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enummaelish

The Smith Family vs. the Lehi Family

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To someone like me who believes the Bible to be only very loosely based on actual events, all these parallels do is confirm that conclusion.

I actually agree with King

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King seems like an intelligent--albeit secular--sort of guy. :P

Long live the King!!

But seriously, thanks David for the enjoyable comments and discussion (as always).

--KY

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**!!Way Off Topic Warning!!**

King, reading your signature reminded me of priesthood meeting this past Sunday. I was visiting another ward in the Stake, and at the beginning of priesthood meeting the Ward Mission Leader stood up to announce who would be responsible for cleaning the building this week. He rattled off 3 family names, all of which started with "K". After reading them out loud, this brother, who is black, paused and said "Hmmm.... K...K...K. KKK. I don't think I would want them to come and clean at MY house. They'd scare the stew out of my kids and steal all our sheets". It took about 10 minutes for all of us to recover. My sides hurt the rest of the day.

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Enummaelish,

I wonder, how accurate is it to suggest that Hyrum and Samuel rejected their father

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Hi David,

Thanks for your reply.

This is a very good point. If all we knew about Moses were a story told by Brigham Young, everyone would assume that Brigham simply made it up.

Success! (If not at persuasion, at least at communication.)

Best regards,

Brent

http://mormonscripturestudies.com

(

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Hi Wade,

After the third reading of your posts, my friend, I have to cry "Uncle!"

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Hi David and Cal,

David, you wrote in reply to John:

You present an interesting question, which again reflects a connection between the Book of Mormon and the Hebrew Bible. Concerning Lehi

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Hi Cal,

Chiming in with Brant, you wrote:

This is why I would think caution should be taken with some of the more common parallels that Brent lists. It inflates the numbers of parallels, but doesn't really increase the value of the aggregate IMO.

I disagree. (Surprise!) :P

The reason I consider significant what you call "common" is because the other parallels that Mormon, Jr., and Joseph, Jr., share are so extraordinarily unique.

Moreover, not all of your "common parallels" are, well, common

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Hi David,

I appreciate your ongoing contribution to this thread. Let me offer a few thoughts.

I think the point has been clearly illustrated in this thread that Dan

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Hi Brent:

Though I find your comparisons quite fascinating, I am not convinced that the parallels you and Dan suggest provide strong enough evidence to support your theory that the connections reveal that the initial family in the Book of Mormon derive from Joseph

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Hello Dan.

Sincere thanks for providing us with further clarification on your views. I look forward to reading the book.

Hyrum had not forsaken his father or laughed him to scorn when he was

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Enummaelish,

Even if Marvin Hill is correct about the original document, it is quite common for Church Patriarchs, even today, to rework or clarify blessing statements when putting their inspired comments into writing. However, I have no problem accepting Joseph Smith Sr.

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The blessing on JS Jr. is most interesting in this regard, comparing him to Shem who covered his father

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I find it interesting Dan that you are so quick to dismiss the Smith family statements in lieu of their enemies.  The only evidence that confirms these affidavits from Palmyra/Manchester is the Patriarchal Blessing which you yourself acknowledge has strong biblical allusions to Noah.

Even if the "only evidence" confirming the neighbors' statements regarding Joseph Sr.'s excessive drinking is Joseph Sr.'s own admission, in 1834, to having been "out of the way through wine" in times past, that should carry some weight don't you think?

Marvin Hill and Richard Bushman seem to think so anyway (see Marvin S. Hill, Quest for Refuge: The Mormon Flight from American Pluralism [salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1989], 1, 190n5, and Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism [urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1984], 208).

William Smith's insistence that his father never abused alcohol and that the family did not "spend their time or any portion of their time in idle habbits" (i.e., money digging) seems suspicious given "the unanimity of contemporary, firsthand opinion on these two points

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Dan cannot have it both ways.

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Hello Nevo:

In his FARMS review of Rodger Anderson's book, Richard Lloyd Anderson maintains that the Smiths' drinking and money digging were within societal norms: "Whatever the Smiths did was not out of the ordinary. . . . Whatever the father's problem, it was apparently in control as younger William grew up" (FARMS Review of Books 3 [1991]: 73).

And how is this different from my perspective? I clearly admit that Joseph Smith Sr., like Noah and Jesus drank fermented grape juice. If you read closely, you will see that my problem is with Dan

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I clearly admit that Joseph Smith Sr., like Noah and Jesus drank fermented grape juice.

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So your argument is basically that Joseph Smith Sr. drank wine, sometimes to excess, but he was not a "drunk."

And the reports of Joseph's excessive drinking from half a dozen or so neighbors, collected by both sympathetic and unsympathetic sources, should be dismissed since William Smith asserted that he never saw his father intoxicated.

What I think is that in our efforts to understand the dynamics of the Joseph Smith family and their relationship to the initial people described in the Book of Mormon, that we should give some credence to William Smith

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I believe that William remains therefore more qualified to determine if Joseph Smith Sr.

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In this state, Joseph, Sr., appears to have habitually and chronically abused alcohol, which must have had a shattering effect on the family.
How does one logically get from a possibility to an absolute in just one sentence?

He is more cautious in his conclusions elsewhere, stating it as a possible suggestion rather than an absolute cause though it is given as a string of possibility--"suggests" to "may well have" to "probably" and another "probably" and then "appears."

While I approve the caution, I am unsure what this accomplishes besides providing one explanation of many.

There is also the unsupported assumption of conflict with Lucy and family in the conclusion, but this may have been dealt with elsewhere.

Nevo, since this is given by Grosbeck as a possiblity with many assumptions about what was going on in JSSr's inner life, I am assuming you are not presenting it as being on the same level as William's statement which was a rather definite first hand account of family outer behaviour.

add-on:

I find it interesting that when it comes to Lucy's dream, he offers 4 possible interpretations. This is consistent with analytical practice in that inner experience is seen as multi-dimensional, but even more so meaning itself is very hard to determine with limited info.

I think he uses the quoted material well. I think his filling in the gaps with pretty much only one option and then proceeding as if this has been verified is not as an effective method.

It would have been better to approach the gaps as something like "if 'that' were the situation, we would expect 'this', since we see 'this' our assumption is likely correct" rather than using his string of possibilities without any significant evidence of why that interpretation would be preferred to over another (for example his crying example--he offers the reason that it might be just joy, but says it could also be relief...but no evidence such as Joseph's own words as to why this is likely).

He refers to Erikson's concerns about the problem of psychology being applied to historical situations without the evidence of standard psych techniques to confirm the therapist's hypotheses. I think he at least partly fell into that pit. It may be one that is unavoidable due to the lack of material, but this should be better reflected in the commentary, IMO.

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There is also the unsupported assumption of conflict with Lucy and family in the conclusion, but this may have been dealt with elsewhere.

It is. See the link I gave (just scroll down until you find the article).

Nevo, since this is given by Grosbeck as a possiblity with many assumptions about what was going on in JSSr's inner life, I am assuming you are not presenting it as being on the same level as William's statement which was a rather definite first hand account of family outer behaviour.

Yes, William's is a "first hand account" but it shows a marked tendency to minimize or deny embarassing information about the family; hence, it minimizes Joseph Sr.'s drinking and denies his involvement in money digging.

This was the trend in the official histories as well, with Oliver Cowdery crossing out the words "though he has been out of the way through wine" when he copied Hyrum's patriarchal blessing into the Blessing Book in 1835. (He also omitted details of Joseph Jr's early career as a village treasure seer in his 1834-35 history).

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