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Ch. 9: Book of Mormon Problems 
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 Ch. 9: Book of Mormon Problems
Ch. 9: Book of Mormon Problems



Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:07 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 9: Book of Mormon Problems
Good gracious Aunt Mary! How is it possible that we almost elected a president who believes this stuff? And why was there no national discussion during the election about what utter balderdash Mormons believe, and whether a man who professes to believe this should seriously be considered for leadership of the largest military force on earth? I saw an interview of Bill O'Reilly recently as he was promoting his new book Killing Jesus, and the interviewer expressed incredulity when Bill confessed/bragged that God had told him to write the book. Where was the media incredulity in the last election? Where was "The Voter's Guide to Mormonism"?
I checked on Amazon for critiques of Mormonism and couldn't find anything from the major intellectual players--all the critiques seemed to be written by evangelical Christians or ex-Mormons. I suppose writers of Richard Dawkin's ilk are waging the larger battle of rational science against irrational religion, and the Mormons are just a footnote in that argument. But I think it's pretty significant that we almost had a president who was willing to kowtow to a religious doctrine so blatantly based on fraud. I'm frankly stunned that so many Christians supported a man whose religious beliefs make such a mockery of faith.
PS--this was a lot more interesting a chapter than that one about Battlestar Gallactica and Bella and Edward...



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Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:26 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 9: Book of Mormon Problems
Quote:
Ever since the first edition, Church editors have continued to make substantial alterations to their scriptures for over 180 years. In their book Changes in Joseph Smith's History, famed LDS critics Jerald and Sandra Tanners remark that the Church added or deleted over 62,000 words that Smith himself had written.
Page 201

This reminds me of Bart Ehrman's book Misquoting Jesus The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why in which he states there have been as many changes to the New Testament as there are words in the New Testament. However the Bible has been around about 10 times as long as (Joseph's translation of) The Book of Mormon, so perhaps that is understandable. :?



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Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:48 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 9: Book of Mormon Problems
The amount of plagiarism described in this chapter is appalling. Here's a summary of sources...

- 25K words from the OT Bible including one-third of the entire book of Isaiah.
- 2K words from NT Bible.
- Several references to Shakespeare.
- Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews.
- Josiah Priests's The Wonders of Nature and Providence.
- Unpublished book Manuscript Found by Solomon Spalding.
- E.T.A. Hofmann's The Golden Pot.
- Six books by John Bunyan including The Pilgrim's Progress. Quote by William Davis on page 216 "Indeed, reading the Book of Mormon is tantamount to reading John Bunyan's many works condensed into a single volume."

The research on Smith's plagiarism continues to this day. In poking around randomly on links Fitzgerald recommended, I ran across the following which documents Smith's extended plagiarism from two other books.
http://www.postmormon.org/exp_e/index.p ... ries/#2002

As Fitzgerald concludes the chapter:
Quote:
We may never be able to parse out all the various sources that went into the mix that comprises the Book of Mormon, but one thing is very clear: many of the plot points, themes and motifs found in the BOM were shared by plenty of other writers and would-be writers of his time. There was no shortage of materials for Joseph to either draw on, or plagiarise from...
p. 216



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Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:58 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 9: Book of Mormon Problems
I must insert a quick mea culpa here. :( I have been remiss in my role as discussion leader, but it was not intentional. I finished the book some time ago, but got sidetracked with other projects. I will try and make up for this by finishing my personal views on the remaining chapters.

The first question I have is probably the most common one: why was the Book of Mormon written in (or translated into) King James English? I know the 'official' position of the LDS church, but have my own thought. At this time (early 19th century), if you were Anglican, Puritan, or other Protestant denomination, you probably read the King James Version of the Bible. While Smith was a cunning con man, he was no genius. To me, one of the curiosities of modern Christianity, is the apparent belief that God cannot understand us if we speak in normal modern English; thus we srinkle our prayers with these, thous, thine, hast, wouldst, etc. etc.

Another issue is of course, the Lamanites (Native Americans). According to the BOM they started out white, then sinned, etc. and became a "dark and loathsome" people; but if they reepened of their sin, they woud become "white and delightsome" again. So... why don't modern Native Americans who embrace Christianity (or Mormonism) turn white?????

Finally, we have this conundrum. If the Book of Mormon was the perfect and final word of God, why was it necessary for continuing 'revelations' and additional books? The LDS church recognized four sacred texts; the Bible, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. Why were the latter two volumes necessary?


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Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:06 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 9: Book of Mormon Problems
If it made sense it wouldn't be Mormonism :D

Yay, for the Lordeth delights in those that question not.

Only Satan criticiseth our doctrine.

Yay, though we be mad as mad jack macmad, we shall ostracise any who dare to question us, for we are the Lords chosen loonies.

For the Lord delighteth in sick puppies.

And we have sacrificed our humanity for a bucket of evil masquerading as a religion, because we failed to find a mind of our own.



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Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:16 am
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Post Re: Ch. 9: Book of Mormon Problems
The principle here must be this: the more divorced from ordinary reality and reason you make your doctrines and scriptures, the more you have a shot at guaranteeing that your religion will stand strong and apart on its own, and represent for its adherents what is not available from any other source. You then have a brand with the strongest identity possible. Think of the various Protestant sects, and even throw Catholicism in with them. What really separates these from each other? Not much, these days. So what's the real meaning of being one or the other? Mormons avoid this confusion of similarities.

But it's a gamble, staking out this territory on the lunatic fringe. The survival rate will not be as high as for more tempered religious brands. For the few that do survive, the success might be more spectacular.



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