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The Hypocrisy of Rod Meldrum and Bruce Porter


annoyed

Hypocrite?  

13 members have voted

  1. 1. Does Rodney Meldrum follow his own advice?



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Since anyone can download the first part of the new book "Prophecies and Promises, the Book of Mormon and the United States of America" by Bruce H. Porter and Rodney L. Meldrum:

http://www.bookofmor...?download_id=15

I perused its contents with some interest. Having a previous awareness of their most unusual interpretation for the word "head" in regards to the River Sidon, I hoped it would have been corrected in this book. Instead, they distanced themselves from the scriptures:

  • It would appear that any method using only "passages having to do with geography" as the first or primary witness is going to end up falling short of any definite conclusions, being fundamentally flawed. (p. 10)
  • Rather than relying on these unclear and inconclusive passages...(p. 11)
  • Because these geographical passages are so incomplete and non-conclusive...(p 11)
  • The fact that the geographical passages contained in the Book of Mormon are incomplete and inconclusive...(p14)

Created "new" methodologies:

Scriptural research must be done without trying to redefine the words and statements in the scriptures for the purpose of any personal agenda. The Standard Works are the standards of truth and, therefore supersede any and every personal or hypothetical interpretation. (21)

Why did Rodney Meldrum "redefine" the word "head" by using an obscure dictionary definition? There's no "personal agenda" to redefine the scriptures to his model is there?

Is anyone annoyed by this hypocrisy?

Where is an Internal Geography Map by Meldrum? He portrays himself an expert yet is unable to produce one.

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Personally, I feel for Rod. I don't think he planned to take the road he is on, but he tied too much of himself and his life, occupation, etc, to a speculation and now has no where to go except down with the ship.

I'm an avid speculator about esoteric doctrines, but, I try to repent on a regular basis :P

Anyway, Rod has lost all objectivity in relation to his geography stance, so I wouldn't call it hypocrisy, just self-deception. Of course to our critics all us Mormons are self-deceived, so I guess it's just a matter of degree. ;)

- SlackTime

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Personally, I feel for Rod. I don't think he planned to take the road he is on, but he tied too much of himself and his life, occupation, etc, to a speculation and now has no where to go except down with the ship.

Anyway, Rod has lost all objectivity in relation to his geography stance, so I wouldn't call it hypocrisy, just self-deception. Of course to our critics all us Mormons are self-deceived, so I guess it's just a matter of degree.

Agreed. He claimed to be flexible, teachable, yet has admitted no errors in his model, even after being confronted with what those are.

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Why did Rodney Meldrum "redefine" the word "head" by using an obscure dictionary definition? There's no "personal agenda" to redefine the scriptures to his model is there?

Is anyone annoyed by this hypocrisy?

Where is an Internal Geography Map by Meldrum? He portrays himself an expert yet is unable to produce one.

I really found it strange that on the one hand he trumpets the scriptures as the most important resource and then on the other dismisses a good portion of them and pretty much places the priority of the rest less than sources outside the scriptures.

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I find the apologists' Meldrum conundrum highly amusing. Here we have an apparently faithful Latter-Day Saint who simply takes Joseph Smith at his word and points out the obvious central themes of the BoM (ancestry, land of promise etc.) and yet he is reviled and persecuted more than any critic.

Can the titanic egos at FARMS redefine the BoM and bury 170 years of church teachings (including a great primary song)? Only time will tell.

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Rodney, I think, is one of those people who have so much vested in what he's teaching that he's essentially found himself on the sucking side of an event horizon that he created. By writing books, holding seminars, and, worse of all, giving tours of the lands he's already bet the farm on, there's just no way out.

What if he revises his theories to either Peru or Mesoamerica? What would YOU do if you'd taken the wife and kids on a tour of part of Louisiana and the Mississippi River (or wherever he takes people), all the while thinking you were touring the Book of Mormon lands and the River Sidon? Jerry Ainsworth put a lot of ink and photos in his book on things that were later proved to be hoaxes, like the Padilla Plates and other items. Whatever merit the rest of the book may have had, what good is it if so much of it is discredited right up front?

Although Ainsworth and anyone would be well advised to be very leery of anything bearing "Reformed Egyptian" characters, he acknowledges that it's a red flag:

In the late 1970s, early 80s BYU was one of the universities involved in the excavation of the ruin site of El Mirador, in Northern Guatemala. Ray Matheny was in charge of that effort. Due to the kindness of Ray, I was at the site for a short period of time during the exploration. While there, Ray and I were walking at the base of El Tigre, (a pyramid), and I asked him the following,
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I really found it strange that on the one hand he trumpets the scriptures as the most important resource and then on the other dismisses a good portion of them and pretty much places the priority of the rest less than sources outside the scriptures.

Annoying isn't it.

My feeling after reading the first chapters is that he is distancing himself from the scriptures (which don't support his model) and going strong on "certain" statements by Joseph:

Therefore, the prophetic sources - the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon itself - should become the first witnesses to be studied to determine a geographical setting for the place and location and fulfillment. (p. 18)

He needs to be held to the flame of truth, the scriptures, and not allowed to skirt them because they won't fit his model.

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I find the apologists' Meldrum conundrum highly amusing. Here we have an apparently faithful Latter-Day Saint who simply takes Joseph Smith at his word and points out the obvious central themes of the BoM (ancestry, land of promise etc.) and yet he is reviled and persecuted more than any critic.

Can the titanic egos at FARMS redefine the BoM and bury 170 years of church teachings (including a great primary song)? Only time will tell.

A person going to the public exposes themselves to criticism and review. This is a normal response. His hiding from the critics however, and lack of addressing criticisms will open him to claims he is a coward.

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Here we have an apparently faithful Latter-Day Saint who simply takes Joseph Smith at his word and points out the obvious central themes of the BoM (ancestry, land of promise etc.) and yet he is reviled and persecuted more than any critic.

Persecuted?

Let's not be too quick to bandy that word about. Neither FARMS nor FAIR are persecuting Meldrum (in fact, FAIR went through great pains to ensure that the reader knew it wasn't simply a matter of disagreement); it's that Meldrum sullied the waters by introducing a profit motive and a spiritual element that should not be part of the scholarly equation. Only the church can speak authoritatively on the location of the Book of Mormon lands, and so far it has failed to do so.

If Meldrum is correct in his research, then no harm is done. But if he's not correct, think of the harm he can do. If one's testimony of the gospel is tied in with Meldrum's conclusions and those conclusions are faulty, then enormous harm can come. Years from now some clown will say, "Yeah, I used to be a Mormon and bought in to the whole geography thing. I even took my family on a tour of the Book of Mormon lands, where we all prayed and sang and what have you. Now it's all been discredited! Man, I was an idiot to have ever been mixed up with that church!"

FAIR and FARMS simply say these things ought to be approached with caution. No one knows with any certainty where these lands were, but the church stands behind what's in the Book of Mormon, as does FAIR and FARMS. We certainly don't need ridicule by people who recognize pseudo-science when they see it. Meldrum needs to either approach the topic from a research standpoint or become a travel agent. Being both is unbecoming, and combining archeological research with a spiritual testimony of research is dangerous not only to Brother Meldrum, himself, but those he influences.

.

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Here's a task, define what a river's head is. Put your energies to use. (Now watch - nothing)

As far as I am aware, the "head" of a river is its source; the point from which it rises; the spring or lake or streams that it drains. What does Mr Meldrum say?

Full disclosure: as I've said elsewhere, I remain unimpressed by any US-centric BofM geography that I've seen, but I have yet to see Meldrum's. How does he define "head," and how does he use the term once defined?

Regards,

Pahoran

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As far as I am aware, the "head" of a river is its source; the point from which it rises; the spring or lake or streams that it drains. What does Mr Meldrum say?

Full disclosure: as I've said elsewhere, I remain unimpressed by any US-centric BofM geography that I've seen, but I have yet to see Meldrum's. How does he define "head," and how does he use the term once defined?

Regards,

Pahoran

You can see a discussion here of his use of "head":

Essentially, he claims that the "head" refers to the confluence of two rivers, not the headwaters. This is so he can make the Mississippi the Sidon, even though the Mississippi flows North to South, but the head of the Sidon is south of Zarahemla.

See discussion by Meldrum's website here:

Rod Meldrum, "Frequently Asked Questions," http://www.bookofmormonevidence.org/FAQ.php

Such a definition also ignores other use of the term "head" referring to water, like the head of the spring and head of the river in Lehi's dream as described in 1 Nephi 8:17-20. So, this reading would seem to require that the term be used differently (and rather aberrently) in the geographical description than in 1 Nephi. It's hard to see why one would do that, save to shoehorn a geography that had been decided on other grounds into the model proposed.

But, even if one grants the (in my view somewhat dubious) redefinition, it still doesn't work.

FAIR's analysis is here, under section "Claim 2: The River Sidon is the Mississippi"

http://www.fairlds.org/DNA_Evidence_for_Book_of_Mormon_Geography/DEBMG02F.html

Ed Goble has charged that the Meldrum model's use of this explanation is evidence of plagiarism, since he used the exact same rationale in his own geography (which he has since rejected). Meldrum disputes this.

See summary and links to original discussion here:

http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Mormon_geography/Models/Limited/Meldrum_2003

==

Greg

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I find the apologists' Meldrum conundrum highly amusing. Here we have an apparently faithful Latter-Day Saint who simply takes Joseph Smith at his word and points out the obvious central themes of the BoM (ancestry, land of promise etc.) and yet he is reviled and persecuted more than any critic.

I disagree that Meldrum's model "simply takes Joseph Smith at his word."

And I have neither reviled nor "persecuted" Rodney Meldrum.

Can the titanic egos at FARMS

What on earth motivated that gratuitous insult?

Incidentally, FARMS has had essentially nothing to say (thus far) about Rodney Meldrum. Why drag us into this? And on what basis do you presume to judge and summarily condemn the characters of the hundreds of people who have published with FARMS?

Are you always such a ________ ? (Fill in appropriate word.)

redefine the BoM and bury 170 years of church teachings (including a great primary song)? Only time will tell.

Time has told. You're making up fictions. Insulting ones, too.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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I find the apologists' Meldrum conundrum highly amusing. Here we have an apparently faithful Latter-Day Saint who simply takes Joseph Smith at his word and points out the obvious central themes of the BoM (ancestry, land of promise etc.) and yet he is reviled and persecuted more than any critic.

On this issue, I personally object to Meldrum's effort not because he wants to "take Joseph Smith at his word," but because he only uses some of what Joseph says. He disregards and disguises that which does not agree with his model, and then he accuses those who don't follow his model of "disdaining Joseph Smith."

http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Mormon_geography/Disdaining_the_statements_of_Joseph_Smith

By all means, let's listen to Joseph. But let's listen to everything Joseph says--not just some of it. One must evaluate all the data, and interpreting part of the data in isolation can mislead us or our audience.

Of course, those who read rather than caricature will already be aware of this, since all known statements of Joseph are discussed here, and the Meldrum DVD's distortion of those sources is considered too:

http://www.fairlds.org/DNA_Evidence_for_Book_of_Mormon_Geography/DEBMG03F.html

The problem with such an approach is clear--as now we see critics joining in the Meldrum-led chorus to condemn and marginalize faithful, believing Latter-day Saints over an issue about which the Church has never expressed an official stance.

I would find it as offensive and inappropriate if someone else were to claim that Meldrum's opinions on where the Book of Mormon took place "disdain Joseph."

Greg

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I find the apologists' Meldrum conundrum highly amusing.

Should I condescendingly point out my amusement of your complete misreading of the situation?

Here we have an apparently faithful Latter-Day Saint who simply takes Joseph Smith at his word

Actually this is the problem. This is exactly what we don't have with Meldrum.

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Only the church can speak authoritatively on the location of the Book of Mormon lands, and so far it has failed to do so.

The church has spoken authoritatively on the location of the Book of Mormon lands in virtually every public forum and official publication.

Are you always such a ________ ? (Fill in appropriate word.)

"joy to converse with?" Why thank you Dan, the feeling is mutual.

Why drag us into this?

"Drag" you into this? That would be like dragging a pack of wolves to a turkey dinner.

And on what basis do you presume to judge and summarily condemn the characters of the hundreds of people who have published with FARMS?

I'm quite certain I've never done that.

What on earth motivated that gratuitous insult?

Time has told. You're making up fictions. Insulting ones, too.

Actually Dan, I'm not at all convinced that you're offended by my comment. As I've repeatedly pointed out, you, along with the hundreds of other people who have published with FARMS, are of such sterling character that it's highly unlikely y'all would choose to take umbrage at such an innocuous comment; you're better people than that. I admire your competitive spirit, but some of your recent attempts to draw fouls have been so blatantly obvious they'd make Dennis Rodman blush.

Now, to illustrate where my "ego" statement came from, let's return for a moment to this discussion, in which I posted a tiny sampling of the plethora of declarations by apostles and prophets regarding the location of the Hill Ramah/Cumorah. Your response was as follows:

I'm entirely familiar with these quotations, and they don't faze me a bit.

...

That Elder Petersen and Elder Pratt and Elder Smith and others held different opinions of Book of Mormon geography than I do is mildly interesting and perfectly well known to me, but of no great significance.

So with a wave of your apologetic hand, decades of church teachings are dismissed as mere opinions and of no great significance because they get in the way of your revisionism.

In considering my previous comment, I see that "ego" has led to some misunderstanding and perhaps was a poor choice of words. Therefore, in the interest of diplomacy and mutual enlightenment, I wish to revise my earlier statement in order to excise the offensive term. Hubris was the word I was really looking for. Yes, hubris much better describes the situation here. Wouldn't you agree?

You are banned from the thread until you get the hostility down to a low simmer.

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The only way I can see it working would be if the two rivers that conflue were given two different names, so the river named "Sidon" doesn't actually begin until the two other rivers run together...? That might make the point of confluence the "head" of that specific river.

But if the "running from the east towards the west" is referring to the river, then that would explicitly eliminate the Mississippi River, since it's clearly a north-south waterway.

Alma 22

27 And it came to pass that the king sent a proclamation throughout all the land, amongst all his people who were in all his land, who were in all the regions round about, which was bordering even to the sea, on the east and on the west, and which was divided from the land of Zarahemla by a narrow strip of wilderness, which ran from the sea east even to the sea west, and round about on the borders of the seashore, and the borders of the wilderness which was on the north by the land of Zarahemla, through the borders of Manti, by the head of the river Sidon, running from the east towards the west

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