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In need of convincing LDS Scholarship


DanGB

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After my last attempt at this question here, I took a page from my marriage and decided to let emotions of certain participants cool off.

Now, without trying to derail ther threads (and or egos ), I am trying to find the most convinci g works of LDS scholarship in the areas of geography, history. athropology or archaeogy in supporting the existance of the history in the Book Of Mormon.

I have seen reference to works by LDS authors who seem extreamely well credentialed and qualified to speak and address such ares of academic research and field work.

But my question, for my own needs is: has any of their works convinced the a academic world outside of what we might read in Ensign and other church sponsored publications?

My need would be to respond to this question I get from the very basic thinkers outside the church who seem to ask the obvious.

Seeing reference to all the great credentials we obviously have within the church in these area of study, I just wanted to know if, and which ones, have been accepted and or even acknowledged as evidence for our ancient history claim?

Just being a real member here. But acknowledging not from Utah in advance, again!

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After my last attempt at this question here, I took a page from my marriage and decided to let emotions of certain participants cool off.

Now, without trying to derail ther threads (and or egos ), I am trying to find the most convinci g works of LDS scholarship in the areas of geography, history. athropology or archaeogy in supporting the existance of the history in the Book Of Mormon.

There's a vast amount of material available here, accompanied by references to yet further material.

I have seen reference to works by LDS authors who seem extreamely well credentialed and qualified to speak and address such ares of academic research and field work.

But my question, for my own needs is: has any of their works convinced the a academic world outside of what we might read in Ensign and other church sponsored publications?

That's hard to know. It's difficult to know how much the outside academic world has read any of this material.

My need would be to respond to this question I get from the very basic thinkers outside the church who seem to ask the obvious.

The most basic question, of course, is whether the relevant evidence has been arrayed in logically sound ways. Whether anybody has read it is, at best, a secondary question.

Seeing reference to all the great credentials we obviously have within the church in these area of study, I just wanted to know if, and which ones, have been accepted and or even acknowledged as evidence for our ancient history claim?

Relatively few, I should think.

And, just for the sake of comparison, you would be very hard pressed to find much serious engagement on the part of Greco-Roman intellectuals and scholars with the rising Christian movement during its first two centuries.

Just being a real member here. But acknowledging not from Utah in advance, again!

What difference would your not being from Utah make?

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But my question, for my own needs is: has any of their works convinced the a academic world outside of what we might read in Ensign and other church sponsored publications?

If I'm hearing you right, and if I that really is a need for you, that need might go unmet.

I don't see the things written for a general LDS audience in an Ensign article gaining academic credibility. Two completely different audiences. Two completely different sets of expectations and standards. Most Ensign articles would have to be rewritten for an academic audience. And most academic articles would have to be completely rewritten for a general LDS audience.

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While I'm all for the outside academic world engaging LDS scholarship, to properly do so, they would need to become familiar with LDS writings i.e. the Book of Mormon. All the academic training in the world won't help very much with addressing LDS scholarship if one is not acquainted with the LDS text.

I think this is an important factor that is often overlooked by critics.

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Just being a real member here. But acknowledging not from Utah in advance, again!

Hi Dan,

Perhaps you should find another forum with other folks like you ( LDS that are not from Utah )

We here at " UTAH MAD ", to be honest and with all due respect, don't really appreciate y'all contributing here.

Thanks for your understanding.

Peace,

Ceeboo

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In need of convincing LDS Scholarship

Well you will probably have a longer wait than you desire. Let us reasonably ask why this would be.

Okay if I understand you correctly, you want non LDS academics who are experts in the field of archeology, geography etc to write on the similarities between the Book of Mormon and scientific study of anthropology by analyzing the material remains such as the sites and artifacts that people left behind. Is this correct? This would be convincing to you?

It is hugely problematic. Can you not see that? First we would need to find a non LDS expert archeologist preferably one who specializes in Mesoamerica. Okay lots of those, however to find one who is also a non biased expert in the Book of Mormon, hmm this limits the field to, zero. I don't know of one. Did you know this before hand? If so you really don't want what you say, but you are using a rhetorical device to say your wrong because a non LDS expert cant make a correlation and prove it to you.

Now let us take real experts, very qualified archeologist and also experts in the Book of Mormon and they find many similarities, men like Sorenson, Clark, and Wright. These men have did exactly what you have asked. They are LDS, so yes they have a interest (hence their knowledge of the Book of Mormon). Are you throwing out their expertise their academic studies, their sweat and lifelong endeavors simply because they are LDS?

Should we disregard the many great accomplishments of Pasteur because he was a devote Catholic? I think not. Should we reconsider all the accomplishments of Robert Boyle because he was a devout Christian who confessed to have a conversion similar to that of Paul? Why would you throw out the works of esteemed scholars just because of their religion?

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Hi Dan,

Perhaps you should find another forum with other folks like you ( LDS that are not from Utah )

We here at " UTAH MAD ", to be honest and with all due respect, don't really appreciate y'all contributing here.

Thanks for your understanding.

Peace,

Ceeboo

Ceeboo... just ;) ..... pull the covers over you and go back to bed! :P

From Norway!

This IS an international board!

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Hi Dan,

Perhaps you should find another forum with other folks like you ( LDS that are not from Utah )

We here at " UTAH MAD ", to be honest and with all due respect, don't really appreciate y'all contributing here.

Thanks for your understanding.

Peace,

Ceeboo

HUH?

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To the OP. I met this question very often. I also have seen many scolars (not LDS) very interested in LDS consepts which touch their scolarly work. Many find LDS consept highly interesting, but none of them have guts to break the unwitten rule to study scolarly LDS consept. You see LDS is still considered mere as imaginative stuff by highly respected "scolars" and the negatives to the Church keep pushing their antistoff all around making many believe that anyone with a little common sense....

In order to get LDS on the scolarly map some say that it needs a NON LDS scolar to do a positive study... which maybe leeds to the scolar to become LDS... which leeds to the questioning of his scolarship ...

An LDS scolar is questioned about his scolarship as he is LDS... if he resighns the Church he is valued as a scolar, but his scolarships on LDS are questionable to LDS members and probably false, but the negatives are happy and can say that he was an LDS and he knows (does he really)....

Honestly WHO, WHAT scolar would like such a mess in his life? There are many easier things to study that for sure give easier fame! :P

I am happy to see taht many LDS scolars are highly respected in their field by many respected scolars. But like in my little country... not much gets trough the barrier which says :LDS nonscolastics dont touch! Well at least in Turku university (the swedis speaking one)there are now some LDS studying religion... and they do studyes on mormonism! But like someone said it is a loooong wait to see things really happen.

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You know Dan -- As what Anijen has given you is quite true. Also obiwan gave a good site and there is the Neal Maxwell Institute. However, it won't really matter if you have closed your mind to possibilities. You can take any subject and put a spin on the perspective to make it favorable to a biased opinion. Even a subject such as Newtons Law of Gravity (yeah that's right the man himself) has his laws of gravity questioned and spins on his mathematics are found by those unwilling to accept. Just look it up on the web search. The only way to change a mind made up is if that person is willing to do so and consider all possibilities.

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After my last attempt at this question here, I took a page from my marriage and decided to let emotions of certain participants cool off.

Now, without trying to derail ther threads (and or egos ), I am trying to find the most convinci g works of LDS scholarship in the areas of geography, history. athropology or archaeogy in supporting the existance of the history in the Book Of Mormon.

I have seen reference to works by LDS authors who seem extreamely well credentialed and qualified to speak and address such ares of academic research and field work.

But my question, for my own needs is: has any of their works convinced the a academic world outside of what we might read in Ensign and other church sponsored publications?

My need would be to respond to this question I get from the very basic thinkers outside the church who seem to ask the obvious.

Seeing reference to all the great credentials we obviously have within the church in these area of study, I just wanted to know if, and which ones, have been accepted and or even acknowledged as evidence for our ancient history claim?

Just being a real member here. But acknowledging not from Utah in advance, again!

Hey Dan,

If I were to restate, what I think you are asking, it would be this. "Have we established a set of proven and accepted academic proofs such that scholars, not of the LDS faith, have had to acknowledge that the LDS truth claims are valid?"

My answer to that query would be; No, and I don't imagine that it will ever happen prior to the 2nd coming of Christ. Nor do I believe that God has an interest in "proving" LDS truth claims to the world. God expects us to live by faith. There are sufficient evidences that a person, willing to believe, may choose to believe and have faith in LDS truth claims. But it will always be a choice to believe or not. That is part of your agency.

- SlackTime

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Hi Dan,

Perhaps you should find another forum with other folks like you ( LDS that are not from Utah )

We here at " UTAH MAD ", to be honest and with all due respect, don't really appreciate y'all contributing here.

Thanks for your understanding.

Peace,

Ceeboo

Now Boo just how big is that state of Utah your from and when did it encompass Michigan :P ?

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One of my critics, monitoring this thread, suggests that I "believe that the main or principle [sic] reason academia has never verified the BoM or the BoA or any other truth claim of the church is that they have not encountered the ideas."

This is not my position.

Another critic, probably brighter and certainly less rabid (you should see some of this fellow's other recent comments about me) and more intellectually serious, responds, "Probably not. He probably thinks they don't accept the apologia for ideological or anti-mormon bias reasons as well."

That's not my position, either.

I do think it obvious that people are seldom convinced by arguments of which they're wholly unaware, and I think very, very few non-Mormon scholars pay any attention at all to Mormon apologetics or even know that a substantial Mormon apologetics exists. Why should they? If they ever thought about it, which I doubt most have ever done, they would probably think the topic unworthy of their attention. Would they be convinced by Mormon arguments if they read them? Maybe. Maybe not. Would "anti-Mormon bias" be the main obstacle? No. Would "ideology"? Maybe. Perhaps. Depending on how one defined the term.

But that's not what I would say. I think the arguments are enough to justify belief, but not to compel it. I think that's exactly how things are supposed to be. I don't think God wants it otherwise.

It's rather amusing to be treated as a simple-minded, na

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Maya and MFBuk,

CeeBoo is neither Mormon nor Utahn- and is simply yanking the troll's chain.

Contrary to his unspoken assertion, DanGB's disaffection has nothing to do with his geographic location.

Apostacy and a deep-seated lust for the approval of Babylon can be found most anywhere- and living "outside Utah" is not a cause of DanGB's nascent aposta cy, but simply a rationalization and self-justification for it.

CeeBoo's post was wholly tongue-in-cheek, though it did expose a certain vacu ous narcissism on DGB's part.

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CeeBoo's post was wholly tongue-in-cheek, though it did expose a certain vacu ous narcissism on DGB's part.

What threw me off was the assumption that we were all Utahns - and I was reading too quickly to catch that actually was coming from DGB.

I gotta stop reading these with half my brain tied behind my back just to be fair-- as a noted talk show host would say. :P

I will engage another quarter of my brain, and proceed as a 3/4 wit as opposed to a half wit.

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MFBuk,

Are you sure it's wise to bring that much firepower to bear?

Even in default mode, you outgun the critics by a factor of twelve-to-one.

Why not save your ammo for a real, credible, challenge (in the- admittedly- extremely unlikely event one should actually arise)?

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MFBuk,

Are you sure it's wise to bring that much firepower to bear?

Even in default mode, you outgun the critics by a factor of twelve-to-one.

Why not save your ammo for a real, credible, challenge (in the- admittedly- extremely unlikely event one should actually arise)?

:P

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If I were to restate, what I think you are asking,

What was wrong with the question I DID ask? It was plain, simple and striaghtforward.

But I gather, from the replies here, merely asking the question here makes me an apostate and a narsicist. Better to answer the question "I should have asked" I guess!! Perhaps part of our culture!

I gather the answe is "no, our scholars have not been convincing to those outside of the Church". And that is ok. Nothing wrong with being honest factual. I was merely inquiring.

If asking the question makes me an apostate to some here then it is a problem for them. I certainly dont see that type of culture in our ward here thankfully.

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What was wrong with the question I DID ask? It was plain, simple and striaghtforward.

But I gather, from the replies here, merely asking the question here makes me an apostate and a narsicist. Better to answer the question "I should have asked" I guess!! Perhaps part of our culture!

I gather the answe is "no, our scholars have not been convincing to those outside of the Church". And that is ok. Nothing wrong with being honest factual. I was merely inquiring.

If asking the question makes me an apostate to some here then it is a problem for them. I certainly dont see that type of culture in our ward here thankfully.

FWIW, Margaret Barker found my essays convincing. She spoke openly about the Book of Mormon at the Joseph Smith Conference in Washington DC. She even invited me to collaborate with her in an essay called "Seeking the Face of the Lord: Joseph Smith and the First Temple Tradition." This was published this year by Oxford University Press. Mark Wright (aka Hasbaz) has talked here about Mesoamerican scholars and the church. Hugh Nibley had several non-LDS scholars contribute essays to the tribute volumes, By Study and By Faith, including Cyrus Gordon, James Charleswork, and Raphael Patai. Terryl Givens managed to get several volumes of and on LDS scholarship published by Oxford University Press. John Welch has a volume on the Sermon on the Mount just out.

And regarding what "convincing" means in academic circles, I recommend reading Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Paradigms in academic circles involve what he describes as a "group licensed way of seeing."

Kevin Christensen

Bethel Park, PA

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I gather the answe is "no, our scholars have not been convincing to those outside of the Church".

Not quite.

Some scholars outside of the Church have definitely read Mormon scholarship and found it unconvincing. A few, it seems, have read it and been convinced. The vast majority, however, haven't read it, don't know it exists, and probably have no real interest. It would be rather misleading simply to summarize the situation of that vast majority as "unconvinced by Mormon scholarship."

In that sense, I'm "unconvinced" by Motohisa Yamakage, Paul de Leeuw, and Aidan Rankin's description of Shinto. I haven't seen their book. Didn't even know it existed until I ran across it on Amazon a few minutes ago. Does the fact that their book hasn't convinced me suggest, in any way, that their book isn't first-rate? Not at all. For all I know, it's the greatest book written since Homer's Iliad.

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Not quite.

Some scholars outside of the Church have definitely read Mormon scholarship and found it unconvincing. A few, it seems, have read it and been convinced. The vast majority, however, haven't read it, don't know it exists, and probably have no real interest. It would be rather misleading simply to summarize the situation of that vast majority as "unconvinced by Mormon scholarship."

In that sense, I'm "unconvinced" by Motohisa Yamakage, Paul de Leeuw, and Aidan Rankin's description of Shinto. I haven't seen their book. Didn't even know it existed until I ran across it on Amazon a few minutes ago. Does the fact that their book hasn't convinced me suggest, in any way, that their book isn't first-rate? Not at all. For all I know, it's the greatest book written since Homer's Iliad.

My question was not about "general" Mormon scholarship. I was addressing the specific scholarship in the area of the history contained in the BOM and the works done in support of it by the archaelogists, anthropologist, historians, etc within the Church. Linking the historical record we have in the BOM to the studies needed to support and verify such historical accounts. I had heard via a friend of mine at UT Austin that some well known, non-LDS archaeogist had looked into the BOM claims and works done by LDS scholars in this area and was not convinced but I have know idea if this is even true.

The focus of my question is specific to the evidence of our history claimed in the BOM. I thought it would fall into a similar area of validation as biblical archaeology. I just never here of it with respect to the peoples and places in the BOM.

If the LDS works in this area have not found interest in our scholars peer group, no big deal for me. Just asking.

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To follow up the name I was given is Michael Coe. Supposedly he is a famous archaeologist who has spent ime reviewing the BOM and Lds scholarship in this specific area and does not find in supporting. Never heard of the guy but will do a little google on him to see what I find.

Am I on a wild goose chase here?

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Am I on a wild goose chase here?

I think you are.

Vinland. Ingstads.

Until they made their discovery at L'Anse aux Meadows, the party line in academia was that the Vinland Sagas were fictional nonsense. But the Ingstads followed the clues in the sagas. And their findings proved the sagas' core claim. (Of course that now simply means that most academics concede the main point, but relegate most of the saga content to historical fiction.)

Until or unless some paradigm-shifting event like that happens, the world will remain full of Michael Coe's.

Which is apparently as it should be for now.

It simply remains to be seen whether that's the way things are intended to remain.

I happen to believe that in time, all things will be revealed.

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