Native American DNA
[Post-Mormon Mag.]
Knoxville Dinner Social
[East Tennessee Po...]
FACEBOOK INFO
[Sanpete County Po...]
October '14 Meetup
[Denver Post-Mormo...]
September '14 Meetup
[Denver Post-Mormo...]
Annual ExMormon Sacramento Party
[San Francisco Bay...]
FACEBOOK INFO
Crissy
FACEBOOK INFO
Barn
October 5th PostMormon Lecture Series 2014
Starfleet
October 5th PostMormon Lecture Series 2014
alvie
Why I am a Better Mother
by aworkinprogress
SF Bay Area Monthly Gathering SUNDAY (5/4)
exmoinaz
SF Bay Area Monthly Gathering SUNDAY (5/4)
owned
The Mormon Mask
by Born Free
Las Vegas Meetup--Jazz in the Park Saturday May 10 6:30PM
onendagus
Resignation Letter to My Family
ShadowSage
Resignation Letter to My Family
ShadowSage
Guru Busters
by Flora4
Guru Busters
by Flora4
Resignation Letter to My Family
Hbush1987
General Non-Conference: Palmetto State Session
Swearing Elder
Sunday Morning Hangout at Container Park March 30th
onendagus
Second Wednesdays
Houston
General Non-Conference: Palmetto State Session
Swearing Elder
General Non-Conference: Palmetto State Session
dovahkiyn
February Meetup Sunday the 16th 2:00pm Grand Cafe at Sunset Station
onendagus
Visitors welcome !
priorvej12
Las Vegas meetup Sun Jan 12th 1pm at Milos in Boulder City
onendagus
January 5th- Southern Utah PostMormon Lecture Series
gypsyrose
Book of Mormon Tories
by Tom Donofrio
Book of Mormon Tories
by Nogginus Skepticalus
  It gets better! Resources to help with coping
  House Rules for posting on this website
  Why is there sometimes anger here?
  Glossary of Post-Mormon Terms
  Frequently Asked Questions
 
   
3 of 5
3
Official Ruling in Phillips Prosecution
 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2004-07-20

Brad (ZeeZrom):
Jeff Ricks:
Brad (ZeeZrom):
Silver Girl:
Lloyd Dobler:
snip

 

No, I don't think Monson believes there was a restoration.  To phrase it another way, I don't think he believes in what the church teaches its members about the restoration. 

 

 

I also think it is possible to prove this if there are records of things he has said that indicates he knows it happened a different way that what the church teaches.

 

I guess what I don't understand at this point, is whether it even matters even if you can prove it.

 

I think Brad is saying that as long as Monson thinks he is doing it for the greater good, then it still falls under protection as religious belief.

 

I personally still think that the fact they essentially "sell" something (temple rituals), may/should be a game changer, even with the human rights law.  I mean, there has got to be a line somewhere, right?

 

SG

 

 SG, I abolutely agree that there has got to be a line somewhere.  IMO, that's what the case is about:  where to draw the line.  And there are conflicting values pushing that line in opposite directions.  One is that each person should be able to speak, associate, believe, and communicate beliefs without interference by the government.  The other is that we should be able to call on the government to protect us from being harmed by the speech, association, and communication of the beliefs of others.


Brad, I'm really trying hard to find a way to agree with your point of view but I continue to see problems with your reasoning. You keep forcing this to be about beliefs when it's also about provable facts. For example, it is a fact that the documentation the church has in its possession represents that Smith primarily, if not always, used a rock in the hat method to produce the Book of Mormon. That is not a belief. It is a fact. There is no reliable evidence that supports the church's version of him translating an ancient record, as a scholor might do. Belief has no bearing on whether or not the church faithfully represents what their documentation shows. The fact is, they do not. It's a matter of fact, not belief.

 

 

 

 

 I don't think your distinction between fact and belief is valid.  i think belief is a subjective state of mind that can (and often does) exist in opposition to factual evidence.  

 

Brad, your answer does nothing to address my argument, it completely ignores it. I know what beliefs are. I also know what facts are.

Please answer me this: Is it a fact that the church's documentation primarily supports that Smith used a "rock in a hat method" instead of "the translate an ancient record" method for producing the Book of Mormon? I'm sorry my friend, but I need to ask you again for a yes or no answer to keep you from side-stepping my argument again.

 

 Signature 

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.
- Joseph Campbell

 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2005-03-07

Hitchen&#;s Razor:

The problem with "belief" from a legal perspective is that it's entirely subjective. 

 

Just look at how many wiggle words get used when describing things in the Mormon faith - people see things with their "spritual eyes" and have the truth confirmed by "feelings."  

 

When magic is involved, people can "know" things that are entirely disconnected from the facts and that makes it hard to prove that church leaders had the mens rea necessary to be in violation of a criminal statute.

 

Put another way - we allow insanity as a defense to having formed the necessary mens rea to be held guilty of some crimes - people who believe, despite the facts, that there's some magical solution ("Gods ways are not our ways") that always makes the church true, are probably just a little not right in the head and that gives them one hell of a defense.

 

I admire Tom for trying.  My initial impression was that his efforts were not a good use of time and that he was going to fail in the courts. I think that impression was partially wrong - he was always going to fail in the courts, but he did make a lot of racket with all of this effort.  For some people that racket will prove what they always want to say about ex-mormons...that we just can't leave the poor, poor persecuted church alone.  I'm going to guess some conference talk is going to tangentially mention this effort, without specifically drawing attention to it as how the poor mormon church is beset upon in the latter days.  But, the racket might have also pointed out some of the ridiculous claims to some within the church who may read them and finally say - sure, you can't win a legal case on that, but it is rather ridiculous...why am I sticking to this?

 

So, if just one person read about Tom's case, dug into it and freed themselves of the bounds of the church, well, I'd say Tom's efforts were well spent...even if he has been largely kicking against the pricks (literally and figuratively).

 

Still, to riff off of the words of a charlaten "Trey Parker and Matt Stone have done more, save Jeff Ricks, to free people of Mormonism than any person ever born to woman." 

I agree with Hitch on this one.  We can talk all day about provable facts, but when you have people who believe in magic, all bets are off.  I have not read a lot of them, but most  apologist explanations for church problems eventually end up relying on magic.  (JS being inspired by the scrolls comes to mind).

 

Just about any TBM will tell you they know the church is true because of the [magical] feelings they got.  You can show them irrefutable proof of fraud and they will still believe in their [magical] feelings.  Is it hard to imagine that the most TBM among them (Tom Monson) would believe this way too? 

 

The good news is that the word is getting out, and people who do care about facts are getting them, or at least some of them.  

 Signature 

As Neo reaches for the red pill Morpheus warns Neo
“Remember, all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.”

 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2007-05-08

Silver Girl:
Brad (ZeeZrom):
SNIP

 

Or perhaps the place to start is why do we protect speech and belief at all against government interference?  If a majority of the U.S. Congress wants to make being LDS a criminal offense, why not let them do it?  Figure out what's important about non-commercial speech and work that side to the line. 

 

I think it is because we realize the importance of the free market place of ideas.  The idea that truth will win out in that arena.

 

I also think that practically speaking, humans are wired to gravitate into groups/tribes and that many believe it causes more harm than good to legally try to stop that, even if sometimes those groups end up fostering behaviors that are negative to society.

 

I definitely agree with protecting a free market place of ideas.

 

But, what if we rephrase the question:

 

Do we need to better protect speech and belief at all against religious interference?

 

Is it any better if the LDS Church suppressed information it doesn't want people to know than if the government did?

 

For instance, don't people who kept believing in polygamy deserve to know the information about it that the church has suppressed?  Is the LDS church interfering in those people's freedom of religion?

 

I think many societies, including the US and UK, have been very biased toward seeing protecting organized religions as=to protecting free speech.  I think it is time that we reevaluate that bias.

 

I mean, what good are "the lines" if the courts aren't willing to tease out whether a line has actually been crossed?  It seems like that is what happened in Tom's case.  The judge ruled that since it was a religion, it wasn't the place of the court to evaluate it.

 

SG

 

 That's because we're talking about two sets of lines.  One set of lines constrains legally permissible action by the church.   The other set of lines constrains permissible action by the government, i.e., the courts.  If the courts have lines that they cannot cross, it necessarily means that they will not be able to provide a remedy for some types of harm.   Judge Riddle determine that he couldn't draw the line he was being asked to draw because that would require him to cross a line that courts aren't able to cross.

 Signature 

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.


Phillip K. Dick

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2010-11-12

Jeff Ricks:
Silver Girl:
Rational Basis:
Jeff Ricks:
Rational Basis:
But is it a fact that church leaders are lying (as opposed to being ignorant or foolish)? And can someone prove it? I think there are probably definite liars among the fab15, but I haven't seen proof.

 

Yes, it is a fact. Even the official church historian even admits as much.

 

"I think in the past there was a tendency to keep a lot of the records closed or at least not give access to information [willfull suppression of facts is lying]. But the world has changed in the last generation-with the access to information on the Internet, we can't continue that pattern; I think we need to continue to be more open [a.k.a more honest]...It's good to tell the truth. [right there he implies that they have not been telling the truth]" -- Steven E. Snow, Church Historian  REF

 

See the following page for many other examples of provable lies: 

 

http://packham.n4m.org/lying.htm

 

 

 

[Edited to include bolding and another comment] 

 

That isn't proof that any of the fab15 were lying. It's a fairly weak acknowledgement that the history department hasn't told everything. But no specifics about any material fact they've suppressed or about any knowledge of such by the fab15.

 

Now if you had a memo from the first presidency directing the history department to suppress specific facts, that would be different.

I personally think that this type of evidence is out there.  I don't know whether Tom has this type of evidence or not, but if not, I think it's just a matter of time before someone who does comes forward with it.

 

I have wondered whether the church office building has been busy shredding

 

Just my opinion.

 

SG

 

 

Rational Basis, the fact that the church leaders selectively filter information to its members shows a willful intent to lie to them. It's not always accidental or done in ignorance. Notice this statement from the church historian: "

 

"You know we really want to take this on, we would like to talk about these sensitive issues in our seminaries and institutes.’ It’s one thing to tell a fourteen-year-old some of these sensitive things and they say, ‘OK, that’s great.’ But sometimes when you are twenty-something, it comes across a little differently. I think we can build faith and better prepare people if we will weave some of the unusual threads in history into the curriculum.”  LINK

 

What you see in his statement is a calculated strategy to withhold some information and feed it to them slowly and carefully to prepare them for it someday.  No, it doesn't implicate the "15" but as head of the church, they are responsible for what their underlings are doing.  Whether it's the 15 or the church historian or others, the fact remains that The Church as a corporation is guilty of willfully lying in order to keep people supporting the church.

 

"We hope they study Church history a lot. But I would add, don't forget what brought you to it in the first place. Don't give up. Don't jump out of the boat. Stay in the boat and rely on the faith and testimony that you do have."  (ibid)

 

There's the motive for their lies, clear as day. To keep people from leaving the church.

 

 

 

 That just sounds like marketing to me. When someone has something to sell, they will of course emphasize the benefits and deemphasize the less appealing aspects. I'm not convinced the above would be enough for legal action even in a commercial context, let alone in more protected non-commercial speech.

 

 

I have seen the videos of Prophets, Seers, and Revelators lying, e.g., Hinckley implying what's done with tithing is disclosed to those making the donations and Holland claiming Romney didn't make death oaths in the temple. Yet I don't think these lies are sufficient to prove fraud. These lies are far short of prooving that Hinckley or Holland didn't actually believe in the LDS version of the Gospel that they're selling. They're trying to downplay unappealing aspects but are not tacitly admitting that they don't believe in the overall LDS Gospel.

 

 

To me, it seems unethical to have the missionaries teach, for example, that the first vision story is as simple as the official version or that the translation is as simple as shown in the pictures. But I don't think it rises to the level of being illegal, absent a memo from the leadership instructing the missionaries to avoid disclosing the various accounts of the first vision or the associated timeline or the use of a rock in a hat, etc.

 

 

I do not expect the law to enforce my view of ethics. I'm libertarian and generally think the law should butt out. It's buyer beware. We buyers should keep in mind that the sellers' statements are not to protect or benefit us but the sellers. The information is out there for the buyer who will exercise due diligence.

 

I was indoctrinated from birth; do you think I should sue my parents for not doing their due diligence before they indoctrinated me (or allowed and encouraged the indoctrination)? If not, why not them but yes sue the corporation?

 

Now, I know you believe the church leaders are lying whereas you would probably agree with me that my parents did only as they sincerely thought best for me. I submit that the church leadership probably sincerely believes as well, at least for the most part. If they really don't believe and are deliberately perpetuating a fraud, I would like to see some proof.

 Signature 

Science has questions that may never be answered.
Religion has answers that may never be questioned.

 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2007-05-08

Jeff Ricks:
Brad (ZeeZrom):
Jeff Ricks:
Brad (ZeeZrom):
Silver Girl:
Lloyd Dobler:
snip

 

No, I don't think Monson believes there was a restoration.  To phrase it another way, I don't think he believes in what the church teaches its members about the restoration. 

 

 

I also think it is possible to prove this if there are records of things he has said that indicates he knows it happened a different way that what the church teaches.

 

I guess what I don't understand at this point, is whether it even matters even if you can prove it.

 

I think Brad is saying that as long as Monson thinks he is doing it for the greater good, then it still falls under protection as religious belief.

 

I personally still think that the fact they essentially "sell" something (temple rituals), may/should be a game changer, even with the human rights law.  I mean, there has got to be a line somewhere, right?

 

SG

 

 SG, I abolutely agree that there has got to be a line somewhere.  IMO, that's what the case is about:  where to draw the line.  And there are conflicting values pushing that line in opposite directions.  One is that each person should be able to speak, associate, believe, and communicate beliefs without interference by the government.  The other is that we should be able to call on the government to protect us from being harmed by the speech, association, and communication of the beliefs of others.


Brad, I'm really trying hard to find a way to agree with your point of view but I continue to see problems with your reasoning. You keep forcing this to be about beliefs when it's also about provable facts. For example, it is a fact that the documentation the church has in its possession represents that Smith primarily, if not always, used a rock in the hat method to produce the Book of Mormon. That is not a belief. It is a fact. There is no reliable evidence that supports the church's version of him translating an ancient record, as a scholor might do. Belief has no bearing on whether or not the church faithfully represents what their documentation shows. The fact is, they do not. It's a matter of fact, not belief.

 

 

 

 

 I don't think your distinction between fact and belief is valid.  i think belief is a subjective state of mind that can (and often does) exist in opposition to factual evidence.  

 

Brad, your answer does nothing to address my argument, it completely ignores it. I know what beliefs are. I also know what facts are.

Please answer me this: Is it a fact that the church's documentation primarily supports that Smith used a "rock in a hat method" instead of "the translate an ancient record" method for producing the Book of Mormon? I'm sorry my friend, but I need to ask you again for a yes or no answer to keep you from side-stepping my argument again.

 

 

 

Jeff, I'm not a factual whiz on this issue.  Correct me if I'm wrong.  What we have are accounts from some witnesses to Smith purporting to read words off his "seer stone" in a hat.

 

I don't agree that it is a fact that Smith produced the BOM primarily through this method.  First, we have no idea what percentage of the BOM text was produced by Smith reading words off the rock.  I question whether the method was fast enough to allow for the book to be produced in the relevant time frame.  I also question whether the near word for word portions of Isaiah could have been produced using this method.  My own conclusion is that Smith staged the rock in a hat demonstration(s) to impress his followers, but produced most of the book through some other method.

 

I'm not sure what you mean when you contrast this with the "translate an ancient record" method.  Once you put god into the equation, translating an ancient record could be accomplished through making words appear on a rock, looking through magical spectacles, or putting the words directly into Smith's mind.

 

If you ask me the type of simple questions that are amenable to yes or no answers, I'll be happy to oblige your request.  But when you ask questions that have all sorts of embedded assumptions and imprecisely defined terms, I can't do that and give you an accurate answer. 

 

 

 Signature 

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.


Phillip K. Dick

 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2004-07-20

You know, maybe the differences of view comes down to why each of us left the church. I left because I found that the church leaders today have been lying about church history. I don't care so much what happened in the past, I care about the integrity of the leaders today. I won't follow anyone who lies to me.  What happened in the past is in the past. Had the church leaders been faithfully representing the past then I might have not left the church. I might have decided that I'll follow men of integrity, even if past beliefs of the church were kooky. But I won't follow anyone who has demonstrated to me that they lack the integrity to tell the truth.  

 

 Signature 

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.
- Joseph Campbell

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2008-03-04

My understanding is that this case was not supposed to be about belief, it was supposed to be about disclosure.  The church can preach their belief until they are blue in the face and have a right to do that.  However, there is information the church does not disclosed to members or investigators unless someone asks questions and they are pressed to answer.  The church then comes out and says, for example, that the using the stone was as valid as reading directly from golden plates. They can say they believe that all they want too, but they still don't disclose it unless pressed. Fine and dandy, but why shouldn't the church be held accountable for not telling people about the hat and stone upfront?  They can still preach a belief the BoM was translated by either putting a rock in a hat or looking directly at golden plates.  Disclosure doesn't stop their ability to preach what they believe. it just makes it more difficult because the reality is harder to sell.  They know this, they don't want a judgment that demands disclosure, the product would be much harder to sell.  So lets spin the issue of disclosure until we are talking about belief which is  legally untouchable.
 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2004-07-20

Brad (ZeeZrom):
Jeff Ricks:
Brad (ZeeZrom):
Jeff Ricks:
Brad (ZeeZrom):
Silver Girl:
Lloyd Dobler:
snip

 

No, I don't think Monson believes there was a restoration.  To phrase it another way, I don't think he believes in what the church teaches its members about the restoration. 

 

 

I also think it is possible to prove this if there are records of things he has said that indicates he knows it happened a different way that what the church teaches.

 

I guess what I don't understand at this point, is whether it even matters even if you can prove it.

 

I think Brad is saying that as long as Monson thinks he is doing it for the greater good, then it still falls under protection as religious belief.

 

I personally still think that the fact they essentially "sell" something (temple rituals), may/should be a game changer, even with the human rights law.  I mean, there has got to be a line somewhere, right?

 

SG

 

 SG, I abolutely agree that there has got to be a line somewhere.  IMO, that's what the case is about:  where to draw the line.  And there are conflicting values pushing that line in opposite directions.  One is that each person should be able to speak, associate, believe, and communicate beliefs without interference by the government.  The other is that we should be able to call on the government to protect us from being harmed by the speech, association, and communication of the beliefs of others.


Brad, I'm really trying hard to find a way to agree with your point of view but I continue to see problems with your reasoning. You keep forcing this to be about beliefs when it's also about provable facts. For example, it is a fact that the documentation the church has in its possession represents that Smith primarily, if not always, used a rock in the hat method to produce the Book of Mormon. That is not a belief. It is a fact. There is no reliable evidence that supports the church's version of him translating an ancient record, as a scholor might do. Belief has no bearing on whether or not the church faithfully represents what their documentation shows. The fact is, they do not. It's a matter of fact, not belief.

 

 

 

 

 I don't think your distinction between fact and belief is valid.  i think belief is a subjective state of mind that can (and often does) exist in opposition to factual evidence.  

 

Brad, your answer does nothing to address my argument, it completely ignores it. I know what beliefs are. I also know what facts are.

Please answer me this: Is it a fact that the church's documentation primarily supports that Smith used a "rock in a hat method" instead of "the translate an ancient record" method for producing the Book of Mormon? I'm sorry my friend, but I need to ask you again for a yes or no answer to keep you from side-stepping my argument again.

 

 

 

Jeff, I'm not a factual whiz on this issue.  Correct me if I'm wrong.  What we have are accounts from some witnesses to Smith purporting to read words off his "seer stone" in a hat.

 

I don't agree that it is a fact that Smith produced the BOM primarily through this method.

I didn't say that what Smith did or didn't do is a fact. I said it's a fact that the church's documentation primarily supports that Smith used a "rock in a hat method."  That is an indisputable fact.  Again, what the church has in its possession on this matter is an indisputable fact, not a belief.

 

 

 First, we have no idea what percentage of the BOM text was produced by Smith reading words off the rock.  I question whether the method was fast enough to allow for the book to be produced in the relevant time frame.  I also question whether the near word for word portions of Isaiah could have been produced using this method.  My own conclusion is that Smith staged the rock in a hat demonstration(s) to impress his followers, but produced most of the book through some other method.

 All of the above is irrelevant to my assertions, which again is that the church's documentation primarily supports that Smith used a "rock in a hat method."

 

I'm not sure what you mean when you contrast this with the "translate an ancient record" method.  Once you put god into the equation, translating an ancient record could be accomplished through making words appear on a rock, looking through magical spectacles, or putting the words directly into Smith's mind.

I'm talking about what a scholar might do when translating a document. He examines the text and produces his best version of it in a different language. That's how the church represents Smith producing the Book of Mormon to the public, when they have no reliable documentation to support that as his method. Most, if not all of their documentation represents that he did it by looking at a rock in the hat.

 

If you ask me the type of simple questions that are amenable to yes or no answers, I'll be happy to oblige your request.  But when you ask questions that have all sorts of embedded assumptions and imprecisely defined terms, I can't do that and give you an accurate answer. 

 

 

 Signature 

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.
- Joseph Campbell

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2010-11-12

Jeff Ricks:

You know, maybe the differences of view comes down to why each of us left the church. I left because I found that the church leaders today have been lying about church history. I don't care so much what happened in the past, I care about the integrity of the leaders today. I won't follow anyone who lies to me.  What happened in the past is in the past. Had the church leaders been faithfully representing the past then I might have not left the church. I might have decided that I'll follow men of integrity, even if past beliefs of the church were kooky. But I won't follow anyone who has demonstrated to me that they lack the integrity to tell the truth.  

 

 

 Fascinating. I left because the church's teachings conflicted with science and my perception of objective reality. After concluding that, I learned of the fraudulent foundation (which is when my anger started). 

 

If I thought the leaders were sincere and of the highest integrity, I'd still be gone. (I do think that some even at the top may be sincere and with high integrity. Still gone.)

 Signature 

Science has questions that may never be answered.
Religion has answers that may never be questioned.

 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2007-05-08

I'm sorry, Jeff.  I'm not understanding your point at all.

 

Scholars don't translate one language into another by divine intervention.

 

The LDS church claims Smith translated through divine intervention.  Whether it's rock in a hat, magic glasses, or telepathy, it's still godly magic. 

 

 

 Signature 

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.


Phillip K. Dick

 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2007-05-08

Jeff Ricks:

You know, maybe the differences of view comes down to why each of us left the church. I left because I found that the church leaders today have been lying about church history. I don't care so much what happened in the past, I care about the integrity of the leaders today. I won't follow anyone who lies to me.  What happened in the past is in the past. Had the church leaders been faithfully representing the past then I might have not left the church. I might have decided that I'll follow men of integrity, even if past beliefs of the church were kooky. But I won't follow anyone who has demonstrated to me that they lack the integrity to tell the truth.  

 

 

 I thinks that's a reasonable premise, Jeff.  I left because it wasn't true.  I don't recall even thinking about the lying aspect.

 

Also, my personal experience as an adult was shaped much more by my experience with the legal system than my experience with mormonism.  And, I'm not surrounded by mormonism in the way you are.  If those experiences were otherwise, I might have a different thinking process.

 

 

 

 Signature 

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.


Phillip K. Dick

 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2004-07-20

Brad (ZeeZrom):

I'm sorry, Jeff.  I'm not understanding your point at all.

 

Scholars don't translate one language into another by divine intervention.

 

The LDS church claims Smith translated through divine intervention.  Whether it's rock in a hat, magic glasses, or telepathy, it's still godly magic. 

 

Brad, the issue isn't what scholars do or don't do, or what Smith did or didn't do. The issue is simply this. The church represents that Smith did as shown in B when in fact their documentation overwhelmingly supports that he did as shown in A. What Smith actually did or didn't do is irrelevant to whether or not the church leaders have been faithfully representing what the documentation in their possession supports. Clearly they have been lying about it.  That is an indesputable fact.  Belief has absolutely no bearing on it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Signature 

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.
- Joseph Campbell

 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2004-07-20

Brad (ZeeZrom):
Jeff Ricks:

You know, maybe the differences of view comes down to why each of us left the church. I left because I found that the church leaders today have been lying about church history. I don't care so much what happened in the past, I care about the integrity of the leaders today. I won't follow anyone who lies to me.  What happened in the past is in the past. Had the church leaders been faithfully representing the past then I might have not left the church. I might have decided that I'll follow men of integrity, even if past beliefs of the church were kooky. But I won't follow anyone who has demonstrated to me that they lack the integrity to tell the truth.  

 

 

 I thinks that's a reasonable premise, Jeff.  I left because it wasn't true.  I don't recall even thinking about the lying aspect.

 

Also, my personal experience as an adult was shaped much more by my experience with the legal system than my experience with mormonism.  And, I'm not surrounded by mormonism in the way you are.  If those experiences were otherwise, I might have a different thinking process. 

 

 Brad, I think we might have discovered why people are so firmly divided on this issue.  

 Signature 

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.
- Joseph Campbell

 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2007-05-08

Jeff Ricks:
Brad (ZeeZrom):

I'm sorry, Jeff.  I'm not understanding your point at all.

 

Scholars don't translate one language into another by divine intervention.

 

The LDS church claims Smith translated through divine intervention.  Whether it's rock in a hat, magic glasses, or telepathy, it's still godly magic. 

 

Brad, the issue isn't what scholars do or don't do, or what Smith did or didn't do. The issue is simply this. The church represents that Smith did as shown in B when in fact their documentation overwhelmingly supports that he did as shown in A. What Smith actually did or didn't do is irrelevant to whether or not the church leaders have been faithfully representing what the documentation in their possession supports. Clearly they have been lying about it.  That is an indesputable fact.  Belief has absolutely no bearing on it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Jeff, the issue isn't what you say it is just because that's what you believe the issue should be.  Our disagreement is in the nature of what the issue should be, so it does no good to tell me over and over again what you think the issue is.

 

Let me switch gears and make a mostly unfair argument.  You and I have a longstanding argument about whether life continues in some way after death.  I say the overwhelming evidence we have is that once the body/brain dies, life ends.  You say there is no definitive proof that something doesn't contiinue after death, so it is entirely reasonable to believe something does.  And if you wrote and hawked a book promoting that view, knowing all the evidence that we do have and not disclosing all of it, I would continue to argue with you but would never advocate for throwing you in jail.

 

Similarly, what definitive proof do we have that Smith never purported to "translate" the BOM as shown in picture B?  Don't faithful LDS members have a right to believe that, despite the evidence we have that at least a some point Smith used method A, that he also (or even mostly) used picture B.  And if they have a right to believe it, don't they have the right to communicate that belief?  That's why I think we can't simply dismiss the issue of religious belief -- the factual statements made about the belief are necessarily entangled in the belief.

 

And looking at the forest, here's what bothers me.  Both A and B require magic.  In both cases, one must believe that a supernatural being communicated the translation to Smith by magic.  And then I have to ask myself whether the difference between the two justifies the state imprisoning a human being.  If we can't imprison them for believing in magic and communicating their belief in magic, should we be imprisoning them for the way they describe the magic happening?

 

 

 Signature 

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.


Phillip K. Dick

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2008-02-01

Brad (ZeeZrom):

snip

 

I mean, what good are "the lines" if the courts aren't willing to tease out whether a line has actually been crossed?  It seems like that is what happened in Tom's case.  The judge ruled that since it was a religion, it wasn't the place of the court to evaluate it.

 

SG

 

 That's because we're talking about two sets of lines.  One set of lines constrains legally permissible action by the church.   The other set of lines constrains permissible action by the government, i.e., the courts.  If the courts have lines that they cannot cross, it necessarily means that they will not be able to provide a remedy for some types of harm.   Judge Riddle determine that he couldn't draw the line he was being asked to draw because that would require him to cross a line that courts aren't able to cross.

OK, I think I am getting what you are saying now.

 

Of course, I am going to have to apply my Wizard of Oz analogy 

 

Let's say that inside the palace we have the Wizard being projected by the man behind the curtain.

 

The leaders of the Church of The Wizard of Latter-day saints are free to come and go from the palace and tell people about the Wizard.  We can't prove whether they personally truly believe the Wizard is real, or not.  However, there is evidence that there is a man behind the curtain and that the leaders are purposely hiding his existence.

 

Their dishonesty is causing people to be parted from their money without full disclosure.  They end up being taken to court for fraud.

 

But, it can't actually go to trial because it is a religion and as such, the human rights laws prevent the judge and jury from entering the palace to investigate.

 

 

If so, then what kind of situation do you think it would take before the human rights laws would allow them in (in other words, cross the human rights line so they can go to court over whether the fraud line has been crossed)?

 

SG

 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2004-07-20

Rational Basis:
Jeff Ricks:

You know, maybe the differences of view comes down to why each of us left the church. I left because I found that the church leaders today have been lying about church history. I don't care so much what happened in the past, I care about the integrity of the leaders today. I won't follow anyone who lies to me.  What happened in the past is in the past. Had the church leaders been faithfully representing the past then I might have not left the church. I might have decided that I'll follow men of integrity, even if past beliefs of the church were kooky. But I won't follow anyone who has demonstrated to me that they lack the integrity to tell the truth.  

 

 

 Fascinating. I left because the church's teachings conflicted with science and my perception of objective reality. After concluding that, I learned of the fraudulent foundation (which is when my anger started). 

 

If I thought the leaders were sincere and of the highest integrity, I'd still be gone. (I do think that some even at the top may be sincere and with high integrity. Still gone.)

 

My path out was opposite. I left because the leaders of today have been lying about what the documentation in their possession shows. I was at that time still a theist. I took my theism to Christianity and attend a local Baptist church for 18 months until I discovered that the New Testament authors lie about what the Old Testament actually says (most in their day would never know it, so it was easy to get away with). So I left Christianity. A few years after that I dumped my belief in God.

 Signature 

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.
- Joseph Campbell

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2008-12-18

I'm kinda surprised this thread hasn't gotten more attention or been referenced here yet:

 

How not to sue the Mormon church (video)

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2010-11-12

Jeff Ricks: I said it's a fact that the church's documentation primarily supports that Smith used a "rock in a hat method."  That is an indisputable fact.  Again, what the church has in its possession on this matter is an indisputable fact, not a belief.

 

Sorry to jump in, but I don't think that's indisputable. I was going through these things with my TBM DW this morning, and found 6 accounts of the translation:

 

Joseph, no detail other than power of god

Emma, stone in the hat, plates covered by cloth

William Smith, stone in the hat, plates covered by cloth

David Whitmer, stone in the hat

Harris, stone

Cowdery, interpreters (look at characters on plates through interpreters, see English)

 

Whitmer and William Smith may have been second-hand repeats of the original Emma account. (The Emma account referenced above is from years later; we don't have her account from the time of translation.)

 

The Cowdery account doesn't state that he observed the interpreters used this way, may have been repeating a description from Joseph from before Cowdery's involvement. But we don't have record of Cowdery describing any other way.

 

I might characterize the following as undisputed:

- Joseph used the rock in the hat with plates not visible for some of the translation

 

As possible methods for some parts of the translation (for which I haven't seen strong dispute):

- Joseph looked through the interpreters

- Joseph put the interpreters in the hat (stated in the lds.org essay but no source given)

 

And disputed by pro-lds sources:

- Joseph made it up and/or plagiarized it from various sources (View of the Hebrews, Spaulding, KJV Bible, etc.), with or without accomplices

 

So, if the church's view is that some was "rock-in-the-hat, plates not visible" while other was "looking through interpreters at the plates"; it would not be inappropriate artistic interpretation to picture the plates as visible on the table in church artwork depicting the translation.

 

BTW, all accounts of rock-in-the-hat may refer to the material before Oliver Cowdery, which as I recall (perhaps inaccurately) would have been only the lost 116 pages. So, the church could justifiably claim that the "looking through interpreters at the plates" was the method used for virtually all of the translation that was ultimately published as the BOM.

 Signature 

Science has questions that may never be answered.
Religion has answers that may never be questioned.

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2008-02-01

Lloyd Dobler:

I feel bad about the ruling.  I feel bad that exmos rip on Tom.  The guy has lost his family.  I can't imagine losing the love and respect of my own wife and kids (although, I have had a bumpy road myself).  I understand that smart people had this figured out a long time ago and I always believed that it was a long shot........but god damn what a courageous long shot.

 

I have read where exmos say Tom is doing this for revenge.  So what? I don't think that is a bad thing in this case.  Tom deserves some revenge and the Church deserves to have its ass handed to them.  We all deserve a little revenge for the lost time in our own lives and the lost relationships when people choose a lying Church over their own flesh and blood.  It seems that the Church is free to lie and then ruin peoples lives when the truth comes out.  It seems not only are they allowed to do this but are rewarded with big high rises, cattle ranches and malls for their efforts.

 

I will admist to being a big naive and uniformed and I really don't care because sometimes wrong is just fcking wrong.  What the church does is wrong.  The leaders are liars.  The programs and the system are designed to perpetuate the lie.  I'm not naive and uniformed on that crap as my kids are in the throes of those programs now.  I don't know about all the legal stuff but I do know when my kids go to activities that are built on lies and propaganda.

 

It's the damndest thing as there seems to be no end to it.  The top 15 will just keep on dressing in their suits and heading to the COB and eat their free lunch buffets while receiving millions in cash every week from the very members they are lying to.  Homosexuals will lose their lives, marriages will be destroyed and love will be lost in the name of preserving and protecting and remaining faithful to the Church.  Kids will be lied to from birth and then have to pick up the pieces later on in life when they find out the truth.  

 

I'm not just bummed about the official ruling.  I'm just bummed out about the whole thing.  I just sat through gospel doctrine class last Sunday (don't ask) and watched everybodys head nod up and down while the teacher talked about how God was justified to turn Lot's wife into stupid salt and how Abraham was justified in sacrificing Isaac.  About how even though Isaac was spared there are plenty of people who are not spared because they don't put God (code for church) first, before ANYTHING ELSE.  If I was not in class for my wife, I mean I might have totally lost it, in class.......which would have made for a hell of a thread.  What does it say when you get otherwise nice people agreeing that Gods command is justification to kill your own child?

 

The Church puts the CHURCH FIRST all day, every day, 24 hours a day.  People are second.  People!  Nothing else matters or at least matters as much as the precious Church.  Preserving and protecting the work of a 19th century con man that cheated and lied to his wife evidently is WAY more important that preserving a real marriage.  A marriage!  My god it takes my breath away.

 

  

 

Sorry to insert this reply in the middle of other discussion, but I really want to second Lloyds sentiments and acknowledge Tom.   In the midst of the discussion about laws and religion, I don't want to forget the real man behind this court case and what he has been through...and how really, he represents so many others who have or are currently still going through a similar situation due to the church.  I admire his courage and determination. 

 

We here are all just armchair quarterbacking (some with more legal experience to draw from than others I realize) from what little information has been disclosed publicly about the case.  I've been doing what amounts to shooting the breeze about it for a few weeks (although I have found it very interesting and by no means a waste of time to discuss the issues, it has been very educational) while Tom has spent months and months with lawyers and a judge.  I hope my participation in the discussions has not come across as second guessing Tom and the others involved in the case.

 

Last night I re-read some of Tom's posts about his experiences leaving the church and it was sobering.  At one point he described having sleepless nights for quite some time over the concern of whether he was now a son of perdition.  I mean, think about what that really means within the context of the LDS religion.

 

I know from personal experience how hard it is to rid yourself of the superstitions even after you have logically accepted that the church isn't what it claims.  I had a pit in my stomach just thinking about what that must have been like for Tom after reaching the point he did with the second anointing.  It was bad enough just worrying about what would happen if I didn't pay my tithing, let alone worrying about whether I really was going to end up in outer darkness.

 

And then to loose his family?

And to be treated the way he was by the leaders he had been close to?

 

Tom has truly passed through a trial of fire and come out on the others side.  Thank the stars that he is willing to try and smooth the path for others by standing up to the church and it's dishonorable (and I still think illegal in some way) ways.

 

I say, more power to you Tom!

 

The church is a bully and we need to stand up to it in as many venues as we can so they will stop defrauding others and stop destroying families.

 

SG

 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2007-05-08

Silver Girl:
Brad (ZeeZrom):

snip

 

I mean, what good are "the lines" if the courts aren't willing to tease out whether a line has actually been crossed?  It seems like that is what happened in Tom's case.  The judge ruled that since it was a religion, it wasn't the place of the court to evaluate it.

 

SG

 

 That's because we're talking about two sets of lines.  One set of lines constrains legally permissible action by the church.   The other set of lines constrains permissible action by the government, i.e., the courts.  If the courts have lines that they cannot cross, it necessarily means that they will not be able to provide a remedy for some types of harm.   Judge Riddle determine that he couldn't draw the line he was being asked to draw because that would require him to cross a line that courts aren't able to cross.

OK, I think I am getting what you are saying now.

 

Of course, I am going to have to apply my Wizard of Oz analogy 

 

Let's say that inside the palace we have the Wizard being projected by the man behind the curtain.

 

The leaders of the Church of The Wizard of Latter-day saints are free to come and go from the palace and tell people about the Wizard.  We can't prove whether they personally truly believe the Wizard is real, or not.  However, there is evidence that there is a man behind the curtain and that the leaders are purposely hiding his existence.

 

Their dishonesty is causing people to be parted from their money without full disclosure.  They end up being taken to court for fraud.

 

But, it can't actually go to trial because it is a religion and as such, the human rights laws prevent the judge and jury from entering the palace to investigate.

 

 

If so, then what kind of situation do you think it would take before the human rights laws would allow them in (in other words, cross the human rights line so they can go to court over whether the fraud line has been crossed)?

 

SG

 

Let's specify ways in which the people are being parted from their money.

 

Suppose the Church leaders charge $100 for an audience with the Wizard.

 

Here are about where I think the lines are now.

 

1.  If the church leaders tell them the money will be used for repairs and upkeep of the Wizards palace but instead intend to and do spend it on poppies to get high, they could be prosecuted for fraud.   Criminally prosecuting in that example does not involve the court having to decide whether there really is a wizard.

 

2.  If the church leaders promise them an audience with the Wizard but instead they just deliver an audience with the church leaders themselves, they could be prosecuted for fraud.  Criminally prosecuting the leaders for making a promise they intended not to keep would not involve the court in having to decide whether there really is a Wizard.

 

3.  If there were evidence that the leaders knew there really wasn't a Wizard, but just the man in the booth, but told people they really believed there was a Wizard, they could be prosecuted for fraud.  This is a tricky one, but it is possible to prove that the leaders don't believe there is a Wizard without proving that the Wizard doesn't exist.

 

I'm not sure about number 3 under UK law.  Number 3 is correct under U.S. law.

 Signature 

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.


Phillip K. Dick

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2008-02-01

Brad (ZeeZrom):
Silver Girl:
Brad (ZeeZrom):

snip

 

I mean, what good are "the lines" if the courts aren't willing to tease out whether a line has actually been crossed?  It seems like that is what happened in Tom's case.  The judge ruled that since it was a religion, it wasn't the place of the court to evaluate it.

 

SG

 

 That's because we're talking about two sets of lines.  One set of lines constrains legally permissible action by the church.   The other set of lines constrains permissible action by the government, i.e., the courts.  If the courts have lines that they cannot cross, it necessarily means that they will not be able to provide a remedy for some types of harm.   Judge Riddle determine that he couldn't draw the line he was being asked to draw because that would require him to cross a line that courts aren't able to cross.

OK, I think I am getting what you are saying now.

 

Of course, I am going to have to apply my Wizard of Oz analogy 

 

Let's say that inside the palace we have the Wizard being projected by the man behind the curtain.

 

The leaders of the Church of The Wizard of Latter-day saints are free to come and go from the palace and tell people about the Wizard.  We can't prove whether they personally truly believe the Wizard is real, or not.  However, there is evidence that there is a man behind the curtain and that the leaders are purposely hiding his existence.

 

Their dishonesty is causing people to be parted from their money without full disclosure.  They end up being taken to court for fraud.

 

But, it can't actually go to trial because it is a religion and as such, the human rights laws prevent the judge and jury from entering the palace to investigate.

 

 

If so, then what kind of situation do you think it would take before the human rights laws would allow them in (in other words, cross the human rights line so they can go to court over whether the fraud line has been crossed)?

 

SG

 

Let's specify ways in which the people are being parted from their money.

 

Suppose the Church leaders charge $100 for an audience with the Wizard.

 

Here are about where I think the lines are now.

 

1.  If the church leaders tell them the money will be used for repairs and upkeep of the Wizards palace but instead intend to and do spend it on poppies to get high, they could be prosecuted for fraud.   Criminally prosecuting in that example does not involve the court having to decide whether there really is a wizard.

 

2.  If the church leaders promise them an audience with the Wizard but instead they just deliver an audience with the church leaders themselves, they could be prosecuted for fraud.  Criminally prosecuting the leaders for making a promise they intended not to keep would not involve the court in having to decide whether there really is a Wizard.

 

3.  If there were evidence that the leaders knew there really wasn't a Wizard, but just the man in the booth, but told people they really believed there was a Wizard, they could be prosecuted for fraud.  This is a tricky one, but it is possible to prove that the leaders don't believe there is a Wizard without proving that the Wizard doesn't exist.

 

I'm not sure about number 3 under UK law.  Number 3 is correct under U.S. law.

 

Well, I'm just happy I got someone to engage my Wizard analogy, LOL

 

Thank you discussing this, I will take some time to mull it over, this discussion has given me a lot to think about.

 

If you will excuse me now, I need to go see a man about some poppies

 

SG

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2009-07-27

Brad (ZeeZrom):
Lloyd Dobler:
Brad (ZeeZrom):
Lloyd Dobler:
Jeff Ricks:
Brad (ZeeZrom):
Jeff Ricks:
Silver Girl:

I wanted to add that I think it is possible that the judge just didn't want to deal with this hot potato and was biased toward seeing reasons to dismiss it rather than parse out why the case did have merit.  JMO.

 

SG

 

 I agree. 

 

Regarding your other post, if the Constitution does protect the church leader's lies, that would be unfortunate, because I think it was only intended to protect beliefs, not facts.  

 

 It won't surprise you that I disagree.    The constitution protects not only beliefs.  It protects beliefs, the right to communicate those beliefs through speech, the right to manifest religions belief through action, and the right to associate with other like minded people.  What most folks have missed about the Fraud Act in England is that it allows the government to put people in prison based solely on speech.  It does not require that any money change hands.  It does not require that anyone rely on the speech.  It does not require that anyone actually be harmed at all.  From the standpoint of a judge looking at the legal effect of the prosecution, it was an attempt to throw someone in prison for communicating his religious beliefs.

 

That's the side of this that no one has been talking about, but is the side that judges would worry about.  Based on other decisions that have been reported in the press, Judge Riddle is very oriented towards human rights and is acutely aware that being accused of a crime does not deprive a defendant of those rights.  Personally, I think this is a good thing.  It should be difficult to throw someone in prison for speaking.

 

What folks who had faith in the lawsuit are experiencing is cognitive dissonance.  Keep in mind, almost everything we know about the lawsuit has come from the person pursuing it.  None of us have seen what's in the papers the church filed.  What we've heard of the argument has been filted through proponents of the lawsuit.  On-line forums inhabited by former mormons have been echo chambers for one side of the case.  Confirmation bias has been pretty rampant.  It's not a surprise that the ruling was a shock.

 

It's been hard to watch good and smart people (not here, but other places I've been reading) resorting to suggesting that the judge was dishonest, or was threatened by the church, or was biased, or a thousand other explanations other than the most simple one:  after hearing both sides of the argument, the judge correctly applied the law.  I think it would be a good thing for folks to try a little thought experiment:  start with the proposition that the judge's ruling is correct under the law.  Then puzzle through why that would be.  It won't take all the sting away, but understanding what happened and why can help.

 

No, it wasn't. It was an attempt to throw someone in prison for willfully misrepresenting tangible, provable, historical facts. 

 

Brad, you reference my post and yet, in my view, ignore my point and respond to something entirely different. I agree that laws should protect beliefs. I have no problem with that.  My problem is where they are used to protect lies.  So, please answer me this: Has the church been lying to its members and the public about its history? Yes or no, please.

 

 

 

 For me, this is what it is all about.  It is not about the lds church believing in a global flood or in the resurrection etc.  It is about the church lying about the beliefs that are specific to THEM.  These beliefs are tied directly to their history.  Maybe this is where outsiders lose the plot.  I suppose most Christian churches simply rely on the bible and on supernatural beliefs and are not responsible for creating and maintaining a story that directly impacts the beliefs they have and want to share.

 

When the church sells restoration to people in 2014 (or for the last 50 years....) they lie.  They lie so they don't look crazy and don't scare people away.  Pretty much every aspect of the restoration, which is what props up the one true church truth claims, is the opposite of what the church either teaches or implies.  This is beyond freedom of religion imho.  Especially, when the lying is being done in such a systematic way and on such a grand scale. 

 

 Lloyd, do you think Monson believes there was no restoration?

 You know Brad, the last time we started this I wound up in bed asking for my mommy....but here it goes....

 

No, I don't think Monson believes there was a restoration.  To phrase it another way, I don't think he believes in what the church teaches its members about the restoration. 

 

 

 I'm not intending to inflict emotional trauma.  Sorry if I do.

 

Maybe I should ask a different way.  What do you think Monson believes about the restoration?   

 I think he believes:

 

 

  • The restoration was a good thing
  • That the restoration, as represented in the modern LDS church is good for people
  • That the restoration, in a general sense, gives him the authority to know what is best for people.

 

I don't think there is much more to it for him in particular.  I think the church stopped being about beliefs to him a long time ago.  If you are a managing part of something with that much power and that much money, at that point I think the truth of the beliefs no longer serve their own end.  I think his beliefs serve the power and the money.  He has a massively different set of benefits from the church than regular members. However, I do think consequently he is highly invested in preserving the outward truth claim stories that will enable the church to continue to prosper.

 

I just don't think the guy cares about the book of mormon or the first vision in any literal sense because it does not nor has not had any real impact on his life for at least 50 years. 

 

 

 

 Signature 

You wanna leave me baby be my guest
All I’m gonna do is cry
And then I’m gonna find me someone else
And tear the stars out of the sky
You don’t need me anymore
They say storms are right for summertime
Well, baby I’m long gone
Whatcha gonna do
When you open your eyes?
It’s a brand new day and baby
No blue skies

 

No Blue Skies
Lloyd Cole
http://vimeo.com/92588634

 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2007-05-08

Lloyd Dobler:
Brad (ZeeZrom):
Lloyd Dobler:
Brad (ZeeZrom):
Lloyd Dobler:
Jeff Ricks:
Brad (ZeeZrom):
Jeff Ricks:
Silver Girl:

I wanted to add that I think it is possible that the judge just didn't want to deal with this hot potato and was biased toward seeing reasons to dismiss it rather than parse out why the case did have merit.  JMO.

 

SG

 

 I agree. 

 

Regarding your other post, if the Constitution does protect the church leader's lies, that would be unfortunate, because I think it was only intended to protect beliefs, not facts.  

 

 It won't surprise you that I disagree.    The constitution protects not only beliefs.  It protects beliefs, the right to communicate those beliefs through speech, the right to manifest religions belief through action, and the right to associate with other like minded people.  What most folks have missed about the Fraud Act in England is that it allows the government to put people in prison based solely on speech.  It does not require that any money change hands.  It does not require that anyone rely on the speech.  It does not require that anyone actually be harmed at all.  From the standpoint of a judge looking at the legal effect of the prosecution, it was an attempt to throw someone in prison for communicating his religious beliefs.

 

That's the side of this that no one has been talking about, but is the side that judges would worry about.  Based on other decisions that have been reported in the press, Judge Riddle is very oriented towards human rights and is acutely aware that being accused of a crime does not deprive a defendant of those rights.  Personally, I think this is a good thing.  It should be difficult to throw someone in prison for speaking.

 

What folks who had faith in the lawsuit are experiencing is cognitive dissonance.  Keep in mind, almost everything we know about the lawsuit has come from the person pursuing it.  None of us have seen what's in the papers the church filed.  What we've heard of the argument has been filted through proponents of the lawsuit.  On-line forums inhabited by former mormons have been echo chambers for one side of the case.  Confirmation bias has been pretty rampant.  It's not a surprise that the ruling was a shock.

 

It's been hard to watch good and smart people (not here, but other places I've been reading) resorting to suggesting that the judge was dishonest, or was threatened by the church, or was biased, or a thousand other explanations other than the most simple one:  after hearing both sides of the argument, the judge correctly applied the law.  I think it would be a good thing for folks to try a little thought experiment:  start with the proposition that the judge's ruling is correct under the law.  Then puzzle through why that would be.  It won't take all the sting away, but understanding what happened and why can help.

 

No, it wasn't. It was an attempt to throw someone in prison for willfully misrepresenting tangible, provable, historical facts. 

 

Brad, you reference my post and yet, in my view, ignore my point and respond to something entirely different. I agree that laws should protect beliefs. I have no problem with that.  My problem is where they are used to protect lies.  So, please answer me this: Has the church been lying to its members and the public about its history? Yes or no, please.

 

 

 

 For me, this is what it is all about.  It is not about the lds church believing in a global flood or in the resurrection etc.  It is about the church lying about the beliefs that are specific to THEM.  These beliefs are tied directly to their history.  Maybe this is where outsiders lose the plot.  I suppose most Christian churches simply rely on the bible and on supernatural beliefs and are not responsible for creating and maintaining a story that directly impacts the beliefs they have and want to share.

 

When the church sells restoration to people in 2014 (or for the last 50 years....) they lie.  They lie so they don't look crazy and don't scare people away.  Pretty much every aspect of the restoration, which is what props up the one true church truth claims, is the opposite of what the church either teaches or implies.  This is beyond freedom of religion imho.  Especially, when the lying is being done in such a systematic way and on such a grand scale. 

 

 Lloyd, do you think Monson believes there was no restoration?

 You know Brad, the last time we started this I wound up in bed asking for my mommy....but here it goes....

 

No, I don't think Monson believes there was a restoration.  To phrase it another way, I don't think he believes in what the church teaches its members about the restoration. 

 

 

 I'm not intending to inflict emotional trauma.  Sorry if I do.

 

Maybe I should ask a different way.  What do you think Monson believes about the restoration?   

 I think he believes:

 

 

  • The restoration was a good thing
  • That the restoration, as represented in the modern LDS church is good for people
  • That the restoration, in a general sense, gives him the authority to know what is best for people.

 

I don't think there is much more to it for him in particular.  I think the church stopped being about beliefs to him a long time ago.  If you are a managing part of something with that much power and that much money, at that point I think the truth of the beliefs no longer serve their own end.  I think his beliefs serve the power and the money.  He has a massively different set of benefits from the church than regular members. However, I do think consequently he is highly invested in preserving the outward truth claim stories that will enable the church to continue to prosper.

 

I just don't think the guy cares about the book of mormon or the first vision in any literal sense because it does not nor has not had any real impact on his life for at least 50 years. 

 

 

 

 

If we could prove that he doesn't believe in a literal restoration then a court may very well be willing and able to reach him under U.S. v. Ballard.

 

 Signature 

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.


Phillip K. Dick

 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2004-07-20

Rational Basis:
Jeff Ricks: I said it's a fact that the church's documentation primarily supports that Smith used a "rock in a hat method."  That is an indisputable fact.  Again, what the church has in its possession on this matter is an indisputable fact, not a belief.

 

Sorry to jump in, but I don't think that's indisputable. I was going through these things with my TBM DW this morning, and found 6 accounts of the translation:

 

Joseph, no detail other than power of god

Emma, stone in the hat, plates covered by cloth

William Smith, stone in the hat, plates covered by cloth

David Whitmer, stone in the hat

Harris, stone

Cowdery, interpreters (look at characters on plates through interpreters, see English)

 

...

 

 

 Of the above six, three include a stone in the hat, one includes a stone and may or may not also include a hat. The first one applies equally to all methods, and the last one is the only clear difference. So, I think what you list above validates my assertion.  Maybe you overlook the word "primarily."  If the stone in the hat is the primary method [the documentation supports] then if they represent any method, that's the one it should be, shouldn't it? And not something that has little to no real evidence to support it.

 Signature 

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.
- Joseph Campbell

 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2004-07-20

 

Brad (ZeeZrom):
Jeff Ricks:
Brad (ZeeZrom):

I'm sorry, Jeff.  I'm not understanding your point at all.

 

Scholars don't translate one language into another by divine intervention.

 

The LDS church claims Smith translated through divine intervention.  Whether it's rock in a hat, magic glasses, or telepathy, it's still godly magic. 

 

Brad, the issue isn't what scholars do or don't do, or what Smith did or didn't do. The issue is simply this. The church represents that Smith did as shown in B when in fact their documentation overwhelmingly supports that he did as shown in A. What Smith actually did or didn't do is irrelevant to whether or not the church leaders have been faithfully representing what the documentation in their possession supports. Clearly they have been lying about it.  That is an indesputable fact.  Belief has absolutely no bearing on it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Jeff, the issue isn't what you say it is just because that's what you believe the issue should be.  Our disagreement is in the nature of what the issue should be, so it does no good to tell me over and over again what you think the issue is.

The issue for me is that the church leaders are lying about documentation they have in their possession. The issue apparently for you is that it's all untrue, so what does it matter if they lie about their documentation. My issue is provable. You simply compare the documentation the church has in its possession with what they represent to the public and it's clear they have been lying.

Your issue, however, is based on belief. I fully get that.

 

Let me switch gears and make a mostly unfair argument.  You and I have a longstanding argument about whether life continues in some way after death.  I say the overwhelming evidence we have is that once the body/brain dies, life ends.  You say there is no definitive proof that something doesn't contiinue after death, so it is entirely reasonable to believe something does.

For the record, my argument on that issue has always been that we lack sufficient evidence to make the call one way or the other. I don't think I've made any positive assertions beyond speculation.

 

  And if you wrote and hawked a book promoting that view, knowing all the evidence that we do have and not disclosing all of it, I would continue to argue with you but would never advocate for throwing you in jail.

 

I would agree. However, if I alone had in my possession documentation that proved what I was promoting was false, and I kept it from the public so I could continue to sell books, then I think we have justiciable offense.  That is essentially what the church has been doing.

 


Similarly, what definitive proof do we have that Smith never purported to "translate" the BOM as shown in picture B? 
Don't faithful LDS members have a right to believe that, despite the evidence we have that at least a some point Smith used method A, that he also (or even mostly) used picture B.  

 

Of course they have a right to believe it.  They also have a right to all relevant information the church has in it's possession so they can make a fully informed choice whether or not they want to believe it, do they not?  If the church deprives them of that information they have deprived them of their right to make a fully informed choice.   

And if they have a right to believe it, don't they have the right to communicate that belief?

Of course they have the right to communicate their belief.  But when they knowingly lie in thier communication, and it can be proven, that's where there's a problem.  That's what the church continues to do.

 

 That's why I think we can't simply dismiss the issue of religious belief -- the factual statements made about the belief are necessarily entangled in the belief.

 

And looking at the forest, here's what bothers me.  Both A and B require magic.

That it requires magic is completely irrelevant to whether or not the church leaders misrepresent documentation they have in their possession.

 

In both cases, one must believe that a supernatural being communicated the translation to Smith by magic.  And then I have to ask myself whether the difference between the two justifies the state imprisoning a human being.  If we can't imprison them for believing in magic and communicating their belief in magic, should we be imprisoning them for the way they describe the magic happening? 

 

I've already stated my case over and over as clearly as I know how.  Nothing else I can add will make it any more plain.  Once again, we'll have to agree to disagree, Brad.

 Signature 

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.
- Joseph Campbell

 
Avatar
Member
RankRankRank
Joined  2012-06-26

Brad (ZeeZrom):
I have no idea what Monson thinks about the Book of Abraham.  My best guess he thinks it is genuine revelation from God.

 

 

 

Really? That's your best guess?

 

Monson was already an apostle when the Dr. Atiya found the papyri in New York.

 

So... the cult "donated" an undisclosed sum to the museum, acquired the papyri, and tucked them away in the vault without the apostles' knowledge, approval, or attention...?

 

They never realized the ramifications those papyri held for the cult's claims about the Book of Abraham...?

 

They never bothered to read the subsequent translations and conclusions of the bona fide egyptologists who examined them...?

 

They commissioned "scholars" like Hugh Nibley to also examine the papyri simply on a whim, for no particular purpose, and thus never even bothered to read his findings either...?

 

To this day, Monson is unaware of the "Egyptian Grammar and Aphabet" in the cult's possession, proving that these are the very same papyri that Joseph Smith used...?

 

He still doesn't know that those papyri date centuries after Abraham...?

 

He is unaware that members know and are truly bothered by all the above...? Their concern doesn't prompt him to finally, once and for all, do his homework on the problem...?

 

It has simply never occurred to him and his cohorts that... gee... d'ya think?... maybe as leaders they ought to release an official statement to finally, openly, and candidly address the problem...?

 

Wow. Just... wow.

 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2007-05-08

Mark D Larsen:
Brad (ZeeZrom):
I have no idea what Monson thinks about the Book of Abraham.  My best guess he thinks it is genuine revelation from God.

 

 

 

Really? That's your best guess?

 

Monson was already an apostle when the Dr. Atiya found the papyri in New York.

 

So... the cult "donated" an undisclosed sum to the museum, acquired the papyri, and tucked them away in the vault without the apostles' knowledge, approval, or attention...?

 

They never realized the ramifications those papyri held for the cult's claims about the Book of Abraham...?

 

They never bothered to read the subsequent translations and conclusions of the bona fide egyptologists who examined them...?

 

They commissioned "scholars" like Hugh Nibley to also examine the papyri simply on a whim, for no particular purpose, and thus never even bothered to read his findings either...?

 

To this day, Monson is unaware of the "Egyptian Grammar and Aphabet" in the cult's possession, proving that these are the very same papyri that Joseph Smith used...?

 

He still doesn't know that those papyri date centuries after Abraham...?

 

He is unaware that members know and are truly bothered by all the above...? Their concern doesn't prompt him to finally, once and for all, do his homework on the problem...?

 

It has simply never occurred to him and his cohorts that... gee... d'ya think?... maybe as leaders they ought to release an official statement to finally, openly, and candidly address the problem...?

 

Wow. Just... wow.

 

 Yes.  Just as I think there are still religious leaders in the U.S. who believe the earth is 6,000 years old despite the overwhelmingly conclusive evidence to the contrary.  We have lots of evidence that the human brain is exceptionally talented at rationalizing the irrational.  Why should I ignore all that evidence?  

 Signature 

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.


Phillip K. Dick

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2010-11-12

Jeff Ricks:
Rational Basis:
Jeff Ricks: I said it's a fact that the church's documentation primarily supports that Smith used a "rock in a hat method."  That is an indisputable fact.  Again, what the church has in its possession on this matter is an indisputable fact, not a belief.

 

Sorry to jump in, but I don't think that's indisputable. I was going through these things with my TBM DW this morning, and found 6 accounts of the translation:

 

Joseph, no detail other than power of god

Emma, stone in the hat, plates covered by cloth

William Smith, stone in the hat, plates covered by cloth

David Whitmer, stone in the hat

Harris, stone

Cowdery, interpreters (look at characters on plates through interpreters, see English)

 

...

 

 

 Of the above six, three include a stone in the hat, one includes a stone and may or may not also include a hat. The first one applies equally to all methods, and the last one is the only clear difference. So, I think what you list above validates my assertion.  Maybe you overlook the word "primarily."  If the stone in the hat is the primary method [the documentation supports] then if they represent any method, that's the one it should be, shouldn't it? And not something that has little to no real evidence to support it.

 

I didn't miss "primarily." I just don't share your assumption and thus don't ask the same question. 

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think your assumption is that there is a single translation method. And your question is which single method has the most evidence?

 

How do you justify the assumption that there is only a single method? 

 

(If I could accept your assumption, then the score of 4:1 hat to plates would lead me to accept hat and reject plates. But i'm aware of nothing that would lead us to conclude that there is only a single method.)

 

Allowing for more than one method, all of the accounts fit.

 

(It feels weird to be arguing for the church :-) 

 Signature 

Science has questions that may never be answered.
Religion has answers that may never be questioned.

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2010-11-12

BTW, all accounts of rock-in-the-hat may refer to the material before Oliver Cowdery, which as I recall (perhaps inaccurately) would have been only the lost 116 pages. So, the church could justifiably claim that the "looking through interpreters at the plates" was the method used for virtually all of the translation that was ultimately published as the BOM.

 

 Note that if the above is the church's position, they are justified in depicting the Cowdery-described method in preference to the stone-in-hat method. 

 

 Signature 

Science has questions that may never be answered.
Religion has answers that may never be questioned.

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2010-11-12

I've read before that after the 116 pages fiasco that Moroni took the plates and interpreters and never returned the interpreters. I couldn't find references to that effect. If that's true, it would affect the interpretation of the Cowdery account.
 Signature 

Science has questions that may never be answered.
Religion has answers that may never be questioned.

 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2004-07-20

Rational Basis:
Jeff Ricks:
Rational Basis:
Jeff Ricks: I said it's a fact that the church's documentation primarily supports that Smith used a "rock in a hat method."  That is an indisputable fact.  Again, what the church has in its possession on this matter is an indisputable fact, not a belief.

 

Sorry to jump in, but I don't think that's indisputable. I was going through these things with my TBM DW this morning, and found 6 accounts of the translation:

 

Joseph, no detail other than power of god

Emma, stone in the hat, plates covered by cloth

William Smith, stone in the hat, plates covered by cloth

David Whitmer, stone in the hat

Harris, stone

Cowdery, interpreters (look at characters on plates through interpreters, see English)

 

...

 

 

 Of the above six, three include a stone in the hat, one includes a stone and may or may not also include a hat. The first one applies equally to all methods, and the last one is the only clear difference. So, I think what you list above validates my assertion.  Maybe you overlook the word "primarily."  If the stone in the hat is the primary method [the documentation supports] then if they represent any method, that's the one it should be, shouldn't it? And not something that has little to no real evidence to support it.

 

I didn't miss "primarily." I just don't share your assumption and thus don't ask the same question. 

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think your assumption is that there is a single translation method. And your question is which single method has the most evidence?

 

How do you justify the assumption that there is only a single method? 

 

(If I could accept your assumption, then the score of 4:1 hat to plates would lead me to accept hat and reject plates. But i'm aware of nothing that would lead us to conclude that there is only a single method.)

 

Allowing for more than one method, all of the accounts fit.

 

(It feels weird to be arguing for the church :-) 

 

Whether there's one method or more than one, there is no reliable evidence I'm aware of that the method the church has represented all these years ever happened, while there is evidence that other methods happened.  In other words they don't represent what their documentation best supports, they represent what their documention least supports because it comes off as the least bat shit crazy.

 

 

 Signature 

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.
- Joseph Campbell

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2010-11-12

Jeff Ricks:
Rational Basis:
Jeff Ricks:
Rational Basis:
Jeff Ricks: I said it's a fact that the church's documentation primarily supports that Smith used a "rock in a hat method."  That is an indisputable fact.  Again, what the church has in its possession on this matter is an indisputable fact, not a belief.

 

Sorry to jump in, but I don't think that's indisputable. I was going through these things with my TBM DW this morning, and found 6 accounts of the translation:

 

Joseph, no detail other than power of god

Emma, stone in the hat, plates covered by cloth

William Smith, stone in the hat, plates covered by cloth

David Whitmer, stone in the hat

Harris, stone

Cowdery, interpreters (look at characters on plates through interpreters, see English)

 

...

 

 

 Of the above six, three include a stone in the hat, one includes a stone and may or may not also include a hat. The first one applies equally to all methods, and the last one is the only clear difference. So, I think what you list above validates my assertion.  Maybe you overlook the word "primarily."  If the stone in the hat is the primary method [the documentation supports] then if they represent any method, that's the one it should be, shouldn't it? And not something that has little to no real evidence to support it.

 

I didn't miss "primarily." I just don't share your assumption and thus don't ask the same question. 

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think your assumption is that there is a single translation method. And your question is which single method has the most evidence?

 

How do you justify the assumption that there is only a single method? 

 

(If I could accept your assumption, then the score of 4:1 hat to plates would lead me to accept hat and reject plates. But i'm aware of nothing that would lead us to conclude that there is only a single method.)

 

Allowing for more than one method, all of the accounts fit.

 

(It feels weird to be arguing for the church :-) 

 

Whether there's one method or more than one, there is no reliable evidence I'm aware of that the method the church has represented all these years ever happened, while there is evidence that other methods happened.  In other words they don't represent what their documentation best supports, they represent what their documention least supports because it comes off as the least bat shit crazy.

 

 

 

The version they do represent seems plenty bat-shit-crazy to me. 

(An angel told me where to dig up an ancient record, gave me magic glasses that see English when I look at Hebrew words written in Egyption characters, the angel then took the plates and magic glasses away so nobody could see them.)

 

The 116 pages story is bat-shit-crazy enough: I can translate perfectly with the power of god but can't possibly retranslate substantially the same way twice. I mean I can but somebody will alter the original so it looks like I can't. Puh-lease. 

 

(Edited to expound on the craziness.)

 Signature 

Science has questions that may never be answered.
Religion has answers that may never be questioned.

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2010-11-12

Jeff Ricks:

Whether there's one method or more than one, there is no reliable evidence I'm aware of that the method the church has represented all these years ever happened, while there is evidence that other methods happened.  In other words they don't represent what their documentation best supports, they represent what their documention least supports because it comes off as the least bat shit crazy.

 

 

 Why reject the Cowdery references the lds.org essay cites? Do you have rebuttal references?

 

-

The principal scribe, Oliver Cowdery, testified under oath in 1831 that Joseph Smith “found with the plates, from which he translated his book, two transparent stones, resembling glass, set in silver bows. That by looking through these, he was able to read in English, the reformed Egyptian characters, which were engraven on the plates.”31 In the fall of 1830, Cowdery visited Union Village, Ohio, and spoke about the translation of the Book of Mormon. Soon thereafter, a village resident reported that the translation was accomplished by means of “two transparent stones in the form of spectacles thro which the translator looked on the engraving.”32

 

 Signature 

Science has questions that may never be answered.
Religion has answers that may never be questioned.

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2010-11-12

Jeff Ricks The issue for me is that the church leaders are lying about documentation they have in their possession.

 

At least as far back as 93, the church has published the stone-in-hat method. https://www.lds.org/ensign/1993/07/a-treasured-testament?lang=eng

 

You probably left before then.

 

And of course there is the fact they don't seem to have ever published a picture showing the stone-in-hat, plates covered in a table cloth.  

 Signature 

Science has questions that may never be answered.
Religion has answers that may never be questioned.

 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2004-07-20

Rational Basis:
Jeff Ricks:

Whether there's one method or more than one, there is no reliable evidence I'm aware of that the method the church has represented all these years ever happened, while there is evidence that other methods happened.  In other words they don't represent what their documentation best supports, they represent what their documention least supports because it comes off as the least bat shit crazy.

 

 

 Why reject the Cowdery references the lds.org essay cites? Do you have rebuttal references?

 

-

The principal scribe, Oliver Cowdery, testified under oath in 1831 that Joseph Smith “found with the plates, from which he translated his book, two transparent stones, resembling glass, set in silver bows. That by looking through these, he was able to read in English, the reformed Egyptian characters, which were engraven on the plates.”31 In the fall of 1830, Cowdery visited Union Village, Ohio, and spoke about the translation of the Book of Mormon. Soon thereafter, a village resident reported that the translation was accomplished by means of “two transparent stones in the form of spectacles thro which the translator looked on the engraving.”32

 

 If that's the method the church wants to back then why do they continue to represent in their most accessible literature and art, this method that has the least historical support?   Because it comes off as less kooky, that's why.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Signature 

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.
- Joseph Campbell

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2010-11-12

Rational Basis:
I've read before that after the 116 pages fiasco that Moroni took the plates and interpreters and never returned the interpreters. I couldn't find references to that effect. If that's true, it would affect the interpretation of the Cowdery account.

 

 Guess not. From Wikipedia (with reference):

-

 Nevertheless, the revelation assured Smith that if he was penitent, the interpreters would be returned to him during his annual visit withMoroni on September 22, 1828, and he would regain his ability to translate.[25]

 Signature 

Science has questions that may never be answered.
Religion has answers that may never be questioned.

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2010-11-12

Jeff Ricks:
Rational Basis:
Jeff Ricks:

Whether there's one method or more than one, there is no reliable evidence I'm aware of that the method the church has represented all these years ever happened, while there is evidence that other methods happened.  In other words they don't represent what their documentation best supports, they represent what their documention least supports because it comes off as the least bat shit crazy.

 

 

 Why reject the Cowdery references the lds.org essay cites? Do you have rebuttal references?

 

-

The principal scribe, Oliver Cowdery, testified under oath in 1831 that Joseph Smith “found with the plates, from which he translated his book, two transparent stones, resembling glass, set in silver bows. That by looking through these, he was able to read in English, the reformed Egyptian characters, which were engraven on the plates.”31 In the fall of 1830, Cowdery visited Union Village, Ohio, and spoke about the translation of the Book of Mormon. Soon thereafter, a village resident reported that the translation was accomplished by means of “two transparent stones in the form of spectacles thro which the translator looked on the engraving.”32

 

 If that's the method the church wants to back then why do they continue to represent in their most accessible literature and art, this method that has the least historical support?   Because it comes off as less kooky, that's why.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I see; it's the absence of the magic glasses you object to here. (Separate from wanting to see the stone-in-hat, covered plates version).

 

I agree the accounts I referenced do not describe the "concentrate really hard, no magic hardware needed" version. Though that's a valid interpretation of the D&C verses regarding Cowdery's attempt at translation. Is that Cowdery in the picture? Hair looks too dark for Joseph. 

 Signature 

Science has questions that may never be answered.
Religion has answers that may never be questioned.

 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2004-07-20

Rational Basis:
Jeff Ricks The issue for me is that the church leaders are lying about documentation they have in their possession.

 

At least as far back as 93, the church has published the stone-in-hat method. https://www.lds.org/ensign/1993/07/a-treasured-testament?lang=eng

 

You probably left before then.

 

And of course there is the fact they don't seem to have ever published a picture showing the stone-in-hat, plates covered in a table cloth.  

 

Yes, I'm aware that they published it. I've read through it more than once. However, they still represent the least supported method in their lesson manuals, missionary sales material, visitor centers, etc.  One publication does not adequately offset all the other ongoing misrepresentations they make in their other publications and literature. 

 

 

 

 Signature 

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.
- Joseph Campbell

 
Avatar
Member
RankRankRank
Joined  2012-06-26

Brad (ZeeZrom):
 Yes.  Just as I think there are still religious leaders in the U.S. who believe the earth is 6,000 years old despite the overwhelmingly conclusive evidence to the contrary.  We have lots of evidence that the human brain is exceptionally talented at rationalizing the irrational.  Why should I ignore all that evidence?  

 

Yeaaaaah, right. And those religious leaders have "donated" to museums to acquire the Homo erectus, Homo habilis, and Australopithecus afarensis fossils and then locked them away in their vaults, right?

 

Moreover, you're assuming those religious leaders believe such crappola. If we're going to throw out assumptions, my assumption is that many --if not most-- of them actually don't believe any such thing --but certainly want their congregations to think they believe it to keep the money coming in. Hmmm. Sound familiar?

  

If, as you postulate, despite all the evidence, Monson nonetheless sincerely, genuinely, honestly believes that Abraham wrote that wondertale... that the Nephites actually existed... that a stone-in-a-hat really works... it would mean that he isn't deceptive --just stupid.

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2010-11-12

Rational Basis:
Jeff Ricks:
Rational Basis:
Jeff Ricks:

Whether there's one method or more than one, there is no reliable evidence I'm aware of that the method the church has represented all these years ever happened, while there is evidence that other methods happened.  In other words they don't represent what their documentation best supports, they represent what their documention least supports because it comes off as the least bat shit crazy.

 

 

 Why reject the Cowdery references the lds.org essay cites? Do you have rebuttal references?

 

-

The principal scribe, Oliver Cowdery, testified under oath in 1831 that Joseph Smith “found with the plates, from which he translated his book, two transparent stones, resembling glass, set in silver bows. That by looking through these, he was able to read in English, the reformed Egyptian characters, which were engraven on the plates.”31 In the fall of 1830, Cowdery visited Union Village, Ohio, and spoke about the translation of the Book of Mormon. Soon thereafter, a village resident reported that the translation was accomplished by means of “two transparent stones in the form of spectacles thro which the translator looked on the engraving.”32

 

 If that's the method the church wants to back then why do they continue to represent in their most accessible literature and art, this method that has the least historical support?   Because it comes off as less kooky, that's why.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I see; it's the absence of the magic glasses you object to here. (Separate from wanting to see the stone-in-hat, covered plates version).

 

I agree the accounts I referenced do not describe the "concentrate really hard, no magic hardware needed" version. Though that's a valid interpretation of the D&C verses regarding Cowdery's attempt at translation. Is that Cowdery in the picture? Hair looks too dark for Joseph. 

 

 I found 9 distinct illustrations of the translation on lds.org. Here's the score:

Magic stone: 0

Magic glasses: 0

Just pore over the plates: 9

 

I think your complaint is valid. 

 

(Not legally actionable, though, I wouldn't think. It's like the great rendering in an ad with the fine print at the bottom. Fine print: "illustration less kooky than the actual descriptions found elsewhere on this site" :-)

 Signature 

Science has questions that may never be answered.
Religion has answers that may never be questioned.

 
3 of 5
3
     
 


Our next project
will be announced soon.

Tax exempt status.

Logged in: 0
Not logged in: 55
Logged in anonymous: 0
(Joined in last 24 hours)
 

Total members: 9736
Moroni: Intergallactic Troll
by Old Kinderhooker
Great Article About Cult Life
by ElectricLiahona
The Ever-changin' Gospel...
by Celestial Wedgie
Gender Equality
by Celestial Wedgie