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Don Bradley'S Fair Presentation: What Are The Ashera And Nehushtan Parallels?

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Well, you linked your argument to what appeared to be the theory that Asherah was an appropriate symbol for the pre-Reform temple, and it that is the case, you know my opinions about that. If you didn't say that, well then, never mind.

No doubt I put it inelegantly

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In the competition between Elijah and the wicked priests, when Elijah called fire down from Heaven, why did He only destroy the priests of Baal and not the priests of Asherah also?

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I read the text and the commentary to think that that is a misreading. But there can be no doubt that that the text treats the priests of Asherah there negatively, not positively. Those who want to venerate this abominable theory have to really grasp at straws.

The problem with reading the text the way you suggests is that it ignores the rest of the Bible where Asherah is so plainly an abomination. This reading basically jettisons the Bible.

The modern veneration of Asherah in the Church by some misguided souls relies upon the shifting sands of rejecting the Bible's account and rejecting what Church authorities and publications have said on this exact subject in favor of a secular theory.

I'd be very concerned with this. I have been a witness to the natural consequence of this theory, seeing a couple in my stake with 8 kids adopt it to theorize a complementary female priesthood along with sacred prostitution. This very theory was cited. What you teach is having its effect.

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BC, I never said the priests of Asherah were righteous, but I did ask why weren't the priests of Asherah killed at the same time when the priests of Baal were killed?

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Like I say, I don't read it that way. The text in I 2 Kings says:

2 Kings 23:4 The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the priests next in rank and the doorkeepers to remove from the temple of the Lord all the articles made for Baal and Asherah and all the starry hosts. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron Valley and took the ashes to Bethel. 5He did away with the pagan priests appointed by the kings of Judah to burn incense on the high places of the towns of Judah and on those around Jerusalem—those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and moon, to the constellations and to all the starry hosts. 6He took the Asherah pole from the temple of the Lord to the Kidron Valley outside Jerusalem and burned it there. He ground it to powder and scattered the dust over the graves of the common people. 7He also tore down the quarters of the male shrine prostitutes, which were in the temple of the Lord and where women did weaving for Asherah.s

The question is whether the qualifier in verse 5 limits the text or expands it to include the priests of Baal. For those who read the qualifier as an expansion, see Jamieson-Fauseet-Brown ("them also that burned incense unto Baal"). The phrase "them also" is in certain Bible versions.

Perhaps a different explanation is that only the Priests of Baal were there, although the Priests of Asherah were summoned. I get that reading from I Kings 18:32. Likely Jezebel protected them and they weren't there. But, as I point out, the 2 Kings 23 text shows that Josiah got rid of them.

If you're going to operate from the presumption that Asherah was really an element of Yahwehite worship, then the Bible would say so. It doesn't. Only atheistic scholars say that, apparently.

Edited by Bob Crockett
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If you're going to operate from the presumption that Asherah was really an element of Yahwehite worship, then the Bible would say so. It doesn't. Only atheistic scholars say that, apparently.

Maybe I have misunderstood what you are trying to say, but I'm going to go off the assumption that I haven't.

CFR on the truthfulness or validity of "then the Bible would say so."

CFR on "Only atheistic scholars say that, apparently."

Is Margaret Barker, a Methodist minister from England, an atheistic scholar?

She talked briefly at the beginning about Josiah, his reformation, and 2 Kings 23 in a lecture she gave at BYU on May 6, 2003 and the topic was "What Did King Josiah Reform?"

If you clink on the link above, you will be taken to a Maxwell Institute site for the book "Glimpses of Lehi's Jerusalem" by David R. Seely, John W. Welch, and JoAnn H. Seely.

Margaret Barker then said something very interesting - "These texts do not tell the whole story."

She has discussed the Book of Enoch in many of her books and articles and she does in this lecture also. It is also well documented that the Book of Enoch was used by many of the authors of the books in the New Testament. Margaret Barker lays out in her writing a very detailed thesis that the author of the Book of Enoch opposed many of the changes which occurred during the Josiah reformation and addition changes which occurred afterwards and she explains some possibilities why these changes occurred.

At the end of this lecture, Margaret Barker said:

We can never know for certain what it was that Josiah purged or why he did it. No actual texts or records survive from that period, but even the stories as they have come down to us in various sources show that this was a time of major upheaval which was not forgotten. A thousand years after the events themselves, even mainstream Jewish texts remembered that the temple had been drastically changed, that large numbers of people had left the land, and that the true temple would be only be restored in the time of the Messiah.

Maybe she could be totally mistaken on somethings or even most of the things she discussed, but I have yet to heard any General Authority or BYU professor or Mormon scholar contradict what she said. I may have just not found it yet and, from what I understand, she has been cited or has spoken at several Church sponsored/supported activities including an Ensign article and a 30 minute speech at "The Worlds of Joseph Smith" held at the Library of Congress and co-sponsored by the Library of Congress and Brigham Young University.

And from what I understand, she is well loved by BYU and Mormon scholars in general.

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Link to Bradley's transcript: http://www.fairlds.o...lost-116-pages

Bradley proposes parallels between the ancestral relics possessed by the Nephite Kings and the items kept in the Debir in Solomon's Temple. He also proposes that those Nephite Royal Relics were kept in the Temple in Nephi, and later taken and placed in the Temple in Zarahemla by Mosiah I.

Those parallels were:

...

I have to question the methodology (as exhibited by Don Bradley as well) of assuming (as a matter of faith) that there had to have been parallels between Solomon's temple and the Nephite temples, and then going about trying to figure out what those parallels could have been. And then, to speculate that there must have been things inside the Nephite for which there is no basis within the Book of Mormon text is a leap too far.

Edited by Cobalt-70
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I have to question the methodology (as exhibited by Don Bradley as well) of assuming (as a matter of faith) that there had to have been parallels between Solomon's temple and the Nephite temples, and then going about trying to figure out what those parallels could have been. And then, to speculate that there must have been things inside the Nephite for which there is no basis within the Book of Mormon text is a leap too far.

As the text itself explicitly states that there are parallels between Solomon's temple and Nephi's temple, it is entirely reasonable to look for them, even if we take what seems to be your assumption, that Joseph made it up.

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Maybe I have misunderstood what you are trying to say, but I'm going to go off the assumption that I haven't.

CFR on the truthfulness or validity of "then the Bible would say so."

We as Latter-day Saints must accept certain truths of the Bible rather than reject the Book out of hand. One of the truths, repeated over and over again by General Authorities is that Josiah's reform rooted out the pagan gods from the Temple and restored proper temple worship. If you will check my post above, you will see references to current pages from lds.org to that effect. So there is that response to your CFR.

CFR on "Only atheistic scholars say that, apparently." . . . Is Margaret Barker, a Methodist minister from England, an atheistic scholar?

She is reputed to be follower in the tradition of old-time Higher Criticism, a criticism of the Bible repeated and roundly condemned by the authorities of the Church. If you'd like authorities, I can cite them but I think this is a self-evident point to those who have studied Barker and James Talmage. One of the key teachings of Higher Criticism is that there is a difference between the religion described in the Bible and what the Israelites actually worshipped. Higher Criticism led to entire schools of Hebrew and New Testament scholars who reject the Bible as the word of God, and who for the most part reject the divinity of Jesus. The Jesus Project is a beneficiary of High Criticism.

A Latter-day Saint steeped in the reading of the statements of the Brethren and their publications would say that, sure, archaeology reveals that the Israelites worshipped false gods as is evident from the images dug out of their homes. An LDS scholar seduced by Higher Criticism would say, hey, those images dug out of their homes must signify true religion. This is a dangerous trend, for the very logic you would use to justify the veneration of Asherah would justify the veneration of Moloch -- a point Dever concedes in his book, by the way.

So, I am entirely unimpressed that some of us Mormons venerate Margaret Barker. Mormons believe in the teachings of Joseph Smith and the revelations of God, not in the secular arm of atheists.

I have yet to heard any General Authority or BYU professor or Mormon scholar contradict what she said.
That is evidence of nothing. I've not heard a General Authority comment upon the practice of Inuit infanticide, either. Perhaps you should tell me whether my quotes in the post above would, if followed to their logical conclusion, lead somebody to reject Rev. Barker on the issue of the reform. Edited by Bob Crockett
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"One of the key teachings of Higher Criticism is that there is a difference between the religion described in the Bible and what the Israelites actually worshipped. Higher Criticism led to entire schools of Hebrew and New Testament scholars who reject the Bible as the word of God."

You're talking about "Higher Critics" like that obvious feminist atheist Joseph Smith, right? After all, he not only rejected God (or was that the Neoplatonic conception of God?) and taught about the existence of a Mother in Heaven alongside the Father, but also had the arrogant audacity to say that it was

"apparent that many important points touching the salvation of men, had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled"

and that he only

"believe[d] the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers [because] ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors"

and who translated a book of scripture which teaches in 1 Nephi that

"when the book proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew [...] it contained the fullness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record"

but

"there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God. And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles"

and furthermore that

"many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible [...] Wherefore because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written" (2 Nephi 29:3,10).

We're supposed to seek out Wisdom from "the best books" because there are wise men we "know not of". If we have to seek such books out, that implies that we do not currently possess them, and do not have a monopoly on truth and therefore have nothing left to learn. Since we are to "gather all the good and true principles in the world and treasure them up, [else] we shall not come out true 'Mormons'," then why can't we learn from scholars -- yes, even atheists who, exactly like Joseph Smith, reject the unbiblical bodiless paradox of a God taught to them by very specific philosophies of men, which we already believe to be opposed to the better philosophy of God, who is Himself a perfected Man?

Edited by JeremyOrbe-Smith
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You're talking about "Higher Critics" like that obvious feminist atheist Joseph Smith, right?

No. The Higher Criticism discussed by the ecclesisatical authorities cited in footnote 19 of Philip Barlow's book, Mormons and the Bible at page 112. (I don't accept Barlow's somewhat liberal attitude to Higher Criticism.)

2 Nephi 29 [A Bible!] is offered by the Lord to support the notion of additional scripture ["my words"] and not as justification to reject the Bible or to use secular learning as a means to contradict what the Brethren say in general conference addresses or what the Church says on lds.org.

I know that you laugh behind your sleeves and say that Crockett is just another Luddite. I don't foreclose, ever, the prospect that I am wrong. But a system of thought that would (1) throw out the Bible, (2) depend upon scholars who generally reject the word of God, (3) contradict existing lds.org statements and (4) push the envelope in the worship of a Mother in Heaven where the Brethren have said, don't go there, is too much for me.

Wisdom is a scripturally-based intelligence and learning; it is not a feminine Goddess.

Edited by Bob Crockett
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I don't laugh at you, and I apologize if the words I chose made me come across as someone who would. What I am is frustrated that you're debating this issue from authority rather than evidence. You haven't responded substantively to the first four quotes I gave from Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon which state and demonstrate that "ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors." Why do you accuse some faithful LDS of "throwing out" or "rejecting" the Bible when they are saying nothing more than what the very founding Prophet of our Restoration did?

Joseph Smith, who demonstrated that he could translate from the gift of pure intelligence entrusted to him during the translation of the Book of Mormon nevertheless eagerly went to work studying Hebrew and Greek and German, languages which he did not know. And from who? Whatever learned scholars he could find. That he rejected some of their interpretations (see the Sermon in the Grove) doesn't prove that they had nothing of value to say.

It doesn't matter what someone's affiliation is; all that matters is whether they're telling the truth, regardless of whether they believe in God or not. What is the difference between "secular" learning and whatever you're advocating? Is it really merely that "secular" learning has come to conclusions you disagree with? To label learning as divided between "secular" and "religious" is a needless false dichotomy, and we already reject the words of past general authorities all the time (unless you're maintaining that doctrine has never changed, and that every last sermon that Brother Young preached ought to be canonized.)

(Finally, I disagree that Lady Wisdom was merely a hypostatization of an abstract concept -- see Nibley's Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri for more -- but we've been over that before.)

Edited by JeremyOrbe-Smith
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What I am is frustrated that you're debating this issue from authority rather than evidence.

The "evidence" rests upon an a priori assumption that "true religion" can be determined by a consensus review of what went on in the ordinary Israelite household, that than upon what a reformist priest said religion is or ought to be.

You haven't responded substantively to the first four quotes I gave from Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon which state and demonstrate that "ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors." Why do you accuse some faithful LDS of "throwing out" or "rejecting" the Bible when they are saying nothing more than what the very founding Prophet of our Restoration did?

Disregarding what the Bible says, or contradicting it, is really going to be a matter of revelation, not secular learning. Joseph Smith's translation of the Bible was based upon the foundation of revelation, and not that he could read the original texts and do better. So, just as I have pointed out with the "A Bible" scripture, the Lord meant to say that we should not reject additional new scripture. He has never said that we should reject scripture. And, given the fact that lds.org has statements directly contrary to the Deverism that passes for intelligence around here, I'd say I'm right. Any theory that would equally support Moloch in the pantheon of legitimate gods is rather devilish.

So, when it comes to a revealed religion like the Latter-day Saint faith which relies upon scripture, revelation and its Authorities, an appeal to "authority" is the exact method required. After all, I Thess 5 says that the "gospel bcame not unto you in cword only, but also indpower, and in the eHoly Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what fmanner of men we were among you for your sake." The gospel is taught by those four things - the scriptures, the priesthood power, the Spirit and preaching. It isn't learned at the feet of secular scholars, particularly the scholar in the Opening Post in this thread who has had his particular difficulties with the Spirit and the Brethren. I make no judgment of him other than to say that I trust few people.

Edited by Bob Crockett
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As the text itself explicitly states that there are parallels between Solomon's temple and Nephi's temple, it is entirely reasonable to look for them, even if we take what seems to be your assumption, that Joseph made it up.

All it says is that its "construction" was like the temple of Solomon. (2 Ne. 5:16) But it also says that it didn't have as many of the "precious" things in it. There is nothing there to infer that the Nephite temple, like Solomon's temple, contained objects of adoration comparable to the idols to YHWH, Asherah, the Nehushtan, etc. For one thing, the Nephites were Christians (pretty much Methodists, in fact), and not particularly Jewish. They worshipped the Trinity, not YHWH. As inconceivable as it is, under the internal logic of the book, that the Nephites would have a Hebrew pantheon in their temple, it is even more inconceivable that given the lack of precious materials to make such a pantheon, that they would think they needed to go out and find replacement idols and relics to adore in their temple. All the text says is that the Nephite temple had the same basic construction as Solomon's temple. Anything else is fan fiction.

Edited by Cobalt-70
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All it says is that its "construction" was like the temple of Solomon. (2 Ne. 5:16) But it also says that it didn't have as many of the "precious" things in it. There is nothing there to infer that the Nephite temple, like Solomon's temple, contained objects of adoration comparable to the idols to YHWH, Asherah, the Nehushtan, etc. For one thing, the Nephites were Christians (pretty much Methodists, in fact), and not particularly Jewish. They worshipped the Trinity, not YHWH. As inconceivable as it is, under the internal logic of the book, that the Nephites would have a Hebrew pantheon in their temple, it is even more inconceivable that given the lack of precious materials to make such a pantheon, that they would think they needed to go out and find replacement idols and relics to adore in their temple. All the text says is that the Nephite temple had the same basic construction as Solomon's temple. Anything else is fan fiction.

So, you want us to believe that these fictional Methodist-wanna-be's, under the internal logic of the book, built an empty building meant for nothing more than to look pretty? Let me know when you want be taken seriously here.

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So, you want us to believe that these fictional Methodist-wanna-be's, under the internal logic of the book, built an empty building meant for nothing more than to look pretty? Let me know when you want be taken seriously here.

No, I'm sure that Joseph Smith intended the Nephite temples to be for sacrifices (Mosiah 2:3), although it's not clear who could have performed those sacrifices. The priesthood described in the Book of Mormon has little resemblance to anything Hebrew, especially that could be dated pre-600 BC. The Nephite priesthood followed a Christian model, rather than a Hebrew model. Nephite priesthood was not even hereditary--nor could it have been, given there were no Zadokites or Levites. It was a priesthood of the "called" like any modern Protestant denomination and like the earliest Mormonism.

Although there is one mention of sacrifices performed there, the Nephite temples seem to have been primarily places for teaching and important announcements (Jacob 1:17, 2:2, 2:11; Mos. 1:18; Mos. 7:17; Alma 16:13; Alma 26:29).

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No, I'm sure that Joseph Smith intended the Nephite temples to be for sacrifices (Mosiah 2:3), although it's not clear who could have performed those sacrifices. The priesthood described in the Book of Mormon has little resemblance to anything Hebrew, especially that could be dated pre-600 BC. The Nephite priesthood followed a Christian model, rather than a Hebrew model. Nephite priesthood was not even hereditary--nor could it have been, given there were no Zadokites or Levites. It was a priesthood of the "called" like any modern Protestant denomination and like the earliest Mormonism.

Although there is one mention of sacrifices performed there, the Nephite temples seem to have been primarily places for teaching and important announcements (Jacob 1:17, 2:2, 2:11; Mos. 1:18; Mos. 7:17; Alma 16:13; Alma 26:29).

Not that I know that much, but, from what I have heard several non-Mormon scholars say, there were two different priesthoods back in ancient Israel, one of which was a Melchizedek priesthood which non-Levites could hold. Maybe I'm wrong, but.....

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No, I'm sure that Joseph Smith intended the Nephite temples to be for sacrifices (Mosiah 2:3), although it's not clear who could have performed those sacrifices. The priesthood described in the Book of Mormon has little resemblance to anything Hebrew, especially that could be dated pre-600 BC. The Nephite priesthood followed a Christian model, rather than a Hebrew model. Nephite priesthood was not even hereditary--nor could it have been, given there were no Zadokites or Levites. It was a priesthood of the "called" like any modern Protestant denomination and like the earliest Mormonism.

Although there is one mention of sacrifices performed there, the Nephite temples seem to have been primarily places for teaching and important announcements (Jacob 1:17, 2:2, 2:11; Mos. 1:18; Mos. 7:17; Alma 16:13; Alma 26:29).

Don't be so certain.

Mosiah 13:27

And now ye have said that salvation cometh by the law of Moses. I say unto you that it is expedient that ye should keep the law of Moses as yet; but I say unto you,
that the time shall come when it shall no more be expedient to keep the law of
Moses.

3 Nephi 9:19

19
And ye shall offer up unto me
a
more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings.

But this in no ways supports any Asherah nonsense promulgated by FAIRLDS and DCP (I refer to his desnews article nonsense) and their disciples, et al. Notice how they fall in line tripping over themselves to discover Asherah as some righteous worshipfulness in the scriptures (similar to their attempts to find Others to support their Meso-Am. LGT.) So we have this mentioned at some FAIRLDS Conference, a counterfeit non-mainstream sideshow, and it's taken as LDS Doctrine.

This FAIRLDS silliness reminds me of "At the Circus" by the Marx Brothers - as they sing praises to their Asherah!

"Asherah, Asherah, the Wonderful Asherah, Asherah the Tattooed Lady!"

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Don't be so certain.

Mosiah 13:27

And now ye have said that salvation cometh by the law of Moses. I say unto you that it is expedient that ye should keep the law of Moses as yet; but I say unto you,
that the time shall come when it shall no more be expedient to keep the law of
Moses.

3 Nephi 9:19

19
And ye shall offer up unto me
a
more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings.

All that says is that the Nephites practiced sacrifices. Though they supposedly obeyed the law of Moses, that actually would have been quite impossible, without Levites or Zadokites. That's one of the unfortunate plot holes of the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith should have included a story in which Nephi went back to Jerusalem to kidnap the high priest.

But this in no ways supports any Asherah nonsense promulgated by FAIRLDS and DCP (I refer to his desnews article nonsense) and their disciples, et al. Notice how they fall in line tripping over themselves to discover Asherah as some righteous worshipfulness in the scriptures (similar to their attempts to find Others to support their Meso-Am. LGT.) So we have this mentioned at some FAIRLDS Conference, a counterfeit non-mainstream sideshow, and it's taken as LDS Doctrine.

I have nothing against reinventing Asherah as the Heavenly Mother, as long as we are honest that's what we are doing, rather than retconning the Mormon Heavenly Mother into ancient Hebrew religion, the way that Darth Vader was awkwardly rewritten to be Anakin Skywalker.

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No, I'm sure that Joseph Smith intended the Nephite temples to be for sacrifices (Mosiah 2:3), although it's not clear who could have performed those sacrifices. The priesthood described in the Book of Mormon has little resemblance to anything Hebrew, especially that could be dated pre-600 BC. The Nephite priesthood followed a Christian model, rather than a Hebrew model. Nephite priesthood was not even hereditary--nor could it have been, given there were no Zadokites or Levites. It was a priesthood of the "called" like any modern Protestant denomination and like the earliest Mormonism.

Although there is one mention of sacrifices performed there, the Nephite temples seem to have been primarily places for teaching and important announcements (Jacob 1:17, 2:2, 2:11; Mos. 1:18; Mos. 7:17; Alma 16:13; Alma 26:29).

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=Ls4Pt5S25xk&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DLs4Pt5S25xk

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I have to question the methodology (as exhibited by Don Bradley as well) of assuming (as a matter of faith) that there had to have been parallels between Solomon's temple and the Nephite temples, and then going about trying to figure out what those parallels could have been.

Then you will be very happy to know that I did absolutely no such thing.

At the time I began seeing the parallels between the Ark of the Covenant relics and the Nephite sacred relics my faith, such as it was, was that there were no Nephites, that there was no God, and that there was no supernatural. That the Nephite relics parallel those of the Ark was not an assumption, but a perception. My view that the temples were parallel in function grew out of the parallels I saw between these relics.

Please don't confuse methodology with rhetorical framing in a conference presentation.

Cheers,

Don

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I would like to participate in discussion of the OP question, which I think is an excellent one.

However, I note that the thread is dominated with objections to the premises on which the question is based, rather than on actual attempts to answer the OP question. Does this not constitute thread-jacking? And if not, what would?

The OP question explicitly accepts the parallels between the Jewish temple relics and the Nephite sacred relics, also explicitly accepts the place of the Asherah and the brass serpent in the early Israelite temple, and implicitly accepts the use of exegesis to read out meanings not evident in the text.

Yet most of the thread has been taken up with the rejection of these things. If posters would like to argue against these premises, saying, for instance, that the Nephite breastplate attached interpreters are in no way parallel to the Jewish breastplate and attached Urim and Thummim, or that the ancient Israelite belief in a Mother goddess could not possibly have any connection to our modern Israelite belief in a Mother goddess, or that scholarly exegesis is bad and only eisegesis by those the poster considers authoritative is valid, could they please be asked to open their own threads to do so?

I would find it pointless to even attempt to discuss the OP question in the midst of all the "discussion" here that simply aims to tell the thread opener how dumb his question is.

Don

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The only reason Mormon intellectuals fall victim to this stuff is that they want to find something that might have evidence for a Mother in Heaven. I hate to break it to you, but you are not likely to find truth by looking into hell.

I'll engage this one mistaken quote before hoping that the conversation moves on.

First, Asherah has not been found in hell, but beneath the surface in the Bible.

Second, we believe the Bible to have been corruptly redacted, so beneath the surface truth is precisely what we should expect.

Third...

Brother Taylor said, the other day, that it was right to gather truth from every source. If the Devil has got truth, then it is right to secure it. [President Brigham Young: “What truth he has he has stolen.”]

- Elder Orson Hyde, the Tabernacle, March 25, 1860

And...

"One the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism is to receive truth let it come from where it may."

- Joseph Smith, July 23, 1844

If, as you hold, we should seek our understanding of scripture and doctrine from General Authorities, then here we have a clear statement from the founder of this dispensation that it is our doctrine, one of our very defining principles, to receive truth from any and all sources. The sort of tunnel vision in our search for truth that you propound is, on Joseph Smith's standard, anti-Mormon.

Cheers,

Don

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Then you will be very happy to know that I did absolutely no such thing.

At the time I began seeing the parallels between the Ark of the Covenant relics and the Nephite sacred relics my faith, such as it was, was that there were no Nephites, that there was no God, and that there was no supernatural. That the Nephite relics parallel those of the Ark was not an assumption, but a perception. My view that the temples were parallel in function grew out of the parallels I saw between these relics.

Please don't confuse methodology with rhetorical framing in a conference presentation.

My apologies. Maybe your presentation as it relates to the temple connection would have been more convincing if the way you presented it reflected your actual methodology. (By the way, let me just say on the record that I have no quarrel with most of your presentation.)

Still, I respectfully don't think your argument as it relates to the Nephite temple is at all convincing. I do think that there might be at least weak parallels between the brass plates and ten commandments, and between Laban and Goliath, and obviously between the Interpreters/breasplate and Urim and Thummim/breasplate (this last one was is a strong parallel of which Smith was undoubtedly conscious). But to the extent these parallels can be made, they have nothing necessarily to do with the temple of Nephi.

I also do think that there might be a weak parallel between Moroni's stone box and the ark of the covenant. But Moroni's box has nothing necessarily to do with the temple. It was just a magic box into which Moroni's plates and other artifacts were sealed, which, like the ark, could magically shock you if you weren't worthy to touch it.

But where is the connection between Moroni's box, or the artifacts, and the temple of Nephi? There is none, other than free speculation. In fact, there is textual evidence ot the contrary. The Book of Mormon says that the sword of Laban was actually used in war, well after Nephi built his temple. The brass plates were actually supposedly read so that the language could be preserved, and were handed down from father to son--apparently not cloistered up as the object of adoration in a temple sanctuary accessible only by a high priest. I think the parallel between the liahona and Aaron's rod and the pot of manna is a strained one. If anything, the Liahona was like the could the Israelites followed in the wilderness, not like the manna, and not like the magic rod of Aaron. The Liahona was a relic denoting God's pointing the right way (Alma 37), not denoting God's providence. And regardless of the nature of the parallel, there is as far as I know nothing connecting the Liahoha to the temple of Nephi or any other Nephite temples.

Edited by Cobalt-70
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But where is the connection between Moroni's box, or the artifacts, and the temple of Nephi? There is none, other than free speculation. In fact, there is textual evidence ot the contrary. The Book of Mormon says that the sword of Laban was actually used in war, well after Nephi built his temple.

So was the sword of Goliath.

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