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Navigating Faith After Concluding Book of Mormon and Book of Abraham Are 19th Century Works by Joseph Smith


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On 10/11/2020 at 4:04 PM, Derl Sanderson said:

I'd now be happy for your newfound explanation of how Joseph in 1832 wrote a faltering, highly edited and reworked account of the First Vision, not particularly beautiful from a literary standpoint, and yet more than two years earlier also produced the awesome Psalm of Nephi in a once-through, uncorrected version.

To be fair, one was a history, not intended to be "beautiful from a literary standpoint".  From accounts, Joseph Smith was a gifted orator.  We can read of his eloquence in parts of the D&C.  For example, we can read his poetic prayer in Section 121. 

From the testimony of other's who heard him:

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The Prophet’s appointments to speak were very important to members of the Church, and he sometimes spoke to congregations numbering several thousand. “None listened to him that were ever weary with his discourse,” recalled Parley P. Pratt. “I have even known him to retain a congregation of willing and anxious listeners for many hours together, in the midst of cold or sunshine, rain or wind, while they were laughing at one moment and weeping the next.”

 

 

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"I sat and listened to his preaching at the stand in Nauvoo a great many times when I have been completely carried away with his indescribable eloquence—power of expression—speaking as I have never heard any other man speak.”

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/teachings-joseph-smith/chapter-43?lang=eng

I don't think it is fair to compare his written history to his gift and capacity with oration.

I personally don't find the Psalm of Nephi to be any more subjectively impressive, eloquent, or poetic then Joseph's own words captured in many books about his teachings and quotes.

I am not attempting to refute the inspired Book of Mormon, but simply to suggest there are more then two ways to look at it - 1) Historical and from God and 2) Non historical and therefore not inspired by God - which makes it more nuanced for some. 

 

Edited by pogi
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7 hours ago, Tacenda said:

And it could have been their goal to start up a better religion, aren't religions man made for the most part?

I'm honestly skeptical that most religions are man-made in the sense that they are knowingly fabricated. Even someone who's not a theist (and I know that you do believe in God, so I'm not directing this comment at you specifically) must admit that there's a lot of weird stuff out there which historically have been grounds for religion. Global reports of visions, incidences of intuitive knowing, events interpreted as miracles...these things obviously happen, whether materialist science can ever sufficiently explain them or not. Perhaps I have an overly charitable view of humanity, but I think it's more likely that events like these triggered and have attended the rise of most enduring religious traditions. So Mohammed saw his vision, the Buddha really did have a oneness-experience with the world, and so on. 

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1 hour ago, OGHoosier said:

I'm honestly skeptical that most religions are man-made in the sense that they are knowingly fabricated. Even someone who's not a theist (and I know that you do believe in God, so I'm not directing this comment at you specifically) must admit that there's a lot of weird stuff out there which historically have been grounds for religion. Global reports of visions, incidences of intuitive knowing, events interpreted as miracles...these things obviously happen, whether materialist science can ever sufficiently explain them or not. Perhaps I have an overly charitable view of humanity, but I think it's more likely that events like these triggered and have attended the rise of most enduring religious traditions. So Mohammed saw his vision, the Buddha really did have a oneness-experience with the world, and so on. 

I agree with you for the most part, but they are still man made, or I should say women made as well, and built on those experiences. But as you mention Mohammed...Joseph and he, probably a little different than the majority. 

ETA: Religion can cause harm. Think 911, and Mountain Meadows Massacre. Would God approve? These were in the name of duty for their God/leaders. 

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5 hours ago, OGHoosier said:

I'm honestly skeptical that most religions are man-made in the sense that they are knowingly fabricated. Even someone who's not a theist (and I know that you do believe in God, so I'm not directing this comment at you specifically) must admit that there's a lot of weird stuff out there which historically have been grounds for religion. Global reports of visions, incidences of intuitive knowing, events interpreted as miracles...these things obviously happen, whether materialist science can ever sufficiently explain them or not. Perhaps I have an overly charitable view of humanity, but I think it's more likely that events like these triggered and have attended the rise of most enduring religious traditions. So Mohammed saw his vision, the Buddha really did have a oneness-experience with the world, and so on. 

This one has always fascinated me, and I have never seen a measured LDS response to it. 

I have no problem with it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_the_Sun

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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4 hours ago, Tacenda said:

I agree with you for the most part, but they are still man made, or I should say women made as well, and built on those experiences. But as you mention Mohammed...Joseph and he, probably a little different than the majority. 

ETA: Religion can cause harm. Think 911, and Mountain Meadows Massacre. Would God approve? These were in the name of duty for their God/leaders. 

Not sure where you're going with the ETA, I never contested that religious activity can't be harmful. That said, you can also do obscenely harmful things in the name of service to things like the state, your family, your friends, and that does not eradicate the worth or even the goodness of such concepts. 

As for them still being man-made, I'm going to lodge my disagreement. Man-influenced, yes, but I'm open to a broader spectrum of spiritual and divine involvement. 

50 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

This one has always fascinated me, and I have never seen a measured LDS response to it. 

I have no problem with it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_the_Sun

 

Neither do I. I think it works fine, seeing as I embrace a certain pluralism when it comes to spiritual involvement in the various religions. There's always the old appeal to demonology, and I won't deny that false spirits might be getting involved at some points, but I also believe Alma when he says that God giveth light unto all nations. One priceless key to my personal theodicy came when I was reflecting on the Eastern concept of yin and yang, which convinced me that God has distilled His light among all nations. And after 1 Kings 22, I can't say that I can put any limits on how God chooses to carry out His purposes. So I take Fatima, the Marian apparition at Zeitoun, certain cases of incorruption, and other such things as God rewarding the prayer of faith and communicating in whatever way He sees fit. I don't find it hard to believe that He wants to strengthen Catholics, strengthen Muslims, strengthen whoever He can in whatever way will encourage them to seek Him as best they know how. As for the Church we are a part of, I hold to it because my connections with God happened in the contexts of the temple and Book of Mormon, confirming to me their truth, and I think our theology is best capable of answering the problems of the world, as well as being best suited to accommodate the problem of religious pluralism. It's actually pretty brilliant in my opinion. The major objection to religious experience arguments like Alston's and Swinburne's is the problem of religious diversity, and our theology can take that out with precision. I'm in the beginning stages of a paper that synthesizes Alston, Gellman, and Wiebe's works on religious experience arguments with Latter-day Saint doctrines (I think I need more training before I can really get into the storm around Swinburne) and I am quite optimistic. Travis Dumsday's work is also starting to play a role in my thinking. 

Wow, I actually have philosophical influences now. This is exciting for a young philosopher. Of course, Mark Bukowski is first on that list. 

Edit: Kevin Christensen also features prominently, and by extension Kuhn and Barbour.

Edited by OGHoosier
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Fair Dinkum, You and I are much alike in faith journey and vision.  I always appreciate your candid and important questions that likely have crossed all of our minds at some point in our journeys in faith.

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14 hours ago, OGHoosier said:

Not sure where you're going with the ETA, I never contested that religious activity can't be harmful. That said, you can also do obscenely harmful things in the name of service to things like the state, your family, your friends, and that does not eradicate the worth or even the goodness of such concepts. 

As for them still being man-made, I'm going to lodge my disagreement. Man-influenced, yes, but I'm open to a broader spectrum of spiritual and divine involvement. 

Neither do I. I think it works fine, seeing as I embrace a certain pluralism when it comes to spiritual involvement in the various religions. There's always the old appeal to demonology, and I won't deny that false spirits might be getting involved at some points, but I also believe Alma when he says that God giveth light unto all nations. One priceless key to my personal theodicy came when I was reflecting on the Eastern concept of yin and yang, which convinced me that God has distilled His light among all nations. And after 1 Kings 22, I can't say that I can put any limits on how God chooses to carry out His purposes. So I take Fatima, the Marian apparition at Zeitoun, certain cases of incorruption, and other such things as God rewarding the prayer of faith and communicating in whatever way He sees fit. I don't find it hard to believe that He wants to strengthen Catholics, strengthen Muslims, strengthen whoever He can in whatever way will encourage them to seek Him as best they know how. As for the Church we are a part of, I hold to it because my connections with God happened in the contexts of the temple and Book of Mormon, confirming to me their truth, and I think our theology is best capable of answering the problems of the world, as well as being best suited to accommodate the problem of religious pluralism. It's actually pretty brilliant in my opinion. The major objection to religious experience arguments like Alston's and Swinburne's is the problem of religious diversity, and our theology can take that out with precision. I'm in the beginning stages of a paper that synthesizes Alston, Gellman, and Wiebe's works on religious experience arguments with Latter-day Saint doctrines (I think I need more training before I can really get into the storm around Swinburne) and I am quite optimistic. Travis Dumsday's work is also starting to play a role in my thinking. 

Wow, I actually have philosophical influences now. This is exciting for a young philosopher. Of course, Mark Bukowski is first on that list. 

Edit: Kevin ChristenWellsen also features prominently, and by extension Kuhn and Barbour.

Well thanks for the generous compliment!

I have never seen anyone take to these ideas like you have and with your scholarly abilities as well as the way you think- I think you have no boundaries ahead in LDS theology. 

 Just keep the testimony ahead of the words in mingling the philosophies of men (language) with "scripture"- revelation.  You should submit some stuff to Interpreter when you think you are ready

I am great at re-inventing the wheel but not so good at reading others, unfortunately, but you do both very well.   There is nothing more rewarding than actually changing the way people see and think about their world.

Just remember that pretty much anything that comes out of BYU in our branch of philosophy is based in Heidegger - for some reason they seem not to have discovered the American and British philosophers saying the same things but in radically different ways.  But then again I do not read as much as I should, and could be wrong. 

As far as Fatima and other revelations- I have no problem with any of it, and I agree with your analysis.  Whatever brings people closer to God is fine with me.  And yes I also think that ours is the best paradigm that God has revealed simply because it fits so remarkably well with reason- faith and reason - yin and yang- become one in our paradigm IF you understand it, and you are one of the few who do.  And there are several here who do as well.

There is a lot of untapped ideas to be explored in the yin and yang dichotomy- the most obvious are the implications for marriage - won't go there- and the need for women leaders in the church, imo, but we are clearly moving that way.  Obviously it also relates to "opposition in all things" and what Joseph says about "proving contraries" and all of this comes out pretty much at the same time that Hegel develops his dialectic method of "proving contraries."  And that dialectic trickles down to Heidegger through Husserl and then Faulconer becomes a Heideggerian, influencing all of BYU and Claremont philosophy which relates to the church. 

Just the history of all this happening at the same time is fascinating.  Golly what a co-incidence!  ;)

I am totally convinced that if the church understood what could await them in a spiritual humanism- the ceiling would blow off all the stats and could actually become the "stone cut without hands" and fulfill what could be it's destiny.

The big problem is doing away with Cartesian dualism and this wacky notion that science has something to do with religion.

Both are based on human perception- human experience- of we beings who are "in the world" and interacting with it.  Different kinds of experience need to be described in different terms- different language games, and what counts.  What we experience IS "reality"- the only reality we can know UNTIL we confuse it with language- the philosophies of men.

But science- since it already comes processed from the human brain and not from direct experience- goes well with language because it IS language!  Every mundane experience- looking at readings on man-made meters- checking the microscope designed to amplify human perception- etc etc is designed by and for man.  It is veggie burgers pre-seasoned , ground up and frozen, as compared to chomping on a beautiful sweet and tasty tomato, still warm from the sun,  just picked from the garden!  William James analogized it with the difference between the written words on a menu describing a sizzling steak, and that wonderful blend of sounds and smells and anticipation one feels when that sizzling steak is set before you in a restaurant.

Experience/raw feels/ qualia is direct contact with the only reality WE CAN KNOW and that direct contact includes spiritual experiences.

It's like walking outside on a dark clear night and seeing the Milky Way.  No words can utter it.  All we say is "wow".  THAT is REALITY.  But then we put it into words and abstract it into language and everything falls apart! ;)  We try to put all that into ugly gutteral utterances like "Oh! How Pretty!"   Well yes it is pretty but that hardly contains all that is in that experience.   

Can you imagine the problem Joseph faced when GOD HIMSELF appeared to him - a billion times more awe inspiring than the Milky Way and all he could tell others were the puny guttural utterances  "God appeared to me"!! 

Anyway, science fits with language because both are man-made and man-processed.

Revelation does not fit well because it is direct experience of the world - actually of God- without being processed for human consumption ;)

There MUST BE different language games, different in "truth" and evidence for each way of seeing the world.

But I suppose I am rambling,  You already know this stuff!  Maybe it will click with someone sometime.

We agree on all points here.

 

 

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1 hour ago, 2BizE said:

Fair Dinkum, You and I are much alike in faith journey and vision.  I always appreciate your candid and important questions that likely have crossed all of our minds at some point in our journeys in faith.

Put me on that list too!

 

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5 hours ago, 2BizE said:

Fair Dinkum, You and I are much alike in faith journey and vision.  I always appreciate your candid and important questions that likely have crossed all of our minds at some point in our journeys in faith.

Thank you

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1 hour ago, Fair Dinkum said:

I just want to to thank you for being so willing to engage in conversation with me. Thank you

Anytime!

I hope I helped

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On 10/12/2020 at 10:43 AM, Tacenda said:

I think I used admittance wrong, too late to edit. Should have said admission. Anyway, I'm not sure if this is sarcastic, your statement.

No sarcasm intended.  The apologetic is that the witnesses never recanted their story even though they all left the church at one point and so why wouldn't they simply admit that it was all a fraud?  Well, a good answer to that and something that has to be explained is that human nature is adverse to admitting to participating in a fraud or admitting that one was deluded or tricked.  Fraud victims will go to great lengths to defend the perpetrator, at times, rather than admit they were defrauded, and so this could be what was going on.  I don't believe it but one has to consider this possibility as it happens all the time.  Nevertheless, I believe that the witnesses were genuine and saw what they said they saw.  However, I believe that they saw what they saw in a spiritual sense.  Henry Moyle interviewed David Whitmer and came away surprised that the witness event was more spiritual than he previously thought.  However, one need not go further than the scriptures that talk about the witnesses and how they will witness only by the power of God.  Ether 5:3.  Why was the power of God necessary if all Joseph had to do was grab the plates and then show them to the three?  It was because the experience was a spiritual one as the book of mormon is spiritual.

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On 10/8/2020 at 9:39 PM, Kevin Christensen said:

A further question is whether we ought to expect that experience of the Spirit would or ought to be unique to the LDS experience.  Thomas Kuhn explains that "anomaly emerges with resistance against a background of expectation."  That is, how we react to what we see is a function of what we expect to see.  If our expectations are out of whack, say for uniqueness or perfection, so is our interpretation.

“the Lord doth grant unto all nations of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, all that he seeth fit that they should have” (Alma 29:8).

Nephi remarks that God “speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding” (2 Nephi 31:3), which explains how “he remembereth the heathen, and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile” (2 Nephi 26:33), how “all things which have been given of God from the beginning of the world unto man are the typifying of him,” (2 Nephi 11:4)

According to Mormon, "For the Spirit of Christ is given to every man that he may know good from evil," (Moroni 7:16, and there are “divers ways that he did manifest things unto the children of men which were good” (Moroni 7:24).

Alma 32:23 of how “he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men, but women also. Now this is not all; little children do have given unto them many times which confound the wise and learned.” 

Uniqueness pf spiritual experience is a very different issue, a very different question, than authenticity and recognition and action.  It's easier to recognize an experience as authentic if it fits a broad pattern (in the D&C the Lord comments, "I give unto you a pattern in all things...").  Whether a person takes action on an inspiration from God is also a different question than whether a person has had inspiration. And further, what God intends to accomplish might be quite different than what we first imagine.  When God commanded Abraham to offer up Isaac, did God want Isaac dead?  And what interpretation of that inspiration from God is implied in Abraham's declaration that "I and the lad will go yonder and worship and come again to you"?  (Gen 22:5).

When, in my explorations of my faith, I have encountered something I did not expect, I have found it fruitful and enlightening and soul-enlarging to first ask, "What should I expect?"  That is, to check my own eye for beams that I might see clearly.

FWIW.

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

I agree with the bolded, and it is important in all explorations. Asking oneself what "it" (whatever it is one is predicting) would look like, frequently reveals how answers are not always as straightforward as expected. And sometimes we see that we actually cannot predict something, either. That knowledge gap is like the sinkhole discovered under a city street: if it is ignored and people keep driving over the shaky foundations, someone will get hurt. Instead, we should probably slow down, barricade the spot and drive around it while sending in the experts.

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On 10/13/2020 at 2:19 PM, pogi said:

To be fair, one was a history, not intended to be "beautiful from a literary standpoint".  From accounts, Joseph Smith was a gifted orator.  We can read of his eloquence in parts of the D&C.  For example, we can read his poetic prayer in Section 121. 

From the testimony of other's who heard him: At this point we were given two quotes in support of Joseph's eloquence in speaking: One from Parley P. Pratt's autobiography published in 1874 and the other from an 1889 letter of Howard Coray's recalling Joseph's sermons in Nauvoo (the Nauvoo period being typically dated 1839-1846).

I don't think it is fair to compare his written history to his gift and capacity with oration.

I personally don't find the Psalm of Nephi to be any more subjectively impressive, eloquent, or poetic then Joseph's own words captured in many books about his teachings and quotes.

I am not attempting to refute the inspired Book of Mormon, but simply to suggest there are more then two ways to look at it - 1) Historical and from God and 2) Non historical and therefore not inspired by God - which makes it more nuanced for some. 

 

But I'm not comparing his writing capabilities with his talents in speaking. That seems a red herring to me. I'm comparing two examples from the same medium: writing. And again, the less elegant and more highly edited of the two was written at least two years after the first, which poses a difficult (or at least interesting) question as to how that might be if Joseph was both the author of the BOM (published in 1830) as well as the 1832 account of the First Vision.

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42 minutes ago, Derl Sanderson said:

But I'm not comparing his writing capabilities with his talents in speaking. That seems a red herring to me. I'm comparing two examples from the same medium: writing. And again, the less elegant and more highly edited of the two was written at least two years after the first, which poses a difficult (or at least interesting) question as to how that might be if Joseph was both the author of the BOM (published in 1830) as well as the 1832 account of the First Vision.

One is intended to be a history, the other is scripture.   They are naturally going to have different styles and voices.  He demonstrated in other scripture and writings (in his own voice) that he can be quite elegant and eloquent.  You have to consider his comprehensive work.  It would be like comparing Hey Jude to Honey Pie, both written the same year but not with quite the same elegance.  It can't be the same band!  I could say the same thing about many authors.  If you compare their best to their worst, you would often never guess it is the same author. 

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Sigh ... looks like we're talking past each other. And you also lost me that Hey Jude and Honey Pie "can't be the same band." They are from the same band! And just as a point of interest, which of those two do you consider more elegant? 🙂

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12 hours ago, Derl Sanderson said:

Sigh ... looks like we're talking past each other. And you also lost me that Hey Jude and Honey Pie "can't be the same band." They are from the same band! And just as a point of interest, which of those two do you consider more elegant? 🙂

Hey Jude.

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45 minutes ago, Derl Sanderson said:

Yes ... but after the first 25 minutes of "naaaa, naaaa, naaaa, nah-nah-nah-nah; nah-nah-nah-nah, Hey Jude" I start to lose interest.

No doubt. But it was supposed to make Julian feel better about his Dad's divorce. 

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On 10/5/2020 at 12:18 PM, Fair Dinkum said:

I've been on the tipping point for some time but now feel quite confident that the Book of Mormon and Book of Abraham are not what they each claim to be. I respect those who have come to a different conclusion. 

I just watched The History of the Saints, and found it very affirming. The number of personal witnesses to Joseph Smith's work is simply almost overwhelming. Person after person left us accounts of how Joseph Smith gave them blessings or told them what was about to transpire in their lives. Some of them had their doubts too. Were all these people deceived or liars? Who would lie so they could devote their resources and lives to supporting this lie? No. They believed in Joseph's prophetic power. I am glad you can respect their different conclusion. Did the Book of Abraham come straight off the papyri Joseph had? Obviously not in the sense of direct Egyptian translation of the papyri - so? Is it supposed to be inspired or not? It is supposed to give a true account of what Abraham wrote - not the Egyptian interpretation of it, or use or misunderstanding of it.

About the Book of Mormon - I once sat down with the determination to read it and find its faults - that is a daunting task - and one in which I failed. Actually, after returning to the Church and giving the book a more fair shake, and prayerfully studying it for over 20 years. I have come to the opposite conclusion as yourself. The book was once full of Hebraisms - many or most of these have been removed to make the book read more in line with English expectations, but leads me to believe Joseph Smith simply could not have sat down and written it as a 20 something year old - in fact that notion is absurd to me now. Although the archaeological "proofs" or should I say evidence in its support is slim, there is some, and as I have studied, I have found more. Some are not even from the book but are simply archaeological facts which strangely align with the Book of Mormon. For instance did you know that before 600 BC native north American pottery consisted of either carved stone or Fiber-tempered pottery, and that this suddenly changed after 600 BC (Lehi's voyage) to coil-fired pottery - a technique used in the Old World ie Middle East? The Book of Mormon doesn't talk about pottery, but it is only natural that a better technology brought to the Americas would quickly spread.

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I feel quite confident that both works were not written by actual ancient authors, humans that existed in real time and space nor do I believe that Nephite's or Lamanite's nor Noah, Abraham and probably Moses actually ever existed. I have given up belief in an actual Adam and Eve, living in a Garden of Eden in Missouri, USA, No death before the fall, a universal flood and the tower of Babel. By default, I must also conclude that there was no actual translations of any ancient histories by Joseph Smith but that he was engaged in creating a pseudepigraphal scripture and that these works have their foundations in the 19th century and were creations from Joseph Smith's own creative mind.  They still hold doctrine and have value but my view of them has become more nuanced. 

I am not prepared to disclose my findings about Moses, but I am quite sure there was such a man, who once was a prince of Egypt. Archaeology confirms that in the early 2nd millennium BC there appeared a population of Canaanites in NE Egypt - which population disappeared in the beginning of the 18th dynasty - which of course correlates with the Bible. No, there was no universal flood. That is a misunderstanding of an idiom. The phrase over all the earth simply does not mean the whole world. It is used in Biblical prophecy as well - for example in Daniel when the he goat spreads his power over all the earth. Did that include China? Of course not. Was there a tower of Confusion? Sure, there was. In early Mesopotamia the city states at first were peacefully coexisting. Later foreign-speaking peoples invaded the land, and the language became confused. Some from the west and some from the Iranian mountains. Everyone wanted their god to be THE GOD, and built these types of structures to the heavens. Was Eden in Missouri? Nope to that one too. I have to disagree with the Church there. Eden is a Sumerian word for uninhabited plain. So Eden was the uninhabited plain where Adam - the first companion(man) of God - set up shop. Around him city states set up shop as agriculture grew. Were there four rivers there? There are still three. Everyone knows about the Tigris and Euphrates, but for some reason no one talks about the Karun which flows out of the Iranian mountains where the valley of Adam ondi ahman was. And yes, there was a fourth river, that is now dried up, and does not reach across the Arabian desert - but its upper reaches out of the mountains of Arabia are still there. Notice that the Book of Abraham says Adam wrote down what he learned from the Lord. The Sumerians had some of the earliest known written language, but by the time the flood "myth" reaches later populations it has been changed a little, so it is not the same as the Bible says, and there are several versions of it. Was there death before the fall? There was no "spiritual death" as the Book of Mormon plainly affirms. This is because before Adam there was no law from God, and man was innocent. Was there physical death? Of course.

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My aim in this post is not to convince anyone else that my conclusions are correct nor am I asking anyone else to join me in my conclusions but am asking if there is anyone else who has come to a similar conclusion and how you were able to maintaine faith and belief in the church's other claims after coming to this conclusion.  I reached this place in order to maintain mental consistency with what I view as the facts.  I am not seeking a debate of my conclusions but am certainly willing to entertain additional information that might test my conclusions. My fear is that once this thread has been pulled the entire garment falls apart.

If there is anyone here who has traveled this road already and successfully navigated it...how did you maintain belief and faith in the church once you concluded that everything is not what you believed it was? is there still a place in the church for those who hold a nuanced belief?

I understand the need for intellectual honesty. Because of that I cannot misrepresent myself to members of the Church nor to the Lord. Unless I believed, I could not in good conscience answer the questions in the temple recommend interview in such a way as to qualify to go. That said, one can simply attend church without doing proxy work for their ancestors, and continue to learn. My own faith journey included a period of non-activity - like the prodigal son I went out into the world, until I decided I did not like who I had become. But my journey out in the world was not without value. I learned about leadership, and that taught me something beautiful about Yeshua. I decided there are essentially two types of leaders in the world. Those who lead with force and intimidation - which is quite common, or those who lead through inspiration and love - those around them want to follow them because of their convincing natures. I believe Yeshua was the ultimate example. In fact that is the secret of His ministry. He was enrolling His sheep into the kingdom of God - not beating them into it. And said those that followed Him would be rulers and kings and queens. So, I followed even when I felt lost in the world, until He called me home. He can do the same for you. When you receive a personal witness, it can do a lot to change your point of view. Paul was a famous example. My oldest son grew up in the church, but did not feel particularly inspired by it. He had doubts, and did not choose to go on a mission out of High School. But we encouraged him to keep studying and praying. Then when he was attending a class, he was asked to give a talk on the first vision. When he got up and began to speak, he says the spirit just hit him "like a freight train" as to the truthfulness of what he was saying. That did a lot to change his point of view, and he went on a very successful mission in which he found a lot of investigators.

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9 hours ago, RevTestament said:

For instance did you know that before 600 BC native north American pottery consisted of either carved stone or Fiber-tempered pottery, and that this suddenly changed after 600 BC (Lehi's voyage) to coil-fired pottery - a technique used in the Old World ie Middle East? The Book of Mormon doesn't talk about pottery, but it is only natural that a better technology brought to the Americas would quickly spread.

This is remarkably fascinating as there is one commenter on here who has discussed ancient American pottery as a point of contention which helped crack his faith. 

Can I PM you? I would like to learn more about your journey. 

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13 hours ago, Derl Sanderson said:

Yes ... but after the first 25 minutes of "naaaa, naaaa, naaaa, nah-nah-nah-nah; nah-nah-nah-nah, Hey Jude" I start to lose interest.

Blasphemy!  ;)

 

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On 10/18/2020 at 10:06 PM, OGHoosier said:

This is remarkably fascinating as there is one commenter on here who has discussed ancient American pottery as a point of contention which helped crack his faith. 

Can I PM you? I would like to learn more about your journey. 

 Sure you can PM me, but I might be a bit reserved. I am in the process of writing a book, and don't want to spill all the beans so to speak.

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On 10/18/2020 at 10:06 PM, OGHoosier said:

This is remarkably fascinating as there is one commenter on here who has discussed ancient American pottery as a point of contention which helped crack his faith. 

Can I PM you? I would like to learn more about your journey. 

 

Quote

 

Where Did Coil Pottery Originate?

Coil pottery originated in Central Mexico nearly 4000 years ago and slowly spread north, and I mean slooooooowly. It took nearly 2000 years for coil pottery technology to travel to the area around Tucson, Arizona where the earliest pottery in the United States has been found.

 

Your comment got my curiosity so I googled it... seems coil pottery has been in the America's for nearly 4,000 years not since 600 AD

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