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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Where We Stand: Archaeology and the Book of Mormon

"Debating the Foundations of Mormonism: The Book of Mormon and Archaeology" is a transcript of recent presentations by John E. Clark, Wade Ardern, and Matthew Roper. The first part by John E. Clark is especially noteworthy for those who wish to know what archeology has to say about the Book of Mormon.

After 178 years, the Book of Mormon is "truer than ever" and, in terms of external evidence, on more solid ground than ever. That ground has shifted substantially as some old and unjustified assumptions about the text have been updated, a process that began in the 1840s when information about ancient cities in Mesoamerica became known to the Saints, suggesting that they text may have taken place in lands completely unfamiliar to Joseph Smith (and providing compelling evidence for the once laughable concept of great civilizations among the ancient "savages" in America).

Please read the article before commenting. For this post, I'm not interested in getting dozens of the standard uninformed comments about how there is "no evidence for anything in the Book of Mormon." And yes, I already know that there are serious questions about the evidence for horses, silk, metals, and iPods in the Book of Mormon. Well, maybe not all of the questions are serious. But please read the article and respond to the points that Clark makes, if you wish to comment.

168 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like John Clark's explanation of archaeology being "among the crudest of methods for establishing facts and truth, ... By focusing only on missing evidence, one loses perspective." I'm reminded of my 9yo who after being sent to his (very messy) room to locate his shoes, returns insisting they are not there. His search lasted 15 seconds.

JBod said...

It seems from the dates mentioned that this presentation was given in 2005. I'm curious what has been done in the last 2 to 3 years. Has any further research been published?

tiredmormon said...

Ipods ... your so funny, Jeff.

But seriously, I thought the article sucked because it was built around straw man arguments. Those 'evidences' are just plain silly. How about addressing the real problems, and leave the ipods out of it?

And cement ... seriously? Are you guys still going with that? Because apart from the external archeological problems with cement, that 'scripture' has internal problems. (as you know -- the whole fire thing ... and wood -- but of course the article doesn't mention that ... and neither do the tours I assume).

I would stay to chat, but my tapir is anxious to get on the road.

Mormanity said...

The "fire thing" has been plausibly addressed elsewhere. One possibility is that the scarcity of wood came as a result of cement building, though later historians (Moroni) would naturally link the obvious scarcity of wood in the land with the abundance of older cement construction. On the other hand, you don't need construction-grade timber to build a fire for calcining limestone to lime. Other things burn, too.

However the land to the north became deforested, and however the cement industry was carried out, there is simply no questions that cement construction was used in a region that geographically fits with the Book of Mormon text. You can still see the cement construction at Teotihuacan. Search for "cement" at Mormanity and you'll see some photos I took. Real cement. It's there, in the right place. Lucky guess by Joseph Smith?

Mormanity said...

Follow-up on the issue of cement making and the need to produce lime with fire:

From an article on lime production at http://practicalaction.org/practicalanswers/product_info.php?products_id=210:

"Almost any fuel can be used in lime burning. Traditionally, wood was most commonly used but increasing cost, environmental concerns and deforestation have restricted its use. Coal is probably the most common fuel used in recent years. Others fuels include oil, gas, some agricultural wastes and even, in a few cases, peat."

So you don't have to have large trees to have useful fires for lime production. But that might be the easiest way, and that's why the rising popularity of cement construction in the Teotihuacan area may have contributed to deforestation.

NM said...

Personally, I found the article a little long winded; he said lots of things - without really saying anything. Just an opinion of course.

Question: What exactly is a 'Seer' in LDS? Please feel free to correct me, but I heard that it can mean the ability to read ancient texts (as Mr. Smith read reformed egyptian from these alleged gold plates)? Instead of using LDS archaeologists/FAIR to determine whether such things predate Christian era, couldn't the current LDS prophet just go and 'read' some of the ancient writings in Meso-America to see if these things were the genuine article?

Did the question make sense? Did it make sense, even if it proves itself to be nonsensical?

Ayla said...

Thanks for posting this! It was fascinating!

Russtafarian said...

NM:

The question, I suppose, is whether such things have ever been a top priority for the Lord. Has the Lord ever been terribly concerned about having Peter double-check the translation of the Septuagint? Paul? Jesus?

You know the Bible well...what say you?

NM said...

Russell,

I'm really sorry but I don't think I understood your question. =(

Please be patient with me, but would you mind just saying a little bit more?

tiredmormon said...

You missed the point, but I forgive you. The article is silly because the 'evidences' are silly. None of the major concerns critics have with the BoM are even mentioned. Instead of talking about that, you want to ramble about fire and cement.

And once you guys decide on a geo. model for the BoM, then go ahead and correlate the evidence in that location and put something respectable together. Taking little bits and pieces from the hemisphere and then crying limited geography makes you look like Mitt Romney explaining his stances on abortion.

Lucky guess? No, I think stupid mistake after stupid mistake after stupid mistake. Enough fire to make all that cement would require a lot of wood, not just shrubs. And the quantity of homes is not supported either.

Wagoneer said...

To me, it’s circular logic. The BoM must be true, so let’s look to see which civilization(s), pulled from two whole continents, have the most parallels to the BoM. Then, whoa, hey, we found some parallels, from somewhere, anywhere, in the Western hemisphere, so the BoM must be true.

My question is, if you used FAIR resources, could you find similar – or closer – parallels in eastern Asia? What about western Africa? Are these American similarities really so impressive? So, my homework assignment for FAIR: spend the next couple of decades hammering away at parallels for an eastern Asia setting for the BoM, then a couple of decades with an African setting for the BoM etc. What would the “trend” look like? Seems like it could only increase towards plausibility for an eastern Asian setting. And, would there be more cultural and archaeological parallels than in Central America, or fewer? According to Dr. Clark if, for example, an Asian setting for the BoM “were a hoax there should not be any evidence to support it, not even one bottle cap, hair pin, or cigarette butt. Because of the logic of evidence in this instance, one positive correspondence counts for dozens of missing ones. For example, one documented steel sword trumps several herds of missing horses and elephants.” Eastern Asia might even have steel swords AND elephants AND horses. Already we are ahead. BUT, not to worry, if you can’t find steel swords anywhere in Asia, or Africa, wooden ones will do (how else could they be stained with blood)? And as a BONUS, our FAIR researchers can feel free to ignore it if important Asian or African animals are missing from the BoM, or if the wrong ones are present. Hey, they just haven’t been found yet! Need evidence? Just use old citations that have been since disproven!

Here you go, I’ll even get the ball rolling: Ancient writing in Asia? Yup! What about cycles of civilizations? Darn tootin’! Tree imagery? Everywhere! How could a farmboy from upstate NY in the early 19th century have known all of this? Amazing! Take it away, FAIR…

Mormanity said...

TiredMo: "The article is silly because the 'evidences' are silly. None of the major concerns critics have with the BoM are even mentioned. Instead of talking about that, you want to ramble about fire and cement."

You raised the issue of fire, TM, in dismissing the evidence of cement as silly. You have missed the point of the article, which is that focusing on missing ("not found yet") evidences as opposed positive evidences is not a reasonable way of assess the plausibility of the text. Instead, you want to bring up horses and tapirs again and dismiss the positive evidences as silly.

You also missed the point of my response to your fire issue. There are actually 3 points: (a) the scarcity of trees may have been caused by heavy cement building, though four hundred years later it might look like the people had turned to cement because of lack of wood (the link between cement work and deforestation is actually an intriguing one for those interested in understanding the text); (b) alternatively or in addition, the lime burning behind cement construction can and does occur by using agricultural waste, low quality wood, or other materials in a region where construction-quality timber is not available, and (c) regardless of how the lime was produced and exactly when and how timber became scarce, there is a region in ancient Mesoamerica suitably positioned north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (the generally accepted region of the narrow neck of land in modern models of Book of Mormon georgraphy) that can plausibly correspond with the reference to cement construction in the Book of Mormon in the land north. Was there anything in Joseph's environment that would have guided him to make a reference to ancient cement work in great cities in the ancient Americas? So can you explain why the description of cement building is so silly? Isn't it an arguably plausible element after all?

And Wagoneer, you misunderstand my writings and especially the article if you think any evidence can be used to "prove" the Book of Mormon true. I'm quite surprised, maybe even irked, that you don't appreciate the role of evidence is not about "proving" the Book of Mormon. Your caricature of the LDS apologetic position really misses some important points.

Russtafarian said...

Wagoneer,

You really do misunderstand the significance of what FARMS and FAIR do. And in doing so, set up a straw man for attack. They don't pick an American setting for kicks...Joseph Smith claimed that it happened in America. They are testing a hypothesis. I know the wild-eyed apologist model is preferable for critics, but hey, we can't have everything, right?

And tiredmormon, this is just a cursory reading of your remarks on my part, but I see far more thoughtful analysis on Jeff's part than in your posts. I'm far from a scholar in things scientific, so I will refrain in comment...but as a layman, I find myself more persuaded by proposed theses than cheap remarks like "stupid mistake after stupid mistake"--given that you have yet to cite any.

jayleenb said...

This was a wonderful read! And I understand the point of it.

I also know, like you Jeff, that having the testimony of the Holy Ghost is the only evidence that counts. That's the witness that brings tears to my eyes. People who base their testimonies on 'facts' will never hold them. They will blow about like a speck of dust on the wind.

And something that really speaks to my heart is how unfailing most of the early pioneers testimony was in spite of how 'silly' it all sounds. That's what true 'faith' is all about. The testimony of the Holy Ghost is all we need.

That said, please continue to post these wonderful articles! Not because we need facts, but because the Holy Ghost testifies whenever truth is presented. I hope that someone reading these will at least open themselves to the possibilities and then pray for the sure testimony.

jayleenb said...

I also notice, that the 'usual suspects' are posting exactly the trite comments you requested not be posted.

NM said "Personally, I found the article a little long winded; he said lots of things - without really saying anything. Just an opinion of course." LOL

tiredmormon said, "Lucky guess? No, I think stupid mistake after stupid mistake after stupid mistake." "evidences just plain silly." LOL again.

Yes, metal records in cement boxes... what a stupid mistake. Yes, what a 'straw man' argument. lol

So much for intelligent debate.

There is SO much evidence in this article to anyone who can read.

I guess I shouldn't expect any better, but once in a while you hope that one of them would remove the mud from their eyes for at least a moment. I wonder what would happen if any one of them would reread it and actually pay attention.

Keep up the wonderful blog Jeff, for those who do have ears to hear. They are out there and they are reading too.

NM said...

Jayleen,

I did not mean for my comment to be trite, well what I mean is I didn't mean for my comment to be seen as attacking the LDS faith =)

If I find any article (mostly stuff to do with neurology and its relationship with psychiatric 'illnesses' long-winded - without actually saying something conclusive, I'll say so.

Hehe, by the same principle, if I hear someone preach a sermon, say on the Holy Spirit for an alloted time of 20 mins, but spends 15 minutes telling us about his journey to get to the venue - I'll deem it long-winded and even possibly irrelavant.

jayleenb said...

NM - You mean all your posts to attack the LDS faith. That's the only reason you're here. =)

And the only reason you ask for any clarification is you want to hone your attacks better... followed of course, by cute widdle smilies to try to convince us it's not an attack. =D

NM said...

I'm here largely because I am impressed by Jeff's ability to hold a forum that looks past personal attacks - and even though spirituality can be a very subjective matter, is still able to hold objective perspective on things. Not many forums can do what Jeff does - which is part of the reason as to why I am here...

We all have our digs at each other, right? And that's ok; it happens in any debate. =)

I mean you no harm Jayleen.

Anonymous said...

Great artical. Looks like all the things that were all ready known up to this point but no less impressive. I was able to travel to some of the Mayan locations once and I know it is not proof but our friend Joseph Smith was very lucky or had angelic help. I obtained a witness to the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith first vision as soon as I was introduced to the LDS Church so such findings just give me a thrill. I can say I have never had a spiritual impression about any of the findings which tell me that the Lord is still holding back more proof from those tired-o-mormons that demand a sign.

Jayleen, don't worry about NM, he has been playing his game for a long time trying to work on members testimony. As always beware of hurting someone elses testimony The Christ. If you take away the grace of God from them how shall you answer?

Anonymous said...

"These items illustrate how some criticisms change over time when confronted with new discoveries. The elasticity and resiliency of traditional criticisms in the face of shifting material evidence suggest that most critics are not looking for valid criticisms as much as for excuses for disbelief - and there are no end of reasons for disbelief."

Tiredmormon, maybe you need to get some rest.

tiredmormon said...

I will give credit where it is due. I have seen reasonable presentations of BoM evidences. The Farm article is silly ... and I gave reasons why. Jeff, your cement argument still sounds silly and does not fit the text. The cement houses were in the thousands, that must have been one huge manure pile! I see some cement in that part of Mexico, but not to the scope detailed in the BoM. There is also cement in every other part of the world with lime. The fact that cement exists today, and that it existed in JS's time, and that every community with the resources has had it doesn't show coincidence or even lucky guess. You might as well say 'hey look JS said they had cloths, and we found some cloth ... so the BoM must be true!' Under your low standards of evidence even the Malaysia argments seem enlightening.

You guys are so desparate to find some shred -- now over 170 years later -- you will latch onto anything. And then castigate any naysayer as destroying your testimony in Christ. Is this really about Christ anymore, or is it just about proving the Church. Btw, Christ and the Church are not one in the same.

And jeez, one of your own calls it longwinded and you attack him for that. I think if there is anything we can agree on is that FARMS is longwinded.

And FYI, Jeff started the diggs with the ipod comment.

Now Jeff, please pay close attention. I do understand the thrust of the article -- what evidences remain to be seen. My point all along has been that there are major problems you guys ignore ... that are not mentioned in the article, and instead they focus on little unconnected shreds to sell tour tickets to Central America.

And I am tired, I am a tired mormon. I spent years reading this website among others convinced that BoM was true. But then you read ... and realize the facts don't support it.

You can't rely on Jeff or FAIR people. Go out and do your own research -- read all of that material the church tells you not to read. Then make up your mind.

Russtafarian said...

Tiredmormon:

Oddly, your calls to action are hardly news to my ears, active, card-carrying Mormon. I've read the "scandalous" material (oddly, my bishop seemed appreciative of my knowledge in that area--guess he must be a rogue too ;). You assume that those who believe MUST be benighted nitwits, sheep...but yet you have no idea about our professional backgrounds (I am a grad. student in history at a thoroughly secular university).

Granted, blogs are meant to be the uncensored "voice of the people," but when such broad statements are made, what does it have to say about the intellectual rigor of "the people"?

I've examined the text of the BOM (which only mentions cement in one chapter) and am inclined to think, tiredmormon, that your tiredness is pushing you towards bitterness more than critical analysis.

Granted, the article is not the most thorough in the FARM/FAIR repertoire...nor does it intend to be. If you really want to look at evidence, there's plenty of other sources. In any case, spare us of the never-say-die polemics and humor us when we ask for blogger-scholarship.

tiredmormon said...

Rusty,

Never-die polemics really doesn't mesh with my statement: that I have found good presentations of BoM evidences. Did you actually read my post?

Jeff asked what people thought of THIS SPECIFIC ARTICLE, and I gave my answer. What will it take to keep you on track? Are you just so desperate to buoy the faith that you just spout unprovoked nonsense?

Scandelous? What are you talking about? And why is it in quotes? And what does your bishop have to do with anything? And I never made generalizations about Mormons being nitwits in general, as you insist.

Seems like you are just overly enthusiatic to fight -- maybe you ought to actually read the post and my comments instead of putting words in my mouth.

And keep your the ad hom attacks and the self-congratulating to yourself.

Those critical skills you are lauding seem Rusty, Rusty.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you tiredmormon! Show me the cross that Christ was crucified on and I'll believe! Make time stand still for a day and a night! Show me a chariot of fire and I'll believe the stories of Elijah. Show me the wheels of fire that Ezekial saw! I mean come on? How can you guys even believe in this stuff? The Bible and The Book of Mormon? Just stuff made up to control people and help them sleep better at night. Because when you die, that's it. You're a stiff and life is over.

dave d said...

I found the article interesting and faith-promoting. Of course, that is because I already believe. An atheist would probably find a presentation on the discovery of the ossuaries of Jesus and his family faith-promoting for his own faith.

I did appreciate that John Clark was very forthcoming as to his bias when he said "You all understand, of course, what lies can be told with statistics. Our bias in favor of The Book of Mormon is obvious, so take the numbers as you like..." He realizes that he has his own agenda, as do we all. Rather than try to hide it and present this as unbiased scholarship, he makes sure that others know that he is aware of his own bias.

Trevor said...

Tired, I appreciate your enthusiasm. but you have yet to actually engage with the article. You say it ignores the most important, or real problems, but have never once bothered to suggest what it lacks or what some of these problems are, except maybe cement which you called "silly" until Jeff engaged you on the subject. Most of your assertions remain, unexplained, unidentified assertions and nothing more. Thus most people here mistake your genuine curiosity and scholarly vigor for vitriol and blind cynicism.

We are glad to hear you didn't like it. But we get the picture it was too long. If you have some specific way to engage the article that would be lovely!

Russtafarian said...

As Trevor said, lovely indeed.

"And I am tired, I am a tired mormon. I spent years reading this website among others convinced that BoM was true. But then you read ... and realize the facts don't support it...read all of that material the church tells you not to read. "

Hence the bishop remark...as the first point of contact in "the church," one might expect him to downplay the importance of personal research. Yet he did not. You tell us that "we" can't trust Jeff or others, as though we were buying it wholesale, even though I certainly am not. The fact that you were making a collective call for us to not believe Jeff indicates that you assumed we would, tiredmormon.

And loosen up, my friend...no one is going to die over this.

Mormanity said...

TiredMormon, I think I can understand where you are coming from and agree that not all discussions of evidence are of similar depth. The article I cited gives a quick and light overview and is not an in depth scholarly treatment, if that's what you need.

However, are you sure that cement building in ancient Mesoamerica is all that obvious? Like many of the "obvious" evidences for the Book of Mormon that seem silly to some in 2008 - things like ancient writing on metal plates and the burial of such records in stone boxes and the existence of temples, prisons, highways, city walls, and great central markets in Mesomerica - they weren't so obvious in 1830. In fact, some of these things that might be so obvious as to be silly to you actually challenged common knowledge in 1830.

In the case of cement, years after the Book of Mormon was published, its statements on ancient cement in the Americas might have challenged the faith of other "tired Mormons." As evidence, consider this 1929 statement from LDS Church President Heber J. Grant:

"When I was a young unmarried man, another young man who had received a doctor's degree ridiculed me for believing in the Book of Mormon. He said that one lie in the Book of Mormon is that the people had built their homes out of cement and that they were very skillful in the use of cement. He said there had never been found, and never would be found, a house built of cement by the ancient inhabitants of this country, because the people in that early age knew nothing about cement. He said that should be enough to make one disbelieve the book. I said: 'That does not affect my faith one particle. I read the Book of Mormon prayerfully and supplicated God for a testimony in my heart and soul of the divinity of it, and I have accepted it and believe it with all my heart.' I also said to him, 'If my children do not find cement houses, I expect that my grandchildren will'" (in Conference Report, April 1929, 129). Extensive evidence of building of cement in the Americas now exists.

As for problems with the scale of cement work, can you clarify? The text says that the people in the land north became very expert in cement - a fact that is well attested, and is the point of this "silly" evidence - and says that the spread over a large area and dwelt in tents or built houses of cement or also wood, some of which was obtained by shipping (the ancient shipping industry along the coasts of Mesoamerica is another element that was laughable in 1830 but gradually becoming more plausible today). Does this mean that cement was used for the whole house, or the floor slab, or a doorway, a roof, etc., or as the mortar holding rocks together? Was it a stucco layer? It doesn't say. There are a range of possibilities. The text does not require "millions" of concrete houses popping up all at once nor does it say anything about the rate of cement production that gives any reason to doubt that available biomass could not sustain the fuel needs for calcining lime. And again, no matter how much you rail about the impossibility of building major structures from cement in the ancient world, the ruins are there attesting that it happened, and that the ancient inhabitants of northern Mesoamerica were indeed "exceedingly expert" in cement, contrary to anything Joseph Smith could have known about the ancient inhabitants of this continent.

On the other hand, if you read into Mormon's words an image of wall-to-wall concrete block houses stretching across the continent like a vast extension of the Bronx, you'll be disappointed.

A key to dealing with scriptural texts is understanding that the way things are described aren't always meant to offer comprehensive, detailed, and literal descriptions in our language. It's one little passage that mentions the rise of cement construction almost incidentally - but it happens to concur with the timing and location of the rise of cement expertise in the Americas, which is really something to think about given that in Joseph's day "common knowledge" held that the natives of this continent were simply savages, not descendants from grand civilizations that built temples and cities using cement or any other material.

Russtafarian said...

You've got to be kidding me, Ryan...

It's obvious 1) you have not spent any time in academia--about every scholar who writes a book/article/anything has a "main crux," otherwise they wouldn't write anything...
Incidentally, your video doesn't demonstrate any claims, offer any real evidence. You demonstrate that beards are found in both Semitic and Asiatic populaions.

And the Thomas Murphy quote is even less relevant--he cites the INTRODUCTION as canon. His entire case rests on a text that has never been claimed to be part of the BOM. And all of his talk of relations to Siberia is of no interest to me; as he says, we already knew that.

The whole map business controversy is a touch out-of-whack too...you don't tell us who the man talking about "distorting" and worse, you cite William Wilson...the man works as a software analyst for NAU, has an M.A. in Anthropology, and has nothing to do with academia , nor has he ever beyond his dabblings at NAU (never a bastion for anthropological studies).
Worse, his smattering of research is on the WELSH (?!)...You might as well come talk to me about colonial India...I've read a couple books on it, right? Meanwhile, Daniel Peterson has a PhD from UCLA, specializing in medieval Islam (at least the right region). John Tvedtnes has an MA in Hebrew...again, at least related languages.

And Thomas Murphy and SOutherton, don't make them sound like voices in the wilderness, esp. given their lack of apparent knowledge about the BOM's premise (and don't try the whole "but SOutherton was a bishop" line--I know many, many leaders who are quite unaware about what the BOM's historical claims are and are not).

Yeah, dude, if we're supposed to talk your video seriously...just spruce it up a bit. Cut the cheesy music, the laughing at the end, get legitimate scholars from both sides to do the talking. Otherwise, it just sounds cheap.

Anonymous said...

I loved the article. There's nothing pretentious about it--Clark is straight forward about it's purpose and meaning.

I don't understand why some folks can't get the picture of archeology that he tries to paint. It's an incredibly tenuous process--tons of ambiguity. But when there are multiple correlates appearing and working nicely together isn't that a good time to start building a theoretical model?

Science does it all the time--and yet when it comes to the BoM it isn't science--not even a soft science. It's a "straw man."

Jack

Wagoneer said...

Hi Jeff:
In general, I agree with you about the role of evidences with regards to the BoM. However, in this article, the authors clearly believe that evidences can prove the BoM to be authentic. Specifically: “Confirmation of historic details of The Book of Mormon would substantiate Joseph Smith's account of how it came to be, and thus validate his seership and the divine origin of both the book and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Perhaps I miss your point in this regard?

Regardless, the whole approach is flawed from the beginning. The authors draw too heavily on what JS’s contemporaries supposedly believed about indigenous Americans. The problem is, JS clearly wasn’t thinking in those terms. He was writing (whether inspired or not) about Hebrews, coming to (probably) the Western Hemisphere. In this light, the structure of the BoM societies and technologies doesn't surprise me. My question though, do the animals and plants and technologies match up better with Biblical accounts or Mesoamerican archaeology? This is an honest question. Are there important plants and animals from Mesoamerican record that show up in the BoM, but not the Bible? If not, why not? There are parallels mentioned in this article that can be drawn with civilizations around the world, from many different time periods (cycles of civilization, tree imagery, etc etc). It’s just not very impressive at all.

By the way, is the whole “stained with blood suggests wooden swords” argument meant to be a joke? If not, I’m just not sure what to say.

Anonymous said...

For cement, realize that in addition to Teotihuacan, ancient Mayans used cement in various forms. See the article "Yucatan" in the 1905 New International Encyclopedia at Google Books. It refers to the ancient Mayan use of cement floors, stucco (similar to a cement coating on buildings), and mortar made with lime. Also, it mentions remnants of ancient cement highways. So if cement was used in various aspects of construction from Teotihucan to the east coast in Yucatan, then the Book of Mormon description might not be all that silly, eh?

Mormanity said...

Russtafarian, I deleted Ryan's video. I have a standard policy of deleting YouTube links (with a few exceptions when I'm familiar with the video). Plus I don't welcome anti-Mormon links on this blog - I'm not here to increase their traffic and visibility in search engines. But I did take a look at the video and agree with your assessment.

Bookslinger said...

I would like to see the critics of the BoM use their same meta-arguments (lack of evidence, silly beliefs, etc) in countering the beliefs of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddists, Catholics, and Protestants.

To adopt the cynical attitude of the BoM critics here, would be tantamount to denying the right-to-believe to members of _all_ faiths.

Last year, I visited a Hindu temple and met some highly educated, highly respected, and award-winning scientists and doctors who are devout believers in Hinduism.

Those men and women illustrated to me that science and faith are not enemies.

To criticize "Mormonism" on "lack of scientific or historic evidence" is to criticize _all_ religions. And such criticism is an insult to the many highly educated and science-oriented people who are devout adherents of all religions.

The fact that many biblical references have been archeologically verified or correlated doesn't negate the fact that there are still many biblical references that have _not_ been verified.

To require proof of the Book of Mormon is tantamount to asking Catholics and Jews to prove the first five books in the Bible.

The critics seem to ignore the concept that once someone believes in an omnipotent supreme-being, or one or more supernatural dieties, then natural-world explanations are not really essential. Unexplained things can be easily put onto the "We just don't know" shelf, or the "Because apparently that's the way God wants it" shelf, or the "God can do whatever he wants" shelf.

If we look at the Old Testament to see how God operates, we can't rule out the possibility of putting some Book of Mormon items on the shelf of "that was divine intervention" ie: "God just plain caused it to be that way."

If you're going to ask snide "why?" and "how?" questions of the LDS, would you ask similar snide questions of Catholics or Muslims or Hindus?

From our human standpoint, God is supernatural, divine, miraculous. He's not constrained by the natural laws that man's science is aware of. To require 3-dimensional, temporal, natural-world explanations of the relationships and the history between mankind and divinity is to deny the whole paradigm (model or framework) of a belief in a supernatural being in the first place.

Perhaps the over-arching theme of the referenced article at FAIRLDS.org is that the direction that archaelogical BoM apologetics is going in, is to knock down the criticisms bit by bit. As time goes on, the anachronisms and disputed points become more and more plausible in favor of supporting the BoM.

Anonymous said...

Tiredmormon, said:


"You guys are so desparate to find some shred -- now over 170 years later -- you will latch onto anything. And then castigate any naysayer as destroying your testimony in Christ."

You miss the point that is the testimony is of the spirit. As a convert I have felt this spirit many times and all the cement or lack of cement or any other proof does not make any difference. For most of us it is just fun unlike you that have to get a bee in your bonnet over it. I get just as big a thrill when they find some small piece of pottery in the middle east about the Bible. Your telling us that we are silly or stupid does not change the fact that I have had many spiritual experiences about the Book of Mormon and other events about the LDS church. So you name calling just make me laugh and hope some day you many have such an event in your life.

Bookslinger said...

Wagoneer: (at 6:23pm), you wrote: 'However, in this article, the authors clearly believe that evidences can prove the BoM to be authentic. Specifically: [Clark speaking here] “Confirmation of historic details of The Book of Mormon would substantiate Joseph Smith's account..."'

is taken out of context. The use of the subjunction "would" by Clark indicates to me that "confirmation of historic details" has not yet occured with a smoking-gun level of surety.

In his concluding remarks, Clark also says:

"Our purpose in this project is to bring order to the quarrel over archaeology and The Book of Mormon, with the hope that imposing organization on chaos will create space for reason. The Book of Mormon was criticized before it ever came off the press, and it has been the beneficiary of strong criticism and ridicule ever since. We welcome all such attentions because they only make the book stronger and deepen the plausibility of its ancient pedigree."

The keys phrases there are "create space for reason" and "deepen the plausibility."

Overall, his remarks indicate to me that his efforts are directed at countering the critics' charges that it couldn't be true. By finding evidence that counters the criticisms of alleged anachronisms, he's showing "yes, the BoM could be true" or "if it's not true, it isn't because of that issue."

I think Clark would readily admit that there won't be any "smoking gun" type of proof of the Book of Mormon, and no Mormons are asking people to believe the BoM based on physical evidences.

Ryan said...

Rusty: Just for the record, there seem to be two Ryans hanging around today.

NM said...
Question: What exactly is a 'Seer' in LDS?

But a seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall all things be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and things which are not known shall be made known by them, and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise could not be known. Mosiah 8:17

Couldn't the current LDS prophet just go and 'read' some of the ancient writings in Meso-America to see if these things were the genuine article?

What purpose, exactly, would that serve? It would basically require LDS to accept on faith what they already do. Meanwhile, the world at large would either ignore -- or believe the opposite of -- whatever he said, just like *they* already do.

Oh, and regarding long-winded... yup. Most scholarly articles are -- especially the ones in humanities, in this engineer's opinion -- and FAIR/FARMS are no exception. Legal and political writings, most "classic" literature, talk radio, and the evening news often fall into the trap as well. C'est la vie.

Ryan said...

"Russtafarian, I deleted Ryan's video."

Very brave of you.

Mormanity said...

Ryan, after I explained my long-standing policy of not accepting YouTube links (any kind of garbage can be embedded there, even if the opening scenes look fine), I'm disappointed that you would again post another anti-Mormon YouTube link right after your little insult above. Yeah, it got axed, too. That kind of behavior is considered uncivil over here.

Ryan said...

I am sorry opposing points of view are consider "un-civil".

I said nothing in the like of insults.

I am suprised that you do what you do to keep out-side POVs out.

However, I on the other hand love when other POVs come to me, and/or my house.

I always invite the JWs, the Mormon missionaries, etc in my house.

EVEN IF their message is "your faith has no authority from God".

Doesn't matter. Because inviting their POV in and opening my arms to them IS "civil".

So I think our definition of "civil" is different.

But I guess it's all about how we interpret words right? Thats what I hear anyway.

BTW- Your definition of "anti-Mormon" is a bit different than mine too.

However, anyone who is "against" something is "anti". So whatever.

Roxy said...

You Ryans are sure confusing me. And its usually the Anons that confuse me.

Russtafarian said...

Civility, Ryan, is also not doing something in someone's house that they would not appreciate. Jeff has never disinvited from the blog--if he wanted to make sure you didn't show up, he could. He has asked that you simply not post YouTube clips...that's all. Everything else has been a free-for-all...so yes, your definition is different than Jeff's and mine (and when the Jehovah's witnesses do come by, I am more more than glad to let them in and agreeably differ on religious ideas--provided they don't start calling me the spawn of Satan, etc.)

Just chill, man...that's all I got to say...I'm called Russtafarian for a reason :)

Ryan said...

Don't worry about the confusion anymore. Im simply going to walk away from here.

Someone on my youtube blog invited me here, and I wasn't sure what I would find.

What I found was a waste of time. So Im going to depart.

I've posted a recap of this conversation on my personal blog just for reference (incase anyone else is tempted to come here, or incase I need a reminder of why I wont any more)

Ryan said...

Russ(tafarian) it's cool man.

There are 1000 other web blogs that I try to find time to visit.

Some of them are worth my time.

Some are not.

This one isn't.

Anonymous said...

Well, Ryan, boo-hoo, boo-hoo, boo-hoo.

Anonymous said...

I meant Ryan at 9:30.

Anonymous said...

Bravery I tell you, anonymous bravery!

jayleenb said...

Roxy - I know what you mean.

One Ryan has a Blogger orange 'B" next to his name. The other a gray head. Hope that helps. :)

As to the Anons... wellllll... don't know how to help there. We should have anons A-Z... but then there may be more. So we could assign letters and numbers... such as A-1, A-2, etc.

jayleenb said...

And Ryan with the gray head next to your name - Jeff OBVIOUSLY allows alternate POV. They're all over the place around here. What he clearly told you he doesn't allow is YOUTUBE videos. He clearly stated why.

So how about a little respect and use actual words to state you alternate POV?

Ryan said...

YouTube not allowed on Mormanity?

What about this?


http://mormanity.blogspot.com/2007/12/jfks-comments-on-mormons.html


Give me a break. It's not that Youtube isn't allowed on here, it's that particular POV from YouTube are not allowed on here.

I type into google: youtube mormanity and found dozens of YouTube videos on these blogs.

I think the whole "I have a long standing rule that I don't allow YouTube videos here". is a copout and a lie.

NM said...

Ryan (At 7:22 PM, April 03, 2008),

Thanks for your response =)

Mormanity said...

Ryan, alternate points of view are generally welcome. But I'm surprised that you would misunderstand my policy to think that I, as the author of this blog, do not allow myself to post YouTube links. Eh?? Ryan, the policy of deleting YouTube video links that I'm not familiar with, and the policy of deleting anti-Mormon links, means that I don't allow random strangers to post these links in the comments section. Look at my words again - I hope that's clear!

Even if a nasty lawyer tried to interpret my policy statement in the most tortured way in order to reach the conclusion you have made, they would face the further obstacle of my statement also noting that there are some exceptions to this policy. So finding exceptions among my 1000+ posts hardly makes me a liar, even if my policy stated that even I myself am not allowed to post whatever links I want to (but my head still spins as to how you could have thought that - hey, it's my blog, man!).

I think you have completely misunderstood what I thought was clear. OK, we're all human and sometimes, myself included, don't take time to read carefully or think about what we say, so I can forgive this. OK?

However, you have publicly accused me of being a liar on this issue. There has been no lie. I've deleted many video links posted by others in the comments of my blog, including some very uplifting videos posted by the person who encouraged you to join this fray, NM, a person who has been very civil and has respected my policy. He has many alternate points of view that have long been welcome here.

Anyway, you're a bit harsh to accuse me of being a liar for deleting YouTube videos that also happen to be anti-Mormon links (a double violation, under my policy).

I hope you'll make a suitable apology on your blog.

My definition of anti-Mormon? How about this: someone driven to go to lengths to accuse the Church and its members of evil and stupidity, vocally displaying an attitude of being quick to accuse and slow to understand, often engaging in uncivil behavior and showing a tendency to condemn when condemnation is unfair. Differing points of view does not make one anti-Mormon. But uncivil, angry behavior sometimes does. I hope you won't fall into that path. I hope we all will have basic respect for other faiths, including mine, and for the rights of authors to control the content of their blogs, including mine. Deal?

Anonymous said...

"Mesoamerican Demographic "History"To begin, the earliest developments of Jaredites and Olmecs are hazy, but from about 1500 BC onward their histories are remarkably parallel. The alternations between city building and population declines, described for the Jaredites, correspond quite well with lowland Olmec developments. Olmec cities were abandoned by 400 BC, and the culture disappeared--just as the Book of Mormon describes for the Jaredites."


There was more to the artical that just cement. Such patterns as whole populations and the ability for an area to sustain a population in the millions are impressive with parallels of date and times are impressive. It would take much more reading and reasearch than NM, and tiredmormon are willing to do to understand such importance of such finds. It is easer to whine about cement.

Ryan said...

Whatever happened to the "this comment was removed by a blog administrator" tag? It's useful for unraveling these "meta" discussions about content from links inside deleted posts some of us never saw.

Eastern Asia might even have steel swords AND elephants AND horses.

Actually, my undergrad history book that covered early Asia (completely anti-religion, btw) took pains to point out how nobody could come up with a single horse bone in the Asian Steppes until the late 20th century, even though we're "fairly certain" the Mongols had horses at least as early as the time they rode them out of the Steppes and crushed several civilizations.

if you used FAIR resources, could you find similar – or closer – parallels in eastern Asia? What about western Africa? Are these American similarities really so impressive?

If these parallels are so universal, why are they the ones critics endlessly use to "prove" that the culture described in the Book of Mormon couldn't possibly have existed?

Seriously, are you arguing that "proofs" like the following one hold any water whatsoever?

"The Book of Mormon says Nephites had a system of writing hundreds of years B.C. lots of early cultures had writing systems hundreds of years B.C., so clearly the Nephites are a made-up sham."

Huh???

What we see here is nearly 200 years of critics saying "the Book of Mormon says X, which is patently false/absurd/silly" only to have X show up in real archeology right where it was *not* supposed to exist.

Again, the point isn't to wave a smoking gun (though that *would* be fun, wouldn't it!). As the article said, the point is to
1. shoot down criticisms that are flat-out lies (gunpowder? steamboats?) or are based on flawed assumptions (coast-to-coast Nephite suburbia)
2. Lay to rest criticisms which were once valid and have become obsolete as archeology advances.
3. identify unresolved criticisms to research next

Nobody expects critics to accept these parallels as proof the Book of Mormon is true. It just means critics might want to find (or at least mention) different reasons to not believe if they want to remain credible.

tiredmormon said...

Jeff,

I did a quick Google book search for knowledge about cement in Mexico in books published prior to 1830 (the date you suggested) and found dozens and dozens of sources. Your assertions are therefore unfounded. There nothing special about cement (or chiasmus, but we have discussed that already -- and that is why I think that 'evidence' is silly. (Sorry to those who are offended at silly/stupid, but I suppose your tolerance for dissent is rather limited and I thought those terms were better than the alternatives I wanted to use). It is no different than guessing they wore clothes.

This is the whole issue: FARMS puts up 'evidences' that stink and then all of you cry when someone turns up their nose. If you want to retreat into spiritual witnesses, go right ahead -- I wont argue with you. But if you are going to muster archeological evidence -- then make a respectful showing.

Bookslinger said...

Uh-oh. Ryan's keeping a "lie chart".

gb said...

Tiredmormon,

Thanks for pointing out that one critic of the BOM didn't do his due diligence (no surprise that).

The criticism comes from John L. Smith, in his "What about those Gold Plates?" The Utah Evangel 33:6 (September 1986) with this statement;

"There is zero archaeological evidence that any kind of cement existed in the Americas prior to modern times"

So your saying that his criticism was bogus to start with.

Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!

Bookslinger said...

Tired-Mo:

could you please provide some URL's to pages that cite or reproduce books published prior to 1830 that document the discovery of cement in Mexico/Central/South America ?

Oh, and of course, they can't be by Anti-mormons, because we all know they're biased and have an agenda. ;-)

I've heard the chiasmus argument several ways,
1) that it's presence in the bible was discovered after 1830.
2) that it's presence in the bible was discovered before 1830.
3) that it was discovered before 1830, but Joseph and Oliver had no way of knowing about it.

Could you also please refer some cites (or web sites that cite) about the timing of the discovery of chiasmus in the Bible?

Again, try to find legitimate archaeology or bible research web sites that mention the discovery of cement use (and discovery of Biblical chiasmus), not the quoting of such discoveries by the anti-mormon critics. Links to original work is okay, Jeff just doesn't want links to anti web sites.

Since the critics have flip-flopped on this issue (first saying the BoM couldn't be true because there _wasn't_ cement back, then saying there _was_ cement, and Joseph could have known about it), try to use neutral sources that talked about it outside of the context of criticizing the BoM.

Ryan said...

"However, you have publicly accused me of being a liar on this issue. There has been no lie. I've deleted many video links posted by others in the comments of my blog"

I am not saying that you don't delete other videos. What I said is that you delete videos of a particular POV, while leaving the POV that you agree with in place.



"including some very uplifting videos posted by the person who encouraged you to join this fray, NM, a person who has been very civil and has respected my policy."

But I thought your policy was about unfamiliar and so-called "anti-Mormon" videos. So if you consider them "uplifting" then you are obviously famillar with them, and maybe I am assuming too much, but I wouldn't imagine you would call something that you consider "anti-Mormon" also "uplifting" since 'anti-Mormon' thoughts are so appauling to you. To me, your rules are unclear and contridictorary. Is it only me? Maybe. After all, I just arrived.

"He has many alternate points of view that have long been welcome here."

Great.

So let me just clear up what I see you saying your policy is again


"YouTube video links that I'm not familiar with, and the policy of deleting anti-Mormon links, means that I don't allow random strangers to post these links in the comments section."


You described becoming familar with NH, and the uplifting videos of his that you have deleted. So in regards to deleting his video, that action does not seem to fit your policy, at least the policy that you just described



"Ryan, the policy of deleting YouTube video links that I'm not familiar with, and the policy of deleting anti-Mormon links, means that I don't allow random strangers to post these links in the comments section. Look at my words again - I hope that's clear!"

As I described above, it is not

"(but my head still spins as to how you could have thought that - hey, it's my blog, man!). "

I very much understand it is your blog. I am just saying your policies are inconsistant. If thats ok with you, it's ok with me. I just thought I would point that out.

"I hope you'll make a suitable apology on your blog. "


I don't think that I need to apologize for policies that you have made, broke, and altered to a point that they are unclear, but how about I apologize for us having a misunderstanding. Partially my fault, and partially your fault

"My definition of anti-Mormon?"

I read your definition, and I think it's suitable.


Here is my definition of "anti-Mormon".


Anti = against

Mormon = A fictitional charactor in the Book of Mormon.


To be anti-Mormon, I would have to be against someone that I consider a fictitional charactor in the Book of Mormon. I am not against (anti) Mormon.

Nor am I against (anti) anyone who is considered Mormon.


Here is what I am. I am against (anti) LDS teachings that I consider to be false, destructive, or against my faith.



Here is a fact that I will let you in on. I believe Mormonism, even the cornerstone of the LDS church, the event that brought it all together, which was Joseph Smith's first vision (which ever 1 of the 9 versions you believe to be true), is against (anti)-Christianity. Or against (anti)-Christian-creeds.

The whole "all of their creeds are an abomination" thing and all that jazz.


So if I am anti-Mormon. Then those who believe and follow PofGP Chapter 1 Joseph Smith's history, are anti-Christian in my point of view.


No you might say "we are Christian, how can we be anti-Christian"? Many Mormons who are still members of the CofJCLDS are against (anti) Mormonism. So how can they be "anti-Mormon" yet still be members?

It's not an oxy-Mormon. People can be against something that they are members of.

Anyway, I will post this on my blog, because of my awareness of censorship here.

Thanks for the response!

Wagoneer said...

On the key point, I should say that I agree with the authors of the article – many of the details described in the BoM, despite having once been thought ridiculous, have since been shown instead to be rather reasonable. My major complaint (among several) with the article stems from this quote:

“The hypothesis of human authorship of The Book of Mormon demands that truth claims in the book be judged by what was believed, known, or knowable in Joseph's backyard in the 1820s. The book's description of ancient peoples differs greatly from the racist notions of rude savages held by 19th-century Americans.”

The problem is, a ‘hypothesis of human authorship’ doesn’t necessarily demand that at all. JS wasn’t claiming to write about “rude savages” - he was writing about Israelites, which he would know well from the Bible. My ‘hypothesis of human authorship’ would include JS writing a story about Hebrew people entering into a new land, and him more or less importing their technology and animals and plants into the story. A couple of questions: Do the plants and animals and technology in the BoM largely reflect those of the OT and NT? Or, are the plants and animals and technology more uniquely consistent with those deduced from Mesoamerican archaeological record? I’m not suggesting that JS simply copied the Bible, but if that was his framework for details about Jaredite/Nephite/neo-Israelite culture, perhaps the complex city societies etc described in the BoM are not surprising at all.

Russtafarian said...

Tiredmormon:

I did the same kind of search "cement" and Mexico with Google Books. Nothing.

So I I had to type in a random year before 1830 (I chose 1820--arbitrary)--and I found ONE book (Extracts from a Journal, it's called--there was a copy in the Manchester library, incidentally) with ONE isolated reference to formerly polished cement. Another book by Johann Von Spix provides ONE reference...but it is not in the library...

To those who suggest that the Book is merely a product of discourse in the New England region, well, I refuse to accept that the Book of Mormon simply tapped into an impersonal sense of wonder about cement, white Indians, whatever. Any rich man like Martin Harris did not get rich by taking huge risks on something like that...no amount of wonder can make up for a possible 3000 dollar loss...

Anonymous said...

Wagoneer,

The important thing is, Joseph Smith made the bold claim that a highly sophisticated society existed in ancient America. And so, back in the day, it was on that tack that the critics were railing against him regardless of whether or not his ideas were influenced by the Bible--and that because of their perceptions of American history which were a far cry from 21st century perceptions.

And so we need to ask ourselves: how does the BoM hold up against what we know *today* about ancient American civilizations? And the obvious answer is: a whole lot better than it used to--and that because the view from our "backyard" has changed (widened) dramatically.

Jack

Mormanity said...

Wagoneer, I think you are missing a bigger point here. Given that the people in Joseph's day viewed Native Americans as savages, why would he dream up an Israel connection coupled with extensive civilization in the New World to explain their origins? You can say he got the idea from View of the Hebrews or a couple other books suggesting various ancient Old World connections, but then you would expect the focus to be on little tidbits of present behavior that can be linked to Hebrew, like Indian chants or alleged rituals, rather than concocting something so implausible as advanced civilizations with elaborate cities, cement work, etc., all of which was foreign. Remember, if he were a fraud, he would want to make the book be plausible so it could sell. Why add elements that were so challenging in his day? Why not keep it simple and easier to swallow?

Right, you can argue that it would make it more interesting and controversial. And it certainly did keep people's interest - like the interest and testimony of all the witnesses to the gold plates until the day of their deaths. And plenty of hot controversy, too.

Mormanity said...

Ryan, you're so worked up. Look, you said I lied about my policy, and as proof of that, you posted a link to the post I wrote with a JFK YouTube video that I embedded. It was my post, my choice. Not an example of me allowing people to post random YouTube links (which I sometimes have done in the past, by way of exception - the policy is less than a year old, I'd say). And, by the way, it was an embedded video, not really a formal external link - a subtlety (I don't like sending people to YouTube, given it's often risque content, which is one more reason why I don't like links added randomly in comments - preferring instead to embed).

So while you claim you caught me in a contradiction of my policy, you don't seem to recognize that a post to a video that I embed is absolutely irrelevant to the point you're trying to make.

Whatever you're trying to imply about NM, let me clarify. After deleting his video links to very long videos, out of curiosity, I watched about 40 minutes of them while exercising one day and found they were generally good stuff - but I don't want to have to spend time screening links all the time and keep things simple by saying NO as a general policy, with precious few exceptions.

Anyway, I thought you said this pathetic blog of mine wasn't worth your time and that you weren't coming back. Well, welcome back!! Glad to see that change is possible. Keep coming - but I think you should be a little more relaxed, accepting of alternate views, less quick to scream "censorshop" and "liar," and quicker to say "Ron Paul rocks." That's an alternate point of view I really appreciate.

Patrick said...

I'm sorry you feel bad Ryan. Jeff deleted one my posts the other day and I thought it was faith promoting. Oh well, I have to accept it's Jeff's site. Someday I'll start my own blog and I'll be the post deleting king. Until then I accpet Jeff can do what ever he wants.

Anonymous said...

"A clay tablet that has baffled scientists for 150 years has been identified as a witness’s account of the asteroid suspected of being behind the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah."

Just a bit off topic but if those scientists would just stop looking for Bible and BofM proof we could sleep better at night. Tierdmormon, don't worry I am sure all these scientists are making these things up to confuse those Christians and Mormons. Will it never end?

Anonymous said...

The Arts of War is for me the best part on what makes ring true. Try to guess how people wage war at a set location and time.

Andrew Miller said...

Ryan,

As a person who is mostly an outsider over here, you seem a little bitter. I think you ought to calm down. Life is a lot bigger than a blog.

tiredmormon said...

You guys are ridiculous. No, I am not going to the library because you can't figure out Google Book Search.

You apologists need to get out of the 1920's and shouting about Heber's statement. The whole point is that cement is not the problem and never really was. Get on some real evidences that people can trust and you might make some headway.

Native civilizations with lime and fire have cement. There is nothing special about it. It is no different than saying they wore clothes. And the whole chiasmus crap is a joke. It is not limited to the bible. Plenty of ancient sources show chiasmus. The chiasmus in the BoM hardly works because the phrases are filled with other crap. Frankenstein has chiasmus for crying out loud. And no, I am not running to the library for you on this one either. Do your own research.

You guys need to calm down. Don't worry Ryan, not all Mormons are this arbitrary and insulting.

Russtafarian said...

Tiredmormon:

You saw precisely my methodology with the google book search...do you have any ojbections to that methodlogy? If so, what are the objections? In any case, I sincerely thank you for calling me to learn something new...which I did.

I know you're dignifying us low-browed type, but humor us...I for one hadn't researched that particular issue (though I have deeply researched other, far more controversial issues such as polyandry, etc.)...

I still fail to see how simply dismissing us as being Google Books-inept addresses the question at hand. Please do address that; it wil be for the betterment of all.

Mormanity said...

TiredMormon raises a valid point about some pre-1830 books discussing cement in Mexico. Like the works of von Humboldt, there were a handful of authors who had first-hand experience in Mexico and reported things such as the use of lime-based mortar or stucco-like cement coatings on buildings, etc. The challenge is that this knowledge was not part of Joseph Smith's environment, as far as I know, and was certainly not part of common knowledge at the time. It wasn't until over a decade after the Book of Mormon that the public began to realize that ancient cities and temples, etc., were had on this continent.

TiredMormon, if I read him correctly, is arguing that cement is a common thing one should expect among any society that should be expected anywhere. But the Native Americans that Joseph could have been familiar with were not using cement or anything related, as far as I know. So it is a stretch, if Joseph were writing the Book of Mormon based on his environment to explain Native American origins, it would seem like a stretch.

jayleenb said...

And let's not forget the metal plates in cement boxes... and the D-rings.

I still haven't heard an anti deal with this. But it doesn't matter because I saw Conference today and was reminded through the Spirit speaker after speaker that this is the Lord's Church. I don't need 'facts' to tell me that.

"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.."

What a fabulous Conference!

jayleenb said...

OOOPs! Forgot the Scripture reference for the quote in my above post. It's 1 Cor 2:14

Ryan said...

TiredMormon:
Maybe it's time to lay this cement thing to rest... the moral of the story seems to be that many/most ancient civilizations used cement, and the only people arguing otherwise are a spattering of Book of Mormon critics.

So what? All the apologists are claiming is that the old criticism is unfounded.

Oh, and I don't get the whole fire thing. A quick back-of-the envelope calculation suggests to me that Just clearing the ground to build a town of 4000 would probably give enough wood to make cement houses for all 1000 families of four.

Assume it takes an entire metric ton of wood burned to make one concrete house (keeping in mind that you could probably build a small house with that much wood)

From Google:
1. Rainforests pack metric tons of biomass per acre
2. 1000 acres = 2x2 km square
3. Really crowded places like India have 1000 people per sq. km
4. Modern concrete is 11% only cement (the rest is water/rock/sand), so the cement goes a long way.

Farming and daily fuel needs probably caused most deforestation in my opinion. It's not like cement houses should need replacing very often.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree that the article is directed to members and not meant to be a detailed list or shows all the detail findings of each item on the list that might show some light on the subject of J.S. credibility as a prophet. But anyone other that tiredmormon and others like him and atheists must admit that if one takes the total of findings of Mesoamerica and middle east findings the list is impressive. I joined in 1976 when the Dead Sea scrolls and other documents were a big deal. With a college degree I spent many hours in the public library (long before the internet but not as crude a libraries as J.S. day) trying to get all the information on the topics we are discussing and it took years for me to research them. I had to order books and wait months and years to research it all and J.S. did not have this at his disposal. People like tiredmormon are like atheists, in that no matter how much proof, facts, evidence, or coincidence are found his best bet is to name call. I like name calling better that going over the same old findings but when they do find new items it still gives me a stupid thrill as tiredmormon would say. The part that always slays me is why tiredmormon bothers at all. Someone as stupid as I might be fooled, others in the church might be fooled, even Jeff might be fooled, but when it comes to people like Huge Nibley and other big brains, this is where it gets confusing. Either these big brains are playing games with us or they have obtained a witness beyond the physical archeology they study. Add this with the fact that many scientists are converting to Christianity and some other forms of spiritually after knowing for a fact there is no God, my small mind must ask if there is not more to this Christian thing? I agree that cement is unimpressive if that was the only item J.S. got right. Then we get back to tiredmormon and others like him they offer nothing but name calling and little or no help for prisoners like me that are in an enslaved religion converted by the cement structures I saw in Mexico. Please help me tiredmormon, I have tied my soul to a religion that used the myth of cements structures to draw me in and weigh me down.

Sincerely,
Cement Shoes

Pops said...

Wow, that was really funny - Huge Nibley the Big Brain!

I enjoyed the "article", but I think some readers expected too much. It was, after all, a transcript of an oral presentation and not a publication per se.

TiredMormon says, Get on some real evidences that people can trust and you might make some headway. But that's not the point. The goal of apologists is to knock down obstacles that might prevent others from taking their spiritual quest down avenues the former have found fruitful.

God could easily prove the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. But then, wouldn't that sort of defeat his purpose?

NM said...

I resonate with what Pops has just said; that I probably expected too much. I had no idea that it was an oral presentation...

Ryan said...

"I'm sorry you feel bad Ryan. Jeff deleted one my posts the other day and I thought it was faith promoting. Oh well, I have to accept it's Jeff's site. Someday I'll start my own blog and I'll be the post deleting king. Until then I accpet Jeff can do what ever he wants."


I totally agree, as I did in my last post that Jeff has every right to control his blog any which way he wants.

My point of posting my last message was because Jeff all but demanded me to post an apology on my blog.

I thought I would give him the apology that I thought he deserved, as well as explain to him how we got to this misunderstanding.

Jeff feels like I should have known that he doesn't allow youtube links, or anything that negates Mormonism (i.e. anti-Mormon). But when I first started posting here, I saw no designated rules.

So Jeff informs Russtafarian that he deleted my post. But gave ME no explaination.

So I answer Russ's post to me, who complained that the scientists that I used in my video were not as credible as the FARMS scholars, and that he didn't like the music in my video calling it "cheesy".

So I showed him a different (similar) video that I made that cleared up some of his complaints.

Then that post got deleted. Jeff responded to me directly this time (which I feel he should have done the first time). And cleared things up for me, but again says to me that I should no better.

Anyway. I realize and agree that Jeff has control over this blog. I just thought I would point out to him a problem that I have with his methods.


So this is my response to Russtafarian (without the youtube video so that this post doesn't get deleted too).


-------------------

You are saying that Murphy and Southerton are no match for the two BYU professors?

First Thomas W. Murphy (born circa 1967) is a Latter Day Saint anthropologist and writer. Murphy earned his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Washington in 2003, and he is now the chair of the Department of Anthropology at Edmonds Community College in Washington State.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_W._Murphy


Dr. Simon G. Southerton is a senior research scientist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Canberra, Australia. He is a former senior research scientist in the Department of Biochemistry, University of Queensland, and post-doctoral fellow at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, England. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Sydney in plant science and now specializes in the molecular biology of forest trees. He has published research articles in international journals such as Plant Molecular Biology, Plant Physiology, and Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology. He served an LDS mission to Melbourne in the 1980s.

http://www.signaturebooks.com/Losing.htm#Simon



What you are saying the BYU professors have beyond what these men have is beyond me, other than a pay check from Mormonism 101?

As for the music. I made another video that you may be interested in. It was made about 1 week before I made the video in question. It is similar, does not have the music (except for at the end).

I didn't make it with you in mind. But it is the first of the 2 part series.

(this is where the deleted youtube link would have gone)

Take it or leave it.

Ryan said...

"Ryan, you're so worked up. Look, you said I lied about my policy, and as proof of that, you posted a link to the post I wrote with a JFK YouTube video that I embedded. "

Jeff, as I stated in my post to you. I think we had a misunderstanding, and I apologized for it.

You did not clearly define your policy, only that you do not allow links critical of the LDS church, and that you don't allow youtube videos.

If there was more to it at the time, I did not fully undestand it. Then I went out to look for youtube videos on your blog, and sure enough, I found many.

I think this is partially my fault for not reading the thousands of posts on your blog to get a clearer understanding of what goes on here. And it is partially your fault for not addressing me directly in the first instance of censorship. When you addressed Russtafarian about deleting my post, you would have gained more understanding from me (and future 'problems') if you would have made your policies CLEAR.

Yes I am sorry you feel like I was un-civil (as you accused me of being), and I am sorry for the misunderstanding.

But I truly think that you could have made this whole issue go away faster by
1. Being more clear
2. Addressing me directly in the first place

Now that I know that you don't allow any links that are critical of Mormonism, or YouTube videos (links, etc), I will not be posting such things (sigh).

Also, you claimed that I refered to your blog as pathetic? That is also something that could get out of hand. I only said that there are thousands of blogs on the net that are worth my time, and that this one isn't.

Why?

Because without warning or explaination, my very first post that I worked hard on got deleted by you. Then a second post. Then after that, you had a little issue with me that really got us no-where.

I didn't say your blog was "pathetic". I do feel that you are being very one-sided and petty on the references that are allowed to be used in your blog.


How can someone debate an ideology that ALWAYS demands context, etc.. But not be allowed to use the context that is asked for?

Seems way too much of a hassle to debate or discuss things with you is all.

I know, I came back. And sorry that I didn't post this earlier. I just got back from driving 1800 miles.

jayleenb said...

Ryan with the gray head - With all due respect, what on earth would make you think that an LDS blog would welcome anti-mormon videos? I seriously can't imagine going to a blog of a different religion and posting anti-whatever videos on it.

tired - You seem to be talking out of both sides of your mouth. On the one hand you say cement would be impossible because of the lack of means to make fire. Then you say that cement was *known* to be everywhere in every society. But as Jeff points out, there was no cement in the Indian societies that Joseph Smith was familiar with.

I can't see how you can argue it both ways.

jayleenb said...

tired - Nor did Joseph Smith have 'Google Book' available to him.

(although, I've heard it said in utter secrecy that he did indeed have the first iPod)

NM said...

'iPod'/'Seer Stones + Hat' are interchangeable... =P

Roxy said...

Jayleenb, lol...that would help, but I think it would be better if the Anons would just make up a nick name or something. Even if it was one letter or two that would be great. I may be asking for too much. And thanks for helpng me figure out which Ryan was which. I knew I needed glasses for a reason : )

SteSmo said...

Ryan (with grey head)-

Dr. Daniel C. Peterson:

"Daniel C. Peterson is professor of Islamic Studies and Arabic in the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages at Brigham Young University and currently serves as editor-in-chief of BYU's Middle Eastern Texts Initiative. He is a member of the executive council of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at Brigham Young University. He received a bachelor's degree in Greek and philosophy from BYU and, after several years of study in Jerusalem and Cairo, earned his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from the University of California at Los Angeles."

John Tvedtnes:

"John A. Tvedtnes (M.A. in Linguistics and M.A. in Middle East Studies (Hebrew), University of Utah) is a senior resident scholar with the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at Brigham Young University. He has taught at the University of Utah and at the Brigham Young University Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies and has lectured in Israel and the United States."

Hugh Nibley:

"Hugh Nibley was one of the most gifted scholars in the LDS Church. He graduated summa cum laude from UCLA and completed his PhD as a University Fellow at UC Berkeley. He taught at Claremont College in California before serving in military intelligence in World War II. From 1946 until his death in 2005, he was associated with and taught at Brigham Young University."

This is what two non-LDS scholars (Carl Mosser and Paul Owens) had to say about Nibley.

"The Father of Mormon Scholarly Apologetics Hugh Nibley is without question the pioneer of LDS scholarship and apologetics. Since earning his Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley in 1939, Nibley has produced a seemingly endless stream of books and articles covering a dauntingly vast array of subject matter. Whether writing on Patristics, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Apocrypha, the culture of the Ancient Near East or Mormonism, he demonstrates an impressive command of the original languages, primary texts and secondary
literature. He has set a standard which younger LDS intellectuals are hard pressed to follow. There is not room here for anything approaching an exhaustive examination of Nibley's works.6 We must confess with Truman Madsen, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Religion at Brigham Young University: "To those who know him best, and least, Hugh W. Nibley is a prodigy, an enigma, and a symbol."7

The few evangelicals who are aware of Hugh Nibley often dismiss him as a fraud or pseudo-scholar. Those who would like to quickly dismiss his writings would do well to heed Madsen's warning: "Ill-wishing critics have suspected over the years that Nibley is wrenching his sources, hiding behind his footnotes, and reading into antique languages what no responsible would ever read out. Unfortunately, few have the tools to do the checking."8 The bulk of Nibley's work has gone unchallenged by evangelicals despite the fact that he has been publishing relevant material since 1946. Nibley's attitude toward evangelicals: "We need more anti-Mormon books. They keep us on our toes."9

No doubt there are flaws in Nibley's work, but most counter-cultists do not have the tools to demonstrate this. Few have tried.10 It is beyond the scope of this paper to critique Nibley's methodology or to describe the breadth of his apologetic.11 Whatever flaws may exist in his methodology, Nibley is a scholar of high caliber. Many of his more important essays first appeared in academic journals such as the Revue de Qumran, Vigilae Christianae, Church History, and the Jewish Quarterly Review.12 Nibley has also received praise from non-LDS scholars such as Jacob Neusner, James Charlesworth, Cyrus Gordon, Raphael Patai and Jacob Milgrom.13 The former dean of the Harvard Divinity School, George MacRae, once lamented while hearing him lecture, "It is obscene for a man to know that much!"14 Nibley has not worked in a cloister. It is amazing that few evangelical scholars are aware of his work. In light of the respect Nibley has earned in the non-LDS scholarly world it is more amazing that counter-cultists can so glibly dismiss his work.

For many years Nibley may have been conservative Mormonism's only reputable scholar. However, due to Nibley's influence as a motivating professor, today there are many more. During the years Nibley taught at BYU several LDS students followed his example by going on to earn the degrees necessary to gain a hearing in the academic community. For example, Stephen E. Robinson went on to Duke University to earn a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies under W. D. Davies and James Charlesworth.15 Others went in different directions: S. Kent Brown took a doctorate from Brown University, focusing his research on the Nag Hammadi texts; C. Wilfred Griggs received a Ph.D. in ancient history from the University of California at Berkeley and is a specialist in early Egyptian Christianity;16 under the supervision of David Noel Freedman and Frank Moore Cross, Kent P. Jackson took a doctorate in Near Eastern studies from the University of Michigan after completing a dissertation on the Ammonite language;17 Avraham Gileadi earned his Ph.D. at BYU, with R. K. Harrison serving as the primary reader of his dissertation concerning the literary structure of Isaiah;18 Stephen D. Ricks received a doctorate in Near Eastern Religions from the University of California at Berkeley and Graduate Theological Union under Jacob Milgrom;19 Donald W. Parry received his Ph.D. in Hebrew jointly from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and University of Utah; John Gee is currently completing a Ph.D. in Egyptology at Yale University. Many more examples of Mormon scholars with equal credentials could be listed. Currently another crop of traditional Mormon intellectuals, in part funded by FARMS' Hugh Nibley Fellowships, are earning advanced degrees from Oxford, Duke, Claremont, UCLA, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Catholic University of America, and elsewhere. Their fields of study are quite relevant: New Testament, Syriac, Early Christianity, Near Eastern languages and cultures, and other disciplines. The significance of these facts is simple: Mormons have the training and skills to produce robust defenses of their faith." (Trinity Jounral 19:2)

Oh, but wait, I forgot that:

Latter-day Saint who confronts problem in scriptures, history, etc. come ups with explanation he/she feels is adequate to remain active in the Church = “Apologist”

Latter-day Saint who confronts problem in scriptures, history, etc. comes up with explanation he/she feels is adequate to leave the Church = ‘Mormon Intellectual’

Because Messers. Peterson, Tvedtnes, Nibley, et al. are Latter-day Saints who affirm the historicity of the Book of Mormon, they are dupes and apologetic pseudo-scholars, but Messers. Murphy and Southerton are the enlightened and uber-unbiased scholars who are going to save us poor Mormon dupes.

P.s. I loved your comparison between the Lord's Kingdom and the iron curtain of the communistic Soviet Union. Very creative and orginal [/sarcasm]

Ryan said...

"Ryan with the gray head - With all due respect, what on earth would make you think that an LDS blog would welcome anti-mormon videos? I seriously can't imagine going to a blog of a different religion and posting anti-whatever videos on it. "


First, if this is a debate (maybe I am wrong in assuming such). But even if this is a conversation. How can you or anyone else, expect it to be so one sided?

Or is this "Mormanity - Faith promoting ONLY blog"?

Maybe that is not where I am clear.


I mean, if this is supposed to be a debate, or a conversation, or whatever. And if there are two or more sides to the discussion.. Then why would both sides of the story not allowed to be able to show their context?

Now you have described my video as "anti-Mormon".

However, I disagree. Most of the video was a presentation of FARMS scholars. There were more speakers and for more time presented for the case of Mormon anthropology than against.

I showed Hugh Nibley, John Tvedtnes, and Dan Peterson from FARMS for the majority of the movie. Then for less than half of the movie there was Thomas Murphy and Simon Southerton (also who have lived most of their lives as LDS members). And at the end, I put in a small clip from a Utah television station on a change in the Book of Mormon.


So honestly, I think it was a very balanced presentation. I used everyone's own words, from their own mouth, using their own voices. I presented both sides of the case. And I also referenced a 3rd party for a little added balance.

What you consider "anti-Mormon", I consider balanced.


But if we are truly going to acheive balance on a blog like this, shall we ONLY allow the Mormon POV to be presented? Doesn't seem balanced to me.

Ryan said...

"Latter-day Saint who confronts problem in scriptures, history, etc. come ups with explanation he/she feels is adequate to remain active in the Church = “Apologist"


Actually, I would say a Latter-Day Saint who contributes to FARMS is an apologists. I don't know who else I described as an apologists.

But if I were able to post youtube links here, I could show you from their own words describing THEMSELVES as LDS apologists.


What is your point anyway??? That the function of die-hard apologists is bad???

SteSmo said...

Ryan (grey):

"What is your point anyway??? That the function of die-hard apologists is bad???"

No, not at all. What I meant in my post was that our critics, including yourself in your video, try to make faithful Latter-day Saints who defend the Church look like idiotic pseudo-scholarly apologetic hacks, while you exalt Southerton & Murphy and Co. as the greatest thing to ever happen to Mormonism and LDS scholarship.

This is a method that the likes of Brent Lee Metcalfe and other evangelicals use against LDS scholars. Instead of taking on their arguments, they try to poison the well by ad hominen attacks. This is also what Living Hope Ministries did to their videos. When Southerton and Murphy agreed with them, they exalted them as "LDS scholar" but when Peterson et al. disagree with them, they, in an attempt to make them look stupid, dismiss them as meer "LDS apologist(s)". Take another look at the Mosser & Owens quote. That was back in the 1990's.

"But if I were able to post youtube links here, I could show you from their own words describing THEMSELVES as LDS apologists."

I have no problem with Peterson, etc. calling themselves apologists. There is nothing wrong with that. But when critics call them apologists, they do it to poison the well. It reminds me of the old story:

A good, peaceable Quaker who said to a poor dog which he wanted killed, "I will not kill thee, but I will give thee a bad name." So he cried, "Mad dog! Mad dog!" And on hearing this cry the people soon dispatched the poor animal."

You see my point? You are trying to make Peterson and Co. look stupid by calling them "LDS apologists" and try to exalt Southerton and Murphy by hailing them as "LDS scholars".

Ryan said...

I don't know if you watched my video, but I didn't add labels to anyone.

However, in the video that I used to get the FARMS clips, Daniel C. Peterson referred to HIMSELF and the FARMS scholars as "LDS apologists"..


Had he not given himself that label, I may not refer to him as such.

Like I said, I can show you the clip of where he claims this title. But I just can't post it here. (sigh)


Southerton and Murphy have not applied such a label to themselves.

That is the difference.

Ryan said...

"You see my point? You are trying to make Peterson and Co. look stupid by calling them "LDS apologists" and try to exalt Southerton and Murphy by hailing them as "LDS scholars"."


These are just what they have labeled themselves.

Why try to make me out to be the villian?

Talk to Daniel C. Peterson about the label "apologists".

Ryan said...

Sorry, I mean to say: "Villan", not villian

Ryan said...

Here is something that may cool your jets (so you can stop trying to villanize me).

I go to a website often, and I support their research at C.A.R.M.

"Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry".


I personally do not consider "apologist" in a negative light.

Neither does Daniel C. Peterson for that matter.


Why you have a problem with the term escapes me. However, I am not trying to add a negative light to the BYU professors that I have referenced as "apologists".

And in my video I gave them more time than I gave Southerton and Murphy.


I realize you need a villan. But if you want to villanize anyone for using the term "apologist". Take it up with Daniel C. Peterson. He is the one that labeled himself as such.

And I agree. I think he is a die-hard LDS apologist.

Ryan said...

Actually, I am wrong. Hugh Nibley DID have a label under his video, and it said.

"LDS Scholar".


I didn't give any of them labels, but the video that I got that clip from had the label already given.

SteSmo said...

Ryan (grey):

"I don't know if you watched my video, but I didn't add labels to anyone."

So you did not come up with the title "LDS Apologists vs. LDS Scientists"?

Anyways, the above is besides the point, from what I gathered, you titled your video in good faith because that is what these men have identfied themselves? If that is the case, then I am sorry if I misrepresented you. I am a bit skeptical about this claim (especially in light of you being with CARM) but, alas, cannot read your mind like Fawn Brodie and therefore will give you the benefit of the doubt and will take your word for it.

"I go to a website often, and I support their research at C.A.R.M.

"Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry".


I personally do not consider "apologist" in a negative light.

Neither does Daniel C. Peterson for that matter.


Why you have a problem with the term escapes me. However, I am not trying to add a negative light to the BYU professors that I have referenced as "apologists".

And in my video I gave them more time than I gave Southerton and Murphy.


I realize you need a villan. But if you want to villanize anyone for using the term "apologist". Take it up with Daniel C. Peterson. He is the one that labeled himself as such.

And I agree. I think he is a die-hard LDS apologist"

You are with CARM? Good for you. I participate with FAIR (The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research).

Let me state for the record that I do NOT have a problem with the name "apologist". I do, however, have a problem with the way that some anti-Mormons try to use that name to poison the well against Latter-day Saint scholars and researchers. Just like the way that many anti-Mormons use the word "cult" to describe the Church, many also use "apologist" in the same fashion.

As I said, I will take your word for it if you really titled your video for the reasons you said you did.

"Actually, Behind the Zion Curtain references the state (Utah) that I was born and raised in, went to college and paid taxes to.

So if it is the so-called "Lord Kingdom". I helped build it too."

I thought you meant the Church, but this is even better. So my home state that I love where I was born and currently live is being compared to the USSR. Sweet.

I am loggin out for now. Peace out!

Ryan said...

"Let me state for the record that I do NOT have a problem with the name "apologist". I do, however, have a problem with the way that some anti-Mormons try to use that name to poison the well against Latter-day Saint scholars and researchers. Just like the way that many anti-Mormons use the word "cult" to describe the Church, many also use "apologist" in the same fashion."



I am just so disturbed by how badly you react to the label "apologist". Like I said, if Daniel C. Peterson wasn't a self professed apologists, I wouldn't refer to him as such.


But after all, this is a guy who is employed by the LDS church, defends the LDS church tooth and nail at all costs, and calls himself an "apologist"..


He fits the definition at every level, and even calls himself an apologist.


I DO NOT SEE THE PROBLEM.

Anonymous said...

I liked it better when everyone was throwing around cement. I personally like the "big brain", mid-size brain", "small brain", "no brain" lables myself. I fall into to the no brain lable and find most of this "my professor is bigger than your professor stuff the most funny. And if someone brings up how Mesoamericans knew about wheels on childrens toys but could not figure out how to use them on adult size carts I am going to go out and throw myself under the bus.

Anonymous said...

"paid taxes to."

Cry me a river we all pay taxes to things we disagree with welcome to any goverment on the planet. I just wished the church had taken in a mile square around temple square like the Vatican and keep all the antis out so going to the temple or conference would not be disrupted with anti nut jobs. As far as this is Jeff web page and I am glad he keeps it cleaned up. If I want the religious\spitural LDS church stuff I can go to the offical LDS web page. It I want to dig into the details of cement I can go to FARMS or others. If I want anti I can find that or point counter point I can seek out Rayn versions of Mormonism. So stop complaining about Jeffs keeping his blog the way he likes it.

Mormanity said...

Ryan (gray head) I deleted another of your comments. Look, this post began with a clear statement that I wanted comments limited to the topics addressed by the paper I cited. This is not the place to complain about downtown Salt Lake or to advertise your site.

Apart from my old policies against people posting YouTube links or anti-Mormon links (sorry for any pain you've suffered because of that), the initial statement in my blog post should have been clear. This is not the forum to raise your gripe about LDS properties or your many other complaints. And I'm not willing to entertain more comments about your anger over having some inappropriate anti-Mormon video links deleted. You've taken up far too much space on that topic here.

I am still amazed that even after explaining the rules to you, you came back and posted another YouTube link. That ticks me off.

Again, this is not the forum to advertize anti-Mormon videos or anti-Mormon websites or to raise random anti-Mormon complaints.

When I don't allow people to spray offensive graffiti on my walls and get out the sandblaster to remove the graffiti, it's not censorship. You're free to say anything you want on your own wall. But this is my wall and it's by grace, not by right, that relevant, topical, and civil graffiti form others are allowed. Threadjacking is unwelcome.

Mormanity said...

One more clarification: Part of the civil behavior expected in comments is to speak without shouting. Lengthy passages in bold that call undue attention to a comment are unwelcome. Bold is a form of shouting. SO IS ALL CAPS. Lengthy shouts may be deleted. I want civil, respectful communications here.

Sleet said...

Ryan said: " . . . in case I need a reminder of why I wont any more" and "There are 1000 other web blogs that I try to find time to visit. Some of them are worth my time. Some are not. This one isn't."

For a blog that said you aren't coming back to and that isn't worth your time, you seem to have shown up a lot and just can't let go.

That's the definition of an obsessive anti-Mormon: Someone who just can't let go of the Church, even after they've left. You need to find other ways to direct your enegy!

100th post said...

100th post

TMZ said...

Hey, getting back to the actual topic for a moment, if that's OK - could I ask what makes cement so obvious, according to TiredMormon? If it's as common as clothes, could someone please tell me where I can find building of cement from the ancient tribes in the New York area? How about Cherokee cement, Iroquois, etc.? What about cement among the Inuit, Nadene, Shoshone, Cree, and Apache? Now how about Africa, apart from the Egyptians? Do we have cement use among the ancient Zulus? Cement among the Masai? Or in Australia, were the Aborigines making cities of cement? Is it really as obvious and well known as clothes? Evidence, please?

Roxy said...

Lol, 100th post. It sure is.

Cassandra said...

TMZ, don't go along with the logical fallacy. The only way it matters if cement and other tidbits we use to support the BoM can also be found in Asia and Africa is if you start from the premise that the BoM is not true, and that its defenders' only recourse is to desperately search for/manufacture whatever hallmarks of plausibility they can find.

I'd rather we start from the premise that the BoM IS true, and that whether it can line up with conditions on other continents is completely irrelevant to whether it fits in the history of Central America. So what if there was cement work in Asia? If there was cement work in the Yucatan as well then we're back to square one--no reason the BoM can't be what it says it is.

I think this fallacy is going to become more common now that Mormon archaeology is finding so much helpful information: "So what if Joseph was right about every single one of our predecessors' list of 101 anachronisms! He read it all at Palmyra's extravagant frontier library! But none of that proves that the BoM is true!"

I just think we should avoid falling into their trap--we're not in this game to prove anything. Only to remind them that they haven't disproved anything.

Anonymous said...

"I just think we should avoid falling into their trap.."

I don't think they have a trap. We are looking just for fun, that is those that have had a spiritual witness. The only way to see what is the best fit is to take all the list of items found in the BoM, writing, type of war, goverment, dates and see what is the best fit for North and South America. All other places need to be ruled out. Further, North and Mesoamerica is the likely places. As far as the Antis they are right and you are wrong reguardless of the number of eye witness to angels you produce.

I am not a number said...

Nobody in their right mind could disbelieve the eye witnesses who gave reliable accounts of seeing the angel(s) - surely ?

It must go further back to the origins of where the angel(s) actually influence the information being passed down.

Why is angel intervention with gifts of physical matter such as plates and stones of such importance as has never been seen in the world before? And if so important - why all the secrecy surrounding who can and who can not be included in the knowledge / witness of said artifacts ?

Amazing that so many comments / discussions can be on modern day evidences that don't really add up to much, when the real issues are beeing completely skirted.

Jesus said Himself in Matt 24 :
"23Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

24For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

25Behold, I have told you before.

26Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not."


But you claim (because of these 'angels') that he appeared to civilisations in the Americas. One warning from the Man Himself, completely ignored it seems. Hmmm - do we listen to Jesus (who according to Revelation knows the end from the beginning) or do we listen to angels? You choose ....

Romans 16:25,26
25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:


Is this mystery the BoM revealed by the angel ?

When you know what the mystery is that Paul is describing, then you get to the bottom of where your foundational Christianity really needs to be - not in cement or ancient undiscovered civilisations etc, but in the True and Living Jesus Christ - now is made manifest (and not in the Americas!) !

Anonymous said...

"But you claim (because of these 'angels') that he appeared to civilisations in the Americas. One warning from the Man Himself, completely ignored it seems. Hmmm - do we listen to Jesus (who according to Revelation knows the end from the beginning) or do we listen to angels? "

You said it yourself. We believe in the Jesus of Peter, Paul, and of Joseph Smith the preached the same gospel: in Gods prophets and Gods angels and u-tube videos and cement.

tatabug said...

Not a Number,

Why not in the Americas? Is there anything in the Bible which would indicate that Christ couldn't or wouldn't visit the Americas?

And should we ignore prophets when they are sent as messengers of Christ? Revelation 22:6-9, 16 says,

6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.


Christ quite often uses angels as messengers. If Christ sends an angel with a message to deliver, should we ignore it and automatically assume that it is of the devil? Surely we should be careful to be sure that the angel is an authorized messenger, but the warnings in the scriptures do not mean that all angels, or all prophets are false. The message is that we should be careful and we should understand how to discern a credible servant of the Lord from one that is not.

With regard to the secrecy surrounding the plates and other artifacts, have you ever wondered why God revealed scriptures through prophets instead of just revealing His word to each of us directly? Amos 3:7 says, Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. Apparently the Lord has secrets and He reveals them to His prophets. Why not just directly to each of us? It seems like that would be easier for us, and then everyone would know for sure and we would all be one the same page, right? Why all the secrecy? Why would God have anything to hide from us? Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men;... (1 Cor. 1:25)

NM said...

Tatabug,

You are using Scripture to back up your own pre-conceptions. Your use of Amos to somehow correlate with God's intended revelation to prophets would be like someone who tries to argue that suicide is a good thing by using Judas' example...

Tatabug, if you use that one single verse to somehow prove God's intentions for secrecy, then that one verse is in complete contradiction to the whole book of Hebrews =/ You have caught Amos in the middle of proclaiming God's judgment against Israel!

Just one more thing, your use of 1 Corinthians in terms of why God would hide anything from us? Tatabug, this is terrible! If you use this type of referencing to back up any such claim, you might receive a BIG FAT 'F', certainly a 'D-', by UK university standards =/

The foolishness of God is wiser than men is in relation to Jesus' death! Paul's boasting is foolishness, because it is about boasting in the death of the Messiah - that which people expected to physically deliver them from the oppression of Rome...It is foolishness because God's display of his inifinate POWER is displayed by His Son's death. THAT is the foolishness... Of course, it is foolshiness for those who do not know Jesus...but it is beautiful for you and I who have a personal relationship with our Saviour =) Do you see?

tatabug said...

NM,

How do you know me to be able to say that I am only using Amos to back up my own preconceptions? I do not appreciate the judgements you've made against me or the seeming self-righteous attitude in which you make them, such as by trying to read my mind or assigning a grade to my ability to understand and interpret scripture, as though you are an authority. But of course, I'm sure you weren't trying to be offensive, right?

My use of Amos is in no way related to the suicide of Judas. Judas was a traitor, Amos was a prophet of the Lord declaring the word of the Lord.

So I guess we should just start cherry picking which words of the prophets we will accept and which we will dispense with when it seems that they contradict one another, rather than using the proper method of harmonizing such scriptures into an appropriate understanding. Please explain to me (in a clear manner) how Amos contradicts Hebrews?

While Amos is in the middle of proclaiming God's judgements on Israel, he is enlightening them on how God deals with His people, which is through His prophets. You can call it His secret or His Word, it is still revealed through His prophets.

My use of the scripture in 1 Cor. was to point out, as Isaiah put it so well, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways my ways, saith the Lord. We often think we are smart enough or have enough of the big picture to make judgements about things and how they should be, but the truth is that we know very little, and we put limitations on God that we have no right to. In truth, we are very foolish to impose such limitations.

And by the way, many scriptures, such as the one in 1 Cor., do not necessarily need the original context to be understood and applied to other situations. Such as when someone struggling with their faith has a hard time understanding how the God of the Old Testament could be so cruel, I think of scriptures such as the one in 1 Cor., and I think it is quite applicable, because we don't always understand God's ways. However, those who have faith and exercise that faith with patience will come to better understand God and his dealings with mankind. Do you see? =)

Jayleen said...

Notanumber - T4x4

Hiding behind a new name now? lol

You still don't get it... we don't believe because of the angel... we believe because of the Holy Ghost. Why do you continue to insist otherwise?

tatabug said...

Jayleen,

I too suspected that "Not a Number" is probably Terrano, or even NM. It sounded too much like something they would say, and somewhat like a continuation of a conversation from a previous post. But I'm glad you said it first.

NM said...

Sorry - I'm not 'I am not a number'. =)

Tatabug,

I think that what I was merely pointing out was for you to stick to the text and not overlay your own agendas. Tatabug, I am frequently guilty of doing it too...

glo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"...stick to the text and not overlay your own agendas."

Thats a laugh. We all make up or fill in the where the gospel is not clear. For you it is a gospel or grace for others it is much much more.

Anonymous said...

"You are using Scripture to back up your own pre-conceptions."

Which religion does not do this? Sounds like high crime to me.

Randy said...

Same old arguements and theories I have read many times over. If anyone wants a new and refreshing theory and thoughts on the Book of Mormon please visit my blog www.platesofmormon.wordpress.com. I just got started but there is enough to read and think about. There is more to the Book of Mormon than cement, horses, and every other old and standard evidences mentioned. I am still working on my theory and ideas but I believe this is real close to the Book of Mormon story.

platesofmormon said...

I apologize for the rude comment. I didn't mean to dismiss everyone's theories and comments. I am just frustrated over not finding new information and everyone arguing over who is right or wrong. I wanted a fresh theory and ideas so I started researching the Book of Mormon geography over 3 years ago. I have found a lot of information that I am piecing together. I just started my blog a little while ago to present my theory and to maybe gain some support and to give researchers new ideas to think about. Please visit my site and let me know what you think.

Teranno4x4 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Teranno4x4 said...

Hello I am reading too - but not commenting at the mo - no time. I only respond, because Jayleen assumes and has brought me into action .....just so I can show that I am not continuing anything ?!

However from Tatabug's use of Rev 22, it seem obvious to me that cherry picking this text to support her 'pre-conception' as described by NM is probably most apt, seeing as in this text it states "blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

I can see no evidences that you believe in the prohecies of the book of Revelation, storing up for yourselves the treasure of the BoM on earth. Otherwise maybe you can enlighten me on who is represented by the beast out of the sea or who is depticted by the beast out of the earth in Rev 13. They are given power 'by the dragon' (satan - if you prefer), so let's see if you are blessed or not by the Holy Spirit in an understanding of what this means or if you have an "ear to hear"?

Maybe 'I am not a number' has picked up the commented ideas from another thread' ?

I think that they raise a valid issue that looking to history constantly for evidence is not what the Bible teaches for us to hear the prophetic warnings. Of course history can provide an increase to one's existing faith, but I wounder - just how much 'so named evidence' is muscled to conveniently fit a missing piece of the LDS jigsaw re: the BoM ? And how much faith is there to start with ?

tatabug said...

NM,

Yes, you are guilty of doing it too, which is why I don't understand your reason for trying to correct me. And yes, I use the scriptures to support my beliefs and I don't believe I misused or twisted them to do so.

I'm still curious to know how Amos contradicts Hebrews.

tatabug said...

Terrano,

Why would you doubt my belief in the prophecies of the Book of Revelation? It is as much a part of our scriptural canon as is the Book of Mormon. See, I accept ALL of the words of God and his prophets, not just some of them.

So now you want to test me to see if I have the Holy Spirit? To me, that is somewhat insulting, and it seems that whether or not I answer you, I will not win. But I will answer you briefly and perhaps you will disagree with the interpretation that I give, but please do not challenge my spirituality again. I would not presume to do so to you, and if I ever have, I apologize.

The beast out of the sea represents the kingdoms of the earth. Which kingdoms (or countries), I do not now, I can only guess. It could be all or only some of them. The beast coming out of the earth represents another kingdom, or perhaps a person, maybe even a great religious leader. I have suspicions about which country is represented by the one head of the first beast which was wounded to death, but I have several guesses and they could all be wrong.

Anonymous said...

"do not challenge my spirituality again"

Down boy. I don't think anyone challenged your spirituality just your views on religion. So just calm down. And what does Rev 13 have to do with anything other than your need to show us up.

tatabug said...

Anonymous,

To whom were you addressing your comments? It seems as though they were directed at two people, but I'm not sure.

Teranno4x4 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NM said...

Tatabug,

My initial comment made to you was admitedly, made in haste. I'm often found blurting something out, before thinking about the consequences. Again, please accept my apologies if you were made to feel threatened.

My past experiences of being exposed to people who did not know how to handle Scripture dictates how I now react whenever I see any hint of anyone using Scripture to back up their own agendas - when the passage that they use has nothing to do with whatever it is they are trying to use it for.

My example of bringing the subject of 'suicide' is because we both know that suicide is never a good thing. Anyone who argues that suicide is a good thing is inevitable that it will be received with some cynicism. So for that person to then use Scripture to back up their claim that 'suicide' is a good thing by using the example of Judas Iscariot, is UTTERLY ABSURD. Do you see where I am getting at? It is not that I was arguing about whether 'suicide' is a good thing, my arguement was to show how ABSURD it would be for anyone using the example of Judas (through the Scriptures) to argue that 'suicide' is ok.

Do you understand what I am getting at? Again, please accept my apologies that I was not able to communicate what I tried to communicate before. My bad.

The other thing that I was not able to communicate well is this subject of Amos contracdicting Hebrews. Please note: I did not say that Amos contradicted Hebrews. I have no reason to say that at all; if I did, I wouldn't be as firm as I am about the innerancy of it =)

What I was saying was in relation to your use of Amos. And that what you used Amos for, was to argue that God communicated in secret to prophets. When, in reality, the subject of 'secrets' is not the main thrust of Amos 3. You and I both know that the context of Amos 3 (and in fact all of Amos) is him being used as an instrument of God to declare JUDGMENT. NOT secrets, merely.

Do you see?

Now couple this with your (mis)use of Corinthians 1: 25 to argue that man is foolish (so therefore, God instead speaks to prophets in secret) - is (in my opinion) a VERY BAD thing to do. Academically speaking, it would be like referencing by using a primary source that has nothing to do with the subject area - to prove an arguement that belongs to a completely different subject. It's like using a geography textbook that talks about mountain ranges to answer a question about psychology.

The foolishness that Paul talks about in 1 corinthians is to do with the foolishness of the CROSS. NOT the foolishness of men (so therefore, God uses prophets to communicate His message with, yadda, yadda, yadda...)

Stick to the text my friend. Don't overlay your (my) own agendas to it. Let the Bible speak for itself =)

I hope I've made myself slightly more clear...

My apologies Jeff, I know this response is NOT about the subject which you intended it for...

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Tatabug,

I never questioned your spirituality - I merely commented on the verse that you raised yourself in Rev 22 -

7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Here the word used is blessed - so what does this mean and who does the blessing in this context?

Well seeing as further down in verse 16 that you also offered, the words are spoken by Jesus to John through the angel. So therefore the blessing must come directly from the Godhead and to us via the Holy Spirit.

I questioned you on your knowledge and personal / denominational interpretation / belief of Rev 13. The fact that you answered vaguely and by keeping the BoM in your answer does concern me. Jesus in this verse does not say "blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the BoM." Why ? Because the events in the times given in the book of Revelation are for times yesterday, today and to come.

So you gave your rather simplistic answer, that to be honest I would have expected more openness from you - given our past communication.

If you re-read Daniel chapter 2, this also gives beasts as symbols and you can read that one beast = one single kingdom, not kingdoms plural - more than one head usually denotes a division of the ruling power by the same quantity as there are heads, but the kingdom is still a single entity. (I re-wrote this to be more accurate, since I was not happy with my last comment)

So please - carry on deeper in your guesswork / belief in Rev 13 and let us see the evidence of your blessings to see if you really keep the sayings of the prophetic book , or not....

If you listen and heed the words of Jesus .... or not ....! If you don't personally know the meaning of the prophecies of the book, how can you keep them and receive blessing ?

It may not seem like it at the moment - but this request / challenge is very much on topic in terms of how accurate the archaeology needs to be and how relevent it is with the world that we can see coming in Revelation 13. It is on our doorstep timewise....

Anonymous said...

Tx4,

So then are you "I am not a number" or not?

jayleenb said...

T4x4 and NM - Your arrogance is just astounding. The two of you make me embarrassed that I was ever a part of your churches...

I remember a day that I used Scripture to beat people about the head too and was so arrogant as to think I was some kind of authority because of my great knowledge of 'the word.' It is not of God, and it is not His way.

The need for a true and living Prophet is real and IS His way. One of the many reasons is so that none can boast in their 'own' knowledge. The two of you and others like you are ever present reminders to me of WHY this is the true Church. I hope some day your eyes will be open and you'll have ears to hear.

Darion Alexander said...

Jayleen and Tatabug, HOW DARE YOU! You KNOW "that man does not live by bread alone...."

You need water to wash it down with.

tatabug said...

NM,

My use of Amos was not to point out that God does things in secret as the term would seem to imply, but to rather point out that God gives revelation meant for the world or the saints through prophets. Similarly, the plates and other artifacts were revealed to the prophet Joseph Smith and other selected individuals to testify of them. It was a form of revelation and while it's revelation wasn't open for public consumption, the details were made known to us through those who were entrusted to testify of it. Just as the revelations contained in the scriptures are not given to everyone directly from God, but through the prophets, so also was this revelation given through a prophet. Why God didn't choose to allow the plates to be made public has been made fairly clear in Doctrine and Covenants 5 regarding the Book of Mormon plates and artifacts:

5 Verily, I say unto you, that woe shall come unto the inhabitants of the the earth if they will not hearken unto my words;
6 For hereafter you shall be ordained and go forth and deliver my words unto the children of men.
7 Behold, if they will not believe my words, they would not believe you, my servant Joseph, if it were possible that you should show them all these things which I have committed unto you.
8 Oh, this unbelieving and stiffnecked generation--mine anger is kindled against thee.
9 Behold, verily I say unto you, I have reserved those things which I have entrusted unto you, my servant Joseph, for a wise purpose in me, and it shall be made known unto future generations;
10 But this generation shall have my word through you;


It is because of wickedness and unbelief that these things were not made public. The Lord has his reasons, even though those reasons may not be known to us, and we may seem to find no good reason for us to not be able to see the plates. Hence, the foolishness of God is wiser than men. Which to me says that even if God possessed any foolishness, it would be wiser than all the wisdom of men. Our knowledge and understanding pale in comparison.

Suppose however, that the plates and other artifacts were made public and put on display for all. Would that make them any more true? Would that cause the world to believe? If so, what role would faith have?

One only need look at the fact that we have for public consumption, some of the papyri from the Book of Abraham, as well as copies of some of the facsimiles. Does this cause the world to believe? No. They only condemn and criticize the translation rendered by Joseph Smith. I suspect the same thing would happen if the Book of Mormon plates were made public.

Once again, my use of Amos was meant to point out how God works, not to justify secrecy. I personally think that secret is not the best possible term to use in this particular scripture. Perhaps revelation or mystery would better serve.

I still think the Judas example is a poor comparison, sort of like apples and oranges, but more like apples and meatloaf. But I don't really care nor do I wish to debate it.

I suppose I was asking how my interpretation of Amos contradicted Hebrews. I guess I should have been clearer. But then I didn't realize that my use of Amos 3:7 would be so unclear either.

Teranno,

You said to me:

so let's see if you are blessed or not by the Holy Spirit in an understanding of what this means or if you have an "ear to hear"?

That doesn't sound like a challenge to my spirituality to you? Testing me to see if I can come up with the right answer or not, so as to see if I have the Holy Spirit or an "ear to hear?" So if I come up lacking or my interpretation doesn't fit yours, as the self-proclaimed expert on the Book of Revelation, then I must not have the Holy Spirit? It's fine to inquire about how I would interpret something and then find areas of agreement/disagreement, but to use it as a gauge to determine whether or not I have the Holy Spirit is very audacious of you, and I don't like the spirit of questioning that you are using. That is why I was brief in my answer to you. I didn't want to answer you, but I didn't want to be accused of trying to dodge either.

You may see your question as having relation to my use of the scripture from Revelation, but I see this attempt of yours simply as a tactic to trap and debate further, which I do not wish to engage any further.

Darion,

Huh? Forgive me, I'm blonde, so I'm a little slow.

Darion Alexander said...

Uhmmm...just another note, Jayleen, it's going to take awhile, you know for people to understand that the Fulness of the Gospel is being spread for all to hear. Especially for the more learned.

As Isaiah pointed out long ago that the Lord would proceed to "do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid."

And this work will go forward and no one will be able to stop it. Regardless of the naysayers, the ex-mormons, or anti-mormons, or anti-Christians, or even the tired mormons. They can't stop this, regardless of how much they try. It was prophesied that it would continue and so it will.

Darion Alexander said...

Tatabug, I don't if this applies or not, you know the trap shtuff that NM and ...what's his name again...oh yeah, Terrano 4x5 or something...

For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off: That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought."

Of course the same could be said of even members of the Church.

NM said...

Thanks for the clarification Tatabug...

Teranno4x4 said...

Living water - living Bread - living Word,

it's all the same symbolically isn't it ?

Jayleen, were you ever part of my church ? You see the embarrassment that you face may be because your ear is not hearing the voice of Jesus, it is too much in tune with the prophet that you claim overules the need for scripture. It was Tatabug that first opened this scripture in Revelation and started to bash away. I presume that you have two ears, so you should be hearing...

When has any true prophet ever over-ruled the voice and words of God?

Let me explain - God said this (not me), so please reason how it can be ignored ? " Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book" and "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star."

From the very Son of God - this is God's way!

My ears have heard this voice illustrated above and my eyes are fixed on Him. Maybe you can answer the question posed to Tatabug regarding Rev 13, based on your depth of knowledge and wealth of experiencing that resonates where NM and myself are in our walk with God, as taken from your own testimony ?

Shouldn't you be more understanding of our situation more than scathing in your rebuke? Also for the record, there is no arrogance displayed by my comments, it is assuredness in my Faith in Jesus. It is His voice depicted in scripture - so are you keeping the sayings of the prophecies in the book ?

Also misrepresented is in the verse where it states that He 'sent' his angel to the servants. This grammar is in the past tense not the future tense, so as far as I can read and understand, John lived way before JS, so this text is also used out of context. Which prophets do you think that it refers to ?

Teranno4x4 said...

Tatabug,

God said : 'blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book'

You said : "You may see your question as having relation to my use of the scripture from Revelation, but I see this attempt of yours simply as a tactic to trap and debate further, which I do not wish to engage any further."

I say : Self proclaimed expert - no , interested reader - yes. But still I say : "dodge" ...

I already explained how I came to who provides the blessing - sorry if you don't agree that your own spirituality is by measure of the Holy Spirit. I can't change that I'm afraid ...

tatabug said...

I was bashing? I thought I was actually being very civil in my response to Not a Number.

My use of the scripture in Revelation was to point out that not all angels are of the devil and when they aren't, when they are sent from the Lord, they carry the message of Christ, and that message should be taken as though Christ himself delivered it.

Now you can argue that the angel which appeared to Joseph Smith wasn't of God, but please don't argue that angels are not or cannot be sent from God. Just because the scripture in Revelation says "sent" rather than "will send," doesn't preclude the possibility of future messengers/angels. It is addressing the current context of the revelation in which it is contained. But nowhere that I know of, does the Bible say that the heavens are closed and that there is no more revelation, or prophets or angelic visitations.

As far as spirituality is concerned, I believe that one's spirituality is very much connected to the degree to which one seeks and is guided and blessed by the Holy Ghost/Spirit. Perhaps you see it differently, but either way, you did put forth a challenge of sorts to determine whether or not I had been blessed by the Holy Spirit, which I assume would be subject to your judgement.

Darion Alexander said...

Wasn't Christ administered to by angels sent from the Father after his tempations in the desert? So was he administered to by servants of Satan?

jayleenb said...

Darion - Ha! I'm blond too so I don't get it either. The 9:15 comment. I have an assumption, but you know how that goes.

The 9:36 comment I get... and I am guilty of much impatience. I know that if I can be reached, pretty much anyone can be. I'm torn where it comes to the antis and 'attack' religions. I feel they kept me from the truth (by lying about the Church) for 20 long years. So on one hand I kind of resent them (which is wrong, I know), yet on the other, I am very concerned for them and know that if they only listened, truly listened, they would get it too. I also know the lies are keeping not only them but many other sincere people away. It makes me angry.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that the other churches was a path I needed to trod for whatever reason. I can say that my testimony is that much stronger because I *know* they're wrong. It did take me 20 years to figure it out, but I do know it now. I can see where the Spirit whispered to me all along to help in my eventual conversion. It's all for a reason, and sometimes all too easy to forget that at times.

tatabug said...

Darion, I do like your use of scripture. I fear, however, that some may feel you are using them to fit, or rather overlay, your/our agenda. After all, we only use the Bible so long as it harmonizes with our agenda, right? Other than that, it carries no real meaning for us. What need have we for scripture, for crying out loud? We have a prophet! (Who happens to write scripture...? LOL)

tatabug said...

Teranno,

The answer is communism, which, though largely thought dead, will once again rear its ugly. Regardless of what country/countries are involved, that is the threat we should be worried about. This is probably not what you are looking for, but oh well.

tatabug said...

Sorry, it should've read "once again rear its ugly head." Pun intended.

Mormanity said...

Jayleenb, in addition to some great comments, I'd again like to thank you for some great photos on your blog. I love the Jones Soda Lolcat photo, too!

jayleenb said...

Thank you Jeff! That will make me smile all evening. :)

Anonymous said...

"T4x4 and NM - Your arrogance is just astounding. The two of you make me embarrassed that I was ever a part of your churches... "

I second this.

"were you ever part of my church ? You see the embarrassment that you face may be because your ear is not hearing the voice of Jesus, it is too much in tune with the prophet that you claim overules the need for scripture."

There is no end to their arrogance. Again they only use part of the scriptures but exclude others and more important modern revelation that those very scriptures command they should follow. O' I forgot they don't beleive in following commandments.

Back to archeology. Jeff, what is it about all the pre-columbis bronze and copper workings found in the Americas. Just fakes or bad archeology?

Anonymous said...

"But still I say : "dodge" ..."


Was that you are a dodge?

Anonymous said...

T4x4, said:

*"Here the word used is blessed - so what does this mean and who does the blessing in this context?"

"And he said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true, and the Lord, the God of prophetic spirits, sent his angel to show his servants what must happen soon."

"Behold, I am coming soon." Blessed is the one who keeps the prophetic message of this book."

The Mormons because you do not have latte-day angels. If you do you would say that are just from satan.

Anonymous said...

T4x4, said:

"When has any true prophet ever over-ruled the voice and words of God?"

When have they not? Got Bible? Again it time for another Old and New Testiment lesson. O' why bother
nothing new in the New Testiment from the Old Testiment.

Roxy said...

Jayleenb,

I too love the picture of the cute cat. I couldn't stop staring! I want one that looks like that one.

All of your pictures are amazing, I must say. Especially the ones with the moon. Really beautiful. Sorry this was really off topic, but I was thinking about it for a while and when Jeff commented on them I couldn't help but to do the same.

Peace my peeps!!

Anonymous said...

T4x4, said:


"Let me explain - God said this (not me), so please reason how it can be ignored ? " Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book" and "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star."


The Book of The Revelation is one of the hardest books to understand other than where it states clearly what it is talking about. Then it is anyones guess unless you are a prophet. If you are then you are trying to lead others down satan's path. The book was written to the 7 churches at the time. You know this and the symbols could mean any thing. Not even the best experts agree on what it is getting at. You know this and try to turn the truth into a lie. You only know what it says by looking to some expert that has told you what to say about the book because you have nothing new to add like Joseph Smith.

Anonymous said...

Jayleenb,

Love the pictures of the dogs and Az. I am looking to move to Showlow or Snowflake in a few years. I did not know it had so much snow.

Anonymous said...

T4x3, said,


"If you listen and heed the words of Jesus .... or not ....! If you don't personally know the meaning of the prophecies of the book, how can you keep them and receive blessing ?"


And now are you willing to state as a fact that you know the full mind and will of God in all things as to the prophecies of the book (The Book of The Revelation) and declare that you are the only way the truth and the light so we can keep them and receive the blessings or are you willing to except the punishments for puting yourself above God in all these things? I for one know very little about this book but pray I might know just the amount that God will bless me with in humility and grace.

Teranno4x4 said...

Anon,

Out of context and out of mind.

Stay on your bigotted island trying to fire off your exocet missiles like little damp fireworks.

I have never claimed elitism, nor have I claimed exceptional prohetic interpretational skills. To nail it for you - what I read is Gods own recorded voice in the Book of Revelation stating what is necessary for blessing and it does not involve cement, the BoM, gold plates or accusational rude comments.

The fact that answers to the questions posed are limp and vague just exposes how little you choose to heed God's own advice for mankind, whether 'dodged' or deliberate.

Tatabug started with Revelation on here - so maybe direct your missiles in that direction.

Teranno4x4 said...

Anon - News alert for you!

Revelation wasn't only written for the seven churches of John's day. Why ? The message to the churches holds dual meaning in the specific messages. Prophetic for the future and for current the people in the churches at that particular time.

The key is in the introduction to the book - it is not exclusively to the churches :
Rev 1
1The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 2Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
3Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.


Non-exclusive...

Anonymous said...

"Tatabug started with Revelation on here - so maybe direct your missiles in that direction."

You are the one going after Tatabug like you a the seer of the Book of REV.

Teranno4x4 said...

Tatabug mis-represented what the Bible actually is stating for a purpose that she incorrectly was highlighting.

Square peg and round hole syndrome yet again.

I simply asked a question that was vaguely avoided and 'dodged', but more recently answered in one word as 'communism'. Funny that I can read two beasts / kingdoms, but only one response.

Asking a question does not make me an expert or a seer or any kind of substitute for God that you were rudely accusational of. I take offense at that, especially as I worship God in all humility and reverence and would never assume such a position in my life. I think that you can see that I strongly refute your claim and angle of communication.

If you don't know and have no clue as to what the prophecy could mean, then show some self dignity and respect for those that may be able to assist in your understanding. You don't need to share the belief, but to hear is what the book of Revelation teaches. As I have stated many times it is all your choice....

BTW - My name is Teranno4x4 , not 4x3 - no wheels are off this vehicle! Another rude attempt at a damp firework ?

Anonymous said...

There, there, Teranno4x4,

You are showing way to much Christian love, kindness and humility.

Tone it down please, before I get sick from all of you sweetness.

tatabug said...

T4,

If, by my alleged misrepresentation, you are referring to my use of Revelation 22:7, since that is the particular scripture you've chosen to CHALLENGE me on, don't worry, I didn't misrepresent it or take it out of context. How? Well, because it had absolutely nothing to do with the point I was trying to make, nor did I even need to include it in order to make my point. It just happened to fall between two verses that actually DID need to be included in order to make my point, and so I just chose to include it because it was easier for me. And, instead of staying on topic (although the topic I addressed was very off-topic for this post--sorry) and addressing the actual point I was trying to make, you instead chose to veer even further off-course in an attempt to try to determine whether or not I am "blessed by the Holy Spirit," whatever you interpret that to mean, and find out if I keep the prophecies of the Book of Revelation through my understanding of the two beasts in chapter 13 of all things. The topic which the angel was speaking about in chapter 22 had no relevance to the point I was making. It was the fact that the angel was sent as an authorized messenger of the Lord. I used it to establish precedent and to refute the false notion that we should listen to Christ, not angels. If Christ sends an angel with a message to deliver, it is as if Christ delivered it himself and should be heeded as such.

And as I suspected, my interpretation didn't suit you, so I most likely failed the "How blessed by the Holy Spirit are you?" test. In reality, it wouldn't matter if I truly had been inspired in my interpretation, because if my answer still conflicted with yours, I would have failed, which is why I so reluctantly participated, and why I just gave you a few vague, but popular interpreations which I've seen, whether or not I actually subscribe to them or not.

And for someone who claims humility, you sure do not act the part.

jayleenb said...

Thank you for your kind comments about my photographs!

The cat is my sister's. His name is El Nino and he's huge but sweet.

I went to feed the horses one evening and he was laying on the hay and looked as if to tell me it could wait. He was very busy resting. I couldn't help but take his photo. :)

Anonymous said...

"Funny that I can read two beasts / kingdoms, but only one response."

Funny you have no idea what the two beasts/kingdoms are.

Anonymous said...

"If you don't know and have no clue as to what the prophecy could mean, then show some self dignity and respect for those that may be able to assist in your understanding."

I am sure you are going to tell us all about it and we are going to listen and like it.

jayleenb said...

T4x4 said: "If you don't know and have no clue as to what the prophecy could mean, then show some self dignity and respect for those that may be able to assist in your understanding. You don't need to share the belief, but to hear is what the book of Revelation teaches. As I have stated many times it is all your choice...."


We do show dignity and respect for those who assist in our understanding. They are called Prophets and Apostles. You should listen to them sometime.

One Handed Applause said...

A thought: I'm sure Terrano is a brilliant soul, but the fact that he so often offers yard-long treatises filled with his wisdom and/or tirades, with repetitions galore, makes me wonder if he is trying to take over the blog, and believes he'll be allowed to do that, if he can just wear everybody down. Sort of "beating into submission."
Anymore, when I see his name, I check to see how long his missive (or missile!) is so I don't waste a lot of valuable time trying to scratch out some sort of sense, or find something new.

Teranno4x4 said...

Tatabug, Anon and One Handed Applause,

Short and sweet (none take-over style so you'll like it and read)

2 beasties in Rev = Papal Rome and America.

Start shaking when you see the next pope to come, with America hand over Church and State with an offical Sunday Law - right into the hands of the Vatican. The preparation for this is now as America heads into gloomy economic Turmoil that Jeff is constantly referring to. The Vatican will be seen as the solution to what will then be a global not national economic problem.

Re-read Rev with these identities in mind....

Jesus won't be far off in His glorious return....

Anonymous said...

T4x4, said:


"2 beasties in Rev = Papal Rome and America."

The old trap and deception of trying to say when Christ will return by pretending to know what the Book of The Revelation means.

Mormanity said...

Terranno, that's it. Please get your own blog. Bizarre rantings about the Pope and the Vatican are absolutely unwelcome. You've been warned several times about this. I'm not willing to have to screen the volumes you write now to check for repeat infractions. It's time to write somewhere else.

My difficulties with you began with your inappropriate posting of YouTube videos demonizing the Catholics. I'm LDS and have my differences with the Catholics, but I have profound respect for them and for the role so many fine Catholics have played over the centuries in seeking to preserve the scriptures, the Gospel, and the standards of the Bible. They are one of the few religions actively teaching basic standards of morality. One of the few working to respect the lives of the unborn. We differ on many things, but in our day, the Roman Catholic Church as a whole is an institution to respect.

I have explained many times that I do not welcome nasty comments from others aimed at other religions. I have deleted many such comments, whether from LDS people or not. I endured many diatribes from you about allegations of censorship and persecution for having suffered deletion of some comments that violated my rules. This is not censorship - you are free to write anything you want somewhere else, just not on the walls of my house. I leave the spray can out for those who can follow the rules and offer meaningful, interesting graffiti on the topics of my choice, by my rules. Graffiti that goes beyond the pale will be washed off, and the spray can may be removed.

It's time to get your own blog and move on. You can spray and spew all you want there. But it's not right for me to allow rampant threadjacking and other bad behaviors over here.

Mormanity said...

One Handed Applause - you're absolutely right. I've been far too lenient and tolerant of bad behavior, and it has taken value away for everyone else.

Anonymous said...

T4x4, said:


*"a bag of rice is not going to protect you when the religio-police come a-knocking on your door if you are a true believer in Jesus Christ."

I am not sure what your point was but we (the LDS Church) does not think that a bag of rice or food storage will save us but God. At best it is like Joseph and Egypt of 7 years of plenty and 7 years of want. It just make good common sense to save in times of plenty. Not just money by dry goods.

*"What exactly is the pope meeting with the president for last week and why is the pope addressing the UN and calling for rogue states like Zimbabwe and N. Korea to be brought 'into line' and 'under control'. I thought that the pope was a religious leader and not a political leader ?"

All religious leaders and other leaders are political. It just happens the Pope has a great deal of infulence. If he was to talk about world peace don't try to make it out to be some thing it is not. If he and his church is a player in the end times then so what we all have the Bible and we can read and study. Jeff point is stop trying to make the Pope and the Catholic church out to be the Anti-Christ. If so do it some place else. Like a jesuit order, the i11uminati, web page. In other words give it a rest, we have all heard it before.

Anonymous said...

"My comments were directed at the vatican and the leadership of the catholics..."

I think the point is Jeff does not care where your comments are directed if you are putting down another religion.