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"Not a shred of archeological evidence"


mpschmitt

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And this is what the Mormons keep telling us -- that until archaeologists

have looked under every rock in Meso America, we cannot say there are no

Nephite artifacts there.

It is not an issue of looking ==>> Sorenson points out that we have likely discovered hundreds of BOM artifacts. It is simply a matter of identification. If you have a jade necklace, how do you identify it as Nephite, Lamanite, or something else.

Don't need to look under any more rocks -- just identify what we already have.

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Don't need to look under any more rocks -- just identify what we already have.

Whose job is that?

Aren't "living prophets" supposed to resolve such problems?

The Pope evidently is not a living prophet -- he can't even tell us

if the Shroud of Turin was an important part of Jesus' burial.

Will the Mormon leaders be just as incapable? Joseph Smith could

identify the bones of a "white Lamanite," recover the only verified

Nephite artifacts ever reported, and point out the location of a

Nephite tower at Adam-ondi-Ahmen, all in a decade or two. Was he

the last capable LDS leader?

If we have hundreds of Israelite objects, already recovered in

the Americas, should it not be the responsibility of the Mormons

to point out at least ONE of them to the rest of us?

We Reorganized LDS gave up on that charade long ago -- unless

you can actually get somebody to answer a letter sent to the

defunct (?) Zarahemla Research Institute.

UD

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Until the Gentiles bother to become learned on the topic, no matter how learned in their fields,

they are not, by definition, learned here.

...

But, you would trust the Gentile pilot of a 747 to fly you

across an ocean on a stormy night. And you would trust a

Gentile surgeon to operate on your badly injured body.

And you would trust a Gentile scholar to correctly

translate a passage from the Dead Sea scrolls.

Right?

The Scientologists will not trust response regarding Xenu,

the Galactic Emperor from an outsider.

The Mormons will not trust response regarding Moroni,

last of the Nephites from an outsider.

And, I suppose that the original scribes of the Coptic

Gospel of Thomas would not trust the response of an

outsider, when it came to assessing the validity of

that text, in conveying extra-biblical words of Jesus.

On the other hand, the non-LDS scholars actually do

discuss and investigate that extra-canonical volume,

in dialoguing about those purported words of Jesus.

You can find hundreds of "learned" reports on the

subject from non-Gnostics.

And nothing from them regarding the extra-biblical

words of Jesus purportedly preserved in the Book of Mormon.

So --- these world experts are "learned" enough for

even LDS writers to quote, in discussing the Coptic

Gospel of Thomas -- but utter idiots on the BoM?

I don't think so.

What is the difference? The Gospel of Thomas is true

ancient text, whether or not its Jesus quotations are

authentic and veritable. ----- But the Book of Mormon,

being a work of fiction, is not given the same status

among the world's scholars. They know it is an absurdity

to even begin to discuss the BoM in the way that the

Gospel of Thomas is taken seriously -- and seriously studied.

The Book of Mormon will NEVER attain that status, outside

of the ranks of people like the followers of Warren Jeffs.

UD

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As thus far articulated in the scholarly literature?

Yes.

So far as I can discern, where the world's historians, biographers

and theologians have formed any consensus regarding Book of Mormon

origins, they rely upon the reporting of James H. Fairchild,

I. Woodbridge Riley, and Fawn M. Brodie. Until something additional

is brought into the scholarly literature, that will remain the

de facto consensus.

But a de facto consensus is one of non-response. I say that a certain

drug will cure cancer, despite previous denials of that possibility --

but, if no scientist bothers to read my reporting, the de facto consensus

amounts to saying I am wrong. Since there has been no examination of

my cancer cure, and no discussion of it, that de facto consensus is

actually susceptible to radical alteration, almost overnight.

Mormons would probably agree with my last sentence. --- Since there has

been no expert discussion on the location of Zarahemla or the significance

of NHM, the de facto consensus (that such stuff is based on fiction) is

actually susceptible to radical alteration, almost overnight.

And this is what the Mormons keep telling us -- that until archaeologists

have looked under every rock in Meso America, we cannot say there are no

Nephite artifacts there.

Matt Roper and Matt Jockers have each attempted to penetrate the scholarly

literature, with recent contributions to the Spalding-Rigdon authorship

theory. So far, the rest of the world has ignored them.

Just as it has ignored the NHM proof for BoM antiquity.

Perhaps Givens, Roper and friends should submit their best efforts to

the world-wide scholarly literature, and blow Jockers out of the water,

in THAT forum, and not just in the mens' room banter of quaint Provo.

UD

I appear to have forgotten a second person possessive pronoun.

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But, you would trust the Gentile pilot of a 747 to fly you

across an ocean on a stormy night. And you would trust a

Gentile surgeon to operate on your badly injured body.

And you would trust a Gentile scholar to correctly

translate a passage from the Dead Sea scrolls.

But I would not trust a gentile DSS scholar to fly a 747 across an ocean on a stormy night, nor would I trust a gentile doctor to translate a DSS passage.

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But I would not trust a gentile DSS scholar to fly a 747 across an ocean on a stormy night, nor would I trust a gentile doctor to translate a DSS passage.

So -- when was the last time any non-Mormon scholar actually

took Mormon claims for the book's antiquity seriously, and

seriously responded to those claims, in a peer-reviewed

professional journal?

Perhaps we can strike a bargain here.

LDS "scholars" quit citing the world-wide professional

literature, --- and the writers and publishers of that literature

can continue to turn down publication of LDS writers on

the origins and authenticity of the "Standard Works."

Then we need not discuss the matter of when NHM will be recognized

by reputable scholars, as a proof of the antiquity of the BoM.

Then we need not discuss the matter of when Kolob will be

recognized by reputable scholars, as a real celestial body.

Fair enough?

UD

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There is no body of literature on NHM or on Givens' arguments.

And there never will be.

...

But the Mormons obviously see things differently.

If Bro. Givens did indeed demonstrate the scholarly proof for the

authenticity of the Book of Mormon, in a certain 2002 book, then

where should we go to look for the response?

givn2002.jpg

After all -- 7 years have gone by, and it must be a bit

embarrassing for him to have gone to so much trouble, to

dialogue with the non-Mormon scholars.....

....and get nothing in response.

Sad -- telling, but still sad.

UD

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So -- when was the last time any non-Mormon scholar actually

took Mormon claims for the book's antiquity seriously, and

seriously responded to those claims, in a peer-reviewed

professional journal?

So what motive would a professional non-Mormon scholar have to authenticate Mormon claims? Seriously, why would they do it, no matter how convincing our scholarship is? Professor Anton's career was in danger for siding with Mormons. Nothing has changed in that respect with regard to modern scholarship; I recall a non-Mormon archaeologist saying that his peers had been worried about supporting Mormon beliefs, so they wouldn't admit to transoceanic visits to America. It's the same as always; the academic world is liberal and elitist and have no interest in embarrassing themselves supporting Mormons.

I doubt many would want to fetter their career in this way. But if by chance a non-Mormon scholar accepted our money to validate what is self-evidently valid (i.e. the relevance of Nehom), then people will just say it was due to being paid. Why you fixate on the notion that a secular scholar will touch the BoMormon with a ten-foot pole with any objectivity whatsoever is beyond me. It's not only not going to happen, it's irrelevant.

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So what motive would a professional non-Mormon scholar have to authenticate Mormon claims?

...

Because the volume purports to preserve non-biblical words and teachings

of Jesus of Nazareth.

There is quite a body of literature on this topic -- the agrapha of Jesus,

and how it relates to the Q-sayings partly given in Luke and Matthew -- and

how all of that relates to words attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas

and other sources.

The study ranges so far afield as to record and study minor quotations inscribed

in ancient mosques -- and bits of folklore from Armenia or Asia Minor.

The scholars of this topic overlap the Mormon writers who compare the

Book of Mormon's Jesus quotations to similar phrases found in the gospels

and the agrapha.

It would seem like a logical development for some BYU professor of ancient

languages, or ANE texts, to contribute to this ongoing dialogue -- say, a

professor of Arabic, who had in interest in comparing and contrasting the

Koran's agrapha with passages in the Book of Mormon.

Why not take that sort of scholarship into the world-wide peer-reviewed

professional journals, to see if such a submittable would be accepted

for publication alongside the hundreds (thousands?) of somewhat similar

studies found worthy of publication over the years?

There is a reason. The LDS "scholars" know what sort of criticism would

be leveled against their quoting from a fictional text.

UD

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Because the volume purports to preserve non-biblical words and teachings

of Jesus of Nazareth.

How is that going to stop them from being ashamed of supporting Mormonism? It won't. More grasping at straws.

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How is that going to stop them from being ashamed of supporting Mormonism? It won't. More grasping at straws.

Do you seriously believe that the leaders of the LDS Church would

scorn some provisional support, coming from non-Mormon scholars?

Even if it were so minor, as an acknowledgment that PERHAPS

the BoM actually DOES preserve Jesus' words -- or even if it

were so minor a thing as those same scholars admitting that

PERHAPS we have actual texts written by the hand of Abraham

upon ancient papyrus?

But, let's take this idea out of the shady realm of "PERHAPS" and

into the glorious daylight of non-Mormon ACCEPTANCE.

Over and over again I've heard the Mormon "scholars" advertise

that the "Nephite Record" contains intricate examples of

chiasmus -- which could have only been composed in biblical

Hebrew; thus proving the Book of Mormon to be an authentic

ancient document, composed by Hebrew-speaking Israelites.

OK -- why not get some outside support for that assertion?

Translate those passages of chiasmus back into the original

Hebrew, in which they were first composed, and then have

some BYU "expert" submit the texts as part of a paper to

a learned journal for publication and discussion.

How on earth would it harm the LDS Church, to have a bunch

of experts on biblical Hebrew CONFIRM that chiasmus -- and

CONFIRM that such a literary structure was unknown after

the times of the Old Testament writers?

Take that scholarly commentary and publish it as a tract,

given away with free copies of the Book of Mormon to

potential converts. ABSOLUTE PROOF THE BOOK IS TRUE!

But no -- The Brethren in SLC would forbid any BYU "scholar"

who tried to submit such a paper for world-wide critique.

And why is that?

The General Authorities themselves are unsure of the chiasmus claims.

They do not want them discussed outside of their control, by

experts in biblical Hebrew who might say something unwanted.

UD

.

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Do you seriously believe that the leaders of the LDS Church would

scorn some provisional support, coming from non-Mormon scholars?

I never said they would, but then again...

Even if it were so minor, as an acknowledgment that PERHAPS

the BoM actually DOES preserve Jesus' words -- or even if it

were so minor a thing as those same scholars admitting that

PERHAPS we have actual texts written by the hand of Abraham

upon ancient papyrus?

Scholars of course, would be ashamed to do this, as they might not be invited to the right cocktail parties anymore.

How on earth would it harm the LDS Church, to have a bunch

of experts on biblical Hebrew CONFIRM that chiasmus -- and

CONFIRM that such a literary structure was unknown after

the times of the Old Testament writers?

Take that scholarly commentary and publish it as a tract,

given away with free copies of the Book of Mormon to

potential converts. ABSOLUTE PROOF THE BOOK IS TRUE!

Sounds like priestcraft, paying people to support the BoMormon. What a bunch of crap.

But no -- The Brethren in SLC would forbid any BYU "scholar"

who tried to submit such a paper for world-wide critique.

The General Authorities themselves are unsure of the chiasmus claims.

They do not want them discussed outside of their control, by

experts in biblical Hebrew who might say something unwanted.

UD

What in the WORLD? You didn't address my point at all. You keep insisting we ought to have non-Mormons support our views, if they are true. I keep telling you, they are ASHAMED to do so. We would have to pay them a great deal to get them motivated, which would be counter-productive. You don't address my post at all.

Furthermore, I don't know that the GA's are unsure of chiasmus. I'm 100% sure of their legitimacy, as it is self-evident. We see them in the Bible, in English. There they are in the BoMormon in English. What do we need to translate it back into Hebrew for? I don't need some douchey non-Mormon scholar to tell me that the BoMormon has chiastic structures. I can see them. Seems like you might be one of those people dying of thirst in a dessert who, instead of looking for water, look for a panel of experts to help you.

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...

You keep insisting we ought to have non-Mormons support our views, if they are true.

I keep telling you, they are ASHAMED to do so.

Who?

Mormons?

-- Givens wasn't ashamed to publish a 2002 book promoting LDS claims?

Who?

non-Mormons?

-- In practically every thread I engage in here I'm told Margaret Barker

supports the Mormons' claims

Who?

Community of Christ scholars?

-- Yeah, you may have a point there.

...I don't need some douchey non-Mormon scholar to tell me that

the BoMormon has chiastic structures. I can see them. Seems like

you might be one of those people dying of thirst in a dessert who,

instead of looking for water, look for a panel of experts to help you.

If that water looked like poison, I might at least pray for

guidance before I took a swig of the uncertain stuff.

But -- next time some Mormon cites expert scholarship on any particular

point, I'll quote your "we don't need some douchey non-Mormon scholar to

tell us" the facts about history, or geography or ancient texts.

In fact, I'm going to suggest that the Maxwell Institute contributors

cease all citations from "douchey non-Mormon scholars" ---- beginning

with their Master's theses and doctoral dissertations. Let them rely

on pure Mormon sources. At least that would be consistent with your

reference to Dr. Anthon, our reliance upon the "precepts of men," etc.

Cheers....

Uncle Dale

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But -- next time some Mormon cites expert scholarship on any particular

point, I'll quote your "we don't need some douchey non-Mormon scholar to

tell us" the facts about history, or geography or ancient texts.

I don't recall saying that I didn't want to hear from non-Mormon scholars on any subject. Let me repeat myself, so you can understand it this time instead of misrepresenting what I said: I don't need a non-Mormon scholar to tell me of the legitimacy of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon because I can see it. What do I need them for on that? It's there, and it's completely obvious. It's nice to have non-Mormon support on some things, obviously, but they're not going to support us overtly if they can avoid it.

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I don't need a non-Mormon scholar to tell me of the legitimacy of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon

...

Then why do the LDS cite various sources as confirming that no person

living in the world could have written chiasmus in 1828-29? -- that the

knowledge of this literary form had long since disappeared from the

memory of man, and in fact, was not even mentioned in any book then

available?

How does your looking at an English text, published in 1830, tell you that?

If Mormons are going to make such assertions, then they either need to

establish the credentials of the LDS making such claims -- or they must

cite some person whose credentials are already widely recognized (even

if they must dip so low in the bucket as to quote a douchey non-Mormon).

But -- if you can look at the Book of Mormon, and KNOW OF A SURETY

that its so-called "chiasmus" could only have come through the translation

of a text written in biblical Hebrew, before that literary form was

totally lost to the world, then your powers of discernment are remarkable.

UD

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Then why do the LDS cite various sources as confirming that no person

living in the world could have written chiasmus in 1828-29? -- that the

knowledge of this literary form had long since disappeared from the

memory of man, and in fact, was not even mentioned in any book then

available?

That helps obviously, but seeing as they seem to already be supporting that position, why do you need more than that? I never said I didn't need them to tell me that. It helps in that case, but they're not going to overtly support us which is what you are asking for--totally irrational.

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That helps obviously, but seeing as they seem to already be supporting that position, why do you need more than that? I never said I didn't need them to tell me that. It helps in that case, but they're not going to overtly support us which is what you are asking for--totally irrational.

Then, if all you say is totally true, there should be no harm in

presenting this to the readership of all who might be interested.

If the Mormons do not care to share what you just said with the

world, then perhaps one day an RLDS scholar will submit such a

paper for publication in a reputable professional journal.

And perhaps, in response, somebody will demonstrate that there

were indeed people in 1800, or 1810, or 1820 who could have

composed chiasmus (either in English or Hebrew).

Then at least some knowledgeable people would be discussing

such important matters. Such discussions go on in this web

forum at a layman's level -- I would think they could also be

carried on at Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, etc.

After all, Bro. Givens went to the Oxford people to have

Gentiles publish and distribute his book to a non-LDS audience.

If he's allowed to do that, then why not others?

UD

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Then, if all you say is totally true, there should be no harm in

presenting this to the readership of all who might be interested.

Which is, outside of Mormons, exactly no one.

And perhaps, in response, somebody will demonstrate that there

were indeed people in 1800, or 1810, or 1820 who could have

composed chiasmus (either in English or Hebrew).

I'm sure they would like to prove the BoMormon false, so there must be some people who have put at least some effort. But it's so much easier just to strawman us instead.

Then at least some knowledgeable people would be discussing

such important matters.

Yes, those unknowledgeable people like John Welch mean nothing.

Such discussions go on in this web

forum at a layman's level -- I would think they could also be

carried on at Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, etc.

I don't think they care about what you want.

After all, Bro. Givens went to the Oxford people to have

Gentiles publish and distribute his book to a non-LDS audience.

If he's allowed to do that, then why not others?

UD

Welch published his book to a non-LDS audience as well: Chiasmus in Antiquity. The final chapter is on the BoMormon, to the probable surprise of non-LDS audiences.

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Welch published his book to a non-LDS audience as well: Chiasmus in Antiquity. The final chapter is on the BoMormon, to the probable surprise of non-LDS audiences.

I'd be more interested in his adding an even final-er chapter -- on Chiasmus in

the 18th and 19th century published works.

But, that aside, I take it that his conclusions regarding the

antiquity of the BoM went totally unchallenged? That's the beauty

of publishing in book format, rather than in peer-reviewed journals.

But, if there was no critique, then he's won the game.

His scholarship was never refuted, not even by a douchey non-Mormon???

UD

.

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I'd be more interested in his adding an even final-er chapter -- on Chiasmus in

the 18th and 19th century published works.

But, that aside, I take it that his conclusions regarding the

antiquity of the BoM went totally unchallenged? That's the beauty

of publishing in book format, rather than in peer-reviewed journals.

You're awfully enamored of non-Mormon scholars. I figure, if they're ashamed to support us, they're ashamed of Jesus Christ which makes Jesus Christ ashamed of them. Why do we want to work with these people so much? If we can find some scholars who are not douchey, then I'm all for it. However, the vast majority of academia is douchey and is ashamed of being associated with us. I have no interest in engaging in priestcraft with these people, paying them to to support the BoMormon.

But, if there was no critique, then he's won the game.

His scholarship was never refuted, not even by a douchey non-Mormon.

UD

He published it for the general public. It's open to be challenged if some of your heroes, you know... those guys who hate the Church, will challenge it. So far, I haven't heard anything from them.

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...

Why do we want to work with these people so much?

...

Good question.

How about we put a stop to the cooperation BYU scholars have been

rendering on the Dead Sea scrolls work?

After all -- only Mormons can honestly profess Jesus Christ, so

the other members of the team must be abject non-Christians; right?

UD

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After all -- only Mormons can honestly profess Jesus Christ, so

the other members of the team must be abject non-Christians; right?

UD

They aren't ashamed of the Dead Sea Scrolls, so that is not an accurate representation of what I'm saying. We all know they're ashamed of the Church, so I don't have any motivation to trust them in any way. I certainly do not want to engage in priestcraft with them, having them profit on their support of the Book of Mormon. We would be called hypocrites and accurately so. We have no need to pay non-Mormon scholars to get people to join the Church.

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...We have no need to pay non-Mormon scholars to get people to join the Church.

Correct.

In fact, 100% correct -- the most correct thing I've yet see you post here.

And, if that is the primary reason for LDS scholarship (to gain and retain

members, and edify them in things Mormon), then there is not much purpose

in Bros. Welch and Givens being published by the Gentile press. Perhaps they

will yet convert Margaret Barker -- but probably that's about all.

But, besides yourself, are there any other Mormons who are saying that

the non-LDS are "ashamed of Jesus Christ which makes Jesus Christ ashamed

of them?" If so, I'd like a copy of that message of the 1st Presidency

or of that apostolic conference talk. Or perhaps it was just Mitt Romney???

UD

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But, besides yourself, are there any other Mormons who are saying that

the non-LDS are "ashamed of Jesus Christ which makes Jesus Christ ashamed

of them?" If so, I'd like a copy of that message of the 1st Presidency

or of that apostolic conference talk. Or perhaps it was just Mitt Romney???

UD

Like I said, I read a quote on this board (with references... might be tough to find the thread) with a non-Mormon archaeologist who said that others researchers and experts in the field would not promote the apparently obvious fact of transoceanic journeys to America for fear that they would support Mormonism.

Similarly, Professor Anton's protige said that Anton felt his career was in danger, because of his ties to the BoMormon. I don't think much has changed. If we can find some scholars who prove to be friendly to the Church, like Barker, we can encourage them to do certain types of work, I suppose. I doubt they will make great social or financial sacrifices or investments to do so, though, so I won't hold my breath.

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Like I said, I read a quote on this board (with references... might be tough to find the thread) with a non-Mormon archaeologist who said that others researchers and experts in the field would not promote the apparently obvious fact of transoceanic journeys to America for fear that they would support Mormonism.

How very odd.

I recall Barry Fell publishing on such diffusionist theories. He was not

criticized for being helpful to the Mormons, but rather on problems in

the evidence he presented. Thor Hyerdahl actually tested the possibility

of such journeys and I do not recall him being smeared as a Mormon helper.

I've heard reputable anthropologists here in Hawaii present convincing

arguments of Polynesian contact with the Peru/Chili coast, and the

cultivation of sweet potatoes in Samoa/Tahiti being an importation from

the mainland. I do not recall those speakers being accused of supporting

Mormonism.

In fact, my guess is that the vast majority of professionals in these

fields are far more interested in making new, factual discoveries, than

they are in knowing what LDS and RLDS think or believe.

But you may be right. There may be a couple of lily-livered punks in

grad school who are afraid their "San Francisco lifestyle" would be

endangered, if they studied too much about Israelites in the Americas.

Getting back to the title of this thread -- I suppose that "a shred of

archeological evidence" suitable for LDS faith-promotion might indeed

be something different than what it would take to re-convert a person

like myself.

But there is a potential middle ground, between faith-promotion and

fighting us anti-Mormons. There is the middle ground of the inactive

LDS and the recently apostatized ex-LDS ---- people whose families and

friends may still be totally faithful to the Church.

If you have any interest in communicating with those people, in ways

that they can relate to, you may occasionally want to quote even a

douchey non-Mormon. At least you might catch their attention (and

perhaps even their tithing), if you let them know that Mormon claims

on some topics are backed up by non-Mormon discoveries and ideas.

Just sayin'....

UD

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