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caspianrex

Annotated Book of Mormon

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9 hours ago, -Burnside- said:
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I struggle with the Heartland Model because A) its advocates have generally failed to present much in the way of well-reasoned evidence and argument, and B) they instead resort to ad hominem nastiness (such as is very much on display in your post) to critique the Mesoamerican-based models of BOM geography.

I've worked as a litigating attorney for fifteen years now.  I've encountered attorneys who rely on this sort of all-bombast-and-no-substance histrionics.  In pretty much every case, this is because their argument or legal position is deeply flawed or unsupported in some material way.  I keep having this suspicion about Meldrum (and Neville).

Thanks,

-Smac

I didn’t learn the RLDS connection from Meldrum nor Neville.

I didn't say you did.

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Which proves what type of litigator you must have been and who you are now with your false accusations.

I haven't made any false accusations.  Instead, I observed that Heartland Theory folks generally fail to to present much in the way of well-reasoned evidence and argument, and instead resort to ad hominem nastiness.

And here you are, proving my point (again).

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I learned it from the Mesoamerica scholars. Jack Welch notes in the FAQs of BookofMormonCentral that he works with CofC and Restoration Branch scholars. Sorenson and Tvedtnes published information on it, as I noted previously.

Okay.  Not sure how that is a problem.  As Elder (then-President) Uchtdorf so aptly put it: "We seek for truth wherever we may find it."

The Church has a monopoly on priesthood authority, and from and with that comes much truth.  But we cannot claim a monopoly on truth itself, nor can we claim to have a perfect understanding of what truth we have. 

So we pursue truth using all resources available to us.  That can and does include knowledge and ideas obtained and developed in other faith traditions.  So when we are repeatedly exhorted to "seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith" (D&C 88:118, D&C 109:7, 14), I think the Lord contemplated that some of those "best books" were written by people not of our faith.  Catholics.  Anglicans.  Jews.  Baptists.  Muslims.  Buddhists.  And yes, even RLDS/COC.  These books, and the ideas in them, do not supersede revealed/prophetic truths, and they certainly need to be approached in that context.  However, they can certainly enhance our understanding of such things.  And in situations where we lack much in the way of revealed light and knowledge (as pertaining to the geography of the Book of Mormon, for example), it may very well be that those not of our faith can nevertheless help us in our studies.

You seem to be scandalized by the idea that Jack Welch "works with CofC and Restoration Branch scholars."  That seems strange to me.  

As for the origins of the Limited Geography Model, Matthew Roper does quite a good job at tracing its origins, as well as the Hemispheric Theory's: Limited Geography and the Book of Mormon: Historical Antecedents and Early Interpretations (published in 2004, and gives due credit to Louis Edward Hills, a member of the RLDS Church whom Roper describes as "{t}he first writer to advance a fully limited Book of Mormon geography that confined Book of Mormon events, including the destruction of the Nephites and Jaredites, to ancient Mesoamerica").

For me, studying this issue has long been a "let the chips fall where they may" kind of thing.  Although I went to law school at BYU (where Jack Welch is employed), I never took a class from him, and I have never met him (though I am friends with his son-in-law).  I have met Daniel Peterson once, talked with him by telephone once, and communicated online a handful of times.  I've spoken with Brant Gardner once (in this forum).  Matthew Roper is in my stake (I live in Provo), but I see him rarely, and I have never talked with him about these issues, except to thank him for the above article, which I found helpful and illuminating.  I have never met or communicated with John Sorenson, or Kirk Magleby, or Lou Midgley, or Hugh Nibley, or any of the other folks who have written about or advocated the Mesoamerica/Limited Geography Model(s).

In other words, I have no particular dog in this fight.  No skin in the game.  I am not loyal to a "team," having hardly met or interacted with any of the "players."  I have tried to educate myself by reading materials and coming to informed assessments and still-somewhat-malleable conclusions about this issue.  Again, I have found the arguments advanced by the Heartland Model folks to be, in the main, lacking in reasoned argument and sound evaluation of extant evidence.  This anemic showing is only made worse, and substantially so, by all-bombast-and-no-substance histrionics and ad hominem nastiness such as what you are putting on display here.

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The RLDS source is well known by these Scholars. But not by you, a litigator. 

Actually, I did know about RLDS/COC interest in the geography issue (Matthew Roper having touched on it in his 2004 article, see above).

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A few internet searches on RLDS sites revealed more. This information was hidden pre-internet in the 80s and 90s when it was heavily promoted. But no longer.

So not much of a secret, then (particularly where "Jack Welch notes in the FAQs of BookofMormonCentral that he works with CofC and Restoration Branch scholars").

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But apparently it’s has to be hidden through censorship,

Apparently not, since here you are, talking about it.

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since I obviously got banned and will be again, by the all powerful Nemesis who was too much of a chicken to note it here for others to see in the future, and likely was contacted by the Mesoamerica crybabies on this site who can’t stand the TRUTH, because it destroys their 501(c)(3) business in promoting a RLDS geography fraud started in the 1920s.

And even more ad hominem.  And no substance.

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Then they make a spurious connection to it, to the Prophet Joseph Smith when they found in Church history that Bishop Bernhisel gave the Prophet a copy Stephens’ Mesoamerica book as a gift for asking the Prophet a favor to purchase a plot of land in Nauvoo for Bernhisel. The letter of thanks to Bernhisel was not written in Joseph Smith’s handwriting, as noted in JSPapers, but by John Taylor or Wilford Woodruff.

Roper addresses this.

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Thus this letter somehow in their illogical academic minds,

And even more ad hominem.

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connects the Prophet Joseph Smith in the 1840s to a 1920 RLDS Two-Cumorah Book of Mormon Geography Theory and everything Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and other Church leaders said that had any connection to North America for Book of Mormon geography is put down as speculation - and this makes them intelligent and scholarly.

I am interested in solid and fair and well-reasoned evaluation of the evidence at hand.  Thus we have scholars who often have training in relevant fields, such as Sorenseon and Gardner, but we also have well-read-but-not-necessarily-a-"scholar-in-a-relevant-field" folks like Jeff Lindsay, who "do{es} not consider {him}self a scholar" (though he does hold a PhD in chemical engineering) but who has nevertheless provided a lot of very useful and insightful material that has helped me in my own efforts to better understand Gospel-related topics, including BOM geography.

For me, what marks a person as "intelligent and scholarly" is their output, particularly when that output is published to the world and subjected to scrutiny by those with contrary points of view.

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As if their entire mortal probationary period is prove Joseph Smith and other Church leaders of being wrong.

And even more ad hominem.

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And this is to prove The Book of Mormon is true, or is to fatten their purses at their 501(c)(3)? 

And even more ad hominem.

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But hey, when I attended BYU, Utah County was considered the White Collar crime capital of the World, and apparently still is.  

And even more ad hominem.

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But continue as a litigator and believe Joseph Smith needed a travel book about the excellent Mesoamerica adventures of John Lloyd Stephens to learn the geography of The Book of Mormon, and Oliver Cowdery was a second-witness who you would never call upon as a witness other than to call him a liar.

I honor Joseph Smith for his prophetic calling.  But I am not persuaded that he received revelation as to BOM geography (or if he did, that he left behind competent and probative writings about it).  I think this is why the Church's Gospel Topics essay about "Book of Mormon Geography" (all of these essays having been "approved by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles") presents a constrained approach to this topic:

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Since the publication of the Book of Mormon in 1830, members and leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have expressed numerous opinions about the specific locations of the events discussed in the book. Some believe that the history depicted in the Book of Mormon —with the exception of the events in the Near East —occurred in North America, while others believe that it occurred in Central America or South America. Although Church members continue to discuss such theories today, the Church’s only position is that the events the Book of Mormon describes took place in the ancient Americas.
...
The Church does not take a position on the specific geographic locations of Book of Mormon events in the ancient Americas.
...
Individuals may have their own opinions regarding Book of Mormon geography and other such matters about which the Lord has not spoken. However, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles urge leaders and members not to advocate those personal theories in any setting or manner that would imply either prophetic or Church support for those theories. All parties should strive to avoid contention on these matters.

Food for thought.

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Because you’re a “brilliant” litigator -

I never claimed to be "brilliant."  Where are you getting that?

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or were - who makes false accusations and drop the names of Meldrum and Neville to get some brownie points.

I dropped those names because those are the ones that came immediately to mind.

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I bet you couldn’t litigate yourself out of a paper bag.

And even more ad hominem.

You are only proving my previous point in behaving this way.  Over and over and over.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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