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Lehi Naming Valleys and Streams After his Sons


Sargon

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The leg operation was when Joseph was eight years old. He was in a great deal of pain for much of that time, and in bed, not hanging out at the local pub.

I tried to duplicate your search for the name "shazar" in family search and could not find any more than one person with that name in the early XIX. He was not in Massachusetts, he was in Kentucky.

On the other hand, the word "shazar" does mean "seepings" in Hebrew, and that is what Lehi's family would have needed: a place with water.

Your argument is flimsy, at best, and your counter argument is pathetic.

Lehi

LeSellers,

I'm going to be as patient as I possibly can be in response (I'm really trying to play better with you defenders of the faith).

1. It doesn't matter that he was eight and had surgery. I remember names of people from when I was five, and three -- the Dr. who stitched me up from a dog bite injury was name "White", but I haven't seen him since the AMC Pacer was available new off the lot. I don't think it's unusual that anyone else could remember names of people from a young age. I only mentioned the coincidence between time he spent in Salem to a Shazer from Family Search because it shows that the name wasn't something so completely foreign that he would not have ever run across it, but something that certainly existed in his culture/community.

2. He could have found the name in a publication or on a shop or by listening to dock workers, family and friends chat at any point in his life before writing the Book of Mormon. I lean towards this one since I know that I've personally experienced the mundane phenomenon of hearing or reading something and just remembering it years later. Or the phenomenon of just reading the newspaper or books or the internet and lo and behold, names of people I don't know are right there. It's not that difficult to understand. I think you need to hear yourself acknowledge this because it's the refusal to see the breadcrumbs that prevent you from seeing and understanding the other perspective.

3. That you found only one Shazer in the 19th century using Family Search only tells us that their records are not complete. Plus I'd already spoon-fed you the results of my earlier searches which are independently valid results. What Family Search does show us is that the name Shazer doesn't have to be shoehorned into the exists-exclusively-in-the-pre-600BC-time-frame, but rather that the name existed since way back in the ancient Hebrew era right up through existing in America as well as Europe (and maybe other places) as a surname just like Peter or Joshua did. I'm certain that not every Smith from American history is accounted for on Family Search and it's frequency should not be expected to be found in just a place or two in a land of immigrants. I think it's reasonable to conclude that the prevalence of Shazers should also not be artificially limited to only Georgia or Kentucky or Massachusetts. Also, consider that people move, go on vacations, travel with their jobs, produce products with their name on it which traverse the planet, etc. There are a multitude of ways a word like "Shazer" could float its way into the mind of a 19th century American writer.

4. Why are there so many different definitions for "shazer"? I've heard now no less than three different ones. Well, maybe that's not that unusual since we certainly have homonyms in English. Still...water? Humans kinda need water. There's water all over the place. Sure, in Arabia it's less frequent than say Canada or Russia, but it's still around. Just finding a place where any city, town or semi-permanent camp was located could therefore be called "Shazer".

5. I invite the unbiased reader to decide if my argument is "flimsy" and counter-argument "pathetic". LeSellers, I think you need to explain where it's flimsy or pathetic. Please make affirmative, logical statements that support your case. That's what I've been trying to do the entire time, and respectfully, particularly since I realize that a lot of y'all have already committed to defend your LDS beliefs against other people's LDS beliefs which don't appear to hold hands without trying to squeeze the other one's hand until they cry 'uncle!'.

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I have seen a "Tucker T. Fudpucker" in the phone book years ago (I swear on a stack of Bibles that we did come across that name in the phone book; made me lmao -- who would burden their child with that name??).

:P

I'll vouch for you on that! I remember seeing it in the Salt Lake area phone book years and years ago! All my siblings and I thought it was the funniest name in the world.

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The leg operation was when Joseph was eight years old. He was in a great deal of pain for much of that time, and in bed, not hanging out at the local pub.

I tried to duplicate your search for the name "shazar" in family search and could not find any more than one person with that name in the early XIX. He was not in Massachusetts, he was in Kentucky.

On the other hand, the word "shazar" does mean "seepings" in Hebrew, and that is what Lehi's family would have needed: a place with water.

Your argument is flimsy, at best, and your counter argument is pathetic.

Lehi

LeSellers, as with the typical apologetic response, you are destroying LDS teachings in order to save them. The heroic story of Joseph Smith having this leg operation and refusing alcohol as a partial anesthetic (he certainly didn't refuse it later in life) is a major faith-promoting device in the Church.

Church members have been thrilled by the story of eight-year-old Joseph Smith

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Darth J, you seem particularly bellicose these past couple of days, attacking one for a supposed apeal to authority, and another for making an argument about JS's abstinence, an argument the person did not make.

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:P

I'll vouch for you on that! I remember seeing it in the Salt Lake area phone book years and years ago! All my siblings and I thought it was the funniest name in the world.

Don't be drinking milk when you check out Mr. Fudpucker's facebook page:

http://www.facebook....cker/1661261414

And others also remember good ol' Tucker:

http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/116542

http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=1504234&comments=true

...

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Hello Doug the Hutt. Thanks for responding. As my opening post said I was especially hoping that a dedicated critic would comment on this. You wonderfully did exactly what I was hoping someone would do...force us to reexamine and dig a little deeper just in case.

So here are my comments:

(1) Neither me, Nibley, or anyone else has suggested that this information constitutes proof of anything. Nevertheless, you have misinterpreted Nibley's argument as an attempt to "proves that the Book of Mormon is an authentic book about real people." I certainly claim no such thing and neither did Nibley. What I claim is that this constitutes evidence.

(2) I'm not sure Nibley was using the word "law" in the sense that you seem to be using it. It seems to me that it is just a custom or a cultural tradition. So it isn't as if Lehi was breaking the law of the land, and the police were going to come after him, if he didn't name every body of water he came across "Lehi."

(3) As others have alluded to, Nibley's idea that Lehi was a Bedouin hasn't really caught on. So we can let Lehi off the hook a little if he isn't following the traditions of the desert to a T. Early in their journey he seems to respect the custom by naming the stream and valley after his sons, and poetically infusing it with meaning, but years later on the other side of the peninsula he apparently lost interest. No big deal.

(4) I think you may be stretching a little too much in your points about how Laman and Lemuel may not be the actual "discoverers" of the stream and valley. They were members of the traveling party who came across them, and thus they are among the discoverers. But it doesn't stop there. Lehi named the stream one thing, and the valley the stream was in something else. Sure, this may not be mind-boggling but it is the right thing in the right place at the right time.

This is a bit of evidence for the Book of Mormon. It is a bulls-eye. It isn't proof, but it is evidence.

(5) What we have here is Lehi doing something strange that fits both the time and the place that it claims for itself. It was a desert custom to name bodies of water, valleys, etc as you pass by them. Lehi did that. Furthermore, they were named after members of the discovering party. Furthermore,

Hey Sargon,

Please allow me to clarify a few items -- I'm not a dedicated 'critic' -- I'm dedicated to "finding out the truth for myself". Occam's Razor tells us that if something can be explained in a naturalistic way then to accept that first before jumping into supernatural explanations, otherwise a person could just jump to God-done-it in explaining anything, and where would that take our species? Truth is supposed to be plain & precious. It should be clean, clear and consistent. Instead I keep hearing what sound to me, referring to Mormon apologetics in general, lists of reasons for why I can't use my normal mental faculties to verify whether the LDS religion & its publications are true or false (and a recent thread I started appears to support that there is no way to prove the Church false, which makes you wonder why we, the naked intelligent ape-descendants that we are, accept that sort of philosophy at all). In some cases I think there's an honest effort to find granules of connections between the Book of Mormon peoples and the real empirical world. The thing that really sucks about those arguments is that they just sound so stretched (perhaps I'm the only one?) -- arguments that innocent, fully rational, objective people just wouldn't accept as truly validating. And trying to analyze Mormonism logically is like trying to hogtie something made of Benzoate Ostylezene Bicarbonate. Once you try to nail one end of it down it just morphs into a different form that cannot be rationally approached, and I find it unpalatable.

1. I believe that Nibley's apologetic works, including An Approach to the Book of Mormon, are designed to lead the LDS person to conclude that the Book of Mormon is about real people and then the rest of the slippery-slope takes place -- since the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith must be a real Prophet of God, that the LDS Church is true, that it is the only way to receive Eternal Life and inherit all things that God possesses as a reward for our unyielding obedience to it, through better or worse, thick & thin, etc. Most readers (probably in excess of 98%) would naturally be LDS who would have been exposed to the burning-bosom-is-proof-enough-that-it's-true assertion about a billion times already. It's like there's a hard-coded Mormon Instruction Set, much like SSE4, which execute a series of statements -- in the LDS case always results in Mormon_Church_True=1 (there is no "0"). His book absolutely implies that it's a book about real people who really existed and really experienced everything the Book of Mormon flatly establishes. If that were not the case then there would be no reason to go looking into the real world for 'bullseyes' or circumstantial (but oftentimes forced) evidence which validate the reality of events and people. If he believed it to be an 'inspired fiction' he would focus his efforts on convincing people how God delivers lessons to us through parables, how Jesus' parables probably weren't about real people which was beside the point, etc.

OTOH Nibley does say this regarding the course which uses this book as its manual -- "It declares the purpose of the course as being to illustrate and explain the Book of Mormon, rather than to prove it." To me that's either indicting the latter as being untenable and 'explaining' the BOM is as good as it gets, sans going through a mental proof function which would validate or invalidate it. OR he's trying to prove it by asserting that he's only trying to explain it while depending on the Mormon Instruction Set to be compulsively invoked. I just checked the definition for "evidence", and it turns out that the difference between mundane ol' evidence and proof-worthy-evidence is that the latter removes reasonable doubt, the former by therefore still contains reasonable doubt.

http://dictionary.re...browse/evidence

2. Nibley said "Among the laws "which no Bedouin would dream of transgressing..." Sounds like he meant "law". If he didn't mean "law" why did he say it, and why did invoke the no true Scotsman bit by saying "no Bedouin would dream of transgressing (the law)"? What would happen if they transgressed the law? I suspect he said "law" because the rest of his argument depended on us believing that Bedouins dependably behaved a certain way, that Lehi necessarily behaved that way in kind because he was truly familiar with this known real people, and that behavior of renaming valleys and a creek after his sons necessarily meant that Lehi was a real person -- because uneducated Joseph Smith couldn't possibly know something so bulls-eye-ish. I'm not using "law" in any way that doesn't come directly from his statement. He chose his words carefully all the time and I find it hard to believe he didn't mean it to be something taken very seriously with apparent consequences, and this is because of his choice of words: law + transgress + would_not_dream_of.

3. Yes, Lehi lost interest on the other side of the penninsula, and that tradition did not make it into the minds of the Nephites or Lehites. I don't think there is enough evidence to assert that Lehi was a Bedouin, or knew anything about them. I think the event of Lehi naming places after Laman and Lemuel can be explained simply as thematic device which the author used for contrast for the two characters, foreshadowing their ultimate descent into wickedness, becoming cursed with a skin of blackness (also thematic elements), becoming hostile to the true keepers of the pre-Christian-era-Christian-faith (our Nephite heroes).

4. Sure, I may be stretching, but from my armchair it's just par for the course -- take a step outside the box, look at Mormon apologetics generally and you'll start to notice a multitude of stretches, maybes, perhapses, plausibilities, possibilities, etc., all put forward as evidence or possible plausible proofs. Going back yet again to Nibley's statement, he called it a law, he set up the rules of the law which also alluded to not daring to transgress it. I'm just calling him on it because I think his setup was unfounded.

5. Why didn't they also rename the Red Sea? The BOM tells us that Laman's newly renamed river emptied into the Red Sea. They could have just as easily called it the Sea of Lehi. Instead they 'hit' 2 out of 3. Why deviate? I think Nibley is trying to force something to take on a different meaning than the overall text would justify. I'm also suspicious on the type of support that he shows us and the rest that he leaves out of the discussion.

6. Can someone please define "bullseye"? I keep recalling target practice, where placement directly inside the concentric rings on the target was the bullseye. I'd say hitting the middle is proof beyond reasonable doubt that whoever did that was a pretty damn good shot, assuming the person didn't walk up and hit it from 4mm away. I'd be amazed and refer to the distance shot through the middle as a "bullseye"; the 4mm distant shot would be appropriately labeled "bogus", despite how the paper target looks afterward.

Just another .000002 cents.

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