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2 hours ago, Anonymous Mormon said:

There is nothing prideful in saying that an honest seeker of truth who follows the correct principles of revelation will know the Book of Mormon is true. This is no more prideful than saying that those who use correct principles to fly will do so and those who use incorrect principles might die. Some times fact isn't prideful, it's true.

I suspect that many of those who previously were faithful members of the church and are now trying to tear it down had received revelation and then stopped applying the principles of revelation correctly (these principles include seeking God's will with a willingness to do it even if it is counter to our political philosophies, putting aside pride and practicing humility, being worthy and free from sin, etc.).

 The reason I believe in revelation is I receive the still small voice guiding me daily in the things I should and should not do. Nothing major, just small things every day. This is also known as 'conscience' and is given to all via the light of Christ, but works under the principles expressed above (humility, lack of sin) and can be dampened or stomped out if not living the right principles.

Also, as a side note, I personally believe (this is my belief, not revelation - see above) that God has ordained many to not find the Book of Mormon or have a chance to learn of its truth in this life, because he sees the end from the beginning and has instituted work for the dead for this reason (see D&C 49:8). Instead, they are living righteous lives in other religions and are having regular guidance via the light of Christ and spiritual experiences. Just because The Church of Jesus Christ has the fullness of the gospel, it doesn't negate other's religious experiences. Nor does others having religious connection and guidance from God negate the Church of Jesus Christ having the fullness of the gospel.

(note: since it seems to be a pre-requisite to state if you have listened to the podcast in order to post in this thread, I will say I have not. I was sincerely interested in doing so at the start of this thread but after having Bill Reed come on here and proclaim that his conversation with Jim Bennett proved the Mormon church wrong, I lost interest. It sure seems like a bait and switch tactic that he interviewed one honest person who expressed honest opinions and now Bill is coming on this thread to say this proves wrong an entire religion. As someone recently said in these posts: "Sounds awfully prideful to me.")

Wow, its not prideful to consider millions of truth seekers dishonest or disingenuous because they didn’t have the spiritual experience you think they should have.  I know plenty of active Mormons who also haven’t had these spiritual experiences yet remain part of the tribe for other reasons.  Are they more “honest”?  It’s not about honesty at all from my perspective.  

As for the rest of your stereotypes about people that may leave the church or believe differently, they don’t sound at all accurate or charitable to me.  

And I would recommend listening to the podcasts still before casting judgment.  

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2 hours ago, Analytics said:

It depends on the interviewer. Behavioral Economics has demonstrated that the human brain is adept at systematically distorting the way we perceive the world so that what we think are honest impressions of an objective reality are really warped views driven by our cognitive biases. A good interviewer could focus on the big issues--on the main points--and ask good, probing questions the way that Socrates would so that the inconsistencies in our own thinking become apparent. Did Bill have his thumb on the scale, or did he simply remove Jim's thumb from it?

You would have to listen to the interview to create an informed decision about whether Bill manipulated the conversation by focusing on the objectively wrong things, or whether he focused on the right things and exposed the inconsistences in Jim's belief structure. Either way it is a fascinating conversation, and Jim and Bill should both be congratulated for engaging in the conversation and sharing it with the rest of us.

I notice that your quote take my comment regarding interviewer's control on a situation in isolation from the context I labored to provide, about how objectivity is an illusion. In practice, as Richard Bushman observed, it's usually a gambit made to obtain immunity from criticism. I mentioned the Sower, seed, different soil, nurture, time all contributing to different harvests, subjectivity, paradigms as providing self-referential standards, the importance of seeking truth in such a way that puts ones own desires and preconceptions at risk, etc.  For the record, Bill and I have had conversations here for years, going from happier and more idealistic times, an interview he did with me on my FAIR essay on Biblical Keys for Discerning True and False Prophets to his turn to likening the Church to an abusive parent.  And I reviewed the CES letter at length for Interpreter, among other things.   I personally don't think podcasts are the best way to learn.  Books are better.  I can read much faster than people talk, and it's much easier to source check.  I did listen to a half dozen Dehlin interviews way back when, and found I generally got too wound up.  One of my Reviews came about as me checking up Dehlin's interview with William D. Russell ("Hindsight on a Book of Mormon Historicity Critique" here https://publications.mi.byu.edu/fullscreen/?pub=1467&index=7 ).

Yes.  Bill has his thumb on the scale.  Ideology is not just something that happens to other people.  I have my thumb on the scale when I post or publish.  It's best to admit one's ideology up front (mine, for instance, is on display here: https://publications.mi.byu.edu/fullscreen/?pub=1436&index=8, and to take steps to test it using criteria that are not ideologically dependent.  That means you have to step back and not only remove one's thumb, but also consider the scale being used.  And do comparisons against the best thinking available, and not against Straw men, selected for the fragile utility.  

Some years back, I happened to read Rene Girard's I Beheld Satan Fall Like Lightning and ran across this passage:

Quote

The most powerful anti-Christian movement is the one that takes over and ‘radicalizes’ the concern for victims in order to paganize it…they reproach Christianity for not defending victims with enough ardor. In Christian history, they see nothing but acts of oppression, inquisitions…

Neo-paganism would like to turn the Ten Commandments and all of Judeo-Christian morality into some alleged intolerable violence, and indeed, its primary objective is their complete abolition. Faithful observance of the moral law is perceived as complicity with forces of persecution that are essentially religions…Neo-paganism locates happiness in the unlimited satisfaction of desires, which means the suppression of all prohibitions. (Rene Girard, I See Satan Fall Like Lighting (Marynoll, New York, Orbis Books, 2001) 180-181.)

"seeing nothing but acts of oppression..."

Think about the quote from Peter Novick I offered, about how every historian has to choose from all the countless bits of information, what to select?  How to organize and value what a person selects?  What to present as most significant toward what particularly point?   If a person decides to select only acts of LDS oppression, or just, according to Bill, failure to not be the cutting edge on a few issues that provides cultural embarressment, usually conspicuously present in the general din coming from the Great and Spacious Popular Culture,  how objective, balanced, and representative and fair is it to see nothing but ideologically generated negatives?

Is happiness really located in the "unlimited satisfaction of desires, which means the suppression of all prohibitions"?

At this point in my life, nearly 65, and involved in Addiction Recovery for over fifteen years, I am very much aware of the importance of boundaries in the generation and perpetuation of happiness.

The Church is bad because we have some unpopular prohibitions?  Sure some of them lead to us living longer, having less divorce, more faithful children, more education, etc., but dwelling on our successes tends not to serve certain ideological agendas.  Sure, we can tell some tragic stories, but what is typical and what is exceptional?  What examples do you generalize from?  And are they truely representative?  Truely wise?

I've also been very enlighted in considering how the Perry Scheme for Cognitive and Ethical Growth plays out in these kinds of conversations.  

Here's a brief summary. 

https://cse.buffalo.edu/~rapaport/perry.positions.html

I've quoted a longer one several times and even made the case that Joseph Smith encourages us to progress through to Position 9.  

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5 hours ago, DBMormon said:

if you can not demonstrate why centenial parks spiritual answers are less reliable than LDS answers then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable.  


If President Nelson can arrive at the Nov 2015 policy being revelation and Jim Bennett can not get to that space then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable

If Mormon Prophets can 180 disagree with each other on race doctrines, adam-god, nov 2015 policy, age of the earth, birth control, what causes homosexuality, etc.... then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable

If some sincere people pray and are told there is a god and others get no answer at all then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable

If some people get an answer that Mormonism is true and others arrive at it is not or some other faith is then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable

"Unreliable" compared to a well stocked vending machine?  Or how about if we likened the word to a seed?

Quote

Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:

4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.

5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:

6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.

7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.

8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.

9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

...

12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

So, has Jesus demonstrated that seeds are ... unreliable?  Or that Bill's framing of the situation perhaps, does not cast all the light available?

On LDS spiritual experience against the context of comparative religious experience, I wrote this.

http://oneclimbs.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/A-Model-of-Mormon-Spiritual-Experience.pdf

I think we come off very well.

And there is this:

https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Biblical_Keys_for_Discerning_True_and_False_Prophets/Seeing_the_truth

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

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2 hours ago, DBMormon said:

you haven't challenged my logic successfully once yet.  making the point personal rather than the content of the OP is against board rules.  

Bill, did you not read anything I wrote?  I mean, I understand that proof texts and picking and choosing are your MO, but come on—this is a discussion board!  We can see what was actually written.  No wonder you like real time talk! 

Here they are, again.  So now answer them:

1.       I’ve already addressed your criticisms of Elder Cook.  I challenged your belief that what they say is “unhealthy” (whatever that means) based on what you believe is an insinuation.  I explained why it’s not an insinuation at all, and that you’re stuck either believing they are who they say they are or calling them liars.  I’m still waiting for you to take a stance.

2.       Even assuming your $5k is proper, I’m wondering where your missing $25k went from your “charitable” organization.  Given all the licks to the church, I’m sure you’d be just fine with a little transparency on your own.

3.       You have not, because you cannot, avoid the witness statements to the Book of Mormon.  This alone completely destroys any proof you think you have that the Book of Mormon is a fraud.  You have 13 witnesses (don’t forget Mary Whitmer) that said they saw very specific things.  What single piece of critical evidence matches toe-to-toe with these witness accounts?  Nothing.  That's what.  And that says nothing about many other visitations that Cowdrey and Rigdon had...with Joseph Smith--which they never denied even after leaving the church.

4.       If Joseph Smith was truly one of the world’s greatest cons, then you need to answer Jim Bennetts question—how did Joseph so completely mess up his polygamy con just to bed a bunch of women?  Joseph’s ‘bungling’ of polygamy is wholly inconsistent with the genius of his purported ‘fraud.’

5.       Based on your discussion with Jim, you assume some perverse notion that LDS believe that they are somehow uniquely qualified to receive inspiration.  That’s not at all true.  The New Testament answers that question.  Considering God loves all his children, I have a hard time believing that he would only answer LDS prayers.  Further, as long as people are praying and seek to progress, I think God will answer any such prayer in the affirmative.  If converting to Catholicism will bring someone closer to God, then I expect that God will answer that prayer.  That says nothing of the fact, however, that the seeker—if given the time in this life—will eventually be brought to the Church of Jesus Christ.  Your basic premise is completely faulty.

6.       Provide concrete support that the 2015 policy does more harm than good.  You can’t do it.  It’s all speculation.

7.        Explain how the 2015 policy does not actually respect and support alternative family structures, even if the church disagrees with them?  Being all about family, isn't this what you would want?  That the church will not step between a child and his family?

8.        Your criticism of D&C 132 regarding espousing virgins is specious.  Webster's 1828 dictionary notes that an acceptable (albeit uncommon) definition of "virgin" is a woman without children.  Why haven't you mentioned that little tidbit?

9.       You need to explain how Joseph Smith, at the ripe old age of 24, ignorantly produced the Book of Mormon and its complex history, culture, and doctrine.  You need to explain how Joseph Smith reproduced large parts of the Old Testament, namely Isaiah, without notes.  You need to explain to me how Joseph carefully avoided Trito-Isaish, while there has been a new view of Duetro-Isaiah that presents additional consideration that Isaiah just may have written much of this section himself.  And before you attack my assumptions, critical historians like Brent Metcalfe have soundly beat-down amateur notions like the Spaulding theory, etc.  Joseph Smith created this book by his lonesome, and there is no evidence that he ever had anything to help reproduce the quoted text.  Explain how he did it.

10.         You need to account for the fact that of the women engaged in polygamy, even years later, they never complained about Joseph's practice.  It is you complaining for them.  Further, you need to explain the numerous spiritual (and angelic) experiences some of these women had.  If it was all a con, how did Joseph con them into having these visitations to convince them of polygamy?

I challenge you to fully develop, with me, any single particular criticism.  The exercise will be fruitless, but I'll tell you why I want to do it--I want to show you and the world just how bad your reasoning is.  You build a sandy foundation of assumptions and straw man arguments.  And then you try to beat and mock people with it.  I am more than happy to deconstruct your assumptions.  For example, the whole Book of Abraham question is actually really easy to explain.  But I'm not going to give it to you until you answer all my prior questions.

Again, pick a topic.  But first, address my prior points.

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11 minutes ago, PacMan said:

Bill, did you not read anything I wrote?  I mean, I understand that proof texts and picking and choosing are your MO, but come on—this is a discussion board!  We can see what was actually written.  No wonder you like real time talk! 

Wow.  You’re so personally insulting that it’s difficult to even want to have any civil discussion with.  Maybe stop making this so personal.   

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28 minutes ago, PacMan said:

Bill, did you not read anything I wrote?  I mean, I understand that proof texts and picking and choosing are your MO, but come on—this is a discussion board!  We can see what was actually written.  No wonder you like real time talk! 

Here they are, again.  So now answer them:

1.       I’ve already addressed your criticisms of Elder Cook.  I challenged your belief that what they say is “unhealthy” (whatever that means) based on what you believe is an insinuation.  I explained why it’s not an insinuation at all, and that you’re stuck either believing they are who they say they are or calling them liars.  I’m still waiting for you to take a stance.

2.       Even assuming your $5k is proper, I’m wondering where your missing $25k went from your “charitable” organization.  Given all the licks to the church, I’m sure you’d be just fine with a little transparency on your own.

3.       You have not, because you cannot, avoid the witness statements to the Book of Mormon.  This alone completely destroys any proof you think you have that the Book of Mormon is a fraud.  You have 13 witnesses (don’t forget Mary Whitmer) that said they saw very specific things.  What single piece of critical evidence matches toe-to-toe with these witness accounts?  Nothing.  That's what.  And that says nothing about many other visitations that Cowdrey and Rigdon had...with Joseph Smith--which they never denied even after leaving the church.

4.       If Joseph Smith was truly one of the world’s greatest cons, then you need to answer Jim Bennetts question—how did Joseph so completely mess up his polygamy con just to bed a bunch of women?  Joseph’s ‘bungling’ of polygamy is wholly inconsistent with the genius of his purported ‘fraud.’

5.       Based on your discussion with Jim, you assume some perverse notion that LDS believe that they are somehow uniquely qualified to receive inspiration.  That’s not at all true.  The New Testament answers that question.  Considering God loves all his children, I have a hard time believing that he would only answer LDS prayers.  Further, as long as people are praying and seek to progress, I think God will answer any such prayer in the affirmative.  If converting to Catholicism will bring someone closer to God, then I expect that God will answer that prayer.  That says nothing of the fact, however, that the seeker—if given the time in this life—will eventually be brought to the Church of Jesus Christ.  Your basic premise is completely faulty.

6.       Provide concrete support that the 2015 policy does more harm than good.  You can’t do it.  It’s all speculation.

7.        Explain how the 2015 policy does not actually respect and support alternative family structures, even if the church disagrees with them?  Being all about family, isn't this what you would want?  That the church will not step between a child and his family?

8.        Your criticism of D&C 132 regarding espousing virgins is specious.  Webster's 1828 dictionary notes that an acceptable (albeit uncommon) definition of "virgin" is a woman without children.  Why haven't you mentioned that little tidbit?

9.       You need to explain how Joseph Smith, at the ripe old age of 24, ignorantly produced the Book of Mormon and its complex history, culture, and doctrine.  You need to explain how Joseph Smith reproduced large parts of the Old Testament, namely Isaiah, without notes.  You need to explain to me how Joseph carefully avoided Trito-Isaish, while there has been a new view of Duetro-Isaiah that presents additional consideration that Isaiah just may have written much of this section himself.  And before you attack my assumptions, critical historians like Brent Metcalfe have soundly beat-down amateur notions like the Spaulding theory, etc.  Joseph Smith created this book by his lonesome, and there is no evidence that he ever had anything to help reproduce the quoted text.  Explain how he did it.

10.         You need to account for the fact that of the women engaged in polygamy, even years later, they never complained about Joseph's practice.  It is you complaining for them.  Further, you need to explain the numerous spiritual (and angelic) experiences some of these women had.  If it was all a con, how did Joseph con them into having these visitations to convince them of polygamy?

I challenge you to fully develop, with me, any single particular criticism.  The exercise will be fruitless, but I'll tell you why I want to do it--I want to show you and the world just how bad your reasoning is.  You build a sandy foundation of assumptions and straw man arguments.  And then you try to beat and mock people with it.  I am more than happy to deconstruct your assumptions.  For example, the whole Book of Abraham question is actually really easy to explain.  But I'm not going to give it to you until you answer all my prior questions.

Again, pick a topic.  But first, address my prior points.

In answer to the bold: https://www.thoughtco.com/notable-authors-of-the-19th-century-1773693

Joseph had years to compose the BoM.

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13 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

In answer to the bold: https://www.thoughtco.com/notable-authors-of-the-19th-century-1773693

Joseph had years to compose the BoM.

i've often wondered if Joseph wrote it why he didn't write a second one, if financial gain was his motive why not write a second book to do better financially than the first one? if he wasn't making bank off of the Book of Mormon why keep it up until his death and not just move onto some other financial venture?

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1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

Wow, its not prideful to consider millions of truth seekers dishonest or disingenuous because they didn’t have the spiritual experience you think they should have.  I know plenty of active Mormons who also haven’t had these spiritual experiences yet remain part of the tribe for other reasons.  Are they more “honest”?  It’s not about honesty at all from my perspective.  

 

No, it's not prideful to believe that God will keep his word. God has promised, "If ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost." God will keep his word and millions of truth seekers have proved him on this. As for those who don't get an answer, I do not believe they are dishonest or disingenuous. Instead, they may not have followed the laws and principles that one must do in order to get revelation. To continue the metaphor, it's just like the early hopeful aviators who died because they didn't follow the principles of flight. Jesus explained it in the parable of the seed, that everyone has different ground and many receive it or not for different reasons.

For me personally, the truth of the Book of Mormon hasn't been manifested in angels or amazing soul-searing burning from the Holy Ghost, but in small and simple insights and promptings over time as I studied it. I have known many who have had their answer manifested in different ways, but it took effort, time, and humility.

 

2 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

As for the rest of your stereotypes about people that may leave the church or believe differently, they don’t sound at all accurate or charitable to me.  

There is nothing uncharitable in my saying this and I'll say it again:

"I suspect that many of those who previously were faithful members of the church and are now trying to tear it down had received revelation and then stopped applying the principles of revelation correctly (these principles include seeking God's will with a willingness to do it even if it is counter to our political philosophies, putting aside pride and practicing humility, being worthy and free from sin, etc.)."

First, I say many not all (there are lots of different circumstances). But if you have someone who previously claimed to receive revelation and is back-tracking, they obviously are no longer receiving it. So either they were wrong at the start or at the end. I believe that they are wrong at the end and the reason for this is because they are no longer applying the principles of revelation so they are not getting it any more. To be even more blunt the people I have known personally have almost always allowed pride to get in the way. There is nothing anti-charitable about these statements, as I still wish them the best and strive to love them (albeit imperfectly at times).

 

2 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

 And I would recommend listening to the podcasts still before casting judgment.  

I actually enjoy a good podcast that pushes me to learn another viewpoint. That is why I was initially interested in this because it was explained as a nice conversation. But at this point I have read all of Bill's comments and see it was a bait and switch with him saying that he has now proved the church isn't true because of the interview. Frankly, I found his attitude to the entire dialogue to be very off-putting and rude. As such, I am not listening as a personal boycott because I don't want to support his brand or podcast if he is going to have such a "I Won - You Lost - You Are All Wrong " attitude (just based upon his comments in this thread).

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6 hours ago, DBMormon said:

I allow both sides and all in between to comment.  I only remove posts and block people if they get too personal or use excessive bad language or they refuse to answer questions or are obvious trolls.  I am responsible for that

Yes, and you are entitled to do that. It's your Facebook page. 

 

6 hours ago, DBMormon said:

My friends say the same thing.  I like to believe that  I am a good human being toward other humans and I am relentless and pointed towards an institution and those who demonstrably deceive on its behalf

I guess I was hoping to find the Facebook page of the person I heard in the podcast. The opinionated but respectful seeker of understanding. The person who, it seemed, was able to see both sides of an issue and understand why a rational, reasonable, earnest person would hold a different view than theirs. Instead I found offensive reductionist memes and posts mocking Latter-day Saints for their beliefs. I don't know you, but it feels like you hate me and everything I believe in, and I am pretty sure you've never met me.

 

6 hours ago, DBMormon said:

I am direct and pointed and relentless.  And showing somebody their irrationality requires such

Of course that is completely false on multiple levels. Assuming someone is actually irrational, being "direct and pointed and relentless" is probably the worst possible way to get them to see their irrationality. Instead, try love and kindness backed up with facts and data.

But we aren't talking about irrational people, are we? Is Jim Bennett irrational? He didn't seem so on the podcast. So who, or what group, exactly, do you believe is irrational? And are you certain they are irrational and not you?

6 hours ago, DBMormon said:

Yes and No.  Every intelligent "literal" believer would be walked into the irrationality of their beliefs (regardless of whether they personally see it or not)  Mormonism when laid out in all its glory and obejectively as possible, such a presentation will almost never fair well for Mormonism with most people (all systems can brag about having a few believers who know the data)

I'm not sure what you mean by "walked into the irrationality of their beliefs," but if you are suggesting that the hundreds of active LDS scholars from various academic fields (and the hundreds who have passed) are duped, fools, idiots, or deliberately blind, what makes you think you are the only one who knows the truth? Do you think that celebrated LDS historians don't know LDS history; that you know more than they do?

The church has a long and celebrated tradition of higher education and scientific endeavors. To sweep that away with a reductionist "all systems can brag about having a few believers who know the data" is neither honest nor fair.

7 hours ago, DBMormon said:

I think if Mormonism is laid out objectively and Mormonism loses 15% of the issues, it loses.  Too many things have to hold up for Mormonism to be true.  Having a lone victory here or there is not going to uphold such a system with numerous truth claims with so many of them based on historical events. 

This isn't true, either. Your first statement is a textbook all-or-nothing fallacy. Where did this 15% number come from? Why does the whole thing fall apart if 15% of it does?

Quote

By saying some would label part two a win, it must be understood what I mean by that.  Which is not that those issues are in Mormonisms favor.  Only that I lacked enough knowledge on the specifics of what we discussed to push back harder and he was able in lieu of that to argue a tenable approach to those issues (19th century material and BOM witnesses.)

Oh, Bill. That is such a cop-out. So any time you concede a point, it's because you didn't have enough knowledge about the specifics of what was being discussed? Of course, then, if you had the knowledge, Mormonism wouldn't stand a change.

Okay, then Jim can just claim that all of the points you believe he conceded was for the same reason. So where does that leave us? 

 

7 hours ago, DBMormon said:

What all did I concede?  and then lets make a list of what he conceded and lets look at that list and then weigh which has more impact on the truth claims holding up.  I am happy for anyone to take on such a task

I guess it doesn't matter now, does it? You'll just say that you lacked enough knowledge on the specifics of what you discussed. There was no concession. 

Bit, I've already told you the two most important things you conceded.

1) For 180+ years critics have been trying to debunk the Book of Mormon. They've tried every tactic, researched every possible scenario, and yet all secular explanations have been duds. The most rational explanation for the coming forth of the Book of Mormon is the explanation that Joseph Smith gave. You conceded this point in the second episode.

2) No one has been able to discredit the Witnesses testimonies. They never denied their testimonies even when some of them became fierce enemies of Joseph Smith. These testimonies stand as one of the most powerful evidences for the Book of Mormon. You conceded this in episode 2.

7 hours ago, DBMormon said:

And you are more than welcome to your opinion.  While any such document will fall short, I think it presents enough of Mormonism's problems to help people shift away from Mormonism.

Of course it falls short. It's a rehashed gish gallop of old critical chestnuts. JR just copied and pasted from the internet. Is there one new idea? One new piece of scholarship? Anything worth anything in the CES letter? 

 

 

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6 hours ago, ALarson said:

It doesn't matter what you think the CES letter is, it's been highly effective.  We still have members who come .... and often (to see a member of the Bishopric) who have just read it for the first time and are ready to leave after reading it.  Many never recover after they discover the information it contains.  I think it's been so effective because it's kind of a one stop reading.  You can say what you want about how it was put together....it's having the effect that it was intended to have.

Also, it does contain much of the truth.  Can you point to where Runnells gave incorrect details or information?  I'm not talking about his conclusions....those are his own and I disagree with some of them.  But I honestly have not seen anyone point to something he's presented that was not accurate (church history, past doctrines, etc.).

The entire CES letter is reductio ad absurdum that has been plagiarized from the internet. Where you see truth, I see only part of the picture--words twisted to cast the most negative light possible on the church. That's why Jim's response is so great, he points this out effectively.

Can you point me to one new idea, one new piece of scholarship, or even one piece of original thinking in the CES letter?

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

In answer to the bold: https://www.thoughtco.com/notable-authors-of-the-19th-century-1773693

Joseph had years to compose the BoM.

As much as I abhor acknowledging naked links without original analysis, I have to say that yours was particularly unhelpful.  I have no idea what your point was in including that link. 

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31 minutes ago, Bede said:

The entire CES letter is reductio ad absurdum that has been plagiarized from the internet. Where you see truth, I see only part of the picture--words twisted to cast the most negative light possible on the church. That's why Jim's response is so great, he points this out effectively.

Can you point me to one new idea, one new piece of scholarship, or even one piece of original thinking in the CES letter?

It doesn’t matter if it’s new to you (I get that), it’s still new to many members who read it for the first time.  That’s why it has been read and passed on to others by so many members. I learned new info in it and had to work through some issues.  I also know of some who left the church after reading it.  

Can you point to something in it that isn’t true (other than the author’s personal take or opinions)?

Edited by JulieM

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13 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

Since you seem to agree with Jim on the "reliability" point, can you take a look at my last post ... If you have any insights to add perhaps you could explain your take on it.

I don't know what Jim means by 'reliability', and I'm not certain you and I even mean the same thing when I used the word reliably. I take my definition from the Cambridge English dictionary:

Quote

working or behaving well in a way that one expects

I find that the gospel works well and in the way that I expect it to based upon its truth claims. Here's an example of what I mean from an earlier post:

Quote

Nearly two years ago, I went [to the temple] with the most unsolvable of burdens and prayed with earnestness throughout the session. In answer to which, I heard distinctly and clearly, 'Hamba, prepare yourself for what I have planned'. Immediately I was filled with peace and the almost 'pulsing' assurance that God had this one figured out. That peace stayed with me throughout  the end of 2015 and well into 2016, but by the end of February, I started worrying again. Where was this plan that God had said he had? Had He really spoken to me? I was five weeks away from complete disaster.

Off to the temple I went with my ward. Again, I prayed like mad. Nothing. Silence. The next day, I was travelling home by myself and took the opportunity to vent. 'Where art Thou?' I asked with a mix of desperation and rising resentment. I prayed for more than an hour as I travelled. 'Where wast Thou when I was in Thy house last night?'

And then the voice again, this time returning question with question: 'Hamba, do you really have faith in Me?'

'Thou knowest I do!' I asserted angrily, trembling with indignation. Then immediately came into my mind all of my fears and worries and doubts. So I spoke aloud again, this time with a different attitude: 'Lord, I believe ... help Thou mine unbelief'. And again perfect peace. I still had no clue what was planned, but I spent the next few weeks consciously forcing myself not to fear, not to worry, not to shrink.

My Bishop's wife asked me what I was going to do. I told her, 'Nothing'. 'So you've given up then?' 'No'. 'So what are you going to do?' "I've done all I can; now I'm going to be still and wait for the arm of the Lord to be revealed'.

And then the miracle. Miracles upon miracles. Literally 36 hours before disaster, all was resolved. Looking back, it had all been perfectly planned. A half-dozen threads all came together at the very last moment and in the only possible way.

And as an example of what I meant when I used the word consistently, here's another previous post:

Quote

My trip to the temple this past weekend was a last-minute thing, and consequently I felt ill-prepared for it, but I was happy to be in the House of the Lord Saturday morning. I hadn't arrived with any questions, worries, or pressing issues, so instead of praying, as I often do throughout the session, I just sat back and enjoyed the beauty of the experience. I did know in the back of my mind that when I finally got home later that day, I would need to prepare a talk for sacrament meeting, but I wasn't too worried about that. Since my bishop had assigned me, I'd thought long and hard about what to say, and I had a rough outline and some good content already in my head.

And then something happened. I don't actually know how to describe it, but as I sat in the endowment room, a sermon started to 'scroll' through my mind. It came in bits and pieces at first -- 'line upon line' -- until it was complete, but from that point it just looped over and over again, including throughout the next endowment session. By the time I'd finished both sessions, I had the words and ideas pretty much memorised. It was not the talk I'd partially outlined in my previous thoughts at all, and in fact it was incredibly bold, I thought. At one point I actually said, in my mind, I can't say those things; people will be offended. Then a quiet answer: Hamba, be bold.

I didn't know quite why this 'intervention' happened. I hadn't been seeking help in any way, but it left me feeling empowered and at peace.

In the end, I had no chance of preparing the talk I had partially planned, and I suspect the Lord was at least partially motivated by His foreknowledge of that fact. Whilst I was in the temple, somebody smashed through the back door of our house and proceeded to ransack the bedrooms, taking a number of valuable items. I got home from the temple a little before 8pm, and it was nearly 3am before everything was sorted, and I was able to lie down to sleep. In the few seconds before I was unconscious, I found myself thinking how glad I was that a ready-made talk had already been 'handed' to me. (No doubt the Spirit could have guided my preparation to give the talk the Lord wanted, but there literally wasn't any time for that process to occur.)

I got up four hours later and was able to speak for 30 minutes without a single written note. I merely gave the sermon that had been thoroughly impressed upon me in the temple.

How grateful I am to have access to both revelation and a place where the revelation flows!

 

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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7 minutes ago, PacMan said:

As much as I abhor acknowledging naked links without original analysis, I have to say that yours was particularly unhelpful.  I have no idea what your point was in including that link. 

The point is that in reality, Joseph had all the years between his first vision (or at least from Moroni’s first visit) and when he states he received the plates plus the other years before publication.  There’s no proof either way is there?  

Its hard to know since he didn’t even use the plates for much of the translation.  I believe he was inspired and that the BofM is scripture, but there was more time possibly to write it.

Edited by JulieM

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2 hours ago, Bede said:

What makes you think you are the only one who knows the truth?

Simple: it's wrong for a Latter-day Saint to even think that her/his experience with the Spirit might be more reliable than anyone else's (though I don't actually believe that's even what we're dealing with when it's brought up), but it's fine for Mr Reel to assert boldly that his 'rationality' is somehow more reliable than ours.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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57 minutes ago, Anonymous Mormon said:

No, it's not prideful to believe that God will keep his word. God has promised, "If ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost." God will keep his word and millions of truth seekers have proved him on this. As for those who don't get an answer, I do not believe they are dishonest or disingenuous. Instead, they may not have followed the laws and principles that one must do in order to get revelation. To continue the metaphor, it's just like the early hopeful aviators who died because they didn't follow the principles of flight. Jesus explained it in the parable of the seed, that everyone has different ground and many receive it or not for different reasons.

For me personally, the truth of the Book of Mormon hasn't been manifested in angels or amazing soul-searing burning from the Holy Ghost, but in small and simple insights and promptings over time as I studied it. I have known many who have had their answer manifested in different ways, but it took effort, time, and humility

It’s the underlying assumption built into the theology that is arrogant.  It’s not unique to Mormonism or Christianity, as there are millions of other religious believers around the would that claim special status and blessings from deity.  It’s pride in the foundation of the religious orientation, but I think it’s unnecessary as there are so many other ideals within the tradition that could be emphasized that are expansive and uplifting instead of divisive and arrogance producing.  You just have to mine the tradition for the best ethical gems and also learn to recognize the dross.  

1 hour ago, Anonymous Mormon said:

There is nothing uncharitable in my saying this and I'll say it again:

"I suspect that many of those who previously were faithful members of the church and are now trying to tear it down had received revelation and then stopped applying the principles of revelation correctly (these principles include seeking God's will with a willingness to do it even if it is counter to our political philosophies, putting aside pride and practicing humility, being worthy and free from sin, etc.)."

First, I say many not all (there are lots of different circumstances). But if you have someone who previously claimed to receive revelation and is back-tracking, they obviously are no longer receiving it. So either they were wrong at the start or at the end. I believe that they are wrong at the end and the reason for this is because they are no longer applying the principles of revelation so they are not getting it any more. To be even more blunt the people I have known personally have almost always allowed pride to get in the way. There is nothing anti-charitable about these statements, as I still wish them the best and strive to love them (albeit imperfectly at times).

If you wish to love, you could start by not assuming they did something wrong and not assuming you are in a position of superior understanding about the experience of someone else.  

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1 hour ago, Bede said:

Of course it falls short. It's a rehashed gish gallop of old critical chestnuts. JR just copied and pasted from the internet. Is there one new idea? One new piece of scholarship? Anything worth anything in the CES letter? 

You keep saying this but what is in the letter that isn’t true (other than Jeromy’s opinions or conclusions).  What information did he present that was a lie or not true?

Can you provide a quote from the letter?  I’m interested in what you are referring to.

Edited by JulieM
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4 hours ago, DBMormon said:

FairMormon.... likes to claim i make a living off the podcast.

We do?  Where?  I seriously am not aware of this.  I did a search on "Reel" and "income" and came up dry.  I would not be surprised if some members speculate this and perhaps post it as a private individual, but is there anything on our website saying this?  If you know of something, I can pass on the info you shared and hopefully get it corrected.

Edited by Calm

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11 hours ago, Duncan said:

i've often wondered if Joseph wrote it why he didn't write a second one, if financial gain was his motive why not write a second book to do better financially than the first one? if he wasn't making bank off of the Book of Mormon why keep it up until his death and not just move onto some other financial venture?

I don't think Joseph was trying to make money, if he was, it was to build the church. I believe he believed what he wrote and maybe in his mind it was one big parable, or not.

Some of what he wrote was already being talked about in the area he lived in, one being that the Native Americans were decendants of Israel. He did try to sell the copyright, but maybe to help build the church.

Funny to me that from what I've read/heard he didn't teach much out of the BoM. I'd really like to know how many read it or taught from it.

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Moved to a different thread.

Edited by let’s roll
Posted on wrong thread

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10 hours ago, PacMan said:

As much as I abhor acknowledging naked links without original analysis, I have to say that yours was particularly unhelpful.  I have no idea what your point was in including that link. 

What was naked about my link? It showed 19th century authors. And the many books authored. To me that said Joseph could write a book as well. But the BoM needed many corrections, so although Joseph wasn't good with grammar, he was intellectual and had a gift for story telling and lots of passion for what he believed to be wrong with current churches. He wanted to change the world.

Edited by Tacenda

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10 hours ago, JulieM said:

It doesn’t matter if it’s new to you (I get that), it’s still new to many members who read it for the first time.  That’s why it has been read and passed on to others by so many members. I learned new info in it and had to work through some issues.  I also know of some who left the church after reading it.  

Can you point to something in it that isn’t true (other than the author’s personal take or opinions)?

Most of the complaints are only partial truths. They don't tell the whole story. Like conspiracy theories, they only tell the parts that fit the author's agenda. Here's an example:

 

 

 

 

 

Capture.PNG

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11 minutes ago, Bede said:

Most of the complaints are only partial truths. They don't tell the whole story. 

Such as?  (Other than that chart which is mixed, IMO).

That sounds like what critics say regarding what the church has taught about some of the issues from church history (ie. polygamy).  Runnells at least gives many more facts and details on that topic.  That's why much of that is new for many members to read.  The church has come out with their essays which is a really positive step in getting more information out to the members.

 

Edited by ALarson

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18 hours ago, Anonymous Mormon said:

 

If a group of scientists gathered in November of 1903 and reviewed all of the dozens/hundreds of fatalities in the history of the world caused by those who were trying to fly, then they would easily come to the conclusion that the idea of flight is as you say ..... 'unreliable' (or impossible or deadly). This is not because flight is impossible for man-kind, but instead that those who had previously tried to fly failed to follow the correct principles required for a successful flight. 

 

Revelation also requires following certain correct principles and if you don't you may not get the revelation you are seeking. For example, your idea above that if Mormon Prophets can 180 disagree with each other then this negates revelation seems disingenuous. I think you have enough background in the gospel to know that some things are given by revelation but a lot is opinion based upon study and is not revelation. This is called 'line upon line, precept upon precept,'  growing 'grace for grace,' 'studying it out in your mind when you thought I'd just give it to you,' etc. Just like principles of flight require lift & thrust, revelation requires abiding by principles and study and building opinion (which is sometimes proven wrong as you study further) is one of these.

 

 

There is nothing prideful in saying that an honest seeker of truth who follows the correct principles of revelation will know the Book of Mormon is true. This is no more prideful than saying that those who use correct principles to fly will do so and those who use incorrect principles might die. Some times fact isn't prideful, it's true.

I suspect that many of those who previously were faithful members of the church and are now trying to tear it down had received revelation and then stopped applying the principles of revelation correctly (these principles include seeking God's will with a willingness to do it even if it is counter to our political philosophies, putting aside pride and practicing humility, being worthy and free from sin, etc.).

The reason I believe in revelation is I receive the still small voice guiding me daily in the things I should and should not do. Nothing major, just small things every day. This is also known as 'conscience' and is given to all via the light of Christ, but works under the principles expressed above (humility, lack of sin) and can be dampened or stomped out if not living the right principles.

Also, as a side note, I personally believe (this is my belief, not revelation - see above) that God has ordained many to not find the Book of Mormon or have a chance to learn of its truth in this life, because he sees the end from the beginning and has instituted work for the dead for this reason (see D&C 49:8). Instead, they are living righteous lives in other religions and are having regular guidance via the light of Christ and spiritual experiences. Just because The Church of Jesus Christ has the fullness of the gospel, it doesn't negate other's religious experiences. Nor does others having religious connection and guidance from God negate the Church of Jesus Christ having the fullness of the gospel.

(note: since it seems to be a pre-requisite to state if you have listened to the podcast in order to post in this thread, I will say I have not. I was sincerely interested in doing so at the start of this thread but after having Bill Reed come on here and proclaim that his conversation with Jim Bennett proved the Mormon church wrong, I lost interest. It sure seems like a bait and switch tactic that he interviewed one honest person who expressed honest opinions and now Bill is coming on this thread to say this proves wrong an entire religion. As someone recently said in these posts: "Sounds awfully prideful to me.")

Virtual up vote.

And welcome to the board. After you have made the prerequisite number of posts, I can give you actual up votes.

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Wrong thread!!

Edited by JulieM

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