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DonBradley

The Latest Anti-Mormon Deception: "Futuremissionary.Com"

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Dear Mr. Wiki Wonka,

Regarding your response to the CES Letter

I found a technical URL error under your page for the Book of Abraham.

http://en.fairmormon.....<br /><br />The following image says .org when it should be .com

The correct URL for my blog is MormonInfographics.com (not .org)

Thank you.

1000px-Mormoninfographic.min.the.ithyphallic.god.jpg

Thanks. That was actually the second time I made that error....I caught it in the image above the one you noted and corrected it, but missed it in this one. The graphic should now have the proper URL.

900px-Mormoninfographic.min.the.ithyphallic.god.jpg

Edited by Wiki Wonka

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So you no longer believe the church was being dishonest by not returning the money?

You could say that.

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Thanks. That was actually the second time I made that error....I caught it in the image above the one you noted and corrected it, but missed it in this one. The graphic should now have the proper URL.

Thanks.

I wanted to ask you about your Kinderhook Plates rebuttal. You deny that the translation was done by Joseph implying that William Clayton was lying about it or something. I find this line of reasoning quite interesting for two reasons and I'd like you to explain it further if you could.

1) The church consistently references to History of the Church in Conference talks, lesson manuals, and the like. Without bringing up doubts about the authenticity of the words therein. Why this particular entry? Why aren't the Volumes of the History of the Church repudiated in whole as an anti-mormon conspiracy conjured up by the likes of Mr. Clayton?

2) Your rebuttal infers that Joseph attempted to translated a single character by comparing it to the GAEL. And you have attempted to solidify this claim by using the "A Gentile" quote:

"He compared it, in my presence, with his Egyptian Alphabet"

However, you failed to complete that quote which is very specific about which alphabet. The quote ends with "WHICH HE TOOK FROM THE PLATES FROM WHICH THE BOOK OF MORMON WAS TRANSLATED, AND THEY ARE EVIDENTLY THE SAME CHARACTERS"

So I'm confused why you would show screenshots of the GAEL instead of screenshots from the Anthon "Caractors" manuscript. Please explain. Thank you.

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You deny that the translation was done by Joseph implying that William Clayton was lying about it or something.

Not lying about it, but relaying inaccurate information that he thought was true.
as an anti-mormon conspiracy conjured up by the likes of Mr. Clayton
You are misunderstanding the position taken on FAIR about Clayton. Clayton could only record what information he was given and if he was given good info or saw it firsthand, then his words should be trusted and depended upon; but if there is little evidence elsewhere to support his POV and it appears he is not claiming firsthand knowledge, then one should consider the possibility that he received and passed on inaccurate information as we all do from time to time without intent to deceive or harm.

The History of the Church was not done by professional historians of our day and age, thus there were some practices that lead scholars and others to be cautious about taking every comment as given in the volumes. For example, IIRC they wrote some material as if it was Joseph writing it firsthand when it was taken from others' records, not his. This was common practice for that day so there was nothing wrong in doing so, it just makes it more difficult to trace the provenance of comments and claims in the text.

Edited by calmoriah

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Where is the list of which pages in the History of the Church are deemed reference-able and those that are not?

For example "Teachings of the Presidents of the Church; Joseph Smith" 2007

I submit to you for example Chapter #2

https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-joseph-smith/chapter-2

8/17 Footnotes refer me to "History of the Church"

It's rather self serving of you all to freely quote from these volumes when it serves your purpose and fits within your pre-determined answers. But if anything is quoted that casts doubt on your founding prophet JS then suddenly this History isn't valid anymore.

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Where is the list of which pages in the History of the Church are deemed reference-able and those that are not?

For example "Teachings of the Presidents of the Church; Joseph Smith" 2007

I submit to you for example Chapter #2

https://www.lds.org/...smith/chapter-2

8/17 Footnotes refer me to "History of the Church"

It's rather self serving of you all to freely quote from these volumes when it serves your purpose and fits within your pre-determined answers. But if anything is quoted that casts doubt on your founding prophet JS then suddenly this History isn't valid anymore.

Well, my rule of thumb is to treat it like any other history text, look for confirming evidence in other historical sources to back it up, also look at the original sources they drew the material from to see if it is an accurate transmission of information.

It isn't scripture after all and is not based on revelations.

Edited by calmoriah

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Any word on #2?

2) Your rebuttal infers that Joseph attempted to translated a single character by comparing it to the GAEL. And you have attempted to solidify this claim by using the "A Gentile" quote:

"He compared it, in my presence, with his Egyptian Alphabet"

However, you failed to complete that quote which is very specific about which alphabet. The quote ends with "WHICH HE TOOK FROM THE PLATES FROM WHICH THE BOOK OF MORMON WAS TRANSLATED, AND THEY ARE EVIDENTLY THE SAME CHARACTERS"

So I'm confused why you would show screenshots of the GAEL instead of screenshots from the Anthon "Caractors" manuscript. Please explain. Thank you.

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Not my area of expertise, you will have to wait.

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Where is the list of which pages in the History of the Church are deemed reference-able and those that are not?

For example "Teachings of the Presidents of the Church; Joseph Smith" 2007

I submit to you for example Chapter #2

https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-joseph-smith/chapter-2

8/17 Footnotes refer me to "History of the Church"

It's rather self serving of you all to freely quote from these volumes when it serves your purpose and fits within your pre-determined answers. But if anything is quoted that casts doubt on your founding prophet JS then suddenly this History isn't valid anymore.

This is just the way that historical research is done. You HAVE to take into consideration the sources and you must acknowledge that certain sources are more trustworthy than others when going through evidence while trying to reach an accurate conclusion.

No historian worth his or her salt would try to uses references any other way.

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Where is the list of which pages in the History of the Church are deemed reference-able and those that are not?

For example "Teachings of the Presidents of the Church; Joseph Smith" 2007

I submit to you for example Chapter #2

https://www.lds.org/...smith/chapter-2

8/17 Footnotes refer me to "History of the Church"

It's rather self serving of you all to freely quote from these volumes when it serves your purpose and fits within your pre-determined answers. But if anything is quoted that casts doubt on your founding prophet JS then suddenly this History isn't valid anymore.

And then read "Rough Stone Rolling" and see how often Bushman cites "Mormonism Unvailed"...

Edited by cinepro

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Where is the list of which pages in the History of the Church are deemed reference-able and those that are not?

For example "Teachings of the Presidents of the Church; Joseph Smith" 2007

I submit to you for example Chapter #2

https://www.lds.org/...smith/chapter-2

8/17 Footnotes refer me to "History of the Church"

It's rather self serving of you all to freely quote from these volumes when it serves your purpose and fits within your pre-determined answers. But if anything is quoted that casts doubt on your founding prophet JS then suddenly this History isn't valid anymore.

They just recently removed a bunch of references to the "History of the Church" from the D&C headers because of inaccuracies. See http://www.lds.org/scriptures/adjustments?lang=eng under the "Why have the references to the History of the Church been deleted?" section for more details.

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Thanks.

I wanted to ask you about your Kinderhook Plates rebuttal. You deny that the translation was done by Joseph implying that William Clayton was lying about it or something. I find this line of reasoning quite interesting for two reasons and I'd like you to explain it further if you could.

1) The church consistently references to History of the Church in Conference talks, lesson manuals, and the like. Without bringing up doubts about the authenticity of the words therein. Why this particular entry? Why aren't the Volumes of the History of the Church repudiated in whole as an anti-mormon conspiracy conjured up by the likes of Mr. Clayton?

2) Your rebuttal infers that Joseph attempted to translated a single character by comparing it to the GAEL. And you have attempted to solidify this claim by using the "A Gentile" quote:

"He compared it, in my presence, with his Egyptian Alphabet"

However, you failed to complete that quote which is very specific about which alphabet. The quote ends with "WHICH HE TOOK FROM THE PLATES FROM WHICH THE BOOK OF MORMON WAS TRANSLATED, AND THEY ARE EVIDENTLY THE SAME CHARACTERS"

So I'm confused why you would show screenshots of the GAEL instead of screenshots from the Anthon "Caractors" manuscript. Please explain. Thank you.

Clayton wasn't lying. (And I can see that I failed to make that clear, which I have now corrected). He accurately reported that "Prest. J. translated a portion." Clayton's journal is the primary source of the statement.

When History of the Church was written, the entry from Clayton's journal was rewritten in the first person, as if Joseph had said this: "I have translated a portion." History of the Church is a secondary source.

Joseph did indeed "translate a portion" by comparing a character on the Kinderhook plates with a character from the Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language (usually referred to as the GAEL). The GAEL document was related to the Book of Abraham and the Joseph Smith papryi, not the Book of Mormon. The person quoted (who was not actually a member of the Church - he referred to himself as "A Gentile") appears to have assumed that the "Egyptian Alphabet" was associated with the Book of Mormon plates (most likely because of the Book of Mormon reference to "reformed Egyptian" characters). The "Egyptian Alphabet" documents were produced during the period of time that the Book of Abraham was produced. He was not referring to the "Caractors" document containing the characters copied from the plates.

I've modified the graphic to indicate that you cited "History of the Church" and more clearly indicated its status as a secondary source relative to Clayton's journal as the primary source. I've also added the clarification: "The quote by William Clayton is indeed accurate: Joseph Smith did attempt to translate a portion of the Kinderhook Plates. This is explained in the following section," as well as added similar text to the graphic.

Mormoninfographic.kinderhook.clayton.jpg

Edited by Wiki Wonka

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Clayton wasn't lying. (And I can see that I failed to make that clear, which I have now corrected). He accurately reported that "Prest. J. translated a portion." Clayton's journal is the primary source of the statement.

When History of the Church was written, the entry from Clayton's journal was rewritten in the first person, as if Joseph had said this: "I have translated a portion." History of the Church is a secondary source.

Joseph did indeed "translate a portion" by comparing a character on the Kinderhook plates with a character from the Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language (usually referred to as the GAEL). The GAEL document was related to the Book of Abraham and the Joseph Smith papryi, not the Book of Mormon. The person quoted (who was not actually a member of the Church - he referred to himself as "A Gentile") appears to have assumed that the "Egyptian Alphabet" was associated with the Book of Mormon plates (most likely because of the Book of Mormon reference to "reformed Egyptian" characters). The "Egyptian Alphabet" documents were produced during the period of time that the Book of Abraham was produced. He was not referring to the "Caractors" document containing the characters copied from the plates.

I've modified the graphic to indicate that you cited "History of the Church" and more clearly indicated its status as a secondary source relative to Clayton's journal as the primary source. I've also added the clarification: "The quote by William Clayton is indeed accurate: Joseph Smith did attempt to translate a portion of the Kinderhook Plates. This is explained in the following section," as well as added similar text to the graphic.

Mormoninfographic.kinderhook.clayton.jpg

I'm a little confused. Are you saying that Clayton's journal do indeed accurately reflect what he had heard Joseph say?

So did Joseph actually say he had translated a portion of them and that the plates were found with a decendent of Ham? Whether they're in the third person in Clayton's journal or in the first person in HotC... does it make a difference? If that's what Joseph said, then isn't it accurate to say that Joseph said it (whatever source we use)?

Did Joseph translate some of the kinderhook plates and did he say the person they were found with meant they were yet another Egyptian artifact?

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Clayton wasn't lying. (And I can see that I failed to make that clear, which I have now corrected). He accurately reported that "Prest. J. translated a portion." Clayton's journal is the primary source of the statement.

When History of the Church was written, the entry from Clayton's journal was rewritten in the first person, as if Joseph had said this: "I have translated a portion." History of the Church is a secondary source.

Joseph did indeed "translate a portion" by comparing a character on the Kinderhook plates with a character from the Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language (usually referred to as the GAEL). The GAEL document was related to the Book of Abraham and the Joseph Smith papryi, not the Book of Mormon. The person quoted (who was not actually a member of the Church - he referred to himself as "A Gentile") appears to have assumed that the "Egyptian Alphabet" was associated with the Book of Mormon plates (most likely because of the Book of Mormon reference to "reformed Egyptian" characters). The "Egyptian Alphabet" documents were produced during the period of time that the Book of Abraham was produced. He was not referring to the "Caractors" document containing the characters copied from the plates.

I've modified the graphic to indicate that you cited "History of the Church" and more clearly indicated its status as a secondary source relative to Clayton's journal as the primary source. I've also added the clarification: "The quote by William Clayton is indeed accurate: Joseph Smith did attempt to translate a portion of the Kinderhook Plates. This is explained in the following section," as well as added similar text to the graphic.

(1) I concur with your statement. Yet I fail to see if you find any problem with my graphic or not. You've still highlighted a portion of it but I'm not sure if that's to agree or cast doubt.

(2) GAEL vs. BoM "Caractors", the only evidence you presented to support your case points to the "Caractors" *not* to your GAEL theory. Upon a cursory analysis it appears that I can find many more possible matches between the KP <-> "Caractors" than your 1 single partial match KP <-> GAEL

Do you have anymore supporting evidence to backup your theory? Because as far as I can see even the quote you gave me in contradictory to it.

One more followup question, if I were to concede that Joseph used the GAEL to translate a portion of the KP then how does that change the fact that said translation was from a hoax? I just don't get why this is a defensible position for you. What I mean is I don't understand how that promotes your faith (in JS' translation ability) rather than destroys it as it does mine. Perhaps this is where we'll have to leave it.

But for now I don't see anything here that merits a change to my KP graphic. And that's my purpose for coming here to engage with you. If I have any errors I would like to repair them.

Thanks.

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One more followup question, if I were to concede that Joseph used the GAEL to translate a portion of the KP then how does that change the fact that said translation was from a hoax? I just don't get why this is a defensible position for you. What I mean is I don't understand how that promotes your faith (in JS' translation ability) rather than destroys it as it does mine.

There is a difference between attempting a translation in the same way that most people do and doing it by the power of God through revelation, the first is how JS attempted to translate the Kinderhook plates by comparing it to what he thought were known characters and the second is how he translated the BoM and the BoA.

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(1) I concur with your statement. Yet I fail to see if you find any problem with my graphic or not. You've still highlighted a portion of it but I'm not sure if that's to agree or cast doubt.

(2) GAEL vs. BoM "Caractors", the only evidence you presented to support your case points to the "Caractors" *not* to your GAEL theory. Upon a cursory analysis it appears that I can find many more possible matches between the KP <-> "Caractors" than your 1 single partial match KP <-> GAEL

Do you have anymore supporting evidence to backup your theory? Because as far as I can see even the quote you gave me in contradictory to it.

One more followup question, if I were to concede that Joseph used the GAEL to translate a portion of the KP then how does that change the fact that said translation was from a hoax? I just don't get why this is a defensible position for you. What I mean is I don't understand how that promotes your faith (in JS' translation ability) rather than destroys it as it does mine. Perhaps this is where we'll have to leave it.

But for now I don't see anything here that merits a change to my KP graphic. And that's my purpose for coming here to engage with you. If I have any errors I would like to repair them.

Thanks.

The quote in the graphic from History of the Church is not in error - it is correct as written in the graphic, and it is referenced. I always trace quotes back to the earliest available sources and use them. I added the clarification regarding the way the quote originally read in Clayton's journal, because my audience needs to understand how the quote originated. (I hadn't even considered that someone might interpret this to mean that we were implying that Clayton lied, which is why I've clarified it). So, these things are not suggesting modifications to the graphic - they are simply responding to it.

I've added some more info from Don Bradley's presentation regarding the GAEL (and a picture of the "Egyptian Alphabet" book).

"[T]he [Kinderhook] plates are evidently brass, and are covered on both sides with hieroglyphics. They were brought up and shown to Joseph Smith. He compared, in my presence, with his Egyptian Alphabet,” Now, the guys a non-Mormon here, and so
he doesn’t actually understand what this Egyptian Alphabet is. So he says, “which he took from the plates which the Book of Mormon was translated,” but he doesn’t know it’s from the Book of Abraham papyrus
, he says, “He compared, in my presence, with his Egyptian Alphabet…and they’re evidently the same characters. He therefore will be able to decipher them.”
So this is the Alphabet and Grammar volume, and you can see the title on the spine says “Egyptian Alphabet.” Now, Robin Jenson, of the Joseph Smith papers tells me that we don’t know when this label was added, it could have been added in Utah. If it was added early on, then this “gentile” would have seen this on the spine and obviously would have called it the “Egyptian Alphabet.” Even if it is a later name that is affixed to it, it shows what the Saints actually knew this volume as, they knew it as “Egyptian Alphabet.”
So that is likely the name under which he would have heard of it.

Outside.spine.of.egyptian.alphabet.jpg

Regarding Joseph Smith's "translation ability" and my own faith, I only have faith in those "translations" which were accomplished through revelation. These "translations" (such as the Book of Mormon or Book of Abraham) were not translations in the normal sense at all. The Book of Mormon was basically a very long, multi-day revelation that filled over 500 pages.

Perhaps Joseph thought that he could actually "read Egyptian," but I don't believe for a minute that he could. I believe that Joseph and some of those around him fancied that they had developed some ability to manually translate, but I think that their attempts to do so were a waste of time. I cannot think of anything that was allegedly manually translated (without the assistance of revelation) that we can look at or that has endured. I personally believe the the entire effort to create an "Egyptian Alphabet" was a waste of time, although they obviously believed that they had something there. Joseph obviously thought so, because he actually tried to use it. The Kinderhook "translation" was an attempt to manually deduce what was on the plates. The fact that there were no further efforts to pursue a complete translation, or make any efforts to secure the plates, leads me to believe that the effort was given up rather quickly. Since the Church leaders believed for many years that the Kinderhook plates were genuine, I find it even more interesting that no efforts were made to obtain them. They seem to have been rather quickly relegated to a historical curiosity.

WW

Edited by Wiki Wonka

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I'm a little confused. Are you saying that Clayton's journal do indeed accurately reflect what he had heard Joseph say?

So did Joseph actually say he had translated a portion of them and that the plates were found with a decendent of Ham? Whether they're in the third person in Clayton's journal or in the first person in HotC... does it make a difference? If that's what Joseph said, then isn't it accurate to say that Joseph said it (whatever source we use)?

Did Joseph translate some of the kinderhook plates and did he say the person they were found with meant they were yet another Egyptian artifact?

I believe he is referring to Don Bradley's presentation that you can read here: http://www.fairlds.o...pdf.Basically, Don shows how one of the characters on the Kinderhook Plates can be found in the GAEL and that when you read the meaning of the character according to the GAEL, you get the translation that Joseph Smith gives. Start on page 8 if you just want to read about this part.

Edited by webbles

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I believe he is referring to Don Bradley's presentation that you can read here: http://www.fairlds.o...pdf.Basically, Don shows how one of the characters on the Kinderhook Plates can be found in the GAEL and that when you read the meaning of the character according to the GAEL, you get the translation that Joseph Smith gives. Start on page 8 if you just want to read about this part.

Ahah. Thanks for the link. So what the apologists are saying is that Joseph made no attempt to translate it by divine inspiration. He instead recognised a character on the fake KPs that, by coincidence, matched one in the GAEL and simply made a note of what was said in the GAEL?

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Ahah. Thanks for the link. So what the apologists are saying is that Joseph made no attempt to translate it by divine inspiration. He instead recognised a character on the fake KPs that, by coincidence, matched one in the GAEL and simply made a note of what was said in the GAEL?

That's how pretty much how I understood it.

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Thanks again everyone for all your constructive criticism. I haven't had an excessive amount of time, but I've started giving better explanations to my content, rather than just short FAQs. For example, instead of just giving a couple quick sentences about Helen Mar Kimball, which I see now was misleading, I now have an article that exclusively references Brian Hales and FAIR Blog articles: http://futuremissionary.com/helen-mar-kimball-wife-of-joseph-smith/.

Please note that I've only just started so it'll take a while to improve everything. I have to give a huge thanks to Brian for his emails back and forth with me on this topic!

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Thanks again everyone for all your constructive criticism. I haven't had an excessive amount of time, but I've started giving better explanations to my content, rather than just short FAQs. For example, instead of just giving a couple quick sentences about Helen Mar Kimball, which I see now was misleading, I now have an article that exclusively references Brian Hales and FAIR Blog articles: http://futuremission...-joseph-smith/.

Please note that I've only just started so it'll take a while to improve everything. I have to give a huge thanks to Brian for his emails back and forth with me on this topic!

You might also want to read http://en.fairmormon.org/Joseph_Smith/Polygamy/Marriages_to_young_women.

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Thanks again everyone for all your constructive criticism. I haven't had an excessive amount of time, but I've started giving better explanations to my content, rather than just short FAQs. For example, instead of just giving a couple quick sentences about Helen Mar Kimball, which I see now was misleading, I now have an article that exclusively references Brian Hales and FAIR Blog articles: http://futuremission...-joseph-smith/.

Please note that I've only just started so it'll take a while to improve everything. I have to give a huge thanks to Brian for his emails back and forth with me on this topic!

I'm really torn on what to make of all this. I've always been taught to give people the benefit of the doubt. So I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt. But the tone of the whole project just seems too 'coy.'

Articles like these make me wonder whether you're trying to promote or undermine faith:

http://futuremissionary.com/finally-an-lds-response-to-wear-pants-to-church-day/

http://futuremissionary.com/a-letter-to-a-ces-director/

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I have closely perused the 83 page letter that Jeremy Runnells sent to an unnamed CES Director, and fully believe that Jeremy sent this letter, in good faith, to the unnamed Director, someone he knew who had in some way influenced him to go on a Mormon mission, expecting a response.  The statement by J. Reuben Clark, in the opening of the letter, made a clear admission that Mormonism, if it is true, must be supported by documented fact.  The letter, and Jeremy, deserves a response.  Everything Jeremy has included in the letter is factual and may be verified on the Internet.  For the topic originator to suggest that the contents of the letter are specious and without historical and doctrinal basis, in regards to the BOM, BOA, the Kinderhook Plates, DNA, and other Mormon claims, is sophistically arrogant and flawed.  Since leaving the Mormon Church, after 43 years of intimate association with its doctrines and their applications, and after 13 years of study and research into 19th Century Mormon history and doctrine, I can say that Jeremy Runnells has done the Mormon Church a service by so concisely listing its doctrinal and historical flaws so that Mormons, contemplating a mission, can clearly see and study the facts about the Mormon Church and have a choice about serving Jesus or serving heresy.

 

Professional Mormon apologists, such as Michael T. Griffith and Jeff Lindsay, wouldn't be able to respond to the letter without admitting the truth of what Jeremy has presented.  The facts are incontrovertible, especially the facts about how Joseph Smith translated the BOM.  The Church has essentially lied to it members because it didn't want them to know that Smith translated the BOM the same way he hunted for buried treasure using folk magic, using his seer stone in his hat.  He surely didn't search for buried treasure in the name of Jesus Christ. One of the Church's former GAs, Hans Mattsson, has admitted that he was startled to discover the historical facts about LDS doctrine that had been hidden from him by the Church for decades.  The blatant contradictions between the theology presented by Joseph Smith in the BOM, in 1830, and the theolgy of the King Follett Discourse in 1844.  Jeremy's letter should be sent to every GA, every stake president, and every bishop in the Mormon Church, and I hope it is.  

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.

Edited by Nevo

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