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Joseph Displays His Ignorance On The Ancient World


Olavarria

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In another thread, I had earlier made the point that Joseph alaways seemd to bring attention to WHAT HE BELIEVED to be supporting evidence for his prophetic claims. My main source is Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith , a compilation by Joseph Fielding SMith. Since most of the anti's seem to have mormon roots, it wont be difficult to find a copy; who might even humor your tbm relatives Here are the examples:

Pg 228; The Marcionites practised baptism for the dead . Here the Prophet describes an account by "Crysostum" about the practice along with 1 Cor 15:29, as evidence for its legitamacy.

Pg 239 catacomb of mummuies found in kentuky Joseph Smith cites some report about "mummies" being discovered in Kentuky and claims that they are "another strong evidence of the Book of Mormon."

pg 276 Stephen's Incidents of Travel in Central America Joseph Smith(or John Taylor?) cites this as "proof of the Nephites and Lamanites dwelling on this continant." He goes on to cite the claim by "Don Juan Torres" a descendant of quiche royalty, as transmitted by "Father Francis Vasques" that the Toltecas were descendant of the tribes of Israel. He says that the world will prove Joseph Smith a profet by "circumstantial evidence".

pg 309 Mormon means "more good" This one is my personal favorite and kinda cute. This one is significant given that it was addressed to the editor of the T&S and is signed "yours, Joseph Smith". In response to the claim made by others that mormon is a derivative of the greek word "mormo", the prophet denies that any greek or latin were on the plates he translated. He goes on to relate the danish, saxon, dutch, german,greek, latin and hebrew words for "good" and finally comes to the "egyptian"word, "mon". He says, "Hence with the addition of 'more' , or the contraction, 'mor' , we have the word 'mormon'; which means, literally, 'more good'."

What is the point in bringing all this up?

1)Joseph wasn't claiming any divine revelation in these matters. He was speaking from an intellectual perspective.

2)These quotes show just how ignorant Joseph was about ancient cultures and language. In all fairness to him, everyone was when compared to what is known today.

3)If Joseph saw anything in print that HE FELT backed up his claims, he used it.

This is one reason why the idea that Joseph Smith researched and plugged Hebraisms, pre-exilic temple motifs, arabian geography, egyptian personal names, Bactun/katun prophesy "mexican zodiac"(according to Anthon) etc in the BoM, doesn't hold up to what is apparant from the Prophet's displayed knowledge.

If he knew these things existed in the text, then he would have said, "you see I'm a prophet. There's no way I could have known" for that is what he did everytime he had the chance.

Regardless of what one might think of FARMS and similiar research, "facts are stuburn things." Whatever parrallels exist between the BoM and the ancient world can only be chalked up to God, Satan or chance. They can't be attributed to Joseph.

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Regardless of what one might think of FARMS and similiar research, "facts are stuburn things." Whatever parrallels exist between the BoM and the ancient world can only be chalked up to God, Satan or chance. They can't be attributed to Joseph.

They should be attributed to the hard work and creativity of apologists, not to Joseph or God (or Satan, or both).

It's kinda funny how wrong Joseph was in his apologetic efforts. We can see the strained cherry picking. I really like the one about the Kentucky mummies -- we now know that's false because the apologetic "flavor of the month" has moved to mesoamerica. Someday the LDS will see that apologetics circa 2007 are no different. It could even happen in your lifetime, Her Amun, if you loose your testimony. :P

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They should be attributed to the hard work and creativity of apologists, not to Joseph or God (or Satan, or both).

So because people actually have to work hard and study what actually existed in the ancient world before they compare it to the BoM, these resultant comparisons are invalid?

It's kinda funny how wrong Joseph was in his apologetic efforts. We can see the strained cherry picking.
He was going by what was available at his time, which wasnt much. If he was capable of knowing about Nahom, its accompanied eastward bend in the spice trail, Wadi Sayq(bountiful), chiasmus, hebraisms, mesoamerican style warfare, two consequtive civilizations that rise and fall at the same times the "Olmec" and pre-classic highland "Maya" do, Dea Nutrix motifs in israelite religion, egyptian topographic and personal names then he would have brought it to light. Problem is: no mormon knew these things were in the BoM until the 1900's.
I really like the one about the Kentucky mummies -- we now know that's false because the apologetic "flavor of the month" has moved to mesoamerica.

The flavor actually moved to mesoamerica, during the later part of the Prophet's life and he was the icecream man who scooped it. This happend after a copy of Stephensons book reached Navoou. But mobs, an exodus, federal troop incursion into Deseret and survival all forced geographic specualtions to the backburner thus the older view of a hemespheric BoM never got a chance to die away.

Someday the LDS will see that apologetics circa 2007 are no different. It could even happen in your lifetime, Her Amun, if you loose your testimony. :P

My testimony is not based on apologetics, but on personal revelation thus I have no problem with discarding theories about the how of the BoM. The what is something I cant deny; it is the Word of God, and an ancient witness of Jesus Christ.

The fact is simple: Joseph enthusistically showed what he knew from secular sources; and we now know that it wasnt much.

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Her Amun,

I think this fits in well with the "how did JS know exactly what to choose, and what to discard" thread.

Of course, he could have been a genius and thrown around a bunch of false arguements to later support his prophetic calling. :P

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It's kinda funny how wrong Joseph was in his apologetic efforts. We can see the strained cherry picking. I really like the one about the Kentucky mummies -- we now know that's false because the apologetic "flavor of the month" has moved to mesoamerica. Someday the LDS will see that apologetics circa 2007 are no different. It could even happen in your lifetime, Her Amun, if you loose your testimony. :P

Uh, flavor of the month or not, people move to follow food sources, avoid unfavorable weather patterns, are chased out of places they once occupied. You can't be certain those mummies (btw I never heard that one before) weren't somehow connected with Book of Mormon peoples. Unless one starts from the assumption that the book is a totally modern composition, of course.

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Without a scientific examination of the actual mummies themselves we of this late date cannot say whether they were Mesoamerican or not. Mummies can form accidentally, due to strictly environmental conditions. They don't have to be intentionally made, like Egyptian ones.

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Without a scientific examination of the actual mummies themselves we of this late date cannot say whether they were Mesoamerican or not. Mummies can form accidentally, due to strictly environmental conditions. They don't have to be intentionally made, like Egyptian ones.

assuming the "mummies" actually existed.

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