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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:31 pm 
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Runtu wrote:
That Stevenson is discussing a public recounting that no one else mentions suggests we should take it with a grain of salt.


Who else was with him in that schoolhouse that day and how many? Who of those later joined the church? And of those, who went to Utah?

And then decided to add their account to the historical record. Assuming there was anyone else from that schoolhouse to confirm or back up Stevenson's account.

Some gaps/missing pages in this small slice of the historical record? Wouldn't be the first time.

It's not unimaginable, however, that Edward Stevenson was in a position to be one of a very few, if any, to give an account of what went on in that schoolhouse on that day.

But I'm open to further information on this wee slice of history.

Regards,
MG


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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:34 pm 
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Kishkumen wrote:
And there we have a prime opportunity for his memory to be altered without him being fully aware of it. The distance between a jogged memory and an altered one is very slender.

But that is why it is important to look at the language Stevenson uses in his written account. At the very least we can say that the way he expresses his recollection has been influenced by later accounts of the First Vision. That is pretty clear in the passages I cited. From there, it becomes even more likely that the memory informing the written expression in 1894 was altered along the way as Stevenson encountered other versions of the vision.

On the whole, the Stevenson account is of very dubious value as a pre-1835 evidence of a FV with two personages.

Combining the very those issues you've presented with the further evidence that grindael presented above, and the Stevenson account carries even less weight:

grindael wrote:
Joseph wasn't telling the story of the claimed first vision in 1834. He didn't even revamp it until 1835, and did this privately to someone he considered a murderer. The reason that Joseph did this, was to have the account written into his diary, which was to be his "history". The first instance we have of Joseph telling the story is in 1842 when he published his history and wrote the Wentworth letter. All other versions were private. And, in 1834 Joseph did not believe in a two person Godhead in BODILY form. He was teaching that the "father" was a spirit and Jesus was God in bodily form.

Kish, I saw this:

Kishkumen wrote:
Of course, we are not just talking about the amount of time, but the way the FV was being recalled in Stevenson's day.

Exactly, the timeframe and memory issues are obvious and are to be treated like any other timeframe and memory issues-with academic rigor. I apologize that part of my post started a mopologist derailment, that was obviously not my intent! The much more significant and relevant issues that you have brought up, which are strongly corroborated by grindael's research as well as other comments, are fascinating.


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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:52 pm 
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Runtu wrote:
mentalgymnast wrote:
I get that, Runtu. I've read a bit of psychology and brain science/memory stuff. And I'm not discounting that equal weight may not always be given to long term vs. short term memory. But, again, I can only speak for myself.

I'm sure that you also have memories from many years ago that you can remember very clearly and are almost 100% positive that they are accurate or nearly accurate.

I don't think we can automatically discount Edward Stevenson's recalled memory on the basis that some folks may not recall experiences vividly after an interim of many years.

Some folks can. And many do.

And I don't see why some commonalities with phraseology, birth dates, and even the age at which Edward heard Joseph speak, ought to influence whether or not his recollection hits the mark in regards to what he saw/heard. Especially if he DID hear similar language used by others during the interim.

What matters at the end of the day is whether or not Edward Stevenson had an accurate recollection of what he heard Joseph say. Number of heavenly beings, etc.

And it's a matter of trust.

Regards,
MG

That's the problem: we have no way of knowing whether his recollection is accurate or not. I don't know about you, but Edward Stevenson has not earned my trust or distrust one way or the other, so all else being equal, I am skeptical of a 60-year-old recollection that happens to correlate really well with published accounts in the interim. I'm unaware of any contemporary accounts that early that mention the details Stevenson does. So, it's not a matter of distrusting but simply an acknowledgment that this is one late account with no contemporary corroboration.

Irrespective of what Stevenson recalled hearing. There is NO evidence that any god exists. Smith was either lying or delusional. Those that claim otherwise need to provide proof of a god figure...something that can not be provided since there is no proof that god exists, let alone a Christian god at that.

Smith's credibility is worthless, what with magic rocks, talisman and his magic world view. MG put up or shut up...what is your proof that your version of a god exists?

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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:58 pm 
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mentalgymnast wrote:
Who else was with him in that schoolhouse that day and how many? Who of those later joined the church? And of those, who went to Utah?

And then decided to add their account to the historical record. Assuming there was anyone else from that schoolhouse to confirm or back up Stevenson's account.

Some gaps/missing pages in this small slice of the historical record? Wouldn't be the first time.

It's not unimaginable, however, that Edward Stevenson was in a position to be one of a very few, if any, to give an account of what went on in that schoolhouse on that day.

But I'm open to further information on this wee slice of history.

Regards,
MG


Again, a small slice in the historical record, uncorroborated and late, does not outweigh the rest of the evidence. I think that's the point. No one is saying Stevenson is a liar, just that his late testimony doesn't carry much weight.

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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:23 pm 
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mentalgymnast wrote:
I'm not disputing that at all. It comes down somewhat to the motivation and honesty of the individual doing the memory retrieval.

Regards,
MG


A well-intended person can honestly believe a fiction, even when the actual experience was different. That is a risk of believing the unproveable because of so-called witnesses.


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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:36 pm 
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Wesley P Walters in a letter to me in 1975.

Stevenson statement This was written as a reminiscence and each time he mentions it it becomes more like the official version.

'the prophet preached relating his visions with mighty power.".Private Journal may 27 1883 p.136.

"the Prophet .... began relating his vision ... the truth of his visitation of an angel coming to him."(autobiography 1891 p.18-19.

"We were honoured.... who stood in the presence of God the Father and Jesus Christ his only begotten upon the earth" (autobiography 1891 p. 64f.)

"the prophet testified with great power concerning the visit of the Father and the Son" Reminiscences 1893 p.4.

"We were proud...to entertain one who had conversed with the Father 7 the Son' Reminiscences 1893 p.5.

Notice how each time the subject is mentioned Stevenson's memory drifts more and more towards the official account. Has this influenced his recollections? It would appear to be so to me"

Walters July 26 1975.

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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:38 pm 
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aussieguy55 wrote:
Wesley P Walters in a letter to me in 1975.

Stevenson statement This was written as a reminiscence and each time he mentions it it becomes more like the official version.

'the prophet preached relating his visions with mighty power.".Private Journal may 27 1883 p.136.

"the Prophet .... began relating his vision ... the truth of his visitation of an angel coming to him."(autobiography 1891 p.18-19.

"We were honoured.... who stood in the presence of God the Father and Jesus Christ his only begotten upon the earth" (autobiography 1891 p. 64f.)

"the prophet testified with great power concerning the visit of the Father and the Son" Reminiscences 1893 p.4.

"We were proud...to entertain one who had conversed with the Father 7 the Son' Reminiscences 1893 p.5.

Notice how each time the subject is mentioned Stevenson's memory drifts more and more towards the official account. Has this influenced his recollections? It would appear to be so to me"

Walters July 26 1975.


Thanks for that. It's pretty much in line with the OP: the narrative is influenced by what came before it.

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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:47 pm 
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Water Dog wrote:
They don't want a "better" representative. Someone with credentials getting taken to the woodshed is bad for business, the village idiot on the other hand... he must be tolerated or it makes exmos look mean. Then they can howl, "see, see, look what angry, bitter people they are. they pick on the special olympics."


I resent the fundamental dishonesty of the whole exercise, be it PhD-credential-bearing apologists or milquetoast sado-masochistis on obscure message boards. They disrespect everyone by deliberately underperforming and failing to scrutinize adequately the evidence. All is thrown into the goal of believing, regardless of the quality or truthfulness of the object of belief.


Last edited by Kishkumen on Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:53 pm 
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aussieguy55 wrote:
Wesley P Walters in a letter to me in 1975.

Stevenson statement This was written as a reminiscence and each time he mentions it it becomes more like the official version.

'the prophet preached relating his visions with mighty power.".Private Journal may 27 1883 p.136.

"the Prophet .... began relating his vision ... the truth of his visitation of an angel coming to him."(autobiography 1891 p.18-19.

"We were honoured.... who stood in the presence of God the Father and Jesus Christ his only begotten upon the earth" (autobiography 1891 p. 64f.)

"the prophet testified with great power concerning the visit of the Father and the Son" Reminiscences 1893 p.4.

"We were proud...to entertain one who had conversed with the Father 7 the Son' Reminiscences 1893 p.5.

Notice how each time the subject is mentioned Stevenson's memory drifts more and more towards the official account. Has this influenced his recollections? It would appear to be so to me"

Walters July 26 1975.


Thanks, aussieguy55. You’ve thrown real light on the subject, which is more than I can say regarding DCP’s post and other bizarre apologetic efforts.


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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:57 pm 
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mentalgymnast wrote:
I can't speak for anyone else but me. But when I read this opening post and some of the thoughts posted thereafter my mind went back to when I was a kid. I have some pretty vivid recollections. And I'm almost positive that these recollections have not been tampered with and/or been the result of some kind of distorted false memory syndrome. They're still in my head...and it's been around fifty plus years now.



Before this becomes a running gun battle, let me go back to your original comment on this thread, MG.

This is the entire problem in a nutshell.

You had some vivid spiritual experiences that you believe have not been distorted in your mind regardless of the passage of time.

I also had one such when I was 19-years old. The reason I know my recollection was correct is of minor interest, but important to make this point.

I was writing a letter to my missionary daughter a year ago about this incident and I did my best to recollect it in order to describe it. This incident was almost 40-years ago. It was pretty complicated, but I had no problem remembering and writing out the experience.

I did so, but there was only one line in it that I knew was wrong. I knew it was close, but it was off a bit. My memory couldn't get it right.

After describing it on paper, I happened to find my personal history, in which I had written it down some 12-years after the event. And I also recalled that I had based my personal history of my journal, which would have been much closer still to the event.

I told you all that to tell you this--my memory was exact, up to and including the one line that was a bit off. My history showed me where I was off, and it was in that one line that I already knew was a bit off. After correcting my letter, I sent it off to my daughter.

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Conclusion--I had a vivid spiritual experience in 1979 that I remember accurately to this day.

You had a vivid spiritual experience that you can remember from fifty years ago.

So why couldn't Joseph Smith remember his vivid spiritual experience only twelve years later when he committed the 1832 account to paper?

Why does he not remember the Father appearing?

Why does he not remember he didn't know which church was true until after he went to pray about it?

This is the whole reason underlying why it is Professor Peterson wrote this blog.

Because Joseph Smith couldn't accurately remember his 1832 First Vision account only twelve years later.

Otherwise his blog would be meaningless.

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So this is the question in which I am interested:


Granting you know from your personal experience how difficult it is to forget the details of a vivid spiritual experience from fifty years ago, why is it Joseph Smith had so much difficulty only twelve years after the fact?

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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:21 pm 
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Kishkumen wrote:
I resent the fundamental dishonesty of the whole exercise, be it PhD-credential-bearing apologists or milquetoast sado-masochistis on obscure message boards. They disrespect everyone by deliberately underperforming and failing to scrutinize adequately the evidence. All is thrown into the goal of believing, regardless of the quality or truthfulness of the object of belief.

So true. The last time I recall people's written experiences being discussed, the writer in question was not supportive of an LDS position. Somehow, the poster on this thread --who today can't bring himself to consider the veracity of a 60 year old evolving remembrance verifiably influenced by then current writings-- said this:
Quote:
… I brought up this exact dilemma that we run into as we use historical sources as evidence. Their provenance, unless traced and verified by a qualified/trusted historian, is going to be at risk....

Sorry that I'm skeptical of folks from the past and accepting their word as 'gospel truth'.....

We don't know for a fact whether or not the folks you've quoted are being objective or subjective.

http://www.mormondiscussions.com/phpBB3 ... &start=252

The goal is believing, and it wreaks havoc on one's efforts to think to the best of their abilities. It is a distasteful way to use one's mind.


Last edited by Lemmie on Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:41 pm 
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Excellent find, Lemmie. Mg is the poster child of confirmation bias.


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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:47 pm 
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Excellent OP, Reverend. I would say that I'm surprised that Dr. Peterson is (apparently) engaged in dishonest behavior, but, of course, I'm not. It really is kind of an inside joke at this point, isn't it? We point out he's dishonest; he makes some quip about how critics just automatically accuse him of dishonesty, and ho! ho! ho! it's all just so funny! Except for the fact that the key audience for this dissembling is going to wind up accepting it. In other words, DCP *knows* he is being dishonest but writes it off on the grounds that the Chapel Mormon "rubes" are too stupid to know better.

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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:20 pm 
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consiglieri wrote:

Granting you know from your personal experience how difficult it is to forget the details of a vivid spiritual experience from fifty years ago, why is it Joseph Smith had so much difficulty only twelve years after the fact?


I don't think that we can say, with confidence, that Joseph forgot anything of importance during the interim between the 1832 account and the 1835 account.

1835:
Quote:
...a pillar of fire appeared above my head, it presently rested down upon my <​me​> head, and filled me with joy unspeakable, a personage appeard in the midst, of this pillar of flame which was spread all around, and yet nothing consumed, another personage soon appeard like unto the first, he said unto me thy sins are forgiven thee, he testifyed unto me that Jesus Christ is the son of God...


The question that I would ask of you is why did Joseph refer to the second personage in 1835 and not be as forthcoming or explicit in his description of the vision in the 1832 account?

I think what you are saying is that he forgot to say anything explicitly of a second personage (although there are shimmers of such) in 1832 because he forgot...but then remembered three years later in 1835? And you find that suspicious, I would assume?

Consig, my posts may be numbered at this point. I've exceeded the the limits of what I am allowed in having a conversation without receiving harassment from those that would like to see me disappear. I'll stay until the flak is being dispersed from too many directions or with too much frequency. Earlier I caught the first intimations of having reached my 'limit' with the "derailment" comment from another poster. So I'm a bit wary at this point in continuing the conversation and I will need to tread very carefully.

But I appreciate your inquiry. I've asked myself pretty much the same thing. The 1835 account doesn't come much farther down the road than the 1832 account. I'd be interested in your thoughts in response to my question.

If my memory serves me correctly, talking about memory, my recollection tells me that you have been quite civil with those on this board that may not see things as you do. That is appreciated. :smile:

Regards,
MG


Last edited by mentalgymnast on Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:27 pm 
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Lemmie wrote:
...the poster on this thread --who today can't bring himself to consider the veracity of a 60 year old evolving remembrance...


Edward Stevenson may have remembered his experience listening to the prophet in the school house with exact precision, or he may not have. My main point is that I would suggest...if you read my posts carefully...that he would more than likely NOT get the number of personages wrong in his recollection. Unless he was purposefully doing so.

That would mean he was lying.

Regards,
MG


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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:41 pm 
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consig wrote:
So why couldn't Joseph Smith remember his vivid spiritual experience only twelve years later when he committed the 1832 account to paper?

Why does he not remember the Father appearing?

Why does he not remember he didn't know which church was true until after he went to pray about it?

This is the whole reason underlying why it is Professor Peterson wrote this blog.

Because Joseph Smith couldn't accurately remember his 1832 First Vision.

Granting you know from your personal experience how difficult it is to forget the details of a vivid spiritual experience from fifty years ago, why is it Joseph Smith had so much difficulty only twelve years after the fact?

I really liked grindael's point about evolving teachings ; it explains quite well not only why Joseph Smith did not "remember," but, more to the point with respect to Kish's OP, why Stevenson's remembrances are suspect:
Quote:
Joseph wasn't telling the story of the claimed first vision in 1834. He didn't even revamp it until 1835, and did this privately to someone he considered a murderer. The reason that Joseph did this, was to have the account written into his diary, which was to be his "history". The first instance we have of Joseph telling the story is in 1842 when he published his history and wrote the Wentworth letter. All other versions were private. And, in 1834 Joseph did not believe in a two person Godhead in BODILY form. He was teaching that the "father" was a spirit and Jesus was God in bodily form.
]
Of course, combine that with Kish's explanation of the context of Stevenson's journal writing and it's pretty obvious how Stevenson's journaling evolved.

But I think Doctor Scratch has a point, DCP knows his audience is predisposed to assume anything LDS is true, so being accurate isn't really a concern for him. I don't understand that at all from an academic, but it does explain why we end up with pretzel- logic and inconsistent argumentation from those whose conclusions are pre-set on a thread like this.


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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:55 pm 
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Most importantly I realized long ago for Mopes it isn't important what is said to be true, but rather what's important is to say something. A Mope can just crap out anything and that's that. Rebuttal finished and accepted. The follow-on piece to this strategy is to play the victim when people reject the first step.

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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:56 pm 
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Edward Stevenson:

Quote:
[A]fter the organization of the Pontiac [Michigan] Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of L. D. Saints, in 1834, we had the pleasure of having a visit from the Prophet Joseph Smith: a plain but noble looking man, of large frame and about 6 feet high. With him was his Father, Joseph Smith, and Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris, whose sister Sophia Kellog lived in our settlement.

A great stir was made in this settlement at so distinguised visitors the meetings held were crowded to see and hear the testamonies given which were powerful I will here relate my own experience on the ocaision of a meeting in our old log school House The Prophet stood at a table for the pulpit whare he began relateing his vision and before he got through he was in the midst of the congregation with uplifted hand. I do believe that there was not one person presant who did at the time being or who was not convicted of the truth of his vision, of an Angle to him his countanance seemed to me to assume a heavenly whiteness and his voice was so peirseing and forcible for my part it so impressed me as to become indellibly imprinted in my mind....

The visit of this man of God to our house ... left a lasting remembrance with us and will stand as a witness against those who were so favoured above many.

In that same year, 1834, in the midst of many large congregations, the Prophet testified with great power concerning the visit of the Father and the Son, and the conersation he had with them. Never before did I feel such power as was manifested on these occasions.
http://scottwoodward.org/firstvision_ed ... enson.html


Is there any written record/minutes of any of Joseph's preaching to those other "many large congregations" Edward Stevenson is referring to?

Regards,
MG


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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:05 pm 
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mentalgymnast wrote:
My main point is that I would suggest...if you read my posts carefully...that he would more than likely NOT get the number of personages wrong in his recollection. Unless he was purposefully doing so.

That would mean he was lying.

Regards,
MG


Are you talking about Joseph Smith?

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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:10 pm 
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DarkHelmet wrote:
mentalgymnast wrote:
My main point is that I would suggest...if you read my posts carefully...that he would more than likely NOT get the number of personages wrong in his recollection. Unless he was purposefully doing so.

That would mean he was lying.

Regards,
MG


Are you talking about Joseph Smith?


Full quote, for the record:

mentalgymnast wrote:
Edward Stevenson may have remembered his experience listening to the prophet in the school house with exact precision, or he may not have. My main point is that I would suggest...if you read my posts carefully...that he would more than likely NOT get the number of personages wrong in his recollection. Unless he was purposefully doing so.

That would mean he was lying.


Bolded words are referring to the same person.

Hope that helps,
MG


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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:53 pm 
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DarkHelmet wrote:
mentalgymnast wrote:
My main point is that I would suggest...if you read my posts carefully...that he would more than likely NOT get the number of personages wrong in his recollection. Unless he was purposefully doing so.

That would mean he was lying.

Regards,
MG


Are you talking about Joseph Smith?

I think he's talking about Stevenson. If he is and he thinks the big issue is whether or not Stevenson just correctly remembered the "number of personages," then he missed the point entirely that Kishkumen was making about the current environment influencing Stevenson, which grindael and aussieguy's posts also discussed and supported, among others.

It's too bad, because Kishkumen's research is fascinating. I'd rather hear more about that. Doc Cam was right.


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