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Robert F. Smith

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Everything posted by Robert F. Smith

  1. Unless a biographer with inside info tells us differently, it looks like he grew up Baptist, attended Baptist schools, and was buried a Baptist. If he temporarily converted to LDS faith somewhere along the way, it would likely be when he was a schoolteacher: he was a high school English and drama teacher in Sonora, Texas, from 1953 to 1958; a sixth-grade teacher and coach at Eddy Elementary School in Carlsbad, New Mexico, and then a teacher in California. Lots of teachers in California were LDS -- my uncle in So Calif was a H.S. principal and told me he hired lots of them.
  2. I have spoken at length previously about the anti-intellectualism of the Maxwell Institute, their contempt for fact-based analysis, and their jettisoning of anyone who took such things seriously. It is one of the most closed and intemperate of institutions on BYU campus -- which is saying a lot. The new boss could have set a more genial tone, have apologized for past wrongs, and made promises never to allow those problems to arise again -- and kept those promises. Maybe that is an impossibility in any human institution. Maybe the Gospel of Jesus Christ cannot be operative in such contexts.
  3. "The world is too much with us" (Wordsworth). Too many of us "lead lives of quiet desperation" (Thoreau). Our fervent concerns "don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world" (Rick in Casablanca). You are on the right track, poptart.
  4. Sounds like equal opportunity production values. So who would be the ultimate LDS law enforcement image -- Orrin Porter Rockwell, or Mitt Romney as a Mormon Marshal?
  5. Nice sentiments, Calm, but of little value when dealing with proven, unrepentant riff raff.
  6. There is a history there of one betrayal after another over a considerable period of time, and I am not the only aggrieved party.
  7. I still prefer to consider that verse in wider rhetorical context: II Ne 10:24, REMEMBER THAT[1] AFTER YE ARE RECONCILED UNTO GOD[2] THAT IT IS ONLY IN AND THROUGH THE GRACE OF GOD THAT YE ARE SAVED[3] II Ne 25:23, AND TO BE RECONCILED TO GOD[4] FOR WE KNOW THAT IT IS BY GRACE THAT WE ARE SAVED[5] AFTER ALL THAT[6] WE CAN DO Alma 24:11 SINCE IT HAS BEEN ALL THAT WE COULD DO AS WE WERE THE MOST LOST OF ALL MANKIND TO REPENT OF ALL OUR SINS AND THE MANY MURDERS WHICH WE HAVE COMMITTED AND TO GET GO
  8. Interesting. All the more reason to be contemptuous of the Maxwell Institute policy.
  9. I was referring to your claim on recent availability (as of last year). At what website was jbms fully available? I am familiar with jstor and have used it for years.
  10. Perhaps so, but many of those at the Maxwell Institute are unapproachable (except for Blair Hodges). I recall being yelled at by the late Jerry Bradford when he was in charge, and he gave specific instructions to some of his people to be as uncooperative as possible when I had any questions. I did not respond in kind. This from a guy I had known since 1964, and had eaten pizza with. I haven't even visited them in their new venue. I would feel completely unwelcome.
  11. https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/jbms/ That is where I am looking. Do you have another location?
  12. BYU Press has long been able to print on demand and mail directly from their own facility. One need not find expensive storage space for remainders. So Univ of Illinois was certainly not needed. Before he came to BYU, Joe Spencer and friends published their excellent cogitations on Scripture in far less prestigious ways.
  13. The basic problem with such harmonies is the false assumption that the Gospels are actually chronologically arranged. They are not, and each of them disagrees with the others on the sequence of events. They were each composed late in Christian Church history to reflect piety and worship in the early Church. Jesus did not have secretaries or scribes taking dictation, and none of his followers kept a running list of events for later publication. Jesus taught in Aramaic, while the Gospels are in Greek. Each Gospel author(s) sat down to write a reminiscence about Jesus, to try to capture the
  14. Most people who draw such conclusions actually confuse faith and reason, thus guaranteeing failure at the outset. Dr Sagan was like a hammer who saw everything as a nail, even if that made no logical sense. Moreover, his atheism was based on the deeply flawed assumptions of normative Judeo-Christian dogma -- an illogical set of premises, which bring only paradoxical and foolish conclusions. Traditonal Judeo-Christian beliefs are silly and illogical. Most Mormons make the fundamental mistake of believing that Mormonism is essentially the same as normative Judeo-Christian dogma, but that is
  15. Actually, the embargo is since 2016, vol 25, which is the last one accessible on scholarsarchive. FARMS had a policy of cheap reports and reprints. Any books published had all profits plowed back into FARMS. The watchword was selflessness and easy access, not hoity-toity exclusivity. We already cause young people to get deeply into debt, when we should be finding better ways. Yes, Univ of Illinois Press is more prestigious, but we were doing just fine publishing the journal here in Utah.
  16. Interesting that the Maxwell Institute should adopt this new, exclusive policy -- no doubt part of their move to exclude the entirety of the formerly freely available FARMS product (unless available on the BYU scholars archive). They, after all, claim to be the successor to FARMS, and for a time did have all the FARMS publications on their website. So many fine pieces have now been orphaned.
  17. Thanks. I tried to stick to what could be known intellectually, aside from speculation. However, there are some useful sources which might help with your other questions: Stephen Taysom, “’Satan Mourns Naked Upon the Earth’: Locating Mormon Possession and Exorcism Rituals in the American Religious Landscape, 1830-1977,” Religion and American Culture: a Journal of Interpretation, 27/1 (Winter 2017):57-94, online at https://www.academia.edu/31631773/_Satan_Mourns_Naked_Upon_the_Earth_Locating_Mormon_Possession_and_Exorcism_Rituals_in_the_American_Religious_Landscape_1830-1977_Religion_an
  18. Sounds reasonable to me, though I am still mystified as to why you rejected the larger rhetorical context I offered last time you were here. Also, I'd be interested in whether the phrase was actually limited to the late-18th and early-19th centuries. Perhaps @champatsch could chime in with his data on the phrase.
  19. I have tried to address such questions in the following study: https://1drv.ms/b/s!Aj5g2S0y64JGjg19dNnd3PAyN7e0?e=aJqsQW
  20. The Book of Abraham doesn't include that set of river names, which most biblical scholars consider a late addition to the Genesis text. There are a number of theories on the location of Eden. Some scholars place mythical Eden in the marshes of southern Iraq, others in the Kidron Valley below the Temple of Solomon. More recently, it has been proposed that Adam & Eve came from a South African paleo-wetland. Chan, Eva K. F., et al., “Human origins in a southern African palaeo-wetland and first migrations,” Nature, 575 (28 Oct 2019):185-189, online at https://www.nature.com/artic
  21. There are things which are superior, such as high ethical and moral values, but everyone seems to have his own set of those, and they don't all seem to mesh very well. Are the Bill of Rights just a matter of conscience, or can we simply jettison them whenever we feel like it? Is the rule of law a major inconvenience, and should it be dispensed with? Is the population in general even remotely capable of addressing such questions? Does it even matter?
  22. They already do just that. As the economy gets worse and life seems hopeless, depression will increase. This may make the Great Depression look like a boring weekend. In fact, the only thing which really got us out of that Great Depression was World War II. Gave us all a purpose, and everybody had a job.
  23. Storm Rider has it right. These are Islamic states, and this makes a huge difference in normalizing the State of Israel. I lived in Israel for four years, and I constantly heard Israelis telling me that they just wanted to be a normal country. They also constantly complained that it is hard to be a Jew. These changes help a lot on both counts.
  24. The White House official statement is overblown and propagandistic, but there is no denying that some Arab states are thinking about their future without oil. Israel is a successful and prosperous high technology state, and these other states want to get on the gravy train. A very practical reason to make peace. Also, in a world of frenemies, it helps to keep Iran at bay.
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