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Dan Peterson fireside notes


rongo

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Dr. Daniel C. Peterson fireside, February 26, 2011, Maricopa Arizona Stake Center

(The Revelations of Joseph Smith: Evidence and Witnesses)

Note: These notes were jotted down in long-hand during the fireside and rely upon memory in reconstructing them. There may be technical inaccuracies between my reconstruction and what was actually said. We are working on a transcript of the audio from the fireside, and will make it available with the full audio when it

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All right, who rated the opening post one star? . . . :P

One thing to add (regarding Q&A question #3), which I inexplicably didn't include when I posted, was that Dr. Peterson mentioned that some have claimed that the weights and measures system in Alma 11 is the most effecient monetary system from a "number of transactions vs. number of steps" standpoint. While I'm not in a position to speak to that, I think the existence of a complex system like that at all tends to "jump on the pile" with Book of Mormon evidences. It's yet another of those striking (and surprisingly complex and workable) details that either Joseph Smith or some committee of men cooked up, according to critics; yet, it was recorded via dictation and transcribing.

Regarding threading the needle of safety and security for Muslim converts abroad: I found discussion about this fascinating. I served my mission in northern Germany in the mid 1990s, and had some experiences along these lines. In my last city, my junior companion showed me a business card of a Turkish businessman who was taught and baptized in Germany who attended church when he was in town. He called us (he spoke excellent German) at one point and confirmed the meeting time. I was shocked to learn that he had never told his wife that he was baptized LDS --- he was clearly committed in that he attended when he could, called the missionaries, etc. But out of social, religious, and security reasons, he had not told even his family.

We weren't allowed to teach Iraqis, Iranians, Lebanese, Syrians, or Israelis, and (also in that last city, Braunschweig), the sisters had taught a high-ranking government official from Kurdistan who was baptized (they misunderstood and said he was from Afghanistan, which was "okay" back then). He spoke very decent German, and was there in hiding. I used to tease him by telling him that there is no Kurdistan, I can't see it on any maps, etc. ;) He attended church regularly and we studied Gospel Principles with him. Once, while visiting him, the buzzer rang, and after letting the person who buzzed in, he began hiding pictures, scriptures, etc. We asked what was wrong, and he said that the man coming up the stairs was what we would call a terrorist (they knew each other from back in northern Iraq). We wanted to leave, but he said it was okay for him to be seen talking to American students --- Omar just couldn't find out that he had been baptized a Christian. And Omar was a scary person (especially his eyes and his manner --- he didn't like us). With the Hamburg cell of 9-11 fame (my mission), I have often thought of this since then.

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Dan,

So we don't rely merely on Rongo's notes... I would appreciate it if you posted the portion of your paper about Vogel's gold plates position, and the notion of ancient metal records in Joseph's day.

Thanks.

--Mike

Why? How much work do you expect him to do just so you can provide another one-word dismissal?

Regards,

Pahoran

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Why? How much work do you expect him to do just so you can provide another one-word dismissal?

Regards,

Pahoran

Actually. I don't think copying/pasting a couple paragraphs from an already written paper would be much "work" at all. If Dan Peterson copy/pasted the portions I requested, any dismissal that I have (if any) will be far more than a single word. Since I don't know the accuracy of Rongo's notes, I will wait till I get Peterson's quotes before I make any substantive response. Who knows... maybe I'll add his material to my SunstoneWest presentation I am giving this month on this very topic.

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The "a la Dan Vogel" portion of my notes was my insertion into my notes. Dan never mentioned Dan Vogel's name.

Good to know. I wondered if this was the case, which is why I asked for Dan to quote his paper. :P Thanks for the clarification.

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whoever asked question 7 seems to asking the wrong person.

That is, asking when the Church will be established is not a question for a lay member.

as for the question about the monetary system. I have seen people have the "cups" that they claim illustrate the wieghts/measures in the Book of Mormon, I saw no reason to consider the "cups" legitimate representations of anything other than someone making easy money off LDS. However, a few years later I was watching PBS, and a PBS promo commercial was on, a very brief picture was shown of a ship wreck, and in the upper corner of the shot I saw the same types of "cups" laid out on the ocean floor as though it was done on purpose.

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I also argue that no one saw the plates uncovered, including the Eight Witnesses. I believe they handled the plates while covered and saw them with spiritual eyes, much as Martin Harris said he had seen them prior to his vision of the angel. This means manufactured plates need not pass visual inspection.

This is in direct conflict with their written statement.

Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That Joseph Smith, Jun., the translator of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship. And this we bear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shown unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give our names unto the world, to witness unto the world that which we have seen. And we lie not, God bearing witness of it.

Christian Whitmer

Jacob Whitmer

Peter Whitmer, Jun

John Whitmer

Hiram Page

Joseph Smith, Sen

Hyrum Smith

Samuel H. Smith

They saw them, handled them , turned the leaves of the plates with their own hands.

Your theory is in error.

At any rate, JS could have made a set of plates out of tin, cut from large sheets or scrap pieces, gathered from various places around his community, if not from his own family
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This is in direct conflict with their written statement.

They saw them, handled them , turned the leaves of the plates with their own hands.

Your theory is in error.

Have you read Vogel's book Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet? See chapter 28.

The family had no "copper shop". Joseph Smith, Sen., was a cooper, one who makes barrels, etc.

Lehi

If you read Vogel's book, you would know that he understands very well that it was a "cooper" shop. Copper was a typo. And Vogel was talking about the creation of the plates out of TIN, not copper. Tin was the tupperware of the 19th century. Very very common. See Shay Lelegren,

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This is in direct conflict with their written statement.

Lehi

I saw that also... I couldn't believe Dan actually said that with a strait face.

Not only does it conflict with their "official" Witness Statement, it conflicts with their statements otherwise from history.

Dan should know well if he's not an anti-mormon and just a critic that it was the "3 Witnesses" that saw the plates "spiritually", because they were in the presence of an Angel of God.

But, anti-mormons are all the same. They have their false judgments no matter what the full facts actually are.

The "spiritual eyes" claim toward ALL the witnesses is such a "common" and obviously false claim by anti-mormons, that it fascinates me that Dan Vogel has any credibility at all. Of course, he only has credibility among other anti's for the most part, so guess I'm talking to the wind.

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Have you read Vogel's book Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet? See chapter 28.

If you read Vogel's book, you would know that he understands very well that it was a "cooper" shop. Copper was a typo. And Vogel was talking about the creation of the plates out of TIN, not copper. Tin was the tupperware of the 19th century. Very very common. See Shay Lelegren,

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as lehi posted the witness's stated

"appearance of gold"

if someone had never seen gold plates, would they know the difference between 99.99 pure gold plates, gold alloy plates or other metal made to have the "appearance of gold".

Or Tin for that matter.

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I saw that also... I couldn't believe Dan actually said that with a strait face.

Not only does it conflict with their "official" Witness Statement, it conflicts with their statements otherwise from history.

Dan should know well if he's not an anti-mormon and just a critic that it was the "3 Witnesses" that saw the plates "spiritually", because they were in the presence of an Angel of God.

But, anti-mormons are all the same. They have their false judgments no matter what the full facts actually are.

The "spiritual eyes" claim toward ALL the witnesses is such a "common" and obviously false claim by anti-mormons, that it fascinates me that Dan Vogel has any credibility at all. Of course, he only has credibility among other anti's for the most part, so guess I'm talking to the wind.

This has been discussed several times on this board, and you obviously haven

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Dan (Vogel), I've heard that you have said that the Book of Mormon witnesses are a significant stumbling block for non-believers seeking to discredit the Book of Mormon to overcome (or something to that effect/along those lines). I wondered if you wouldn't mind commenting on whether you've said something like that, or whether I'm mistaken, etc.?

Thanks!

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No. But in the context of Vogel's position, the appearance of gold vs. tin wouldn't matter. See his explanation above.

I have heard this phrase before. It would seem that you can "explain" anything.

I will need to take a look at it and see if it has any merit to it.

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Dan (Vogel), I've heard that you have said that the Book of Mormon witnesses are a significant stumbling block for non-believers seeking to discredit the Book of Mormon to overcome (or something to that effect/along those lines). I wondered if you wouldn't mind commenting on whether you've said something like that, or whether I'm mistaken, etc.?

Thanks!

I don

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Dan,

So we don't rely merely on Rongo's notes... I would appreciate it if you posted the portion of your paper about Vogel's [an unnamed skeptic's] gold plates position, and the notion of ancient metal records in Joseph's day.

Thanks.

--Mike

Bump for Dan Peterson.

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So you tracked me down over on another message board?

Wow.

If you want me to supply you with a paragraph or two from an unpublished paper -- that is, I think, what you requested above -- you'll have to content yourself with these paragraphs, from an as-yet unwritten paper:

. . .

Good luck with your presentation at Sunstone.

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