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stemelbow

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  1. So dating ancient documents--attempts to put dates or ranges to when something was written is a pretty complex field for sure. When the authors are unknown it makes it tough. When authors are claimed it doesn't necessarily help, as it's been pretty much universally acknowledged that Moses did not write the first 5 books of the OT. I assume if we had no author for the Book of Mormon and we were uncertain when it came, we might be able to place in an older era than Joseph Smith. Maybe. But I'd be curious what various fields of experts would be able to determine following methods used for more ancient works. You may have some points to suggest it was written in 16th century England. Other factors may put it right squarely in Joseph's era--as many have argued. That might suggest, though, that it belongs in the later era because it's more reasonable to think the early elements were added later, than later elements somehow being predicted earlier. To me, what that suggests is, the syntax that comes from an earlier period, crept into the later writing. If Joseph was the excellent inspired genius level bricolage organizer, then its likely he wrote it. Additionally if the words appeared to his mind, or magically glowing in the darkness as he strained at a rock, then it can only be surmised he wrote it. Every writing, every one does is found in their consciousness.
  2. Would it not be relatively simple to compare the BoM with those books to determine if any of the authors might be a candidate for BoM authorship? I mean the big problem here is if we know there are books from around 1540 that match the BoM style and syntax, then whose to say those books weren't around when Joseph and company were around? What would be interesting, in all of this, is if we find out that a book was in existence in 1540, hidden from the world, for the most part, and that book was the Book of Mormon. But, come on. We all know that isn't going to happen.
  3. I have no clue why you think this is somehow a helpful comparison. Out of one side of the mouth it appears, members will say, "the members and leaders were products of their day, they simply couldn't escape the racial prejudices that drowned them". On that I agree. But out of the other side of the mouth members will say, "well God does limit his blessings to certain people...He did it millennia ago and so it makes sense He decided to use race as a means to discriminate who should He bless and who should He not". It's almost as if members have to accept a notion that racial discrimination was something God wanted to have happen, so He could safely institute the priesthood ban. Again out of the two sides of the mouth thing--"on the one hand God was limiting His truths acquiescing to the biases and privileges of the white people, because, well, they were the purveyors of Christianity" and then saying "God was never and is adamantly opposed to racial injustice". Again, what Blue Dreams said makes a lot of sense to me--we're stuck because the defensiveness, often revealed in two-sides of the mouth reasoning, shuts down the conversation and ends any way forward.
  4. Whenever I see examples I do something as simple as plug the words and phrases into the Ngram viewer and each time I see at least some usage in the early 1800s. That simply doesn't mean it's nearly impossible for Joseph to have arrived at any of these words or phrases, at least to me. I suppose it might still be that it's unlikely that Joseph would have picked up these archaic sounding forms in his era, but if they were possibly around somewhere it seems far more likely that Joseph and company came up with them rather than some revived dead guy from the EmodE era did the translation and sent the words into Joseph's brain. Or if you prefer the idea that God speaks EMod...that seems silly since the book, it is touted, was intended the whole time to be for our day. As much as I've tried to follow this, read up on it, I never am able to see the point in the end. If Joseph didn't write it, it doesn't really matter anyway. It has to be meaningful to begin with. It has to carry weight beyond those in the religion. It arrived on the scene in the 19 C and it appears there's still really no solid reason to see it around before that.
  5. No. It's not superhuman for a human to write a book. Quite the contrary, in fact. If he could read a book in 60 days then it's certainly possible. Of course he could read those english words. That is the whole idea of his "translation". He read them out loud and they were written. That is to say if Joseph wrote the book, then he'd like to have written before the actual dictation if we are to take the scribes descriptions seriously. You can be inclined to whatever you want. But you are bringing up some scenario where you argued with your family member, claiming there is proof Joseph didn't write it. I don't think you have such proof at all. You may feel justified in your reasoning in thinking he did not, but that's not proof. I'd say it's far more reasonable to hold to your family member's view than your view. As it is, if Joseph said the words that the scribes wrote, then he wrote it, for all intents and purposes.
  6. Demonstrate it's possible. I mean possible in the realm of what we can test and observe, in a scientific sense.
  7. And therein lies the issue. It's a problem that its an open unanswered question because that means God could have instituted the priesthood ban. If so, then He is behind the racist policy.
  8. huh? Are you saying one's personal opinion about which church is true is as definitive as scientific research in how best to maintain health? I don't understand your point. My point is simply, many people who attempt to research to determine the LDS Church's truth claim end up concluding it is not what it claims to be. That's true for many who have prayed, fasted, pondered too. You have mischaracterized the point I raise. If God is behind the racist policy then whose to say that's evil? You claim I'm saying God has evil intents. If God then we simply have to accept that what He does, endorses and thinks is not evil. So if God decides to implement a racist policy, then that policy is not evil. Then why did you claim to know the amount in relation to other amounts when you said: "these "theories" have been the source of most of the offense given and anger fomented". I tend to think the policy itself carries more of the blame for the offense. So I wonder how you measure this amount you claim to know? I didn't talk motives. The only motives I see talked about are from those who tend to get defensive. They want to say, apparently, that the motives of those who supported the ban, during the ban's existence, were racist. Maybe they were simply doing God's bidding? Seems possible...and puts us back to what Blue Dreams said about getting defensive and making the situation pretty uncomfortable. You don't have to think so. I have no interest to get involved in intent, as you seem to keen on. I disagree they, particularly if you are talking about me and my intent, simply want an honest thoughtful discussion on history and culture. They do not want to stir a pot so much as discuss the possibilities simply to arrive at truth. You've missed my point. I"m simply pointing out to those leaders of the past who made offensive claims, attributing their notions to God, they are the ones who saw God supporting their teaching, thinking God was behind their ideas. It was their God who was racist. nah...I'm thinking just as much of statements made far more recently. Why are you asking me this? You know the statement. "The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their dutt" Is your issue with "in any way"? Would you suggest the Lord will let the prophet lead the Church astray in some way? Which way? I"m clearly interested. It appears you have misunderstood me. Of course to those leaders who were preaching the offensive things you mention, they were supported by their God. They were preaching his will. That's my point. I'm not sayin git can't be corrected. Nor that the Church can't move on. BUt it certainly takes some acknowledgment of the obvious.
  9. Your point still struggles. If words appeared to Joseph's mind's eye, or magically appeared to him in the darkness of a hate as he strained at a rock, then it's reasonable to say he wrote it. It's not reasonable to say a long dead guy wrote it, nor that a super-human being wrote it. Why? Because those two propositions are impossible. Joseph coming up with English phrases he's unfamiliar with is far more likely then God sticking those words in his head, or a dead guy sticking those words in his head. It remains completely reasonable, and by far the best conclusion to draw, to say Joseph wrote it. Richard is correct...you are struggling by employing a distraction to make a confused point.
  10. How do you know God did not institute the priesthood ban?
  11. Obviously to many it does. So...I guess it's all a matter of subjective personal opinion. So which is it? They, these past mortal leaders, were racist, influenced by their culture? or God was racist and he actually did inspire them to implement racist policies as they claimed? Sure. And what you say here supports the point I raised, as I see it. Members get defensive, as Blue Dreams suggested, largely because they may think that the racist policy (as in policy based on discriminating by race) might possibly be God-ordained. It is nearly required members leave room open for that possibility. How do you measure the amount? Why not simply the ban itself being the source for most of the offense given and anger fomented? The ban is simply racism. There is nothing more fomenting than implementing it. Sure. It very well could be that they are nothing but personal prejudices and biases. But of course, they didn't see it that way. They actually saw these patently offensive explanations as God-inspired, and said so. No body suggested you are bound by any statement uttered at all. The problem of course is, leaders are leading the Church, are said to not even have the capacity to lead it astray in any way, and yet have apparently led it astray in terms of race. We may say, "well it's been corrected". But sadly for decades, at least, it was not corrected and the straying continued, apparently, unabated. It's really no wonder why members are defensive and can't really fully discuss the topic, choosing instead, as Blue Dreams suggested, to shut it down and leave POC feeling isolated. It's a real problem that seems apparently even today.
  12. Shoot fellas, I'm not endorsing someone taking shots at the MTC building for any reason. I meant to point out anyone could be shooting at it for many reasons. And yes, Kenngo, I acknowledge your options cover it. Good job. Sorry for not taking a closer look.
  13. or could be just some giggly teens who snuck out, stole a gun and shot something. Could be an active member who realizing the Church has more money than it could possibly need, feeling a bit foolish for donating so much to such a large conglomerate corporation under the guise of charity, just letting out the displeasure a bit. Could be lots of things.
  14. Well apply that study, reasoning, discussion, pondering, prayer, fasting and so on to everything else and the Church becomes a useless entity. I'm not sure what to make of your dismissals. Are you saying the Church never presented a racist policy? Or never claimed it was from God? Are you saying that past leaders did not think they were inspired when they promoted racist ideas? What exactly are you trying to dismiss?
  15. This raises, in my mind, an interesting point that seems left out of the conversation quite often. The reason for defensiveness in this are perhaps many. But one main reason seems to be the notion of God's interaction with man. It's not so much that these men in history were racist, it's that their God was racist. We might say today, "well it wasn't really God, it was just their prejudices" but that's not how they saw it nor how they presented it. How is a believing member to take seriously the criticism of their leaders when it is expected that they do nothing but revere their revelations as if from God himself? As it is, for most of this Church's existence, the teaching was God wanted racism....we pretend it used to be, but by and large many still maintain that the racist policies were God's will. How are members supposed to see it differently?
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