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Joseph's visions of the Nephite Civilization...


Sevenbak

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Moroni, Mormon, Nephi, and other Book of Mormon prophets appeared to Joseph Smith and taught him. Moroni himself had at least 22 visits with Joseph. In addition to personal visitations, his mind was opened and he received visions of the Nephite civilization. This is recorded in various places.

I ask the question "do we trust these visions", because there seems to be many here that discount his views about the BoM setting and a New York Cumorah as the final battle scene.

Joseph shared with his family some of his experiences. His mother, Lucy Mack Smith, recalled, "From this time forth, Joseph continued to receive instructions from the Lord, and we continued to get the children together every evening for the purpose of listening while he gave us a relation of the same

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I'm going to add another snippet here, this one goes hand in hand with Lucy Mack's statement above. This is from the Wentworth Letter, from which we glean the Articles of Faith, the Standard of Truth, etc.

Joseph gives a general outline of the information he received from Moroni in the Wentworth Letter. Describing the first visit, on September 23, 1823, he says,

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Who says we don't trust Joseph Smith?

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I believe that Joseph saw a vision of the people. I don't believe that seeing a vision of an ancient people translates into an understanding of geography. Let's take the movie Testaments as an example. We look at the film and make some assumptions of where it was filmed. It was filmed in Hawaii. Seeing the vision of the film didn't translate into an accurate understanding of geography.

Now, it is possible that it might have had Joseph recognized a style of dress, but there is no way I know of that he could have done that. As for Lucy's statement about them riding animals, I suspect that we have a generalized statement made enough years after the fact (about 50 as I remember) that we can't trust her description of what Joseph saw to be accurate on every detail.

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This has been covered in numerous print articles. The fact is that Joseph made a lot of statements about the Book of Mormon. Some of those statements seem to have implications for where the Book of Mormon took place. It might even be argued that some of the statements contradict one another. Some of the GAs seem to think that there were 2 Cumorahs, others seem to think that the drumlin is the only Cumorah.

The bottom line is this. The only person named in the Book of Mormon that has been identified by revelation as having been in a known geographic location is Moroni. He buried the plates in the drumlin. This much is clear. Brigham Young also declared, by revelation, that Moroni had visited the Manti Temple site. That's it, period, the end. If there are other individuals mentioned in the text of the Book of Mormon that have been identified by revelation as being in a given place that I have missed, I would be thrilled to know about them.

Please feel free to cut and paste as many Joseph Smith and GA statements from previous threads and publications as you want. That doesn't change the fact that the official policy of the Church is that there is no revealed geography for the Book of Mormon. Your implication that Joseph revealed a geography is in direct contradiction to this policy. I advise you to go with what the living prophets have taught.

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My very favorite quote by Joseph on Geography is this one it is from a letter to Brother Berhisel who gave him the book Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan by John L. Stephens;

I received your kind present by the hand of Er Woodruff & feel myself under many obligations for this mark of your esteem & friendship which to me is the more interesting as it unfolds & developes many things that are of great importance to this generation & corresponds with & supports the testimony of the Book of Mormon; I have read the volumes with the greatest interest & pleasure & must say that of all histories that have been written pertaining to the antiquities of this country it is the most correct luminous & comprihensive.
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The bottom line is this. The only person named in the Book of Mormon that has been identified by revelation as having been in a known geographic location is Moroni. He buried the plates in the drumlin.

Does Jerusalem not count?

After a while, the issue of New World locations for the Book of Mormon takes on an almost surreal quality. Is the question really so minor that revelation is not available on the subject?

And does anyone see the dangerous path being trod by ebeddoulos's invocation of Joseph only being a prophet when "speaking as such"? Such a statement is useful for keeping the day-to-day activities and comments of a Prophet in perspective, but if we start using it as a "get-out-of-jail-free" card so we can ignore any statement we would like, we run the danger of applying it to a statement with implied supernatural origin.

This means that it would be possible for a Prophet to claim supernatural knowledge of some sort but not be speaking as a Prophet. Which means, he's making it up. I can understand the desire to discount statements that contradict our beliefs, but once we start arguing that sometimes Prophets and Apostles are making stuff up, we have crested the slippery slope.

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Does Jerusalem not count?

HA! You got me, but cut me some slack. I'm a New World archaeologist. All of that stuff that went on across the sea is really hazy from where I'm sitting.

That being said, a lot of the work that has been done on Lehi's journey is great stuff. It's just out of my area.

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I ask the question "do we trust these visions", because there seems to be many here that discount his views about the BoM setting and a New York Cumorah as the final battle scene.

I question whether he had the views YOU think he had about the Book of Mormon setting. Early in his life, he recognized the American Indians as being the seed of Lehi and Laman and Lemuel -- and many Mesoamerican proponents would agree with those views. What Great Lakers often ignore, however, is the prophet's views towards the cities of Mesoamerica, which he directly identified with the Book of Mormon.

It's my personal conviction that Joseph recognized in the Mesoamerican etchings he saw in the 1840s with the visions and revelations he had earlier in life. He stated that Palenque was a Book of Mormon city. Garth Norman, in a Meridian Magazine article, noted:

In a Times and Seasons editorial, October 1, 1842, the Prophet Joseph Smith after progressive study announced a discovery that the Book of Mormon "land southward" is located in Central America (Middle America), which would be from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec as the narrow neck of land, south to Panama or at least Costa Rica, which as the Prophet pointed out, fits the description in Alma 22:32 as the land that is "nearly surrounded by water." Joseph
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EbedJerk.png

And does anyone see the dangerous path being trod by ebeddoulos's invocation of Joseph only being a prophet when "speaking as such"? Such a statement is useful for keeping the day-to-day activities and comments of a Prophet in perspective, but if we start using it as a "get-out-of-jail-free" card so we can ignore any statement we would like, we run the danger of applying it to a statement with implied supernatural origin.

This means that it would be possible for a Prophet to claim supernatural knowledge of some sort but not be speaking as a Prophet. Which means, he's making it up. I can understand the desire to discount statements that contradict our beliefs, but once we start arguing that sometimes Prophets and Apostles are making stuff up, we have crested the slippery slope.

I suspect that the above is just a knee-jerk reaction:

As an encylopedia of fact, Wikipedia is 100% reliable and factual. But we must remember that wikipedia is only an encyclopedia when it is speaking as such. In the cases where it is wrong about something, it is just expressing the fallible personal opinions of the contributor, and is not an a reflection on the reliablity of wikipedia itself
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I'm back, it's been a rough few days. I went out of town on assignment, then had to rush back when my 1 year old was put into the hospital with pneumonia and RSV, he about died. All is fine now. I'll try to get caught up on this thread I started, sorry for the delay.

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I'm back, it's been a rough few days. I went out of town on assignment, then had to rush back when my 1 year old was put into the hospital with pneumonia and RSV, he about died. All is fine now. I'll try to get caught up on this thread I started, sorry for the delay.

OMG! Glad he is ok now. Lot of that going around. My little granddaughter has been wrestling with bronchitis. Very scary.

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I believe that Joseph saw a vision of the people. I don't believe that seeing a vision of an ancient people translates into an understanding of geography. Let's take the movie Testaments as an example. We look at the film and make some assumptions of where it was filmed. It was filmed in Hawaii. Seeing the vision of the film didn't translate into an accurate understanding of geography.

Now, it is possible that it might have had Joseph recognized a style of dress, but there is no way I know of that he could have done that. As for Lucy's statement about them riding animals, I suspect that we have a generalized statement made enough years after the fact (about 50 as I remember) that we can't trust her description of what Joseph saw to be accurate on every detail.

I think that's a poor example, especially since the filmmaker of Testaments wishes he wouldn't have placed the entire movie in Mesoamerica.

I think prophets who have had visions of the civilizations of their nations, like Nephi, Moroni, Ether, and then Joseph Smith knew what they were referring to when they made statements pertaining to geographical settings. I also think we put too much of our own interpretation into the mix when we discredit these statements because they don't fit into our world (or in this case, local LGT) view.

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OMG! Glad he is ok now. Lot of that going around. My little granddaughter has been wrestling with bronchitis. Very scary.

Thanks Deborah! He's a tough little guy, and the elixir of drugs he is on is doing the job. 5 hope your granddaughter will be ok. This is scary stuff!

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This has been covered in numerous print articles. The fact is that Joseph made a lot of statements about the Book of Mormon. Some of those statements seem to have implications for where the Book of Mormon took place. It might even be argued that some of the statements contradict one another. Some of the GAs seem to think that there were 2 Cumorahs, others seem to think that the drumlin is the only Cumorah.

The bottom line is this. The only person named in the Book of Mormon that has been identified by revelation as having been in a known geographic location is Moroni. He buried the plates in the drumlin. This much is clear. Brigham Young also declared, by revelation, that Moroni had visited the Manti Temple site. That's it, period, the end. If there are other individuals mentioned in the text of the Book of Mormon that have been identified by revelation as being in a given place that I have missed, I would be thrilled to know about them.

Please feel free to cut and paste as many Joseph Smith and GA statements from previous threads and publications as you want. That doesn't change the fact that the official policy of the Church is that there is no revealed geography for the Book of Mormon. Your implication that Joseph revealed a geography is in direct contradiction to this policy. I advise you to go with what the living prophets have taught.

I'm not aware of any GA statements that say there were 2 Cumorahs. This is a theory out of academia, not church teachings. But I could show you dozens that say there was only 1.

I'm willing to be enlightened of course...

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My very favorite quote by Joseph on Geography is this one it is from a letter to Brother Berhisel who gave him the book Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan by John L. Stephens;

I don't disagree with this at all. It's completely consistent with the what has been taught about the Nephite civilization and it's large scale.

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Does Jerusalem not count?

After a while, the issue of New World locations for the Book of Mormon takes on an almost surreal quality. Is the question really so minor that revelation is not available on the subject?

And does anyone see the dangerous path being trod by ebeddoulos's invocation of Joseph only being a prophet when "speaking as such"? Such a statement is useful for keeping the day-to-day activities and comments of a Prophet in perspective, but if we start using it as a "get-out-of-jail-free" card so we can ignore any statement we would like, we run the danger of applying it to a statement with implied supernatural origin.

This means that it would be possible for a Prophet to claim supernatural knowledge of some sort but not be speaking as a Prophet. Which means, he's making it up. I can understand the desire to discount statements that contradict our beliefs, but once we start arguing that sometimes Prophets and Apostles are making stuff up, we have crested the slippery slope.

I see a dangerous path as well. I believe Joseph had visions the same as did Nephi, who prophesied of this land being set up as a great nation, fighting against it's mother country, etc. I also believe Ether when he said the New Jerusalem would be build upon this land.

Just as I believe Mormon when he said he was carried into the land southward by his father, and it has become completely covered with buildings of every kind. (Zarahemla = Mesoamerica) That's what Joseph believed as well.

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Let us again study this verse from the Book of Mormon;

Now let us view the above scripture with this quote, Joseph Smith as the editor at this time;

.

Notice this last verse is in Ether where they are speaking about the Jaredites.

It would seem to me that by the statements of the Prophets of the Book of Mormon and the statements of Prophet Joseph Smith it is clear that the Narrow Neck of Land is in Mesoamerica. The narrow neck of land was at the most a day and half distance for a Nephite. I don't see how a Nephite could get from Palmyra to Mesoamerica in that amount of time.

I agree with all your references. But I disagree with your conclusion that the narrow neck of land was near Cumorah.

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I question whether he had the views YOU think he had about the Book of Mormon setting. Early in his life, he recognized the American Indians as being the seed of Lehi and Laman and Lemuel -- and many Mesoamerican proponents would agree with those views. What Great Lakers often ignore, however, is the prophet's views towards the cities of Mesoamerica, which he directly identified with the Book of Mormon.

It's my personal conviction that Joseph recognized in the Mesoamerican etchings he saw in the 1840s with the visions and revelations he had earlier in life. He stated that Palenque was a Book of Mormon city.

Please don't confuse me with a "Great Laker". I hold to what Joseph Smith taught, both on the North, and well as the South. Because of the visions he had, I agree that he recognized the drawings of Mesoamerica, as well as the experiences he had on the "plains of the Nephites" as truth.

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To keep bringing up the opinions of early church leaders who didn't have Joseph Smith's knowledge and experience actually serves no purpose except to imply that they have a meaning that the church has explicitly said they don't. In other words, the Lord has NOT revealed where the BOM lands are. Yet Meldrum does it, and so does Phyllis Olive -- and both have freely admitted that the church hasn't taken a stand.

So the onus is on you to show where the church or Joseph Smith stated what you think he did. It just hasn't happened.

I didn't address this before...

This is what bothers me most about the LGT proponents. Joseph was a contemporary of all these myriad of people, besides himself, that spoke of the Cumorah in New York as being the final battle scene. He was obviously fine with their statements, from asking Oliver to write his accounts as an official history, or as editor of the Times and Seasons, etc. And yet, we get 200 years away from these events and peoples, and put more stock in statements by some modern scholars who discredit the early brethren. I've never understood that approach as being superior.

And yes, the Church has sent out official statements denouncing the LGT in times past, in the form of official First Presidency letters to Bishops warning against such teachings. It's pretty quiet these days however. That doesn't mean the position has changed.

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I agree with all your references. But I disagree with your conclusion that the narrow neck of land was near Cumorah.

See that is what I don't get. Please explain to me in detail how you can agree with the references I provided but not that the narrow neck of land was near Cumorah? Please cite as much scripture and quotes you can to clarify your reason that the narrow neck of land is not near Cumorah (Palmyra).

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The reason so many people believed in a hemispheric BOM geography is because that is what Church leaders taught for a long time. This idea was not jettisoned because it didn't fit the archaeological evidence. The Church still teaches a worldwide flood and it certainly doesn't fit the archaeological evidence. No, that wasn't the problem.

The original problem was that the hemispheric geography conflicted with the text of the BOM itself. One or the other had to give. Given this choice it seems pretty clear which one had to go - the words of the prophets. The problems with the hemispheric theory have only gotten worse with the DNA evidence. Today, no one seems to have a problem dismissing the words of the prophets about a hemispheric theory because it cannot be true.

Now the battle has moved to which limited geography theory fits the best. MI/FARMS model requires a bit more mental gymnastics when it comes to dismissing statements of early Church leaders but has a better archaeological fit. Meldrum's model is the inverse. I figure that once you drop the hemispheric model, you have already dismissed the prophets so why not go all the way and dismiss all past statements about BOM geography.

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