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  2. There are plenty of narcissistic and very rich people who need to be invited just for the practical reason that we don't need future problems with such people. A little kindness and respect goes a long way. As soon as they see that the Mormons are not a threat to their conspiratorial plans, they laugh at our innocent idiocy, and then go off to continue their normal criminal enterprises.
  3. Ritner, who is a first-rate scholar, has a visceral hatred for the LDS Church -- which colors all his thinking on the subject -- even though the LDS Church and its members do not actually have it in for him and his personal orientation. Most members have never even heard of him, and could care less. Part of the problem is that people generally are abysmally ignorant of Egyptian history, as well as of Western history. Hardly anyone, for example, realizes that in Greco-Roman times, Egypt generally and Alexandria, Egypt, specifically was the intellectual center of the ancient world. The world's greatest library was in Alexandria. The center of Christianity was in Alexandria. Not only that, but the greatest Jewish intellectuals lived there. Not only was the Jewish community in Egypt huge, but they had been living in Egypt for centuries, and even had two temples in Egypt. That's right, temples with priests and blood sacrifice. The native Egyptian people were well aware of their Jewish neighbors, just as most Americans today are well aware of their American Jewish neighbors. With the rise of Christianity, virtually the entire native Egyptian population converted to Christianity (Coptic Christianity). That huge Jewish community in Egypt continued to exist and prosper there for the next two thousand years -- with the world's largest synagogue in Alexandria. Yokels just can't grasp that reality. So, naturally, there couldn't possibly have ever been anything Jewish in Egypt. The late John A. Wilson, a modern Egyptologist, saw the Aoffhand and hostile opinions@ of the 1912 Spalding anti-Mormon jurors as Aa lot of indignant snorts@ inimical to good scholarship.[1] I suspect that Wilson would say the same of Ritner. [1] Wilson, Thousands of Years, 176.
  4. It is no accident, by the way, that the Hebrew word for "sex" is min, taken from the name of that ancient Egyptian god.
  5. I'm thinking of one of those online regional dialect tests that guesses where you're from based on which words you use for certain things. I remember taking one several times and changing my answers a little each time because there was more than one legitimate answer. The results told me I was from Seattle, Salt Lake City, or Los Angeles depending on how I answered. As it turns out I grew up in Western Washington, lived most of my adult life along the Wasatch Front, and my parents grew up in Southern California. Somebody analyzing a large enough sample of my writing might conclude there were actually 3 different writers rather than one writer with different influences. You've looked how English has varied over time, but it varies by region, too, right? What if someone grew up in Scotland in the late 1500s, was educated at Oxford in the early 1600s, and spent his adult life in different places throughout England and Europe interacting with both rural and urban English speaking peoples with different dialects? Then in 1650 he writes a book. Isn't it possible he would have an idiosyncratic style that might seem eclectic as if there were multiple authors? We can't expect a single author to look like an "average" author. What may look like limited elements from the late 1400s, strong elements from the mid-to-late 1500s, along with some elements from the 1600s may just be a single author's various geographical and temporal influences manifesting themselves.
  6. Interesting study of an outbreak. Discusses the importance of air filtration...this will spread through the air. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3654517
  7. That's an interesting example you give. The new Mass was promulgated officially in Latin and then translated into the various languages. The English translation was done loosely, in the spirit of Vatican II, etc., and thus wasn't true to the Latin. For example, you might remember: Dominus vobiscum. And the response? Et spiritu tuo. That was kept in the Latin of the new Mass. But the English translation was: The Lord be with you. And also with you. It should have been "And with your spirit." That's what the Latin says. But the translators were playing loose for their own purposes (modernize the Church at all costs!). They did the same with your example. The words of the Centurion remained in the Latin of the new Mass, but the English translation was: "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you." The so-called translation totally omitted "under my roof." Now, there was a new English translation released oh, 9 years ago? that fixed these blatant errors. But I still find the new Mass deficient. It lacks the grandeur and some of the theology of the traditional Mass. This is often compounded by choices the priest and choir and others make, too. Sometimes regular Mass can be so banal, with poorly written folk music passing for sacred hymns, etc. I converted before I had experienced the traditional Mass. My draw to symbolize had me seek it out. The nearest traditional Mass was 45 minutes away in an SSPX chapel. I was blown away. I felt like I had stepped into the fullness of Catholic worship, the complete banquet, where I had only been given fast food before. All of my senses and faculties were pointed toward God. The beauty of the architecture, stained glass, vestments. The Gregorian chant and sacred hymns. The timeless Latin. Incense. Bells. Beauty! And since it was SSPX, they took their liturgy very seriously. I was amazed. I continued attending until the FSSP moved into the diocese. This is a priestly fraternity that doesn't have any canonical issues and sets up shop when invited by the bishop. They likewise offer the traditional sacraments with the same seriousness.
  8. That is why I've always loved the Catholic and the Lutheran Church before it was americanized to the degree it has been. The latter is a shame, the ELCA has ties with the EKD so there are German speaking Parishes that have the old school views of Mary with modern day tolerance towards LGBT folks. Martin Luther viewed Mary more or less the same as the Catholic Church did, born without sin, was taken up and crowned queen of heaven. No worthwhile man does anything without a good mom. From my experneice mom usually does a lot more than the father does, irritates me how most Christians here never consider the sacrifices Mary let alone women in general make for their kids.
  9. Are you sure? Robert is correct. "Muhlestein is being very frank" about his assumptions. I question whether you are being similarly frank about Ritner. You claim that you aren't "trying to portray him as anything," and yet you are "respecting his expertise" while simultaneously not respecting Muhlestein's. Contrary to your denial, you are specifically and expressly portraying Ritner as "objective" and having an "agenda" of "truth" and "good solid objective scholarship." In contrast, you characterize Muhlestein as an "apologist" who is unduly beholden to "assumptions." OGHoosier characterized Dr. Ritner as an "an excellent Egyptologist with an anti-Mormon chip in his shoulder so big that Khufu modeled his Pyramid on it." I think there are evidentiary grounds for this characterization. For example, he was removed from Gee's doctoral committee at Yale. The circumstances of that removal remain mostly publicly opaque, apart from this (apparently written by Daniel Peterson in 2006): Ritner purportedly responded to the above: Seems like there may be some behind-the-scenes stuff going on. But that's mostly conjecture. I think there's a better case to be made by examining what Dr. Ritner has actually said in publications. In his 2013 book, The Joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri: A Complete Edition, Dr. Ritner declares that "Except for those willfully blind… the case is closed." This doesn't really come across as "objective" (or, for that matter, scholarly). Larry Morris provides further indications: I appreciate Morris doing more than just critiquing Dr. Ritner's less-than-scholarly rhetoric. He offers examples of other scholars (here, Remini) who adopted a more objective, less cynical/incendiary approach to the BoA. More: Well? It sure seems like Ritner's editorializing is far from "objective" or "impartial." Who is correct here, you or Morris? More: Huh. Seems like Ritner "rebuts Gee" by citing . . . Ritner. He quotes his own reconstruction of the text to rebut Gee. This is, in your view, "objective" scholarship? Morris drops a long footnote expressing concern about Dr. Ritner using a scholarly venue to vent about his personal dispute with Gee: What are your thoughts about this? More: Are you sure you want to continue to juxtpose Ritner's purported "objective" approach to the BoA with Muhlestein's purportedly biased/"apologetic" approach? As I see it, Ritner's Dialogue article brings his (apparent lack of) objectivity, and his apparent biases, into reasonable dispute. Meanwhile, what are we to make of Ritner's treatment of the KEP? This is a pretty important issue. Again from the Morris article: Morris does a pretty good job of laying out examples of Dr. Ritner's lack of objectivity and impartiality in his scholarship. I think you are doing more than that. Is there any similar "filtering" going on with Dr. Ritner (particularly given the issues raised by Morris, some of which are noted above)? "In contrast." You characterize the scholar who shares your antipathy toward the Church and its doctrines as "objective," as having an "agenda" of seeking "truth" through "good solid objective scholarship." You then, "in contrast," characterize the Latter-day Saint scholar (Muhelstein) as . . . something else. As an "apologist" beholden to "assumptions." What are those? See the Morris article, quoted at length above. Perhaps there are stories that crept in Hebrew tradition for instance, but that's not finding the BoA story in ancient Egypt. So you are speaking of ancient Egyptian sources of information about Abraham? In The Ancient Egyptian View of Abraham, the author states that "evidence survives today indicating that stories about Abraham were known to the ancient Egyptians as early as the time of the composition of the Joseph Smith Papyri (ca. 300–30 BC)." The article itemizes some of these ancient sources: Why is Artapanus not a sufficient source for you? Is it your position that Joseph Smith knew about Artapanus writing about Abraham teaching astronomy to the Egyptian Pharaoh, and included that detail in the BoA? Or is it just happenstance that an ancient source presents this story and Joseph Smith just stumbled into replicating it? As Daniel Peterson commented: "It's amazing what Joseph Smith was able to pick up on the western frontier." Indeed. Yes. The point...none of this is found in ancient Egypt. Hecateus of Abdera? Eupolemus? Artapanus? Philo? The Testament of Abraham? These aren't ancient Egyptian sources talking about Abraham in Egypt? I'm not sure what you are saying. Did you even read the POGPC article? Beats me. Not sure it matters much to me. "Beats me?" That's it? That's all you've got? Desite having commented extensively about the Book of Abraham? Funny how often we end up with glib conclusions like this. You aren't the first one to be unwilling/unable to formulate or defend a counter-argument relative to the claims of the Church. Daniel Peterson has commented on the tendency of critics who, when pressed in an adversarial construct, suddenly go all quiet and agnostic and conveniently ambivalent about such controversies. They are vocally adamant about the Church's position being necessarily and demonstrably wrong, but then become curiously uncurious when asked to provide and substantiate and defend a coherent alternative explanation for, say, the source of the Book of Mormon or the Book of Abraham. Some excerpts from DCP: I think DCP has a fair point. I think it's intellectually incumbent upon people like you to provide at least some sort of alternative explanation for, say, how Joseph Smith ended up with including a narrative about Abraham teaching astronomy to the Pharaoh. Was it just a lucky guess? See also here (also by Dr. Peterson) (emphasis added): In Risen Indeed, Stephen Davis remarks that A similar situation obtains, in my judgment, with regard to the Book of Mormon and certain other elements of the Restoration. While, for instance, this or that aspect of the Book of Mormon can, hypothetically, be accounted for by means of something within Joseph Smith’s early nineteenth-century information environment, a fully comprehensive counterexplanation for Joseph’s claims remains promised but manifestly unprovided. Critics have disagreed over the nearly two centuries since the First Vision about whether Joseph was brilliant or stupid, whether he was sincerely hallucinating or cunningly conscious of his fraud, whether he concocted the Book of Mormon alone or with co-conspirators (their own identity either hotly debated or completely unknown), whether he was a cynical atheist or a pious fraud defending Christianity, and so forth. With respect, I think you are taking a Dale Morgan-esque approach that just doesn't work for me. I think it is problematic to, as Morgan put it, "look everywhere for explanations except to the ONE explanation that is the position of the church." This is a heads-the-Church-loses-tails-the-Church-loses approach. No. I think Givens offers some interesting ideas. However, I'm not sure he has fully considered the ramifications of this approach. Mark Johnson has some interesting comments on this here: It can certainly be noted that Joseph felt free to alter the texts of his revelations after he received them. The additions of Hebrew into the translation of the Book of Abraham or the twice-revised verses in the JST are evidence of this. The question of how much latitude Joseph Smith had to voice the revelations in his own words is still unanswered and will likely be debated for years to come. Indeed. In any event, Givens is not seeking to upend or contradict the Church's claims about the Book of Abraham. I am reminded here of the pretty-darn-embarrassing misreading/misrepresentation of Givens by Consig and Analytics last year. Quoth Analytics: I responded: And here: I continue to feel a bit perplexed at A) critics and skeptics taking a Dale Morgan-esque I-will-look-everywhere-for-explanations-except-to-the-ONE-explanation-that-is-the-position-of-the-church approach to the Church's claims, B) critics and skeptics adopting a "guerrilla warfare" attitude when examining the BOM, BOA, etc. (endlessly disputing the Church's explanation of the BOM, BOA, etc., while not actually getting around to formulating a coherent counter-explanation); C) critics and skeptics suddenly going all quiet and agnostic and conveniently ambivelant about issues pertaining to the Church when pressed to present a coherent counter-explanation for these things, and D) critics and skeptics not really listening to, or meaningfully interacting with, what the Church and its scholars and apologists are actually saying, and instead trying to distort, misconstrue, misstate and mischaracterize what we are saying so as to put us in the worst possible light (such as what Consig and Analytics did re: Givens). Responses like "beats me" and “I don’t have to lower myself to your simplistic little dichotomies" are singularly unimpressive to me, particularly in 2020, and particularly given the wealth of readily-available information and scholarship we have seen come out in the last many years. I returned from my mission in 1995, and ever since then have made studying the Restored Gospel a significant priority in my life. I think it's fair to say that I am both a "defender of the faith" and a long-time consumer of apologetic and scholarly materials. In the aggregate I have found such materials to be very helpful in my faith journey. They are a wonderful supplement to the spiritual and personal experiences I have had which have pursuaded me to that the Church is what it claims to be. Since law school, I have come to appreciate the value of adversarial examination of disputed issues. My daily, bread-and-butter work is to examine factual and legal issues about which the parties pretty much always have divergent viewpoints, asssessments, conclusions, etc. I like how the adversarial process can (can, mind you) help the parties sift through the facts and the law to get to a more accurate and more complete understanding of A) what really happened, and B) what the law should do about what really happened. I have had many experiences in which I have had to backtrack and reconsider my client's factual and/or legal position because my grasp of the facts and/or the law was materially incorrect. My errors have become manifest because, through the adversarial process, people who who do share my perspective/biases have shown me where I went wrong. These are difficult and humbling, but also very useful, learning experiences for me. However, I have also had many other experiences where my grasp of the facts and the law has been largely confirmed and vindicated through this same adversarial setting and process. Having worked vary hard in law school to gain some mastery of the basics of the practice of law, and then having spent 15+ years practicing law, it is gratifying to have had such experiences. I have spent the last 25+ years reading what the Church and its scholars/apologists have said about controversies and difficulties pertaining to the claims of the Church. I have also spent most of that time reading what critics of my faith have to say about such things, and also interacting with many of them in an adversarial setting (message boards). The claims of the Church, and critiques and criticisms of those claims, are examined, and re-examined. I have actively involved myself in many of these examinations. I feel like I am a lot more informed than I was in 1995, and a lot more clear-eyed in my perception of and perspective on the Church and its claims. But more to the point, examining the Church's claims in an adversarial setting has helped me feel vindicated in my assessment of the Restored Gospel. I have long believed that the Church's claims are substantively true, but I have spent the last 25 years testing and debating those claims in an adversarial setting. I have been humbled a lot. I have had to correct and re-assess what I believe and why. But in the main, I am very happy with the cumulative results these efforts. Through revelation, through day-to-day experiences, through prolonged study and examination (including reviewing critical assessments/arguments), I have come to find that the Church's claims are reasonable, resilient, eminently defensible, and substantively true. Thanks, -Smac
  10. The LGBT part, I'm pretty apathetic to most church politics, am all for arming every american to the teeth as well as mandatory miltary training, want public hangings to come back (I'm serious) and America to stop being the worlds punching bag. I'd either irritate half the parish or get irritated myself and just leave. Quick correction, that all gets canceled if the parish celebrates the feast days, esp. ones like St. Hubertus. Also, find a way to get the ambulance corps here stateside like Europe has em. I want to see this here, good luck. lol
  11. And this applies also to ordinances "sealed by the Spirit of Promise" https://emp.byui.edu/ANDERSONR/itc/Book _of_Mormon/02_1nephi/1nephi01/1nephi01_04impressionsonsoul_jfs.htm (Joseph Fielding Smith, "The First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve," Improvement Era 69:979 [Nov. pro 1966])
  12. Yeah, but why did you have to call Miserere a "whelp"? (joke! )
  13. I see that 3DOP gave this his imprimatur and nihil obstat with his rep point. Yes I am old enough to clearly remember the switch and I never looked at the church the same way after the switch from Latin. It was just a linguistic shift but so much a part of the church- not only a linguistic shift. From the Mass, I remember the sentence "Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum: Sed tantum dic verbo et sanabitur anima mea. " It is from Luke 7:7 and is roughly translated "Lord, I am not worthy that you enter under my roof, but only say the word and my servant will be healed" and are the words of a Roman centurian who approached Jesus with such faith that he knew that the Lord could heal his servant simply by his word- he did not need to come to his house and enter "under his roof", but that the servant could be healed by Jesus simply saying the words. But as I grew a little bit older and had a Latin class or two, I realized that possibly those were the exact words the Centurion actually spoke Suddenly it became not a translation, but a living conversation I could understand on my own! And the phrase "under my roof" = "sub tectum meum" did not mean the roof of the Centurion's house, but the roof of MY mouth, in receiving the Eucharist.! The Lord himself was about to enter under MY "tectum", and though I was technically worthy enough to receive communion, was I really WORTHY for the savior of the universe to enter ME?? But then it was all changed to English. Yes the analogy remained- sort of- but those were no longer the words of a Centurion but the words of whomever decided to translate them that way. The Latin Vulgate itself actually uses some different words yet with the same sense- but no longer to me the "real words". The vulgate suggests that the person healed was "my boy" which might have also been a son? Scholars please comment? https://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/vul/luk007.htm#007 Anyway, I found that fairly disturbing at the time.
  14. Looks like combined. “The evening session on Saturday, October 3, at 6:00 p.m. will be for all members and friends of the Church.” https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/church/events/october-2020-general-conference?lang=eng
  15. Yesterday
  16. My wife is the smartest person I have ever actually met, and she is about as traditionally LDS as anyone, but she sees my interpretations as acceptable. She kind of humors me about my unorthodoxy, but sees me as orthodox when I fully explain why I think that way. She has no knowledge of or interest in apologetics or Book of Mormon scholarship for the same reasons I do, because her entire belief system is based on direct personal revelation through her own spiritual connections. So do you see why I married her? I explained the EmodE - or however it is spelled- theory to her in an extensive "pontificating session" - as she calls them- consisting of about one minute while she politely listened, though clearly bored. I interrupted her video game for this?? She instantly came up with the same answer you did- It could've been a committee on the other side doing a "creative and cultural translation" circa 1600, the goal of which was to "testify of Christ. and resumed her video game. It could be or could not be, but that is certainly an answer that fulfills all the requirements. And besides it has my wife's stamp of approval.
  17. Yup. So it seems. I'll not be the one to push discussion. But you seem to have possibly pondered this: What good mother could willingly part with her child, whether said free child be happy about it or no? I have pondered too and I side with Mom and hope her love will triumph, while acknowledging "the rights" of child resistance, even to its own demise. I have probably spun your ponderings to please myself and misunderstood...awaiting probable clarification or correction that might be forthcoming. PS: By the way, Mother Church is most accurately understood as "she", singular, not "they" plural. If multiple persons are members of Mother Church, there is but one mind of Christ by which she/they are led.
  18. Brilliant in its simplicity. It never occurred to me in precisely those terms but it is totally true!!
  19. Yet if one takes that as I think Joseph naively took it, that is a right arm, missing the hand, making a gesture which can be seen in the temple today, with the left "hand" showing the symbolic "translation" of both the compass and square. I am never sure why that is not obvious. To me this is THE clear evidence for the whole catalyst theory- in fact- I personally came up with my own "catalyst theory" when I first joined the church and saw the facsimile the first time before I had ever seen the catalyst theory mentioned in apologetic circles. And that left arm raised and the left "hand" illustrates the exact meaning of what that left arm and right hand "say" symbolically, in the temple, or at least that is how I see it. So it is not Min, or a phallus if you see it that way- it is a right arm seen only below the elbow, forming a square, and the left arm raised to the square, and hand illustrated as a compass and square. I saw that and immediately said to myself that Joseph was not "translating" Egyptian but, with that interpretation, clearly (to me) seeing the illustration in a naive way as what he describes it as being- God revealing the symbols used in the temple. It is an interpretation of a drawing the way he saw it- which has nothing to do with Egyptology. For me that was the key to the whole interpretation of "direct revelation" of all scriptures which came through Joseph, from the Book of Mormon through the King Follette Discourse. They trace either 1) the development of Joseph's theology from the rather Protestant stuff in the Book of Mormon OR 2) the gospel as the Lord wanted to reveal it, bit by bit and line by line. To me either way of seeing it- 1 or 2- is "correct". The bottom line is that it is all for our spiritual edification putting together a comprehensive theory from which we can gain meaning in our lives about our eternal journey, which can only be "verified" by resonance felt within us delivered by either- the Holy Ghost- OR perhaps our own unconscious, reflecting the rules which have always worked for humanity. It is either God or some deep instinct within us, as deep as perhaps the one that can lead a Monarch butterfly on its journey of thousands of miles, or the Spirit of God Himself guiding and directing our moral path and giving us meaning in life But that comes down to a distinction without a difference, as we say in Pragmatism- it comes down to two ways of seeing like the rabbit and duck I have used so often to illustrate it. And in my moments of silent meditation it is clear to me that it is a Voice of a Being so far above my intelligence that it is unimaginable, and which can only be spoken about in stories we have made up. And so here we are imprisoned by language as the children of Babel. I wonder if Wittgenstein every thought of that old story which says so much about his own philosophy??
  20. Since you don't have to get baptized again, it makes it easy to start going to Mass again, right..?
  21. Are they having one Sat Oct 3rd 6pm or is it another special combined meeting?
  22. High church Protestants were the same at one time as well. It's amazing how far the denominations here stateside have wandered from the liturgical teachings. Fun fact, there's even a Lutheran Rosary, the state churches in Europe are cool with it.
  23. Whelp, looks like I'm still Catholic. Long story, one i'm not in the mood to discuss right but yeah, went through the whole thing. Mother Church sure doesn't like parting with souls do they?
  24. But did she have any idea of why he was invited? Just because he had lots of money doesn't mean the church invited him for that reason. It's ok to not assume the worst.
  25. I do not necessarily agree with either statement but there is no conflict that I see, unless one concludes that "Egyptology" consists strictly of translating hieroglyphics which is not the case. It is much more than that.
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