"Has anybody ever come up with an explanation of how Joseph Smith was able
to come up with such a spot-on description of olive horticulture while living so
far from the Mediterranean? "Joseph Smith, like most people in
that part of the nation at the time, were of European descent, some of whom
probably were immigrants, or had ancestors who were immigrants, from the
Other places worth looking into for evidence concerning the Book of Mormon is to
Google, "Book of Mormon Evidence" or "Lost Civilizations of North
America" or "FIRM (The Foundation For Indigenous Research and
Mormonism." All three are basically the same thing, but this should
hopefully give some folks an idea of things that are coming forward.
@krislostTestimony can be compared to love between a man and his
wife. If love isn't nourished it withers and dies. Certainly it doesn't grow.
The couple who once held hands at the alter is now in front of a judge getting a
divorce.Question: What kind of love is so tenuous that it must be
constantly fed? Answer: The kind that lasts and grows stronger.
FlyingFinn:What kind of testimony of something is so tenuous that
it must be constantly fed and cannot withstand discussion, honest seeking, and a
good dose of real church history? Why are testimonies so weak that EVERYONE
risks losing it, no matter what position you hold in the church. My mother raised me to be honest. I am, with myself and God. If something
does not feel right, and my own sense of personal integrity tells me that some
things are just not right, I will NOT participate. No amount of humbling
oneself or changing behavior, or seeking Gods will can produce answers in the
LDS sense for everyone. Moroni's promise in the BOM does not hold true for
everyone that asks. I choose to not destroy my familys faith by adding doubt
and fear. Thank you SamBaUSA. I will continue to participate in
discussions in the future, but I do not think this is the place to call people
to repentance or lecture(or brag) about the strength of ones testimony. It is
possible to be interested in archeology and oral and written folklore without
needing to find proof of God.
Again, I dont want to detract from wonderful comments above (Jaime, Flying,
granny : ) etc etc).I'm very busy, but want to explain that I've been
communicating with a few DN anti-Mormons for more than a year (usually on Mike
Ash articles). I have no ill will towards them, often joke with them, and feel
they serve an important purpose. They know I luvem : ) and I tell
them every week : ). They also know they can't explain away JS, BoM, etc. They
have been trying for years, following 200 years of failed attempts, which turn
supportive. It's important to understand that some DN critics are
leading international Anti-Mormons and activists (working together), and are
highly trained, openly express willingness to be dishonest (justifying
"dishonesty" in comments to me), are regularly caught in this
dishonesty (but repeat debunked comments), and do pretend to be active,
offensive, or naive LDS (sometimes with strawman arguments). Theyve
occasionally posted their names or websites etc trying to entrap, but monitors
wont let me give info, for more search past Deseret News Michael Ash articles,
JM comments Dec24 2009-present, etc. This is what they do.And I still luvem heaps!!!! : )
It is always interesting to read about new findings and the discussions that
follow. I also find it interesting with the LDS faith how these discussions
typically digress to why people leave ths church. I respect those that no longer
believe. Your reasons are yours alone. But, why not take the responsibility to
have your name taken off the records. Either you are not that confident in your
decision or you are trying to play both sides of the street. Your families
already know your decision. Being in the middle with your life and beliefs is
not a comfortable place to be. Stand up and take responsibility. You can't stand
on the fence forever. My personal impression is that you are simply not mature
enough to make a decision about your life and get on with it.
Again, I dont want to detract from wonderful comments above (Jaime, Flying,
granny : ) etc etc).I'm very busy, but want to explain that I've been
communicating with a few DN anti-Mormons for more than a year (usually on Mike
Ash articles). I have no ill will towards them, often joke with them, and feel
they serve an important purpose. They know I luvem : ) and I tell
them every week : ). They also know they can't explain away JS, BoM, etc. They
have been trying for years, and others for nearly 200 years, but in failing
validate. I also feel it's important for all to understand that
some of these are leading critics and activists (working together), and are
highly trained, openly express willingness to be dishonest, are regularly
caught in this dishonesty, and seemingly have multiple accounts, some pretending
to be active but offensive or naive LDS (sometimes with strawman arguments). Two stir up hatred in foreign countries, writing newspaper articles etc,
and have websites. This is what they do.I'm a father
and very busy, but feel it is important to point out what is going on. And I still luvem all !!!! : )
re: Flying Finn 6:51amWhat hurtful behavior are you referring to?
You sound like you are taking an illogical stance that all former members are
sinful and must be ""doing something wrong." For the
former members I know, the only "behavior" that led them out of the
Church was curiousity about their own Church's history and the fortitude to read
up on it. Is intellectual honesty with one's self a
"behavior" you would disparage? I think it commendable and their
leaving the church at such possible personal costs is heroic and brave. Would
you agree? Or would you prefer that stay engaged and pretend to believe? Is
that a behavior you would prefer?
Hopefully they post that last comment explaining a little about what is going on
between myself and my beloved anti-Mormon friends who post here. I
just want to add that they know there are mountains of evidence for the BoM, and
we have been discussing this for more than a year on Mike Ash articles and they
are unable to explain the BoM etc.@chrisalmondI haven't
seen the chrisalmond screen name before so will add an invite to him to go to
FAIR MAxwell, etc or Mike Ash articles and look into evidences, if that is what
he needs, but as we are discussing now, no evidence converts, even with all the
miracles of Jesus, still, Peter knew by the still small voice, not Lazarus.
Re: krissy | 7:50 p.m. April 4, 2011 LDS children are taught by
their mothers that a testimony is a living thing that must be watered and fed or
it will wither and die.Some people consider themselves "former
members" but don't want their records removed because it might hurt their
families. To them I'd submit that it is their behavior and not some piece of
paper that hurts their families.
MormonCowboy:From Mike Ash, Aug 16, 2010:"If there was no
other similarity between NHM and Nahom other than the consonants, it might be
dismissed as a homophonic coincidence (two words that sound the same). NHM,
however, was the name of an actual seventh-sixth century B.C. location that
precisely fits the Lehite narrative of their South Arabian journey including
the note the fact that it was a burial ground. It lies, just as the Book of
Mormon predicts, in the vicinity of an eastward turn in the ancient Arabian
trail, and leads to another specific location that also matches Book of Mormon
geography. Such interlocking complex parallels add significant weight to Old
Word archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon."I wouldn't
say that Ash "holds doubts", as you first put it. He sounds pretty
convinced, even more than most.Also, in Daniel Peterson's
"Evidences of the Book of Mormon", he fails to convey any of his
"doubts". Quite the contrary.I am not saying everyone is
convinced. I've just never read of a well-known pro-LDS scholar (your word) who
was not impressed with the NHM name, time, and place correlations.
To those of you who question and want an answer I would say it is time to get
down on your knees and ask our Heavenly Father to give you an answer that you
might know the truth. And to the EX Missionary, all I can say is Please
come back, your family loves you, and wants to share the eternities. If you
have a problem keeping you away from the blessings of activity, you really need
to humble yourself and get down on your knees. the Lord loves you
"People leave the church, but can't leave it alone".Not
quite. Some of us leave because we just don't believe it is true. And, it
really has nothing to do with sin or guilt. I still stay current on Deseret
News and the LDS teachings, not because I'm trying to justify my apostasy, but
simply because I understand it. I grew up with it. I have the inside
perspective without the emotional chains. Most of my family still believes and
is still "active. I consider it interesting, but that is about it. I'm
not attacking or justifying. I, like alot of people have not had my records
removed because it would hurt my family. I'm not anti-mormon and I find phrases
like "apostate" and "in-active" offensive, only because they
are labels that just don't fit everyone. Like most former "members",
I am not running from the "truth". I actually feel sorry for those of
you that continue to believe. This article was interesting. Even
more interesting the comments on this board that some consider the metal plates
a "faith promoting" find. Even sadder that they too, are probably
I'm sure that Mark Hoffman has something to do with it.
@ex missionaryApostasy is as old as the Christian Church itself.
Judas Iscariot was worthy to be called to the Apostleship by Jesus. It was only
later that the Lord asked "Judas, are you betraying the son of man with a
kiss?"At what point did Judas begin to turn away? Certainly it
JSB"But, as President Hinckley said, People leave the church
but they cant leave it alone. I think this is because they feel the need to
constantly justify their apostasy. Its a lot easier than repenting and its more
fun to mock the LDS church."The same derogatory phrase method
could be said of religious people. Religious people could be labeled as
continuously justifying their ancient made illusions. Required to read
scriptures daily, bear testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel to each other
often, dont miss church. Seems like great methods to control thought
processes.Look! The truth of the matter is that everyone here on
this earth wants to be happy. We all have our own opinions and beliefs. We are
all seeking for truth. If an organization claims that they are the
monopoly of truth, ex. God only speaks to prophets. Be prepared for a thorough
examination of your claims. If you dedicate all your gifts, talents
and very own life to an organization and later find out it is not being
completely honest. Could you leave it alone?
Jaimee Lee Bonberger:Both Michael Ash and Daniel C. Peterson have
concluded that NHM is not conclusively Nahom, though they both favor the
position that it is. I'm not going to do a scholar search for you, I have read
enough from Farms and Fair to recognize that there is a broad spectrum of
opinion on this matter. The two names mentioned above should suffice to
demonstrate that fact. Why reproduce the words of Isaiah indeed? It
seems rather unproductive to me, but I'll admit its all just reasonable
conjecture on efficiency.Larri3:Space will not allow a
comprehensive response to either Lindsay or Brant, but suffice it to say that
there are several cognitive leaps. For example, the single servant refenced
"must mean the Chief Steward", or the frequency of references to
"dunging" are somehow consistent with known ancient horticulture. It
is also fascinating how much these apologists read into these details, while
dismissing just as-matter-of-factly Pauls precedent in the New Testament -
absent any proof of a so-called Zenos (I know, lost through the apostasy).
Trenching, Dunging, and pruning, that's what it amounts to. I guess we have our
Allin The Words and MormonCowboy, I googled as suggested and learned even more
details that lead to the conclusion that Joseph Smith could not possibly have
written the book of Jacob on his own. Google the following key words,
"joseph smith olive horticulture brant mormanity," and read up on
this. Flippant dismissal of facts is easy; serious study with an open mind is
difficult. A serious investigator it seems to me, must conclude that either
Joseph Smith was a real prophet or the most intelligent, convincing and
committed hoaxer who ever lived. I can simply ignore the whole issue if I
prefer, saying that it has no impact on me and is irrelevant to my life, which
is true if Joseph Smith created and perpetuated a hoax but most definitely false
if he was as he claimed.
@ ex missionary and double rainbow:You are right about the "no longer
believes the church is true" group and I know a lot of people like this. I
thought they were covered in the rest of the list. I wouldn't class them as
anti Mormons. The NLBTCIT group usually don't go out and attack the church. I
think the attackers have deeper issues and they loose their objectivity in
trying to justify their apostacy for the rest of their lives. At least that's
been my experience.
@JSBYou got me, it was adultry! Plus I'm a sign seeker (the two go
hand in hand right?) It's just interesting that the leading differential
diagnosis for someone leaving the church, in church members minds, is sin. And
way down there, or not even appearing, is that the church just isn't true. Now
that's real indoctrination!
@Double Rainbow:When I talk with people I listen to what they have
say at face value and I don't try to second guess what they might be thinking in
the back of their mind. The typical inactive LDS member doesn't write to Church
Headquarters and ask for their names to be removed.Why your focus on
adultery and not apostasy?
JSB - When listing reasons why people leave the church you have left
off "no longer believes the church is true". Not everyone leaves the
church for this reason but it is very common. I could see someone
feeling guilty if they stopped attending because they felt it was too demanding
but still believed it was true. But why would someone who no longer believes the
church is true feel guilt about leaving it? I can't conceive of a reason why
they would, I certainly don't feel guilty about it.So, I'm asking,
why did you leave this reason off your list and what do you think of this
category of people (formber believers but current non-believers)? Do you agree
that it doesn't make sense that guilt would be a motivator for them to comment
on boards like this?
Re. Double Rainbow. People leave the LDS church for a lot of reasons: no
interest, too demanding, disillusioned, personal conflicts, guilt, etc. My
point was that anti Mormon propaganda really wont negatively affect a persons
testimony unless he has another issue(s) and the propaganda, no matter how
flimsy, gives them an excuse to leave. Often, I have heard apostates say: No
more guilt and then spend the rest of their lives attacking the church. People
can feel guilty about a lot of things. You mentioned adultery, I didnt. But,
as President Hinckley said, People leave the church but they cant leave it
alone. I think this is because they feel the need to constantly justify their
apostasy. Its a lot easier than repenting and its more fun to mock the LDS
FreeForAll:I loved your comment. I am so perplexed and sad when I
see and hear people who identify themselves as active members of the LDS Church
mocking other people who are different than they are.It is so
common. Even among people who are close to me. I love discussing things in
forums like this but I am so ashamed when I see the arrogance that is sometimes
displayed so cavalierly by those who represent the Church because they identify
themselves with it.I don't understand it.
Also, kudos to the Deseret News for giving an objective reporting on these
plates. In their eagerness to bolster the claims of their owners, they could
have easily omitted the BYU Professors skepticism, and the fact that they didn't
shows good, objective journalism and intellectual honesty, something I wish was
more highly regarded and emphasized within the Church and it's various
(repost with cleaned up grammar.) TO the people who are saying that no matter
how much archeological evidence was found it wouldn't do anything to pursued
the skeptics, I would like to go on the record stating that if there was
conclusive (or even just very strong) archeological evidence confirming the
historicity of The Book of Mormon, I not only would have never left the Church,
but will make it my first priority to be re-baptized if such evidence is ever
uncovered. I suspect many others in my shoes would say the same Of course, even
if these plates were shown to be legit it wouldn't be strong evidence of the
B.O.M., but if such plates were found in the Americas it certainly would.
Bramhabull- You wrote:"You also mentioned how the church gets
'continuing revelation'. This is not true either. Maybe guidance, suggestions,
self-help speeches, but revelation??"The last time I heard
continuing revelation was a few hours ago in General Conference. That's why we
have Conference. If we didn't need continuing revelation they'd just hand us
the scriptures and say- go at it.Dallin H. Oaks talked of "The
threefold sources of truth about man and the universe: science, the scriptures,
and continuing revelation"
And I would like to give Kudos to the Byu professor who, despite realizing that
accepting such a find would not only fit easily into his worldview but provide
some long sought empirical evidence for one of the Church's many historical
claims that must be taken on faith alone, he approached it with an unbiased and
honest assessment allowing him the objectivity to acknowledge it seems fishy.
This sort of intellectual honesty is good for the Church and something that
should be more encouraged and respected, not only because it is the ethical
thing to do, but it also adds to the Church's credibility and takes ammo away
from it's critics.
JM- You said- "I'm just curious : ) No offense."As a
practicing LDS like you are and as someone who loves to engage in debate with
those who might not necessarily believe as I do I have to say that I do not
believe those words to be honest.It seems clear that you meant
offense. Had you truly not meant offense you would have used very different and
much more careful language. If you truly didn't mean offense then you need to
rewrite your whole comment to be clear with your intention.Ex
missionary has a right to his beliefs. We should treat him with respect.
TO the people who are saying that no matter how much archeological evidence was
found it wouldn't do anything to p pursued the skeptics, I would like to go on
the record stating that if there is was conclusive (or even just very strong)
archeological evidence confirming the historicity of The Book of Mormon, I not
only would have never left the Church, but will make it my first priority to be
re-baptized if such evidence is ever uncovered. Of course, even if these plates
were shown to be legit it wouldn't be strong evidence of the B.O.M., but if such
plates were found in the Americas it certainly would.
Mormoncowboy:A) Which LDS scholars (or are they apologists?) hold
doubts about NHM? The fact remains that there is only one location on the
Arabian peninsula known to exist in 600BC with the place name NHM, and it is
serendipitously in the exact location where a turn east takes you to the only
location that could fit the description of "Bountiful". It also lands
right on the path Nibley and others previously regarded as mostly likely taken
by the Lehite party.B) Regarding chiasmus, your ergo consideration
seems ill-placed. Why include redundant verses from Isaiah if they already have
the brass plates? Why the repetition overall? If chiasmus were seen as a
teaching technique for the "remnant" of their seed, why would they NOT
use it? As for whether chiasmus appear in the BoM merely by chance, I invite all
to review the study by Edwards and Edwards entitled "Does Chiasmus Appear
in the Book of Mormon by Chance?".
El Ingreso:A couple of responses:1) If "faith in
Christ's restored gospel is a matter of choice", then what makes that
choice any better than the alternative of not having faith? In fact, if it is
strictly a choice absent proof, then it seems a rather poor choice in light of
the evidentiary (though inconclusive) alternatives.2 - A) Nahom -
Not as self-evident as you would like, I'm afraid. Even some Church scholards
hold doubts as to whether NHM is actually Nahom mentioned in the Book of Mormon.
So in answer to your question, there is a significant likelihood that Joseph
Smith didn't know about it, and defenders are straining at gnats.2 -
B) Chiasmus - Another characteristic of The Book of Mormon with little
agreement. In many instances, Alma 37 for example, the alleged chiasticity is
quite inconsistent. Secondly, when we extend the chiastic parameters beyond
words and into themes (which BoM apologists do), the basis for determining
chiasmus is quite subjective. Besides, from just a practical standpoint it
wouldn't have made sense for the Nephites to write in chiasmus anyway! They were
ergonomically constrained by the task of engraving, so why include unnecessary
Re: AllInTheWords | 9:45 p.m. April 2, 2011 No one is trying to
prove anything to you. There are those today who would not believe if they were
to see the Red Sea parted and people walking across on dry ground.The things of the spirit, like love, cannot be proved to the satisfaction of
the physical eye.
Mormoncowboy,Very astute rebuttal. Now, how did Joseph Smith know
about Nahom? And Chiasmus? Faith in Christ's restored gospel is a
choice. Choosing to find discredits in order to disprove the LDS church means
you no only choose not to have faith in the restored gospel, but you also seek
to "kick against the pricks", and seek to demean beliefs. "Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the
pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God. We have learned by
sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon
as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to
exercise unrighteous dominion."
"larri3: Has anybody ever come up with an explanation of how Joseph Smith
was able to come up with such a spot-on description of olive horticulture while
living so far from the Mediterranean?"Yes, Joseph Smith did not
live in the day's of Google, where answers to these types of questions is as
simple as a few keystrokes and less than five minutes worth of reading. Try
Romans 11:16 - 24, a discourse from Paul on grafting wild olive branches with
tame olive branches, symbollic of the doctrine of "adoption". If you
made any attempt to answer the question, before posing it rhetorically, you
would have found this out. It was likely plagiarized conceptually from the New
Testament.Second - what was this advanced perspective on ancient
olive horticulture that Joseph Smith, "could not have known"? Pruning,
trenching? I guess by that same logic we should not discount Alma either. He
also offered a spot on analysis of horticulture, as an allegory on faith. Put a
seed in the ground, nourish it, then wait and see. If it grows it was good, if
doesn't it wasn't. How could Joseph Smith ever figure that out, right?
Hoax or no hoax, I find it interesting how they were metal and bound.
Personally I cannot wait to see what they really are. Little fishy that 5 years
have gone by without anyone mentioning them. But take a look at how long it took
to get the Dead Sea Scrolls published and out to the public. With that
experience, I hope the governments, churches and scholars get their act
together, do the responsible thing and get to the bottom so we know what they
are. But then we all seem to like chewing on a good mystery for a
larri3: Has anybody ever come up with an explanation of how Joseph Smith was
able to come up with such a spot-on description of olive horticulture while
living so far from the Mediterranean? Maybe by reading? Since
Joseph could write, it makes sense he could read. He read the Bible. There
were books on horticulture of the Mediterranean prior to J.S. being born.
(Google it.)As to what this has to do with the topic of the Jordan
Cave plates; is there a connection I may have missed?What does
explaining it or not being able to explain it even prove?
"It is surprising how many people claim not to believe in God but the
supplicate for his help when our ship is sinking and we have no life
jacket."It's amusing when people use this kind of thinking as
if it actually supports the idea that "we all know, deep down, that there
is a God" or some other such nonsense. Because what such stories actually
suggest is that people create a god out of fear of death and the unknown. The
whole "There are no atheists in foxholes" thing isn't true (though the
continued use of such a thoroughly discredited meme does reveal a lot about the
arrogance and ignorance of the people who use it, specifically their desperate
hope that everyone who opposes one of their fundamental beliefs is flaky and
actually, secretly agrees with them deep down inside) - but even if it were true
it wouldn't be anymore meaningful than the fact that lots of other people stop
believing in God during periods of severe hardship.
Very well said FreeForAllThank you
No one is looking for archeological evidence of God. We are looking for
archeological evidence of a civilization. Shouldn't be that hard to find.
As a retired chemist, I can safely say that determining whether the plates are
ancient or not should be relatively easy. An elemental fingerprint analysis and
an isotope analysis of the lead should immediately determine their age. The
ancient methods of lead extraction and the use of the lead then are completely
different than today. Ancient lead was largely the byproduct of silver refining
and contains many trace impurities. Modern lead is usually used in lead acid
batteries for cars and contains elements not available to the ancients. In
addition, the isotopes of lead are characteristic of their place of origin. A
similar analysis can be made of the binding rings. Modern metals are far more
pure than the ancient ones, and have specific compositions not often used by the
ancients.These tests require only very small amounts of material-a
little corner of a plate and a ring. Even using the most modern techniques,
this type of information would be impossible to forge.I would
suggest that this type of analysis should be performed BEFORE any attempt at
decipherment, since if the plates turn out to be modern, it really doesn't
matter what they say.
ex missionary | 6:40 a.m. April 1, 2011 When I paint a target and
invite others to throw apples at it I should not act surprised when people
accept my offer.It is surprising how many people claim not to
believe in God but the supplicate for his help when our ship is sinking and we
have no life jacket.
There are a lot better, authenticated examples of writing of scripture on metal
media in old Egyptian or Hebrew script in the Middle East, and that are actually
in the BoM timeframe. This "discovery", while interesting
on what it could mean to our potential understanding of early Christian/Jewish
thought patterns and record keeping (if found to be authentic), would have
little to no bearing on any BoM belief or tradition. It should be taken purely
in its archaeological context. Even if it is authentic, it will likely be years
or even decades before anyone unravels its full significance.
RanchHand: Anything though to build up the hopes of the faithful.I
assume you are referring to the faithful LDS folks out there.This
story has been published in other news sources for a while now. The tone of the
DesNews story regarding the authenticity and impact of this
"discovery" is one of fraudulence at worst, insignificance at best
(what impact does the 200 BC to 600AD time frame in the Middle East have on LDS
history or belief systems? Not much). I am not sure how that builds up hopes of
the faithful. I think you are reading into it something that is not there.
A couple of thoughts@JSB One of the reasons I don't want to talk
religion with members of the church is because in the back of their mind they
are thinking "What's wrong with you? What sins did you committ? Is it
adultry? I'll bet its adultry." People leave the church all the time
because they just don't think its true.I started skipping JM's
comments a while ago. There is a very deliberate tone that is designed to
elicit a response.What if the plates were found to be real and
people got interested in the church and then felt the spirit? Would that be an
acceptable way for objective evidence to lead to faith?
I'm talking to fellow Latter Day Saints, please don't criticise others for their
beliefs and opinions.We believe in following the Savior by using
kindness, not forcing our Religion down peoples throats and expect them to take
it! We also don't believe in mocking others, that is the way of
Satan.What Latter Day Saints believe as stated in the Articles Of
Faith.We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to
the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let
them worship how, where, or what they may.
I would love to believe this find is significant but certainly wont rule out the
possibilty that they are fake. I just pray that if they are genuine and
significant to us then they will fall in to the hands of gods servants. I agree with ex missionary's statement that conversation would be better
quality without unneccecery attacks on each others views or faith.
Has anybody ever come up with an explanation of how Joseph Smith was able to
come up with such a spot-on description of olive horticulture while living so
far from the Mediterranean?
Items containing Hebrew writing found in North America have always been
immediately categorized as fakes and hoaxes. The chief reason seems to be that
there has never been definitive proof that anybody who wrote in Hebrew was ever
in America before Columbus. Any pictographs that show horses are similarly said
to have been created after the Spaniards arrived because to our knowledge there
were no horses in America until after Columbus.
google Peter Thonemann on lead codices with Daniel O McClellan
Fake... more news articles are coming out about it. I would post the url's but
that is forbidden. sorry...
Personally, I have never known anyone whose testimony was seriously damaged by
anti Mormon propaganda unless there was something else amiss in their lives
already. Then they can use the propaganda to justify leaving the faith and get
rid of the guilt they had been carrying. But then they feel that they must
spend the rest of their lives justifying their apostacy.
Bramhall/JM:A cursory view of the quotes contained in The Presidents
of The Church, Elders Quorum/Relief Society manuals, compared to the original
statements, ought to be enough to convince any observor that the Church is very
cautious as to what it "volunteers" within it's own histories. On to the topic:Reading the banter that is going back and forth, I
can't help but wonder if most people commenting here didn't actually read the
article. The overall tenor is that the artifacts are probably fake. The
alternative theory is that they originate between 200 and 600 AD. In either case
that rules out parallels to Nephites writing on metal plates. Even the BYU
scholar seems doubtful. Not even Mormon enthusiasts are picking this one up, so
where exactly is the debate coming from? Secondly, it has long been
established that there is at least some evidence of metal inscriptions going
back possibly to the ancient egyptians (I won't pretend to be scholar on the
matter), making all of this dicussion moot. Old World metallurgy is not nearly
as controversial as New World metalurgy. The Book of Mormon references both.
Contrary to the belief of some on this board, I am not offended. Attempts to
describe me as a person who was deceived or lied to are silly as well. What I am trying to do is point out how pretentious it is for a person to
assume he or she knows the motives and history of another person he or she has
never met and then share that information in the discussion board in an attempt
to discredit the other's position.It is much more respectable when
someone discusses the issues (even if it is done in a snarky way). Ad hominem
attacks often disguise weak arguments and nearly always sidetrack the
conversation if they aren't called out. For example, it would be
really bad form for me to call someone out on this forum and imply that no one
should trust what they say because they are ignorant, delusional, or some other
despective term. Amazingly, some people on that post on these stories cross that
line continually and explicitly in attempts to defend their faith, others do it
more subtly. I know we would have better quality conversations if everyone
One of the codices have been found to be a forgery, so it is very likely that
all of these have been forged. The codex in question contained a piece of a
Greek inscription on an old Jordanian tomb. It is akin to finding a letter
containing the phrase "not to be, that is the quest". You'd know that
the phrase was a quotation. The question would be why is a lead codex quoting
from the inscription on a Jordanian tomb with a phrase that makes no sense
without the rest of the inscription as context (and this phrase occurs multiple
times on the same codex).This is nothing more than someone trying to
make a quick buck in the antiquities market and a Discovery channel special.
JM - on a side note, you mention how you think some people were misled with
'lies' by the anti's. Well that may be true some of the time. But more often
than not the church deceives its members, for which there is no excuse. The
church edits its own history, taking out certain things that they feel are not
beneficial to the average reader. They hide certain facts and stop discussing
doctrinal issues (blacks and the preisthood, polygamy, the pearl of great price,
adam-god theory) so lets not assume that anti's are the only ones being less
than truthful in their approach. If you searched and knew as much about the
church you are a member of as you claim to it would be beneficial. And just
because a person has questions or concerns about the church doesn't make them
anti's or any less of a member. Those who don't question things are naive.
Remember, all this we claim to believe is because Joseph Smith questioned what
others were telling him, so it is not a sin to have doubt.
Jm - If you honestly think that as you say "I know of no canon (prophets
words)that has been dismissed as words of men and not of God." then you are
extremely naive. The early church, and even the modern chruch for that matter,
has numerous times where prophets say something that is later dismissed as
'opinion'. Mormons pick and choose what statements of former prophets to
classify as 'doctrine' and which to disgard as 'opinion'. I am a member myself
but am not closed to the reality and truth that some people bring into the
conversation. If something is a fact, then it has to be looked at. You also
mentioned how the church gets 'continuing revelation'. This is not true either.
Maybe guidance, suggestions, self-help speeches, but revelation?? When was the
last time you heard a prophet give a revelation or speak about doctrinal
clarification? Probably back in the 1970's with the negro revelation. Point is,
you shouldn't attack somebody whether they are a member, non-member, ex-member
or whatever. If you really think that is what christ would have you do because
you are mormon, then there is something wrong with you.
Re: mistertilly | 1:07 p.m. April 1, 2011 I came to the same
conclusion when reading the comments from ex missionary but lack your ability to
paint the concept.Tilting at windmills is an English idiom which
means attacking imaginary enemies, or fighting unwinnable or futile battles. It
would appear to apply here.
Lead decays at a specific rate. Old lead cannon balls have lost the majority of
their radioactive elements. If there are radioactive elements in the lead of
these plates, then they are forgeries (i.e.; recent construction).Anything though to build up the hopes of the faithful.
Ex Missionary, you strike me as someone who is professionally offended. You
complain about someone's poor attempt to define you in a public forum, but you
go by a name that is hardly public. No one knows who you are. You
may think you are a victim, but your cynical aggression will inspire others to
comment. You can't have it both ways. It's what you meant to do when you left a
snarky comment, so don't be bothered when someone reacts.
JMDo you realize that you are an anti of other beliefs and a critic
just as much as anyone else who comments here? For the most part, however, the
difference with your criticisms lies in the false accusations and name-calling.
Question: Do you realize that you are often criticizing your
brethren as well as former members who obviously know well about the LDS faith
since they either are currently living it or have previously lived it. The
information about it is out there in the world both opposing and supporting as
well as much information about other beliefs. Do you dare to educate yourself
with opposing infomation so you really understand opposing views? It's not
rocket science that a non-Mormon can learn about your faith without being
directly in the fold! In fact, ex-Mormons are an excellent source to gain an
inside view because they are less biased. I married one! I suggest in the future
you refrain from accusatory and name-calling rhetoric and focus on presenting an
argument or defense based on fact and reason....rather than insults and
rambling. No offense!
"so don't jump to conclusions people or false speculation to justify your
beliefs."In no way would I use an archeological find to justify
religious beliefs. But I don't think it's too much of a stretch to use something
like this to justify a belief that ancient people from in and around Jerusalem
writing on metal plates is within the realm of posibility, nothing more, nothing
I'm just curious to know if there is any standard of proof that would satisfy a
hard-core archeologist as evidence of a religious belief or principle. I would
venture to guess no. I just think it's funny how someone can find an ancient
artifact that might have important religious implications for a lot of people,
and all the scientists rush out say it's no big deal. I suppose it's their job
to be skeptical, but why can't they just admit that something is cool once in a
Extensive investigation must still be done to verify the authenticity of these
plates and their meaning....so don't jump to conclusions people or false
speculation to justify your beliefs. The Book of Revelation tells of a sealed
book that was opened only by "the messiah" so plates such as these
were already known to exist. It is known that early Christian writers used
sealed books as a code for secret teaching, but no actual book had ever been
found. Anybody reading the Bible could easily take this example and story a
version of their own. Even if they are authentic...they will probably still
prove nothing beyond them being writings from an ancient time depicting
observations from a time of ignorance....or simply being a recording of ancient
myths. People always want to read things into discoveries that aren't proven and
may never be proven. I suppose it's fun to imagine the possibilities, but it is
very premature to assume conclusions.
ex. It seems to me that things change, and people also. And, if nothing ever
changed, we really wouldn't need continuing revelation, and if Christ's Church
stayed the same, we would hardly have claim to His ongoing leadership. Yet,
again, your claim seems a little stretchy. I know of no canon (prophets
words)that has been dismissed as words of men and not of God. Although, as
Moroni says, even the BoM might contain some mistakes of men, still, we don't
dismiss the eternal gospel message contained therein. As always, I
do always appreciate the audacity of those who fall. It's interesting to study
your behaviours on this public forum. Some anti-Mormons seem driven to justify
how they so easily fell for the dishonesty of others. Oddly, they use dishonesty
to do this. Perhaps some feel that, since tehy fell for it, others will too.
Interesting. Some also suppose they know more about the LDS faith than the LDS
who have faith, and who live it every day. That's also interesting. Where do you
think they get this idea? I'm just curious : ) No offense.
Perhaps these plates are related to the Kinderhook plates.
The significance of a find like this is not lost on faithful LDS, but it doesn't
really mean much in terms belief. Even if the gold plates were found here in the
Americas, and for that matter, the sword of Laban, and the skull of a curelom,
and a horse and chariot, or the exact location of the city of Zarahemla--the
naysayers will still find a reason not to believe. It is because belief in
scripture should never be based solely upon archaeology or for that matter
physical evidences. Even spiritual evidence, insights and impressions felt from
God, only go so far. Ultimately the ability to believe in scriptures comes with
a willingness to believe--an active choice to be open to the possibility of
Divine guidance in life. Though signs and wonders abound, there will
always be those who refuse to believe simply because they don't want to. So
cherish these days when we don't have evidence. They are days of grace.
Ah, thanks chachi, I was confusing it with the peep stone JS purportedly used to
translate the BOM. It was Brigham Young that related an experience about the
sword of Laban being in a cavern in Cumorah.Two other notes - Myths and doctrines are hard to distinguish in mormonism because, apart from
the articles of faith, there is nothing to distinguish the two. Scripture is
open to interpretation. Words of the prophets are often later dismissed with the
phrase "he was speaking as a man". The content of lesson manuals
evolves over time. The Church Handbook of Instructions evolves over time. People
often say the gospel doesn't change but ask two mormons to define the gospel and
you'll get two different answers.I'm "ex" because I don't
believe in God. Not because of some minutiae of mormon legend but thanks for
trying to represent who I am for me in a public forum, I always appreciate that
kind of audacity.
It will be interesting to see what the experts are able to figure out. Hopefully
they're not forgeries. But the way this world is, there is always that chance.
We'll just have to wait and see.
Re: ex missionaryIf the sword of Laban were in a vault and if it
were to be analyzed by scientists it wouldn't change the testimony of a single
believer, and it wouldn't convert a single ex-member.
This doesn't prove the Book of Mormon to be true, but ever since the Book of
Mormon was first published, the claim about metal plates has been mocked and
used as an evidence that the Book of Mormon isn't what it claims to be. Now
that other matal plates have been discovered, the mockers will go into denial
and say it doesn't mean anything. On another comment board, someone even said
that this latest discovery is a hoax put there by Mormons! "The place
called Nahom" and "chiasmus" and so many other supporting
evidences cause the mockers to go into denial. Their minds are made up. Why
confuse them with the facts?
Gentile - Read the Book of Mormon and you will quickly find out.
No, ex missionary, you've failed to distinguish between Mormon myths and the
actual doctrines of Mormonism. Perhaps that's why you now identify as an
"ex."By the way, isn't it funny that Joseph Smith made up
a story about ancient peoples from Jerusalem keeping their religious records on
metal plates bound together by rings and sealing portions of them, none of which
anyone at the time had ever heard of, and happened to be right? Weird
coincidence, I guess.
What is the sword of laban? Just asking.
I've never seen the plates or hefted them either, but I know they are real.
Independent - doesn't the church have the sword of laban in a vault or
something? it would be interesting if they let scientists analyze it wouldn't
There are metal plates in early Christianity period.
For Patriot: The Bible is true as far as it is translated correctly.Knowing that we all keep our own records and journals and diaries means that
other people living at the time of Christ did too. More evidence of His
existence and work do not lessen our knowledge, but increases it.
Oh but I thought the bible was complete???
Hmmm, how interesting! Metal plates with a sealed portion. If my memory serves
me correct, isn't there some religion out there that claims its scripture to
have been translated from metal plates and that it had a sealed portion? ;)
It sounds like there is a lot of the classic "NIH" (not invented here)
going on. I look forward to a follow-on article that might clear things up.
Reading this article makes me wonder if any significant archeological finds that
are religious in nature can ever be made public for what they really are. They
could find the Golden Plates and the Sword of Laban, and they'd still find a way
to explain it away. What's the point?I hope I'm around when Jesus
comes back. It will be interesting to hear the explanations from scientists.
Cool story its neat to hear when items like these are found, things of this
nature are often not talked about very often. Archeology is a strange buisness
as many finds are not shared by the main stream media. If these plates are real
it will be interesting to read what is written on them, and even more
interesting to see if we ever hear what is on them.
Wow... all the interesting and controversial info in the article... and all we
get is one grammar critic denouncing it?
There are several grammatical errors in this article. Did the Deseret News get
rid of all their copy editors when they restructured recently? I've noticed
this in many of the articles since the restructure took place.