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Book of Mormon Historicity


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17 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Yet, by requiring historicity, the the discussion of spiritual matters is hijacked into areas irrelevant to spirituality. 

And yet what is most peculiar is that all leaders AND scholars will ultimately come back to Moroni 10, James 1 etc and insist that what is "really" important is a spiritual testimony of the BOM.

The credibility of Joseph Smith should ultimately be judged by the quality of the theology he was inspired to create, not his methodology, just as Beethoven should be judged by his music and not the details of his life or his methodology in creating it.  The historic fact that he was deaf at the end of his life and could not even hear his own music is inspiring and unbelievably remarkable, yet it is the quality of that music that is its own final judge, not the historic facts.

What is the ultimate result of seeing God as an exalted human- and what does that imply for our personal lives?

Does that give meaning to our lives?

Does belief in the Atonment bring us peace in our lives despite the fact that we all have done bad things?

Would those concepts still function as among the best spiritual paradigms created by humans- AND that includes an Exalted Human God - even if the person Jesus of Nazareth never lived or Joseph never received Golden Plates?

I strongly suggest that they would- that these timeless ideas are strong enough to speak to all of humanity, if only it was presented that way,  instead of relying on past events of a spiritual nature when history cannot ever prove their spiritual validity anyway

The idea that God will forgive our sins if only we believe he will, and repent and do all we can to correct the deeds we have done, and heal our grief and guilt, is a powerful powerful belief regardless of who preached it or how such an idea came to be.

It has changed lives for at least 20 centuries, and the history of its origination is irrelevant to its spiritual power.  It is the BELIEF in that principle that changes lives, not the facts of its history.

 

No, I think your missing the mark here.  The best spiritual paradigms created by humans would be of little value if they were based on things that did not happen and would never come to fruition in the future.

If Jesus of Nazareth never lived then we would not have a Savior and the things he supposedly said and taught, according to our scriptures, would fall in pretty much the same category as Star Wars and Star Trek and other works of fiction.

I value the truth because it is real and I value our Savior because he really lives and has lived and has set the best example for all of us to live by if we want to become like he is.  If I couldn't be like him my next choice would probably be someone like Captain Kirk or Luke Skywalker or maybe Clark Kent.

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43 minutes ago, Ahab said:

No, I think your missing the mark here.  The best spiritual paradigms created by humans would be of little value if they were based on things that did not happen and would never come to fruition in the future.

If Jesus of Nazareth never lived then we would not have a Savior and the things he supposedly said and taught, according to our scriptures, would fall in pretty much the same category as Star Wars and Star Trek and other works of fiction.

I value the truth because it is real and I value our Savior because he really lives and has lived and has set the best example for all of us to live by if we want to become like he is.  If I couldn't be like him my next choice would probably be someone like Captain Kirk or Luke Skywalker or maybe Clark Kent.

But our very lives as members of the church contradict you on this point.

We personally don't know whether or not Jesus even existed in a historical sense unless we consult the hearsay evidence of people who live 2,000 years ago, and who knows what their motivations were?

Did they want new members in their cult?

Yet who Among Us has verified that for themselves, either way? 

Belief in historicity simply is belief in hearsay of what cannot be proven

Yet every single one of us even children know the impact of unstudied BELIEF in the savior and how it has changed our lives.

Practically speaking in the lives of each one of us it is the belief that saves not the facts.

Go look it up and try to verify it for yourself being as skeptical as you can be.  When you do that it appears to be all myths and hearsay.

Yet then our hearts we know that our savior died for us and that the atonement is real.

I have no Illusions about believing andin myths and hearsay. It's all we have. But it really doesn't " prove " anything.

Truth is found in a community of Believers not in some unknowable World outside of us.

That's even true of science.

The paradigms change and life keeps rolling along disregarding them. 

What's the newest theory about Book of Mormon geography this week? How will that affect my life?

It wont.

It's our faith in becoming what we BELIEVE  we can become that keeps us moving forward.

It is the Hope for things unseen.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/fideism/

Edited by mfbukowski
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8 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

The best spiritual paradigms created by humans would be of little value if they were based on things that did not happen and would never come to fruition in the future.

One more

How are we supposed to know what will happen in the future? Will we actually be Resurrected?

My point is that we have no historic precedent for these beliefs and yet we believe them and they bring richness into our lives. That is their importance.

My entire life has been consumed with questions. I'm the Eternal skeptic. The most important question was for me to find a way for the complete Skeptics to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have found it for myself, and would hope to help others on their way.

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19 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

But our very lives as members of the church contradict you on this point.

We personally don't know whether or not Jesus even existed in a historical sense unless we consult the hearsay evidence of people who live 2,000 years ago, and who knows what their motivations were?

Good grief.  You sound like someone who hasn't received a testimony from God.

19 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Did they want new members in their cult?

Cult?  gulp.  Am I in a cult now?  Was it a cult back then?  Oh my.  But, anyway, yes, they did (actually really life did) want other "new" people to join.. I'm going to call it a church... and be members with them.

19 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Yet who Among Us has verified that for themselves, either way? 

I have.  Haven't you?  Why or why not?

19 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Belief in historicity simply is belief in hearsay of what cannot be proven.

No.  Examine the word.  Historicity has to do with history... things that really HAPPENED in the past.  It's just a matter of finding out what really happened, separating fact from fiction.

19 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Yet every single one of us even children know the impact of unstudied BELIEF in the savior and how it has changed our lives.

Practically speaking in the lives of each one of us it is the belief that saves not the facts.

We could believe anything though, if we wanted to.  Personally, I prefer to believe things that are really true.  or that at least were true if they might have any bearing on my present and future. 

19 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Go look it up and try to verify it for yourself being as skeptical as you can be.  When you do that it appears to be all myths and hearsay.

No, actually, there is something that is referred to as truth that pertains to things... including  events... that really happened or may even be happening now or that will happen to the future.  So that is at least 3 options to choose from.

19 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Yet then our hearts we know that our savior died for us and that the atonement is real.

I have no Illusions about believing andin myths and hearsay. It's all we have. But it really doesn't " prove " anything.

What?

19 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Truth is found in a community of Believers not in some unknowable World outside of us.

I know.

19 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

That's even true of science.

The paradigms change and life keeps rolling along disregarding them. 

What's the newest theory about Book of Mormon geography this week? How will that affect my life?

It wont.

At some point I think we may actually be able to discover where exactly all of those real events happened.  I will be pleased to know that.  Right now I am mainly just curious but it would be nice to know, eventually.

19 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

It's our faith in becoming what we BELIEVE  we can become that keeps us moving forward.

Not only believe but am totally sure will happen, at least in my case.  I just don't know when, exactly, and I also don't know exactly what I or my body will be like then.

19 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

It is the Hope for things unseen.

The pinnacle of hope is expectation when faith enters the picture.

19 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Whatever.

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32 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

One more

Fine.  Sure.  I like writing, a little bit.

32 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

How are we supposed to know what will happen in the future?

God knows and he shares some of what he knows with us.  Have you ever heard of the word "prophet"?

32 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Will we actually be Resurrected?

Yes.

32 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

My point is that we have no historic precedent for these beliefs and yet we believe them and they bring richness into our lives. That is their importance.

Beliefs bring importance to me and my life only when I am sure they are true, though.  I don't place any importance on any beliefs when I am not sure whether or not they are true, so I need some way to know what the truth is..

32 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

My entire life has been consumed with questions. I'm the Eternal skeptic. The most important question was for me to find a way for the complete Skeptics to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have found it for myself, and would hope to help others on their way.

I don't think you are a skeptic about any belief that you are sure is true.  Once you know the truth on an issue why would you want to remain a skeptic on that issue?  Until then, though, sure, question until you find the truth.

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3 hours ago, Ahab said:

Fine.  Sure.  I like writing, a little bit.

God knows and he shares some of what he knows with us.  Have you ever heard of the word "prophet"?

Yes.

Beliefs bring importance to me and my life only when I am sure they are true, though.  I don't place any importance on any beliefs when I am not sure whether or not they are true, so I need some way to know what the truth is..

I don't think you are a skeptic about any belief that you are sure is true.  Once you know the truth on an issue why would you want to remain a skeptic on that issue?  Until then, though, sure, question until you find the truth.

As happens, I don't think we are communicating well.  ;)

Yes I think I have heard about prophets somewhere or other.

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3 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

As happens, I don't think we are communicating well.  ;)

Yes I think I have heard about prophets somewhere or other.

I think sometimes you are roleplaying a Devil's advocate or an unlearned farm boy or something instead of talking up to your real level of knowledge, which I then respond to according to how I understand what you have written.

It's a fun game that I enjoy playing with you but sometimes I think it would be better if you just openly admitted and talked about what you really do know.

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3 hours ago, Ahab said:

Once you know the truth on an issue why would you want to remain a skeptic on that issue?  Until then, though, sure, question until you find the truth.

Good question.  What if I know the truth, and you are the skeptic.  :)

So neener neener!

 

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8 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Good question.  What if I know the truth, and you are the skeptic.  :)

So neener neener!

 

Depending on the particular facet of truth, it could very well be that you know more truth about that facet than I do while I am still questioning what you already know. 

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1 hour ago, Ahab said:

Depending on the particular facet of truth, it could very well be that you know more truth about that facet than I do while I am still questioning what you already know. 

Love ya, dude!

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On 8/20/2020 at 12:38 PM, mfbukowski said:

I wonder about what it would be like to be a church member during the times of the Book of Mormon.

They had no worries about historicity but looked forward to the coming of the savior.

It was pure faith.

Why can't we be like that today? ;)

 

They never were.  But surely if they were someone amonf the had to question the silly stories from the brass plates.  What gets really silly is the notion that they who questioned and died for questioning upon the wrath of god, to prove the mighty gifts of gods chosen ended up suffering for eternity after god told them he never knew them.  

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16 hours ago, stemelbow said:
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I wonder about what it would be like to be a church member during the times of the Book of Mormon.

They had no worries about historicity but looked forward to the coming of the savior.

It was pure faith.

Why can't we be like that today? ;)

They never were. 

Yes, they were.

Both my averment and yours are expressions of opinion, one borne of faith, and the other borne of something else.

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But surely if they were someone amonf the had to question the silly stories from the brass plates. 

A priori and provocative characterizations like "silly" ("having or showing a lack of common sense or judgment; absurd and foolish") don't help.

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What gets really silly

Especially when used twice in two consecutive sentences.

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is the notion that they who questioned and died for questioning upon the wrath of god, to prove the mighty gifts of gods chosen ended up suffering for eternity after god told them he never knew them.  

I'll never understand why some people who profess to be familiar with the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ are sometimes inclined to distort and misrepresent such doctrines when discussing such doctrines.

"Suffering for eternity" is a grossly inaccurate characterization of what we believe.  

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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1 minute ago, smac97 said:

Yes, they were.

Both my averment and yours are expressions of opinion, one borne of faith, and the other borne of something else.

A priori and provocative characterizations like "silly" ("having or showing a lack of common sense or judgment; absurd and foolish") don't help.

Especially when used twice in two consecutive sentences.

I'll never understand why some people who profess to be familiar with the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ are sometimes inclined to distort and misrepresent such doctrines when discussing such doctrines.

"Suffering for eternity" is a grossly inaccurate characterization of what we believe.  

Thanks,

-Smac

Indeed, the whole "suffering for eternity" part is one of the conventional doctrines most dramatically undercut by the revelations to Joseph Smith. 

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2 hours ago, smac97 said:

Yes, they were.

Both my averment and yours are expressions of opinion, one borne of faith, and the other borne of something else.

A priori and provocative characterizations like "silly" ("having or showing a lack of common sense or judgment; absurd and foolish") don't help.

Especially when used twice in two consecutive sentences.

I'll never understand why some people who profess to be familiar with the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ are sometimes inclined to distort and misrepresent such doctrines when discussing such doctrines.

"Suffering for eternity" is a grossly inaccurate characterization of what we believe.  

Thanks,

-Smac

I can only go with what your scriptures say, and what leaders pronounce.  Repent or suffer--endless punishment and eternal punishment.  If you think truly that those who are said to be found on gods left hand shall not suffer in the realm of eternity then I do believe it's you who has distorted and misrepresented.  Shall sons of perdition exist without suffering?  Shall the pains for those in the lesser kingdoms not be eternal, shall not be gods punishment?  

 

And surely every man must arepent or bsuffer, for I, God, am cendless.

5 Wherefore, I arevoke not the judgments which I shall pass, but woes shall go forth, weeping, bwailing and gnashing of teeth, yea, to those who are found on my cleft hand.

6 Nevertheless, it is anot written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written bendless ctorment.

7 Again, it is written aeternal damnation; wherefore it is more express than other scriptures, that it might work upon the hearts of the children of men, altogether for my name’s glory.

8 Wherefore, I will explain unto you this amystery, for it is meet unto you to know even as mine apostles.

9 I speak unto you that are chosen in this thing, even as one, that you may enter into my arest.

10 For, behold, the amystery of godliness, how great is it! For, behold, I am bendless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless cpunishment, for dEndless is my name. Wherefore—

11 aEternal punishment is God’s punishment.

12 Endless punishment is God’s punishment.

13 Wherefore, I command you to repent, and keep the acommandments which you have received by the hand of my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., in my name;

14 And it is by my almighty power that you have received them;

15 Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I asmite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your bsufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.

16 For behold, I, God, have asuffered these things for all, that they bmight not suffer if they would crepent;

17 But if they would not repent they must asuffer even as I;

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16 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

I can only go with what your scriptures say, and what leaders pronounce.  Repent or suffer--endless punishment and eternal punishment.  If you think truly that those who are said to be found on gods left hand shall not suffer in the realm of eternity then I do believe it's you who has distorted and misrepresented.  Shall sons of perdition exist without suffering?  Shall the pains for those in the lesser kingdoms not be eternal, shall not be gods punishment?  

 

And surely every man must arepent or bsuffer, for I, God, am cendless.

5 Wherefore, I arevoke not the judgments which I shall pass, but woes shall go forth, weeping, bwailing and gnashing of teeth, yea, to those who are found on my cleft hand.

6 Nevertheless, it is anot written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written bendless ctorment.

7 Again, it is written aeternal damnation; wherefore it is more express than other scriptures, that it might work upon the hearts of the children of men, altogether for my name’s glory.

8 Wherefore, I will explain unto you this amystery, for it is meet unto you to know even as mine apostles.

9 I speak unto you that are chosen in this thing, even as one, that you may enter into my arest.

10 For, behold, the amystery of godliness, how great is it! For, behold, I am bendless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless cpunishment, for dEndless is my name. Wherefore—

11 aEternal punishment is God’s punishment.

12 Endless punishment is God’s punishment.

13 Wherefore, I command you to repent, and keep the acommandments which you have received by the hand of my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., in my name;

14 And it is by my almighty power that you have received them;

15 Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I asmite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your bsufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.

16 For behold, I, God, have asuffered these things for all, that they bmight not suffer if they would crepent;

17 But if they would not repent they must asuffer even as I;

It ought not be missed that the same excerpt that you quote declares that eternal nature of God's punishment does not mean that the damned will be subjected to that punishment perpetually. Interestingly D&C 76 is somewhat ambiguous on the perpetuity of the punishment of even sons of perdition. The bolding is mine:

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44 Wherefore, he saves all except them—they shall go away into everlasting punishment, which is endless punishment, which is eternal punishment, to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, which is their torment—

45 And the end thereof, neither the place thereof, nor their torment, no man knows;

46 Neither was it revealed, neither is, neither will be revealed unto man, except to them who are made partakers thereof;

47 Nevertheless, I, the Lord, show it by vision unto many, but straightway shut it up again;

48 Wherefore, the end, the width, the height, the depth, and the misery thereof, they understand not, neither any man except those who are ordained unto this condemnation.

Seems odd that the Lord would show the end of the sufferings of the sons of perdition, or that anyone would ever be able to know them, if they didn't exist. It's not a slam-dunk confirmation of the eventual pardon of Perdition, but it throws some ambiguity into the scene. 

It also ought to be said that the sons of perdition are not those who question. Corianton questioned. Alma questioned. Joseph Smith questioned. No, the sons of perdition are those who have explicitly spat upon the light they received. Nothing silly about a higher punishment for such. 

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1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

I can only go with what your scriptures say, and what leaders pronounce. 

Yes.  And you aren't doing that.

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Repent or suffer--endless punishment and eternal punishment. 

Wildly, flagrantly - and now more obviously deliberately - false.

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If you think truly that those who are said to be found on gods left hand shall not suffer in the realm of eternity then I do believe it's you who has distorted and misrepresented. 

Not so.

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Shall sons of perdition exist without suffering? 

You previously referenced "they who questioned" and are now identifying such persons as "Sons of Perdition" within the teachings of the Church.  

That is patently and deliberately false characterization of our beliefs.  

Nobody in the Church of Jesus Christ believes what you are attributing to us.  Nobody believes that people will be sent to Outer Darkness as Sons of Perdition for - as you put it - "questioning."

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Shall the pains for those in the lesser kingdoms not be eternal, shall not be gods punishment?  

You are characterizing the Terrestrial and Telestial Kingdoms as "suffering for eternity."

We know very little about these things.  But I think we have some frames of reference.  Consider this excerpt from the New Testament Student Manual:

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As part of the Fall of Adam, the earth fell from a terrestrial (paradisiacal) state to a telestial state. When Christ returns and wickedness is destroyed, “Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and … the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory” (Articles of Faith 1:10). After the thousand years of Christ’s reign, the earth will be transformed yet again. The Prophet Joseph Smith described this change: “This earth will be rolled back into the presence of God and crowned with celestial glory” (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 258; see D&C 29:22–25; 88:18–20, 25–26).

And this excerpt from the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Study Guide:

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“This earth was created in a new or paradisiacal state; then, incident to Adam’s transgression, it fell to its present telestial state. At the Second Coming of our Lord, it will be renewed, regenerated, refreshed, transfigured,become again a new earth, a paradisiacal earth.Its millennial status will be a return to its pristine state of beauty and glory, the state that existed before the fall” (Mormon Doctrine,795–96).

And this excerpt from the Old Testament Teacher Resource Manual:

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At the Savior’s Second Coming, this world will return to its paradisiacal glory, ending its telestial state (see Isaiah 11:6–9; Articles of Faith 1:10).

Also consider the description of the Telestial Kingdom as found in D&C 76:89-90: "And thus we saw, in the heavenly vision, the glory of the telestial, which surpasses all understanding; And no man knows it except him to whom God has revealed it."  

We can and do know the "glory" of this fallen "telestial" world because we live in it.  In contrast, the Telestial Kingdom has a glory to it "which surpasses all understanding."  This least kingdom of glory is so marvelous that we presently lack the ability to comprehend it.  And there are two kingdoms of glory that are profoundly more marvelous than that one.  This idea, that even most of the worst of us will nevertheless receive blessings from God in the eternities, and that these blessings "surpass{} all understanding," has long been a strong indicator to me of the benevolence and love of God.

This jibes with how Terryl Givens so aptly put it (emphasis added) :

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{S}ome come to doubt Mormonism’s “monopoly on salvation,” as they call it. It grows increasingly difficult to imagine that a body of a few million, in a world of seven billion, can really be God’s only chosen people and the sole heirs of salvation. I think this represents the most tragically unfortunate misperception about Mormonism. The ironic truth is that the most generous, liberal, and universalist conception of salvation in all Christendom is Joseph Smith’s view. 

D&C 76 seems to describe the Telestial Kingdom as being peopled by genuine baddies (as in "those who on earth willfully reject the gospel of Jesus Christ, and commit serious sins such as murder, adultery, lying, and loving to make a lie (but yet do not commit the unpardonable sin), and who do not repent in mortality").  Nevertheless, they will inherit a kingdom of glory that "surpasses all understanding."

"Outer Darkness," then, is reserved for "Sons of Perdition," or those who commit the "unpardonable sin."  See here (emphasis added):

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Sons of perdition are not merely wicked; they are incorrigibly evil. In sinning against the revelations of the Holy Ghost, they have sinned against the greater light and knowledge of God. They willfully and utterly pervert principles of righteousness and truth with which they were once endowed, and transform them into principles of evil and deception. Joseph Smith declared, "You cannot save such persons; you cannot bring them to repentance" (TPJS, p. 358). No divine principle can cleanse the sons of perdition; following the last judgment, they will remain "filthy still" (D&C 29:44;88:35). It is revealed that "it had been better for them never to have been born" (D&C 76:32).

Those who become sons of perdition while in mortality will be resurrected with unglorified physical bodies and "rise to the damnation of their own filthiness" (TPJS, p. 361). Cain, thus resurrected, will then rule over the unembodied Lucifer (Moses 5:23; MD, p. 109).

It has been suggested that in the absence of the life-sustaining powers of God's Spirit, sons of perdition will eventually become disorganized and return to "native element" (JD 1:349-52; 5:271; 7:358-59). However, scripture declares that "the soul can never die" (Alma 12:20) and that in the Resurrection the spirit and the body are united "never to be divided" (Alma 11:45; cf. 12:18; D&C 93:33). The ultimate fate of sons of perdition will be made known only to those who are partakers thereof and will not be definitely revealed until the last judgment (D&C 29:27-30;43:33;76:43-48; TPJS, p. 24).

Few individuals have been identified as sons of perdition. Although Judas is often so regarded, there is a question whether he had received the Holy Ghost sufficiently to sin against it at the time of his betrayal of Christ (John 17:12; Smith, pp. 433-34).

(Emphasis added.)

So here you are, characterizing the Church as teaching that people who "question" will be sent not even to the Telestial Kingdom, but to Outer Darkness, to suffer "eternal punishment" as "sons of perdition."

Stem, you often provide penetrating and challenging commentary about our beliefs.  I don't begrudge you that at all.  The Great Commission precludes us from cloistering ourselves off from the world.  So we put the Church's teachings, claims of authority, etc. out there for public consumption and commentary.  Critique and criticism.  We have opened ourselves up to such things, and I am fine with that.  Critics can certainly come up with pointed and valid criticisms of the Church.  That's part of why I've been on this board for so long.  I find some value in examining some aspects of my faith in an adversarial construct, as it gives me the opportunity to re-examine what I believe and why.  To paraphrase how Hugh Nibley put it“We need more anti-Mormon{s}. They keep us on our toes."

What you are presenting here, though, is an unreasonable and unfair and incorrect characterization of our beliefs.  It impedes, rather than facilitates, discussion.  Please stop it.

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 hour ago, OGHoosier said:

It ought not be missed that the same excerpt that you quote declares that eternal nature of God's punishment does not mean that the damned will be subjected to that punishment perpetually. Interestingly D&C 76 is somewhat ambiguous on the perpetuity of the punishment of even sons of perdition. The bolding is mine:

Seems odd that the Lord would show the end of the sufferings of the sons of perdition, or that anyone would ever be able to know them, if they didn't exist. It's not a slam-dunk confirmation of the eventual pardon of Perdition, but it throws some ambiguity into the scene. 

It also ought to be said that the sons of perdition are not those who question. Corianton questioned. Alma questioned. Joseph Smith questioned. No, the sons of perdition are those who have explicitly spat upon the light they received. Nothing silly about a higher punishment for such. 

This is quibbling with scriptures words.  It says eternal punishment/suffering, I said the same.  You guys are complaining about nothing really.  

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

Yes.  And you aren't doing that.

Wildly, flagrantly - and now more obviously deliberately - false.

Not so.

You previously referenced "they who questioned" and are now identifying such persons as "Sons of Perdition" within the teachings of the Church.  

That is patently and deliberately false characterization of our beliefs.  

Nobody in the Church of Jesus Christ believes what you are attributing to us.  Nobody believes that people will be sent to Outer Darkness as Sons of Perdition for - as you put it - "questioning."

You are characterizing the Terrestrial and Telestial Kingdoms as "suffering for eternity."

We know very little about these things.  But I think we have some frames of reference.  Consider this excerpt from the New Testament Student Manual:

And this excerpt from the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Study Guide:

And this excerpt from the Old Testament Teacher Resource Manual:

Also consider the description of the Telestial Kingdom as found in D&C 76:89-90: "And thus we saw, in the heavenly vision, the glory of the telestial, which surpasses all understanding; And no man knows it except him to whom God has revealed it."  

We can and do know the "glory" of this fallen "telestial" world because we live in it.  In contrast, the Telestial Kingdom has a glory to it "which surpasses all understanding."  This least kingdom of glory is so marvelous that we presently lack the ability to comprehend it.  And there are two kingdoms of glory that are profoundly more marvelous than that one.  This idea, that even most of the worst of us will nevertheless receive blessings from God in the eternities, and that these blessings "surpass{} all understanding," has long been a strong indicator to me of the benevolence and love of God.

This jibes with how Terryl Givens so aptly put it (emphasis added) :

D&C 76 seems to describe the Telestial Kingdom as being peopled by genuine baddies (as in "those who on earth willfully reject the gospel of Jesus Christ, and commit serious sins such as murder, adultery, lying, and loving to make a lie (but yet do not commit the unpardonable sin), and who do not repent in mortality").  Nevertheless, they will inherit a kingdom of glory that "surpasses all understanding."

"Outer Darkness," then, is reserved for "Sons of Perdition," or those who commit the "unpardonable sin."  See here (emphasis added):

(Emphasis added.)

So here you are, characterizing the Church as teaching that people who "question" will be sent not even to the Telestial Kingdom, but to Outer Darkness, to suffer "eternal punishment" as "sons of perdition."

Stem, you often provide penetrating and challenging commentary about our beliefs.  I don't begrudge you that at all.  The Great Commission precludes us from cloistering ourselves off from the world.  So we put the Church's teachings, claims of authority, etc. out there for public consumption and commentary.  Critique and criticism.  We have opened ourselves up to such things, and I am fine with that.  Critics can certainly come up with pointed and valid criticisms of the Church.  That's part of why I've been on this board for so long.  I find some value in examining some aspects of my faith in an adversarial construct, as it gives me the opportunity to re-examine what I believe and why.  To paraphrase how Hugh Nibley put it“We need more anti-Mormon{s}. They keep us on our toes."

What you are presenting here, though, is an unreasonable and unfair and incorrect characterization of our beliefs.  It impedes, rather than facilitates, discussion.  Please stop it.

Thanks,

-Smac

What does god mean by eternal punishment and eternal suffering?  I used the same words.  No need to complain to me about that.  Whether those punishments whether the suffering goes on forever it matters not, the punishments and sufferings are said to be eternal and are said to be so bad you simply can't comprehend them.  As is said to OGHoosier you are quibbling with scripture"s words.  

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4 hours ago, OGHoosier said:

Indeed, the whole "suffering for eternity" part is one of the conventional doctrines most dramatically undercut by the revelations to Joseph Smith. 

Why do members persist in thinking this way when such a thing was not taught?

The universality of the church is one of its greatest attractions, in my opinion

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17 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

This is quibbling with scriptures words.  It says eternal punishment/suffering, I said the same.  You guys are complaining about nothing really.  

Is correcting a false interpretation of a significant doctrine "quibbling"? Or is the accusation of "quibbling" just a cover for "I have decided on my definition of these terms and  will not be moved"?

God redefines the meaning of eternal in the passage you yourself quoted. I don't know how to interpret "Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment" any other way. Clearly the two meanings, "no end" and "endless" are meant to be distinct. 

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17 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

What does god mean by eternal punishment and eternal suffering?  I used the same words. 

You are obfuscating now.

17 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

No need to complain to me about that. 

When you are deliberately distorting and mischaracterizing beliefs we hold dear and sacred, there is some need to make note and object.

-Smac

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On 8/18/2020 at 9:19 AM, Brant Gardner said:

Any hypothesis can be tested. I have tested several. I no longer remember the specifics of yours, but remember I thought it was better thought-out that the Malaysia-only hypothesis, which doesn't really work at all. Still, the methodology is the same, and I would be happy to review it. Begin with your geography, and then add the layers of topography, hydrology, and cultural history, and see how well it works. I would be interested.

Apologies I've been slow to get to this, finally found some time this weekend.

As discussed in earlier comments, we've seen some evidence of Israelite migrations from the Arabian Peninsula in 600 BC. Examples would be the Lemba Jews of Mozambique and the Malabar Jews of India. Neither location aligns with the Book of Mormon geography so we can safely rule these out. But did these migrations of first temple Jews go further? I argue that they did, and there's evidence. 

The Malabar Jews told Claudius Buchanan, one of the first Europeans to research the written records of the Malabar Jews, that there were additional colonies beyond India, from Burma, to Siam to China. They said they were in contact with these Jewish groups. In the 6th century BC, directly east of the Malabar Jews, a settlement pops up in a place known as Kedah or Rahman. Iron slag found in several iron furnaces on location has been dated to 535 BC, within 50 years of the Lehite migration. I attended a conference in 2016 where the lead archaeologist confirmed that new data dated the iron found at the site to 586 BC. This would have been within 5 years of the Lehites passing through the area. Starting out small, with a few iron foundries, this civilization went on to become the first and largest iron producer outside the Middle East. 

Iron Smelting Industry of Kedah Tua: A Geophysical Mapping for Buried Furnace

We know that one of the first things Nephi did when he arrived on the peninsula was to fire up his iron furnaces. This would have been between 570 BC and 588 BC. There's no other location in the world outside the Middle East, that I know of (and I've looked), that appears within 100-200 miles south of a narrow neck of land in the decade of 580 BC that shows evidence of iron foundries.

Iron slag. This should be the first thing we look for in a Book of Mormon geography. There's only one place in the path of the Lehites that has it in the right time period: Raman.

Edited by Rajah Manchou
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5 hours ago, smac97 said:

You are obfuscating now.

When you are deliberately distorting and mischaracterizing beliefs we hold dear and sacred, there is some need to make note and object.

-Smac

Can you please go back and explain how you are seeing my words as a deliberate distortion?  You accused and I have asked for clarification and you have skipped my questions.  I'm genuinely confused by what you think I misrepresented.  Granted what we may be running into is I don't know your specific beliefs, but again scripture says eternal punishment and eternal suffering, I'm repeating it.  I'm not concluding eternal means anything other than some unknowable amount.  You know God's punishment is eternal.  

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5 hours ago, OGHoosier said:

Is correcting a false interpretation of a significant doctrine "quibbling"? Or is the accusation of "quibbling" just a cover for "I have decided on my definition of these terms and  will not be moved"?

God redefines the meaning of eternal in the passage you yourself quoted. I don't know how to interpret "Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment" any other way. Clearly the two meanings, "no end" and "endless" are meant to be distinct. 

I'm not fling concerned and am not arguing over whether eternal punishment is forever.  Scripture uses t he phrase and I'm sinply repeating it.  

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