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Posts posted by OGHoosier

  1. 11 hours ago, The Nehor said:

    I should add that there is one exception. Adopting a hospice baby is another way of adopting a young child. Very few though are up for adopting a terminally ill child due to the obvious emotional complications.

    This guy and those like him are some of my heroes: https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-foster-father-sick-children-2017-story.html

    Mohamed Bzeek deserves a place in the highest of high heavens. There can be good in the world. 

  2. 4 hours ago, phaedrus ut said:

    And that's just spin.  Even with the apologetic spin putting the italics being responsible for something just short of 25% of the changes it's still the most common textual variant and considering that italicized words account for 3-4% of the KJV we are looking at clear textual dependence.  When Skousen last published on the subject I believe were looking at ~400 BOM passages with italics in the KJV and 150 alterations so 38%.  Whether it's 1/4 or 3/8ths of the text the relationship between the two is ovious.

    Call me a rube, but I fail to see how this makes your argument stronger. Italics are the most common change...but even in your best case scenario that still leaves 62% to other causes. This does not give me confidence that Joseph Smith was targeting italics for his revision. Furthermore, since we've clearly established that Joseph Smith had no problem altering non-disputed biblical text, what special appeal would italicized portions have? 


    4 hours ago, phaedrus ut said:


    Here is my simple explanation. There are no magic rocks, golden plates, angelic messengers, or lost civilizations.  Now we have thrown out the magical thinking it's easy to put a KJV bible in the room and declare the witnesses as unreliable.  On this basis the BOM, the BOA, the D&C are the product of the same process and that's why they are generally unremarkable, riddled with errors, and a great example of 19th century religious speculation.  


    I'd be remiss if I didn't note that you are here dismissing all the firsthand witnesses in favor of revisionist theory. You've thrown out the magical thinking, and also the historical thinking as well. 

    Regarding your statement ex cathedra on the relative merits of Restoration scripture...in the eye of the beholder. 

  3. 27 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

    In consideration of the fact that the Lord declares he established the Constitution of the United States through the instrumentality of wise men whom he raised up for that very purpose, and that he also declares our divinely inspired Constitutional form of government is the only governmental system he justifies for the governing of “all flesh,” would a debate between those who want to destroy the Constitution and those who seek to preserve our Constitutional system of individual rights and limited government be considered acceptable? Or would such a debate be deemed too political even though it’s the Lord of Heaven himself who is the ultimate author of the Constitution?

    And isn’t it quite likely that Elder Ballard’s warning is that we’re rapidly approaching that prophesied moment in history when the Constitution will hang by a single thread. And isn’t it also likely that the fervent prayers of the Latter-Day Saints will be one of the ways that the saints will fulfill the prophecy that they will rescue the Constitution from the very verge of destruction?

    I don't know about other locations, but the "Constitution hanging by a single thread" language is found in the alleged White Horse Prophecy, as is the statement that the elders of Israel will be the ones to save the Constitution from destruction. The White Horse Prophecy has always been of questionable provenance and the Church does not accept it as doctrinal, as explained here

    If there are other, corroborating prophetic statements, that would be another thing, and I would like to learn of them. However, as it stands I think that particular prophecy is not only non-doctrinal, it's not even particularly well-attested as General Authority opinion.

  4. With respect, Mr. Vogel, as it stands Robert appears to have addressed what you propose with regard to comparative theory. You even quoted it yourself.


    So you are claiming that you only refer to published sources to indicate that this or that idea was "in the air"?  Joseph didn't read a thing.   Instead, Joseph merely heard people talking about things and absorbed it all in that way, then combined that with his creative imagination?  Sounds like "you want to have your cake and eat it too," Dan.  Try telling that to Grant Hardy, whose Reader's Guide makes that theory just plain silly.  We are talking about vast complexity and coherence in the BofM which would be inexplicable by that means.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-XC05DHH2w .

    Obviously this has a polemical tone, but is that not the gist of your argument? Joseph didn’t have to read the works cited, they were just representative of more widely available concepts which he co-opted in the composition of the Book of Mormon. If so, the whole complexity argument is Robert’s response to your assertions, not an attempt to avoid them. Furthermore, distilling the argument down to the word “complexity” does injustice to the actual arguments. What we are talking about is not just well-written prose but specific cultural parallels and patterns. In my sight the environmental origins argument has trouble accounting for those things without requiring Joseph to directly contact them in book form or through the literati. It is for this reason that I question whether or not Robert really has to apologize for anything.

    10 hours ago, Dan Vogel said:

    And I said in my previous post to you that some complexity is expected but that not all of it was intended by the author, but that some of it has been invented by the scholars who impose their complexity onto the text, like chiasmus. The argument-from-complexity isn’t all what it seems when examined more carefully.

    These apologists are subject matter experts. If these alleged apologetic Narcissuses are merely seeing their own reflection in the BoM, then why should I assume that you are not gazing at your own? Every time you chide Robert for subjectivity, you indict yourself. Furthermore, Robert has demonstrated that apologists aren’t alone in seeing these things, so the whole argument is rendered moot. The argument that “some complexity is to be expected but not all of it was intended by the author” is a dangerous path to tread. How do you know it was accidental? How do you know which is which? Furthermore, as Robert pointed out, this renders much of biblical scholarship vulnerable to abject dismissal by implication. That’s the natural conclusion of your argument.

    10 hours ago, Dan Vogel said:

    My, how quickly you change the subject. What does this have to do with complexity? This is the very comparative method you were decrying. And you say I’m incoherent?  

    In this you establish a strawman. You here imply that Robert has attacked the comparative method as a concept, when he has only critiqued your application of it.

  5. 5 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

    "Islamophobia" -- please define what you mean by this. 

    Islamophobia as I define it is an acerbic attitude regarding Muslims on basis of cultural/religious differences or out of an unjustly vitriolic reaction to the specter of Islamic terrorism.

    I understand that "unjustly vitriolic" is definitely a subjective definition, but like Felix Frankfurter "I know it when I see it." There's a level where anger at Islam becomes off-putting and forecloses the possibility of constructive dialogue, and unfortunately those people that I know see very little redeeming in Islam. I would hope that that opinion changes.

  6. 15 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

    I used to be in the chant schola of our parish so I have sang the Asperges many times. I know this is an LDS board, so forgive me, but the traditional Latin mass is so beautiful :) 

    I never got to see a traditional Latin Mass, but I did get to spend a month in Rome this summer. We went to what we thought was a Mozart concert at one of the churches; turned out it was a service (not sure if it was the mass liturgy or not, though they did offer the Eucharist so it probably was) featuring some of Mozart's sacred compositions, among others.

    We ended up staying for the whole thing and I thought it was beautiful and deeply fascinating. I spent a couple of days touring the Vatican and visited countless churches and the catacombs of St. Sebastian, which were not only fascinating but moving. Seeing that tradition of faith made me a lot more sympathetic to the Roman Catholic Church.

    Not syncretic, mind you. I remain a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But you have a truly marvelous heritage.

  7. I don't know how big Islamophobia is in the Church these days; anecdotally,  I've seen that many people from my mission and much of my extended family subscribe to that unfortunate ideology.

    Hopefully the pictures and account of President Nelson with the Christchurch imams, delivered over the pulpit, will cause them to reconsider.

  8. 6 hours ago, Matt Lohrke said:

    The Book of Mormon resolves this issue.   The atonement covers for all contingencies:

    "Wherefore, he has given a law; and where there is no law given there is no punishment; and where there is no punishment there is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation the mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them, because of the atonement; for they are delivered by the power of him.  For the atonement satisfieth the demands of his justice upon all those who have not the law given to them, that they are delivered from that awful monster, death and hell, and the devil, and the lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment; and they are restored to that God who gave them breath, which is the Holy One of Israel"  (2 Nephi 9).

    For behold, and also his blood atoneth for the sins of those who have fallen by the transgression of Adam, who have died not knowing the will of God concerning them, or who have ignorantly sinned.  But wo, wo unto him who knoweth that he rebelleth against God! For salvation cometh to none such except it be through repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ."  (Mosiah 3)

    The atonement also negates the need for proxy baptism, or baptism for the dead.   LDS theology rejects the Atonement, not in word, but in deed.  It doesn't believe Christ actually has the power to save and that man somehow has to perform "proxy ordinances" to the help the "progress."

    The passages you reference are focused on the idea that people who do not have the opportunity to follow God's law are forgiven of their sins, absolved from punishment. They are not accountable before God for they did not know him. You then proceed to imply that this renders baptism for the dead unnecessary, and accuse our theology of denying the Atonement in deed. If the only purpose of baptism was the remission of sins, you might be right, but remission of sins is not the only purpose of baptism. Indeed, the Lord has commanded it for all men, and led the way Himself. 

    "And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfill all righteousness, O then , how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!" - 2 Nephi 31:5

    If the Lord Himself, sinless as He is, the very Instrument of perfection unto us all, must be baptized, then it can be safely concluded that baptism concerns more than just the remission of sins which Jacob and Benjamin address.

    We in no way deny that Christ has power to save. What we do teach, however, is that baptism is a covenant, a promise, that must be entered into freely. Christ can't make that choice for us. That promise is essential to eternal progression, which goes beyond being saved from hell. We know Christ will do that in the end (D&C 76) for just about everybody. His power to save is in fact exalted in Restored Church theology. However, if we want to advance further, that requires making covenants with God, sealed by ordinances. 


  9. 1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

    An institution defended by mercenaries is perpetually at risk.

    This is true. It is for this and other reasons why I do not take an "ends justify the means" approach to Trump as described by MiserereNubis.

    However, when Trump does things like this, why not take the proffered gift?

    It's certainly more uplifting than, say, the debacle with the Finnish President yesterday.

  10. With a system as complex as the human body, let alone the human brain, it's not surprising that when we unleash chemicals into the system in a blunt-force effect to hold back healthy development, bad things happen and people are hurt. I'm glad you brought this up, though maybe this wasn't the right part of the forum. I hate to say that the data doesn't surprise me much.

    The Gods of the Copybook Headings are at it again.

  11. 47 minutes ago, Kevin Christensen said:

    I had hear something about Hutchinson going that way.  One of the things I eventually got from Hutchinson's essay was an understanding of what I call spiritual masochism, that is, a determination to prove one's intellectual integrity by publicly facing unsolvable problems.  The hitch in that approach is that since the point is to prove you can face problems without flinching, solutions become unproductive, and there is a consequent paralysis of imagination.   It's not an uncommon problem.

    Here is an online version of England's thoughtful essay.


    And thanks.  I always enjoy your well-informed contributions.


    Kevin Christensen

    Canonsburg, PA

    Kevin, you just opened my eyes. I hadn't even thought about "spiritual masochism," but now I think that accurately describes my approach to a lot of things.

    How do you get out of it?

  12. 11 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

    If you read the context of Hauglid’s comment, he is not critiquing their Egyptian work.

    When stating his own opinions, Hauglid of course refers to the 19th-century document; that's where his expertise lies. However, when it comes to Gee and Muhlestein, Hauglid's own statement doesn't draw any lines. He refers to their scholarship on the BoA as "abhorrent" without any sort of qualifier. Speaking forthrightly, I don't think he has the authority needed to dismiss them so cavalierly, and in such strong language. To me it honestly comes across as petulant.

  13. 19 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

    Here is a video of a presentation they did at Benchmark Book in Nov of last year where they discuss their views on the Book of Abraham.

    Robin Jensen & Brian Hauglid--"JS Papers, R&T 4: Bk of Abraham

    One side is trying to establish a non-extant complete Book of Abraham manuscript produced before the GAEL, arguing that the GAEL was driven by WW Phelps and was either an effort to reverse engineer the BoA text or some sort of cipher (I have never really understood why they would have needed such a convoluted cipher or how it would even be used) and missing portions from either the Hor scroll or a third scroll not mentioned in the first contemporary accounts which is long enough (about 15'-0" min) to have contained the complete Book of Abraham.

    The other side basically says Joseph saw the Egyptian funerary documents and was inspired to produce the Book of Abraham. They believe the GAEL was a failed secular attempt to actually translate Egyptian, that the first part of Abraham (Abr 1 through Abr 2:18) was written in Kirtland before the GAEL or at least at the same time, and that the balance of the BoA was produced in Nauvoo in 1842.

    Thank you for the link! I'll check it out.

  14. I do believe that it exists from experiences to which I have been privy. Of course, I'd imagine that demonic possession is a rather low proportion of things that could be considered mental illnesses, and they are even less likely to happen in a secularized world. My belief in agency requires that people accept the demon's at-least-partial control, and in a world where fewer and fewer believe in spirits, diabolical overtures are less likely to be effective. Silver linings I suppose. 


  15. 3 hours ago, CA Steve said:

    What is interesting here, is the underlying assumption (see what I did there?) that "true" for Dr's Gee and Muhlestein seems to require an actual translation  of Egyptian characters on papyri that talks about Abraham and was in the possession of Joseph Smith at one time. There are others out there (Hauglid and Jensen for example) who also view the Book of Abraham as "true" whose views don't require that any of the Joseph Smith Egyptian artifacts actually have/had anything on them about Abraham. 

    I don't believe this is a discussion about whether or not the Book of Abraham is true so much as it is a contest to see whose field of study is more applicable to examining the origins of the Book of Abraham. 

    You may have a point. I would like to hear Hauglid and Jensen discuss their opinions, because I have it on good authority that they are in pretty good standing with the Church, scholastic flame wars aside. 

    2 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

    It is the circular reasoning (admitted to by Muhelstein above) that leads to people like Hauglid to call Muhelstein’s and Gee’s scholarship “abhorrent” (an assessment I agree with). 

    Regarding the Hauglid comment, I confess that I don't see how Hauglid really has ground to stand on in saying that. He might very much disagree with their theories, more power to him, and if he's talking about their work with 19th-century documents he is most definitely their peer and has the requisite expertise to condemn their work. However, when it comes to things Egyptological, Hauglid is not their peer by any standard. Hence, I have a hard time accepting his dismissal as authoritative for all of their work on the subject. 

    Muhlestein is certainly dedicated to his paradigm, but I don't feel that I can safely judge him without knowing the inputs that contribute to that. We should remember at this point that it is not wrong to hold on to a theory in the face of anomalies if you think the supporting evidence is sufficiently strong to overwhelm them. I can't really call Muhlestein's argument circular because I don't know what holds him in his current position. 



  16. Hey all! I've been lurking on this forum for a bit, reading threads and the like, and I've decided to just step in myself. I can't seem to start a topic on the General Discussions board just yet, which is a bit of a shame, but hopefully the conversations will be good!

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