Three Powerful Books

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mentalgymnast
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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by mentalgymnast »

Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:03 pm
Joseph Smith was a well known treasure digger from a family that itself was well known for being superstitious and constantly looking for a get rich quick scheme.

We know...
We know...
Doc, I’ll say to you what I said to honor earlier:

I do think that it is rather disingenuous to stir all of your grievances into one pot as though by doing that you are increasing the weight of the pot. I’ve seen this over and over again with critics. Each item in the pot needs to ALWAYS be investigated individually to be fair.
I’ve looked as in depth at most of the things in your list just as you have. And honestly, I have come to a place where these things don’t bother me to the extent that they once did. I can move forward in faith with a sense of integrity. That may drive some folks here bananas, but it’s true.

Making a long list as though that, in and of itself, proves anything is unreasonable. Especially when those things in the list, in many cases, have explanations that are actually supportive in moving forward with a reasonable faith in the restoration narrative.

Regards,
MG

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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by mentalgymnast »

Dr Exiled wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:16 am
MG:

Why is belief in Mormonism necessary in your mind? Why is it necessary to even consider it? Your above comment about "choosing faith v. faithlessness" is artificial and wouldn't even come up unless some Mormon missionary came knocking and presented the false dichotomy.

Surely you have to admit that there isn't much by way of evidence to support Mormon claims. The rock and the hat was hidden from view or at least pushed to the side for over 100 years. Dr. Jenkins publicly pointed out to poor departed Dr. Hamblin that there isn't any evidence to support Nephites/Lamanites in the new world. Adam Clarke seems to be more of a father to Mormonism than the god with whom Joseph Smith claimed to be communicating. Today, "revelation" is in the form of scheduling changes and legal documents. President Nelson isn't going around supposedly healing the masses like Joseph Smith supposedly did when there was a cholera outbreak in Nauvoo. Today, the leadership seems more preoccupied with the Wall Street Journal than anything else. The meetings are monotonous. The temple is just more busy work when one realizes that Jesus or President Nelson could easily do the work for all at once. Jesus did it for everyone and so why not temple work for everyone? I guess getting members to give loyalty oaths to the church, over and over again, is a thing.
Pretty much the same response as I gave to Doc and honor. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it seems to me as though there are folks here that are still functioning in fundamentalist mode. Either-or. Black or white. I’ve always believed that the truth can be found somewhere in the middle.

Well maybe not always, but that’s where I’m coming from nowadays. :smile: It took a while to get there, but I feel that it’s a reasonable approach to seeking truth.

Regards,
MG

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Re: Three Powerful Books

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mentalgymnast wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:38 pm
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it seems to me as though there are folks here that are still functioning in fundamentalist mode. Either-or. Black or white. I’ve always believed that the truth can be found somewhere in the middle.
Also MG -
mentalgymnast wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 3:37 pm
At the end of the day it is a matter of who is right and who is wrong, isn’t it? What worries me about the fact that more and more people such as yourself are running about is that over the long haul you and your kind could become a majority.

...

Nothing against you personally and your right to non-belief in God (one that has laws and expectations for humanity), but everything to do with your kind becoming the norm rather than what still is an anomaly/minority.

The long term ramifications of being wrong are catastrophic.
The world is always full of the sound of waves..but who knows the heart of the sea, a hundred feet down? Who knows it's depth?
~ Eiji Yoshikawa

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Chap
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Re: Three Powerful Books

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honorentheos wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:08 am
mentalgymnast wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 3:37 pm

[...]

Nothing against you personally and your right to non-belief in God (one that has laws and expectations for humanity), but everything to do with your kind becoming the norm rather than what still is an anomaly/minority.

The long term ramifications of being wrong are catastrophic.
Lordy lordy! He done did Pascal's Wager all over again! Better believe in God, because if you don't and you turn out to be wrong you are in big, big trouble.

The difficulty here is that according to several of the versions of the Abrahamic religions, in the context of which MG is evidently intending us to understand his use of the English word 'God', it is essential not only to believe in the existence of the entity supposedly referred to by that word, but to get his characteristics exactly right. Thus, for instance, here is one of the historical creeds of western Christianity included in the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England. It clearly excludes Mormons from salvation, even though they do believe in an entity with origins in the Abrahamic tradition.

So any old 'God' won't do, will it? How are we to know which way to turn to avoid the 'long term ramifications of being wrong'?

The Athanasian Creed (Quicumque vult ...)
Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith unless every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic faith is this: that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father unlimited; the Son unlimited; and the Holy Ghost unlimited. The Father eternal; the Son eternal; and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated; nor three infinites, but one uncreated; and one infinite. So likewise the Father is Almighty; the Son Almighty; and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties; but one Almighty. So the Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord; the Son Lord; and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords; but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity; to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; So are we forbidden by the catholic religion; to say, There are three Gods, or three Lords. The Father is made of none; neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created; but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten; but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal. So that in all things, as aforesaid; the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, let him thus think of the Trinity.

Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation; that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess; that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God, of the Substance [Essence] of the Father; begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the Substance [Essence] of his Mother, born in the world. Perfect God; and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father as touching his Manhood. Who although he is God and Man; yet he is not two, but one Christ. One; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh; but by assumption of the Manhood into God. One altogether; not by confusion of Substance [Essence]; but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man; so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell; rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from whence he will come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies; And shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire. This is the catholic faith; which except a man believe truly and firmly, he cannot be saved.
Zadok:
I did not have a faith crisis. I discovered that the Church was having a truth crisis.
Maksutov:
That's the problem with this supernatural stuff, it doesn't really solve anything. It's a placeholder for ignorance.

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Re: Three Powerful Books

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mentalgymnast wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:32 pm
I’ve looked as in depth at most of the things in your list just as you have. And honestly, I have come to a place where these things don’t bother me to the extent that they once did. I can move forward in faith with a sense of integrity. That may drive some folks here bananas, but it’s true.
I recall you saying you could not reconcile the problems you were aware of and decided to stop worrying about it and just believe. If that makes you happy go for it, but don't pretend you are a truth seeker.
Pretty much the same response as I gave to Doc and honor. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it seems to me as though there are folks here that are still functioning in fundamentalist mode. Either-or. Black or white. I’ve always believed that the truth can be found somewhere in the middle.

Well maybe not always, but that’s where I’m coming from nowadays. :smile: It took a while to get there, but I feel that it’s a reasonable approach to seeking truth.
By your own admission you gave up on seeking truth. Essential to seeking truth is being open to being wrong and willing to change belief to adjust to the facts. You have even admitted to not seeking facts/truth with some of the most important areas of Mormonism like the Book of Abraham, where you admitted you knew little about the problems surrounding it.
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Doctor CamNC4Me
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Re: Three Powerful Books

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MG,

Given the list I gave you can you take this statement, "... it seems to me as though there are folks here that are still functioning in fundamentalist mode. Either-or. Black or white. I’ve always believed that the truth can be found somewhere in the middle.", and provide the middle ground to each bullet point so we can better understand where the middle is on each issue?

- Doc

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Re: Three Powerful Books

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mentalgymnast wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:32 pm
I do think that it is rather disingenuous to stir all of your grievances into one pot as though by doing that you are increasing the weight of the pot. I’ve seen this over and over again with critics. Each item in the pot needs to ALWAYS be investigated individually to be fair.
This is total nonsense. If an alleged perpetrator is on trial and the prosecutor has video evidence implicating the perpetrator, has eyewitness testimony implicating the perpetrator, has scientific evidence implicating the perpetrator, has a confession from the perpetrator, should an appellate court overturn the verdict because there is too much evidence?

I get that each item should be investigated. We aren't in a live debate with limited time. So, go through Doc's list one by one and let's see where it goes. Take your time, but, go through each item and let's see where the supposed weaknesses of the "critics" arguments are.
"Religion is about providing human community in the guise of solving problems that don’t exist or failing to solve problems that do and seeking to reconcile these contradictions and conceal the failures in bogus explanations otherwise known as theology." - Kishkumen 

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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by Philo Sofee »

The main weakness of criticisms has always been that they don't agree with the church. It's why they never take it on with listed individual items..... this is how MG will ultimately end up defending. If it ain't testimony building, it ain't true. Now lets get on with 3 MORE powerful books supporting Mormonism! :rolleyes:
Dr CamNC4Me
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mentalgymnast
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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by mentalgymnast »

Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:03 pm
Joseph Smith was a well known treasure digger from a family that itself was well known for being superstitious and constantly looking for a get rich quick scheme.

We know that nobody ever really saw the gold plates.

We know that the gold plates were not used in the "translation" of the Book of Mormon.

We know that the Book of Mormon bears striking resemblance to other contemporary books, especially one that Joseph Smith's chief scribe, Oliver Cowdery, was quite familiar with.

We know Joseph Smith plagiarized much of his "translation" of the Bible.

We know that Joseph Smith was blatantly wrong in his "translation" of the Book of Abraham.

We know that Joseph Smith was fooled by the Kinderhook plates hoax.

We know that Joseph Smith never told anyone about the so-called "first vision" until over a decade after it happened, and after the church had been formed, and then changed his story about it several times before he died.

We know that he used his position of power to rape and sexually assault many women and girls, and used that power and influence to trick many women and girls into "marrying" him, regardless of their age or current marital status.

We know that he plagiarized much of the temple endowment from masonry.

We know that he engaged in an illegal banking scheme.

We know that he ordered the destruction of a newspaper printing press after it printed the truth about his secret polygamy.

Yet we are supposed to believe this is the guy "God" chose to be his so-called "prophet"? Is that about right? MG is beholden to a joke of a religion and no matter how many ‘nuanced’ angles he takes to compartmentalize his thinking he can’t avoid the irrefutable evidences of history and outright fraud and abuse of his followers.

Facts are real’er than feels. It is what it is.

- Doc
The “kids” have flown the coop and are back home in Missouri. Coming back to this thread to make a comment. I will just say that I have been able to resolve to some extent each one of these ‘deal killers’ you’ve listed. It didn’t come easily. For example, it took years to become comfortable with masonry and Mormonism. But as I came to see Masonry as a ‘template’ to use as a scaffolding for something much bigger it made sense. Did the early Brethren understand what the ‘actual’ relationship was between Masonry and the endowment? I am hesitant to say that they did. Even though they may have thought so.

I think we can find ourselves in some deep Doo Doo if we think that the early brethren had a handle on everything that we think that they should have had. Look at the School of the Prophets, for example. Discussing the very nature of God. And inviting a Hebrew scholar to come and teach Hebrew to be better able to ‘translate’. To think that God was serving everything to them on a silver platter seems to be a ridiculous notion, at least to me. Same thing holds today. I think that’s where we run into problems of belief, when we think that God is serving up everything in its entirety all at once. And at one time.

Line upon line, precept upon precept.

I could go through each item on your list and explain how I’ve been able to dovetail these concerns with a ‘scaffolding’ which includes ‘God’ and restoration of lost truths. But I’m not going to take the time to do that here. I had to do the hard work on my own. It’s a personal path one must take. Is there only one conclusive destination? No. And I’ve repeatedly said that. That’s where we differ. You see only one logical and reasonable conclusion.

You were never able to resolve ANY of these issues you’ve added to your bucket of disbelief?

The question might be, if you were able to resolve one or two issues in your bucket what’s to say that you wouldn’t be able to resolve more? That’s the danger in simply adding a bunch of stuff to the bucket and then call it quits because the bucket is too heavy.

Regards,
MG

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honorentheos
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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by honorentheos »

mentalgymnast wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:47 pm
You see only one logical and reasonable conclusion.

Regards,
MG
Compared to imposing one immoveable illogical and fanciful belief...
The world is always full of the sound of waves..but who knows the heart of the sea, a hundred feet down? Who knows it's depth?
~ Eiji Yoshikawa

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honorentheos
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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by honorentheos »

Hey MG -
Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:18 am
MG,

Given the list I gave you can you take this statement, "... it seems to me as though there are folks here that are still functioning in fundamentalist mode. Either-or. Black or white. I’ve always believed that the truth can be found somewhere in the middle.", and provide the middle ground to each bullet point so we can better understand where the middle is on each issue?

- Doc
The world is always full of the sound of waves..but who knows the heart of the sea, a hundred feet down? Who knows it's depth?
~ Eiji Yoshikawa

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Physics Guy
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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by Physics Guy »

mentalgymnast wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:47 pm
Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:03 pm
We know [12 seriously disturbing things about Joseph Smith].
I have been able to resolve to some extent each one of these ‘deal killers’ you’ve listed. It didn’t come easily. ...

Line upon line, precept upon precept.

I could go through each item on your list and explain how I’ve been able to dovetail these concerns with a ‘scaffolding’ which includes ‘God’ and restoration of lost truths. ...

The question might be, if you were able to resolve one or two issues in your bucket what’s to say that you wouldn’t be able to resolve more? That’s the danger in simply adding a bunch of stuff to the bucket and then call it quits because the bucket is too heavy.
Line upon line, rationalization upon rationalization, until one builds for oneself the larger structure that can support all these awkward weights. If that's a defense of the Mormon restored gospel, to me it seems self-defeating, because that's not what I'd call belief in a gospel. It sounds as though if I were looking to buy a new car, you'd be trying to sell me on one by assuring me that it's not too heavy to push.

I want a belief that supports its own weight by itself, making sense by itself, and has strength to spare to support other things, making sense of them, too. I want good news, not bad news that has to be spun and re-spun until you find the one special angle of squint from which it won't look so bad. I want to know the truth and be set free, not to work through a list of deal-breaking challenges and find it possible to stagger along under their weight.

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Re: Three Powerful Books

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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by mentalgymnast »

Physics Guy wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:34 am
mentalgymnast wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:47 pm

I have been able to resolve to some extent each one of these ‘deal killers’ you’ve listed. It didn’t come easily. ...

Line upon line, precept upon precept.

I could go through each item on your list and explain how I’ve been able to dovetail these concerns with a ‘scaffolding’ which includes ‘God’ and restoration of lost truths. ...

The question might be, if you were able to resolve one or two issues in your bucket what’s to say that you wouldn’t be able to resolve more? That’s the danger in simply adding a bunch of stuff to the bucket and then call it quits because the bucket is too heavy.
Line upon line, rationalization upon rationalization, until one builds for oneself the larger structure that can support all these awkward weights. If that's a defense of the Mormon restored gospel, to me it seems self-defeating, because that's not what I'd call belief in a gospel. It sounds as though if I were looking to buy a new car, you'd be trying to sell me on one by assuring me that it's not too heavy to push.

I want a belief that supports its own weight by itself, making sense by itself, and has strength to spare to support other things, making sense of them, too. I want good news, not bad news that has to be spun and re-spun until you find the one special angle of squint from which it won't look so bad. I want to know the truth and be set free, not to work through a list of deal-breaking challenges and find it possible to stagger along under their weight.
Hi Physics Guy,

You seem to be proving my point. It all comes down to expectations. And if reality doesn’t meet expectations right smack dab in the middle then what do we do? Reality doesn’t seem to demonstrate a ‘silver platter’ approach to receiving metaphysical truth. I think we can at least agree on that. What we want isn’t always what we get. The LDS gospel/theology allows for an expansive view of the universe and man’s place in it.

Placing too much emphasis on the scaffolding/templates to build a structure can take one’s focus/view off of the underlying beauty of a building ‘fitly framed together’ as the Apostle Paul would put it.
19Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Regards,
MG

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Re: Three Powerful Books

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Mormonism fails to meet my expectations by a much wider margin than many alternatives. Most major religions, for example, offer plenty of variants that don't have anything like the heavy baggage of Doc's twelve points. There are plenty of expansive views of the universe and our place in it to be had, which do not require singing praise to a man who coerced multiple young girls into marriage by claiming that God needed them to have sex with him.

You sound to me like someone who feels stuck with Mormonism, for whatever reason, with no choice but to make the best you can of it. And apparently you are able to bear the burden and carry on by means of a bunch of careful dovetailing maneuvers. If that's how it is, then I'm sorry, and I hope that your hard road is as easy as possible. I'm glad I'm not in your shoes.

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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by mentalgymnast »

Physics Guy wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 2:00 pm
Mormonism fails to meet my expectations by a much wider margin than many alternatives.
Within the realms/studies of Judeo-Christian belief/tradition I haven’t seen a tradition that dovetails with the historical panorama of that worldview and man’s place in it as well as LDS theology and the current practices and teachings of the church.
Most major religions, for example, offer plenty of variants that don't have anything like the heavy baggage of Doc's twelve points.
As I alluded to in my response to him, if you were able to take, let’s say, nine of the twelve out of Doc’s bucket of issues...that bucket would be significantly lighter, right? And what’s to say that over a period of time one or two more issues were taken out. The bucket, may in reality, not be that heavy. It’s in the eye of the beholder and the expectations and experience brought into the observation/measurement. And the time and effort made in taking things out of the bucket and giving them a close look. Repeatedly, if necessary.
There are plenty of expansive views of the universe and our place in it to be had, which do not require singing praise to a man who coerced multiple young girls into marriage by claiming that God needed them to have sex with him.
I, for one, don’t sing praises to Joseph for his practice of polygamy. But I do have a certain sense of confidence that he communed with Jehovah. And that’s what the song is about...and what the LDS religion is all about. And when it comes to polygamy, by the way, you know and I know the practice can’t easily be shrink wrapped into a tidy little statement such as the one you made.
You sound to me like someone who feels stuck with Mormonism, for whatever reason, with no choice but to make the best you can of it. And apparently you are able to bear the burden and carry on by means of a bunch of careful dovetailing maneuvers. If that's how it is, then I'm sorry, and I hope that your hard road is as easy as possible. I'm glad I'm not in your shoes.
Thanks for those well wishes. Yes, the path of faith isn’t always a walk in the park. There are hard roads to travel. But the journey is quite exhilarating. I don’t know that I’d have it any other way. Some folks have a really tough time with ambiguity. I did at one time. Not so much any more. And I don’t see that as a handicap as much as a catalyst to continue searching for what truth is available in this life. From wherever it might come from.

Regards,
MG

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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

MG,

Given the list I gave you can you take this statement, "... it seems to me as though there are folks here that are still functioning in fundamentalist mode. Either-or. Black or white. I’ve always believed that the truth can be found somewhere in the middle.", and provide the middle ground to each bullet point so we can better understand where the middle is on each issue?

- Doc

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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by Themis »

mentalgymnast wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:47 pm
But as I came to see Masonry as a ‘template’ to use as a scaffolding for something much bigger it made sense. Did the early Brethren understand what the ‘actual’ relationship was between Masonry and the endowment? I am hesitant to say that they did. Even though they may have thought so.

I could go through each item on your list and explain how I’ve been able to dovetail these concerns with a ‘scaffolding’ which includes ‘God’ and restoration of lost truths. But I’m not going to take the time to do that here. I had to do the hard work on my own. It’s a personal path one must take. Is there only one conclusive destination? No. And I’ve repeatedly said that. That’s where we differ. You see only one logical and reasonable conclusion.
The problem is the explanation that Joseph made it up is the only logical reasonable solution. You are just making the God knows all and we don't argument for rationalization of something you don't want to accept. Most of your rationalizations just make Joseph and God dumb and dumber. It's not logical to make God do stupid things like making templates and revealing masonry rituals as being ancient temples rituals, or papyri as the record of Abraham. God creating evidence to make Joseph look like all the other frauds is not logical or reasonable MG.
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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by Themis »

Physics Guy wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 2:00 pm
You sound to me like someone who feels stuck with Mormonism, for whatever reason, with no choice but to make the best you can of it. And apparently you are able to bear the burden and carry on by means of a bunch of careful dovetailing maneuvers. If that's how it is, then I'm sorry, and I hope that your hard road is as easy as possible. I'm glad I'm not in your shoes.
He is stuck in Mormonism. The same for many well educated people. Many Like MG are part of devout families where unbelief is a HUGE deal. Then add getting married to a women who thinks the same thing. Unbelief is a huge deal that has good odds of one losing their family, wife and children.
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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by mentalgymnast »

Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:03 pm
Joseph Smith was a well known treasure digger from a family that itself was well known for being superstitious and constantly looking for a get rich quick scheme.
He was a treasure digger in his youth. I’m supposing that you’ve read Bushman’s book.
We know that nobody ever really saw the gold plates.
There are witness that say/testify otherwise. I’m supposing that you’ve read source materials in a balanced fashion?
We know that the gold plates were not used in the "translation" of the Book of Mormon.
The plates served their purpose. Mainly, in my opinion, as a/the reference source and artifact which contained the ‘code’ used in running the ‘program’ of translation.
We know that the Book of Mormon bears striking resemblance to other contemporary books, especially one that Joseph Smith's chief scribe, Oliver Cowdery, was quite familiar with.
I would expect this. The book came forth in a certain day and age. Why would we expect the language and syntax to NOT conform with that which Joseph and OTHERS were familiar?
We know Joseph Smith plagiarized much of his "translation" of the Bible.
He did, more often than not, use existing sources as ‘templates’ as he added additional ‘flesh’ to to the truth that was already in place. No reason to reinvent the wheel.
We know that Joseph Smith was blatantly wrong in his "translation" of the Book of Abraham.
There are components that are in question, yes. There are also doctrinal truths in the mix. The BofA has a publication history behind it that lends itself to questions as to the provenance of every minute bit of the final form. If I’m not mistaken, the Book of Abraham was voted on as scripture after the Saints came out west. That, in and of itself...the vote in conference...isn’t reason to accept every jot and tittle of the BofA as being God given. I mean, think about it, the serialization format taken for publication in Nauvoo and the historical underpinnings of that ‘project’. I could be mistaken, but I’m not aware of any direct evidence that shows that Joseph Smith saw the whole BofA project as being in the same class as the BofM publication.
We know that Joseph Smith was fooled by the Kinderhook plates hoax.
He never took the time to actually translate the plates. Yes, he did see similarities between some of the characters and other characters that he had come across in his KEP studies, but nothing conclusive. Go back and read what Don Bradley has to say in regards to this topic, if you haven’t already done so.
We know that Joseph Smith never told anyone about the so-called "first vision" until over a decade after it happened, and after the church had been formed, and then changed his story about it several times before he died.
The key components remained the same. It sounds as though you haven’t really put any real research into this particular issue. You apparently haven’t put yourself in Joseph Smith’s place? C’mon, he was a BOY at the time of his epiphany. You’ve heard of developmental stages, right?
We know that he used his position of power to rape and sexually assault many women and girls, and used that power and influence to trick many women and girls into "marrying" him, regardless of their age or current marital status.
As I said the physics guy, you can’t shrink wrap the whole polygamy thing into a short sentence or two. Well, you can, but you don’t begin to scratch the surface. And as I’ve said before, you need to keep the filter of history in mind also. A lot of what we know, or think we know, about polygamy came through the lens of Nauvoo polygamy which in large part comes through the historical shenanigans of John C Bennett.
We know that he plagiarized much of the temple endowment from masonry.
Yes, masonry was used as a template as the temple endowment was constructed and put together. No doubt about that. You apparently see that is a problem. I don’t.
We know that he engaged in an illegal banking scheme.
Joseph Smith was not a skilled businessman. No one is going to argue that. He along with many others at the time made some serious miscalculations in regards to what was going on within the banking and monetary system failures present at the time. He was a man of his times and made some of the same errors that other people did back in those days. Joseph Smith himself made it clear that he didn’t act in the name of God or receive inspiration in everything that he did, especially when it came to temporal affairs.
We know that he ordered the destruction of a newspaper printing press after it printed the truth about his secret polygamy.
I’m really questioning whether or not you’ve actually researched these 12 topics? Of course Joseph Smith ordered the destruction of the newspaper in Nauvoo. He saw it as a direct attack on himself and the church. As an outsider, that looks to be a heinous act. On the other hand, if Joseph believed himself to be a prophet...which he did... and the church to be a restoration directed by God himself, then he would see this as being a direct attack on the restoration of the church itself. He couldn’t allow that to happen. Joseph, as you know, wasn’t the first one to destroy a printing press during that time in American history.
Yet we are supposed to believe this is the guy "God" chose to be his so-called "prophet"?
Because of time and space I haven’t begun to scratch the surface of my conclusions and thoughts in regards to your 12 questions, and by the way many others that could be asked. Your questions are short little soundbites that at first glance seem to put a dagger in the heart of Mormonism. But that’s all they are, short little soundbites. Some people will be suckered into thinking that soundbites are actually conclusive or complete history. Especially those of a black and white mindset. On a board such as this there is no way we can really flesh out issues and complications in LDS church history. It’s a personal path that each person has to take on their own, spending many hours, and reading lots of books, and doing lots of thinking and praying.

I cannot be the judge of whether or not you have or haven’t traveled this path. What I do know is that in my experience there are quite a few folks that have looked at issues superficially without really spending the necessary time and effort using many different sources in order to come to a place where they can honestly say that they have made the sacrifice to obtain accurate and at least somewhat complete information. Some say they have, but I’m not sure that they have, at least in my opinion.
MG is beholden to a joke of a religion and no matter how many ‘nuanced’ angles he takes to compartmentalize his thinking he can’t avoid the irrefutable evidences of history and outright fraud and abuse of his followers.
And that’s where you’re coming from, I get that. I think you are mistaken, however.
Facts are real’er than feels. It is what it is.
I actually agree with you on this point. I too am skeptical of making any decisive choice based purely upon feeling and emotion.

Again, I have barely scratched the surface in regards to any one of these 12 issues you’ve presented. But that’s all the time and effort I’m choosing to give it for now. I would encourage you to go and look, study, and read a wide range of sources rather than those that have a simple agenda of discrediting the Prophet Joseph Smith and/or the restoration narrative.

I know it’s hard for you to wrap your mind around, but there are actually a lot of folks out there that are fairly well read and have still chosen, with a sense of integrity, to hold on to their beliefs and membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

But it’s true.

Whether or not it’s a “joke of a religion”, time will tell, huh?

Regards,
MG

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Doctor CamNC4Me
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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

And that’s MG’s middle ground. Maybe I missed it, but I didn’t really the ‘middle’ to the middle ground?

- Doc

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