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The Least of These Revelations


volgadon

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We do not give credence to the tenets of a miracle worker, in the same way we trust in the truth of Moses our Teacher, nor does any analogy exist between them. This distinction is a fundamental principle of our religion, but seems to have fallen into oblivion, and has been disregarded by our co-religionists. This thought was present in the mind of Solomon when he addressed the Gentiles in behalf of Israel, "What will you see in the Shulamite? as it were a dance of two companies." (Song of Songs 7:1). The verse means to say, "If you can produce anything like the revelation on Sinai then we shall concede some misgivings concerning Moses."

-Moses ben Maimon, the Rambam, from the Epistle to Yemen.

Does this Maimonidean quote seem familiar?

Behold and hearken, O ye elders of my church, who have assembled yourselves together, whose prayers I have heard, and whose hearts I know, and whose desires have come up before me.

Behold and lo, mine eyes are upon you, and the heavens and the earth are in mine hands, and the riches of eternity are mine to give.

Ye endeavored to believe that ye should receive the blessing which was offered unto you; but behold, verily I say unto you there were fears in your hearts, and verily this is the reason that ye did not receive.

And now I, the Lord, give unto you a testimony of the truth of these commandments which are lying before you.

Your eyes have been upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and his language you have known, and his imperfections you have known; and you have sought in your hearts knowledge that you might express beyond his language; this you also know.

Now, seek ye out of the Book of Commandments, even the least that is among them, and appoint him that is the most wise among you;

Or, if there be any among you that shall make one like unto it, then ye are justified in saying that ye do not know that they are true;

But if ye cannot make one like unto it, ye are under condemnation if ye do not bear record that they are true.

For ye know that there is no unrighteousness in them, and that which is righteous cometh down from above, from the Father of lights.

-D&C 67:1-9

Please note that I am not trying to establish a direct link between a revelation given to North Americans in the 1830s and the view of Arab Jew of the 12th century writing to other Arab Jews. I wouldn't have a leg to stand on were I to propose that.

I do however find the parallel striking and intriguing.

A challenge is issued, that if one can write a revelation like that of a certain prophet, then one might be justified in doubting the veracity of that prophet's revelations. This is what Joseph Smith claimed the Lord said and it is the same thing that Maimonides attributes to Solomon.

Critics of Joseph Smith should note that the Yemen Epistle was not part of the Latin translations of Maimonides, nor was this epistle well known outside of certain Jewish circles.

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A challenge is issued, that if one can write a revelation like that of a certain prophet, then one might be justified in doubting the veracity of that prophet's revelations.

Is there any doubt applied to the veracity of the revelations of JS in D&C 67 as there is in Maimonides if one can so produce?

This is what Joseph Smith claimed the Lord said and it is the same thing that Maimonides attributes to Solomon.

I think I could write a revelation as good as any prophet there ever was. Perhaps though the challenge means to produce something that is an eternal truth or comes to pass? I don't think I could write something that isn't already known and certainly not a long ranging specific prediction that comes to pass.

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Is there any doubt applied to the veracity of the revelations of JS in D&C 67 as there is in Maimonides if one can so produce?

Yes, there is.

Or, if there be any among you that shall make one like unto it, then ye are justified in saying that ye do not know that they are true;
I think I could write a revelation as good as any prophet there ever was.

Perhaps you can write prose as well as any of the prophets could.

Perhaps though the challenge means to produce something that is an eternal truth or comes to pass? I don't think I could write something that isn't already known and certainly not a long ranging specific prediction that comes to pass.

Perhaps the test is in the power of the Holy ghost, i don't know.

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-Moses ben Maimon, the Rambam, from the Epistle to Yemen.

Does this Maimonidean quote seem familiar?

-D&C 67:1-9

Please note that I am not trying to establish a direct link between a revelation given to North Americans in the 1830s and the view of Arab Jew of the 12th century writing to other Arab Jews. I wouldn't have a leg to stand on were I to propose that.

I do however find the parallel striking and intriguing.

A challenge is issued, that if one can write a revelation like that of a certain prophet, then one might be justified in doubting the veracity of that prophet's revelations. This is what Joseph Smith claimed the Lord said and it is the same thing that Maimonides attributes to Solomon.

Critics of Joseph Smith should note that the Yemen Epistle was not part of the Latin translations of Maimonides, nor was this epistle well known outside of certain Jewish circles.

And in case you didn't know, the same challenge also exists in the Koran:

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Wow, I never thought I would say this, but thank you.

I had forgotten about those, but as Rambam was heavily influenced by the Muslim intellectual world, that is possibly where his view comes from.

Why are

traipsing the space between my ears?
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