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Church Announces BofA To Be Removed From Canon

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Posted (edited)

An announcement today from the Church indicated that the Book of Abraham was going to be removed from the canon in the  conference.

Perhaps this will come as a surprise to many, but for others it will be  welcome.

Regrettably for those of us still using paper scriptures it will mean replacing our current version.

In an attempt to make this cost easier to bear the Church also announced that all missionaries will receive a replacement of their scriptures.

looking back, future generations of members will view the Book of Abraham similar to how today we view the Lectures on Faith.

Frankly I am pleased by the efforts of the Church to actually consider changing the canon,

Otherwise our claim to ongoing revelation is just an empty one,

one which this change will show to be otherwise.

Lastly, I think the church should also look at including in the canon other recent  proclamations like the one on the family.

So that we consider those words as scripture.

Edited by CA Steve

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Posted (edited)

Gotta love it!

Edited by Tacenda

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6 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

An announcement today from the Church indicated that the Book of Abraham was going to be removed from the canon in the  conference.

Perhaps this will come as a surprise to many, but for others it will be  welcome.

Regrettably for those of us still using paper scriptures it will mean replacing our current version.

In an attempt to make this cost easier to bear the Church also announced that all missionaries will receive a replacement of their scriptures.

looking back, future generations of members will view the Book of Abraham similar to how today we view the Lectures on Faith.

Frankly I am pleased by the efforts of the Church to actually consider changing the canon,

Otherwise our claim to ongoing revelation is just an empty one,

one which this change will show to be otherwise.

Lastly, I think the church should also look at including in the canon other recent  proclamations like the one on the family.

So that we consider those words as scripture.

Please provide a link.

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🤣 ..... too bad it isn't true .....

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This is funny.  But in seriousness I have been saying that the church should remove the illustrations/facsimiles and their explanations, from future versions of the scriptures.  I would not be surprised at all if this happened.  

Also, even though this is a joke, you do make some important points from history.  The removal of the Lectures on Faith (The Doctrine part of the Doctrine & Covenants) is not an insignificant change in our past.  And it was done, without the approval of church members via any kind of vote to my knowledge.  So what is one day considered inspired scripture, is the next day relegated to non canon status.  So, there is a precedent for this kind of an arbitrary change.  

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38 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

An announcement today from the Church indicated that the Book of Abraham was going to be removed from the canon in the  conference.

Perhaps this will come as a surprise to many, but for others it will be  welcome.

Regrettably for those of us still using paper scriptures it will mean replacing our current version.

In an attempt to make this cost easier to bear the Church also announced that all missionaries will receive a replacement of their scriptures.

looking back, future generations of members will view the Book of Abraham similar to how today we view the Lectures on Faith.

Frankly I am pleased by the efforts of the Church to actually consider changing the canon,

Otherwise our claim to ongoing revelation is just an empty one,

one which this change will show to be otherwise.

Lastly, I think the church should also look at including in the canon other recent  proclamations like the one on the family.

So that we consider those words as scripture.

Holy cow moly - you had me going for just a sec....

7 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

This is funny.  But in seriousness I have been saying that the church should remove the illustrations/facsimiles and their explanations, from future versions of the scriptures.  I would not be surprised at all if this happened.  

Also, even though this is a joke, you do make some important points from history.  The removal of the Lectures on Faith (The Doctrine part of the Doctrine & Covenants) is not an insignificant change in our past.  And it was done, without the approval of church members via any kind of vote to my knowledge.  So what is one day considered inspired scripture, is the next day relegated to non canon status.  So, there is a precedent for this kind of an arbitrary change.  

The Lectures on Faith were just that...lectures. If asked now, I would not vote to include them. If asked to vote on removal of the Book of Abraham, I would vote against it. People should consider that the Facsimiles are not a translation. They are an interpretation of images which had been around for an undetermined time.... we claim from the time of Abraham, and Egyptologists claim from the time of the 18th dynasty. Where the 18th dynasty got them from is unknown to them, Egyptologists just know how Egyptians interpreted them. I don't consider that a reason to scrap them. The world has been reinterpreting God's word for millennia. 

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23 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

Holy cow moly - you had me going for just a sec....

The Lectures on Faith were just that...lectures. If asked now, I would not vote to include them. If asked to vote on removal of the Book of Abraham, I would vote against it. People should consider that the Facsimiles are not a translation. They are an interpretation of images which had been around for an undetermined time.... we claim from the time of Abraham, and Egyptologists claim from the time of the 18th dynasty. Where the 18th dynasty got them from is unknown to them, Egyptologists just know how Egyptians interpreted them. I don't consider that a reason to scrap them. The world has been reinterpreting God's word for millennia. 

There are also a lot of irrelevant "revelations" in our D&C that could be decanonized, just as there are other "revelations" that were never canonized that might be considered.  Who determines what makes the grade and what doesn't hasn't been a very careful and transparent process in the past.  There have even been attempts at large changes, besides removing the Lectures on Faith, but they weren't successful for various political reasons.  We have multiple genres of speech throughout scripture, why you're discriminating against a lecture vs a sermon or letter seems strange to me.  

As for the illustrations and their interpretations, is that a way of softening the idea that Joseph's translation of these illustrations has nothing to do with Abraham or any semblance of actual translation of the Egyptian meaning?  Also, I don't see them as having any theological value or benefit for the church.  We don't get any doctrines from the illustrations.  They are also embarrassing from a scholarly perspective.  I see a lot of reasons to jettison them, and I can't think of any persuasive arguments to keep them. 

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27 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

There are also a lot of irrelevant "revelations" in our D&C that could be decanonized, just as there are other "revelations" that were never canonized that might be considered.  Who determines what makes the grade and what doesn't hasn't been a very careful and transparent process in the past.  There have even been attempts at large changes, besides removing the Lectures on Faith, but they weren't successful for various political reasons.  We have multiple genres of speech throughout scripture, why you're discriminating against a lecture vs a sermon or letter seems strange to me.  

OK. I'll be a little more forthright. Not only do the lectures not claim to be direct revelation from the Lord, but they seem to include a lot of speculations which I disagree with. I feel canonizing them would be like canonizing the Journal of Discourses, which I hope never happens. 

27 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

As for the illustrations and their interpretations, is that a way of softening the idea that Joseph's translation of these illustrations has nothing to do with Abraham or any semblance of actual translation of the Egyptian meaning? 

I basically feel they have little semblance of their later Egyptian meaning. A crocodile being a god of Horus - or the god of the pharaoh - is an early Egyptian interpretation which appears to be consistent with the time of Abraham - but not later Egyptian theology. So I feel the facsimiles as interpreted have everything to do with Abraham and hebraic symbolism rather than later Egyptian meaning. 

Quote

Also, I don't see them as having any theological value or benefit for the church.  We don't get any doctrines from the illustrations.  They are also embarrassing from a scholarly perspective.  I see a lot of reasons to jettison them, and I can't think of any persuasive arguments to keep them. 

Because you see no value is essentially irrelevant to me. They say they have value and strongly infer that at least in part they will not be understood by the majority who read them. I would say the same about the last chapter of Daniel, but that doesn't mean we should scrap Daniel. It is our duty to preserve them, just like the Jews preserved Daniel for later generations which will ultimately understand it while they did not. If they had, they would not have killed their Messiah revealed in Chapter 9.

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36 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

OK. I'll be a little more forthright. Not only do the lectures not claim to be direct revelation from the Lord, but they seem to include a lot of speculations which I disagree with. I feel canonizing them would be like canonizing the Journal of Discourses, which I hope never happens. 

They were canonized by Joseph Smith and all the early Prophets and Apostles considered them canonized scripture.  The history on this topic shows that some of our evolving ideas about the nature of God, started to cause some conflicts with certain ideas found in the Lectures on Faith.  If you haven't read this essay, I would recommend checking it out.  Your opinion about what constitutes speculation is an example of the subjectivity of determining what is essential and what is not and how these ideas change over time.  

http://www.ldslearning.org/godhead-two-personages.pdf

41 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

I basically feel they have little semblance of their later Egyptian meaning. A crocodile being a god of Horus - or the god of the pharaoh - is an early Egyptian interpretation which appears to be consistent with the time of Abraham - but not later Egyptian theology. So I feel the facsimiles as interpreted have everything to do with Abraham and hebraic symbolism rather than later Egyptian meaning. 

This seems ignorant of the actual scholarship from Egyptologists.  

43 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

Because you see no value is essentially irrelevant to me. They say they have value and strongly infer that at least in part they will not be understood by the majority who read them. I would say the same about the last chapter of Daniel, but that doesn't mean we should scrap Daniel. It is our duty to preserve them, just like the Jews preserved Daniel for later generations which will ultimately understand it while they did not. If they had, they would not have killed their Messiah revealed in Chapter 9.

Seems like wishful thinking to expect that at some future date we will find out that these illustrations actually have some theological relevance for Mormonism.  They are funerary texts that have absolutely nothing to do with the religious traditions of Christianity, Judaism, or Abraham.  LDS scholars know this as well, unfortunately there are a couple of disingenuous LDS scholars who are trying to overstate evidence and are misrepresenting the data and confusing a number of people in the process.  History will not look kindly on their tactics.  

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26 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

They were canonized by Joseph Smith and all the early Prophets and Apostles considered them canonized scripture.  The history on this topic shows that some of our evolving ideas about the nature of God, started to cause some conflicts with certain ideas found in the Lectures on Faith.  If you haven't read this essay, I would recommend checking it out.  Your opinion about what constitutes speculation is an example of the subjectivity of determining what is essential and what is not and how these ideas change over time.  ...........................

The lectures were primarily the work of Sidney Rigdon, who knew a lot about theology.  They do not actually reflect LDS theology.  You are at least correct about that.

26 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

This seems ignorant of the actual scholarship from Egyptologists.  

Seems like wishful thinking to expect that at some future date we will find out that these illustrations actually have some theological relevance for Mormonism.  They are funerary texts that have absolutely nothing to do with the religious traditions of Christianity, Judaism, or Abraham.  LDS scholars know this as well, unfortunately there are a couple of disingenuous LDS scholars who are trying to overstate evidence and are misrepresenting the data and confusing a number of people in the process.  History will not look kindly on their tactics.  

Perhaps you'd like to clue us in as to what misrepresentations or overstatements you have found, or which the professionals claim to have found.  CFR

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3 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

This is funny.  But in seriousness I have been saying that the church should remove the illustrations/facsimiles and their explanations, from future versions of the scriptures.  I would not be surprised at all if this happened.  

Also, even though this is a joke, you do make some important points from history.  The removal of the Lectures on Faith (The Doctrine part of the Doctrine & Covenants) is not an insignificant change in our past.  And it was done, without the approval of church members via any kind of vote to my knowledge.  So what is one day considered inspired scripture, is the next day relegated to non canon status.  So, there is a precedent for this kind of an arbitrary change.  

The First Presidency requested that a committee review the D&C in March of 1921. The members of the committee were George Richards, Anthony Ivins (the Cowboy Apostle of Mexican Colony fame), James Talmage, Melvin Ballard, and Joseph Fielding Smith. They worked through the rest of 1921 and published their edition in December of that year. Their work included a lot of minor changes and the deletion of the Lectures on Faith. I would love some day to access the minutes of their committee and better understand their reasoning for deleting it. Some conclude it was because of Joseph Smith's characterization of God as a Spirit, which of course was out of date with LDS theology by the 1920s. I really don't know what the motivation was for removing it, but remove it they did! (List of members from what is still LDS.org)

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13 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

They were canonized by Joseph Smith and all the early Prophets and Apostles considered them canonized scripture.  The history on this topic shows that some of our evolving ideas about the nature of God, started to cause some conflicts with certain ideas found in the Lectures on Faith.  If you haven't read this essay, I would recommend checking it out.  Your opinion about what constitutes speculation is an example of the subjectivity of determining what is essential and what is not and how these ideas change over time.  

http://www.ldslearning.org/godhead-two-personages.pdf

Yeah, I freely admit that my opinion about their speculative nature is subjective. However, they certainly do not represent direct revelation from the Lord like D&C does, and the informed Church members seem to believe that they were mostly written by Sidney Rigdon rather than Joseph Smith. I have read enough of them to know that I do not consider them to be scripture. Nor do I consider the Godhead to consist of two personages.

13 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

This seems ignorant of the actual scholarship from Egyptologists.  

It's not based on Egyptian scholarship pertaining to the funerary documents at all. I have freely indicated that. We don't know enough about their exact origins to draw any other firm conclusions is what I am saying. And it certainly not ignorant about Egyptian scholarship pertaining to Abraham's period. That will show that the crocodile was considered to be a god of the Egyptian king, and some of them were named after the crocodile.

13 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Seems like wishful thinking to expect that at some future date we will find out that these illustrations actually have some theological relevance for Mormonism.  They are funerary texts that have absolutely nothing to do with the religious traditions of Christianity, Judaism, or Abraham.  LDS scholars know this as well, unfortunately there are a couple of disingenuous LDS scholars who are trying to overstate evidence and are misrepresenting the data and confusing a number of people in the process.  History will not look kindly on their tactics.  

From Facsimile 2:

"Fig. 8. Contains writings that cannot be revealed unto the world; but is to be had in the Holy Temple of God.

Fig. 9. Ought not to be revealed at the present time.

Fig. 10. Also.

Fig. 11. Also. If the world can find out these numbers, so let it be. Amen.

Figures 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21 will be given in the own due time of the Lord.

The above translation is given as far as we have any right to give at the present time."

Like I said, they claim to have theological relevance - and claim to be not understood or revealed. Obviously, those sections had meaning to the Egyptians, but over time funerary texts evolved, and meanings changed. Do I need to point out to you that Egyptian mythology changed significantly from that of say 2000 BC to that of the time of the 18th dynasty when these facsimile images began appearing with Egyptian mummies? We know nothing of how these particular images were adopted for use in Egyptian funerary rites. We know what they represented to the Egyptians, but don't really know how they came to represent those things nor if they borrowed some of these images from someplace/someone(ie Abraham) else.

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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The lectures were primarily the work of Sidney Rigdon, who knew a lot about theology.  

 

10 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

However, they certainly do not represent direct revelation from the Lord like D&C does, and the informed Church members seem to believe that they were mostly written by Sidney Rigdon rather than Joseph Smith. I have read enough of them to know that I do not consider them to be scripture.

It's pretty clear Sidney wrote most of the lectures.  I personally believe the 6th came from Joseph.  It reads differently, contains more doctrine, and in my opinion is inspired.  I treat the 6th as scripture.

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3 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:
3 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

They were canonized by Joseph Smith and all the early Prophets and Apostles considered them canonized scripture.  The history on this topic shows that some of our evolving ideas about the nature of God, started to cause some conflicts with certain ideas found in the Lectures on Faith.  If you haven't read this essay, I would recommend checking it out.  Your opinion about what constitutes speculation is an example of the subjectivity of determining what is essential and what is not and how these ideas change over time.  ...........................

The lectures were primarily the work of Sidney Rigdon, who knew a lot about theology.  They do not actually reflect LDS theology.  You are at least correct about that.

The Lectures on Faith very much represented 1835 LDS theology, which as with all theology for every religious tradition is evolving.  By the standard of "does not reflect today's LDS theology" we could certainly take out significant parts of the canon, not just in the D&C, but vast other parts as well, but this wouldn't seem to be consistent with how the tradition typically just deemphasizes those parts of scripture that don't apply to our current sensibilities.  Which early church leader contributed the most to certain writings (Rigdon or Cowdery or someone else) doesn't seem to matter.  By this standard are you suggesting we should selectively discard the teachings of certain prophets?  Which books of the bible should we keep or discard based on the primary authors of those texts?  

3 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:
Quote

This seems ignorant of the actual scholarship from Egyptologists.  

Seems like wishful thinking to expect that at some future date we will find out that these illustrations actually have some theological relevance for Mormonism.  They are funerary texts that have absolutely nothing to do with the religious traditions of Christianity, Judaism, or Abraham.  LDS scholars know this as well, unfortunately there are a couple of disingenuous LDS scholars who are trying to overstate evidence and are misrepresenting the data and confusing a number of people in the process.  History will not look kindly on their tactics.  

Perhaps you'd like to clue us in as to what misrepresentations or overstatements you have found, or which the professionals claim to have found.  CFR

I'm referring to Gee and Muhlestein and I'm sure you're aware that myself and others disagree with their BoA apologetic arguments.  I don't want to rehash the problems I have with their work on this thread as there have been many threads and many discussions about the particulars.  

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3 hours ago, Navidad said:

The First Presidency requested that a committee review the D&C in March of 1921. The members of the committee were George Richards, Anthony Ivins (the Cowboy Apostle of Mexican Colony fame), James Talmage, Melvin Ballard, and Joseph Fielding Smith. They worked through the rest of 1921 and published their edition in December of that year. Their work included a lot of minor changes and the deletion of the Lectures on Faith. I would love some day to access the minutes of their committee and better understand their reasoning for deleting it. Some conclude it was because of Joseph Smith's characterization of God as a Spirit, which of course was out of date with LDS theology by the 1920s. I really don't know what the motivation was for removing it, but remove it they did! (List of members from what is still LDS.org)

Yes, this is exactly what I was thinking about, thanks for adding that additional detail.  I've also read about how there was a shortened version of the revelations in the D&C that was proposed and almost implemented, but supposedly backlash from the fundamentalist Mormon groups about removing D&C 132 caused LDS church leaders to pull back on those revisions.  I found that fascinating as well, and it would be amazing to get more behind the curtains views about everything that goes into these political machinations.  

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1 hour ago, RevTestament said:

Yeah, I freely admit that my opinion about their speculative nature is subjective. However, they certainly do not represent direct revelation from the Lord like D&C does, and the informed Church members seem to believe that they were mostly written by Sidney Rigdon rather than Joseph Smith. I have read enough of them to know that I do not consider them to be scripture. Nor do I consider the Godhead to consist of two personages.

The big question in this statement, is how does anyone know what represents "direct revelation from the Lord" and what doesn't.  Do you consider the Articles of the Church authored by Oliver Cowdery to be "direct revelation from the Lord"?   Do you consider the 1886 revelation to John Taylor as "direct revelation from the Lord"?   How about D&C chapters that aren't written in that revelatory sounding language? 

https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/appendix-3-articles-of-the-church-of-christ-june-1829/1

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1886_Revelation

If revelation is just a based on personal opinion, which is what it sounds like you are advocating, then I'm perfectly fine with that definition, but then how do we as a community determine what is part of the canon and what isn't.  Should we have a vote on these things and make it a truly by common consent practice?  

1 hour ago, RevTestament said:

It's not based on Egyptian scholarship pertaining to the funerary documents at all. I have freely indicated that. We don't know enough about their exact origins to draw any other firm conclusions is what I am saying. And it certainly not ignorant about Egyptian scholarship pertaining to Abraham's period. That will show that the crocodile was considered to be a god of the Egyptian king, and some of them were named after the crocodile.

Egyptological scholars know plenty enough to draw conclusions and they have drawn them.  The only people on the fence about this topic are the apologists who don't want to reconcile the actual evidence with reconstructing their views about what Joseph was doing and how he was either intentionally misleading people with his interpretations, or perhaps just delusional about his abilities to understand Egyptian, or a combination of the two.  Find me a non-Mormon Egyptian scholar who agrees with your comment that "we don't know enough about their exact origins to draw any firm conclusions." 

This is wishful apologetic thinking, and from my perspective its like someone who wants to hold onto a geocentric view of the universe after the telescope was invented and it became clear that the evidence doesn't support that model anymore.  Its akin to saying we don't know enough about the exact size and shape of the solar system or the universe to draw any firm conclusions about the rotation of the planets and the sun.  

1 hour ago, RevTestament said:

From Facsimile 2:

"Fig. 8. Contains writings that cannot be revealed unto the world; but is to be had in the Holy Temple of God.

Fig. 9. Ought not to be revealed at the present time.

Fig. 10. Also.

Fig. 11. Also. If the world can find out these numbers, so let it be. Amen.

Figures 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21 will be given in the own due time of the Lord.

The above translation is given as far as we have any right to give at the present time."

Like I said, they claim to have theological relevance - and claim to be not understood or revealed. Obviously, those sections had meaning to the Egyptians, but over time funerary texts evolved, and meanings changed. Do I need to point out to you that Egyptian mythology changed significantly from that of say 2000 BC to that of the time of the 18th dynasty when these facsimile images began appearing with Egyptian mummies? We know nothing of how these particular images were adopted for use in Egyptian funerary rites. We know what they represented to the Egyptians, but don't really know how they came to represent those things nor if they borrowed some of these images from someplace/someone(ie Abraham) else.

People claim all kinds of things that are proven to be false.  Joseph is no exception.  He thought that people lived on the moon, and that the 2nd coming was happening in a few years and that Missouri is where Adam and Eve lived and that Zion would be established there, and that he could use stones to find hidden treasures and that events in the night sky were religiously significant and countless other claims that have no correlation with facts about history or reality.  This is the history of superstition and religious dogma all wrapped up together with folk magic and myths about all kinds of stuff.  So what if Joseph thought the papyri contained the writings of Abraham.  It clearly didn't as these writings had nothing to do with Abraham and has no magic or theological significance in any real sense. 

Now, could Joseph innovate something valuable stimulated by his encounter with these documents (the catalyst theory), sure I guess.  But an accurate Egyptological translation of the documents shows that what Joseph produced has no connection to the papyrus documents other than to show that Joseph thought he was translating something, but clearly was mistaken.  Speculating that there might have been some connection 2 millennia prior to when the texts were written is not supported by any actual evidence.   

 

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1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

The big question in this statement, is how does anyone know what represents "direct revelation from the Lord" and what doesn't.  Do you consider the Articles of the Church authored by Oliver Cowdery to be "direct revelation from the Lord"?   Do you consider the 1886 revelation to John Taylor as "direct revelation from the Lord"?   How about D&C chapters that aren't written in that revelatory sounding language? 

They are not in question. D&C says "I the Lord..." Lectures in faith do not. Not every word that came out of Joseph's mouth or pen was revelation. Some was opinion like the Lectures on Faith, and some plainly present themselves as revelation direct from the Lord like D & C. 

Quote

If revelation is just a based on personal opinion, which is what it sounds like you are advocating, then I'm perfectly fine with that definition, but then how do we as a community determine what is part of the canon and what isn't.  Should we have a vote on these things and make it a truly by common consent practice?  

Perhaps. It seems that is the way revelation for a new president of the Church was originally envisioned. As i said I vote no on the Lectures on Faith. I will have to read up on VI I guess.

Quote

Egyptological scholars know plenty enough to draw conclusions and they have drawn them.  The only people on the fence about this topic are the apologists who don't want to reconcile the actual evidence with reconstructing their views about what Joseph was doing and how he was either intentionally misleading people with his interpretations, or perhaps just delusional about his abilities to understand Egyptian, or a combination of the two.  Find me a non-Mormon Egyptian scholar who agrees with your comment that "we don't know enough about their exact origins to draw any firm conclusions." 

Find one that has anything to say about their origins pre-1500 BC. Good luck. I can't find something that doesn't exist. Egyptologists know that funerary texts began appearing in burials in the 18th Dynasty. For the third time, they don't know about pre 1500 BC origins for most of these images. They also know how to read the Egyptian. But clearly the accompanying Facsimile comments are far from a translation of the funerary text or the images. They are quite brief. I'm not sure why you are hell bent on seeing only the Egyptian meaning for these images. Do you not recognize that other cultures borrow ideas and interpretations from predecessor cultures or people? For example the Romans borrowed many aspects of their mythologies from the Greeks. Should you insist on only the Roman interpretation? Is that fair if you want to know how the Greeks saw it?

Quote

This is wishful apologetic thinking, and from my perspective its like someone who wants to hold onto a geocentric view of the universe after the telescope was invented and it became clear that the evidence doesn't support that model anymore.  Its akin to saying we don't know enough about the exact size and shape of the solar system or the universe to draw any firm conclusions about the rotation of the planets and the sun.  

Not in the least. It is not akin to that at all. It is you insisting there is only one way to interpret things, and I have to believe your way. It has nothing to do with interpreting natural laws. We are dealing with man-made images here - not science. 

Quote

People claim all kinds of things that are proven to be false.  Joseph is no exception.  He thought that people lived on the moon, and that the 2nd coming was happening in a few years

As I have indicated Joseph had his own opinions, and he was sometimes wrong. He wouldn't be human otherwise. Clearly the Lord did not wish to tell Him when He was coming despite Joseph's repeated inquiries, and so the Lord put him off. It wasn't for Joseph to know. I don't know either, except that it is soon. 

Quote

and that Missouri is where Adam and Eve lived

Find a single statement from Joseph which says that please. You may find statements by others - certainly BY thought that Joseph believed that. I happen not to follow BY in that. It is a misinterpretation of the scripture that calls Spring Hill Adam-ondi-Ahman. Adam did not live there. It is where he will return...

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and that Zion would be established there,

Yep. It will ie the New Jerusalem will be close by.

Quote

and that he could use stones to find hidden treasures

Yep, clearly one of his childhood indiscretions he later vaguely admits to. 

Quote

and that events in the night sky were religiously significant

Yep, they can be - for instance the wise men show up because of them.

Quote

and countless other claims that have no correlation with facts about history or reality.  This is the history of superstition and religious dogma all wrapped up together with folk magic and myths about all kinds of stuff. 

Spoken like a true non-believer. Yeah, to some extent I agree. Joseph grew up believing in folk magic, so you refuse to let yourself get "duped" by him. I know. Heard it before. Many kids want to imagine they have abilities they don't. 

Quote

So what if Joseph thought the papyri contained the writings of Abraham.  It clearly didn't as these writings had nothing to do with Abraham and has no magic or theological significance in any real sense. 

I have conceded that the writings with the Facsimiles were funerary documents. You seem hell bent on somehow proving that to me. I am not sure how to stop you from arguing this point. I agree. They had an Egyptian meaning to their Egyptian readers - at least from about 1500 BC. Abraham lived at least 300 years before that. That is a long time. Since you are so darned certain that Egyptologists understand this period and the origins of these images, please cite a source for me.... I won't be holding my breath.

Quote

Now, could Joseph innovate something valuable stimulated by his encounter with these documents (the catalyst theory), sure I guess.  But an accurate Egyptological translation of the documents shows that what Joseph produced has no connection to the papyrus documents other than to show that Joseph thought he was translating something, but clearly was mistaken.  Speculating that there might have been some connection 2 millennia prior to when the texts were written is not supported by any actual evidence.   

...Meaning you have no evidence about the origins of these images outside of the Book of Abraham.... finally got there.

Edited by RevTestament

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2 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

The Lectures on Faith very much represented 1835 LDS theology, which as with all theology for every religious tradition is evolving.  By the standard of "does not reflect today's LDS theology" we could certainly take out significant parts of the canon, not just in the D&C, but vast other parts as well, but this wouldn't seem to be consistent with how the tradition typically just deemphasizes those parts of scripture that don't apply to our current sensibilities.  Which early church leader contributed the most to certain writings (Rigdon or Cowdery or someone else) doesn't seem to matter.  By this standard are you suggesting we should selectively discard the teachings of certain prophets?  Which books of the bible should we keep or discard based on the primary authors of those texts?  

I said "They do not actually reflect LDS theology,"  instead of your version:  "does not reflect today's LDS theology," and suggesting an evolution in LDS theology.  As I point out in detail in my own treatment, that was not the case then or now.  See my “Book of Mormon Theologies: A Thumbnail Sketch,” lecture delivered at the September 2012 annual meeting of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology (SMPT), at Utah State University, Logan, Utah, online at https://www.scribd.com/doc/251781864/BOOK-OF-MORMON-THEOLOGIES-A-THUMBNAIL-SKETCH .

2 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

I'm referring to Gee and Muhlestein and I'm sure you're aware that myself and others disagree with their BoA apologetic arguments.  I don't want to rehash the problems I have with their work on this thread as there have been many threads and many discussions about the particulars.  

I have (unfortunately) been witness to those discussions on this board, and have yet to read any coherent or accurate arguments against the broad positions of Gee and Muhlestein.  In fact, one attacker became nearly apoplectic over the matter, and has not been allowed back since.  He substituted emotion for scholarship.

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14 hours ago, CA Steve said:

An announcement today from the Church indicated that the Book of Abraham was going to be removed from the canon in the  conference.

Perhaps this will come as a surprise to many, but for others it will be  welcome.

Regrettably for those of us still using paper scriptures it will mean replacing our current version.

In an attempt to make this cost easier to bear the Church also announced that all missionaries will receive a replacement of their scriptures.

looking back, future generations of members will view the Book of Abraham similar to how today we view the Lectures on Faith.

Frankly I am pleased by the efforts of the Church to actually consider changing the canon,

Otherwise our claim to ongoing revelation is just an empty one,

one which this change will show to be otherwise.

Lastly, I think the church should also look at including in the canon other recent  proclamations like the one on the family.

So that we consider those words as scripture.

I hope this is no joke because I just took the scissors to my quad. 😉

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5 hours ago, Jean-Luc Picard said:

Oh man. Where else can I learn about the Earth lamenting and weeping because of all us nasty people.

Book of Moses, I think.

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14 hours ago, RevTestament said:
15 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

The big question in this statement, is how does anyone know what represents "direct revelation from the Lord" and what doesn't.  Do you consider the Articles of the Church authored by Oliver Cowdery to be "direct revelation from the Lord"?   Do you consider the 1886 revelation to John Taylor as "direct revelation from the Lord"?   How about D&C chapters that aren't written in that revelatory sounding language? 

They are not in question. D&C says "I the Lord..." Lectures in faith do not. Not every word that came out of Joseph's mouth or pen was revelation. Some was opinion like the Lectures on Faith, and some plainly present themselves as revelation direct from the Lord like D & C. 

So answer my question about the two revelation examples mentioned please because they both are crafted in the same voice of I the Lord that you're claiming is the way to determine whether something is direct revelation or not.  What about the Articles of the Church by Cowdery and what about the 1886 revelation to John Taylor.  I gave you those links for a reason because those examples are relevant to my question.  

Second question, what evidence do you have that the Lectures on faith were just "opinion".  Did Joseph ever state they were opinion?  Remember that Joseph canonized them, not once, but twice during his lifetime in 1835 and 1844.  Do you have any evidence to support the idea that Joseph considered the Lectures to be "opinion"?  

14 hours ago, RevTestament said:

Find one that has anything to say about their origins pre-1500 BC. Good luck. I can't find something that doesn't exist. Egyptologists know that funerary texts began appearing in burials in the 18th Dynasty. For the third time, they don't know about pre 1500 BC origins for most of these images. They also know how to read the Egyptian. But clearly the accompanying Facsimile comments are far from a translation of the funerary text or the images. They are quite brief. I'm not sure why you are hell bent on seeing only the Egyptian meaning for these images. Do you not recognize that other cultures borrow ideas and interpretations from predecessor cultures or people? For example the Romans borrowed many aspects of their mythologies from the Greeks. Should you insist on only the Roman interpretation? Is that fair if you want to know how the Greeks saw it?

So your evidence doesn't exist and is purely conjecture and wishful thinking.  You have zero evidence to connect the papyrus with Abraham and no scholars that can support your thesis.  As for one culture borrowing from another, I never said that doesn't happen.  Of course it does, it happens all the time throughout history and is part of the human enterprise.  That doesn't give you evidence that what is on the papyrus fragments has a connection to a person named Abraham.  You have to have evidence to support your speculation.  Otherwise you're doing the same thing as the ancient aliens shows on TV do. 

14 hours ago, RevTestament said:
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People claim all kinds of things that are proven to be false.  Joseph is no exception.  He thought that people lived on the moon, and that the 2nd coming was happening in a few years

As I have indicated Joseph had his own opinions, and he was sometimes wrong. He wouldn't be human otherwise. Clearly the Lord did not wish to tell Him when He was coming despite Joseph's repeated inquiries, and so the Lord put him off. It wasn't for Joseph to know. I don't know either, except that it is soon. 

Its probably important to state that many of the things you call Joseph's "opinions" were also received in the same revelatory voice language that you consider "direct revelation from the Lord".  You must have some mechanism for distinguishing between these revelations and opinions that you haven't explained.  

14 hours ago, RevTestament said:

Spoken like a true non-believer. Yeah, to some extent I agree. Joseph grew up believing in folk magic, so you refuse to let yourself get "duped" by him. I know. Heard it before. Many kids want to imagine they have abilities they don't. 

I don't consider myself a "non-believer" although we clearly have differences in our beliefs.  

14 hours ago, RevTestament said:

I have conceded that the writings with the Facsimiles were funerary documents. You seem hell bent on somehow proving that to me. I am not sure how to stop you from arguing this point. I agree. They had an Egyptian meaning to their Egyptian readers - at least from about 1500 BC. Abraham lived at least 300 years before that. That is a long time. Since you are so darned certain that Egyptologists understand this period and the origins of these images, please cite a source for me.... I won't be holding my breath.

Why would an Egyptologist even attempt to do what you're asserting?  Should scholars start attempting to find connections between the writings of ancient civilizations and other unrelated disparate writings?  This is like suggesting that scholars should take Mark Twain's writings and start looking for connections to the Han Dynasty in China, because some religion claims that the writings of Mark Twain were received via revelation and describe historically accurate events of ancient Chinese figures.  So we need to find scholars who are experts on the Han Dynasty to evaluate the veracity of these religious claims.  Good luck...

 

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2 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Why would an Egyptologist even attempt to do what you're asserting?  Should scholars start attempting to find connections between the writings of ancient civilizations and other unrelated disparate writings?  This is like suggesting that scholars should take Mark Twain's writings and start looking for connections to the Han Dynasty in China, because some religion claims that the writings of Mark Twain were received via revelation and describe historically accurate events of ancient Chinese figures.  So we need to find scholars who are experts on the Han Dynasty to evaluate the veracity of these religious claims.  Good luck...

 

Hopefully I'm not taking your comment to Rev, totally out of context here. But want to say... good analogy or comparison. Never looked at it quite like it before. 

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The joke might have been a bit more believable had my title been something like: "Church to consider removing Fac#2 from the BofA".

I do wonder if anyone has noticed in my OP where I obviously gave away that it was an April Fools joke?

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