A New Mopologetic Gambit? Smoot Tries Out Racial Politics

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Re: A New Mopologetic Gambit? Smoot Tries Out Racial Politic

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I understand that Mr. Smoot was POed at what John Hammer was saying, but offering no rebuttal is better than a muddled one.
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Re: A New Mopologetic Gambit? Smoot Tries Out Racial Politic

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Okay, okay: I admit I was exaggerating slightly in my last post. I don't believe that the Mopologists (most of them, anyway) believe that today's Native Americans have a darker skin color due to being disobedient and getting punished by God. That said, those who believe in a literal, historical Book of Mormon *must* believe that God inflicted this punishment on *some* group of people: basically "racializing" and "othering" them as a punishment. So this is really, ultimately, a theological question--much like the question of the so-called "TK Smoothie." Do the Mopologists believe that this is something that Heavenly Father does--and that, indeed, he *did* do: i.e., turn a group of disobedient people into a darker-skinned race? They pretty much have to: they believe in a God who doles out racist punishments. Or, they can clear this up and explain to us how you can simultaneously believe in a historical Book of Mormon and yet *not* believe in the bit about people's skin getting turned darker.

Meanwhile, in another corner of cyberspace, Good Ol' Neal Rappleye is also weighing in on the question of Book of Mormon historicity:

Rappleye wrote:About a month ago, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement on the geography of the Book of Mormon, and even more recently it has made some revisions and changes to that statement. It’s short, and sweet, and to the point. Some may be tempted to significantly add to it or bicker over its wording, but I think to do so would be inconsistent with the spirit and purpose of the statement, and be a kin to “steadying the ark,” as it were.


Link to the official Church statement is here. This is the first (and arguably most relevant) paragraph of the Church's statement:

LDS.org wrote:The Book of Mormon includes a history of an ancient people who migrated from the Near East to the Americas. This history contains information about the places they lived, including descriptions of landforms, natural features, and the distances and cardinal directions between important points. The internal consistency of these descriptions is one of the striking features of the Book of Mormon.


Rappleye offers up this interpretation:

The main take away is (emphasis is mine in all quotations):

Although Church members continue to discuss such theories today, the Church’s only position is that the events the Book of Mormon describes took place in the ancient Americas.


Note that this is the only position the Church takes. This means if you believe the Book of Mormon took place anywhere in the Americas, you are in-line with the Church’s official position.

--Believe in a hemispheric geography? Your views are in-line with the Church’s official position.
--Believe in a limited geography within a specific region of the Americas—say Mesoamerica, or Peru, or the eastern United States; or even Alaska, or Terria del Fuego, or the Caribbean islands? Your views are in-line with the Church’s official position.
Believe in a limited geography some place outside the Americas—say, the Malaysian peninsula or the horn of Africa? Your views are not in-line with the Church’s official position.
--Believe the events of the Book of Mormon took place nowhere (i.e., that the book is fiction)? Your views are not in-line with the Church’s official position.
--Believe that anything more specific than “somewhere in the Americas” is required to be consistent with the Church or the prophets? Your views are not in-line with the Church’s official position.


Whoa! There is a lot to take in here. First, he's defending the Heartland model? You have to at least admire his charity and collegiality--he has always been an outlier when it comes to pure Mopologetics. But I also think that he needs to be more careful in his reading. Take a look at the first line of the Church's statement:

The Book of Mormon includes a history of an ancient people who migrated from the Near East to the Americas
(emphasis mine)

"Includes." Not "*is* a history" or "is in its totality" or "is an accurate history." It includes *a* history. Now, what do you make of that? To my eyes, this means that the official LDS Church is saying that only *part* of the Book of Mormon is real history: some piece of the book, though certainly not all of it, and they do not specify how much, is "a history." I leave it for you to judge how much this will impact either Skousen's Ghost Committee work, or the proposed fictional Book of Mormon theory. Hey, if the only part of the Book of Mormon that is accurate history is merely the journey of Nephi and Co. to America, but everything before and after is fiction or allegory... Well, I think you can see where this leads.
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Re: A New Mopologetic Gambit? Smoot Tries Out Racial Politic

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Doctor Scratch wrote:"Includes." Not "*is* a history" or "is in its totality" or "is an accurate history." It includes *a* history. Now, what do you make of that? To my eyes, this means that the official LDS Church is saying that only *part* of the Book of Mormon is real history: some piece of the book, though certainly not all of it, and they do not specify how much, is "a history."


This is a fascinating find, and I think you're right that this leaves open a reading compatible with a fictional Book of Mormon. Am I wrong, or doesn't Lord of the Rings contain a "history of middle-earth"?

But even if he's right, does it matter if a person's views aren't in line with what the Church teaches?

1) one might reason that as the essays are proving, the Church's position will change in the future. (Don't the apologists themselves believe in continuing revelation?)

2) The Church has pretty much come out and said you can believe whatever you want privately.

3) Even if one publicly teaches a fictional Book of Mormon, until the Church takes action against the person, then no harm no foul. The faithful fiction (class) of theories is an interesting case. Suppose a person believes the Book of Mormon is a great literary novel given to Joseph Smith by a very real angel Moroni and radically affirms the first vision, the WoW, the Church's stance on all the conservative issues and is constantly telling critics they can't explain the complexity of the novel. Is the Church really going to excommunicate such a person?
Lou Midgley 08/20/2020: "...meat wad," and "cockroach" are pithy descriptions of human beings used by gemli? They were not fashioned by Professor Peterson.

LM 11/23/2018: one can explain away the soul of human beings...as...a Meat Unit, to use Professor Peterson's clever derogatory description of gemli's ideology.

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Re: A New Mopologetic Gambit? Smoot Tries Out Racial Politic

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--Believe that anything more specific than “somewhere in the Americas” is required to be consistent with the Church or the prophets? Your views are not in-line with the Church’s official position


even if this is the case, who cares? Have the Heartland folks gotten the beat down for dissing FARMS? A relative of mine recently used the Heartland theory on me and had clearly been warned about FARMS by his source. It seems like the Heartland operation has been openly calling FARMS on their apostasy for years and the Brethren are okay with it.
Lou Midgley 08/20/2020: "...meat wad," and "cockroach" are pithy descriptions of human beings used by gemli? They were not fashioned by Professor Peterson.

LM 11/23/2018: one can explain away the soul of human beings...as...a Meat Unit, to use Professor Peterson's clever derogatory description of gemli's ideology.

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Re: A New Mopologetic Gambit? Smoot Tries Out Racial Politic

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Gadianton wrote:
Doctor Scratch wrote:"Includes." Not "*is* a history" or "is in its totality" or "is an accurate history." It includes *a* history. Now, what do you make of that? To my eyes, this means that the official LDS Church is saying that only *part* of the Book of Mormon is real history: some piece of the book, though certainly not all of it, and they do not specify how much, is "a history."


This is a fascinating find, and I think you're right that this leaves open a reading compatible with a fictional Book of Mormon. Am I wrong, or doesn't Lord of the Rings contain a "history of middle-earth"?


Mark Twain's book Roughing It is often treated as if it's fiction. Is it? He really did go out west, and he really did live in Virginia City during its heyday. But is it "history"? It's not memoir, exactly, and there are portions of it that are clearly satiric, and others that are pure exaggeration. And it is clearly a literary work, by one of America's great authors. So, no: it's not "history" in the manner that a professional historian would write such a thing. "History" in that sense is more along the lines of something like Rough Stone Rolling or Mike Quinn's Mormon Hierarchy books. The Book of Mormon, in terms of genre, is not "history" in that sense at all, because if you believe it is "telling the truth," then you basically believe that it is an assemblage of memoirs written by multiple authors and collated by an editor: a collection of subjective impressions. Remember: Anne Frank and Mark Twain are both writing about things that really happened to them. But which "counts" as "history"? Is the Book of Mormon as accurate as The Diary of Anne Frank or Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass? Or, is it closer in accuracy to Roughing It, or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (which, let's face it, also attempts to catch the truth of a particular historical moment)? How, I wonder, would Smoot or any of the other Mopologists answer these questions?

But even if he's right, does it matter if a person's views aren't in line with what the Church teaches?

1) one might reason that as the essays are proving, the Church's position will change in the future. (Don't the apologists themselves believe in continuing revelation?)


I think that they do, but they believe that the Brethren have delegated this responsibility to them.

2) The Church has pretty much come out and said you can believe whatever you want privately.

3) Even if one publicly teaches a fictional Book of Mormon, until the Church takes action against the person, then no harm no foul. The faithful fiction (class) of theories is an interesting case. Suppose a person believes the Book of Mormon is a great literary novel given to Joseph Smith by a very real angel Moroni and radically affirms the first vision, the WoW, the Church's stance on all the conservative issues and is constantly telling critics they can't explain the complexity of the novel. Is the Church really going to excommunicate such a person?


This is a good point, and I wonder if we've actually reached a stage where the best measure of "true doctrine" is whether or not publicly believing in it will get you excommunicated.
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Re: A New Mopologetic Gambit? Smoot Tries Out Racial Politic

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Gadianton wrote:
--Believe that anything more specific than “somewhere in the Americas” is required to be consistent with the Church or the prophets? Your views are not in-line with the Church’s official position


even if this is the case, who cares? Have the Heartland folks gotten the beat down for dissing FARMS? A relative of mine recently used the Heartland theory on me and had clearly been warned about FARMS by his source. It seems like the Heartland operation has been openly calling FARMS on their apostasy for years and the Brethren are okay with it.


It seems that, rather like the Mopologists themselves, the Brethren don't mind watching a blood feud amongst the faithful.
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: A New Mopologetic Gambit? Smoot Tries Out Racial Politic

Post by I have a question »

Doctor Scratch wrote:
Rappleye wrote:About a month ago, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement on the geography of the Book of Mormon, and even more recently it has made some revisions and changes to that statement. It’s short, and sweet, and to the point. Some may be tempted to significantly add to it or bicker over its wording, but I think to do so would be inconsistent with the spirit and purpose of the statement, and be a kin to “steadying the ark,” as it were.
The Church released the statement on The Book Of Mormon a month ago, and has already had to make “revisions and changes” to it? Anyone know what those revisions and changes were?

LDS.org wrote:The Book of Mormon includes a history of an ancient people who migrated from the Near East to the Americas. This history contains information about the places they lived, including descriptions of landforms, natural features, and the distances and cardinal directions between important points. The internal consistency of these descriptions is one of the striking features of the Book of Mormon.


Take a look at the first line of the Church's statement:

The Book of Mormon includes a history of an ancient people who migrated from the Near East to the Americas
(emphasis mine)

"Includes." Not "*is* a history" or "is in its totality" or "is an accurate history." It includes *a* history. Now, what do you make of that? To my eyes, this means that the official LDS Church is saying that only *part* of the Book of Mormon is real history: some piece of the book, though certainly not all of it, and they do not specify how much, is "a history." I leave it for you to judge how much this will impact either Skousen's Ghost Committee work, or the proposed fictional Book of Mormon theory. Hey, if the only part of the Book of Mormon that is accurate history is merely the journey of Nephi and Co. to America, but everything before and after is fiction or allegory... Well, I think you can see where this leads.
I think that first line is a massive step towards Gadiantons fictional Book Of Mormon.

But we’ve seen the Church do this before. Lamanites were the “literal” ancestors of the Native Americans, then they became the “principal” ancestors of the Native Americans, and currently they are simply “among” the ancestors of the Native Americans. Every step moving further away from the original claim. Now it’s the turn of The Book Of Mormon.
“When we are confronted with evidence that challenges our deeply held beliefs we are more likely to reframe the evidence than we are to alter our beliefs. We simply invent new reasons, new justifications, new explanations. Sometimes we ignore the evidence altogether.” (Mathew Syed 'Black Box Thinking')

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Re: A New Mopologetic Gambit? Smoot Tries Out Racial Politic

Post by Gadianton »

Moving Tapirraider's find to this thread:

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeters ... eople.html

You have to appreciate Dennis Horne's appreciation for Bruce R. McConkie at time like these. Say what you will, but McConkie understood the subtleties of language very well, and knew how to put a matter such that there would be no confusion about it. DCP gives a reading of the Church's statement consistent with his view that the Book of Mormon is (sort of?) history. That's half of the point, the other half of the point is that other readings of the statement are possible. Perhaps he should include in his upcoming book on logic, how his articulation of these words are the only possible reading of them.

https://www.LDS.org/study/ensign/1985/1 ... d?lang=eng

Bruce R. McConkie wrote:the Book of Mormon is a history of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas.


Now that's the way you put a thing, particularly in times like these when there's quite a bit of talk going around about the Book of Mormon as inspired fiction. Unless, of course, you don't want to summarily exclude that talk.

A prominent author at SeN writes, concerning the Book of Mormon:

SeN wrote:The book is, overall, a historical narrative, but a host of other things are embedded within that narrative


That's rather fascinating. Although, it would be more to the point if the Church had said "The book of Mormon is a history that includes a host of other things" rather than saying "the book is a host of other things that includes history".

Daniel Ludlow put it this way many years ago:

https://speeches.BYU.edu/talks/daniel-h ... ny-is-one/

Daniel Ludlow wrote:The Book of Mormon is a history book, but it is much more than that.


Ludlow put it directly in the way the folks over at SeN want to have it. But that's not what the Church said. I think the Church's statement is open to that sort of interpretation in their new, Big Tent venture, but it's not the only reading.

SeN's words themselves are a bit of a concession to the way the Book of Mormon has been looked at over time.

SeN wrote:Many parts of the Book of Mormon offer narrative history


So we're going from the book as a history book, to many parts being narrative history. Other than in very recent years, how many references to the wording "narrative history" can you find on LDS.org? Okay, it does seem like narrative history with all the storytelling, but the comfort level in associating the Book of Mormon with "storytelling" in any way has been historically very low.

I have a greater appreciation now for what Symmachus said recently about conceding the Book of Mormon as an ancient book rather than historical. The prevailing belief until very recently seems to have been that the Book of Mormon is a scientifically precise historical monograph, sheer truth pouring out from the clouds. Oh, but it has some juicy wisdom and pretty good poetry packed in there too!

The concerns of the apologist are pretty narrow, and in the back-and-forth we've come to accept their (fallacious) terms that if the Book of Mormon is ancient then it's real, otherwise it's fiction. But that isn't true: it could be ancient and fiction at the same time. But even if it's ancient and "non-fiction" as a storytelling historical narrative, accuracy comes into question -- it's only totally real if it's a scientifically precise historical monograph. As narrative, we have to wonder if things like, the precise wording to the sacrament prayers was kept (one word off and do it over!). The Book of Mormon hasn't always been just to prove Joseph Smith is a prophet. It was also supposed to correct details lost to the Bible, but as the apologists (and church?) concede ground to get it into the most believable form of ancient text that they can, they sacrifice the possibility of precision doctrinal accuracy of the kind that it is supposed to have that the Bible lost.
Lou Midgley 08/20/2020: "...meat wad," and "cockroach" are pithy descriptions of human beings used by gemli? They were not fashioned by Professor Peterson.

LM 11/23/2018: one can explain away the soul of human beings...as...a Meat Unit, to use Professor Peterson's clever derogatory description of gemli's ideology.

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Re: A New Mopologetic Gambit? Smoot Tries Out Racial Politic

Post by I have a question »

Where does the “gap” the Church creates in its statement with its careful choice of the word “includes”, leave the books own internal statement about itself?

The
Book of Mormon
An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi

Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites—Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile—Written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation—Written and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed—To come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof—Sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by way of the Gentile—The interpretation thereof by the gift of God.

An abridgment taken from the Book of Ether also, which is a record of the people of Jared, who were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, when they were building a tower to get to heaven—Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever—And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations—And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.

https://www.LDS.org/scriptures/bofm/bofm-title?lang=eng
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Re: A New Mopologetic Gambit? Smoot Tries Out Racial Politic

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That is exactly right: saying that the Book of Mormon is an "ancient" book is not the same as saying that it's a legitimate "history." The Iliad is "ancient." Is it "history"? What if we were to re-envision the Book of Mormon as being "historical" in much the same way as The Iliad? Well, maybe we need to go with The Odyssey, since we need some more blatantly supernatural elements? Here's the thing: if we go that route, whose position is more compatible--the Mopologists', or the official Church's? The Odyssey certainly "includes a history of an ancient people": there really were ancient Greeks; Ithaca is a real place; the Trojan War was a real event (and we have archaeological proof of this!). But The Odyssey has the added benefit of stuff like Scylla and Charybdis; the Sirens; and the Cyclops and so forth: sort of akin to the Cureloms, Cumoms, the Liahona, and other supernatural elements in the Book of Mormon. Men in The Odyssey are turned into pigs as a kind of "punishment"; people in the Book of Mormon are turned into Native Americans as a form of celestial discipline.

The crucial detail is this: the Mopologists insist that all of this stuff is *real*. God really did turn people's skin a darker color as punishment. God really did reach down and touch a rock and make it glow. There really are/were literal 3 Nephites who are still walking around today. These are all necessary consequences of the Mopologists' belief in a literal, historical Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is their Odyssey. (And if they're not, then let them publicly deny them.)

The LDS Church, on the other hand, apparently would prefer to see the Book of Mormon as being more like The Iliad. As far as I can tell, most scholars on the Iliad would probably agree that it "includes a history of an ancient people," even if the consensus also seems to be that this "history" is, at best, highly problematic. It's certainly not the sort of professional academic monograph that you're describing, Dean Robbers. The bureaucratic Church sees the reality that the Mopologists' do not, however: membership numbers are in a state of hemorrhage, and so you work to keep everyone you can. You need to keep the Meldrum people; you need to keep the LGT people; you need to keep the "Sisters in Parowan" who haven't heard of either theory; you need to keep the people who think that Book of Mormon is pure fiction. Hey, if they are paying their tithing, then why take sides and fan the flames?

Unlike the Mopologists, who are interested mainly in enforcing their version of orthodoxy and squashing their "enemies," the Church is interested in growth and retention of members. So, yes: it is actually the institutional Church itself which most supports a fictional Book of Mormon.
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: A New Mopologetic Gambit? Smoot Tries Out Racial Politic

Post by Doctor Scratch »

DCP's response isn't very good, or very sophisticated. Even if we grant his basic claim, which is that the Book of Mormon is a "legitimate history" (whatever that means), it seems to escape him that our basic inquiry has to do with how accurate this "history" is. The LDS Church itself appears to be saying, "We don't know. Some if it is surely history, and we know this based on what the Prophets of the past have told us. But, hey: not much actual evidence has turned up at this point, so, officially, we have decided to hedge our bets on this one." Prof. P. is taking up the position of the zealot, where every last tidbit in the Book of Mormon is historically accurate: the description of Lehi's dream was spot-on accurate; the account of the Jaredites was literally true. Look at this:

SeN wrote:1 Nephi 1 is a historical narrative, yes. But 1 Nephi 8 is, overwhelmingly, a description of a vision. As are 1 Nephi 11-14. 2 Nephi 4 is, for the most part, a poetic lament. Multiple chapters in 1 Nephi and 2 Nephi are quotations from the prophet Isaiah. They’re examples of prophecy, not of historiography. Jacob 5 is — expressly — an extended allegory. So is Alma 32. And they’ve always been recognized and understood as allegories. In Mosiah 13, the prophet Abinadi is expounding the ten commandments, not recounting a historical narrative. Alma 5, like many chapters of the Book of Mormon, contains a sermon. (Compare 3 Nephi 11-16, for example.) Alma 36-42 records a father’s advice to his three sons. Moroni 3-5 contains not historical accounts but instructions regarding priesthood ordination and the blessing of the sacrament. Moroni 8-9 features two letters from Mormon to Moroni. Moroni 10, rather than being a historical narrative, is an exhortation to then-future readers. And so on.


That's a dodge of the question. Quinn's Mormon Hierarchy books relate "visions" that the Brethren experienced as well, but we're made to understand that this is historical reportage. (Can anyone else hear the Mopologists rummaging around in their bookshelves, looking for their dogeared copies of That Noble Dream?) Do the Mopologists think that Lehi's dream really happened? (And to clarify: I'm asking about whether or not there was a real man named Lehi, who literally had this dream, and who then woke up the next day and described the dream in exacting detail to his family. Did this happen, or not?) Or, instead, do they think that the Book of Mormon wants us to know that it allegedly happened, based on anecdotal, textual, and circumstantial evidence that we have? Are there any reasons why we should doubt that it--or anything else in the book--happened?

But, to continue: Do the Mopologists think that Abinadi really did "expound the ten commandments"? Do they think that the sermons literally happened (and in the Yucatan, for that matter)? And you should notice something else: *none* of Dr. Peterson's examples have anything whatsoever to do with the supernatural events that are described in the book. Why do you think that is? (Also take note of his phrase: "historical narrative" (emphasis mine). Even he is starting to adopt the Church's tactics, just as you predicted, Dean Robbers. No longer is this pure, accurate history; now it is getting muddied up by the fictionality of "narrative"!
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: A New Mopologetic Gambit? Smoot Tries Out Racial Politic

Post by I have a question »

Could one tread the path of claiming some of the Book Of Mormon is the historical retelling of a made-up event?

20 And it came to pass that they fought all that day, and when the night came they slept upon their swords.
21 And on the morrow they fought even until the night came.
22 And when the night came they were drunken with anger, even as a man who is drunken with wine; and they slept again upon their swords.
23 And on the morrow they fought again; and when the night came they had all fallen by the sword save it were fifty and two of the people of Coriantumr, and sixty and nine of the people of Shiz.
24 And it came to pass that they slept upon their swords that night, and on the morrow they fought again, and they contended in their might with their swords and with their shields, all that day.
25 And when the night came there were thirty and two of the people of Shiz, and twenty and seven of the people of Coriantumr.
26 And it came to pass that they ate and slept, and prepared for death on the morrow. And they were large and mighty men as to the strength of men.
27 And it came to pass that they fought for the space of three hours, and they fainted with the loss of blood.
28 And it came to pass that when the men of Coriantumr had received sufficient strength that they could walk, they were about to flee for their lives; but behold, Shiz arose, and also his men, and he swore in his wrath that he would slay Coriantumr or he would perish by the sword.
29 Wherefore, he did pursue them, and on the morrow he did overtake them; and they fought again with the sword. And it came to pass that when they had all fallen by the sword, save it were Coriantumr and Shiz, behold Shiz had fainted with the loss of blood.
30 And it came to pass that when Coriantumr had leaned upon his sword, that he rested a little, he smote off the head of Shiz.
31 And it came to pass that after he had smitten off the head of Shiz, that Shiz raised up on his hands and fell; and after that he had struggled for breath, he died.
32 And it came to pass that Coriantumr fell to the earth, and became as if he had no life.

https://www.LDS.org/scriptures/bofm/ether/15?lang=eng

Is the story of Shiz as retold in the Book Of Mormon the recounting of an actual event that really happened as described?
Or is it the story of a war that actually happened but which the original scribe, or subsequent scribes/abridgers have embellished?
The Plates of Ether, which present a history of the Jaredites. This record was abridged by Moroni, who inserted comments of his own and incorporated the record with the general history under the title “Book of Ether.”

https://www.LDS.org/scriptures/bofm/exp ... n?lang=eng

Or is it an insertion by Joseph and that part of the book is simple fictional content put in there as a parable based on things he had heard had happened during wars?
On the 17th of June, (1864?) in the charge of the Ninth Corps on the Confederate works east of Petersburg, a sergeant of the Fifty-Seventh Massachusetts leaped upon the parapet, and with his cap in his left hand and his musket in his right, stood cheering and gesturing with his arms to incite his comrades to come on. Suddenly a shell took off his head as completely as a knife could have done, but the tall form continued erect for some seconds, the arms still waving frantically but with ever-lessening sweep and power, until the forces of the body collapsed, when the headless trunk toppled over to the ground.

A telegram received from South Africa, on February 1st, of the present year [1900] says:

A curious incident is related of the fighting at Spion Kop [between the British and the Boers] on January 24. One of the soldiers of the English Lancaster Regiment while firing as lie lay face downward, had his head taken clean off by a shell. To the amazement of his comrades, the headless body quietly rose, stood upright a few seconds and then fell.

This last example is almost a perfect parallel to what is related of Shiz.

http://www.shields-research.org/Scriptu ... eading.htm

A similar question could be asked about the Jaredite barges.

Is it original History?
Orignal fiction (made up at the time of original writing)?
Original History plus original fiction (embellishment)?
Original History plus 19th Century embellishment?
Pure 19th Century fiction?

The Church's statement is suggestive that the leaders of the Church don't actually know.
“When we are confronted with evidence that challenges our deeply held beliefs we are more likely to reframe the evidence than we are to alter our beliefs. We simply invent new reasons, new justifications, new explanations. Sometimes we ignore the evidence altogether.” (Mathew Syed 'Black Box Thinking')

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Water Dog
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Re: A New Mopologetic Gambit? Smoot Tries Out Racial Politic

Post by Water Dog »

Y'all are over thinking this. Stephen is just jealous that John Hamer has found a way to openly live as a gay man while still identifying with Mormonism and pursuing the same hoakey pokey subjects Smoot finds interesting.

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Re: A New Mopologetic Gambit? Smoot Tries Out Racial Politic

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Things are already going badly for Dr. Peterson on his thread. Someone named "Skynet Global Defense Network" posted this comment:

SGDN wrote:Dan, I wish I shared your confidence the Church will not change its position on the historicity of the Book of Mormon, but based on past history the Church has done a 180 degree change on many important beliefs (polygamy and blacks, just to name a few).

Indeed, the Church has been gradually shifting its position on the Book of Mormon for decades. I wonder what a pioneer would think of the Church's current statement and position. Here is a brief overview of the different and evolving positions the Church has taken:

At the August 2004 Sunstone Symposium, David Anderson presented a paper entitled "The Secrets of Nim's [Necessary, Inferred Mayans]: When the Book of Mormon was Dictated, Were There 'Others' in it?" He outlined the four stages defenders have gone through in trying to identify the Book of Mormon people:

1- Originally the Church taught all American Indians are Israelites and descend from Lehi.
2 - When research started pointing to Asians as the ancestors of the American Indian, the Church revised their claims to say there may have been others in the land but they didn't mix with the Israelites.
3 - As the population numbers in the Book of Mormon came under greater scrutiny, it was claimed that others in the land mixed with the Lamanites (and possibly with the Mulekites), thus enabling the huge growth.
4 -Now that DNA has established that almost all American Indians descend from Siberians, LDS defenders claim the descendants of Lehi intermarried and lost their genetic identity.

Regardless, it will be interesting to see what further changes the Church will make on this most interesting issue.


Here's Prof. P.'s response:

Sorry, SGDN, but I don't see the history of the Church even remotely the way you do, and I can't see any sign that the Church is moving away from the historicity of the Book of Mormon.

None.


Well, sure: if your head is stuck in the sand, then you won't see *any*thing! And it only gets worse, when DCP is forced to admit that he "accidentally" edited SGDN's next post!

SGDN wrote:SGDN: "How do you see Church history?"

Wie es eigentlich gewesen.

SGDN: "Certainly not immovable and unchanging?"

Certainly not.

SGDN: "Do you think a pioneer would be surprised to see the current position of the Church regarding the Book of Mormon?"

Perhaps a little bit. Not much. He would be very surprised, though, at airplanes, automobiles, television, radio, the internet, and refrigerators.

Oops. Sorry, SGDN. I inadvertently hit the "edit" button rather than the "reply" button, and I can't undo that now.


Jiminy Brunswick wrote:Daniel Peterson, can you edit others' comments?

At first, I thought SGDN was making a parody, suggesting how you might respond to certain statements, and so I thought, "Wow, SGDN is doing a pretty good job!"


Daniel Peterson wrote:Yes, I can edit others' comments. (It's my blog.)

I've very rarely done it. The few times that I have, it's been to remove something (e.g., temple content, or a crude image) that I thought inappropriate. It's a less drastic approach than deleting a post altogether.


SGDN wrote:Dan wrote: "Oops. Sorry, SGDN. I inadvertently hit the "edit" button rather than the "reply" button, and I can't undo that now."

No worries. Thanks for your response.


Maybe an innocent mistake. Maybe the posting equivalent of a Freudian Slip. Regardless, the air is seeping out of this balloon in a hurry.
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: A New Mopologetic Gambit? Smoot Tries Out Racial Politic

Post by Shinster »

Why does Patheos still allow him to blog (word-vomit) on their website?

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Re: A New Mopologetic Gambit? Smoot Tries Out Racial Politic

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Shinster wrote:Why does Patheos still allow him to blog (word-vomit) on their website?


That's a great question, Shinster. He is getting paid money to do it, even, and as anyone can readily see, most of his posts are not even "his." His basic technique is to write a sentence or two of preamble, and then to fill up the bulk of the posting with other people's words. But I believe he's been "disciplined" by Patheos in the past, such as the time when he posted images of black people being lynched....as a joke. The "apology" he wrote in the wake of that was so stilted and out of character that I can only conclude that he was ordered to do it by Patheos's administrators. It may be that it's just a matter of time before he is booted off of Patheos in much the same way he was booted out of the Maxwell Institute. I mean, the stuff is piling up: the lynching thing, the alleged plagiarism, him openly threatening lawsuits, etc. I'm guessing that he must get enough views (and thus draw in enough ad revenue) to put him in the good graces of the Patheos admin. But you're right that they are taking on certain risks by keeping him on board. I've said elsewhere that I've been sensing that something "big" is on the horizon. DCP's removal from Patheos would certainly count as something "big"!
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: A New Mopologetic Gambit? Smoot Tries Out Racial Politic

Post by grindael »

And I'm sure that all those poor brown folk that Smoot is speaking for were taught that black/dark skin wasn't really black/dark skin, but that was simply a metaphor. It's just their souls, amigo.

Isn't that what his people do? Lie about what the Book of Mormon really teaches? And how many of those people in South America and Mexico were taught that the Book of Mormon is talking about literal black skin? And that their ancestors were therefore inferior to the whites? That someday the descendants would be white skinned and blue eyed too?

Smoot's defense of the poor brown folk is so disingenuous that is boggles the mind.
Riding on a speeding train; trapped inside a revolving door;
Lost in the riddle of a quatrain; Stuck in an elevator between floors.
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Re: A New Mopologetic Gambit? Smoot Tries Out Racial Politics

Post by John Hamer »

Smoot wrote:I mean, sure, everybody knows that accepting the authenticity of the Book of Mormon makes you a genocidal racist. (This includes, naturally, Elder Larry Echo Hawk, those employees at Book of Mormon Central of Latin American and indigenous ancestry, and the scores of faithful Latin American Latter-day Saints who believe the Book of Mormon.)
I've been extremely clear: if you're an indigenous American and you have taken the European imperialist denial of your cultural existence as a source of pride, you are totally justified in turning a tool of the oppressor into your favor. It is not my place to assert that indigenous Americans cannot think of themselves as "Lamanites" — that's entirely up to them. I have never said anything to the contrary and I've affirmed this view repeatedly. Historically marginalized groups do this all the time: e.g., "queer" was originally derogatory term applied to gender non-conforming people, but many today have opted to embrace that identity and language as a source of pride. That is fully justified.

However, if Stephen Smoot, as a settler / European American insists that Native Americans are Lamanites, then he's as racist as if he were using the N-word to describe African Americans, who may well use the same term internally as a source of empowerment.

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Re: A New Mopologetic Gambit? Smoot Tries Out Racial Politics

Post by moksha »

John Hamer wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:46 pm
However, if Stephen Smoot, as a settler / European American insists that Native Americans are Lamanites, then he's as racist as if he were using the N-word to describe African Americans, who may well use the same term internally as a source of empowerment.
But Stephen Smoot has a black friend. Kudzu or Kwasicoatl or something like that. Consiglieri would know.
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Re: A New Mopologetic Gambit? Smoot Tries Out Racial Politics

Post by Dr LOD »

John Hamer wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:46 pm
However, if Stephen Smoot, as a settler / European American insists that Native Americans are Lamanites, then he's as racist as if he were using the N-word to describe African Americans, who may well use the same term internally as a source of empowerment.
Thanks for saying it that way.

When I told my bishop That I don’t want him or any church leader under him to reference my family that way and considered it equivalent to the N-word his jaw dropped. To his credit I haven’t heard it since then.

I just read through Smoot’s comments to his post what an immature prick! He is well on his to accomplish his dreams to being DCP 2.0.

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Re: A New Mopologetic Gambit? Smoot Tries Out Racial Politics

Post by John Hamer »

Is Elder Larry Echo Hawk a racist? No.

Is Stephen Smoot a racist? If he can say "the Book of Mormon has zero historicity," then I don't know. If he can't and instead believes the Book of Mormon is historical or if he believes it has a kernel of historicity, then by definition, Stephen Smoot is a racist (and, I will say again, he is guilty of ongoing genocide).

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