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Did Dallin Oaks ever retract this or explain it?
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Author:  Joseph [ Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Did Dallin Oaks ever retract this or explain it?

On August 16, 1985, Apostle Dallin Oaks tried to ease the fears of Mormon educators with regard to the Salamander letter by claiming that the words "white salamander" could be reconciled with Joseph Smith's statement about the appearance of the Angel Moroni:

"Another source of differences in the accounts of different witnesses is the different meanings that different persons attach to words. We have a vivid illustration of this in the recent media excitement about the word 'salamander' in a letter Martin Harris is supposed to have sent to W.W. Phelps over 150 years ago. All of the scores of media stories on that subject apparently assume that the author of that letter used the word 'salamander' in the modern sense of a 'tailed amphibian.'

"One wonders why so many writers neglected to reveal to their readers that there is another meaning of 'salamander,' which may even have been the primary meaning in this context in the 1820s.... That meaning... is 'a mythical being thought to be able to live in fire.'...

"A being that is able to live in fire is a good approximation of the description Joseph Smith gave of the Angel Moroni:... the use of the words white salamander and old spirit seem understandable.

"In view of all this, and as a matter of intellectual evaluation, why all the excitement in the media, and why the apparent hand-wringing among those who profess friendship or membership in the Church?" ("1985 CES Doctrine and Covenants Symposium," pages 22-23)
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For those not familiar with Hoffman and the forged documents this link may help.
http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/trackin ... sions2.htm

Odd that The Lord's Anointed did not detect the forgeries but Jerald Tanner, one of the main Anti-Mormon researchers around was the one raising doubts and questions. At the time Hoffman was not happy with Jerald over this.

Author:  harmony [ Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Did Dallin Oaks ever retract this or explain it?

Joseph wrote:
("1985 CES Doctrine and Covenants Symposium," pages 22-23)


Not a source of doctrine, thus no need to retract. He was speaking as a man (as an idiot, more like, but still...)

Author:  Simon Belmont [ Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Did Dallin Oaks ever retract this or explain it?

Joseph wrote:
On August 16, 1985, Apostle Dallin Oaks tried to ease the fears of Mormon educators with regard to the Salamander letter by claiming that the words "white salamander" could be reconciled with Joseph Smith's statement about the appearance of the Angel Moroni:

"Another source of differences in the accounts of different witnesses is the different meanings that different persons attach to words. We have a vivid illustration of this in the recent media excitement about the word 'salamander' in a letter Martin Harris is supposed to have sent to W.W. Phelps over 150 years ago. All of the scores of media stories on that subject apparently assume that the author of that letter used the word 'salamander' in the modern sense of a 'tailed amphibian.'

"One wonders why so many writers neglected to reveal to their readers that there is another meaning of 'salamander,' which may even have been the primary meaning in this context in the 1820s.... That meaning... is 'a mythical being thought to be able to live in fire.'...

"A being that is able to live in fire is a good approximation of the description Joseph Smith gave of the Angel Moroni:... the use of the words white salamander and old spirit seem understandable.

"In view of all this, and as a matter of intellectual evaluation, why all the excitement in the media, and why the apparent hand-wringing among those who profess friendship or membership in the Church?" ("1985 CES Doctrine and Covenants Symposium," pages 22-23)
--------------------------------------------------



No one cares.

Author:  Joseph [ Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Did Dallin Oaks ever retract this or explain it?

If 'no one cares', why the post and why the answers? Someone cares enough to post the questions and ask why DiddlinDallin makes up stupid stuff like this and expects people to buy off on it.

He really looked like a chump when Hoffmans forgery came to light, didn't he?

Author:  Simon Belmont [ Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Did Dallin Oaks ever retract this or explain it?

Joseph wrote:
If 'no one cares', why the post and why the answers? Someone cares enough to post the questions and ask why DiddlinDallin makes up stupid stuff like this and expects people to buy off on it.

He really looked like a chump when Hoffmans forgery came to light, didn't he?


Joseph. Why do you insist on posting a new thread about everything that enters your puny mind?

Author:  Joseph [ Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Did Dallin Oaks ever retract this or explain it?

So you, morgbutt, will spend your time on here where all can see your morminsanity and keep you from spending time with real people and infecting others where you live.

Author:  beefcalf [ Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Did Dallin Oaks ever retract this or explain it?

I care.


I care because it is a litmus test of those who claim for themselves the gift of discernment.

Should we not expect those who claim the mantle of prophet meet a certain minimum criteria of validation? If those who tell us they are our prophets make the claim that they have a gift which allows them to see into the hearts of men and detect the deceptions and dishonesty therein, shouldn't they then be held to that very standard they set for themselves?

Oaks (a relative of mine through his first marriage, as full disclosure) met with Hoffman a number of times prior to the bombings, along with Hinckley and others. Hoffman was foisting forgeries from almost the very beginning, for, what? four years? At what point is it safe to conclude that absolutely zero 'discernment' was happening?

We do not go to our prophets and demand that they have the 'gift of discernment', this is something they claim for themselves. And when it becomes obvious, painfully, strikingly obvious, that they have no such gift, can we be faulted for questioning their claim to the mantle itself?

Of course, all this can be fixed with a postscript written by Oaks himself who explained that he cannot realistically approach every person he meets with a degree of skepticism, you see. That would cause too many problems. Oh, they have the gift of discernment, but they keep it switched off so as to avoid insulting people. Hmmm. Yeah, that sounds ok...

Author:  Ray A [ Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Did Dallin Oaks ever retract this or explain it?

Joseph wrote:
On August 16, 1985, Apostle Dallin Oaks tried to ease the fears of Mormon educators with regard to the Salamander letter by claiming that the words "white salamander" could be reconciled with Joseph Smith's statement about the appearance of the Angel Moroni:


The research for this was actually done by FARMS, who sent it out in one of their preliminary reports. That's where Oaks got this line of defence, which, unfortunately, turned out to be one of FARMS greatest blunders. I actually had a stake president point this out to me years later, as one of the reasons he couldn't trust FARMS (now the MI).

Author:  bcspace [ Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Did Dallin Oaks ever retract this or explain it?

What exactly should DHO retract? Salamander is a perfectly cromulent term in this context.

Author:  Ray A [ Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Did Dallin Oaks ever retract this or explain it?

bcspace wrote:
What exactly should DHO retract? Salamander is a perfectly cromulent term in this context.



"Cromulent", indeed. All this really shows is that Mormon apostles are totally devoid of "revelation" and rely on "scholars" to defend the church. Why did Dallin go to FARMS, and not the "holy ghost"?

Answer: He trusts in FARMS more than the "holy ghost".

Author:  Nevo [ Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Did Dallin Oaks ever retract this or explain it?

Did Elder Oaks ever claim he had the ability to "see into the hearts of men and detect the deceptions and dishonesty therein"? That surely would have come in handy when he was a judge. He wouldn't even need to hear evidence. He could just look at the defendant and determine guilt or innocence right on the spot.

Anyway, I see nothing incorrect or needing retracting in Elder Oaks's remarks. Hofmann's forgeries were successful because they were plausible. The angel Moroni could be described as a salamander from within a magical world view. Hofmann knew that, and LDS scholars knew that. FARMS was entirely correct that the salamander "has a millennia-long history as a symbol of divine and elemental power." This was hardly a "blunder."

(Michael Quinn, by the way, apparently still believes that Joseph Smith encountered Moroni at Cumorah as a salamander: "there is no reason to doubt that Joseph Sr. and Jr. reported the presence of a living amphibian when the young man looked into a newly opened hole on the hill"; "Due to the magic world view that demonstrably influenced the Smith family, it is more likely that the toad-like creature described by neighbors was their version of Smith's reference to a salamander. In fact, the messenger's name Moroni was associated with ritual magic and the salamander..." See D. Michael Quinn, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, rev. and enl. ed. [Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1998], 151, 155.)

Author:  bcspace [ Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Did Dallin Oaks ever retract this or explain it?

Quote:
"Cromulent", indeed. All this really shows is that Mormon apostles are totally devoid of "revelation" and rely on "scholars" to defend the church. Why did Dallin go to FARMS, and not the "holy ghost"?

Answer: He trusts in FARMS more than the "holy ghost".


You don't seem to understand how the Holy Ghost operates. But in any case, this notion wasn't even implied in the opening post. It was about the use and definition of the word salamander.

Author:  Polygamy-Porter [ Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Did Dallin Oaks ever retract this or explain it?

bcspace wrote:
Quote:
"Cromulent", indeed. All this really shows is that Mormon apostles are totally devoid of "revelation" and rely on "scholars" to defend the church. Why did Dallin go to FARMS, and not the "holy ghost"?

Answer: He trusts in FARMS more than the "holy ghost".


You don't seem to understand how the Holy Ghost operates. But in any case, this notion wasn't even implied in the opening post. It was about the use and definition of the word salamander.

Oh I know how Casper the Holy Ghost® works... When you pray you only get boolean answers, yes, no, unsure.. not like striking up a conversation with the old HG!

It would go something like:
ME: Yo, HG, why were the apostles fooled by the salamander letter?
HG: NO
ME: What?
HG: YES
ME: HUH Say again?
HG: NO
ME: You stupid ghost, I have a question for you, you brainless little twit
HG: YES
ME: You know what Casper, if you had a body, I'd kick your ass right here, right now!
HG: YES
ME: Count your blessing ghost boy, you are lucky you don't have a body cuz you know it would have an ass for me to kick. You couldn't handle a body!!!

Author:  Ray A [ Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Did Dallin Oaks ever retract this or explain it?

Nevo wrote:
FARMS was entirely correct that the salamander "has a millennia-long history as a symbol of divine and elemental power." This was hardly a "blunder."


Technicalities. You’re missing the point, Nevo. Whether salamanders had “power” isn’t the point. They, FARMS, were trying to justify the idea that a salamander was as good as the HG, and the bottom line is that they were offering a defence of a fraudulent text, and to quote the Book of Mormon, “knew it not”. They were trying to justify FALSE documents. I really like you, Nevo, but sometimes you seem so captive to an inane brand of bunkum apologetics.

This FARMS piece has been rightly ridiculed by both sincere defenders, and anyone who has eyes to see that what is far more important to these snake-oil merchants is not truth – but defending their beloved Mormonism.

If there ever was a case of grasping at Guy Fawkes straws - this is it.

Author:  beefcalf [ Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Did Dallin Oaks ever retract this or explain it?

http://www.lightplanet.com/Mormons/basi ... nment.html

The Prophet of God and his Apostles have the gift of discernment... except when they don't.

Author:  bcspace [ Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Did Dallin Oaks ever retract this or explain it?

Quote:
You don't seem to understand how the Holy Ghost operates. But in any case, this notion wasn't even implied in the opening post. It was about the use and definition of the word salamander.

Quote:
Oh I know how Casper the Holy Ghost® works... When you pray you only get boolean answers, yes, no, unsure.. not like striking up a conversation with the old HG!


Actually, if you knew the scriptures on the subject, you know, the ones LDS try to follow, one studies it out first which is exactly what it seems the Church was doing.........

Author:  Ray A [ Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Did Dallin Oaks ever retract this or explain it?

bcspace wrote:
Actually, if you knew the scriptures on the subject, you know, the ones LDS try to follow, one studies it out first which is exactly what it seems the Church was doing.........


And the fraud was finally uncovered by the anti-Mormons Jerald and Sandra Tanner.

I guess they "studied it out in their minds". Huh?

Author:  why me [ Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Did Dallin Oaks ever retract this or explain it?

Nevo wrote:
Did Elder Oaks ever claim he had the ability to "see into the hearts of men and detect the deceptions and dishonesty therein"? That surely would have come in handy when he was a judge. He wouldn't even need to hear evidence. He could just look at the defendant and determine guilt or innocence right on the spot.

Anyway, I see nothing incorrect or needing retracting in Elder Oaks's remarks. Hofmann's forgeries were successful because they were plausible. The angel Moroni could be described as a salamander from within a magical world view. Hofmann knew that, and LDS scholars knew that. FARMS was entirely correct that the salamander "has a millennia-long history as a symbol of divine and elemental power." This was hardly a "blunder."


Dear Nevo,

I regret to inform you that your intelligence in the above post will be overlooked by the critics who wish to find a negative.

Sincerely yours,

Why Me.

Author:  Ray A [ Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Did Dallin Oaks ever retract this or explain it?

why me wrote:

Dear Nevo,

I regret to inform you that your intelligence in the above post will be overlooked by the critics who wish to find a negative.

Sincerely yours,

Why Me.


Dear why me,

I regret to inform you that your brain was recently recycled in a Catholic rubbish dump, and when they discovered it floating among the flotsam and jetsam of indecision, then decided it could be better put towards such research purposes as: Why for the life of me does someone criticise Catholicism while defending Mormonism while claiming to be a Catholic?

The answer is really simple. Why me is a hypocrite of the highest order. He defends the religion he would like to live, but cannot live, so he “claims” to be a Catholic, so as to reduce the hypocrisy. But all along his pseudo-Catholic façade reveals why me for what he really is: A total, dishonest, deceiver. A hypocrite of the highest order. A gutless wimp and a religious tampon-sniffer.

You, my friend, deserve no respect. If you really believe Mormonism – then for ____ sake live it! Not one foot in Catholicism, and another in Mormonism. Get off your habit-fastened ass and, for once – live what you preach.

Someone needs to tell you this – You reek of hypocrisy.

Author:  Joseph [ Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Did Dallin Oaks ever retract this or explain it?

Moroni 10:5 Apparently diddlinDallin doesn't ask for guidance before opening his piehole and pontificating on 'things of the Spirit' to the saints.

Apparently no one in LDSinc leadership did.

Jerald Tanner of Utah Lighthouse Ministry was the only one we know who doubted Mark Hoffmans find.

Something is backwards here with the cast of characters, isn't it?

Author:  Lucinda [ Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Did Dallin Oaks ever retract this or explain it?

Polygamy-Porter wrote:
Oh I know how Casper the Holy Ghost® works... When you pray you only get boolean answers, yes, no, unsure.. not like striking up a conversation with the old HG!

It would go something like:
ME: Yo, HG, why were the apostles fooled by the salamander letter?
HG: NO
ME: What?
HG: YES
ME: HUH Say again?
HG: NO
ME: You stupid ghost, I have a question for you, you brainless little twit
HG: YES
ME: You know what Casper, if you had a body, I'd kick your ass right here, right now!
HG: YES
ME: Count your blessing ghost boy, you are lucky you don't have a body cuz you know it would have an ass for me to kick. You couldn't handle a body!!!


So sorry to interrupt, but that is HILARIOUS!!!!

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