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The Nehor

The Seer Stone Cover Up Finally Exposed and You Will Never Believe Who Did It

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, SettingDogStar said:

The basic description works but I think they should probably include some footnotes on questions posed by investigators. Nearly every person we taught had some form of “anti Mormon” ideas and asked honest questions. Usually it was about treasure hunting/polygamy/endowment stuff and it would have been nice to have a good resource to explain. We did a pretty good job but the internet has given everyone the ability to google Mormons and find out all the interesting stuff really fast. Missionaries should be prepped a little better I think, or maybe not.

Then again saying “I know Joseph was a prophet and the Book of Mormon is true” again and again without actual answering questions seems to work sometimes (guilty) 😂

Edit: the essays are a good member resource but can sometimes be a bit much for an investigator looking for a quick answer. Plus someone not familiar with any Mormon history could quickly get a little lost with names, places, and timelines. 

I agree with all you wrote above.  I'd add that missionaries hopefully are better prepared now and are more well versed regarding church history.  Even just a few years ago, I had a member of our ward go online to ask the missionaries a few questions (the online chat or whatever it was called).  Whoever was answering their questions, knew nothing about Joseph living polygamy and had never even heard of the word polyandry.  They also knew nothing about the seer stone and how it was used in Joseph's hat.  They need to prepare the missionaries so they can answer honestly to any questions about this (without going into unnecessary details) instead of saying none of that was true or they were anti-Mormon information (and then the investigator or member learning the missionary was wrong).  This online missionary answered nearly every question with something like telling them to just read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.

Edited by ALarson
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22 minutes ago, ALarson said:

I agree with all you wrote above.  I'd add that missionaries hopefully are better prepared now and are more well versed regarding church history.  Even just a few years ago, I had a member of our ward go online to ask the missionaries a few questions (the online chat or whatever it was called).  Whoever was answering their questions, knew nothing about Joseph living polygamy and had never even heard of the word polyandry.  They also knew nothing about the seer stone and how it was used in Joseph's hat.  They need to prepare the missionaries so they can answer honestly to any questions about this (without going into unnecessary details) instead of saying none of that was true or they were anti-Mormon information (and then the investigator or member learning the missionary was wrong).  This online missionary answered nearly every question with something like telling them to just read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.

Or at least reference people easily and quickly to the essays and other sources and books. I’m surprised he didn’t know about polygamy 🧐

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17 hours ago, SettingDogStar said:

In Preach My Gospel in the first discussion under The Book of Mormon it says "Joseph Smith was directed by a heavenly messenger named Moroni to a hill where gold plates had lain hidden for centuries. These gold plates contained the writings of prophets giving an account of God’s dealings with some of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas. Joseph Smith translated the contents of these plates by the power of God."

Not very detailed and they just use a variation of the quote by Joseph when he wouldn't exactly say how he accomplished the translation. No other specifics are found in the book to my knowledge. However directly next to this quote is this classic photo (it actually appears twice in PMG).

Image result for scripture joseph translating the plate

The picture seems to me to conflict pretty strongly with what I've read about the actual translation process. Is there any indication that Joseph Smith and his scribes had the plates out in the open on a shared table? 

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14 hours ago, SettingDogStar said:

Or at least reference people easily and quickly to the essays and other sources and books. I’m surprised he didn’t know about polygamy 🧐

I should have said "how" Joseph lived polygamy.  I would hope most all members know he at least had more wives than Emma....it's the more than 30 wives and the marrying other men's wives and the young teenagers he married that some are still not aware of.  

I do see the leaders making an effort to teach about at least some of the difficult issues in newer seminary lessons and institute lessons.  Hopefully it will better prepare those going out on missions in this area.

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I have had several pleasant experiences with missionaries. They generally seem to be fairly knowledgeable, but I will say this: they seem completely unprepared to meet anyone who has done any research on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ahead of time. Considering the easy access to a variety of information about the LDS faith online (both positive and negative), it seems to me that they should be a bit better prepared to answer people who have done prior searching. 

In my case, the missionaries that visited me were very surprised that I had a couple different editions of the Book of Mormon in my library already. They were particularly surprised that I had a copy of the RLDS "Revised Authorized Version" of the Book of Mormon; one Elder said, "I've heard of this, but I've never seen one!"

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17 minutes ago, ALarson said:

I should have said "how" Joseph lived polygamy.  I would hope most all members know he at least had more wives than Emma....it's the more than 30 wives and the marrying other men's wives and the young teenagers he married that some are still not aware of.  

I do see the leaders making an effort to teach about at least some of the difficult issues in newer seminary lessons and institute lessons.  Hopefully it will better prepare those going out on missions in this area.

A few years ago I spoke with my sister in law who had served three missions with her husband including being mission presidents, and told her I was going through some struggles with my testimony. She had called about her son's temple marriage ceremony coming up and if we were able to go. When I told her it started with JS's polygamy, she said that she had only heard about the sealing to Helen Mar Kimball, she didn't act like she knew of any others. 

Her husband has been employed by the CES, their whole married life. He taught high school seminary for years and then onto the Logan Institute and then retired. Now they serve in the Logan temple. 

I was shocked! But hopefully now she's aware, especially if she read the Saints book. 

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1 hour ago, caspianrex said:

The picture seems to me to conflict pretty strongly with what I've read about the actual translation process. Is there any indication that Joseph Smith and his scribes had the plates out in the open on a shared table? 

Not as pictured.  The illustration isn't accurate.  For much of the translation process, the plates were not even present and Joseph had his head in a hat (with the seer stone in the hat).  According to the majority of the witness statements, that method was used for the Book of Mormon we have today.

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40 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

A few years ago I spoke with my sister in law who had served three missions with her husband including being mission presidents, and told her I was going through some struggles with my testimony. She had called about her son's temple marriage ceremony coming up and if we were able to go. When I told her it started with JS's polygamy, she said that she had only heard about the sealing to Helen Mar Kimball, she didn't act like she knew of any others. 

Her husband has been employed by the CES, their whole married life. He taught high school seminary for years and then onto the Logan Institute and then retired. Now they serve in the Logan temple. 

I was shocked! But hopefully now she's aware, especially if she read the Saints book. 

Yes, I'm still amazed when I learn there are some who are completely unaware of how polygamy was lived in Nauvoo.  I see more and more learning about the details now.

Most know a lot more about how Brigham lived it (or others after some of the saints came out to Utah).

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, caspianrex said:

I have had several pleasant experiences with missionaries. They generally seem to be fairly knowledgeable, but I will say this: they seem completely unprepared to meet anyone who has done any research on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ahead of time. Considering the easy access to a variety of information about the LDS faith online (both positive and negative), it seems to me that they should be a bit better prepared to answer people who have done prior searching. 

In my case, the missionaries that visited me were very surprised that I had a couple different editions of the Book of Mormon in my library already. They were particularly surprised that I had a copy of the RLDS "Revised Authorized Version" of the Book of Mormon; one Elder said, "I've heard of this, but I've never seen one!"

The funny thing is I brought it up to my mission president and he just said something like “just teach the basics and everything will work out, you don’t need to waste your time reading into those things right now.” I can see how this path can help streamline things, but it can quickly ruin missionaries reputations.

If the elders can’t answer any history questions or don’t even seem to know any of the more “controversial” elements of our past then we come off a little brain washed. Especially those missionaries who just repeat “I don’t know the answer to your question but I know the church is true and that Joseph was a prophet” any time they are asked an odd question. I don’t think the boys need to go through history class upon history class but some more instruction would serve a lot of usefulness.

Edited by SettingDogStar

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, SettingDogStar said:

The funny thing is I brought it up to my mission president and he just said something like “just teach the basics and everything will work out, you don’t need to waste your time reading into those things right now.” I can see how this path can help streamline things, but it can quickly ruin missionaries reputations.

If the elders can’t answer any history questions or don’t even seem to know any of the more “controversial” elements of our past then we come off a little brain washed. Especially those missionaries who just repeat “I don’t know the answer to your question but I know the church is true and that Joseph was a prophet” any time they are asked an odd question. I don’t think the boys need to go through history class upon history class but some more instruction would serve a lot of usefulness.

I think that was true in past decades but I agree today that's more problematic. The solution is to have more member splits with members who can answer such things. However in practice that is problematic as many members are themselves ignorant or worse. (By worse I mean have all sorts of erroneous folk doctrines) 

I suspect the ultimate solution will have to be either allowing older missionaries more broadly who are informed. However doing that is problematic. They're nervous about doing that with men because there's a perception (correct or incorrect) that single men who'd want to go on a mission are neglecting their duty to marrying single sisters and may be more prone to abuse. That of course still leaves older sisters and I think they could do a much better job marshalling educated single women missionaries of age 30 - 50.

Overall though, short of that, the best solution is having relatively grounded experience young missionaries who can teach by the spirit. That means more missionaries aged 22-25 which goes against the current grain of younger missionaries than even during the more successful missionary periods. (And, as I've repeatedly argued, likely is the main contributing factor to the drop in converts) Maybe increasing the stay in the MTC with training that goes beyond the discussions so as to be prepared for questions on polygamy and so forth.

Edited by clarkgoble

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

. However in practice that is problematic as many members are themselves ignorant or worse. (By worse I mean have all sorts of erroneous folk doctrines) 

We were encouraged to always bring members to our lessons so that the investigators had a friend or someone they recognized at church. However just like F&T meeting it was the scariest things ever to do. Members would always go off the rails, give to much detail, and distract from the point of the lesson.

We had an investigator ask what he was supposed to be doing during a group prayer when he was just sitting there? The member said "I shouldn't tell you this but it'll help you understand.." then continued to explain that in the Temple members practice a True Order of Prayer and broke down many of the aspects to that ceremony. This was our first lesson and he didn't know what temples were, barely knew what Mormons were, had never heard of the Book of Mormon, and hadn't really gone to any other churches since he was a kid. We were horrified, not because we thought he violated covenants but because there was so much information given this poor guy that he was just overwhelmed and confused. The simple answer would be "you can do whatever you want but we like to repeat the words in our minds so that it's like were all praying for the same thing." Yeesh.

Edited by SettingDogStar
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6 minutes ago, SettingDogStar said:

We were encouraged to always bring members to our lessons so that the investigators had a friend or someone they recognized at church. However just like F&T meeting it was the scariest things ever to do. Members would always go off the rails, give to much detail, and distract from the point of the lesson.

Yeah, we had a few areas with members like that. Earnest nice people wanting to help as much as they could but honestly scary to have near investigators.

Part of the problem is that to be polite, the most competent members who'd be the best at splits are simultaneously the most needed to handle the key callings in the ward or stake just to keep the Church running. Typically ward missionaries are an afterthought. It's a tough problem particularly in the mission field. You still get these other competent people coming on splits occasionally. But many of them are already nearly burnt out with all the duties at Church. Even when they do come you can't always depend upon it.

What's nice are older missionary couples, but again there you have some that are great and who have a solid background. Then you have some that are wacky and in some cases facing neurological breakdowns. Again we had a few like that which were a bear to handle. (I remember one couple who would tell investigators they weren't really married or yell at people living together)

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Yeah, we had a few areas with members like that. Earnest nice people wanting to help as much as they could but honestly scary to have near investigators.

Part of the problem is that to be polite, the most competent members who'd be the best at splits are simultaneously the most needed to handle the key callings in the ward or stake just to keep the Church running. Typically ward missionaries are an afterthought. It's a tough problem particularly in the mission field. You still get these other competent people coming on splits occasionally. But many of them are already nearly burnt out with all the duties at Church. Even when they do come you can't always depend upon it.

What's nice are older missionary couples, but again there you have some that are great and who have a solid background. Then you have some that are wacky and in some cases facing neurological breakdowns. Again we had a few like that which were a bear to handle. (I remember one couple who would tell investigators they weren't really married or yell at people living together)

I have shared this before but my Mission President was big on telling us to utilize the Stake Missionaries. Then he had an extended meeting where he interacted with the Stake missions. In the next Zone Conference he apologized and said to use discretion on working with the Stake missionaries as (paraphrased but he did use the word crazy) “many of them are crazy and I would not take them to a teaching appointment”.

Edit: Removed a rant against someone who deserves it but is not that relevant and suggesting he be thrown into a running wood chipper is probably not appropriate for this board.....though he belongs in a running wood chipper.

Edited by The Nehor

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

I have shared this before but my Mission President was big on telling us to utilize the Stake Missionaries. Then he had an extended meeting where he interacted with the Stake missions. In the next Zone Conference he apologized and said to use discretion on working with the Stake missionaries as (paraphrased but he did use the word crazy) “many of them are crazy and I would not take them to a teaching appointment”.

The mission preisdent where I grew up just before I went on my mission had a fantastic program where he got young people called as full time missionaries. They were technically ward/stake missionaries but served full time with a regular companion. It was great in that I think it got me better prepared for my mission but it also helps in that you have people who are in the area coming to know the investigators in a strong way. Also because these are young people you have a much smaller amount of crazies. On the downside that doesn't addess the points I raised which are where the mission program today is weakest. What we really need are more experienced, older (30+) and competent people. That's hard to do in our society.

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On 7/9/2019 at 9:43 AM, caspianrex said:

I have had several pleasant experiences with missionaries. They generally seem to be fairly knowledgeable, but I will say this: they seem completely unprepared to meet anyone who has done any research on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ahead of time. Considering the easy access to a variety of information about the LDS faith online (both positive and negative), it seems to me that they should be a bit better prepared to answer people who have done prior searching. 

In my case, the missionaries that visited me were very surprised that I had a couple different editions of the Book of Mormon in my library already. They were particularly surprised that I had a copy of the RLDS "Revised Authorized Version" of the Book of Mormon; one Elder said, "I've heard of this, but I've never seen one!"

What struck you most about their message? Or about the Book of Mormon's message from any of the editions?

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8 minutes ago, CV75 said:

What struck you most about their message? Or about the Book of Mormon's message from any of the editions?

One of the things that has struck me most in all my dealings with Latter-day Saints is their willingness to help. Some missionaries who came to the house saw I had a young baby at the time, and offered to help clean while I took care of her. (I didn't end up taking them up on the offer, but they were absolutely sincere.) One summer shortly after I got married, an LDS family I had gotten to know a little through substitute teaching quite literally kept my wife and me alive during a very lean summer, giving us fruit and veggies from their garden and paying me to mow the lawn. Just a few years ago, when I was working at Macy's, a group of young Latter-day Saints stopped by and said they were doing random acts of kindness, and wanted to know if we needed help with anything; we had just had a clothing rack collapse on us, and we were having to move a ton of clothes to a different rack. They helped us, and a potentially 2 hour job got done in 15 min.

As far as the message from missionaries I've spoken with, while I appreciate their sincerity, we differ quite strongly in a few theological areas, and despite a not inconsiderable amount of time reading the Book of Mormon, I have not received any sort of testimony in keeping with Moroni's promise in Moroni 10:4-5. Still, I will always defend Latter-day Saints when people are slagging them, and I think I can learn a great deal from them as a follower of Christ. Missionaries have always been happy to pray with me at the end of their visit, and I feel as if we have shared some time on a journey together. Hope that makes sense!

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3 hours ago, caspianrex said:

One of the things that has struck me most in all my dealings with Latter-day Saints is their willingness to help. Some missionaries who came to the house saw I had a young baby at the time, and offered to help clean while I took care of her. (I didn't end up taking them up on the offer, but they were absolutely sincere.) One summer shortly after I got married, an LDS family I had gotten to know a little through substitute teaching quite literally kept my wife and me alive during a very lean summer, giving us fruit and veggies from their garden and paying me to mow the lawn. Just a few years ago, when I was working at Macy's, a group of young Latter-day Saints stopped by and said they were doing random acts of kindness, and wanted to know if we needed help with anything; we had just had a clothing rack collapse on us, and we were having to move a ton of clothes to a different rack. They helped us, and a potentially 2 hour job got done in 15 min.

As far as the message from missionaries I've spoken with, while I appreciate their sincerity, we differ quite strongly in a few theological areas, and despite a not inconsiderable amount of time reading the Book of Mormon, I have not received any sort of testimony in keeping with Moroni's promise in Moroni 10:4-5. Still, I will always defend Latter-day Saints when people are slagging them, and I think I can learn a great deal from them as a follower of Christ. Missionaries have always been happy to pray with me at the end of their visit, and I feel as if we have shared some time on a journey together. Hope that makes sense!

Absolutely makes sense; thank you! What have you found to be the areas of discussion with the missionaries that are in common theologically, and what resonates most with you from your reading the Book of Mormon?

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, caspianrex said:

One of the things that has struck me most in all my dealings with Latter-day Saints is their willingness to help. Some missionaries who came to the house saw I had a young baby at the time, and offered to help clean while I took care of her. (I didn't end up taking them up on the offer, but they were absolutely sincere.) One summer shortly after I got married, an LDS family I had gotten to know a little through substitute teaching quite literally kept my wife and me alive during a very lean summer, giving us fruit and veggies from their garden and paying me to mow the lawn. Just a few years ago, when I was working at Macy's, a group of young Latter-day Saints stopped by and said they were doing random acts of kindness, and wanted to know if we needed help with anything; we had just had a clothing rack collapse on us, and we were having to move a ton of clothes to a different rack. They helped us, and a potentially 2 hour job got done in 15 min.

As far as the message from missionaries I've spoken with, while I appreciate their sincerity, we differ quite strongly in a few theological areas, and despite a not inconsiderable amount of time reading the Book of Mormon, I have not received any sort of testimony in keeping with Moroni's promise in Moroni 10:4-5. Still, I will always defend Latter-day Saints when people are slagging them, and I think I can learn a great deal from them as a follower of Christ. Missionaries have always been happy to pray with me at the end of their visit, and I feel as if we have shared some time on a journey together. Hope that makes sense!

I'm a LDS that ran into a testimony issue and have been inactive for a couple of years. But I always defend the goodness of most LDS. Just this evening my son who has become anti, and I, argued when he lumps all LDS into one and thinks they're fools. Boy, did I get my feathers up. I defended the many LDS that are my friends and family, I'm still seething after the conversation. Also, he was making fun of me and his dad for believing in the church for so long, and boasted he knew it was false at 12, news to me! 

I do say things that I don't like about the church or what some of the leaders have said or done on this board, but I will always stand up for the goodness most members have. 

Thanks for sharing your experiences!

ETA: He is only 22, and my youngest. Hope he'll change one day and mature.

Edited by Tacenda

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Posted (edited)

Just to be clear there was no cover up.  Everyone knows about Sally's green glass, the brown stone discovery in the iron kettle, how the white stone was used to discover the location of the plates and identity of the wife to accompany the hill cumorah visit, the verdict on the 1826 glasslooker trial, and the artwork in the old preach my gospel was correct.  Joseph did early on copy down characters from the plates w no seer stone used and sent out Martin with the intention of having an alphabet prepared by scholars such as Caleb Atwater and Constantine Rafinesque (early maya work), and Samuel Mitchell.  The writings by Mitchell on the native Americans is key.  

Edited by blueglass

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, blueglass said:

Just to be clear there was no cover up.  Everyone knows about Sally's green glass, the brown stone discovery in the iron kettle, how the white stone was used to discover the location of the plates and identity of the wife to accompany the hill cumorah visit, the verdict on the 1826 glasslooker trial.... 

"Everyone"?  That's not been my experience.  But I agree that more members are now learning about the things you mentioned (than the number who knew about them previously).

13 hours ago, blueglass said:

and the artwork in the old preach my gospel was correct.  

That's not true.  Joseph didn't have the plates out like that in plain sight with someone sitting across the table from him writing down his words.  (At least none of the witnesses to the translation state this occurred.)

Image result for scripture joseph translating the plate

Edited by ALarson

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, ALarson said:

"Everyone"?  That's not been my experience.  But I agree that more members are now learning about the things you mentioned (than the number who knew about them previously).

That's not true.  Joseph didn't have the plates out like that in plain sight with someone sitting across the table from him writing down his words.  (At least none of the witnesses to the translation state this occurred.)

Image result for scripture joseph translating the plate

It hurts to read these statements like the ones I drafted in jest.  The video of this OP does not have any of the elements I listed.  Nor does the new book Saints other than the cat landing on its feet at the 1826 trial.  Concerning the image with a scribe copying down characters from the plates, there are statements from Lucy Mack Smith's 1844 history, and from Joseph Knight Sr. which have a different narrative than Joseph as translator.  I read this article by Michael Mackay and it looks like early on he was copying down many characters off the plates to have them translated by other scholars - not to prove to Martin that this was a good investment but actually to "git them translated" and produce an alphabet and grammar primer like he did with the KEP GAEL project with the book of "Abraham" [Osiris Sheshonq] https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/grammar-and-alphabet-of-the-egyptian-language-circa-july-circa-november-1835/51

Reuben Hale may have served as copyist of the characters for a time as well.  No seer stone was used, as he was just copying characters.   https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/approaching-antiquity-joseph-smith-and-ancient-world/git-them-translated-translating

Also see Christopher Smith's paper comparing book of mormon Egyptian Alphabet work with the Book of [Sheshonq] work in which some scans of the Egyptian Alphabet are in Joseph's own handwriting.  October 1, 1835, "This after noon labored on the Egyptian Alphabet, in company with brsr O[liver] Cowdery and W[illiam] W. PHelps:  The system of astronomy was unfolded."

https://www.jstor.org/stable/43200343?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents

 

Edited by blueglass

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