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The Plates Have Been Found!


cksalmon

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Okay. Not really. But let's probe the hypothetical, if you're willing.

The manifestly 19th C. "plates" are discovered in someone's attic. They match the descriptions given in the historical literature. They're of modern manufacture.

Would this render the BoM "untrue?" Would you consider the modern "plates" merely a tool for a spiritual translation, much as those who espouse the catalyst theory for BoA? Would this cast doubt on your conviction that the English-language BoM is a true record of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas? How would your view of the LDS religion change, if at all?

Curious.

CKS

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cksalmon:

Sorry I don't understand your question. :P

My hypothetical question is whether or not you would view your faith differently if it were conclusively demonstrated that the plates JS claimed were from God turned out to be a prop manufactured in the 19th C.

Best.

CKS

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I have to wonder at the hypothetical. Had Joseph manufactured plates this would seem to contradict what the Book of Mormon itself says about the plates; that they will be shown to witnesses who will bear record of what they saw. The Book of Mormon text nowhere indicates the prophet of the future will manufacture fake plates; it says the actual plates will be shown and testified of.

In short, it seems like you are saying "if you discovered the Book of Mormon wasn't true, would you still believe it was true?" In a similar vein I would ask you, ck, if the bones of Jesus Christ were discovered in a tomb in Jerusalem with a note saying "just kidding, everybody! signed- Jesus" would you still believe the New Testament account of the resurrection, etc.?

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I would subscribe to a Missing Plates theory (kidding... maybe).

Honestly, I'm not sure what impact it would have. I would probably still self-identify as being "Mormon" and would probably still continue to read and study the BoM on occasion.

Strange thing is, Iâ??m not sure it would change my opinion of â??Mormonismâ? much. It would mostly just alter my opinion of Joseph (for the worse).

Edited to add:

I might become a Hindu-Jew.

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I have to wonder at the hypothetical. Had Joseph manufactured plates this would seem to contradict what the Book of Mormon itself says about the plates; that they will be shown to witnesses who will bear record of what they saw. The Book of Mormon text nowhere indicates the prophet of the future will manufacture fake plates; it says the actual plates will be shown and testified of.

In short, it seems like you are saying "if you discovered the Book of Mormon wasn't true, would you still believe it was true?" In a similar vein I would ask you, ck, if the bones of Jesus Christ were discovered in a tomb in Jerusalem with a note saying "just kidding, everybody! signed- Jesus" would you still believe the New Testament account of the resurrection, etc.?

No. If the bones of Jesus were discovered, I would immediately renounce my Christian faith. I'm sure I'd still appreciate and aspire to some of the teachings of Jesus, but I would cease to be a "Christian."

As a catalyst-type theory of translation is not without precedent in LDS history, I think one might be able to reconcile 19C plates with belief in a literal accounting of ancient history. I, like you, wouldn't make that leap. But, I'm curious as to if and why some might.

CKS

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cksalmon:

I'm a committed LDS Christian. But I am not blind stupid. I would have to re-evaluate my beliefs. That being said. It would take a massive amount of Proofs to change my position.

I understand that. This thread is certainly not about actual proofs of any kind. Unfortunately, I have no "anti-Mormon" agenda herein. :P Just an interesting (to me at least) hypothetical question.

Best to you.

CKS

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Interesting. I dont know that you could prove that JS actually used them ore (Ha ore, I didnt even mean to say that) made them. On another note, It would take something like Paul the apostles experiance to change my views. It would have to be from God him self. THere could be no other way for me to change. Now I certainly have not thought about all of the possible ways for me to leave the LDS church. Im sure some thing else exsists, but I dont know what it is. Also if Jesus' bones were found how could you prove they were Jesus' bones? What do Jesus' bones looks like?

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Interesting. I dont know that you could prove that JS actually used them ore made them. On another note, It would take something like Paul the apostles experiance to change my views.

And members of the Church complain about hard-heartedness when committed, practicing members of other faiths don't join the Church after the missionary discussions...

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And members of the Church complain about hard-heartedness when committed, practicing members of other faiths don't join the Church after the missionary discussions...

Who is complaining? Not I.

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If you were going to try and pull off a fraud, considering the 19th century's lack of knowldege about radioactive dating techniques and metalurgical microscopy and that such things had not even been conceived, why not just call the plates tin plates, and show them to the world, after all the proof is in hand, and then you could skip all the character assination and persecution and you own eventual murder. The fraud would not be discovered until long after you had made your fortune and had died.

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If you were going to try and pull off a fraud, considering the 19th century's lack of knowldege about radioactive dating techniques and metalurgical microscopy and that such things had not even been conceived, why not just call the plates tin plates, and show them to the world, after all the proof is in hand, and then you could skip all the character assination and persecution and you own eventual murder. The fraud would not be discovered until long after you had made your fortune and had died.

Sure. But I'm not asking about the mechanics of "fraud," but rather the hypothetical (compelling) evidence of fraud. I'm not arguing for the tin-plate theory, I'm asking a "what if?" question.

Best.

CKS

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After thinking about the hypothesis for a bit, I found that the situation of someone claiming to find the plates in an attic would raise a number of interesting questions. And after thinking about those questions, the most likely probability, by far, would be that the plates were created by someone other than JS who wanted to "prove" that the Church was false.

It appears to be something that would be highly unlikely; the existence in that manner of plates would raise far more questions about their validity than they would prove anything about Joseph's claims.

If desired, we can discuss the questions that would be raised about their validity in more detail.

Sure. But I'm not asking about the mechanics of "fraud," but rather the hypothetical (compelling) evidence of fraud. I'm not arguing for the tin-plate theory, I'm asking a "what if?" question.

I think that the "what if" would need to be based on another kind of situation.

Finding the plates in that manner would be very suspicious.

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If desired, we can discuss the questions that would be raised about their validity in more detail.

Yes, that it what was desired. There's no need to call into question the legitimacy of my hypothetical. It has no historical legitimacy. That's why it's a merely hypothetical question.

Best.

CKS

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Yes, that it what was desired. There's no need to call into question the legitimacy of my hypothetical. It has no historical legitimacy. That's why it's a merely hypothetical question.

I understood that.

My response, if the situation were to occur, would be one of skepticism about the find of the plates in such a manner. The circumstances, and the assumptions to support it, would be too implausible.

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I understood that.

My response, if the situation were to occur, would be one of skepticism about the find of the plates in such a manner. The circumstances, and the assumptions to support it, would be too implausible.

I feel that perhaps you really haven't understood my point. Feel free to insert whatever hypothetical scenario would be provisionally compelling and go from there.

The attic isn't the point of the question.

And there's no reason for you to answer the underlying question if you're not inclined.

CKS

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Did you serve a mission?

Sure did. The only complaint I had was against the AP's and a few members in certain areas. I knew why I was there.

CK Salmon announces that "the plates have been found, and they are made of tin!"

My first reaction would be: They must be fake, and were manufactured by Dan Vogel, since its HIS favorite theory... (heh)

Beowulf

That is just great. It brings a tear.

I feel that perhaps you really haven't understood my point. Feel free to insert whatever hypothetical scenario would be provisionally compelling and go from there.

The attic isn't the point of the question.

And there's no reason for you to answer the underlying question if you're not inclined.

CKS

Perhaps I too misunderstood the question. Im really confused now. Like that isnt new. :P

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Sure. But I'm not asking about the mechanics of "fraud," but rather the hypothetical (compelling) evidence of fraud. I'm not arguing for the tin-plate theory, I'm asking a "what if?" question.

And I countered with a question targeting the base assumption of the "what if" question. A hypothetical situation has to be based in possibility to be considered as meritorious for debate. The tin plate theory doesn't make the plausibility cut without addressing that question. Otherwise the OP is nothing more than a pillory. Surely you can understand why we would be hesitant to climb onto it.

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And I countered with a question targeting the base assumption of the "what if" question. A hypothetical situation has to be based in possibility to be considered as meritorious for debate. The tin plate theory doesn't make the plausibility cut without addressing that question. Otherwise the OP is nothing more than a pillory. Surely you can understand why we would be hesitant to climb onto it.

You're certainly under no obligation to answer the underlying question. There's no "pillory" here. If you cannot possibly conceive of any scenario within which the plates might possibly have been fraudulent, then there's no point in discussing it further, I suppose.

I do bid you adieu, good fellow. My question, it seems, is for others.

Best to you.

CKS

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I feel that perhaps you really haven't understood my point. Feel free to insert whatever hypothetical scenario would be provisionally compelling and go from there.

The point is that you've got to come up with a hypothetical scenario that makes some sense. The first reaction to finding "the plates" in an attic would be that someone planted them there and it's a fraud intended to try to destroy the Church. And there would be good reasons for thinking that way.

It's the same way about your "bones of Christ" scenario. If someone claimed to have found them, it would most likely be fraudulent. Everyone can say, "of course, we'd have to re-evaluate the claims of Christ in that case" because they know that the possibility of something like that happening is highly improbable.

You ask what scenario would be provisionally compelling. I have no idea; I have trouble imagining a scenario that would have the strength to counter what I already know, from both an intellectual and spiritual standpoint. There would be good reason to be skeptical of just about anything I can imagine.

So, the real challenge here is to come up with something hypothetical that would make sense - then the discussion can proceed along the lines you envisioned.

Otherwise, the short answer to your post is that for me, your hypothetical scenario wouldn't have any effect on my belief at all.

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