So, how hard is it for anyone to believe that I can stick a piece of plastic and
silicone into a machine and be able to view millions of bits of information on a
screen. Now that sounds strange-- a material (silicone) that is made basically
out of sand. Surely God could reveal to a mortal man information by a physical
medium that he was familiar with so that HIs children could continue to
progress in knowledge and understanding of " why the heck do I even
exist?" Just maybe there is a reason and purpose for each of us being here.
I believe that if we could understand all things right now then God would give
everything to us now. You can't legally or morally practice medicine as a
doctor unless you get the knowledge, schooling etc that you are required to.
This is all a great school of progression. This isn't Gods first rodeo. He
knows how we can "become" and it isn't by simply gaining knowledge
while we are here. Trusting Him, that we will at some point in our journey
understand all things, is as necessary as gaining the knowledge along with the
wisdom to use it. So many people who have such a puritanical view of how things
should have been and should have been done.
According to Mark Ashurst-McGee's thesis (footnote 20 of book of mormon
translation essay) Joseph first borrowed the green glass of Sally chase in 1819,
and with this instrument discovered the location of the brown seer stone
150miles away near lake erie in an iron kettle. He then used this brown seer
stone to discover the white seer stone on the property of willard chase. The
brown seer stone was used for discovering who to bring to the place of burial of
the plates after the death of Alvin in 1823, this person was "Emma
Let's say I accept your premise that the B of M is a work of fiction.
Challenge: Surely there is a genius somewhere in the past 175 years that could
match this work of fiction. Are you saying that Joseph Smith was such a genius
that he could write a work of fiction that no one else could duplicate? Surely,
there is someone out there in the vast billions that have come and gone since he
lived and died that could make an attempt at least. If he did it so easily,
certainly someone else could do it with a little effort! Come on, people, if
you aren't a believer, I respect that, but to resort to these exercises in
intellectual futility is bizarre at best. I would prefer to think of you as
someone that just hasn't come to any conclusions rather than someone that
wants to convince me that Joseph Smith is a fraud and the Book of Mormon was
invented in the dead of night while chasing teenage girls, married women,
deluded pastors as well, all before sun up. Come on! Give yourself a little
Why doesn't it work anymore? Why didn't it work when trying to locate
RE: boyd Rick. "t's interesting that he was aware that being completely
open about both topics would cause problems."?A bishop then must be
blameless, the husband of one wife,..”(I Tim 3:2).,The Apostles did not
maintain any O.T. pattern of polygamy and they and the early church condemned
it.D&C 101: 4,”Inasmuch as this Church of Christ(JS) has
been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we
believe that one man should have one wife, and one woman but one husband”,
also "(H of C, vol. 2, pg. 247 August 1835.)Also he was married
Before D&C 132 July 1843. *Living Husband at the time,2 of 11*marriages.
Lucinda Morgan Harris, Marriage 1838 *husband George W. Harris. Presendia
Huntington Buell marriage 1841 *husband Norman BuellThis scripture
remained in the LDS canon until 1876,The general body of the church were
informed about polygamy in 1852, at which time many practiced it because leaders
like Brigham professed the necessity of it for exaltation. Since ( July 1843),
contradicted 101:4, It was removed in 1876, when section 132 was placed in the
Joseph Smith used guile when talking about the translation process and seer
stones, much as he did about polygamy. It's interesting that he was aware
that being completely open about both topics would cause problems.
@strom Thurmond: "Seer stones are not a part of Christianity and never have
been."@Marxist: "Could the writer give me specific
references in the Bible as to seer stones?"Leviticus 8 and
Exodus 25 both refer to the Urim and Thummim (stones) set in the breastplate of
religious clothing worn by Aaron and the priests in Moses day. Whether these
stones were used as seer stones is not clear. What is obvious is that the
stones had religious significance.Certainly, Moses' rod that
turned to a snake and ate the snakes of the magicians is a physical, seemingly
"magical" object used for spiritual purposes. Ditto the brass serpent
Moses fashioned and hefted upon a rod in the wilderness.Many
Christian sacraments from baptism to the sacrament of the Lord's Last
Supper to marriage sacraments are or include purely physical elements that serve
to provide a connection to the spiritual. So too the ornate religious vestments
of many churches, the incense, the oil used in religious ceremonies dating to
old testament times, and so on.But haters are going to hate despite
how irrational their attacks look.
The more we understand the physical world through science, the less we need
magical explanations. The Bible is packed with magical explanations because
there was little else available to explain the world. During Joseph Smith's
times, magical explanations were still prevelant. Is there any wonder that
visions and other magical explanations are almost nonexistent in today's
LDS Church? Yes, apologetics still have to prop up much of the magical aspects
of the past, like Joseph's seer stones. But today's leaders speak and
act in a much different way.Religion developed as the only way to
explain things otherwise not understood. Which was almost everything. There is
no longer a need to understand the world through magical explanations.
@rogers lambert"According to Church History the Book of Abraham
papyri were destroyed in a museum fire,but years later they were recovered
and examined by experts.Maybe something similar will occur with the gold
plates."You asked where the plates were and I explained to you
where they were. The plates were altogether a very different matter than the
BoA papyri.Also the BoA papyri that was found was hardly complete.
Very little of what Joseph Smith translated that constituted the BoA remained
after the fire.
"No greater example...hyperbolize much???"Ok, you may be
right. How about "a classic example"
@ summarizer "Well according to Church History they (the plates) are with
the Angel Moroni..."According to Church History the Book of
Abraham papyri were destroyed in a museum fire,but years later they were
recovered and examined by experts.Maybe something similar will occur with
the gold plates.
RE: The 2nd Great Awakening and cults; If a denomination cannot trace its roots
back to the reformation, twists and turns aside, it is almost always a cult.
While it cannot be said that the second Great Awakening was entirely bad, most
of the Christian cults of today sprang forth from this movement. This would
include, JW, Mormonism, E.g
,“ A Marvelous Work and
Wonder“. (3 Ne. 21:9,,KJV) VS, A Modern translation.. “Therefore
once more I will astound these people with “Wonder Upon Wonder”; the
wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.
(Isaiah 29:14 NIV)Or the old Septuagint. “Therefore behold I
will proceed to “*Remove this people, and I will *Remove them”:
and I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will hide the understanding of
the prudent.” ( Isaiah 29:14 LXX) A condemnation of Israel ‘Not
@Joe Blow"There could be no greater example of a strawman than
your post."No greater example...hyperbolize much???
Also no it wasn't a strawman I just said that his argument basically the
same as another argument said different but nice try."There are
many ancient civilizations which had equal or less numbers and their footprints
(Direct evidence) are everywhere. Think ancient Greek, India, Egyptian
civilizations.."Yes and it is well accepted that civilization
started in Mesopotamia. There is a lot more history to work with than there is
for the western hemisphere.@Fuzz"How about opening
the financial books which have been closed forever?"So because
an organizations books are not available for public consumption that means they
are dishonest?Really?@Rogers Lambert"Where are the plates now?Wouldn't it be in our interest for
the plates to be brought out of hiding and examined by experts in linguistics
and archeology? "Well according to Church History they are with
the Angel Moroni sooo good luck finding them and examining them.
Isn't it fair to say the Sorenson worked backwards to reach his
conclusion?He started with the premise that the BOM is historically
true so there had to be a civilization somewhere in the Americas that numbered
in the millions.With just that information, how many possibilities
were there? The Mayans and who else?Did the BOM research lead to
the Mayans, or were the Mayans just the best option to satisfy a conclusion
based on a religious text with questionable origins?
It seems to me that the questions are not so much as to how the plates were
translated, but the first and more important questions are about the plates
themselves. Why has there always been so much secrecy surrounding
them? Where are the plates now? Wouldn't it be in our
interest for the plates to be brought out of hiding and examined by experts in
linguistics and archeology? Questions about translation could then come
>>There were rumors about a rock in a hat, but, if you asked, that got
you reprimanded for spreading "anti mormon lies". People got exed over
telling that story.Citations, please.>>I believe
that what Skeptic is referring to is that a civilization purported to be in the
millions of people would have left lots and lots of physical evidence to their
existence...There are many ancient civilizations which had equal or less numbers
and their footprints (Direct evidence) are everywhere. Think ancient Greek,
India, Egyptian civilizations.None of the civilizations you cite
were exterminated and then had other large civilizations occupy their lands and
build on top of their ruins for fifteen hundred years before archeologists
starting poking around. That would complicate the archeological challenges
+NoNamesAcceptedYou are absolutely right. None of it is believable.+SummarizererCan't think of how the church has been closed
and dishonest? How about opening the financial books which have been closed
". The Bible also contains examples of physical objects, including seer
stones, being used for spiritual purposes."Could the writer give
me specific references in the Bible as to seer stones?
"I believe that what Skeptic is referring to is that a civilization
purported to be in the millions of people would have left lots and lots of
physical evidence to their existence."John Sorensen's work
on Mesoamerica provides a lot of the evidence you are looking for, i.e., the
presence of a large civilization in the region. Even if you don't accept
his conclusions regarding the BofM as a Mesoamerican text, he does carefully lay
out the case for a civilization of some significance in Southern Mexico/Northern
Guatemala, including numerous references from archeologists, not apologists, on
the subject. Further, he discusses the limitations of locating remains of any
past civilization, let alone one located in the subtropical region in
question."Mormon's Codex" is a good place to start.
Find it in the library.
Summerizer There could be no greater example of a strawman than your
post.Instead of refuting what Skeptic wrote, you pose the argument
of others - "This is much akin to how some use the words" And then pose an argument against those.I believe that what
Skeptic is referring to is that a civilization purported to be in the millions
of people would have left lots and lots of physical evidence to their
existence.There are many ancient civilizations which had equal or
less numbers and their footprints (Direct evidence) are everywhere. Think
ancient Greek, India, Egyptian civilizations.The argument that these
huge civilizations in the America has just not been found YET doesn't pass
the test of logic.
RE: skeptic "The BOM may be many things, but it is not a true
history, it is fiction. Presently there is not one iota of evidence of it being
a physical truth. There never was a great Hebrew nation here in The
Americas."These statements are frequently used to close the door
on any BOM claim of historicity. However, such proclamations are just not true
and show little effort to prove such. First of all, this "great Hebrew
nation", that is supposed to exist in the New World, is a old and bad
assumption which is not even supported by the BOM text. We have a small amount
of individuals, as large as 30 at the most, arriving into a already populated
area of millions. If anything the "great nation would not be Hebrew but
would retain its indigenous cultural traits. Also, "not one iota of
evidence"??? Though you may not find a BOM name in the only 1% of physical
archeological remains unearthed thus far...SHOULD YOU EXPECT TO?? It may be
advantages to explore the work of Sorenson and Garner to understand such
assumptions before making such assumptions!!
@Skeptic"..presently there is not one iota of evidence of it
being a physical truth..."This is much akin to how some use the
words.. "There is absolutely no archaeological evidence to directly support
the Book of Mormon or the Nephites/Lamanites who numbered in the
millions."To which can be said..."...the word
“directly” is also a qualifier that ought to be called into
question. By stating that there is no archaeological evidence to “directly
support” the Book of Mormon, you tacitly admit that there is evidence that
could “indirectly support” the Book of Mormon. And what would
“direct evidence” looks like? A sign saying “Welcome to
Zarahemla?” What makes you think that the name “Zarahemla”
would be written or pronounced in characters that any modern archaeologist would
be able to recognize?"Skeptic says no physical evidence....I
guess if you want to ignore the Nahom and other indirect physical evidences he
might be right.
For decades upon decades, the church taught that Joseph Smith translated the
BofM from the golden plates using urim and thummim. There were rumors about a
rock in a hat, but, if you asked, that got you reprimanded for spreading
"anti mormon lies". People got exed over telling that story. Now, the
church admits this? What do they do with all those they disfellowshipped or
excommunicated for saying the exact same thing?
@mhenshawYou post: In either case, the real proof lies not in the
revelatory instrument but in the revelation itself -- in this case, the Book of
Mormon. If it's true, who cares what the instrument was by which it came?
If it's false, again, who cares about the instrument? The BOM
may be many things, but it is not a true history, it is fiction. Presently
there is not one iota of evidence of it being a physical truth. There never was
a great Hebrew nation here in The Americas. Perhaps others can make a case for
it being a truth of a different nature, like an inspired allegory.
strom thurmond "Seer stones are not a part of Christianity and never
have been.In Joseph's day they were common parts of occult
practice, along with crystal balls and dousing rods. . . ." ______________________________The point is that among the cultural
influences on Joseph Smith was that he was part of a folk subculture that had
been around for generations. It was not conventional Christian belief but had in
fact been suppressed and renounced by Christian clergymen since medieval times.
That doesn’t make it less valid for those steeped in its lore.
RE: strom thurmond -The BoM, Why wasn't this included in the article? Moroni’s words speak from the ‘dust’. Or a
"familiar spirit" in Isa 29:4/2Nephi 26:16.) The Latin Vulgate
translation of Isa 29:4,”and thy speech shall whisper out of the
‘dust’. and thy voice shall be from the earth like that of the
*pythonis=(familiar spirit) ..” a certain damsel possessed
with a spirit of divination= pythonis/G,=4436) met us which brought her
masters much gain by soothsaying. ., Acts 16:16
mythology, Pythian a serpent dwelt in the region of Pytho . (Isaiah 8:19NIV)
When someone tells you to consult mediums , who whisper and mutter, should not a
people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?
>>It was not a river rock people saw things in. Joseph's seer stones and the Nephite U&T were separate objects. The
article makes that pretty clear.>>It's troubling and
insulting.Look at it logically, not emotionally. Looking
at it in purely logical terms, one believes Joseph either was a prophet or
wasn't. If he was, the instrument through which he received revelation is
irrelevant--God, being omnipotent, could reveal information by any means that
reassured Joseph that what he was receiving was divinely inspired. If Joseph
wasn't a prophet, the revelatory "instrument" would be equally
irrelevant for obvious reasons. In either case, the real proof lies
not in the revelatory instrument but in the revelation itself -- in this case,
the Book of Mormon. If it's true, who cares what the instrument was by
which it came? If it's false, again, who cares about the instrument?Whether the BoM is true or not is the real issue, not the means by which
Seer stones are not a part of Christianity and never have been.In
Joseph's day they were common parts of occult practice, along with crystal
balls and dousing rods. Joseph was arrested in Manchester New York
in May of 1826 accused of using a seer stone to defraud his neighbors as part of
a treasure hunting scheme. He was again arrested when claimed to be using these
processes to translate the BoM a couple years later as it appeared to be a
violation of some agreement he made with the court to cease this practice
following the court appearance in Manchester in 1826.Why wasn't
this included in the article?
This may be the most incredulous thing I have ever read in this publication.
It's troubling and insulting.I suggest people look at sources,
such as Hebrew scholars, who will give you an accurate (inasmuch as one exists)
description of what a biblical U&T was. It was not a river rock people saw
things in. Also see Dan Vogel and Richard Bushman for a more honest
description of what Joseph was doing with his stones (one of which he stole form
Related beliefs in the power of stones include blood stones which some carried
as a talisman. As I recall, Brigham Young had a blood stone. Where he got the
belief, I don’t know. But his father John Young had fought in the American
Revolution. There were soldiers in Washington’s army who carried blood
stones in the belief that if they were wounded in battle, their blood stone
would keep them from bleeding to death.It’s easy for us today
to laugh at those beliefs as silly superstitions, even though in our own times
we have new age religions that believe in the healing power of crystals. So seer
stones, such as Joseph used, were not quite as eccentric as they may seem to us
today. They were, in fact, part of folk beliefs of the time and were far more
widespread than we today appreciate.
@cjb Here on the Deseret news I'm certain I've seen recreations
of the Urim and Thummim based on people's descriptions and I thought it had
clear stones set almost like spectacles. I might be misremembering since I
always think of them as clear as well.
Before Mormonism, there were folk beliefs in colonial America regarding divining
stones. Believers thought that by taking the stones with them when visiting a
cemetery, one might be able to see the spirits of the departed through the
@skeptic"The new beginning of open disclosure of Mormon
history..."Oh I guess you missed the Joseph Smith papers. "Church transparency needs to be expanded to encompass open dialogue
and full disclosure of that of an open and honest organization..."Can't think of how the Church has been closed and dishonest? The Church
has published all the controversial topics in Church magazines over the years.
This secrecy that you suggest has been in plain view of members for years.
The new beginning of open disclosure of Mormon history and superstitions is
refreshing. Church transparency needs to be expanded to encompass open dialogue
and full disclosure of that of an open and honest organization that can be
trusted, understood, respected and appreciated. And to escape the mentality of
secrecy and exclusion.
I love the insights that the very things that cause some angst today were seen
as credible and even necessary in Joseph's day.From the Bible,
talking bushes that burn without being consumed, talking donkeys, sticks that
turn into snakes, and brass snakes that cure snakebite are all seen as
acceptable to most believers. So too are talking snakes, fig trees dying upon a
spoken word, firery chariots taking men to heaven, fire coming down from heaven
to consume sacrifices, and trumpets causing city walls to fall, not to mention
the sea parting or the world being flooded.But my goodness, angels
with gold plates and seer stones and personal visitations from God are just
unbelievable. Smh at the inconsistency among some who claim to believe the
bible.The sacraments of various Christian churches are all physical
touchstones to help connect mortal men to the spiritual. Why would the
existence and religious use of staffs, crosses, special clothing, stones, or
other physical objects for spiritual purposes seem unusual to anyone who really
understands the history of Christianity or any other human spirituality?
>>Am I missing anything?Yes. I strongly encourage you to
attend the closest LDS chapel next Sunday morning to find out what.
Somehow I had always imagined seer stones as clear.Prayer works
sometimes to get interesting answers about wanted knowledge of things.I imagine a seer stone would be more reliable and quicker.
After 150 years, is this what is called a "soft roll out"?
So.... much of Mormonism is defined by Joseph looking into a hat with a magical
rock in it describing a culture that has no empirical proof in the
America's? Am I missing anything?