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Cohesive Narrative of the fabricated Book of Mormon?


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7 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

And who might that be?

Plus the idea is ludicrous. You used the word "attempt"

I hereby attempt to exercise spiritual authority over YOU.

Unfortunately it takes two to tango

In this case you would have to GIVE me authority, I can't just take it.

 

Well as someone who grew up in the church I clearly saw it in men who had no relation to me asserting their supposed authority over my spirituality as a child.

Perhaps it is easier to see from that perspective, but the church claiming spiritual authority over others is ubiquitous in its nature.

Wiggling semantics do not change that.

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13 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

In this case you would have to GIVE me authority, I can't just take it.

Now you have done it again. You have given me something to think about. Might I add an addendum to your comment? "In this case you would have to GIVE me authority, I can't just CLAIM it."

I have both an intellectual and a spiritual challenge when my LDS male friends assure me they have the only valid priesthood authority active in the world today. I have tried and tried, but I can never sense anything unique, tangible, special, onlyish or powerful in any of them. They claim it, but I don't sense anything different in a faithful male LDS church member than I do in a faithful member of any other church. Claiming something as astonishing as the only priesthood authority of God on earth would have to carry with it some kind of quiet special manifestation, would it not? The "only" thing I see as special is the claim, not the manifestation of the same. My dear LDS friends are remarkably normal in their degree of spirituality, spiritual power and authority, and day to day lived manifestation of the same. I appreciate them for that normality, but that is why I can't GIVE them/you authority over and above that of any other normal faithful Christian. It seems to me that this priesthood authority is the normal administrative authority granted to perform ordinances in and by any Christian group.

Edited by Navidad
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It seems to me that I remember reading in a friendly source that 21% of the BOM is either a paraphrase or a direct quote taken from the Bible. I am not sure about the percentage, but I see it every time I read a portion of the BOM, and often in D&C. All three of the LDS-specific scriptures are very Biblically-centric and speak to many if not most of the same themes. Please don't ask me for a source for the 21%, because I don't have it written down anywhere accept in my memory banks. Would you all agree that to be correct or approximately correct? One more question, what is the word count of the Book of Mormon? Surely someone must have that data point. Has anyone ever done a content analysis of the Book of Mormon? How many place names, proper names, themes, etc? I think that would be an interesting read, especially if discussing the complexity of writing it. If I didn't have to cite, I could easily and comfortably write 1500 words a day, especially if it were something I was creating from my own stream of consciousness - an elaborate story like the Narnia Chronicles for example. Not comparing the BOM to Narnia - it is just the first meaningful work of spiritual fiction that came to my mind. Much of the BOM is very Biblical in its theme and content. That provides a general outline or set of themes for the writing, doesn't it? The writer had the basic themes (Christ, atonement,etc) in mind prior to starting writing.

 

Edited by Navidad
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2 hours ago, Calm said:

If this link is because of my comment, I just want to make sure I clarify that I was in no way suggesting that Joseph Smith plagiarized anything. Just the basic statement "Another testament of Jesus Christ" infers to me a beginning point that sprang from a previous knowledge of and familiarity with the Bible. I guess the orthodox view probably is that "another" implies a testament that is completely different from, but that doesn't make any sense to me. Do the faithful members consider that somehow the Bible is a plagiarism of an earlier known version of the Book of Mormon? Certainly the textual commonalities implies some kind of association between the two books. We know Joseph Smith had the Bible; we don't have any indication that Jeremiah, or the gospel writers had the Book of Mormon to draw from. Am I missing something basic about the linkage of the Bible with the Book of Mormon? Is their common textual similarities happenstance or because God independently sourced each, so the commonalities are validating to each? Of course the KJVness of the BOM is indeed interesting as well. It is all an enigma wrapped up in a puzzle. I know it is most likely heresy, but I have always thought that Sidney Rigdon somehow had some significant involvement in the wording of the Book of Mormon. Is it the LDS position that the two books were written/ translated completely independently from each other?

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On 8/15/2021 at 8:55 AM, Fether said:

Are there any comprehensiveness and cohesive articles or historical fictions out there that spell out exactly how one could believe JSjr fabricated the Book of Mormon? I’m familiar with many of the arguments and feel a few of them contradict each other.

 

On 8/15/2021 at 9:53 AM, SeekingUnderstanding said:

I don’t have time for a complete (or very thoughtful) response, but from a critics perspective you have this backwards.

Heh.  No clearer proof of the absolute uncontested victory of apologetics on the topic has ever been uttered.

Now if you don't mind, Imma go reminisce about the massive epic online battles of the '90's and 2000's.  Seeking's statement is truly the best reward for all the efforts made back then.

Edited by LoudmouthMormon
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Oh man.  Not to belabor the point, but this thread really is good for my soul.

A guy shows up asking for the best explanation a critic can come up with to explain the writing of the BoM.  3 pages in, and we've got arguments about how thick beaver fur hats are, and if enough light would shine through them to have people be able to see an entire day's worth of text that Joseph had hidden there on note cards.  

As someone who groaned under the burden of an artist's depiction of Captain Moroni riding a tapir, I really have to say the tables have turned.

"CFR that no one saw him or heard him load up his hat with 3x5 cards".   Pure gold.  

@Fether, do you think you have your answer yet?

Edited by LoudmouthMormon
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22 minutes ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

As someone who groaned under the burden of an artist's depiction of Captain Moroni riding a tapir, I really have to say the tables have turned.

As someone who is happily on the fence about Book of Mormon historicity, I don't get the sense the tables have turned at all. Rather the arguments are getting more detailed and mature. instead of memes of Captain Moroni on a tapir people here are discussing the fine details about the hat that hid the light so that Joseph could view the stone.

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11 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

http://solomonspalding.com/SRP/saga2/sagawt05.htm

Do you think it likely that the Spalding MS was the source of the Book of Mormon, and would it somehow bridge the gap with Early Modern English?

I've always liked the idea that Asael Smith's cousin Dr. John Smith, who taught Solomon Spaulding and Ethan Smith, was the inspiration (in the prophetic sense) of all three related narratives:

  1. Spaulding's Manuscript
  2. View of the Hebrews
  3. Book of Mormon

Dr. Smith taught Hebrew and curated the Hebrew collection at Dartmouth Library. He also ran his own bookshop. He wrote the curriculum that was still in place when Solomon Spaulding's nephews, Ehtan Smith's nephew and Hyrum Smith all attended Moor's Academy at Dartmouth together around 1815. 

Dr. John's curriculum plus the stories about Native Americans (and Asian Indians) receiving the Gospel floating around Dartmouth in 1815 would have been a very likely source of the Book or Mormon narrative. All the elements were there under one roof.

What's most interesting to me, is that this narrative was also carried by Spaulding's nephew from Dartmouth to India in the 1820s. I've been to the small village in Burma (named Chummerah) where, a year before the publication of the Book of Mormon, American missionaries discovered a tribe of Israelites who were waiting for Americans to return their lost Golden Book (inscribed on gold plates) containing their ancient spiritual history. 

Considering the timing (1812-1830) and the actors (eg. Spaulding's nephew and Hyrum Smith's classmate), I don't see how this could be a simple coincidence.

Edited by Rajah Manchou
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21 minutes ago, Rajah Manchou said:

I've always liked the idea that Asael Smith's cousin Dr. John Smith, who taught Solomon Spaulding and Ethan Smith, was the inspiration (in the prophetic sense) of all three related narratives:

  1. Spaulding's Manuscript
  2. View of the Hebrews
  3. Book of Mormon

Dr. Smith taught Hebrew and curated the Hebrew collection at Dartmouth Library. He also ran his own bookshop. He wrote the curriculum that was still in place when Solomon Spaulding's nephews, Ehtan Smith's nephew and Hyrum Smith all attended Moor's Academy at Dartmouth together around 1815. 

Dr. John's curriculum plus the stories about Native Americans (and Asian Indians) receiving the Gospel floating around Dartmouth in 1815 would have been a very likely source of the Book or Mormon narrative. All the elements were there under one roof.

What's most interesting to me, is that this narrative was also carried by Spaulding's nephew from Dartmouth to India in the 1820s. I've been to the small village in Burma (named Chummerah) where, a year before the publication of the Book of Mormon, American missionaries discovered a tribe of Israelites who were waiting for Americans to return their lost Golden Book (inscribed on gold plates) containing their ancient spiritual history. 

Considering the timing (1812-1830) and the actors (eg. Spaulding's nephew and Hyrum Smith's classmate), I don't see how this could be a simple coincidence.

Dartmouth Library, and his bookshop.  Hmmm.  Think something in EModE might have shown up among the manuscripts he had access to?  And that in turn inspired the other various stories?

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1 hour ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

@Fether, do you think you have your answer yet?

Everything is as I expected it. I hoped that there would be something. I would absolutely love to see a document that lays it out… but maybe that is too much to ask.

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1 hour ago, Rajah Manchou said:

Dr. John's curriculum

Do we have Dr. John's curriculum so that we can see and compare it?

1 hour ago, Rajah Manchou said:

 

What's most interesting to me, is that this narrative was also carried by Spaulding's nephew from Dartmouth to India in the 1820s. I've been to the small village in Burma (named Chummerah) where, a year before the publication of the Book of Mormon, American missionaries discovered a tribe of Israelites who were waiting for Americans to return their lost Golden Book (inscribed on gold plates) containing their ancient spiritual history. 

I don't follow, I'm afraid. Are you suggesting that Spaulding's nephew went to India and convinced a tribe that they were Israelites waiting for a golden book? 

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I remember reading Spaulding's Manuscript Found.   Nobody liked my offered contributions to anti-mormonism, which amounted to two things:

First, pointing out that the word adieu appears in it.

Quote

[171]
She conjured him to spare the life of her father and brother and not to expose his own life any farther than his honor and the interest of his country required.   "I shall cheerfully" says he, "comply with every request which will promote your happiness." He embraced her and bid her adieu.

 

Second, we find the notion of Lamanites growing white in it.

Quote

"May God bless your soul," says one of our mariners, "what would you have us do who have had the woeful luck not to get mates to cheer our poor souls and warm our bodies? Methinks I could pick out a healthy, plum lass from the copper colored tribe, and that by washing and scrubbing her fore and aft and upon the larboard and starboard sides, she would become a wholesome bedfellow. And I think, may it please Your Honor, I could gradually pump my notions into her head and make her a good shipmate for the cupboard and as good-hearted a Christian as any of your white damsels. And upon my soul, I warrant you, if we have children, by feeding them with good fare and keeping them clean, they will be as plump and as fair and nearly as white as Your Honor's children."

 

Honestly, I can't imagine why the Tanners never interviewed me.  At the very least, you would have thought Loftes Tryk would have made a book out of those two revelations.  I guess it sounded too much like a pirate tale for them.  Maybe they were too late to discover that Hyrum's nephew's pet cat once ran down the same alleyway where Spaulding's cousin's classmate once got lost.

Edited by LoudmouthMormon
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3 hours ago, Kevin Christensen said:

Read that, and then compare 1 Nephi 13:19-42.   There is something to ponder, I think.

Thanks for your very interesting and thoughtful post. I will check out the links over this weekend. I have to speak at a conference this evening and am a bit consumed by that. What really interests me most right now is the place of the Book of Mormon in the LDS canon today. I question its place in the canon beside the D&C which contains the vast majority of current LDS doctrinal thought, as well as most of what I would deem as heterodox thought. I don't know why missionaries encourage folks to read the Book of Mormon instead of D&C. One could read the Book of Mormon over and over and not understand or know anything of some of the most important LDS doctrines, views, and perspectives, especially on the rest of Christianity. Obviously, along with everyone else we are studying the D&C right now in Sunday School. It seems that it contains the meat of the LDS distinctives, does it not? Why do missionaries encourage the reading of the Book of Mormon instead of D&C which would give the investigator a much deeper understanding of LDS distinctives. Gotta go study for tonight. I have a feeling I am going to get a lot of questions and I need to be prepared, especially in Spanish. Best

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2 hours ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

I can't imagine why the Tanners never interviewed me.

Funny you say this. I was at a banquet of the MHA one evening when Sandra Tanner came in a bit late and sat next to me. For the first few minutes I did not know who she was.  Everyone else at the table certainly did. I was surprised (not sure what my preconceptions were) how she became the focus of the conversation during the entire meal. Folks (all LDS faithful as far as I could tell) responded very well to her and plied her with questions. She seems to enjoy the discussion as well. I think, out of ignorance I gasped when I figured out who she was because I thought everyone would be uncomfortable with her there. Au contraire! She was delightful and everyone seemed very interested in what she had to say. Interesting meal!

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On 8/15/2021 at 1:07 PM, Fether said:

Then one would have to account for why did no one saw him put cards in it or flip through them while reading it. Or heard the 30 pages of paper rustling around in the hat. 

Or how he read them from cards or papers that were maybe six inches away from his eyes inside a dark hat? Brother of Jared, where we’re you when we needed you?

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On 8/15/2021 at 6:54 PM, SeekingUnderstanding said:

 

As for reading in the bottom of a top hat? Easy peasy. Let a bit of light in. Or make sure your hat is a bit translucent.

Have you tried it?

 

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55 minutes ago, Navidad said:

Thanks for your very interesting and thoughtful post. I will check out the links over this weekend. I have to speak at a conference this evening and am a bit consumed by that. What really interests me most right now is the place of the Book of Mormon in the LDS canon today. I question its place in the canon beside the D&C which contains the vast majority of current LDS doctrinal thought, as well as most of what I would deem as heterodox thought. I don't know why missionaries encourage folks to read the Book of Mormon instead of D&C. One could read the Book of Mormon over and over and not understand or know anything of some of the most important LDS doctrines, views, and perspectives, especially on the rest of Christianity. Obviously, along with everyone else we are studying the D&C right now in Sunday School. It seems that it contains the meat of the LDS distinctives, does it not? Why do missionaries encourage the reading of the Book of Mormon instead of D&C which would give the investigator a much deeper understanding of LDS distinctives. Gotta go study for tonight. I have a feeling I am going to get a lot of questions and I need to be prepared, especially in Spanish. Best

For me it was the Book of Mormon that opened the way for everything else.  I came from a family and church background with an understanding that the Holy Bible was all of the scripture there was on this planet, even though there were some other good commentaries about it or the ideas in the Bible.  So when it was introduced as another testimony of Jesus Christ, another library of scripture, I was set on determining whether or not it was, with God's help.  And when God told me or helped me to know it was scripture, and I saw from the preface how it came from Joseph Smith, I then gained a testimony that he was a prophet who our Lord had appointed to restore the true church of Christ in our day, these latter-days.  And then from there I got a testimony that the books of D&C are also scripture/revelations Joseph received while restoring the church, and then on and on it went from there.  So I think the Book of Mormon is seen as more prominent because it opens the door to much more that is associated with it. 

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On 8/15/2021 at 6:54 PM, SeekingUnderstanding said:

As for reading in the bottom of a top hat? Easy peasy. Let a bit of light in. Or make sure your hat is a bit translucent.

And be sure to hold the hat close to 120 candles or a 100 watt bulb. 

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4 hours ago, Fether said:

Everything is as I expected it. I hoped that there would be something. I would absolutely love to see a document that lays it out… but maybe that is too much to ask.

I've suggested a cohesive narrative already, for how the BOM is not as claime: all supernatural influence is the same as claimed, except that it is from Satan, not God.

After all, look at the racism it relies on and perpetuates. Bad fruit. Not to mention other division and suffering, and deceiving Native Americans about their ancestry.

Anyways...

You're not asking due diligence questions, where the burden of proof falls upon the claimants. People can lie and hide forever how they made something or how something occurred. Don't be naive.

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On 8/16/2021 at 8:03 AM, Rajah Manchou said:

What is your opinion of the eight Conneaut witnesses published in 1834? 

Their stories describe a manuscript that is so unlike the one now located at Oberlin College that Doctor Hurlbut went back to interview those witnesses again to determine if maybe Spaulding had written another manuscript. Some of the witnesses averred that yes, Solomon Spaulding had indeed gone back and rewritten his story so that it could sound more biblical. However, there is a problem with that narrative as one of the pages is written on the back of a letter that was dated to a time after Spaulding had left Ohio, indicating that he was still working on that same story.

But, there are people who are firmly convinced that there has to be another manuscript which has yet to be found.

 

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