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Robert J Anderson

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About Robert J Anderson

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  1. I don't think Mr. Stemelbow was referring to homosexual marriage. I think he was referring to how the church changes through revelation from time to time. Of course he couched it as change from outside pressure and perhaps that is why you assume he meant the church eventually changing to homosexual marriage? Still, subsequent revelation pretty much covers any changes that the church makes. This is why we have prophets, seers and revelators.
  2. Joseph's translation certainly doesn't fit the currently available data. At a certain point one has to say that plausibility is so remote given the available data that one can make a reasonable conclusion that it never will fit the available data and move on to a different paradigm or theory. I think we agree, though, that the Book of Abraham is scripture. To me it doesn't matter whether Joseph could or couldn't translate egyptian. I think something else akin to some sort of catalyst was going on that resulted in the Book of Abraham. I think the same thing was going on with the Book of Mo
  3. Here are some alternative scientific views on the mask issue: https://off-guardian.org/2020/09/23/is-evidence-masks-dont-work-being-purged-from-the-internet/ https://search.mercola.com/results.aspx?q=mask effectiveness#stq=mask effectiveness
  4. Thanks for the link. Hopefully we can learn from Sweden's approach to this. I seem to remember when it was encouraged to have your children get the chicken pox to develop immunity. With covid-19, I don't suggest we run toward the virus but realize that we probably cannot avoid it and destroying the economy probably wasn't wise as a reaction.
  5. Thanks for the response. However, given he got so much wrong, isn't a lucky guess the rational response? This is the basis of why I believe that we need a different approach, not relying so much on whether or not Joseph Smith could translate egyptian. He simply couldn't translate egyptian and the facsimiles show that. Anyway, I want to couch my comments with a disclaimer that I don't want to appear that I am trying to push a non-believing perspective here. I am for a different approach that allows for a non-historical cannon, given the state of the evidence.
  6. I think masks may only slow down the spread and not by that much. Virus particles are extremely small and masks people wear allow virus particles to freely enter and exit. It seems to me the mask issue is in the realm of government officials wanting to do something in the face of not really being able to do much. At the beginning, flattening the curve was the reason for the lock-downs and I think that assumes that we really cannot prevent the spread of the virus and that eventually all will be exposed. Sweden didn't lock down and has had similar numbers as everyone else. Another issue
  7. I am interested in knowing how you judge what Joseph Smith could have known or could not have known. It seems to me that this is near impossible regarding a lot that is relevant to the Book of Abraham or Book of Mormon. What do you think he couldn't have known about? Could you expand on this?
  8. Yes, of course they can and that is what I wrestle with. It very well could be that I am influenced by the group as we all probably are to a certain extent. However, I like to think that I can look at my beliefs from a distance and judge them as objectively as I can. I have chosen to remain a believer in them, sort of a pascal's wager, as I haven't seen anything to disprove them and I have a hope that we continue on after this life is over. I am also aware of the Marcus Aurelius quote about living a good life and letting the future take care of itself.
  9. I don't know if we can say that the spiritual doesn't hold up under scrutiny, at least for me personally. I have had personal experiences that tell me that there is something beyond this life. I have had many experiences while listening to the Book of Mormon online while driving or reading it that put me in touch with something that I can only explain as the spirit. Perhaps it is something other than organized religion but I have to believe that it is Moronism based on my experiences with the Book of Mormon. So, for me, it is immaterial whether or not Joseph Smith invented it or whatever h
  10. I've read a lot of the scholarship on both sides of the debate and find that our scholars and apologists, while well-meaning, simply don't have much to work with in terms of historicity proof and have to rely on talking about possibilities. Pretty much everything is possible in the beginning, however. A flat earth is possible until one goes out into space and sees the earth as it really is. As for the Book of Abraham, I think Dr. Ritner is correct in that Joseph Smith didn't know how to translate egyptian into english and that the papyri don't match the Book of Abraham. I think we need to
  11. My invite to church is really more of an attitude change that I wish to see. Critics have some good points but miss the spiritual and I think that is where we have a chance to make some headway. My goal is to show that dwelling on possibilities and demanding that possibilities become probabilities might be doing more harm than good. It is what led my brother and his family out. He was so into the latest papers on this or that topic on the book of mormon, etc., that he lost sight on what really is important. So, when he finally realized that the apologists were the ones with the empty argu
  12. I think you are adding complexity where there isn't any. Here is a sentence in spanish: Juan fue a la iglesia. My translation is: The Book of Abraham is an amazing book of scripture regardless of how we received it. Now, you may get some supposed expert to come along and say that the correct translation is merely "John went to church." But I would then say that you and your so called expert are missing the complexity and richness that is my translation. Clearly, I am wrong in saying that my translation is correct and to continue to push my translation would seriously harm my credibility
  13. What questions are you talking about? Did Joseph Smith give us a correct translation of the extant papyri? Clearly no. Does the Book of Abraham resemble any of the extant papyri? Again, clearly no. These aren't complex questions no matter how many times you and other supposed apologists say they are. All Dr. Ritner was saying is that Joseph Smith couldn't and didn't translate correctly the Egyptian papyri. Perhaps we should just deal with it and focus on the spiritual?
  14. I think this is a great point and should end the Ritner/Muhlestein conversation. The book would be over in a few pages or sentences. Ritner would say the BofA and the papyri have nothing to do with each other and Muhlestein would then chime in that the BofA has nothing to do with Egyptology, the end. So, why did Muhlestein propose the book in the first place if he believes in the catalyst theory? Why not just acknowledge the points made by one of the preeminent Egyptologists and then pivot to spirituality taking precedence over history? It would have been less confusing.
  15. The problem I see with the book proposal is that it will take perhaps years to do and people want answers today. Maybe the answers are already given in some other place but they need to be given again. At present, it doesn't look good that Dr. Muhlestein doesn't want to engage immediately, showing point by point where Dr. Ritner is wrong or where Dr. Ritner is not giving the entire story, etc. RFM boorishly challenged Dr. Muhlestein to come on his show and not at least giving answers in perhaps a friendly podcast seems to give the wrong impression about Dr. Muhlestein and his position.
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