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 Post subject: From Nephi: A can do kinda guy (Internal textual evidence)
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:44 pm 
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Simon Southerton wrote:
In other words Mormons need to stop thinking about what the Book of Mormon actually says...

I think Mormons are actually better off sticking to what the BofM says rather than getting too wrapped up in apologetics.

Years ago I read Thomas Stewart Ferguson's book Quest For the Gold Plates. In that book he said, "'The first myth we need to eliminate is that Book of Mormon archaeology exists."

Since that time, and with the reading that I've done, I think that this is true. I don't think we're going to find a sign for the City of Zarahemla or Nephite temples, etc. The archaeology may exist somewhere, or it may be hidden away, but I don't think it's going to be found.

Nowadays, I find the writings of BofM apologists not that interesting. I think they may be searching for a needle in a haystack. But, of course, if they come up with the remains of a City of Zarahemla sign ( and it's dated correctly) I'll get pretty stoked. :smile: Not getting my hopes up though.

I don't think it's wise to pin one's testimony/belief in the BofM on archaeological findings exclusively. Yes, there have been some interesting things come along, but nothing conclusive. Like Pres. Hinckley one time said, what's in between the covers is what is important.

Could Joseph Smith have written that book on his own? That's the million dollar question that each person has to determine for themselves. Interestingly, Wordprint Studies give us a starting place to understand that whatever the BofM is, it appears to be the product of more than one author/prophet. At that point, knowing this, things get a bit dicey because then we have to explain how this rather complex narrative came together intertwining, accurately, the contributions of a number of different/unique authors with different voices. Joseph Smith and Co. or Nephi and Co. ?

Regards,
MG


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 Post subject: Re: Nephi: A can do kinda guy
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:52 pm 
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Yes, there have been some interesting things come along, but nothing conclusive.

Not true, as Phil Jenkins showed to Bill Hamblin in their debate, there is literally nothing anywhere in North, Central, or South America that matches anything in the Book of Mormon. No museum has anything of a Nephite or Lamanite artifact, only the original Americans and their debris. There is no fundamental reality anyone can sink their teeth into of empirical evidence for anything in the Book of Mormon in the land where their millions are said to have flourished and then perished.

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 Post subject: Re: Nephi: A can do kinda guy
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:39 pm 
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mentalgymnast wrote:
I think Mormons are actually better off sticking to what the BofM says rather than getting too wrapped up in apologetics.

You say we should not pay attention to apologetics, then you defend your position by referring to apologetics.

mentalgymnast wrote:
Could Joseph Smith have written that book on his own? Interestingly, Wordprint Studies give us a starting place to understand that whatever the BofM is, it appears to be the product of more than one author/prophet. At that point, knowing this, things get a bit dicey because then we have to explain how this rather complex narrative came together intertwining, accurately, the contributions of a number of different/unique authors with different voices. Joseph Smith and Co. or Nephi and Co. ?

Why don't you admit your conclusion is fixed up front and you are not interested in looking at evidence you don't like.

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 Post subject: Re: Nephi: A can do kinda guy
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:09 pm 
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Simon Southerton wrote:
Why don't you admit your conclusion is fixed up front and you are not interested in looking at evidence you don't like.

I might say the same thing about you.

Apparently you would just as well keep the focus on external evidences...or non-evidence...in regards to BofM historicity. I'm simply flipping the coin and looking at the other side. I agree with you that if we focus on the side of the coin that deals with archaeological evidence or other external evidences (DNA issues vs. what the BofM seems to be saying, etc.)...along with some church leaders...we're going to come up wanting. Yet, if we look at the internal narrative...the text... and the impact, for example, that Word Print Studies have had, we are left with some questions that I think are worth taking seriously.

Those questions ultimately leading to the question, Joseph and Co. or Nephi and Co. ?

Or do you agree with Dan Vogel that Joseph wrote the BofM by himself?

Regards,
MG


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 Post subject: Re: Nephi: A can do kinda guy
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:34 pm 
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mentalgymnast wrote:
Simon Southerton wrote:
Why don't you admit your conclusion is fixed up front ...

I might say the same thing about you.

You could, but it wouldn't be true. I was a firm believer and had read the Book of Mormon many times as an adult over two decades. I knew the history it describes within its pages but had never looked at what science said. I had trusted the BYU filmstrips that talked about remarkable evidence in support of the book. I've now looked at both sides of the coin for myself and they don't match up.
mentalgymnast wrote:
Or do you agree with Dan Vogel that Joseph wrote the BofM by himself?

I'm not really bothered if it is the product of one or multiple authors. The important question if whether or not it is fiction.

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 Post subject: Re: Nephi: A can do kinda guy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:34 am 
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mentalgymnast wrote:
Simon Southerton wrote:
Why don't you admit your conclusion is fixed up front and you are not interested in looking at evidence you don't like.

I might say the same thing about you.

Apparently you would just as well keep the focus on external evidences...or non-evidence...in regards to BofM historicity. I'm simply flipping the coin and looking at the other side. I agree with you that if we focus on the side of the coin that deals with archaeological evidence or other external evidences (DNA issues vs. what the BofM seems to be saying, etc.)...along with some church leaders...we're going to come up wanting. Yet, if we look at the internal narrative...the text... and the impact, for example, that Word Print Studies have had, we are left with some questions that I think are worth taking seriously.

Those questions ultimately leading to the question, Joseph and Co. or Nephi and Co. ?

Or do you agree with Dan Vogel that Joseph wrote the BofM by himself?

Regards,
MG

Would it matter who actually wrote the Bernie Madoff prospectus?

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 Post subject: Re: Nephi: A can do kinda guy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:43 am 
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mentalgymnast wrote:
Since that time, and with the reading that I've done, I think that this is true. I don't think we're going to find a sign for the City of Zarahemla or Nephite temples, etc. The archaeology may exist somewhere, or it may be hidden away, but I don't think it's going to be found.


Nowadays, I find the writings of BofM apologists not that interesting. I think they may be searching for a needle in a haystack. But, of course, if they come up with the remains of a City of Zarahemla sign ( and it's dated correctly) I'll get pretty stoked. :smile: Not getting my hopes up though.


Yes, as Joseph found out in his early years, those treasure guardians are a real ____, and those artifacts are damn slippery and when one gets close, if not having tricked or pleased, or gotten the site staked out just right, or sacrificed the right animal in the correct manner, they just slip deeper into the earth.

Sure makes you wonder why the FP does not get that seer stone back to work and find them.


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 Post subject: Re: Nephi: A can do kinda guy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:15 am 
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mentalgymnast wrote:
I think Mormons are actually better off sticking to what the BofM says rather than getting too wrapped up in apologetics.
Like black skin being the sign of a divine curse?

Quote:
Years ago I read Thomas Stewart Ferguson's book Quest For the Gold Plates. In that book he said, "'The first myth we need to eliminate is that Book of Mormon archaeology exists."

Since that time, and with the reading that I've done, I think that this is true. I don't think we're going to find a sign for the City of Zarahemla or Nephite temples, etc. The archaeology may exist somewhere, or it may be hidden away, but I don't think it's going to be found.
Evidence of the Loch Ness monster may exist somewhere, or it may be hidden away, but I don’t think it’s going to be found.

Quote:
Nowadays, I find the writings of BofM apologists not that interesting. I think they may be searching for a needle in a haystack. But, of course, if they come up with the remains of a City of Zarahemla sign ( and it's dated correctly) I'll get pretty stoked. :smile: Not getting my hopes up though.
You are betting 10% of your families income on it though.

Quote:
I don't think it's wise to pin one's testimony/belief in the BofM on archaeological findings exclusively. Yes, there have been some interesting things come along, but nothing conclusive. Like Pres. Hinckley one time said, what's in between the covers is what is important.
Like the importance of understanding that black skin is a sign of a curse from God.

Quote:
Could Joseph Smith have written that book on his own? That's the million dollar question that each person has to determine for themselves.
No. That isn’t the question. The 10% of your income for life question is whether the Book of Mormon is what it claims to be - an ancient record, written by ancient prophets about a real population that actually lived in The Americas, or not. If it’s not that, then who wrote it really doesn’t matter. If it is that, then who wrote it really doesn’t matter.

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 Post subject: Re: Nephi: A can do kinda guy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:49 am 
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Simon Southerton wrote:
I was a firm believer...

I don't doubt that. I remember those days when you were going through your faith crisis. So was I. I actually had a short email exchange with you at the time.

Simon Southerton wrote:
...and had read the Book of Mormon many times as an adult over two decades.

I don't doubt that either.

Simon Southerton wrote:
I knew the history it describes within its pages but had never looked at what science said.

Granted, the science...for me, especially the Great Flood...caused a bit of cognitive dissonance. Until I realized I wasn't duty bound (no, Donald Parry, I don't believe that I am 'duty bound' to subscribe to a worldwide flood) to be on board with a flood that covered the whole planet. Yes, there are other scientific issues that haven't been resolved also. A nod to your book and your work...

Simon Southerton wrote:
I had trusted the BYU filmstrips that talked about remarkable evidence in support of the book.

The Jack West slides. I remember carrying around the film projector on the back of my missionary bike and showing that strip many times. Aarrgh.

Simon Southerton wrote:
I've now looked at both sides of the coin for myself and they don't match up.

Well, you're right. The lack of external evidence (resulting in the belief that the book is made up) doesn't seem to match up with the internal consistencies and complexities of the BofM (why create a book with a rather complex interwoven narrative along with echos of ancient writing resulting in the question, "Could Joseph and Co. have made it up?").

I would again point out the Wordprint Studies that have been done which show multiple authors whose writings all dovetail with each other throughout the narrative. One side of the coin I've referred to earlier points towards unresolved issues and the other side asks us, "What about these prophets in the BofM? Did they really exist?"

http://davies-linguistics.BYU.edu/ling4 ... Hilton.pdf

https://publications.mi.BYU.edu/pdf-con ... alyses.pdf

And yes, there are criticisms of the stylometry analysis. One would expect that. And yes, the WP studies don't necessarily prove anything. But they do provide an interesting twist as we look at internal evidence that the BofM may have its roots in an ancient world with prophets. Not one prophet, but many. It's either that or Joseph and Co. went to a LOT of work to put this narrative together as a team.

mentalgymnast wrote:
Simon Southerton wrote:
I'm not really bothered if it is the product of one or multiple authors. The important question if whether or not it is fiction.

Or do you agree with Dan Vogel that Joseph wrote the BofM by himself?

I totally agree with you Simon. That is the million dollar question. I'm interested in your thoughts in regards to the multiple Word Print studies that have been performed on the BofM text. Do the results of those studies not cause any sort of cognitive dissonance in your mind? Or do you simply ignore or not bother yourself with the results of those studies?

For me, they are sort of a big deal. :wink:

Regards,
MG


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 Post subject: Re: Nephi: A can do kinda guy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:58 am 
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MG, has the word print methodology been shown to be valid when it is dealing with an author who is deliberately trying to mimic someone else's style of writing?

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 Post subject: Re: Nephi: A can do kinda guy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:11 am 
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I think any of you fools who don't know the Book of Mormon is a factual history of the lands South of the United States are just braying donkeys and knitting with nettles:

https://www.ldschurchnews.com/history-r ... kley-47415

During the Mexico City temple dedication this was said:

Quote:
President Hinckley had been speaking several minutes. He paused and explained that there was another person from the other side of the veil he had not mentioned. In a strong voice filled with emotion and joy, President Hinckley exclaimed, “Welcome, Father Lehi! Oh, how your heart must rejoice!”


That. Right there. That proves what MG is saying.

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 Post subject: Re: Nephi: A can do kinda guy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:16 am 
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Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
That. Right there. That proves what MG is saying.

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No it doesn't. Why not engage with what I actually said?

Regards,
MG


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 Post subject: Re: Nephi: A can do kinda guy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:21 am 
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No it doesn't. Why not engage with what I actually said?

Regards,
MG


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 Post subject: Re: Nephi: A can do kinda guy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:12 pm 
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mentalgymnast wrote:
I totally agree with you Simon. That is the million dollar question. I'm interested in your thoughts in regards to the multiple Word Print studies that have been performed on the BofM text. Do the results of those studies not cause any sort of cognitive dissonance in your mind? Or do you simply ignore or not bother yourself with the results of those studies?

For me, they are sort of a big deal. :wink:

Regards,
MG


Whether the book had multiple authors or not doens't really factor in, it seems to me. That doesn't necessarily say anything about whether it describes real people who lived in mesoamerica starting 2600 years ago or not. How do the wordprint studies factor into the question of whether Nephi really lived 2600 years ago?


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 Post subject: Re: Nephi: A can do kinda guy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:17 pm 
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mentalgymnast wrote:
I think I've posed an interesting juxtaposition to his expressed thoughts in this thread.

You're being disingenuous. From a quick search I can see that you have engaged in discussions about this word print business on this forum repeatedly since December of 2008. Almost a decade ago! Your points have been exhaustively responded to. The word print analysis does not show the Book of Mormon to be historical in any way, shape, or form, and you darn well know that. It doesn't even prove multiple authorship. It is nothing more than a mathematical tool that calculates the similarity of different word patterns.


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 Post subject: Re: Nephi: A can do kinda guy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:35 pm 
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mentalgymnast wrote:
To be honest, I was curious as to how he could dovetail or hold the multiple author/prophet/Wordprint Studies up against a non-historical BofM and not come away with a wee bit of cognitive dissonance. I have a hard time dovetailing the two sides of the coin I referred to earlier in the thread.


To be honest, when I was reading up on those studies, some of which did not support a historical Book of Mormon, I didn't come across as very good science yet. It was very soft science at best. Should someone like Simon Southerton give it much credence compared to DNA, which is probably the hardest sciences surrounding the Book of Mormon?

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 Post subject: Re: Nephi: A can do kinda guy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:12 pm 
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Quote:
I'm interested in your thoughts in regards to the multiple Word Print studies that have been performed on the BofM text. Do the results of those studies not cause any sort of cognitive dissonance in your mind? Or do you simply ignore or not bother yourself with the results of those studies?

For me, they are sort of a big deal. :wink:

Regards,
MG


Apologies for taking so long to respond MG. You guys live on the wrong side of the planet and I sleep while you blog.

I'll admit I have not paid very close attention to the wordprint analysis. For the same reason I don't pay close attention to people claiming they have found evidence for a global Flood. Its tedious and boring. I don't need to see the resolution of all these petty claims when the evidence against a global Flood is so utterly overwhelming. The question is resolved. There has not been a global Flood within the several hundred thousand years our species has lived on the planet. This is a fact.

I also do not have a high opinion of BYU apologists. Peterson proudly admits his conclusions are fixed at the outset and he only pays attention to evidence that supports his claims. The church has purchased their loyalty via their salaries, so while ever they work at BYU they will defend the church. The DVD I referred to in the opening post proudly claims it includes the work of 32 top scholars. Do you think you could find just one top non-Mormon scholar who believes the Mayan civilisation was kicked off by Jews?

I mostly pay little attention to the hundreds of apologetic claims because they are so much weaker than the DNA evidence. The word print studies are so open to interpretation. They are highly subjective. Some will see something and some won't and it cannot be proven conclusively either way. This is why the apologists have been so quick to retreat to the vanishing Lamanite DNA nonsense.

Molecular evidence is far more objective because it is built on very simple mathematical principles that have been tested many times in many organisms. Time introduces changes in our genomes at a relatively constant rate. Looking at those differences (and similarities) can reveal related populations. Closely related people have far fewer differences in their DNA. Back in 1990 Tad Schurr discovered Native American DNA was more similar to Asian DNA due to the observation of the same DNA mutations in both populations. That fact has been reaffirmed over and over again. I remember John Sorenson coming out and attacking the evidence from the "new tool in the toolbox" soon after it appeared as though it would soon run its course. He soon learned what he was up against and went quiet.

For thirty years scientists have been searching for the origin of Native American DNA in more and more detail. Do you think they are not looking for signs of non-Asian DNA that arrived prior to Columbus? Of course they are. If they found conclusive evidence of early Europeans reaching the Americas it would almost certainly lead to a publication in the top journals Nature or Science. Thirty years of looking at the Maya and Mesoamericans and still nothing has been found. And that's what has caused the desperation apologetics I refer to in my opening post. The Lehites HAVE to be invisible so they MUST have assumed the leadership of New World civilizations not long after arriving in the New World.

I have a question for you MG. I know personally several former bishops in Australia who have left the church. These men were deeply committed and all knew the church was true. They had felt those amazing feelings and invested their lives in the cause. Then over a period of just a few years all of their children left the church because of CES letter type issues. Often after returning from missions. Each of these bishops had a deep desire to help their children so they started looking for answers, typically on LDS.org sites. Within days their testimonies were in pieces. I am certain this pattern is being repeated in thousands of families around the world.

Assuming you are a father, would you still be as firm a believer if your wife and children had left the church? In other words, could it be that you stick with the ship because the family/employment/social standing/friendship price is too high?

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 Post subject: Re: Nephi: A can do kinda guy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:15 pm 
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Stem wrote:
Whether the book had multiple authors or not doens't really factor in, it seems to me. That doesn't necessarily say anything about whether it describes real people who lived in mesoamerica starting 2600 years ago or not. How do the wordprint studies factor into the question of whether Nephi really lived 2600 years ago?

If Nephi had his own voice and Alma and other prophets had their own voices this would bring up the question of whether or not these independent voices are ancient or modern. It would be an 'either/or'. The Jockers' study would say that the voices are modern. Other studies would say the voices are from Nephi and other prophets in the BofM. Actual people from antiquity. If this is so, then one would be open to Nephi living 2600 years ago.

Stem, I'm answering your question but I will need to exit stage right so as to not take the thread into places that Simon might rather it not go. I thought your question deserved an answer.

Regards,
MG


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 Post subject: Re: Nephi: A can do kinda guy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:23 pm 
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Simon wrote:
I'll admit I have not paid very close attention to the wordprint analysis. For the same reason I don't pay close attention to people claiming they have found evidence for a global Flood. Its tedious and boring. I don't need to see the resolution of all these petty claims when the evidence against a global Flood is so utterly overwhelming. The question is resolved.

That seems to sum up Simon's opinion about the wordprint analysis issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Nephi: A can do kinda guy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:32 pm 
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mentalgymnast wrote:
If Nephi had his own voice and Alma and other prophets had their own voices this would bring up the question of whether or not these independent voices are ancient or modern. It would be an 'either/or'. The Jockers' study would say that the voices are modern. Other studies would say the voices are from Nephi and other prophets in the BofM. Actual people from antiquity. If this is so, then one would be open to Nephi living 2600 years ago.

I don't get it. Would they compare the wordprint analysis to other "actual people from antiquity" who spoke Reformed Egyptian?


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 Post subject: Re: Nephi: A can do kinda guy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:34 pm 
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Simon Southerton wrote:
I have a question for you MG. I know personally several former bishops in Australia who have left the church. These men were deeply committed and all knew the church was true. They had felt those amazing feelings and invested their lives in the cause. Then over a period of just a few years all of their children left the church because of CES letter type issues. Often after returning from missions. Each of these bishops had a deep desire to help their children so they started looking for answers, typically on LDS.org sites. Within days their testimonies were in pieces. I am certain this pattern is being repeated in thousands of families around the world.

Assuming you are a father, would you still be as firm a believer if your wife and children had left the church? In other words, could it be that you stick with the ship because the family/employment/social standing/friendship price is too high?


Bumping for MG's answer to this.


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