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beastie

Zelph, the White Lamanite

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Are all parties, critic and apologist, comfortable saying WW accurately described what Joseph said?

I am comfortable with it. The only reason I didn't emphasize the other problematic details in the vision is because I wanted to use a source that LDS don't view as suspect. Despite Juliann's interpretation that Godfrey is saying that nothing about the Zelph story can be accepted as accurate, I interpret his comments to mean that he has issues with certain details, as Dan has explained. In fact, Godfrey states certain details about the story without questioning their veracity.

Those who did write about the discovery of Zelph are generally consistent with one another, but they leave a number of details in doubt. Who was Zelph? Was he a Nephite or a Lamanite? When did he die? What army was he in? The answers to these questions cannot be given with certainty from the complex historical sources that resulted from this event.

Note that in this thread I avoided the elements that Godfrey believes are problematic. Although I accept Brent and Dan's information which leads to the conclusion that these details are actually not that problematic, I am willing to stick to what Godfrey feels comfortable accepting for the sake of argument. I simply realize that there are some points that LDS believers will never even accept as a point of discussion, and the details that strongly indicate the Nephites were fighting a battle in North America is one of those points. LDS apologists simply refuse to engage in a discussion that has, as its starting point, information that seriously discredits LGT. IMO, this is due to the fact that apologists realize that LGT is the last hope for BoM historicity, and if they indicate willingness to move away from that firm stance, the entire house of cards will fall immediately. Sorenson dismantled any hope of the hemispheric model being correct long ago.

This means that Book of Mormon scholars must remain tentative in drawing implications from this notable incident, though it does not diminish the fact that Joseph was moved by the spirit of revelation to speak about Zelph and his noble past in connection with Book of Mormon peoples or their descendants.

After citing seven sources, six of whom identify Zelph as a white Lamanite, he states:

Furthermore, readers would be told that most sources agree that Zelph was a white Lamanite who fought under a leader named Onandagus (variously spelled). Beyond that, what Joseph said to his men is not entirely clear, judging by the variations in the available sources.

Accepting this narrow focus, the question remains on whether or not JS received these specific details via revelation, or the details were of his own origination. Did he know the difference? Did he not enunciate the difference to his followers? Did all of his followers who recorded the incident coincidentally omit that crucial point in their rendition of the event? Why would they do that? If JS clarified the difference between the knowledge he received via revelation versus his own personal speculations, why would they not think that was important to note?

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Despite Juliann's interpretation that Godfrey is saying that nothing about the Zelph story can be accepted as accurate, I interpret his comments to mean that he has issues with certain details, as Dan has explained. In fact, Godfrey states certain details about the story without questioning their veracity.

Godfrey arrived on the scene 150 yrs too late. We have a first hand account, given to us via WW's diary.

Do the majority of critics and apologists on this thread accept WW's account as accurately relating what Joseph said about Zelph?

If not, why not?

If so, well... I have several questions that proceed from this answer.

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Despite Juliann's interpretation that Godfrey is saying that nothing about the Zelph story can be accepted as accurate,

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I really don't know anyway to say this after correcting you at least a dozen times about any number of things.

You are lying. I never said that. You have never produced one quote for any of the out and out lies you continually put out about what someone "said" when you get caught in your tall tales.

Just out of curiosity, are FAIR's rules so different than ZLMB that posters are allowed to accuse another poster of lying? You've done it several times, and, during my period as a moderator, those instances would likely have been considered worthy of censure.

On this thread, you have said:

QUOTE 

You seem to be dismissing anything that does not come from JS himself as unreliable.

And you are dismissing what came from JS. I can't make it any more clear than I did in my last post that I don't find any of this conclusive.

QUOTE 

I don

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Terrie: Juliann... the next time you paraphrase in ironic jest you'd better let Dan know ahead of time. Obviously he's too young to catch the joke.

You might try wearing a blue bodysuit with a red cape and a big yellow S on your chest. ;-) :P

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Beastie:  Despite Juliann's interpretation that Godfrey is saying that nothing about the Zelph story can be accepted as accurate, I interpret his comments to mean that he has issues with certain details, as Dan has explained. In fact, Godfrey states certain details about the story without questioning their veracity.

Terrie: You seem to interpret everyone badly beastie. Juliann has now repeatedly clarified for you the fact that she did not make that observation about Godrey. Based on the quote YOU chose to use from Godrey... I fail to understand how you could interpret it as saying that he accepted "certain details about the story without questioning their veracity" ??? All he says in the quote is that he finds that several of the sources are consistent with one another.

Beastie: As far as I understand the English language, if one doesn't find "any of this" conclusive, one is stating that it cannot be accepted as accurate.

Then perhaps you'd better renew your study of the English language. Totally inaccurate and inconclusive are not the same thing. "Most generally supported" and "most doubtful" do not equal "accurate" or "inaccurate".

What Godfey DOES say about the purpose for his paper and his own conclusions is in the following quotes.

As a service to historians and students of geography, this paper assesses the reliability of the known materials on Zelph and contributes an answer to the question, "Which of the 'facts' reported in the accounts seem to be most generally supported and which are most doubtful?"
The debate about Zelph's relationship to Book of Mormon geography will likely continue since the facts in hand do not allow for a decisive settlement of the matter. Thus historians should continue to gather and sift the evidence but also advise caution in drawing conclusions.

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I've just finished reading "The Journals of Lewis and Clark", Anthony Brandt. On September 4, 1805, William Clark described the Flathead Indians of western Montana like this: "They are stout and light complexioned, more so than common for Indians." (pg 259)

On September 10, 1805, Sgt Ordway noted the lightness of their skin and thought they were "the "Welsh" Indians, descendants of the legendary Welsh Prince Madoc, who had supposedly sailed to America with his followers in the 12th century and disappeared into the interior." (pg 263)

Regardless of the tradition, it seems that there were light skinned Indians, even in North America. Given we're talking 1805, and almost no whites had ever set foot in the Rocky Mountains/Bitterroot Mountains before this time, the Flathead must have been light skinned from before Columbus.

Joseph Smith never said that Zelph had been to Zarahemla or any other major Nephite city. Only that he had been in some serious wars. Perhaps he was a light skinned Indian, that to Joseph would have equated to a white Lamanite.

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Well we've discovered the problem beastie. You said:

As far as I understand the English language, if one doesn't find "any of this"

conclusive, one is stating that it cannot be accepted as accurate.

You don't understand the English language. "Inconslcusive" and "Inaccurate" are two completely different words with two completely different meetings. The first simply means that a definitive conclusion cannot be drawn from current information. It says nothing about the accuracy of the information.

Claiming something is "inaccurate" means that the data itself is flawed.

Juliann has never stated the data itself is flawed. All she has stated is that what data we have is insufficient to draw an accurate conclusion (i.e. "inconclusive.).

Ergo, she has not said what you claim she said. Of course, whether or not that constitutes a "lie" is a separate issue. Lies usually require some intent on the part of the person speaking. I have no idea if you had that. As it is, I'm willing to chalk it up to a less than clear understanding of English vocabulary on your part.

C.I.

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Some years ago I viewed an LDS film titled "Where Jesus Walked". If I recall correctly, in that film President Harold B. Lee, prophet, seer and revelator, claimed to know exactly the spot where Jesus prayed in Gethsemane. You could say that President Lee got this information "by the Spirit of the Almighty".

Is he right?

What does that have to do with the BoM?

What does Joseph Smith's "Zelph incident" have to do with the BoM?

All this does is debate whether the LGT or the hemispheric model fits best.

My opinion is that Joseph could have been as right, or wrong, about Zelph as President Lee could have been right or wrong.

So I still think this thread is a waste of space, because for me it does not tackle the real issue: THE BOOK OF MORMON.

It is focusing on a supposed false revelation given to Smith. For what purpose? To "show" that Smith was really not a prophet. That's all.

My critical friends, please get to the BoM and forget this sidetracking, red-herring thread designed to discredit the BoM indirectly.

I read a few chapters from the BoM last night and this morning. And whenever I do that I just marvel at how DUMB some of these attempts are. BTW, I got an answer as to why so many of the book's detractors can't come up with any believable explanations for its production:

[24] And I said unto them that it was the word of God, and whose would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.

[25] Wherefore, I, Nephi, did exhort them to give heed unto the word of the Lord; yea, I did exhort them with all the energies of my soul, and with all the faculty which I possessed, that they would give heed to the word of God and remember to keep his commandments always in all things.  1 Ne.15

Whether we are talking about Brent's essay, Dan's theories, or beastie's thread - these are all peripheral. They do not, for me, even come close to explaining the sense, power, and truth that I see in the Book of Mormon. I can only shake my head.

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Ray,

All this does is debate whether the LGT or the hemispheric model fits best.

If you do not understand the significance of that debate, I suggest you read up on your Sorenson.

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Ray,
All this does is debate whether the LGT or the hemispheric model fits best.

If you do not understand the significance of that debate, I suggest you read up on your Sorenson.

There we go again beastie. What does Sorenson have to do with the truth, or untruth of the BoM? I have read him, many times, and even LDS scholars disagree with some of his interpretations. Sorenson is a man, an anthropologist, a scholar, and he has his own opinions, which may or may not be right. He is not infallible, but what some of you do is treat people like him as being so credible that the truth or untruth of the BoM could rest upon what he or others say.

This does not detract from my statement that this debate is about models, not the truth or untruth of the BoM. It doesn't matter a fig what Sorenson writes, in the end, or Brent, or Dan. When each of you address the real issue, which is the actual content of the BoM and not interpretations which you set up as cornerstones, then we will get somewhere. For example I have time for thought-provoking ideas such as Larson's about the writing style of the KJV, etc. But Zelph is peripheral. I am still very much open to the possibility that the BoM is not history, but I am not convinced to throw around my opinion lightly after reading threads like this. It is peripheral.

I read some of Tal Bachman's attempts to discredit Mormonism and the BoM a week or so ago and have not had time to go back. My oh my, those people on RFM are just totally deluding themselves, and clapping each other's bogus theories and cockeyed claims based on so much half-truth, and feeling comfortable thinking they have discredited Mormonism and can now get on with their lives without the hassles of having to worry about God and future judgement. When they too address the BoM, actually address it, I might take them seriously.

I'm off to work.

BTW, while I have time for Larson's writing on the BoM style, his book on Tom Ferguson is another example of indirect attempts to discredit the BoM. As Heber Kimball would say, they are not worth the skin off a fart.

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Terrie: Juliann... the next time you paraphrase in ironic jest you'd better let Dan know ahead of time. Obviously he's too young to catch the joke.

You might try wearing a blue bodysuit with a red cape and a big yellow S on your chest. ;-) <_<

Yaaaaayyyy! A fellow George Reeves fan! http://www.supermantv.net/superman/supertv.htm

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! Its the point that just flew over Dan's head !

He rejected that it was said in humor (that wouldn't serve his purpose). I didn't explain the word play to him because I goofed on the middle word. It is supposed to be "truth, justice and the American way!" I said openness instead of justice and that would have been another page worth of accusations and sneers because I didn't get it exactly right. :P

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This does not detract from my statement that this debate is about models, not the truth or untruth of the BoM. It doesn't matter a fig what Sorenson writes, in the end, or Brent, or Dan. When each of you address the real issue, which is the actual content of the BoM and not interpretations which you set up as cornerstones, then we will get somewhere.

Which is why that will never happen, unfortunately. We will instead, spend endless pages of Beastie asking the same questions over and over and over....

[rameumptom ]

I've just finished reading "The Journals of Lewis and Clark", Anthony Brandt. On September 4, 1805, William Clark described the Flathead Indians of western Montana like this: "They are stout and light complexioned, more so than common for Indians." (pg 259)

Is there really anyone here who is not aware of the accounts of "white" Indians? I really doubt that even one of them will even acknowlege Clark's account of a light skinned Indian let alone apply it to what may have been JS's understanding.

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I want to make sure I understand what Juliann and cal seem to be saying. Correct me if needed.

Revelation is somewhat vague and ambigious, and may not contain details, but rather a general notion. Due to this fact, the recipient may sometimes add details that were not necessarily part of the actual revelation, but a result of the recipient's own thoughts and ideas.

If this is correct so far, does the recipient realize that he/she has added details to the revelation that did not originate with God, but rather his/her own mind?

Sorry for not responding before on this. My keyboard is busted so I can read, but not respond. Don't be surprised if I disappear again as we haven't figured out what is wrong yet and I can't borrow this working keyboard forever. I have given the correction requested below.

The only thing that I'd been saying is not enough was known about what went on for Joseph because he didn't provide enough details. My analogy of the less than complete map with us being the ones unable to create a map from the details that Joseph and others gave us doesn't mean that Joseph himself or even others couldn't have known exactly how the map should look if they had made the personal effort to record something with that level of precision. There is also no reason to automatically assume that any, all or some of the limited information that has been given is false, we just don't have enough information to know where on the map the particular details actually belong.

The revelation itself could very well have been very detailed and precise for the recipient as I believe a good many revelations have been in the past. It may have, OTOH, been vague and ambigious or precise in some ways and vague in others or any combination in between. The core of our (not the participants', but those who are currently trying to examine the event) problem IMO is the communication of the event by participants, especially Joseph, to those not involved, not the event nor the processing of the participants themselves (as opposed to their communication of said processing).

So personally I'm not concluding anything about the revelation or the revelatory experience that took place at this time myself except that, as the quote states, a vision occurred and the rest is inconclusive (just to be clear--not inaccurate, which would be a conclusion afterall).

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Disregard my former question regarding the citation from Teachings of the Prophet. I realize it is from the same source as HoC, Times and Season. Here is a link to the entire Times and Season article.

http://www.centerplace.org/history/ts/v6n20.htm

It's a shame that apparently no one sought revelation before putting together the HoC, so they could have prevented this speculation from being entered into what appears to be an official history of the LDS Church, eh?

Juliann,

Ah, vintage Beastie. I would be willing to apologize for calling you a liar and agree with CI that you just aren't real up on vocabulary words...but here you go again. Rather than admit that you are putting up false information about other posters, you just skip on by to bear more false witness. You simply change the accusation to what you "interpret" instead of what I said.

This is laughable. Every human being interprets the words of other human beings, written or verbal.

I give up. Give me the secret decoder ring. Just what were you trying to say when you told Dan that, according to beastie's source, we could not have a good idea about the "what, when, or where"?

Of course, I have little expectation that you will actually clarify this statement, and would rather revert to "lying troll". Or tell me that it's already been made clear and I'm just repeating myself. So I'm left wondering, just what do the words "not according to beastie's source" and the words "what, when or where" mean in Juliann's world? As I stated earlier, I can't read her mind, and would refrain from such a frightening task even if I could. I have to interpret Juliann's words in the way I'm familiar with those sort of words being used.

BTW, Juliann, since you put up false information about me within days of my first post here at FAIR (accusing me of "cribbing" from another source), may I conclude that you are a troll as well? Or maybe in Juliann's world "cribbing" has a different meaning as well as "not according to beastie's source" and the words "what, when or where".

Is there really anyone here who is not aware of the accounts of "white" Indians? I really doubt that even one of them will even acknowlege Clark's account of a light skinned Indian let alone apply it to what may have been JS's understanding.

For heaven's sake. The fact of aberrant white Indians was brought up on the first or second page of this thread. If you want to join the ranks of those who say that Zelph really was a white Lamanite, and conclude that it was simply an amazing coincidence that JS happened upon one of the few white Indians, then please do so. It would be an improvement over your current approach.

Ray,

IMO, Sorenson effectively demonstrated that the BoM is false if one is constrained to accept the hemispheric model. You do not see the relevance of that to a discussion of the BoM. We can agree to disagree on what is relevant.

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Obviously, it refers to the fact that he was an albino lamanite. Because although Hebrews, and Jews specifically, are generally lighter skinned than native americans, they are hardly white, for the most post. Especially living in southern North American/Central America/Northern South America, do any of you go outside? Your skin gets darker! People living outside in these areas in that sort of culture would never be white, especially if they were already sort of dark!

Personally, I don't know the whole story, so I can't make a real comment. I do like to think that I am mildly entertaining though...

For the record, I do not like 'white' skin. To me it looks sickly and unhealthy. I especially hate how it is so easy to see the color of my veins. Personally, people look healthiest with a nice bronze skin. And not tiny noses (though the size of my own is about the limit). And dark hair. And nice, naturally oiled skin.

So I'm racist, and vain, but I'm working on it! I suppose we'll all have real white skin when we die, not the pale stuff or dark, burnt stuff we have now.

Want to hear another of my opinions? I think that making the word lamanite an ethnicity is an oversimplification. I think making the word lamanite a political party is an oversimplification. I think making the word lamanite a marker of who a person's ascendants are is an oversimplification. Considering the problem we are having here on our own forum over vocabulary and semantics I would think you would all figure this out. It could not have possibly meant the same thing to everyone.

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For heaven's sake. The fact of aberrant white Indians was brought up on the first or second page of this thread. If you want to join the ranks of those who say that Zelph really was a white Lamanite, and conclude that it was simply an amazing coincidence that JS happened upon one of the few white Indians, then please do so. It would be an improvement over your current approach.

And this is where it becomes a bit too tasteless if not racist for me. At the point you start referring to Indians as "aberrant" if they don't have the proper skin color I've had enough.

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Of course, I have little expectation that you will actually clarify this statement, and would rather revert to "lying troll".

FAIR's definition of a troll:

*posting a ridiculous claim and then insisting it's true unless people refute it to their satisfaction.

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As far as I understand the English language, if one doesn't find "any of this"

conclusive, one is stating that it cannot be accepted as accurate.

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As I suspected, Juliann does not clarify.

As mildly entertaining as Juliann's diversion may be at times, as par for her course, it has nothing to do with the substance of the topic, nor does the quite predictable support of certain believers. (look at how many times she's try to introduce racism into this thread, for example!) She seems to be quite successful in diverting the attention of posters from substance. At times I suspect that is her primary intent. Who knows. I really wish she would follow nighthawke's lead and simply not interact with me, because it irritates me when she successfully derails threads. I will certainly try to follow nh's lead in avoding posters one finds permanently problematic and simply not interact with Juliann, although it is difficult when she so loudly has participated on each of the threads I've started here so far.

Anyway, back to the topic - Zelph, revelation, LGT.

Joseph Fielding Smith was serving as church historian at the time period, had very strong sentiments about the LGT, and used the story of Zelph in his rebukes. As church historian, obviously he was set apart and given the right to receive revelation in behalf of this calling. And given the fact he was later called as prophet, apparently the Lord found him diligent enough and able to receive revelation in a satisfactory manner in order to lead the church. So what are we to conclude by his attack of LGT and defense of the Zelph story? Did he not seek inspiration and guidance from the Lord before forming his opinion? Why would the lord call someone so careless as prophet?

In fact, the earliest mentions of Zelph do not introduce the element of doubt that modern apologists do. Wouldn't earliest sources, closer to the actual event and able, like Willard Richards, to perhaps even talk to the actual witnesses, have a more informed and reliable opinion on the matter than today's apologists?

Here's what I think the Joseph Fielding Smith comments demonstrate, which correlates with the topic of this thread. I think it's safe to assume that JFS was diligent and caring enough to seek guidance from the Lord before making his comments about LGT and the BoM. This was information that was directly involved in his calling as church historian, after all. So either this means that LGT is bunk or that revelation is, indeed, very vague and ambigious, and in the end, it is very difficult to separate God's voice from one's own voice.

JFS comments regarding Zelph can be found here

http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/zelph.htm

Shades - I think the only answer you're going to get in regards to internet mormon's opinions regarding Zelph is: inconclusive. After all these pages, I still can't figure out if the believers here think that JS connected the details of his comments to his vision or revelation, or if they think that JS distinguished between revelation and his own speculatory details to the witnesses and all of them coincidentally omitted that distinction in their own records.

Here is a believer willing to grapple with Zelph.

http://rameumptom.blogspot.com/2004/07/ano...nd-book-of.html

I think his five points of possibility make for good discussion.

I'd also like to see Blink's question answered:

Do the majority of critics and apologists on this thread accept WW's account as accurately relating what Joseph said about Zelph?

If not, why not?

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Hi Beastie...

After all these pages, I still can't figure out if the believers here think that JS connected the details of his comments to his vision or revelation, or if they think that JS distinguished between revelation and his own speculatory details to the witnesses and all of them coincidentally omitted that distinction in their own records.

OK... here is my best guess. (if I am wrong I'm sure someone will correct me)!! :P

I think the apologist stance is.... JS had some sort of vision/revelation and the thoughts he expressed were a combination of his own ideas and what he may have received in the vision/revelation. He most likely didn't know what was or was not accurate but combined his opinion with some sort of divine experience.

Just my best guess.... <_<

~dancer~

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After all these pages, I still can't figure out if the believers here think that JS connected the details of his comments to his vision or revelation, or if they think that JS distinguished between revelation and his own speculatory details to the witnesses and all of them coincidentally omitted that distinction in their own records.

Okay, I've had enough of this. I have seen many thoughtful and lengthy responses to your repetitive question by more than one poster. I am seeing this same badgering in too many threads resulting in too many annoyed posters. Consider that a warning.

Thread closed.

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