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 Post subject: Don Bradley on the Lost 116-pages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:27 pm 
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What significances came out of Don's FAIR presentation?

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 Post subject: Re: Don Bradley on the Lost 116-pages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:40 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Don Bradley on the Lost 116-pages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:08 pm 
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http://www.fairlds.org/fair-conferences ... -116-pages

Did that link encapsulate his entire presentation? I thought there'd be more.

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 Post subject: Re: Don Bradley on the Lost 116-pages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:22 pm 
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I thought he'd found them...

Don Bradley (nice man that he is) seems to be overpromised yet consistently under delivered. His fireworks tend to be damp squibs.
His thunder clap more of a trump. His...well...you get the point.

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 Post subject: Re: Don Bradley on the Lost 116-pages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:29 pm 
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Drifting wrote:
I thought he'd found them...

Don Bradley (nice man that he is) seems to be overpromised yet consistently under delivered. His fireworks tend to be damp squibs.
His thunder clap more of a trump. His...well...you get the point.

I'm not sure if your disappointment is because you're expecting apologetics, and not seeing it.

I believe that Don B is presenting the fruits of his research without regard to the possible apologetic or critical nature of his findings.

Since he's a believing member, it would be easy to expect apologetics from him. Is he overpromising, or are others overpromising on his behalf?

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 Post subject: Re: Don Bradley on the Lost 116-pages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:31 pm 
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malkie wrote:
Drifting wrote:
I thought he'd found them...

Don Bradley (nice man that he is) seems to be overpromised yet consistently under delivered. His fireworks tend to be damp squibs.
His thunder clap more of a trump. His...well...you get the point.

I'm not sure if your disappointment is because you're expecting apologetics, and not seeing it.

I believe that Don B is presenting the fruits of his research without regard to the possible apologetic or critical nature of his findings.

Since he's a believing member, it would be easy to expect apologetics from him. Is he overpromising, or are others overpromising on his behalf?


To be fair I allowed for that when I said he seems to be overpromised.
I think Don himself oversold that BofA character thingy that he did, but apart from that I accept it may be others talking him up into something he's not trying to be.

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 Post subject: Re: Don Bradley on the Lost 116-pages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:36 pm 
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Drifting wrote:
I thought he'd found them...

Don Bradley (nice man that he is) seems to be overpromised yet consistently under delivered. His fireworks tend to be damp squibs.
His thunder clap more of a trump. His...well...you get the point.

Drifting wrote:
malkie wrote:
I'm not sure if your disappointment is because you're expecting apologetics, and not seeing it.

I believe that Don B is presenting the fruits of his research without regard to the possible apologetic or critical nature of his findings.

Since he's a believing member, it would be easy to expect apologetics from him. Is he overpromising, or are others overpromising on his behalf?


To be fair I allowed for that when I said he seems to be overpromised.
I think Don himself oversold that BofA character thingy that he did, but apart from that I accept it may be others talking him up into something he's not trying to be.

Yeah, I kinda got that from your saying "seems to be overpromised" rather than "seems to overpromise" - and thought that it was an example of your usual precision in writing.

I just wanted to emphasise the point a little.

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 Post subject: Re: Don Bradley on the Lost 116-pages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:38 pm 
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Drifting wrote:
To be fair I allowed for that when I said he seems to be overpromised.
I think Don himself oversold that BofA character thingy that he did, but apart from that I accept it may be others talking him up into something he's not trying to be.


Can you point me to this?

hc

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 Post subject: Re: Don Bradley on the Lost 116-pages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:46 pm 
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hans castorp wrote:
Drifting wrote:
To be fair I allowed for that when I said he seems to be overpromised.
I think Don himself oversold that BofA character thingy that he did, but apart from that I accept it may be others talking him up into something he's not trying to be.


Can you point me to this?

hc


Probably not.
He did a piece about a character in, if I recall correctly, the KEP.
Not sure if it's online but it was last year and discussed on threads here.

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 Post subject: Re: Don Bradley on the Lost 116-pages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:53 pm 
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I thought it was a fantastic presentation, filled with many new discoveries that, to the discerning eye, completely transform the history of LDS temple cult.

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 Post subject: Re: Don Bradley on the Lost 116-pages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:03 pm 
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Kishkumen wrote:
I thought it was a fantastic presentation, filled with many new discoveries that, to the discerning eye, completely transform the history of LDS temple cult.


Looking forward to his book!

hc

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 Post subject: Re: Don Bradley on the Lost 116-pages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:08 pm 
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I thought his presentation last year was on the Kinderhook Plates?

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 Post subject: Re: Don Bradley on the Lost 116-pages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:56 pm 
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Kishkumen wrote:
I thought it was a fantastic presentation, filled with many new discoveries that, to the discerning eye, completely transform the history of LDS temple cult.
This sounds like a big deal, actually.

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 Post subject: Re: Don Bradley on the Lost 116-pages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:29 pm 
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zeezrom wrote:
Kishkumen wrote:
I thought it was a fantastic presentation, filled with many new discoveries that, to the discerning eye, completely transform the history of LDS temple cult.
This sounds like a big deal, actually.


Well, look at the language Lapham quotes from the lost 116 pages, and think of the temple. This is pre-1830.

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 Post subject: Re: Don Bradley on the Lost 116-pages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:59 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Don Bradley on the Lost 116-pages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:39 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Don Bradley on the Lost 116-pages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:49 pm 
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Hasa Diga Eebowai wrote:
I don't however agree with his conclusions about the items he claims as being considered as relics within some Nephite Ark of the Covenant inside their replica of Solomon's Temple. Maybe when they find that long lost Nephite temple, but maybe if the LDS Church gets Indiana Jones on the case they might find it. It is an interesting idea, but I don't find it very convincing.

I do.

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 Post subject: Re: Don Bradley on the Lost 116-pages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:21 pm 
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Hasa Diga Eebowai wrote:
I tried to find the Lapham quote from the Don Bradley presentation and couldn't find it. It wasn't until I checked both Lapham's account that I found Bradley was slightly misquoting him,

From Don's article:

“What is that in your hand?”

From Lapham's interview in 1870:

"What have you got in your hand, there?"

While the difference in meaning isn't that big the significance when trying to compare it to other rituals is quite significant.


I think he would have been better off quoting it exactly.

Hasa Diga Eebowai wrote:
Since the temple ritual that Joseph Smith developed came from the symbolic language of freemasonry it would be significant to see when and how Joseph Smith was influenced by freemasonry from an early stage. I would be much more interested in a study on the influence of that aspect of Joseph Smith's upbringing and how it influenced early mormonism and well as later mormonism rather than an anachronistic claim that "“Nauvoo Mormonism,” “temple Mormonism,” is original and literal Mormonism".


Well, there are people who post on this board who are pursuing exactly that avenue of research.

But, I think you are overly skeptical of the degree to which Nauvoo Mormonism is a natural outgrowth of Joseph Smith's personal experiences and background in the 1820s. Obviously, Joseph didn't have an entire system carved out in advance, but the Lapham account, as well as numerous other evidences, point to the centrality of the temple in Mormonism from before the church was founded. I think it not unlikely that the idea of a temple predated the idea of founding a church, and I wouldn't be surprised if Freemasonry didn't influence his approach in that regard.

I would say that, in the endowment, one is getting a ritual version of Joseph's experience as seer, and that his hope was that others would experience something of what he had experienced at the time he had his First Vision. He expressed these things in the symbolic language of his environment, as one would expect.

Quote:
Most of the things described seem to be a synthesis of Masonry, the Bible, Christianity and treasure seeking folk beliefs.


I won't argue with that. What it isn't is a simple variation on Campbellite Restorationism or Methodism. On the other hand, as I think David Bokovoy is showing, the visionary experiences of Joseph Smith's prophetic literary figures are a very perceptive reading of OT and pseudepigraphic prophetic experiences, at the very least.

It is very rich material.

Quote:
I don't however agree with his conclusions about the items he claims as being considered as relics within some Nephite Ark of the Covenant inside their replica of Solomon's Temple. Maybe when they find that long lost Nephite temple, but maybe if the LDS Church gets Indiana Jones on the case they might find it. It is an interesting idea, but I don't find it very convincing.


I guess I don't see what the one thing has to do with the other. I am not getting the connection between the symbolism of the Ark in the Book of Mormon and its finding story and finding an actual Nephite temple. Do literary themes and symbols rely on finding their archaeological corollary in order to be effective? I guess if we hadn't found "Troy," the Iliad would suddenly suck?

I must not be understanding you. And, like CK, I find his argument about Nephite Ark very persuasive indeed. I doubt you have to have a testimony or believe in ancient Nephites to find it persuasive. I know CK doesn't.

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 Post subject: Re: Don Bradley on the Lost 116-pages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:22 pm 
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I'll start this out with the proviso that I am only commenting on the link at FAIR, and that the link at FAIR seems to be more of a spoken presentation than a scholarly article of sorts. Any or all of these critiques could be remedied in a scholarly article.

Having said that, I'm actually a little shocked at the approach Don took here. Specifically, Don is wading into some really deep waters concerning the nature of First Temple worship and First Temple priesthood. He also appears to be doing this without a knowledge of the issues involved or the dangers he is stepping into. My general recommendation would be to simply avoid any and all references to First Temple Israelite religion. This is a subject for specialists and unless I am mistaken, Don is not a specialist in this area. The only reasonable course of action is to restrict any and all research and conclusions to 19th century sources, anything else is dangerous at best, wildly wrong at worst.

A few examples of what I am talking about:

Don Bradley wrote:
The Mosaic Law mandated that certain rituals be performed by the high priest, whom it was understood would be of the household of Aaron. But the Nephites didn’t have any Aaronic priests among them, nor any Levites. So, the only way they could fulfill the requirements of the Law would have been to use a substitute.


This is highly anachronistic. For ancient Israelites, there would have been no such thing as a substitute for lineage. Putting a substitute in for a Levite or an Aaronid would make as much sense to an ancient Israelite as modern Mormons allowing Catholic priests to perform baptisms as a substitute because a Mormon priesthood holder wasn't available. Lineage WAS authority.

Don Bradley wrote:
For the ancient Israelites this instrument was the stones of Urim and Thummim, kept in the pocket of a breastplate. The equivalent Nephite instrument, which also attaches to a breastplate, is called in the Book of Mormon "the interpreters" and in revelation to Joseph Smith "the Urim and Thummim."


In my opinion, Don is retrojecting modern LDS thought about "Urim and Thummim" back into ancient Israel. The bottom line is that just not that much is known about "Urim and Thummim" from ancient Israelite sources. Ironically, one of the things that they are never used for, in any source, is interpretation/translation of documents.

Don Bradley wrote:
We go from the “who” now to the “how” of Nephite temple worship. Nephi wrote that he had built a temple like that of Solomon. This statement has drawn guffaws from critics, who note the enormous scale and grandeur of Solomon’s temple. But it isn’t the scale and grandeur of Solomon’s temple that made it a model for Nephi’s. Nephi wanted his temple to be like Solomon’s, not in size, but in functionality. To perform the rituals prescribed by the Law of Moses his people would need a temple parallel to Solomon’s in rooms and relics.


It's not just the size that draws guffaws from critics. There are other problems as well, but the most salient for a putative New World temple is that there simply wouldn't have been any animals to sacrifice. There are no bulls, sheep, or goats. Not to mention no olive oil and no wheat for bread/flour/meal offerings. Even if you built the thing, you still don't have anything to do with it. Now you could argue that Nephites did nothing but avian sacrifices and substituted corn tortillas and coconut oil for other offerings. I think that's not believable, but even if that happened you would still have specific offerings that could not have been done in the new world, such as:

Don Bradley wrote:
the all-important Day of Atonement


Part of the ritual of the Day of Atonement was the releasing of the scapegoat and the sacrifice of another goat. No substitutes are permitted. Since there were no goats in the New World, "the all-important Day of Atonement" seems to be an impossibility.

Don Bradley wrote:
But while the Nephites’ omission of the Ark of the Covenant from their temple is, as he says, understandable, it is also glaring. The Jerusalem temple was, in one sense, a house for the Ark of the Covenant.


I'm baffled as to why this is a problem on Don's account. When the Second Temple was built, everyone knew the Ark of the Covenant was missing and no one seemed to care, at least not enough to declare the Second Temple defective on that account. Why would Nephites be any different?

Don Bradley wrote:
The Ark, bearing as it did the stone tablets God touched with His finger on Sinai during the Exodus, provided Israel an embodiment of His presence.


No, it was seen as a footstool, not as an embodiment of his presence.

Those are just problems I see from a non-critical reading of the Old Testament/Hebrew Tanak. Once you start throwing in critical readings, the problems start to multiply. For example:

Don Bradley wrote:
The relevant relics associated with the Ark and the High Priest were as follows: in the Ark were the stone tablets God had touched during the Exodus, and according to the Epistle to the Hebrews, also Aaron’s rod that budded and a pot of manna. And we’ve already discussed the High Priest’s Urim and Thummim and breastplate, which attached to a garment referred to as the ephod.


As much as I like the Epistle to the Hebrews, it's simply too late to provide information about the contents of the Ark of the Covenant. Second, if I remember correctly, you are going to need to be very careful as to the contents of the Ark because different sources put different things in the Ark. If you are going to make comparisons here, you will need to be very careful. I'm going off memory on this one because I don't feel like looking up each and every source for the ark contents.

Don Bradley wrote:
In an article a few years in ago in The Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Ben McGuire, building on the work of Noel Reynolds, examined the political implications of Nephi’s story of killing Laban. Nephi highlights the superior obedience that was to mark him as ruler over his brothers. He also in at least three places adopts language from the story of David killing Goliath, the incident that brought David to prominence and set him on the road to the throne and the founding of a dynasty. When, in Nephi’s narrative, we seen him vanquish the enemy who had terrified his older brothers, beheading him with his own sword, we are watching him follow precisely the footprints and sword strokes of King David.

Laban was Nephi’s Goliath. And Laban’s sword became a relic he passed on to his priest-king successors, in company with the other sacred artifacts.


There are several source critical problems with using the story of David and Goliath as a comparison. If you read Samuel 16-17 carefully you will notice that David gets TWO introductions to Saul. One is as a musician, the other is the David and Goliath story. Since you can only get introduced once to someone, you have a problem. Plus, at the end of 2 Samuel, Elhanan, not David, is listed as the slayer of Goliath of Gath. While the comparison from a literary standpoint might work, you risk comparing Nephi's actions to non-existent actions of David. Since the existence of Nephi and Laban is already dubious from a critical perspective, the comparison might not be felicitous.

Don Bradley wrote:
The modeling of Nephite worship on early Israelite worship in Jerusalem has been explored by Kevin Christensen. Christensen describes key features of Jerusalem worship from the days of Lehi’s youth, before the heavy-handed Josian reform, and then observes that Nephite religion contained all of these, "with the understandable exception of the specific temple artifacts kept in the holy of holies, the ark of the covenant…and the cherubim."


Please, do not rely on Kevin Christensen's thoughts on Israelite religion. He simply rehashes Margaret Barker's already dubious conclusions about Israelite religion. This way lie dragons.

As a general observation, you are going to have to be extremely careful not to find and/or introduce anachronisms into Nephite temple practices based on an uncritical reading of the Pentateuch. That which would have been known to Nephi is dependent on which version of the Documentary Hypothesis you subscribe to. For example, if you think that the final redaction of the Pentateuch took place no earlier than the Babylonian captivity (probably the majority view) and the final redactor was the one who joined the P source to the J,E sources, then you have a real problem: Nephi and Lehi would have had no access to any of this textual descriptions of Israelite temple worship. And, since they were not Levites or Aaronids, they would not have know how to run a temple from experience. This leaves any comparison with ancient Israelite practices highly dubious.

Finally, I think as a general observation, it might just be best to let the 116 pages be forgotten. From a believers perspective, God didn't think them all that important, after all He was willing to chuck them in favor of the current Book of Mormon. From a critics perspective, Joseph Smith seemed really nervous about trying to reproduce them, probably for a good reason.


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 Post subject: Re: Don Bradley on the Lost 116-pages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:29 pm 
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Hey, Aristotle-

It seems like most of what you are saying here essentially boils down to this: Don's presentation no more proves the Book of Mormon ancient than any other apologetic argument does. In fact, his argument only works within the same set of 19th century readings and assumptions as the rest of Joseph's scriptural productions.

OK. So, if you insist on an ancient Book of Mormon, then this presentation does not help. What if, however, you are trying to understand Joseph Smith and the evolution of his religious thought better?

I get that this is not what the FAIR folks are exactly looking for, but I don't see why it is necessary to chuck the sound historical scholarship regarding 19th century Mormonism in Don's work because he doesn't do what you think he has to be doing based on where he is presenting the material.

Am I missing something here?

K

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 Post subject: Re: Don Bradley on the Lost 116-pages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:34 pm 
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Aristotle Smith wrote:
Finally, I think as a general observation, it might just be best to let the 116 pages be forgotten. From a believers perspective, God didn't think them all that important, after all He was willing to chuck them in favor of the current Book of Mormon. From a critics perspective, Joseph Smith seemed really nervous about trying to reproduce them, probably for a good reason.


Now you're just being catty.

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