Joseph Smith and the translation of the gold plates

Discussions surrounding the various other faiths who deviate from mainstream Christian doctrine such as LDS and the Jehovah's Witnesses.
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Gman
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#61

Post by Gman » Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:11 pm

Sargon wrote: I asked you for references. You did not give them. Either you forgot, or you intentionally did not provide them because deep down inside you aren't really that you know all that much about this story. From everything I have read, Joseph Smith never left an account of what happened.
By suggesting that someone else wrote the account you provided pretending to be Joseph Smith, I am not at all suggesting that it was an evil imposter. Actually, that was a common method used back then by supporters of the cause. If you are able to provide proof that Joseph Smith left that account, I will retract my doubt. I provided you with the closest thing written in Joseph's hand on the subject, a letter to his wife that doesn't even mention Zelph.
Because you did not provide the reference, I searched it out myself. It is the account presented in an old church history book:
No Sargon, read what I wrote before... I stated that the handwritten copy of the Zelph story by Joseph Smith does in fact contain the words "Hill Cumorah." Also the quote was from the "History of the Church" 2:79-80; June 3, 1834. This is from the Mormon archives..
Sargon wrote:Zelph was found in Illinois. If you doubt it, do some simple research. Im not making this stuff up. Go ahead, ask for references, I will give them. The account you quoted does mention the Hill Cumorah, but it does not say he was found in the Hill Cumorah. Pay attention to what you read.
And you should also pay attention to what you read... According to Joseph, Zelph was killed in battle by a Lamanite arrow found among his ribs during the last great struggle between the Lamanites and Nephites. (History of the Church, 2:79-80; June 3, 1834). Have you read in the BoM where the last great struggle of the Lamanites and Nephites occurred? According to the BoM it was on the hill Cumorah. Please read Mormon chapter 6, 1-22 about the last great Lamanite and Nephite battle..

But yes there also seems to be reference of Zelph being found in Illinois too.. Regardless if he was killed on the hill Cumorah or in Illinois it was still in N. America.. Sorry..
Sargon wrote:Because Zelph was found in N. America, is not evidence at all against the Meso-America theory.
No Sargon... It is against the Meso-America theory... He was killed in a battle by a Lamanite arrow found among his ribs during the last great struggle of the Lamanites and Nephites... Are you telling me that he died in Meso-America in the battle there and his ancestors traveled 1,800 miles away and buried his remains in Illinois??
Sargon wrote:In all the accounts of the Zelph story, it mentions his leader, the great prophet Onandagus. Well this "great" prophet is not mentioned at all in the Book of Mormon. Zelph was not a contemporary of the people in the Book of Mormon. He came long afterwards. They had plenty of time to migrate north, and in fact, the Book of Mormon mentions large groups of people migrating north never to be heard of again.
So he migrated north to N. America and was killed on the Hill Cumorah in New York then... Also do you realize that Onandaga is the name of a county in New York state as well as the name of a tribe of the Iroquois Confederacy that once occupied the area of NY?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iroquois_Confederacy
Sargon wrote:You completely failed to understand what I meant. "Those days" that I bolded above, are referring the days of Joseph Smith, not ancient days. Zelph could have never even heard the word Lamanite in his life, yet Joseph Smith would have still called him a Lamanite, being a descendant of them, or having some cultural or religious connection to them.
Also, the linguistics issue of Meso-America is not something we should attempt to dive into in this thread, but it will suffice to say that we know extremely little about ancient meso-america languages and dialects.
And you have completely failed to understand what I meant too... Because the word "Lamanite" exists only in one place in the entire world.. Only in the BoM..
Sargon wrote:I think that about sums up the Zelph non-issue.
Yes it's clear now.. He died in a huge battle to the eastern sea of the Rocky mountains in the United States of America.. The only problem is there is no archaeological evidence to prove it..
Sargon wrote:I am reading it. I am about half way through it. You would think that after reading halfway through a carbon copy you would be able recognize it for what it is...yet it simply is not. The Spalding story bares such little resemblance to the Book of Mormon, that the church at one time published the story just so people could see for themselves.
Again here are some more common elements in the two accounts..

Source: http://www.geocities.com/lds_research/s ... lding.html
Sargon wrote:However I will admit that for someone desperately trying to justify their rejection of the Lord's prophet, it often is used as the biggest straw they are grasping.
Sargon he was never the Lord's prophet... He fabricated the whole story to gain wealth and develop an ego..
Sargon wrote:I don't think much else needs to be said other than "So?". The "carbon copy" you claim bares such little resemblance that your story is really quite laughable.
Almost as laughable as the BoM... Correct.. And it came to pass.. Yea..
Sargon wrote:The Book of Mormon and the Spalding Story are both stories about ancient americans who had battles. The similarities stop there. When battles are fought, people die. When lots of peope die, they are buried. So what? Everyone knows that. Does that mean that Joseph Smith copied from Solomon Spalding?? Not anymore than he copied from Homer.
Sargon.. You haven't read the Spalding manuscript then.. Here is another source to help you see the parallels.. This is highly damaging to the BoM..

Source: http://solomonspalding.com/docs2/vernP1.htm
Sargon wrote:Gman, Joseph Smith did not copy from anything but the gold plates.
Fortigurn has already addressed these "so called" gold plates with you.. Please pay more attention to him on this matter..
Sargon wrote:So what if both Spalding and Smith mentioned timbers on their fortifications?? Does that mean they copied each other? Not at all! Spalding was a graduate of Dartmouth College. He certainly was smart enough to know that timbers could be used in a fort.
You might argue that Joseph took that little detail from Spalding, amongst thousands of others he didn't use, but could have, and copied it into the Book of Mormon. This would be an interesting claim, if it had any support. But, sadly enough, it doesn't have much support. The only way you can even claim that Joseph had access to the unpublished and undistributed manuscript, is by rewriting history and introducing an astounding number of "maybe" 's.
No Sargon.. These fortifications are practically in exact detail to one another.. There were large mounds of dirt built around the cities with logs on top them (protruding about the length of a human) to repel the intruders.. Both the Mormon and Spalding accounts are identical...
Sargon wrote:Wikipedia disagrees that the Book of Mormon is a "carbon copy" of the Spalding manuscript.
Sargon, everyone knows that Wikipedia is not a trustworthy source for information.. Anyone can write to it.. Even you..
Sargon wrote:I encourage you to return the book you bought, that way, maybe you can save the small sum you spent on it. It certainly is worth more than the material written in the book.
Oh I've only touched a small portion of the book.. Wait till I start quoting from the book..

Later...
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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#62

Post by Sargon » Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:09 pm

I dont know what to do about you Gman. I just don't know. You have got your facts so twisted and out or order, that I can't figure out a way to set you straight. The reason most of your attacks fail is because they are not attacking anything real. Your flawed understanding of LDS history and beliefs leads you to attack in all the wrong places.
For example, if I decided to begin criticizing Martin Luther, I would need to make sure I knew exactly what he did and taught before I started. I would not rely on his critics and opponents for information about what he did and taught. I would study his story, the one that comes from him and his people, and then I would turn to the ideas of his critics.
If you did this, you would be a much more effective critic. But as you stand now, you lack so much understanding about basic concepts like the Hill Cumorah and the Book of Mormon, that your attacks appear crazy to the informed LDS.
I have tried to correct you but it has been in vain.

After every post you promise that soon you will start showing the real stuff. Well your first round of attacks were on some very basic issues that you simply failed to understand. After seeing that I don't know how credible the rest of your "facts" are going to be.
Let me remind you, that if you get too in depth on the history and chronology of the whereabouts of Solomon Spalding and Sidney Rigdon I won't be able to continue. I was wary going into this debate because I have spent very little time studying it, and I wasn't sure what kind of material you would present. So far it has turned out to be mostly "fireworks" as you put it. A fantastic display of hand-picked tidbits that have no connection, but are woven together as if they are the perfect death-blow.
If you really want an in depth debate on every aspect of the Spalding Theory I suggest you find someone else. I am no expert on this subject.
Sargon, everyone knows that Wikipedia is not a trustworthy source for information.. Anyone can write to it.. Even you..
I already knew you were going to do this... Discredit the evidence.. That is all you can do and have been doing the entire time... How can anyone prove their point then? This what most Mormons do when faced with the facts.. Oh well, you see that evidence is not good or stable or we have already disproven that.. Holy cow Sargon... Face the music..
Sargon
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#63

Post by Gman » Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:42 pm

Sargon wrote:I dont know what to do about you Gman. I just don't know.
The question isn't what I'm going to do Sargon... It's what are YOU going to do??
Sargon wrote:You have got your facts so twisted and out or order, that I can't figure out a way to set you straight. The reason most of your attacks fail is because they are not attacking anything real. Your flawed understanding of LDS history and beliefs leads you to attack in all the wrong places.
I don't know what you are talking about.. I have presented you with evidence to which you have no answer for.. For example...

1. I have shown you some of the parallels between the BoM and the Spalding account showing you how the mound accounts are practically identical in every form and situation to one another.

And what was your response? "So? What do you think happens in a war?" Sargon, If you truly want to debate this I suggest you bring in some bigger guns.. At this point you have shown nothing against these parallels and have contradicted yourself in many places..

2. I have shown you that Joseph in the BoM thought that these Indian mounds were proof of a large ancient civilization that once lived in northern America.

Your response was "The Book of Mormon makes no mention of mounds, no mention of mound builders, or anything of the like." To which I countered please read in the BoM Alma 16:11, Alma 50:1-6, Alma 53:3-7 where it talks about mound building for forts and for burying the dead. You were absolutely wrong here...

3. I then showed you quotes from Spalding, Rigdon, Charles B. Thompson, Mormon archaeologists, early Mormon elders, and late Joseph Smith himself who confirmed that these mounds related to a large ancient civilization that once lived in Northern America..

You now have countered "You have got your facts so twisted and out or order." In other words Sargon, you have no come back to these quotes by these people...

4. To confirm the mound theory, I then tried to show you how the Zelph story (by Joseph Smith) talked a white lamanite who was killed in battle by the arrow found among his ribs, during the last great struggle of the Lamanites and Nephites. His skeleton was found on top of a mound where the battle occurred. Joseph and his company of brethren only had to dig a foot deep to find the bones.. This shows us again that Joseph Smith thought that the mounds in America were used for mass burials just like the Spalding account..

Your repsonse, "Zelph's bones were not found on the Hill Cumorah. Zelph's bones were found in a hill in Illinois, while the location of the Hill Cumorah is presently unknown" to what I replied, "regardless if he was killed on the hill Cumorah or in Illinois it was still in N. America." Why? Because after this great battle (if it was in meso-america) his ancestors would not have traveled 1,800 miles away to bury his remains in Illinois...

5. Fortigurn from the very beginning has shown you that these gold plates are irrelevant and that none of the eye witnesses saw a process of translating the BoM.

Your counter is that there were several eye witness accounts which all describe a miraculous event taking place. Fortigurn countered that what they describe is Joseph Smith translating and/or receiving the translation for the Book of Mormon. However none of them describe a process of translation by Smith. All of them describe a process of revelation by which Smith received a translation from God, which makes the plates a total fabrication...

So where did the story of the BoM come from?? The evidence is very clear. One of them is definitely the Spalding manuscript called Manuscript Found!!
Sargon wrote:For example, if I decided to begin criticizing Martin Luther, I would need to make sure I knew exactly what he did and taught before I started. I would not rely on his critics and opponents for information about what he did and taught. I would study his story, the one that comes from him and his people, and then I would turn to the ideas of his critics.
If you did this, you would be a much more effective critic. But as you stand now, you lack so much understanding about basic concepts like the Hill Cumorah and the Book of Mormon, that your attacks appear crazy to the informed LDS.
I have tried to correct you but it has been in vain.
Sargon, you have yet to counter the evidence shown... The evidence is clear. I will leave it to the rest of the forum to judge for themselves..
Sargon wrote:After every post you promise that soon you will start showing the real stuff. Well your first round of attacks were on some very basic issues that you simply failed to understand. After seeing that I don't know how credible the rest of your "facts" are going to be.
Let me remind you, that if you get too in depth on the history and chronology of the whereabouts of Solomon Spalding and Sidney Rigdon I won't be able to continue. I was wary going into this debate because I have spent very little time studying it, and I wasn't sure what kind of material you would present. So far it has turned out to be mostly "fireworks" as you put it. A fantastic display of hand-picked tidbits that have no connection, but are woven together as if they are the perfect death-blow.
If you really want an in depth debate on every aspect of the Spalding Theory I suggest you find someone else. I am no expert on this subject.
It doesn't matter now if you don't want to debate every aspect of the Spalding Theory. I'm going to expose it anyway so that people will learn the truth... Your denial is fueling my reasonings..
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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#64

Post by Sargon » Fri Mar 23, 2007 7:08 am

Gman,
I lament your loss. You have been taken in by the false arguments of the authors of your book. They cast the bait, and you swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. They have woven an impressive tapestry of so called "evidence", when in fact the materials are all completely unrelated and do not tell the story they are forcing it to.
I don't know what you are talking about..
I know. I sincerely know.
Sargon, you have yet to counter the evidence shown... The evidence is clear. I will leave it to the rest of the forum to judge for themselves..
There is no evidence. It is a completely fabricated case. The "evidence" does not suggest what you are forcing it to.

Reading the Spalding Mansucript is evidence enough that Joseph Smith did not copy from it. The two stories do have some things in common, but the amount of differences so enormously outweighs the similarities, that to focus on the similarities is proof of desperation. A simple reading of the text reveals that they have so little in common other than a few unimpressive details.

Your list of things you have "proven" is all rubbish. I have explained why they are wrong, why your logic fails, and have exposed them as erroneous conclusions. I don't need to repeat myself.
I know you get excited when Fortigurn jumps in. "Oh boy, a partner in crime!!". Fortigurn is an intelligent fellow, but whatever conclusion you personally draw from my conversations with him frankly have nothing to do with our current discussion, and are being inappropriately drug into this debate. I'm sure he feels glad that you consider him an authority, but it does not strengthen your position.

I warn all who are tempted to read Gman's "evidence" against the Book of Mormon to do so with caution. Don't simply read what he posts and nod your head in agreement. You can find a copy of the Spalding Manuscript online, as well as the Book of Mormon. Read them both, and see for yourself that his arguments are rediculous.

It doesn't matter now if you don't want to debate every aspect of the Spalding Theory. I'm going to expose it anyway so that people will learn the truth... Your denial is fueling my reasonings..
Ah yes...a very dramatic and inspiring conclusion...leaving your readers in suspense as usual...

If you feel you must, go ahead. But it will not stop those who are smart enough to double check the research from recognizing it's folly. The work of the Lord will go on, unhindered by Gman.


Sargon
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from a teacher's perspective

#65

Post by zoegirl » Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:31 am

I will first say that I have limited knowledge on the subject.

However, after reading the two manuscripts, I can say that from a teachers's point of view, I would have immediatlytey pulled these two articles out from the pile to examine because of their similarities.

Simply because they are not carbon copies does not negate the fact that there are tremendous coincidences. If I received two papers such as these I would be doing some immediate searching on the web for the source of these two documents (or assume that one was inspired by the other). Plagiarism does not require that they be carbon copies...(as many students already can attest to, copying and pasting lines and ideas can lead to a supposedly original document)

Anyway, they look awfully close to me

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#66

Post by Sargon » Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:08 pm

While I do not doubt your honesty and integrity zoegirl, I wonder if you read the right manuscripts. The few similarities in the books are interesting, but become quite insignificant when compared to the massive amount of disimilarities. Most people who have taken this challenge have concluded likewise, thus the theory has never been very successful, and is rejected by even the most influential critics of the Book of Mormon.

Sargon
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manuscritps

#67

Post by zoegirl » Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:34 pm

As I staed before,

Merely reading the two manuscripts that were presented here.

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#68

Post by Fortigurn » Fri Mar 23, 2007 7:46 pm

Fortigurn wrote:Look at this from Spalding:
Near the west Bank of the Coneaught River there are the remains of an ancient fort. As I was walking and forming various conjectures respecting the character situation and numbers of those people who far exceeded the present race of Indians in works of art & inginuety I hapned to tread on a flat Stone. This was at a small distance from the fort: & it lay on the top of a small mound of Earth exactly horizontal -- The face of it had a singular appearance I discovered a number of characters which appeared to me to be letters -- but so much effaced by the ravages of time, that I could not read the inscription. With the assistance of a leaver I raised the Stone -- But you may easily conjecture my astonishment when I discovered that its ends and sides rested on Stones & that it was designed as a cover to an artificial cave. -- I found on examining that its Sides were lined with * * * built in a connical form with * * * down -- & that it was about eight feet deep . . . . Here I noticed a big flat Stone fixed in the form of a doar. I immediately tore it down & Lo a cavity within the wall presented itself . . . . Within this cavity I found an earthan Box with a cover which shut it perfectly tite -- The Box was two feet in length one & half in breadth & one and three inches in diameter. . . . When I had removed the cover I found that it contained twenty eight sheets of parchment . . . appeared to be manuscripts written in an eligant hand with Roman Letters & in the Latin Language. They were written on a variety of Subjects. But the Roll which principally attracted my attention contained a history of the authors life & that part of America which extends along the great Lakes & the waters of the Missisippy. (Spalding 1910, 1-2)
This from Smith:
Convenient to the village of Manchester, Ontario county, New York, stands a hill of considerable size, and the most elevated of any in the neighborhood. On the west side of this hill, not far from the top, under a stone of considerable size, lay the plates, deposited in a stone box. This stone was thick and rounding in the middle on the upper side, and thinner towards the edges, so that the middle part of it was visible above the ground, but the edge all around was covered with earth. Having removed the earth, I obtained a lever, which I got fixed under the edge of the stone, and with a little exertion raised it up. I looked in, and there indeed did I behold the plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate, as stated by the messenger. The box in which they lay was formed by laying stones together in some kind of cement. In the bottom of the box were laid two stones crossways of the box, and on these stones lay the plates and the other things with them. (JS-H 1:51-52)
What reason can you give for these two stories being essentially the same?
Bump.

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#69

Post by Fortigurn » Fri Mar 23, 2007 7:49 pm

Fortigurn wrote:
Sargon wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:Sargon, does this sound familiar?
My brother told me that a young man told him that he had a wonderful dream.

He dreamed that he himself (if I recollect right) opened a great mound, where there were human bones.

There he found a written history that would answer the inquiry respecting the civilized people that once inhabited that country until they were destroyed by the savages.
Bump.
Yes, it was written by Spalding's brother Charles. He means it as his recollection of what gave Solomon the idea for his book. No mention of Joseph Smith is made, nor does the "dream" match the Joseph Smith story.
Of course no mention of Joseph Smith is made. That's not the point. The point is that Smith gave the same story:

* He had a vision
* He went to a mound
* He found a written history
* The written history was of the people who had previously inhabited the Americas
* This people were eventually destroyed by the savages

What are the chances of these stories being utterly independent? Not very likely.
Bump.

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#70

Post by Gman » Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:51 pm

Sargon wrote:Gman,
I lament your loss. You have been taken in by the false arguments of the authors of your book. They cast the bait, and you swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. They have woven an impressive tapestry of so called "evidence", when in fact the materials are all completely unrelated and do not tell the story they are forcing it to.
I lament at your loss too.. Because you have already agreed with me that Zelph was killed in battle during the last great struggle between the Lamanites and Nephites in N. America, in the state of Illinois..

You have already stated the following "Zelph was found in Illinois. If you doubt it, do some simple research. Im not making this stuff up." Remember this quote Sargon?

I'm really not sure whose side you are on sometimes..
Sargon wrote:There is no evidence. It is a completely fabricated case. The "evidence" does not suggest what you are forcing it to.
The evidence stands with Rigdon, Charles B. Thompson, Mormon archaeologists, early Mormon elders, Joseph Smith's, and the Book of Mormon.. Your peers...
Sargon wrote:Reading the Spalding Mansucript is evidence enough that Joseph Smith did not copy from it. The two stories do have some things in common, but the amount of differences so enormously outweighs the similarities, that to focus on the similarities is proof of desperation. A simple reading of the text reveals that they have so little in common other than a few unimpressive details.
Then it looks like you haven't read it yet.. Please review the parallels again..

http://solomonspalding.com/docs2/vernP1.htm

or

http://www.mormonstudies.com/author3.htm
Sargon wrote:Your list of things you have "proven" is all rubbish. I have explained why they are wrong, why your logic fails, and have exposed them as erroneous conclusions. I don't need to repeat myself.
Sargon, it's ok.. I know you can't reply to it..
Sargon wrote:I know you get excited when Fortigurn jumps in. "Oh boy, a partner in crime!!". Fortigurn is an intelligent fellow, but whatever conclusion you personally draw from my conversations with him frankly have nothing to do with our current discussion, and are being inappropriately drug into this debate. I'm sure he feels glad that you consider him an authority, but it does not strengthen your position.
Fortigurn is an authority on this now because you do NOT have a rebuttal for him either... You put him there yourself Sargon..
Sargon wrote:I warn all who are tempted to read Gman's "evidence" against the Book of Mormon to do so with caution. Don't simply read what he posts and nod your head in agreement. You can find a copy of the Spalding Manuscript online, as well as the Book of Mormon. Read them both, and see for yourself that his arguments are rediculous.
All the evidence is there... I rest my case... Yes please read them both...
Sargon wrote:Ah yes...a very dramatic and inspiring conclusion...leaving your readers in suspense as usual...

If you feel you must, go ahead. But it will not stop those who are smart enough to double check the research from recognizing it's folly. The work of the Lord will go on, unhindered by Gman.
I have no clue who your Lord is Sargon... My prayers is that you find Christ in your life someday.. :wink:

God bless..
Last edited by Gman on Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: from a teacher's perspective

#71

Post by Gman » Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:03 pm

zoegirl wrote:I will first say that I have limited knowledge on the subject.

However, after reading the two manuscripts, I can say that from a teachers's point of view, I would have immediatlytey pulled these two articles out from the pile to examine because of their similarities.

Simply because they are not carbon copies does not negate the fact that there are tremendous coincidences. If I received two papers such as these I would be doing some immediate searching on the web for the source of these two documents (or assume that one was inspired by the other). Plagiarism does not require that they be carbon copies...(as many students already can attest to, copying and pasting lines and ideas can lead to a supposedly original document)

Anyway, they look awfully close to me
Greetings zoegirl... And thanks for your insight... Sometimes it takes a teacher to set us straight. :wink:
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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#72

Post by Sargon » Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:48 am

Gman,

I cannot standby while you distribute false information regarding the history and character of Joseph Smith. You have resorted to the most common of all anti-mormon methods....false "facts" and then creating implications from them.
I mean this specifically in respect to the Zelph story. As I have often repeated, I am no expert on the Spalding Manuscript theory, but I feel confident in my knowledge of the Zelph story, and you are twisting the truth and telling outright lies. Perhaps you do this ignorance, and if this is the case, I encourage you to make sure you are being fair in your research of these subjects.
Before launching into my rebuttal of you claims about the Zelph incident, let me mention one interesting fact, that you will surely dismiss. Recently, in fact yesterday, a DVD was distributed to thousands of homes all across Utah and other parts of the counry. This DVD was put together by an elite group of anti-mormons, and is meant to "expose" the truth about mormonism. They cover a wide range of topics, and present their case for Joseph Smith being a man of bad character and a charlatan.
Here is the link:
http://goodnewsforlds.org/
And here is a rebuttal:
http://www.fairwiki.org/index.php/Searc ... _Truth_DVD
The authors of the DVD come from very respected backgrounds in counter-cult ministries, and include some of the most respected and most read anti-mormon authors, including Sandra Tanner. Interestingly enough, they did not think the Spalding theory was worthy of their DVD. It doesn't make it into the DVD. This is proof enough that this fringe theory is not well accepted by even critics of the church.

Now onto the Zelph story.
nd now more damaging evidence is coming in... This one comes from Joseph Smith himself in June 3, 1834...

The Bones of Zelph, The White Lamanite, and Book of Mormon Lands

"The finding of the bones of Zelph, a "white Lamanite," by Joseph Smith in 1834 and the revelation he received about Zelph also speaks to the location of Book of Mormon lands.

On the top of the mound were stones which presented the appearance of three altars having been erected one above the other, according to the ancient order; and the remains of bones were strewn over the surface of the ground. The brethren procured a shovel and a hoe, and removing the earth to the depth of about one foot, discovered the skeleton of a man, almost entire, and between his ribs the stone point of a Lamanitish arrow, which evidently produced his death. Elder Burr Riggs retained the arrow. The contemplation of the scenery around us produced peculiar sensations in our bosoms: and subsequently the visions of the past being opened to my [Joseph Smith's] understanding by the Spirit of the Almighty, I discovered that the person whose skeleton was before us was a white Lamanite, a large, thick-set man, and a man of God. His name was Zelph. He was a warrior and chieftain under the great prophet Onandagus, who was known from the Hill Cumorah, or eastern sea to the Rocky mountains. The curse was taken from Zelph, or, at least, in part - one of his thigh bones was broken by a stone flung from a sling, while in battle, years before his death. He was killed in battle by the arrow found among his ribs, during the last great struggle of the Lamanites and Nephites. (History of the Church, 2:79-80; June 3, 1834)."
I even took pains to re-bold the parts you bolded. You consistently claim that Joseph himself said this. You have claimed that they are his words.
his one comes from Joseph Smith himself in June 3, 1834...
Joseph Smith claims in his own words that this warrior chief was buried on the Hill Cumorah in the eastern sea to the Rocky mountains.
The handwritten copy of the Zelph story by Joseph Smith does in fact contain the words "Hill Cumorah."
A composition by someone else pretending to be Joseph??? Sargon, is this how they train their missionaries? Just deny the facts flat out? Are you just going to say that it is not a real saying by Joseph? Well deny everything then...
It tried to show you why you are wrong. Either you ignored it because it was easier, or you didn't read what I wrote. Joseph Smith DID NOT write the account you have posted. He left no handwritten account of the events in question. I already showed you closest thing to it, which was a letter to his wife which doesn't mention any of the important details.

Kenneth W. Godfrey, an LDS historian, wrote the following concerning this exact topic.
In 1842 Willard Richards, then church historian, was assigned the task of compiling a large number of documents and producing a history of the church from them. He worked on this material between 21 December 1842 and 27 March 1843. Richards, who had not joined the church until 1836, relied on the writings or recollections of Heber C. Kimball, Wilford Woodruff, and perhaps others for his information regarding the discovery of Zelph. Blending the sources available to him, and perhaps using oral accounts from some of the members of Zion's Camp, but writing as if he were Joseph Smith, historian Richards drafted the story of Zelph as it appears in the "Manuscript History of the Church, Book A-1."

http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table= ... V3LnBocA==
Do you see the part I put in bold? Joseph Smith did not write that account. It was a compilation from a bunch of differing accounts by other men. It was written as if Joseph Smith himself were writing it, though he was not.

I will consider the impact that this event has on Book of Mormon geography only after you either admit to not knowing quite as much as you thought, or discover a way to show me I am wrong about this.

Sargon
Let us not confuse what science reveals, with what we interpret science to reveal, and what we want science to reveal.

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#73

Post by Gman » Mon Mar 26, 2007 7:52 pm

Sargon wrote:I cannot standby while you distribute false information regarding the history and character of Joseph Smith. You have resorted to the most common of all anti-mormon methods....false "facts" and then creating implications from them.
I mean this specifically in respect to the Zelph story. As I have often repeated, I am no expert on the Spalding Manuscript theory, but I feel confident in my knowledge of the Zelph story, and you are twisting the truth and telling outright lies. Perhaps you do this ignorance, and if this is the case, I encourage you to make sure you are being fair in your research of these subjects.
Before launching into my rebuttal of you claims about the Zelph incident, let me mention one interesting fact, that you will surely dismiss. Recently, in fact yesterday, a DVD was distributed to thousands of homes all across Utah and other parts of the counry. This DVD was put together by an elite group of anti-mormons, and is meant to "expose" the truth about mormonism. They cover a wide range of topics, and present their case for Joseph Smith being a man of bad character and a charlatan.
Here is the link:
http://goodnewsforlds.org/
And here is a rebuttal:
http://www.fairwiki.org/index.php/Searc ... _Truth_DVD
The authors of the DVD come from very respected backgrounds in counter-cult ministries, and include some of the most respected and most read anti-mormon authors, including Sandra Tanner. Interestingly enough, they did not think the Spalding theory was worthy of their DVD. It doesn't make it into the DVD. This is proof enough that this fringe theory is not well accepted by even critics of the church.
Well you are going to hear more about Spalding's book very soon.. I'm going to open a different post on it so it will get more exposure..
Sargon wrote:I even took pains to re-bold the parts you bolded. You consistently claim that Joseph himself said this. You have claimed that they are his words.

It tried to show you why you are wrong. Either you ignored it because it was easier, or you didn't read what I wrote. Joseph Smith DID NOT write the account you have posted. He left no handwritten account of the events in question. I already showed you closest thing to it, which was a letter to his wife which doesn't mention any of the important details.
Sargon... You are wrong once again... Smith was there and wrote what he saw... Smith believed he and his men were standing on the plains and mounds of the Nephites, that they had picked up the skulls and bones of the Nephites, and that these things were evidences for the BoM.

"This conforms with E. D. Howe's 1834 report published within months of the return of Smith and his men to Kirtland, Ohio: "Smith ... prophesying or declaring that they were the remains of a celebrated General among the Nephites, mentioning his name and the battle in which he was slain, some 1500 years ago."

Also....

"Levi Hancock, baptized by Parley P. Pratt and an ordained elder by the Mormon church, also remembered Smith saying: "...this land was called the land of desolation and Onendagus was the king and a good man was he, there in that mound did he bury his dead ... the last man buried was Zelph, he was a white Lamanite who fought with the people of Onendagus for freedom." Levi Hancock, Diary, photocopy in LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City.

"Hancock states that he did not go onto the mound and was not present when the skeleton was found, but he was apparently present in the camp when Smith and the others returned with the bones, at which time Smith apparently made his remarks about Zelph. Hancock's statement "as near as I could learn" does not imply that he had not heard Smith's words, but rather pertains to what Smith had said that precipitated the visit to the mound. Moreover, Hancock's includes details absent from other sources, such as Smith addressing Sylvester Smith, which not only points to firsthand information but lends reliability and credibility to his account."
Sargon wrote:Kenneth W. Godfrey, an LDS historian, wrote the following concerning this exact topic.
This is what we call a total fabrication by Godfrey...
Sargon wrote:Do you see the part I put in bold? Joseph Smith did not write that account. It was a compilation from a bunch of differing accounts by other men. It was written as if Joseph Smith himself were writing it, though he was not.
Again the evidence shows otherwise..
Sargon wrote:I will consider the impact that this event has on Book of Mormon geography only after you either admit to not knowing quite as much as you thought, or discover a way to show me I am wrong about this.
I just did... :wink:
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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#74

Post by Fortigurn » Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:04 pm

Sargon, with regard to the Zelph issue, none of the Mormon sources involved are going to come out looking good.

On one hand we have E. D. Howe and Levi Hancock who both say that Smith was there, and report Smith's own words.

On the other hand, we have Kenneth W. Godfrey claiming that Willard Richards fabricated an account of the Zelph find, forging a document which purported to be Smith's own personal account, from his own hand.

Now either Howe and Hancock lied, or Godfrey lied. If Godfrey told the truth, then both Howe and Hancock lied. But if Godfrey told the truth, then Willard Richards also lied, and this means that the 'Manuscript History of the Church' contains known forgeries.

It cannot be avoided that at least one of them lied (Godfrey), or at worst three of them lied (Howe, Hancock, and Richards). But the real question is why any of them would lie.

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#75

Post by Fortigurn » Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:33 pm

Sargon wrote:Before launching into my rebuttal of you claims about the Zelph incident, let me mention one interesting fact, that you will surely dismiss. Recently, in fact yesterday, a DVD was distributed to thousands of homes all across Utah and other parts of the counry. This DVD was put together by an elite group of anti-mormons, and is meant to "expose" the truth about mormonism. They cover a wide range of topics, and present their case for Joseph Smith being a man of bad character and a charlatan.
Here is the link:
http://goodnewsforlds.org/
And here is a rebuttal:
http://www.fairwiki.org/index.php/Searc ... _Truth_DVD
I haven't seen the video, but I have read quite a bit of the FAIR response. I have to say that the FAIR response is potentially more damaging than the video. It hardly deals with the strongest points at all, and frequently quotes the video and then argues against something the video didn't say.

The weakest parts of the FAIR article are:

* Archaeology: Mormon apologists want to say 'We don't know where the events of the Book of Mormon took place', which contradicts the fact that they looked for evidence of these events in North American for around 100 years, then gave up and started looking in Meso-America, claiming in both cases that this was the right place to look

* DNA: This article was very brief, basically an appeal to authority, didn't scratch the surface of the science, typical Internet Mormon interpretation of 'Lamanite'

* The Translator: A very weak article which uccessfully contradicts almost every Mormon apologetic I've ever read on the translation process, and only compounds the problem

* Prophecies and Revelations: They really bombed on this one, the entire article attempted to defend Smith from accusations of being a false prophet, but failed to provide any instances of accurate prophecies (the effort to shore up DC 114:1 is hardly convincing)

* Book of Abraham: The usual arguments (why don't they understand that Egyptians writing in Hebrew isn't the same as Jews writing in Egyptian?), expressed extremely weakly in this case ('we know that ancient Israelites sometimes used Egyptian symbols to convey religious teachings', but no evidence is supplied for this vague statement, whatever it is supposed to mean), lots of quoting non-expect LDS scholars to support its claims

It's not looking good. Most of the articles are potted versions of old arguments already online, to which they link.
The authors of the DVD come from very respected backgrounds in counter-cult ministries, and include some of the most respected and most read anti-mormon authors, including Sandra Tanner. Interestingly enough, they did not think the Spalding theory was worthy of their DVD. It doesn't make it into the DVD. This is proof enough that this fringe theory is not well accepted by even critics of the church.
It's not proof that this is a 'fringe theory' (which it certainly isn't), nor does it prove that they didn't think it worthy of their DVD. Clearly they were operating to time constraints, and chose to prioritise.

In fact they make most of their case against the Book of Mormon on the same basis I do - that there is simply no evidence that it was translated from the golden plates. Once that has been said, it really doesn't matter which hypothesis you choose for the real origin of the text of the Book of Mormon, the fact is that it cannot be the one claimed by the LDS church.

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