insults came from the one or two pages that I read that day. Took only a few minutes.

Unlike your ad hominem, note that these statements follow substantive discussions of the topic and accurately describe your poor performance.

:P Well, why didn't you say so before! Knowing that your insults follow substantive discussions, of course no one would question what ad hominem like this is doing in your posts: "You are cluttering up this thread with your non-intellectual drivel". I think that that is probably your personal best...but I have been fooled before.

Since your insults all tend to run together it makes no sense to answer you in two places. Real discussion here: http://www.fairboards.org/index.php?showtopic=5702&st=60

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Aside from analyzing Dan's specific example, are those who are challenging him asserting that God would not inspire followers to lie?

Most theists tend to be a bit more relativist than this argument would seem to imply, and simply state that whatever God orders is right and good, including possibly commanding his followers to violate previously given edicts.

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This is certainly not my position. That would be another argument altogether and would require a heck of a lot more scriptures than just one to discuss.

I'm still not completely clear on this. You are saying that you do not believe God would inspire his followers to lie on occasion?

If that is your position, what is your reasoning for it?

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WQ said: "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'."

Assuming this is a nonapocryphal story, and Luther really saw something that liked like the Master, let's play the "what if" game. What if the Master wished to give Luther a specific message. We know Luther was no medieval kabbalist inclined to rapturous experience, so how would one expect Luther the brilliant linguist and would-be social engineer to react to a vision/visitation? Luther's brilliance, which had already confronted kabbalism and all its cousins and rejected them, would perforce reject anything that would upset his carefully constructed and passionately believed applecart. Appeals to authority, tradition, and personal relationships made no purchase against his applecart. Why would we expect a heavenly messenger to do so?

Wasn't Luther the ultimate Pharisee, after all? I have no problem believing his pharisaeism would compell him to reject heaven because it did not agree with his applecart along with heaven's G-d.

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This is certainly not my position. That would be another argument altogether and would require a heck of a lot more scriptures than just one to discuss.

I'm still not completely clear on this. You are saying that you do not believe God would inspire his followers to lie on occasion?

If that is your position, what is your reasoning for it?

Sorry. I am saying that I am open to the idea, I just haven't seen anything yet that I recall that seems to be to be solid evidence of actual falsehood rather than incomplete information in the scriptures.

There has been one set of prophecies that might be evidence for this, but I am not familiar enough with the situation yet to draw any conclusions about the actual process.

I don't have a problem with the idea that God might inspire someone to lie anymore than I have a problem with the idea that God might inspire someone to kill.

I'd lie to an abusive husband about having his wife in my house if I knew of the possibility that harm would come to her. I can see a situation where I might not know why the husband was asking (the wife not telling why she had come over perhaps) and the Spirit instructing me to lie about her presence in order to protect both her and myself.

My comments so far were dealing specifically with the interpretation of D&C 19. I don't believe outright falsehoods occurred in that case.

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This is an oversimplification. Let’s be accurate about our church history. In which version of the first vision did God tell JS to “restore the ancient Church”? Even in the 1838 account, there is no commission, only a command not to join any church.

I was unaware that I had made a specific claim regarding the First Vision, etc. All I meant to say was that at some point Smith believed that he was called to restore the ancient Church and that he believed that call came from God. I never said it came that day in the grover or whether or it came the night Moroni visited or whether it came on any subsequent visitation.

So, if there was no commission to restore the true church, then the remainder of your statement needs some modification.

So are you saying that there indeed never was such a commission or only that we don't have a written record of when that commission actually came?

The meaning of the first vision story changed over time, but I will not go into that here.

Good, because I'm sure it would be parsed to fit your thesis anyway.

The important point is that you seem to expect a pious fraud to be also bumbling and easy to expose.

Bumbling? I never said that. In fact, on a fraud of this scale I'd expect it to be quite skillful. Nor do I expect it to be "easy" to expose. That's your idea. You seem to think that few perceived anacronisms is all it takes.

Besides, why would a pious fraud “waver” about his mission? The meaning of “pious” is a sincere belief that God has inspired deception. Besides, what would constitute as a “waver”? Do you have examples of pious frauds “wavering”?

I expect him to "waiver" because he has based his career on a known deception. I also admit that I base my assumption here on my experience and work with people who have committed other types of frauds and conspiracies (which I do every day). As to what would constitute a "waiver", I would suggest that if you present evidence that at some point Smith hinted or suggested that he manufactured the plates rather than them being given by an angel? (I'm not talking a full-blown confession, just a hint). Or if you could show where Smith somewhere suggested that the events of the B of M weren't historical.

As to example of a pious fraud who has "waivered" or "wavered" (I'm not sure why you keep putting quotes marks around those words. They both legitimately express what I'm saying here.) I can't give you one because I can't think of any examples of true "pious frauds" to beging with. (Not to say they haven't existed).

Again, you seem to expect a pious fraud to be bumbling and easy to expose. Why do you expect JS to expose his own deception?

Again, that's your expectations. All I expect is inconsistency. Fraud begets inconsistency. And I don't "expect" him to "expose" it consciously. I simply expect less consistency.

How would that help achieve his ends?

I never said it would.

Does a prosecutor give up because there is no confession or any eyewitnesses? No, he builds a circumstantial case.

Yes, by looking for the inconsistencies. Suspect A say he was with B but B says A was with C, etc.

Do you have examples of pious frauds behaving directly opposite to what is necessary to promote their deception?

Would Jimmy Swaggert or Jim Bakker count? How about Robert Tilton? I don't doubt the sincere religoius beliefs of any of them, but they were all frauds in one way or another and their frauds eventually came outs What's more, they weren't even complex frauds, they were very simply frauds, the hardest kind to catch.

Now, you may condescendingly explain to me why they don't qualify as a pious fraud, right?

I thought you didn’t believe in mind reading. 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 understand your point and freely admit that such an action on Smith part would clearly indicate that he knew he was a fraud. I'd still love an explanation of how he fabricated these tin plates without anyone in his family knowing about it and then was able to pass them off to his family. Oh wait....there's that whole hypnotism thing again.

Haven’t you been listening? The unconscious fraud cannot be maintained.

Actually, the unconscious fraud is the easiest type to maintain. But, I understand your point about being unable to claim that Smith was an unconscious fraud. But that's almost my point...conscioius frauds in inherently inconsistent. That was the point Hamblin was trying to make when he said Smith's story would better be explained as Smith being delusional. A delusion at least explains his consistency.

JS was either telling the truth about ancient gold plates, or he was lying and trying to pass off tin plates as genuine.

I don't disagree with this a bit.

I hope this is not indicative of the kind of reasoning you display in court.

And like I said, your idiotic cheapshots aside, you'd best hope that you're never in a position to find out what type of reasoning I display in court.

Like Hamblin, you are trying to surmise what God can or cannot do should he choose to perpetrate deception.

Actually, I'm not. My observations were based on logic. If I were the perpetrator of a deception such as the Book of Mormon, which 1) purported to be real and 2) relied on a third party to sell that reality, then I'd want the third person to believe that what he is selling is actually real.

What I am guilty of is assuming, for the sake of argument, that God was "really" the author of the fraud you advance. Of course,you reject that as an option, relying instead on the idea that Jospeh only needed to believe that God could, would and did, author a fraud.

You are engaging in counterfactual speculation about God of all things.

It was speculation, no doubt. Whether or not it was counterfactual is up for debate.

This is not the kind of thing that will raise reasonable doubt about the pious fraud thesis.

Nope. But showing that Smith didn't understand the verses from the various scriptures you cite as you claim he understood them. Thus, your rather vociferous defense of your view of D&C 19.

I would not presume to tell God how to conduct a pious deception. Regardless, your ad hoc speculations are less important than the fact that JS believed God had inspired his conscious deception.

I'd be curious as to what "form" this inspiration took? Was it simply an idea, born of scripture readings, that took root in his mind? Or was Smith actually delusional and actually believed that an Angel told him to concoct a fake book? I doubt such questions can be answered.

You do know the difference between reasonable doubt and unreasonable doubt?

Yes, though I'm not convinced you do.

All that schooling down the toilet. Shame.

Ah, more cheapshots. My, my, my you are bit chippy aren't you. You seem a bit insecure.

Whether he was a true prophet or a pious fraud, I would expect him to express a believe in historicity. That’s the whole point.

And I would expect that, at some point, he'd at least vacillate on that point. How hilarious is this: I say that fact that he never vacillated shows that he actually believed it. You claim that the fact that he never vacillated shows that he didn't believe but was just keeping up his fraud.

Maybe it's just the nature of what I do. In my business, consistency is a measure of honesty. (Actually, let me qualify that, a certainly level of consistency is expected. Too much, and we get suspicious that stories have simply been rehearsed). I expect a fraud to contradict himself, which is something I don't detect in Smith.

Following his first vision, JS learned that he could find no one to believe his vision, including apparently his father.

And yet he could hypnotically convince at least four other men that they'd seen angels, and visions of heaven and even visions of the living Christ Himself?

CI, you questions elicit a basic lack of understanding of historical sources and methodology.

Maybe so. But then, I don't claim to be a professional historian. Then again, neither are you!

A reconstruction does not support a simplistic and predetermined timeline from 1820 to the founding of the Church of Christ in 1830.

You really seem to enjoy categorizing other people's thoughts as "simplistic" and "naieve" don't you. Of course, the unspoken part is that such labeling means that your views are "complex" and "well informed". I wonder if you arms get sore from such self-congratulatory back-patting?

JS’s first revelation came as a result of losing the 116-page MS (D&C 3). The reception of this revelation changed JS’s role as inspired translator to inspired revelator.

That's certainly one way to view it.

From there, his self-perception would eventually include the notion of prophet and founder of a church.

Pure speculation.

Well, he might have feared exposure if he could really see into the future. As far as he knew, the builders of the mounds and ruins would forever remain a mystery. He had not idea that the mystery would eventually be deciphered with the advent of archaeology later in that century. Likewise, he had no idea that Egyptian would eventually be translatable. He was “outted” for his mistakes and anachronisms, but it didn’t seem to matter to believers.

So, in reality, it really was just a bumbling conspiracy?

Again, you miss the obvious point about the BofM’s apologetic value. As I said above, the BofM project was begun before there was any thought of receiving revelations and become a prophet himself.

Then the notion of becoming a prophet must have followed shortly after the project was begun since the restoration of the priesthoods was purported to have occurred during the translation process. Don't those count as revelations? (Unless, of course, you are asserting a post-hoc placement of the visitations of John the Baptist and Peter, James and John to a time period during the translation, but such a post-hoc placement would seem difficult to achieve considering that Cowderey was there as a second witness to those event. Thus, Smith's hypnotic powers over Oliver would have required him to 1) make Oliver believe that on two separate occassions they were visited by celestial beings and 2) those visitations occurred weeks or months prior.)

Finally, you are operating under the assumption that things were planned out from the beginning, as if JS knew what was going to happen in the future.

Actually, I wasn't operating under that assumption but thank you for bringing it up. You see, the best conspiracies are those that are planned from top to bottom. The stories and cover-ups and alibis are planned ahead of time etc. Seat-of the pants conspiracies such as the type your affirm are much, much easier to detect.

How do you know this? If there are complex frauds that haven’t fallen apart, doesn’t it follow that you would know it?

Now you are operating under the mistaken assumption that I have asserted that complex frauds are simply not possible. Indeed, they can been done and I'm sure they have been done. I'm simply asserting that they require a degree of planning and sophistication to execute. And you appear to have already acknowledged that no such planning took place and I sincerely doubt that Smith had the sophistication and acumen to pull it off.

In short, there is no way to falsify that statement

If I actually made that statement, you might have point. I didn't (see above).

Simple vs. complex frauds: you seem to think that JS’s fraud hasn’t fallen apart. Just because you believe it hasn’t fallen apart, doesn’t mean it hasn’t.

And just because you claim it has doesn't mean that it is so. Since the evidence of the historicity of the Book of Mormon continues to pile up, I'd say his "fraud" (as you put) is still active.

I mean: you think your discovery that the concept of time has changed from Hebrew and Greek cultures has something to do with D&C 19, when it doesn’t. 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.

Actually, Juliann followed up my post with an explanation of how they differ. I also provided a link to site that talked about some of the difference (it didn't address the exact question, but the thoughts there show some of the differneces in conceptions of time).

But it really doesn’t matter because it has nothing to do with interpreting D&C 19 (see below).

Quite possibly the silliest statement so far on this thread. D&C 19 is ALL about time.

I hope no one is falling for your really bad eisegetical reading of D&C 19.

Really bad by recognizing that the verse is explicity about time? Okie dokie. :P

D&C 19 is not correcting the Western concept of time

Did you misstate my argument on purpose or are you really unaware of what I actuall said? Because I never said anything about "correcting the Western concept of time" or anything that even approximates that.

, but rather correcting the interpretation that “Eternal punishment” is endless punishment. The issue is not the duration of time, but the duration of punishment. Let’s do this in slow motion:

The "issue" is that under ancient conceptions of time, "etenal pushisment" meant something different than it does under more modern, western conceptions of time. The "corrective" wasn't to the differenct concpetions of time, but simply an updated understanding of the punishments involved in accordance with a Western, lineal conception of time. The revelation in questions shows no preference for any particular conception of time, but rather shows a preference for a correct understanding of the temporal contours of the punishments being discussed because the correct understanding provides a correct view of the type of being God actually is.

Now, Mr. Informant, where do you see God discussing the concept of time? Where does he say the Western notion of time is wrong?

Again, a complete strawman. I never said anything about God preferring one conception of time to another and I certainly never discussed whether one conception was "wrong" as opposed to the other.

Where does God say that “eternal” time is not really “eternal”?

Excuse me? Isn't that the point of the whole revelation? To indicate that the term "eternal" and "endless" as used to describe postmortal punishement for sins in modern thought, doesn't indicate a neverending period of time, but rather indicates a definitive period of time with a definite end? It also reoriented the understanding of the punishments to increase their "depth" as it were.

How you can divorce the concept of time from this revelation is, quite frankly, beyond me. Perhaps we are just talking past each other here.

Now,  although I asked, you still fail to explain the phrase: “that it might work upon the hearts of the children of men.” What might work? How does that phrase work into your interpretation?

It's been answered, and those answers provide an explantion that is every bit as covincing and coherent is yours. Don't get me wrong, I certainly agree that your view is plausible, and I also understand that your view is necessary to supporting your whole thesis, but I don't agree that your view represents the final word on the topic and I find Cal's analysis of the situation very interesting.

How is this an answer to what I said? Nevertheless, you insist on repeating your misinterpretations and multiplying your ignorance beyond my ability to comprehend.

Nope, no condescension or name calling that little ditty, was there. You know, if you want to take this down to that level, I can easily participate: "Dan, clean up on aisle three!"

Here, you say that D&C 19 is a small change from a “modern” concept of time as “eternal” in duration to the “depth of it.” I agree that the revelation assumes the “modern understanding of eternal,” and it is that understanding that God has used “that it might work upon the hearts of the children of men.” The Hebrew understanding of time has nothing to do with the correction. In other words, God does not say: “The true concept of eternal is just a long time.” Instead, the explanation is “God’s punishment.” Your interpretation cannot be maintained.

<yawn> If you say so Dan. Dogmatic declaration of intellectual superiority don't really do it for though. It reminds of that Star Trek movie where all the guys minions walk around simply affirming that "your's is the superiour intellect." I don't speak hebrew and neither do you. However, it seems abundant clear that the concpet of "eternal punishment" among a group that view time in this manner would be fundamentally different, but that fundamental difference would not be communicated when translated into a different language used by a culture with a completely different defintion of time. It's also very easy to see how misunderstandings about the concpet of "eternal punishment" could arise in such a situation and how those misunderstandings, while reasonsable, could cause people to mispercieve the type of being God actually is.

Now you enter a discussion that is totally incoherent:

Actually, if it was incoherent, as you suggest, an informed response would be impossible since you wouldn't have been able to understand what I was saying and thus would have no way of formulating coherent response. <_< As it is, you must have understood what I was saying since you attempted a rebuttal, such as it was.

Your analogy is bad. It’s between eternal punishment and temporary punishment, and that’s a big difference.

Indeed. It's a difference of TIME but since you've already stated that this verse has nothing to do with time, I'm not sure what to make of your point.

Indeed the revelation warns not to take this temporary punishment lightly (verses 13-20). Nevertheless, it worries at the same time that some will use knowledge of temporary punishment as an excuse not to repent and perish (verses 21-22).

The revelation does not say anything about a difference in the intensity of the punishment. You are adding something that is not there.

Again, there is no contrast between two kinds of punishment, only length.

If you say so Dan, but I disagree:

Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.

16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would crepent;

17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;

18 Which asuffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink— D&C 19: 15-18

As I recall, the concept of suffering "even as Christ" added a whole new element of "depth" to the punishments that Christ is referring to here. Thus, in my view, while this revelation "shorted" the length of the punishment, the "anguish" or "pain" or the overall "suffering" involved was greatly increased.

Feel free to insert your disagreement here:

I did not “concoct” the fraud. I found it.

Then you jumped on the bandwagon about 160 years too late, since Smith was branded a fraud long before you ever showed up. Your thesis appears to nothing new or original. But then, maybe you didn't claim it to be such.


edited in an attempt to fix malfunctioning quotes

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Now, you can believe JS made this all up or you can believe that God is directing it. Does not matter....either way, a theology cannot be established without working out the above relationship. Only someone completely unfamiliar with the study and history of religion would argue that.

Seeing as how this unbelievable denial of the importance of time in D&C 19....

Is the future given , or is it under perpetual construction?  A profound dilemma for all of mankind, as time is the fundamental dimension of our existence. 

On the other hand, certainty has long been associated with a denial of time and creativity. 

Time and reality are irreducibly linked.  Denying time may either be a consolation or a triumph of human reason.  It is always a negation of reality.

Ilya Prigogine, The End of Certainty: Time, Chaos, and the New Laws of Nature (New York: The Free Press, 1997), 1, 184, 187.

It is not often that you do not find "certainty" connected to almost every position taken by critics. (BTW...before he is called an idiot, let me add that the author is a Nobel Laureate)

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The following was written before reading your succeeding posts. It seems you have gotten ahead of me. I

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Thanks for the quotes on pious fraud. I have two more to add from JS

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