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Kevin Christensen

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  • Birthday 04/28/1954

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  1. Regarding bottom up revelation, it happens. Todd Compton wrote an essay on that, about instances in conventional LDS historical accounts. I watched him give the presentation upon which it is based. https://sunstonemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/082-34-41.pdf He notes that there is something to be learned from the cases in which it happens. And there is something to be learned from the stories of people who have taken it upon themselves make it happen or else. Nibley has a wonderful quote on that topic in "Brigham Young as a Leader", page 476-77 in Brother Brigham Challenges the Saints. At moments like this I dearly miss the old Maxwell Institute website, with all Nibley available and easy to access and share. And in all of this something to be learned from looking up the word "sustain" in a good dictionary. FWIW, Kevin Christensen Canonsburg, PA
  2. Hi Navidad, The quote is mine, though of course, the thought grew out of a range of inputs from other people, ranging from Kuhn, Ian Barbour, Hofstadter, the Perry Scheme, scripture, and Alan Goff's articles on ideology and positivism in the old Review, in Interpreter, and such. And odd little expressions like "We don't know who discovered water, but it wasn't the fish" and "To a mouse, cheese is cheese: that is why mousetraps work." I consider this a public board, and I use my own face and name so as to make sure I am both accountable and responsible, so if you find the phrase useful, help yourself. Thanks for the comments. Best, Kevin Christensen Canonsburg, PA
  3. My first accepted LDS publication was a Dialogue essay called "New Wine and New Bottles: Scriptural Scholarship as Sacrament," riffing on how different observations and different contextualizations for LDS creation accounts can make a huge difference in faith outcomes. I drew Thomas Kuhn as well as on the image from Matthew 9:16-17. The immediate context for this parable was the presence of some critics who are questioning why Jesus eats with "Publicans and sinners" and disciples of John asking "Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?" Beyond the apt answers to specific complaints, Jesus then addressed the need of the compulsive complainers to reframe some issues, to not try to maximize tension by shoving new information into traditional thinking that cannot contain it. I have an old t-shirt from work, with an Einstein quote on the back: That is, if you keep trying to pour new observations into a container that simply cannot handle them, get a new container. Einstein here notes that for many issues, the solution to the problem requires a different level of thinking. In answering a question as to what advice she would give scholars, Margaret Barker had this to say: http://christpantokrator.blogspot.com/2012/11/by-margaret-barker-what-do-i-say.html Note to those in crisis: "The situation is not likely to be remedied by the methods that caused it." "The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them." "Put new wine into new bottles and both are preserved." It begins with self reflection, thinking about our own internalized-to-the-point-of-unconscious assumptions. That is, as Jesus says, examining the beams in our own eye (Matt 7:1-5), and recognizing that they exist, that they obscure our vision and affect what we choose to see and how we process what we see, what we notice, and what we value as good, bad, important, or insignificant. Removing them is a prelude to "seeing clearly." Alma 32 lays out how that works. So, at 67, I can look at the process over time. In dealing with some questions in the late 80s, I had to change my thinking. https://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V24N03_123.pdf Had I not done so, had I shattered, rather than shifted thinking, there is much fruit that would not have grown. For instance, https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/biblio?f[author]=448 And much that I would have missed, via Maxwell Institute, FAIR, and Interpreter, many scholars exploring areas that are far beyond my knowledge and expertise, and much more, as well as this: http://www.margaretbarker.com/ Had I shattered it would not be: So I have been blessed, and am continually amazed, rather than fretful and cynical. Worth it. Ask Bing Crosby. FWIW, Kevin Christensen Canonsburg, PA
  4. Another very clear example is 3 Nephi 15, where Jesus explains that his disciples supposed they understood about the other sheep, and therefore did not ask for further information. So, the answer to McShorty's query, "Do you think it is possible for a prophet's/apostle's certainty in what they believe or reluctance to accept new light and knowledge can interfere with receiving new light and knowledge?", if you take some time to actually explore the question, evidence that this is the case will pile up. For instance, the circumstances that led to the loss of 116 pages, or Jonah grousing when people repented and didn't get destroyed, or people dying because they doubted the efficacy of just looking at the braizen serpent... Israel insisting on a King, especially Saul, since he looks like a King should look, and a better King, David thinking murder to save face is better than looking bad in public... I can just imagine what sort of clown car life I could generate just by supposing that God would never let me make a mistake, because, it stands to reason. (Think of the benefits to the US that came through Trump's "I alone can save you" claims, followed by a chronic inability to own up to any mistakes, to have a capacity for repentence.) That sort of reason necessarily ignores a great deal of evidence, beams in my own eye, mistakes littering the highways and byeways of my life. I also notice that despite my own obvious fallibility, there are also clear instances of direct inspiration and guidence at crucial junctures in my life. So the theory that an inspired person must be always inspired in all things, verified by the most skeptical and secular authorities or no claims to inspiration count, is obviously foundationally flawed. Not a good place to build one's bridge to heaven. The real path necessarily involves passing through sorrow, making mistakes, gaining experience, recognizing the good and the evil, discerning the bitter and the sweet, turning to Christ, and repenting continually. FWIW, Kevin Christensen Canonsburg, PA
  5. Why can the same seeds produce vastly different harvests? Different soil, time, nurture. Anytime we have inconsistent results indicates the presence and effect of variables. Expectations are an important variable. Different expectations can make a huge difference in what we see as problematic. "It's not what I expect!" can often, in my experience, be an invitation to self reflect and consider, ,"What should I expect?" Methods of processing thoughts and feelings are different, as I learn from the Myers Briggs Types, and the Perry Scheme for Cognitive and Ethical growth. Information and life experiences are different from person. Paradigms for framing and ordering and interpreting experience and information are different. If we don't self reflect on the existence and implications of our own paradigms, they do the ordering and interpreting for us, rather than we choosing our paradigms. And all paradigm choices involve deciding "Which problems are more significant to have solved?" The most anyone can do is work with the means available to them, and given that we all have personal limitations, it is important that we all devote some time to being self-critical, checking our own eyes for beams. My own personal faith crisis led to my writing what became my first accepted LDS publication in Dialogue 30 years ago "New Wine and New Bottles". If I had not read a few particular books (notably Hamlet's Mill and The Power of Myth), had not remembered particular passages, made particular connections, had my eyes opened, and thinking changed about a specific question way back then, there are a great many things since then that I would not have seen, not have processed, not have changed my thinking on many other points, had several particularly profound personal and shared spiritual experiences, and, something I ponder often, I would not have even known what I was missing. Frost wrote of two paths diverging in a wood, and of taking the one less traveled by making all the difference. David Whitmer reported that God told him to separate himself from the Latter Day Saints, though he reaffirmed his original testimony of the angel and the plates to the end of his life. Would God do such a thing? Should I declare, "That cannot be right!" or "That is not what I would have done if I were God!" Or perhaps, I should consider Isaiah 55... Might God's purposes be carried out by having David Whitmer continue as the longest lived witness, outside of the church, with no outside motivation to aggresively affirm his witness, and every outside motivation to deny it? I have similar thoughts about Margaret Barker, who is clearly impressed by the Book of Mormon and considers it a real revelation, but tells any LDS students that ask, "I think I do more good where I am." Should I think to myself, that is not consistent with what I think God should do, or should I consider, "If I am honest with myself, I have to admit that I am not God but I have further things to ask of him." When God asked Abraham to "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of" should I assume that God wanted Isaac dead? Or should I imagine that something else might be going on, particularly since Abraham himself seems to fully understand that something else. The text offers no hint that Abraham is being tortured with an "Abrahamic test". There is nothing here comparable to Nephi's resistance to the instruction to kill Laban, his distaste in the act, or of Nephi's ongoing and lingering sense of guilt in 2 Nephi 4. The thing is, Abraham had been been in similar trying circumstances many times before (see Nibley on this), and had been prepared by his particular life to see what would come next when it came to Isaac. The earlier experiences were his tests. Having passed those tests, they also became his preparation for the day with Isaac. His eyes were open and his mind was enlightened beforehand. So I must consider that till we die, none of us have completed our mortal journey, and all of us are bound to be surprise and changed by what comes next, both in this life, and, as for after... I attended the 1999 IANDS conference in Salt Lake City. One of the speakers spoke of being raised as a secular Jew, in that she was taught to be a good, ethical person, but that was for this life, and this life was all there is. Then unexpectedly, she was hit by a car, and found herself outside of her body, looking down, and her first thought at finding herself in a settling that went against everything she thought in her whole life and thinking was "I HATE being wrong!" When we discover we have been wrong about something, one interpretation, one experience can be shock and disillusion. Another person can experience exactly the same thing with joy and wonder and mind expanding enlightenment. For instance, I think of Jedediah Grant telling Heber C. Kimball of his after-life vision, saying, "Why it was just as Brigham has told us many times!" FWIW, Kevin Christensen Canonsburg, PA
  6. It's both mind and heart, left and right brain, reason and feeling. Briefly, see D&C 8:2 At length, there is this: https://oneclimbs.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/A-Model-of-Mormon-Spiritual-Experience.pdf I agree that D&C 9 has been overused, but there is far more that we could and should use. FWIW, Kevin Christensen Canonsburg, PA
  7. I see a lot of anxiety on display that is symptomatic of a more fundamental problem, of what actually should be called CHURCH DOCTRINE, and the insecurity that comes from ignoring the proper definition, addressed here, in 3 Nephi 11: This statement is clear, blunt, and, I think, demonstrably accurate. If science does not loose it's authority despite countless mistakes made in the name of science, by leaders of science, it is because we trust not the science, nor the authorities, but the ongoing process, which continues to correct itself, and get better, and provides countless real benefits. Do I dismiss science because the father of the scienfic method, Bacon, said that the evidence of the senses proves that the sun moves, and not the earth? Of course not. HIs issue on that point was a failure of imagination, to remove the beam in his own eye regarding the issue of how things would look to observers who stood at better vantage points, with different conceptual frameworks. Science is bigger than one man, and bigger than even centuries of men's faulty scientific opinions. I can say the same of my religion, thanks to the my decision to build upon a rock which includes for me, ongoing repentence, including repenting of ignorance and faulty expectations of people, an ongoing process, with ongoing fruitfulness, and future promise. FWIW, Kevin Christensen Canonsburg, PA
  8. Don't do apologetics where the whole thing collapses upon considering a single questionable point, like one link in a chain of logic, or a single crucial issue, but rather, for "cause to believe" (see Alma 32) as numerous threads in a strong rope, where no single issue ever carries all of the weight. Rather, stresses are divided amongst a great many threads, where any particular threads can be expendable, and new threads can be spliced in for added strength. Alma 32 describes doing experiments on a "portion of the word," which is realistic because no one experiment can test every issue that is up for debate. Now of course, I suppose that God could ensure that if we could not be born omniscient and infallible, that we could at least be sent to certifiably omniscient and infallible teachers, so all of us hammered into conformity with the same Big Book of What to Think before we were unleashed on the world to act and think for ourselves, thereby ensuring that no mistakes could ever be made to hurt anyone. But I think about this, if this life is a test, what kind of test would that be? If we were all made to hear and see and think the same unchangeable thoughts before being allowed to interact with and influence anyone else, does not that make us all interchangeable parts of a machine, rather than individual sons and daughters of God? Fretting about what is, or is not, or should be perfect is a natural consequence of perfectionism, which by nature, makes imperfection, and only imperfection, decisive. If I have to make a decision, the only grounds to make any decision must necessarily be based on imperfection because only that answers the question. It's quite a different thing to ask, for example, if there is any evidence that there is evidence of real inspiration in the Book of Abraham. Rather than fretting obsessively over whether Joseph could make the leap from Josephus to the Book of Abraham, if he perhaps could be shown to have lived in a state where someone somewhere had seen a copy of Josephus, I can consider a great many threads on a wide range of topics in an ongoing discussion. The stories gathered in Traditions of the Early Life Abraham, most of which had not been published in Joseph's lifetime, and Robert F. Smith's paper on links between our book and the ancient world, the emerging importance of the grand council in Ancient Israel and the ancient world in general, the discussion in Hamlet's Mill of Qalb as envisioned by ancient Egyptians as the ruling star of the Precession of the Equinoxes, and the transition between the bull and the ram happening in Abraham's lifetime, as well as being depicted on Facsimile #2, and literally hundreds of other things. Looking for evidence of Real inspiration, by nature, casts a wider net, and is open-ended compared to fretting about the possibility of Imperfection, where a single issue answers the question of perfection as decisively as a pin prick to a drifting soap bubble. That of course, presumes that the one making the decision is perfectly capable of defining what actually is a decisive imperfection. Alma 32 makes a brilliant case that we can have real "cause to believe" despite imperfect knowledge. FWIW, Kevin Christensen Canonsburg, PA
  9. How do I deal with Bruce R. McConkie? If he does not measure up to your expectations, it is always beneficial to ask, "What should I expect?" That is precisely the point of Jesus telling us to check our own eye for beams before making judgements. "Then shall ye see clearly." So, I want to see clearly. First, as usual, I consider D&C 1:6, 24-28, where the Lord formally sets out what I should expect from his servants. Not perfection. If I need that lesson re-enforced, I can read the scriptures and look for examples of all-knowing, infallible prophets who never made mistakes, whose words are never questioned or superceded by anything. That, I notice, is a fruitless enterprise. And I did spend a great deal of time figuring out what a prophet should be, rather than deciding from the start that my preconceptions were sufficient. https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org/answers/Biblical_Keys_for_Discerning_True_and_False_Prophets The main reason to expect perfection is emotional, rather than logical. If I want, nay, if I demand perfection from one of the Lord's servants, so that I can put my total trust in their fleshly arm, never be wrong myself, never be disappointed, never have to change my thoughts or opinions, that is not the same thing as having valid reason for making that claim, for having abundant evidence for making that demand. I consider people. What people are like. Not just what all people are like, but what different people are like. And Elder McConkie, I think, was an ENTJ, one of 16 different types. https://www.truity.com/personality-type/ENTJ Each type has "Gifts differing" said Isabel Myers and Kathering Briggs, deliberately invoking Paul in the New Testament. So with Elder McConkie's gifts come with contributions related to those gifts, and limitations also related to those gifts. I looked up the word Sustain. What does it mean? I grew up with Elder McConkie as a constant figure in conferences I attended, and knew many people who lived by Mormon Doctrine. Where I read it, I eventually began to feel that reading him was like putting my head in a vice and cranking. Not mind expanding. Rather the opposite. But I had options who provided mind expansion within the LDS community. A few decades back, I got Elder Peterson's review of Mormon Doctrine, submitted to President McKay, highlighting numerous errors. And a decision to not fret because Elder McConkie was effective, and they did not think that criticizing one book, written by an individual on his own initiative, would be all that helpful. So I can sustain Elder McConkie. And I consider human development. So the Perry Scheme of Cognitive and Ethical Growth. I discussed that at the most length here. https://journal.interpreterfoundation.org/sophic-box-and-mantic-vista-a-review-of-deconstructing-mormonism/ The point is, at the early positions, people look to authority to settle things. Here is POSITION 6, and notice how in later positions, rather than craving structure (for example, Mormon Doctrine as a Big Book of What to Think), people feel frustration in too structured of an environment. Now I made the case at length in "Sophic Box and Mantic Vista" that Joseph Smith by precept and example encourages us to POSITION 9. But in the community as a whole, there are people of all types (16 different Myers Briggs Types) and different backgrounds, and at different stages of development. Some of them, where they are, want, and perhaps even need someone like Elder McConkie to help them where they are. Joseph Smith taught that God adapts himself to our capacity to understand. Where would we be if He did not? How much could we understand unless he reached out to us where we are? That is how I deal with Elder McConkie. He was one, not all, of the Lord's servants, called on the Lord's errand to do what the Lord wanted of him, helping many who responded well to his gifts and talents and commitment. There have been a great many of the Lord's servants besides him, with different talents, also needed by many in the community, also called on the Lord's errand to do what the Lord wanted of them. FWIW, Kevin Christensen Canonsburg, PA
  10. What do I like about this board? I've been participating and posting since 2004 here. Though there is a notable diversity of thought and perspectives, I like it that the overall paradigm is congenial to faith. There are other boards where the overall paradigm (despite any diversity) is toward doubt and cynicism. There are boards regarding LDS things where my occasional presence and thought has not been welcome. That is life, and the nature of communities formed by shared stories and outlooks. But it is nice to be welcomed and known somewhere. The overall positivity to faith been helped throughout by the presence and contributions of many thoughtful thinkers, some coming and going, some steady, some recurrent now and then. It's not just orthodoxy and sentimentality, or rebellion and grievance, but knowledge extended, and serious questions explored in meaningful ways. Over the years, I have gathered in many helpful obervations from people whose expertise differs from mine, and I have learned much about why other people think differently than I do. Most people want to help. In my own contributions, I have always tried to help where I can. Some people have had questions, and as with the parable of the sower, the same words regularly bring different harvests over time. The diversity in the community has been a place to gather questions, and weigh and explore various answers. What do I want from this board? Stimulation, opportunities to be helpful, a place to speak my mind when the spirit urges me to do so, a place to watch when the spirit bids me to learn and wait. FWIW, Kevin Christensen Canonsburg, PA
  11. Welcome. There are many people here both able to help with questions and empathize with experience. Kevin Christensen Canonsburg, PA but currently visiting Harmony and the Priesthood Restoration sites.
  12. I have, for several decades worked a technical writer, mostly for Computer Aided Engineering companies, that is, simulation, building things spiritually before physically. A software developer commented that "hierarchy is a strategy for dealing with complexity." It can be a very successful strategy. Even human bodies apply that strategy. However, Hugh Nibley once commented that "The very helplessness of the public which makes it necessary for them to consult the experts also makes it impossible for them to judge how expert they are." ("It takes All Kinds:, July 1977, quoted in Of All Things, 2nd ed. 228.) Chose the wrong authorities, and things can go south very quickly. For instance, John 7:47. “Are ye also deceived? Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?” Notice that the appeal to authority and hierarchy turns out be subject to the weakness of diverting attention from the evidence at hand towards the conclusions desired. Hierarchy becomes a rhetorical club, a logic shortcut. And such uses cannot involve wide experiments on different portions of the word, unexpected sprouting, roots, leaves and growth, not initially seen, but which lead to "your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your mind doth begin to expand." It is good because "it is discernable", as well as fruitful and delicious and promising. Alma 32, which does not try to shut down further inquiry on other portions of the word, "Because I am Alma and I say so as the High Priest Who Therefore Always Knows and Cannot Be Questioned." How much authority and expertise can I expect from LDS authorities? I continually cite D&C 1 for the formal, authoritative statement on the topic: So, we are not to assume that LDS authorities, whether prophets or bureaucrats are infallible on every topic, and know everything from the start. We do not have a Big Book of What to Think. Revelation is ongoing and conditioned both on inquiry and expedience. I've cited how carefully Alma, for instance, distinguished between information he got by revelation and by study, and yet declares that even those revelations did not settle everything, and he has also has places where he specifies his opinion. Thomas Kuhn emphases that paradigm choice always involves decisions regarding "Which problems are more significant to have solved?" Jesus restricts what is most important, his Gospel, to Faith, continual Repentence (which necessarly involves learning), baptism (covenant), receipt of the Holy Ghost (ongoing revelation for invidividuals and communities) and enduring to the end (notice that one of the meanings of "sustain" is "endure"). Going beyond that is building on sand, with obvious consequences. So if it is most important to a person to have a hierarchy that settles everything, they will tend to not discuss the formal limitations on the authority of the Lords servants. If Authority is the most problem to have solved, recognizing limits to authority is unsettling. Also, since Aristotle said, "Give me a lever and a place to stand and I can move the world," there are also those who enjoy the leverage that comes from insinuating that a few LDS authorities ought to be infallible on all topics since they claim to be led by prophets, who as we all "know" (unless we pay attention to D&C 1, which spoils things) they ought to be infallible. It becomes a pedastal valued chiefly for the ease with which those who stand on it can be toppled. Afterall, since whenever we meet someone for a few moments, say, an airline pilot or a doctor, we are instantly and forever after qualified to fly 747s and perform heart surgery. Right? Shouldn't Godlike knowledge be just as viral? What's the point of "studying things out" in our minds (D&C 9), and "seeking out of the best books, words of wisdom" (D&C 88:118)? If we have direct access to God, why the need to "search the prophecies of Isaiah" Why ever leave his presence and go home to "ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask the Father in my name, that ye may understand and prepare your minds for the morrow..." (3 Nephi 17:3). This tendency to settling questions via hierarchy rather than comprehensive and coherent accounting for all of the evidence at hand (geology, for example as it impinges on the question of what is the best reading of the Noah and Peleg verses), the best interpretation that makes comprehensive and coherent sense of all of the information, clashes in my consideration of Joseph Smith's well founded observation that "The different teachers of religion understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible" or by an appeal to whatever authority is convenient, such as "correlation". Notice that the "authoritative" quotes selected ignore other LDS authorities of equal emminence that have not been quoted as often in correlated lesson manuals for reasons best known to those people who produced them, unless is happens, those people did not know who and what they were missing because "of stiffneckedness and unbelief they understood not my word" on a particular topic, and as a consequence, did not ask, and did not recieve further information (3 Nephi 15:17-23). But the uncited authorities exist, for those like David Bailey who ask and look, rather than settling things by hierarchy (whose page I linked in a previous post) see that their acknowledgement can easily disturb the desired leverage equations, and move the discussion from a single wobbly pedestal into richer fields where growth is ongoing. The tendency to use hierarchy to deal with complexity is a human trait, not distinctive to the LDS. It demonstrates roots in both personality type and ethical and cognitive growth. SJ Traditionalists Personality types, Sensing Judging types, around 40% of the population, and drawn to hierarchy, rules, and traditions, tend to want to settle things via authority. For example, ESTJ http://www.typelogic.com/estj.html Even so, even among conservative LDS, when Joseph Fielding Smith published Man, His Origin and Destiny, the very very conservative J. Ruben Clark, published an article on "WHEN ARE THE WRITINGS and Sermons of Church Leaders entitled to the claim of being scripture?" https://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V12N02_70.pdf And there are developmental issues. The contrast between those at Position 2 in the Perry Scheme for Cognitive and Ethical Growth and all positions above Position 2 involves the authority of authorities in the eye of the beholder. In my "Sophic Box and Mantic Vista" essay in Interpreter a few years back, I showed that Joseph Smith, by precept and example, wants us to get to Position 9. Not in one easy step, but eventually. FWIW, Kevin Christensen Canonsburg, PA
  13. As to the actual covenant behind the promises, see Margaret Barker, The Everlasting Covenant. https://www.ecocongregationireland.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/The-Everlasting-Covenant-Margaret-Barker-DD.pdf One thing to remember in all of this is that scripture abounds with types and symbols, patterns and representation. The creation in Genesis parallels the erection of the tabernacle, a portable temple which was a model of the cosmos, and was, in fact, a temple drama to be performed at the temple, not a history. The Noah story, becomes, in effect, another creation story in which "Old things are done away," and "All things are become new." Which is why 3 Nephi is also a creation story, even though it does not describe a global catastrophe. For those who experienced it, in their land and time, and survived, "Old things are done away, and all things are become new." Incidentally, I talked about how Barker's views on the everlasting covenant are consistent with LDS scripture in Paradigms Regained. https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/paradigms-regained-survey-margaret-barkers-scholarship-and-its-significance-mormon-studies FWIW, Kevin Christensen Canonsburg, PA
  14. Regarding the claims in Amos 3:7, the cultural context in which a person reads, makes a difference. As William Hamblin and Daniel Peterson translate it for the Deseret News: So what does 'sod' mean? Is 'secrets', that is whatever God knows must necessarily be shared with prophets, making them, in all matters of interpretation essentially infallible on all topics on which anyone of thems offers an opinion? Hamblin and Peterson explain: https://www.deseret.com/2013/1/27/20447423/old-testament-divine-council-called-a-sod So Amos is saying that God tells his prophets about the existence of the great council and what was decided there. Which mean that Joseph Smith and his successors pass that test for 'sod' knowledge. Here is something from an FAIR essay I wrote citing important observations by Kevin Barney: https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org/answers/Biblical_Keys_for_Discerning_True_and_False_Prophets/Considering_Joseph_Smith/Abuse_of_a_Bible_test Joseph Smith demonstrated knowledge of the 'sod' and reported that God revealed that knowledge to him. That shows that he was a prophet in exactly the Biblical sense required by the original Hebrew sense of Amos 3:7.. Prophethood, does not, as many scriptures and prophets have reported, a few of which I have quoted in recent posts, denote omniscience and infallibility on all topics. Far less bureaucrats and manual writers are granted the status of being authoritatively, exclusively, and infallibly, "The Church." Indeed, what sort of person forms the bureaucratic and adminstrative backbone of most organizations? According to a great deal of research on Myers-Briggs Types and careers, ESTJ and ISTJ type preferences in conservative institutions are common enough that the SJ types are denoted "traditionalists". They do have many strengths and virtues, but a weakness, amplified when you get a lot of them together, is a reliance on tradition and a reluctance to learn and try new things. So citing various lesson manuals or teachings of "traditional" notions of the flood, to me is only demonstrating what happens in any institution where there is a concentration of SJ traditionalists behaving as SJs tend to behave. Cinpro's selected evidence passes through that selective filter, which leaves out Nibley, and Talmage, BYU Geology and Biology departments, and things like this: David Bailey put together many useful observations and quotes here. https://www.sciencemeetsreligion.org/lds/ FWIW, Kevin Christensen Canonsburg, PA
  15. "one contiguous continent" is not a quote. BYU Professor Duane Jeffery is helpful on Peleg and Genesis 10:25 and Peleg. https://sunstonemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/134-27-45.pdf (See page 36.) Nibley mentioned this as well, in The World of the Jaredites: From Jubilees 8. Besides Nibley, I have heard Margaret Barker cite this passage as constraining the tendency to imagine continental drift, without regard to the people presumbly holding on for dear life, as the soluiton. Misreading is often due to what Nibley calls "The gas law of learning. Any amount of information will expand to fill any intellectual void, no matter how large." FWIW, Kevin Christensen Canonsburg, PA
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