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Robert F. Smith

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Everything posted by Robert F. Smith

  1. Sorry, Calm, I'm stuck in a previous age in which there were only Rastafarians. Was not aware of that spinoff. 😎
  2. Rastafarians also have the moniker "Rastaman." However, I'm not sure that they are sacrilegious. Are you taking issue with them smoking ganja?
  3. Yes, Wes Walters found the Judge Neely Bill of Costs in a basement jail cell, where it was moldering in the damp. Wes was very sincere in his desire to get it into the hands of conservators at Yale. After all, he knew for a fact that the original trial transcript had been made to disappear. As to his first forgeries, Mark Hofmann began at least by age 15 by forging a coin, which was accepted as authentic by the Secret Service. Thus, Mark rationalized that, if the Treasury Department declared his counterfeit to be genuine, then it was "genuine by definition" (Salt Lake County Prosecutor
  4. Bear in mind that those Jews who want to change have left Orthodoxy, just as those Latter Day Saints who want change have long since left the Restoration, the largest such group being the Community of Christ (CoC), which was the RLDS Church. There are female priests and elders within the CoC, just as there are female rabbis in non-Orthodox forms of Judaism. The notion of fundamental change within Orthodox Judaism or within the LDS Church is a pipe dream. I see no doctrinal changes in the past or future for either group. There is no significant push for change within either group. Those wh
  5. Minor policy adjustments are the heart and soul of the LDS faith, but major doctrinal change not so much. It would be like seeing the RC Church allowing female priesthood, or Orthodox Judaism allowing female rabbis. Ain't gonna happen.
  6. I was addressing the Peterson blog on this subject, which is continuing (so perhaps he will expand on the nature of evidence). The FBI Academy has always had a predilection for demonstrating the likelihood of failure of witnesses to make accurate observations. For trained observers (with a template in mind) it is another matter. Juries may have once been more able to judge someone back in the day when they were in fact peers of the accused (knew him personally), back in the days of the Danelaw. But times and the rules have changed, and it is easy to hornswoggle a jury -- with the right leg
  7. The problem with eyewitness testimony, even though it has pride of place in a court of law as "direct" evidence, is that it is the least reliable form of evidence. It is precisely hard circumstantial evidence which is best, i.e., forensic evidence. Juries are not told, and do not actually understand that disjuncture between good and bad evidence. Instead, they see how well-dressed and well-spoken the witness is in order to determine probity. Same applies to the accused: Juries frequently decide guilt or innocence based on the attractiveness of the accused.
  8. That is exactly the argument made by the Protestant mainstream. They are deeply threatened by the Holy Spirit, and are harshly critical of the LDS Church and of the Pentecostal churches. You could say that equally as well of Joseph Smith's First Vision, and of all his subsequent revelations. Or indeed of the Prophets, Seers, and Revelators who lead our Church. It has been over two centuries now since Joseph's First Vision, and conversion to the LDS faith today is still based primarily on personal revelation. That testimony is personal and non-transferrable. It comes from the Holy
  9. Here is a Korean Buddhist version of what happens when a righteous man dies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njbZmGSTTxY
  10. People have been quoting Scripture at each other for hundreds of years, and yet all their Bible-bashing has brought no progress at all. Do you have an inkling of why that is so? One factor you might want to consider is that the Protestants have a key belief called sola scriptura, by which they determine everything based on their skewed interpretation of Scripture. They never consider the Holy Spirit and the Scriptural admonition that no Scripture is of any private interpretation, but must be interpreted by the same Spirit which gave it. It does no good to cite Scripture if the Holy Spi
  11. Simple? Looks more like a quantum entanglement, multiple-slit experiment.
  12. Luke 23:43, “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Greek Παραδείσῳ); 2 Corinthians 12:4-5, “he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory“ (Greek Παράδεισον).
  13. When I reluctantly came to BYU in 1963, they would literally take anybody -- even an idiot like me with poor HS grades. There were very few Mormons back in those days, millions more today. That is why they can be more selective. This recipe for wokeness has proven very counterproductive elsewhere, and even disastrous for schools such as Evergreen College. At the Ivy League colleges, it has meant strong anti-Asian acceptance rates. It is almost as though we have gone back to the old quota system, e.g., limiting the number of Jews and women in colleges a century ago. However, care
  14. The god you claim is the standard Judeo-Christian god familiar to most Christians and Jews. The mainstream churches and synagogues all live by that theology, and they cite Scripture and then wonder why few people come to their churches any more. The god you describe is unworthy of awe and respect, which is why the mainstream congregations are dissolving. Joseph Smith listened to Methodist preachers cite those Scriptures, but he didn't realize how wrong they were until he prayed about it and got new, accurate information. That was called the First Vision. Those mainstream churches are just
  15. Carlos Castaneda was likewise closely supervised in his use of mushrooms and peyote in Sonora, Mexico. His teacher was helping him understand something apart from the drugs, which were merely a means to that end.
  16. As I said before, you are describing a god alien to the Bible and to logic. It is a perfectly imaginary god, who cannot exist because he would be a contradiction in terms. Such a god, just like the Norse gods before him, must necessarily disappear -- just like Puff the Magic Dragon. Devotion to him is merely temporary, and people just naturally abandon him. LDS theology has nothing to do with such a false god. He can bring only emptiness. There is no salvation with such a god.
  17. I know of a case where the husband left the Church, but his family is still faithful, and he goes to social activities at Church. Seems to be well treated.
  18. You are right to raise this question, because the Gospels are not necessarily historically chronological. They are meant to be faith-promoting stories, but they are composed so long after the actual events that it is doubtful that anyone could find good documentation and witnesses. The Gospels are not written as professional histories, and we should not demand that of them. Mark was most likely composed as a stage-play.
  19. You mention Perdition. What happens to those who apostatize despite full light and knowledge?
  20. Well said, Mark. However, I do have a couple of observations or questions about that Rorty quote: "the world as WE know it, cannot be "out there" because all "WE" humans know, are our own personal experiences AND what we have shared in the pool of human observations- which requires language. And since ] sentences are elements of human languages, and that human languages are human creations, [the world AS WE KNOW IT is in a real sense created by language itself!" The entire universe and sub-atomic physics is certainly described by specialized human language, which stands between us and
  21. A jack Mormon is still a Mormon. Plus, the refurbished temples are rededicated. Recall also that non-Israelites (pagan Phoenicians) headed the construction of Solomon's Temple.
  22. Traditional Hindu yogis and Buddhist masters also discourage any interest in siddhi or occult powers, suggesting that those features only waylay or delay the meditator on his way to authentic understanding or enlightenment. Castaneda likewise claimed that his teacher Don Juan Matus made it clear that drugs were only a means to an end, not the end in itself -- a hard lesson to learn.
  23. Wow. What hath Brother Joseph wrought?!
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