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Don Bradley's Lost 116 Pages is out...


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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

There were two sets of records kept. The small plates of Nephi were for religious purposes. We have a translation of those. There was a larger more secular account also called the plates of Nephi (sometimes called the large plates) that were kept by the kings. We also know that Lehi and others kept other accounts. The missing pages were Mormon's summary of the large plates of Nephi and other sources he had from the same time period. 

Since the large plates are Mormon's apparent primary source for his abridgment, including the lost portion, I've tried to explore the various clues about the large plates in my Ch. 6. The gist is that the large plates are what Nephi calls the "more history part" of his record, but he's careful to distinguish that from a "secular" record as such. It's history, but it's a providential, sacred history, like the Deuteronomic history. It's also a dynastic record.

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On 11/28/2019 at 6:43 AM, DonBradley said:

I've got a host of sources, including the small plates, Mormon's narrative callbacks later in his abridgment, Joseph Smith, Jr., Joseph Smith, Sr.

Have you read the two interviews with William Hyde, who claimed to have spoken frequently with Joseph Smith Sr., and also Martin Harris, about the plates as early as 1828? 

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On 11/29/2019 at 3:55 PM, DonBradley said:

TKS,

'Hope you had a good Thanksgiving!

Thanks for your interest in my arguments here, and for engaging me where you think, based on the bit you've seen about the book, where I'm misreading the data. If I'm wrong on this or other points, I most definitely want to know it.

Since I give quite an extended discussion, across several pages, of the Shilom hill incident, placing the verse you mention in Mosiah 11 in a much larger Book of Mormon context, it would do that argument injustice for me to just make a few stray statements about it on a message board when I've presented it far more fully and contextually as a substantial portion of my Chapter 14--The Mosian Reform. The arguments for reconstructing the contents of the Book of Mormon's lost pages don't lend themselves well to message board presentation. If they did, I could have saved myself eight and half years and 300-plus pages, or some 700 pages in the larger drafts of this work. 😉

Scholarship is ultimately a conversation, and one I'm explicitly inviting my readers to join. But it is a conversation that does not primarily take place on message boards, as fun as conversation here can be. Rather, it's a conversation that takes place primarily in publications, where arguments can be laid out fully, and not just piecemeal.

That said - I'm not at all above taking, and incorporating, criticism. I'm under no illusion that my conclusions are correct on every point, or that this book is the last word on the subject of the lost pages. To the contrary! As I state explicitly in my introduction:

 

If you would eventually care to borrow or check out from a library or in any other way read the full argument I make about the Shilom hill incident mentioned in Mosiah 11, and you feel you have a better full reading of the relevant data (which extends far beyond this single verse in Mosiah 11), I genuinely invite you to--or, actually, implore you, to, please, either, depending on how much you discover in that data, write a paper or other publication and put it out there--where I can assure you I'll read it and take it into account, or, if you'd like, message me, and, again, I'll read your interpretation and, as appropriate, make changes to my anticipated second edition of this book and/or other future publications on the lost pages. If you come up with a substantial new interpretation and want to publish it yourself, I'd even be willing to put in a good word for you with the editors of good journals I know and would be eager to see such new work out there.

And the same applies for everyone here. There is way more work in Latter-day Saint history and scripture study than can be done by one person, and the topic of the lost 116 pages begs for further scholarship.

If you do end up reading this part of the book, or even the book as a whole, let me know what you think, K?

Unless or until that happens, it may be helpful to know that I've made overlapping arguments, though not necessarily with as clear or full a development, which you can check out if you'd like in my M.A. thesis, American Proto-Zionism and the Book of Lehi: Recontextualizing the Rise of Mormonism, which is online, so to look at those you wouldn't necessarily need to get your hands on the book. If you do read the thesis version, I think you'll understand--from the literally dozens of pages about Mosiah I's exodus and the Shilom hill--why it would not work to try to put all that information here. But there are also further arguments in the book, so be aware that to get the full evidence for the interpretation I'm offering you would ultimately want to look there as well.

As I mention in the book, the late John Tvedtnes was really the first pioneer in piecing together contents from the lost pages. You can read his much briefer take on the Shilom hill incident mentioned in Mosiah 11, as it relates to the lost pages, in the BYU Scholars Archive, here and here.

 

Again, while I see my book and future publications, not this thread, as the place for me to systematically develop my arguments about what was in the lost pages, including the children of Nephi taking refuge at the Shilom hill, I'd be thrilled to engage and take into account any systematic interpretation you want to make of the data, either in print or in correspondence. I'd be happy to be wrong, because that would mean being better able to discover what's actually right.

Thanks,

Don

Your thesis is fascinating, Don.  Especially to me, because I get to read it with the work of Donald "Panther" Yates and strange stories from previous generations of my family in mind.  

 

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2 hours ago, Islamormoyid said:

Your thesis is fascinating, Don.  Especially to me, because I get to read it with the work of Donald "Panther" Yates and strange stories from previous generations of my family in mind.  

 

Huh. Interesting. Tell me more about this person?

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15 hours ago, Rajah Manchou said:

Have you read the two interviews with William Hyde, who claimed to have spoken frequently with Joseph Smith Sr., and also Martin Harris, about the plates as early as 1828? 

Rajah,

Thank you for recalling those to my attention! I just re-read them and they truly are fascinating!

Don

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Btw, TKV, thinking more about this, while (as explained above) I'm not mostly going to try to engage critiques here and I do feel quite confident based on the larger set of evidences that the Nephites "resorting" to the hill north of Shilom was in the lost portion of Mormon's abridgement, I am taking seriously that I may want to beef up the grammatical part of my exegesis on this point. If you read more of my arguments that I lay out in the book, do feel free to contact me with further feedback on my various arguments and I will take that feedback into account.

Thanks!

Don

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1 hour ago, DonBradley said:

Huh. Interesting. Tell me more about this person?

Don, I'm having trouble pasting URLs at the moment, so I apologize for how sloppy this is going to be.  donaldyates.com,  pantherlodge.com, dnaconsultants.com.

That should give you a rocking start.  In summary of a branch of his work that could possibly inform an expansion of what is known of American  Proto-Zionism (as you call it),  he has claimed that the British colonies in America were organized and by Jewish, Moorish and Crypto-Jewish benefactors seeking to shield descendants of (mostly) Sephardic Jews that had left Spain for the Netherlands, Scotland and the port cities on the Baltic Sea.  Those interested in his work tend to be southerners like myself that have genealogies that, to put in his words, "look like a telephone pole rather than a family tree.".  Tellingly, one of his books is titled "When Scotland was Jewish" and an article or two on the genealogies of some families on Sand Mountain (Northwest Georgia, Northeast Alabama) with both Native American and Sephardic ancestry, in turn via the destruction of Spanish colonial outposts in what is now South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee and migration of Scot-Irish of Sephardic descent.  The Colonies, both under Dutch and British cover were, according to Yates were motivated with Sephardic immigration in mind.  

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51 minutes ago, Islamormoyid said:

Don, I'm having trouble pasting URLs at the moment, so I apologize for how sloppy this is going to be.  donaldyates.com,  pantherlodge.com, dnaconsultants.com.

That should give you a rocking start.  In summary of a branch of his work that could possibly inform an expansion of what is known of American  Proto-Zionism (as you call it),  he has claimed that the British colonies in America were organized and by Jewish, Moorish and Crypto-Jewish benefactors seeking to shield descendants of (mostly) Sephardic Jews that had left Spain for the Netherlands, Scotland and the port cities on the Baltic Sea.  Those interested in his work tend to be southerners like myself that have genealogies that, to put in his words, "look like a telephone pole rather than a family tree.".  Tellingly, one of his books is titled "When Scotland was Jewish" and an article or two on the genealogies of some families on Sand Mountain (Northwest Georgia, Northeast Alabama) with both Native American and Sephardic ancestry, in turn via the destruction of Spanish colonial outposts in what is now South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee and migration of Scot-Irish of Sephardic descent.  The Colonies, both under Dutch and British cover were, according to Yates were motivated with Sephardic immigration in mind.  

Ah, intriguing! Thank you!!

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On 11/27/2019 at 11:17 PM, Robert F. Smith said:

The estimated 116 pages (estimated based on the 116 pages of the Printer's Manuscript pagination)

This idea comes from Metcalfe, but according to this it doesn't work:

image.png.6e8fd46be5fbce95189feba41a84a5bd.png

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42 minutes ago, tkv said:

This idea comes from Metcalfe, but according to this it doesn't work:

image.png.6e8fd46be5fbce95189feba41a84a5bd.png

Actually, Bent Metcalfe got that idea from me.  I got it from my original work on the Book of Mormon Critical Text while at the RLDS Archives in the late 1970s and early 80s.  Seemed to me at the time that it was just too much of a coincidence that the P MS had just 116 pages covering the same material as the book of Lehi.  I concluded then that people discussing the missing pages had retrojected that number on the book of Lehi after the fact.  It is speculation, but reasonable speculation.

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37 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Actually, Bent Metcalfe got that idea from me.  I got it from my original work on the Book of Mormon Critical Text while at the RLDS Archives in the late 1970s and early 80s.  Seemed to me at the time that it was just too much of a coincidence that the P MS had just 116 pages covering the same material as the book of Lehi.  I concluded then that people discussing the missing pages had retrojected that number on the book of Lehi after the fact.  It is speculation, but reasonable speculation.

i suppose that we must be charitable and assume that Brent forgot where the idea came from (I've seen it happen in other cases, may even have done it myself). However, it is a little sad when the correct attribution for a good idea gets lost from the documentation trail.

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Through completely coincidental timing, the section of my new book looking at the lost pages was released last Friday at InterpreterFoundation.org: https://journal.interpreterfoundation.org/labor-diligently-to-write-the-ancient-making-of-a-modern-scripture-3/#more-29584

Where Don uses historical sources external to the Book of Mormon, I was looking only from an internal perspective. I suspect mine discussion is much more mundane and much less interesting, but the different approaches provide some different perspectives.

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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Actually, Metcalfe got that idea from me.  I got it from my original work on the Book of Mormon Critical Text while at the RLDS Archives in the late 1970s and early 80s.  Seemed to me at the time that it was just too much of a coincidence that P had just 116 pages covering the same material as the book of Lehi.  I concluded then that people discussing the missing pages had retrojected that number on the book of Lehi after the fact.  It is speculation, but reasonable speculation.

Can you explain how your idea works since P wasn't even 100 pages long when 116 was typeset in August 1829?

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20 hours ago, DonBradley said:

Btw, TKV, thinking more about this, while (as explained above) I'm not mostly going to try to engage critiques here and I do feel quite confident based on the larger set of evidences that the Nephites "resorting" to the hill north of Shilom was in the lost portion of Mormon's abridgement, I am taking seriously that I may want to beef up the grammatical part of my exegesis on this point. If you read more of my arguments that I lay out in the book, do feel free to contact me with further feedback on my various arguments and I will take that feedback into account.

Thanks!

Don

Yes, the storm of research has already begun, and it's all your fault! ;)

It must be a great feeling, Don, and congrats yet again! 

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1 hour ago, tkv said:

Can you explain how your idea works since P wasn't even 100 pages long when 116 was typeset in August 1829?

Having nothing to do with typesetting, I merely looked at the pagination of the P MS and noted that page 116 is generically where Oliver's copying reaches the point at which Original Manuscript would have linked the book of Lehi with Mosiah.  Since we don't have the pagination of the book of Lehi, we don't actually know how many pages there were.  Thus, since both the O MS (approximately) and the P MS actually reach 116 pages, that was the default estimate used by everyone to account for the missing pages.

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On 11/29/2019 at 2:55 PM, DonBradley said:

..................................

Scholarship is ultimately a conversation, and one I'm explicitly inviting my readers to join. But it is a conversation that does not primarily take place on message boards, as fun as conversation here can be. Rather, it's a conversation that takes place primarily in publications, where arguments can be laid out fully, and not just piecemeal......................................

Amen.

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22 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Since we don't have the pagination of the book of Lehi, we don't actually know how many pages there were.

Not only do we not have it, by the time Joseph wrote the preface to the first printing, the manuscript had been missing for over a year. Without being able to consult it, and given that Joseph may have had little interaction himself with the manuscript, it is likely that he did not even know how long it was.

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Bob,

Oh wow. Sorry I didn't realize you had first arrived at the idea that the 116-pages figure came from the length of the small plates - I would have acknowledged that in the book if I'd realized that. And I'll be happy to acknowledge your development of the idea in any future edition of the book, alongside acknowledging Brent's publication of it.

It's a very useful and perceptive insight, and I think you'll like my further exploration of the implications of Joseph adopting the small plates page count as a proxy for the lost manuscript page count.

Thanks for that remarkable insight you contributed to the scholarship on this!

Don

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47 minutes ago, Steve J said:

Sad that clark goble was not able to read this book. I know it was one that he was looking forwards to reading

Oh, I know!😥

Clark was one who really got my thesis, so I'm certain he would have really gotten what I was doing in the book as well, and loved it. So tragic!! 

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2 hours ago, DonBradley said:

Oh, I know!😥

Clark was one who really got my thesis, so I'm certain he would have really gotten what I was doing in the book as well, and loved it. So tragic!! 

i wouldn't feel too bad about him.  He's probably reading the 116 pages that to us were lost, if he hasn't already.  Or maybe he's even already talked to Lehi and is getting "the rest of the story" from him.   Good day!?!

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3 hours ago, Steve J said:

Sad that clark goble was not able to read this book. I know it was one that he was looking forwards to reading

Aw, heck, he'll just go and interview Joseph and everybody else involved since they're all there anyway. :)

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26 minutes ago, Ahab said:

i wouldn't feel too bad about him.  He's probably reading the 116 pages that to us were lost, if he hasn't already.  Or maybe he's even already talked to Lehi and is getting "the rest of the story" from him.   Good day!?!

Beat me to it!

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