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Everything posted by OGHoosier

  1. Precisely. That's why I have never been convinced by the claims that Joseph manipulated the witnesses by means of hypnosis or other tricks: vivid hallucinations cannot be produced on demand and to order. Thus, the testimony of the Witnesses and the many other divine witnesses of the early Church remain in force for me. I've often wondered about miracles. Things like John Tanner's leg, the "day of God's power" at Nauvoo, numerous and sundry other reported healings and such. Not to derail the OP, but I've heard such dismissed as merely "events that you have interpreted as miracles." Is tha
  2. Was Phelps quoting explicitly from Joseph Smith? I'm not in the same state as my copy of the Times and Seasons right now, but when I read it a few days ago I thought that it was Phelps spitballing as opposed to explicitly quoting Joseph. Also, it was in December 1844, not January.
  3. Quit using a motte and bailey argument. Asherah being a goddess in the pantheon does not equate with being the True God of Israel as you have previously claimed. Nor does it imply that the Israelite pantheon was correct.
  4. I'm not rich enough to buy the full set of Skousen's work, so the Harold B. Lee Library better have a copy available.
  5. The problem is, Mr. Crockett, the people you are quoting are not saying what you say they are saying. I respect your right to adhere to your interpretation but I must say that it is entirely unconvincing and unsupported, more of a caricature than anything else. Barker, as quoted by Peterson, has said that Asherah idols were found in the temple of Israel and that the Deuteronomists altered the scriptural history to erase them. This is not even close to declaring Asherah to be Israel's God, which is what you are saying. I cannot help but feel that you've been through this on this board bef
  6. Mr. Crockett, with respect, I have never heard these things, and I'm rather familiar with what Barker and Peterson have actually said. Your characterization seems to be the mischaracterization here.
  7. I agree with your second paragraph for the most part. The symbolic paradigm has been a part of the gospel for a long time, as long as there have been apocalyptic visions, divine parables, allegorical prophetic accounts, etc. It serves us well as a vehicle communicating truths suited to the spiritual level of the recipient. I also agree with regard to the flexibility of the rites, being first and foremost divine tools designed to bring us to God, not preserve "dead works" that are no longer effective. However, to me, the presence of Masonic emblems (or, to be more clear, emblems which we
  8. Now we're talking. A consort deity is by no means a "one true god" though, since it obviously must be consort to something. In this case, El Elyon, if I remember my Barker correctly. The idea that Margaret Barker would hold anyone other than YHWH as the God of Israel is absurd, and so is the use of her work to support such.
  9. That's overstating the evidence just a tad. I'd hardly say Asherah is the True God of Israel, even though her idols made appearances at Israelite shrines.
  10. Language is relatively flexible and does not appear overnight. Instances of constructs labelled as 19th-century are not sufficient to invalidate systematic EModE presence, if such has in fact been demonstrated. Regarding the rest of the post, I again fail to see this "unimportance of the plates" which you attest. The plates still served an essential role as an artifact and subject of sacred trial. As Lucy Mack Smith would attest, the Smith family's period of custody of the plates was a refining experience for the first family of the Restoration. They also served as a linchpin of the expe
  11. According to Don Bradley's The Lost 116 Pages, Joseph Smith Sr. told Fayette Lapham in 1830 that the cover of the gold plates had "masonic elements" on them, at least a compass and square and most likely sun, moon, and stars as well. The interpreters, described as "three cornered diamonds" by Lucy Mack Smith, also plausibly resembled the compass and square. The interpreters were referred to as a "key" and laid on top of the plates, corresponding to the symbols on the front cover, and thus formed the seal of the plates. This prefigures the sealing ordinances, restored through Joseph Smith, in w
  12. Indeed he does, and his most recent book, The Lost 116 Pages, goes into further detail regarding the Book of Mormon and the temple. He demonstrates, to my complete convincing, that the translation process of the Book of Mormon was itself a temple experience after the fashion of the ancient Israelite temple in which the Nephites worshiped. After that he illustrates how the temple runs through the surprisingly Jewish plates of Lehi. What fruit can grow when the seed lands on good ground!
  13. Agreed. Unrighteousness is our worst enemy. This does not, however, mean that we are free of external threats or points of opposition as well. I appreciate that there are people of all stripes who support the right to believe and organize as such, but there are also many who don't, and they represent a genuine threat. The acknowledgment of external threats is not "casting endless blame on external sources." Nor is it exclusive or looking inward.
  14. "Similarly, an explanation of passages in the book of Revelation, now Doctrine and Covenants 77, also arose directly from the Bible translation. Taking the form of a series of questions and answers, it was considered an inspired text and was included in an early revelation book." - quoted from "Joseph Smith's Bible Translation" in Revelations in Context. I have not found the specific revelation book and frankly don't feel inclined to right now. It appears Joseph considered it a revelation. Notably, however, Joseph never had it published in the Doctrine & Covenants/Book of Commandment
  15. Exactly. Decker and his ilk are old news. We all, as theists, have bigger fish to fry.
  16. One concept that may be relevant in this case is the idea of "sacred time", or to put it another way, the time of the timeless. D&C 130 gives a hint that the question of time is more complicated than we think: Abraham 5 is also pretty clear that time is defined and appointed by God: So, time in the scriptures and the temple (two shades of the same thing) is frankly fluid (and that's even before we factor in the possibility that God exists in a higher dimension and may not even view the arrow of time in the same way as us). In December of 1844, W.W. Phelps published a letter
  17. I confess I haven't gone through the data on EModE yet. It's been recommended to me in strong terms as a trailblazing discovery, though I'm reserving judgement until I've been able to take in the evidence myself. That said, it is really great to see it getting more visibility and open consideration.
  18. Ehrman can occasionally be troubling, such as his views on the authorship of the Revelation of St. John, which our scripture pins quite firmly on John Boanerges. That, however, can be navigated, and I disagree with Ehrman on that score in any case.
  19. Since this thread was talking about open-mindedness, Grant Hardy, and the Skousen/Carmack EModE findings, I thought this anecdote from a recent exchange between Grant Hardy and Blake Ostler would be of interest. Emphasis mine: Perhaps Skousen's theory is not so crazy after all.
  20. I dispute that "this is actually the base or benchmark". It is the conclusion you have come to, but I see no reason for it to be a common point of departure. The papyri not being from the period of Abraham is not a disqualifier for being related to Abraham. Nevertheless, if Saints truly find faith under such circumstances, more power to them.
  21. Under such circumstances, what value do we find in the canonical gospels?
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