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Monday, September 3, 2007

Gideon in the Book of Mormon

I would like to go back to the subject regarding the veracity of the Book of Mormon. I would like to bring up authorship of the Book of Mormon. One of the criticisms of the Book of Mormon is that many of the names and stories that are found in the Book of Mormon came from various sources that can be found in publications and stories that predate the Book of Mormon.

Vernal Holey's Book "Book of Mormon Authorship" points out many of these specific criticisms. I would encourage anyone interested to see what some of these criticisms entail.

Vernal points out that the story of Gideon in the Book of Mormon is very similar to a Indian chief also named Gideon.

According to the Book History, Manners, and Customs of the Indian Nations, the last Delaware Indian chief, who was originally named Tadeuskund, converted to Christianity and was baptized and christened with the name Gideon in March 1750. According to the book published in 1876, Gideon was a counselor in his nation and was often referred to as the "King of the Delawares". His greatest weakness was his "fondness for strong drinks, the temptation of which he could not easily resist, and would sometimes drink to excess". His weakness in this department is what led to his death. His enemies brought him alcohol to make him extremely drunk, then burned his house down with him still in it.

Although this book was published after the Book of Mormon, it refers to a historical character from the mid 1700's from Delaware. For those familiar with the story of Gideon in the Book of Mormon, one can find similarities and parallels between the 2 stories. The parallels are so strong, that it is worth further study upon the subject.

What is interesting is that many of the things that happen to Gideon the Indian chief happen to the enemies of Gideon, like tempting them with strong drink and his enemy King Noah suffering death by fire. Mosiah 19, 22

The main question is if Joseph Smith had actually heard the story of Gideon before publication of the Book of Mormon. According to the book history, manners, many legends regarding Gideon were fabricated among the whites. It is very reasonable that a loose version of Gideon the last Delaware Indian chief was common among upstate, NY folklore by the early 1800's.

Even with that, I am not 100% convinced. The only thing missing is evidence to suggest a direct connection demonstrating that Joseph Smith had actually heard this story before publishing the Book of Mormon. However, I would say I am 90% convinced after reading both the Book of Mormon and History, Manners... the parallels are so striking that it would be quite a coincidence if 2 historical figures named Gideon of 2,000 years apart had similar events surrounding them.

What it comes down to for me is what is more reasonable. It seems more reasonable that Joseph Smith simply used a loosely based story as part of the source for the Book of Mormon.

Disillusioned Mormon

44 comments:

tatabug said...

If a "parallel" is opposite, it isn't a parallel. Gideon and Tadeuskund seem to be an example of an opposite since the two events you speak of which happened to Tedeuskund, didn't happen to Gideon, but to his enemies. These events are not unique either, so the chance that it is coincidence is great. However, drawing parallels is not a difficult thing to do. You can certainly draw parallels within the Bible itself and probably with the Book of Mormon too, or even between the two. You could probably take the Book of Mormon and another book (fiction or non) of similar size and find parallels between those two as well. You've even said yourself, Zelph, that you could take Book of Mormon geography and find parallels with other locations inside and outside of the Americas besides Mesoamerica. It's been done with the New England area where Joseph was from and you've said it can be done in Africa as well. The point is, if you are intentionally looking for parallels in anything, they can be found, and it isn't all that difficult to do. Most of it all comes down to pure coincidence and I would rather not risk putting faith in that.

Bishop Rick said...

I googled Gideon and found nothing relating to this story. Then I googled Tedeuskund and was able to find info on the Delaware Indian Chief, but really not much at all. Enough to verify Zelph's account, but not enough to make me think his story was common knowledge.

I think the events of Tedeuskund's life do parallel Gideon's to some extent. They are not exact parallels, but I don't think that is what Zelph was saying.

That said, compelling as the Gideon comparison is, I have to agree with Tata that this one (though possible) is a bit of a stretch.

Interesting nonetheless.

Zelph said...

Interesting responses. When I read this story, I was taken back at the similarities surrounding the historical event. What made me think it was very possible was in the publication, it said that the story behind Gideon the Indian chief had been pretty widespread, even among whites during this time period. I don't know if it was common knowledge, but the book is pretty clear that word got around. The book was published in the 1870's. Even though it is very plausible that Joseph Smith could have heard of this tale growing up. They didn't have T.V. or radio back then, so people used to tell stories as their source of entertainment. Regardless of if it is plausible, as I said, what I would really like to see was some kind of connection demonstrating that Joseph Smith had actually heard this tale.

However, I am still fascinated with the similarities surrounding the two stories with the name "Gideon"- Giving alcohol to the enemies to tempt them with their one weakness, a death by fire. It seems pretty coincidental to me if it is just that. To me, it makes complete sense if someone was to take a folklore tale and change it a bit to make the hero look more righteous. What better way than to take his own weaknesses and put it on his enemies? I am just trying to think of it from the perspective of the author of the Book of Mormon.

tatabug said...

Zelph,

I'm curious to know how you think it is possible to ever know if Joseph had heard the story? I'm not inclined to doubt that he actually may have heard the story, but even if he did, the comparisons are such a stretch that it still wouldn't convince me that he used the story in his "fabrication" of the Book of Mormon.

Something related but not quite on topic; I ran across this guy's videos on YouTube.. They contain some interesting information about Book of Mormon evidences, a lot of which I hadn't heard of. I was, however, disappointed in the lack of details, but maybe I will post and see if I can get some more information. Anyway, if you don't like the videos, you might like some of the background music he uses. I haven't visited YouTube in quite a while, so I thought I would check and see if you had any new videos out, but I was disappointed to find out that you closed your account.

Zelph said...

Very interesting, it is worth looking into further. I really enjoyed the music, I wonder where that is from.

As for my youtube account, it is really due to a lack of time. You may have noticed that I am not nearly as active on this blog either, but I simply don't have time to be doing both.

Thank you for the link, I will look into it further.

Zelph said...

I think it would be nearly impossible to find actual evidence to suggest that Joseph Smith had actually heard the story before publication of the Book of Mormon. One would need a journal entry of some kind, but I doubt anything like that would ever be found.

What is really interesting is how 2 people can look at the same thing and come to different conclusions. It is very similar to finding evidences for the Book of Mormon. Perhaps it is because we believe what we want to believe.

I think the video you posted is very relevant because we are on the subject of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon.

Elder Joseph said...

I watched the you tube video on the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone

There is skepticism of the Archeologist Hibben's claims ...

Quote from Wilkipedia

Most modern scholars question much of Hibben's research today because of his work with alleged pre-Clovis sites. In at least two separate incidents, Hibbens fabricated some or all of his archaeological data to support his pre-Clovis migration theory. [2][3] These missteps call the rest of his work into question, and, for many, undermine the validity of his claims about the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone.[4]

Elder Joseph said...

That guy on you tube with book of mormon evidences

I debunked a couple of them some time ago via the comments and he didn't allow my comments .He didn't want people to know the real truth ...Typical communist aproach if you ask me .... Truth is stamped out !

Ignorant just like the guy at SHIELDS . He won't respond to my enquiries because they are too difficult for him to face up to .

tatabug said...

It appears that the information that this guy is getting comes from the website the-book-of-mormon.com. I checked it out briefly but haven't had much time to investigate its claims.

I also wondered where that music is from.

It is also curious to me how two people can look at the same evidence and come to two different conclusions. Perhaps it is bias. Maybe it could be different information we each have independently of the information presented which determines how we interpret it. Who knows. Anyway, it sure explains how you can get so many different religions from one Bible.

EJ,

Thanks for the info. about Hibben. I'll keep that in mind. I'm curious as to why he would fabricate evidence. Does he have a connection to the Church, or do you think he's just looking for notoriety or something?

I think the reason that people may not want to respond to you has less to do with the questions being too difficult, but more to do with your seeming closed-mindedness and sometimes confrontational approach. If you want answers, you need to stop with the accusations, and ask more sincerely. I may be wrong, because I don't know for sure what your comments and questions were, but that is just my experience in dealing with you. Many members of the Church simply try to avoid people who appear to be just looking for a fight as opposed to people who sincerely want answers. It really is just a pure waste of time to have a discussion with someone who doesn't seem open to reason. I too try to avoid that to some degree, which is why I come here, because I feel like it is a more friendly atmosphere than others I've encountered.

Jeremy said...

RE: the music...

Sounds like a mash up or a copy of something the group Bond would do.

Elder Joseph said...

tatabug

You think I'm confrontational ?

have you read the things Brigham Young and others said about other churches and their theology in his Journal Of Discourses ?

I'm a saint in comparison :)

The you tube guy saxmanmatt simply screens out anything that doesn't suit his own agenda .He is only 19 years old , what could he possible know at that age ? he's still fresh from Seminery whitewashing..


Now you are going to accuse me again of being brash ! :)

tatabug said...

EJ,

You can be very brash at times, which is why I have a hard time dealing with some of your comments. I understand you have complete disrespect for the leaders of the Church, but your contemptuous words for them come across as offensive to me. If that's how you want to approach the issues, that's fine, but then you will likely be ignored. I'm only saying, if you truly want answers, you are going to have to be more sincere and respectful of other people's beliefs.

I don't know when you tried to post a comment with saxmanmatt, but it appears he's disabled all the comments on his videos, perhaps because he has left or will soon be leaving for his mission, according to his profile. Or maybe he just isn't interested in contentious debates, which is pretty much all it would be. I don't blame him.

You'll also be disheartened to know that my oldest started her four years of seminary "whitewashing" this week. In fact, that's where she is right now.

tatabug said...

Jeremy,

I think you are right about the music being from Bond. I checked them out on iTunes. I really like the remix of classical. Some of it reminds me of Vanessa-Mae's electric violin stuff. Anyway, thanks for the tip. I may just have to get some of their music.

Bishop Rick said...

Zelph,

I totally get where you are coming from with the comparisons. My skepticism comes from the lack of information available to me today. The only extensive information I could find was in the book you reference which (as you point out) was published after the BofM.

Your take could very well be valid. There just isn't enough evidence on this one for me.

Bishop Rick said...

Tata,

Careful, you are revealing your age...within a reasonable number of years.

tatabug said...

BR,

No problems. More than likely people will guess my age as older than I really am. But Zelph and EJ may know anyway from YouTube.

I'm very pleasantly suprised to see how skeptical you are of the Gideon issue. It shows a degree of intellectual honesty. That's not to say that I didn't think you had any before, but it's just hard to detect when we disagree in pretty much all of the discussions. Know what I mean?

I just did a google as well. Virtually nothing came up for Tedeuskund, but an alternative spelling came up. It appears that his name is also spelled Teedyuskung. I was able to find some interesting things, but nothing which attributed the name Gideon to him. I found the spelling of his name butchered in various ways, and also referred to as King of the Delawares and Honest John and something else I can't remember or find again. I also found an instance where he was drunk. It seems that the book Zelph refers to has the most biographical information available, at least online anyway.

tatabug said...

I've just been doing a little research on Frank Hibben and the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone. From what I've read, there is debate on both sides of the issue of whether or not the Clovis thing was a fabrication by Hibben. Anyway, Hibben apparently didn't originally discover the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone, since it was known about back in 1850 when New Mexico became a territory. It seems that all he did was give his opinion that it was authentic, but there have been many others who have studied it as well. So whether or not Hibben engaged in fabrication is really not an issue in this matter. I found this site very interesting as it contains a lot of information about the stone.

tatabug said...

I guess this is research day. I've just been doing some reading on pre-Columbian horses. Lots of interesting information. I found this information very intriguing. I know it's from a Mormon, but I've been reading similar information (about horses and Jesus in the Americas) from other sources as well. It seems that there is some kind of avoidance in the archaeological community that doesn't want to dispute the "common knowledge" that there were no horses in the Americas before the Spanish introduced them in 15??, when in fact there is a lot of evidence to the contrary. Perhaps the same can be said about elephants? I couldn't believe it when I read that a Nebraska road crew unearthed elephant remains in recent years.

Zelph said...

tatabug,

No question in the archaeological community that horses and elephants existed in the Americas before Columbus. The problem is that all the evidence suggests that they had both become extinct 10,000 years ago, and that is what is widely accepted in the scientific community.

Heck, I was even reading the book Mysteries of the Ancient Americas by Readers Digest, which I highly recommend to anyone interested in archeology and the Book of Mormon, and it even mentions Camels! That's right, there were Camels in America as well. However, the evidence strongly suggests that they existed 30,000 years ago and guess where they went? They evolved into the Llamas we can see today!

Too bad Camels or Llamas are not mentioned anywhere in the Book of Mormon.

tatabug said...

So how do you explain large herds of wild horses seen by Sir Francis Drake around 1580 if Columbus first introduced them in 1493? Taking into account the fact that the horses had trouble adapting to the warmer climates, do you suppose they could have multiplied to that degree and migrated all the way to Oregan in less than 90 years? An article I read, which also believes that horses were not introduced into America before Columbus, said that by 1690, large herds of horses were roaming Mexico and Texas. There is an interesting article about possible pre-Columbian Asian origins of Horses (as well as some other things).

Elder Joseph said...

tatabug

1 If Indians already had horses in America , are their any mention of them in their art and culture before the Europeans came ?

2 Also if The Lamenite/Nephite civilisations occured In Latin America ( Hill Cumorah No 2 )as we are now (mis)led to believe then why are thier no horses in Myan Aztec art , culture , wall engravings etc ...

3 How large were the herds of horses seen by Francis Drake ? 5 ,10 , 20 , 50 , 100, 1000 , 100,000 Where did you read this ?

4 2 Ne. 12: 7 Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots.

Land full of horses and no End to Chariots ?

Are these words of someone real or Josephs Imagination ?

Elder Joseph said...

Sister Tatabug

Spaniards introduced ( or reintroduced ) horses in 1519 .

Drake saw them in the earliest about 1563 ....44 years later

lifespan of a horse 20-25 years

Thats a fair amount of time to breed .Then there is always the continuing import of them into the Americas soon after that date of the first ones ...

You might find this interesting

http://www.bornagainmormon.com/hotm/2007.htm

You can download/watch his Tv show where lots of Mormons ring in ...

Lv

Brother EJ

tatabug said...

Brother EJ,

In response to your questions:

#1-yes. For some information on that, go to the-book-of-mormon.com

#2-there is. Please refer back to #1.

#3-I don't know how large the herds were. I did read a bit about it online, but I don't remember where I saw it and right now I don't have the time to search for it again. If you are really interested, I suggest you do a search. Just search "Sir Francis Drake." You might also enter the word "horse" into your search as well to help narrow it down.

#4-There is a carving of some sort found at Chichen Itza (an era predating Columbus) which shows a horse presumably, or possibly some other pack animal, which is pulling some sort of wheeled contraption that I can't quite make out. It could possibly be a chariot or some sort of wagon. See website from #1.

Your interpretation of horse breeding and migration seems very simplistic. You need to have a better knowledge and understanding of the realities before you make assumptions. You also need to know how many horses were brought to America, how many of them actually survived the trip, and take into consideration that they had a hard time adjusting to the warmer climate, which would naturally affect their ability to breed.

You also need to understand that there is a huge difference in the breeds that were brought over by the Spanish, and the breeds used by the North American Native Indians. In fact the Spanish and Europeans were repulsed by the type of horse used by Native Americans. They hardly even considered them to be horses. It may be quite true that there were no horses in South America and Mexico at the time of Columbus, but it seems apparent that they were in abundant use in North America by Native Americans. It even shows up in their rituals which are very characteristic of the Asian culture, and doesn't even resemble anything from Spanish culture.

Also consider the fact that the Huns dominated the western steppe for two centuries. They were a nomadic people for which horses represented wealth and military power. Each Hun warrior may have had as many as 10 horses each. There must have been hundreds of thousands of horses in their civilization, yet there is absolutely no archaeological evidence of horses. If we know that the Huns used horses, but we can't find any archaeological evidence to support it, don't you think that could possibly be the case with the Book of Mormon? (Of course you don't)

tatabug said...

For anyone who might be interested, the current topic at Mormanity.com is disillusionment.

Bishop Rick said...

tata,

No offense, but I went to the-book-of-mormon.com and the stuff listed there as evidence is nothing more than unlinked, undocumented pictures. Some of the explanations have nothing to do with the criticism it supposedly refutes.

Example: The existence of the American Stonehenge in NH is proof that the BofM could have been transported from mezo america to upstate NY.

Many of his explanations are just as weak as that one, and almost none are documented or linked to. Those that are linked, are linked to an unrelated site that does nothing to back up the author's claims.

I can't give this guy much credibility.

Zelph said...

A very interesting read, and it actually made me feel a little less alone. The website is actually mormanity.blogspot.com

The link you gave was for a credit counseling website.

tatabug said...

BR,

I know the website has its issues, but I've tried to check up on some of the claims as much as I could and so far everything seems fairly credible.

I'm kind of puzzled about the American Stonehenge thing myself. I would definitely like to see more details on the issues this site brings up. Nevertheless, I think it addresses issues that warrant further study.

Zelph,

Sorry 'bout that. I was in a hurry and didn't pay close attention.

Anyway, I'm glad you found some comfort from it.

Elder Joseph said...

Sister Tata


I had a look at that Ica stone thing showing a horse pulling something ....

trouble is these stones are possibly hoaxes , they depict open heart surgery brain transplants, telescopes, flying machines, according to a follower and believer of the stones ...

http://skepdic.com/icastones.html

Brother E J

Elder Joseph said...

tata

American Indians didn't have horses until the Spaniards introduced them .. they carried their goods using dogs prior to that ..

Where do you get your info from ?

If they had horses why would FAIRS suggest they could have been tapirs in the Book Of Mormon ? If the Indians had them , does that mean the nephites had them also ?

tapirs ? lol

Bishop Rick said...

Tata,

I admit that some of the info on the page bears further study, which I intend to do...when I get time.

tatabug said...

EJ,

It appears that the Ica Stones are most likely a hoax, and the Book of Mormon website states basically that they may not be authentic. But there is still Chichen Itza as well as cave drawings. I've seen others on the web as well.

As far as Native Americans having horses before the Spanish arrival, I found an article which I thought had some interesting information on the subject. You will have to scroll down to page 21 for information about horses (ponies), because there are also articles dealing with other animals as well. And before you worry, it appears to have no ties to Mormons, because it mentions archaeological research by FARMS, and then adds a bit of a sarcastic note about apologetics.

The suggestion that tapirs may have been the "horses" in the Book of Mormon, I realize that that isn't a very pleasing proposition, and one that even I don't like, but have to admit that it is possible. It has to do with language barriers and translation. But from what I've read, the tapirs in South America are quite large and resemble pack animals. I, however, feel strongly that when the Book of Mormon says horses, it means horses, but that is just my opinion, and if there were more solid proof of something else, I would be open to it.

tatabug said...

I know this is off-topic, but I just read a very interesting letter exchange between Fredrick Smith (RLDS) and Joseph F. Smith from around 1905 I think. I found it at byteline.blogspot.com. This guy (Alma) once posted here on a discussion back in June or July I think. Anyway, it was a fascinating exchange to me and I thought some of you, or at least Zelph, might also find it interesting.

Elder Joseph said...

Sister Tata

I read that article on supposed pre columbian horses ...How credible is it , because I never read that on FAIRS or FARMS ?

Why don't they advance it ?I'd have thought they'd jump on it , if it was credible , and instead they are coming up with all sorts of 'spin'and 'deflection' from the real point.

And why have several excuses for the 'Horse' dilemma anyway... One should suffice as the real answer ....
Suggesting 'Tapirs' is clutching at straws ... and I would be very concerned if I was a member ..

Its not just Horses but seemingly everything , plants and other animals ... The animals that should be in the BofM are missing ..

Its clear to me Joseph Smith just used his unschooled naive mind and applied animals from his own enviroment as well as religious issues of the day ....

I hear the one about Cement being trumpeted , how did the Joseph Smith know there were cement buildings ? He didn't , if you guess several items , you are going to strike lucky on at least one or even two ...

Out of Horses , Chariots, Cows , Bulls , goats , Asses , wheat , Barley , Steel swords , Head gear , Breastplates etc etc , hitting on cement is juct luck and anyway its actually concrete they used ,cement would just be too britle and crumble ....

I think anyone who is familiar with BofM geology, geography,plants and animals and lack of the correct plants and animals attributed to that location at that time should struggle with it .The fact that its religion at stake is the stumbling block to common sense and rationality ..

It seems that no one will accept that the BofM is factually wrong ( not even on one point ) let alone everything ...Are we still teaching the American Indians that they are descended from Israelites because of Stiffneckedness and a refusal to be Humble and Contrite and admit error and move on !

Its a tragedy in store for huge U turn later on by a future 'brave' prophet... Maybe from the generation of missionaries that I taught :)

Brother E J

Same Heavenly Father , different heavenly mums perhaps! lol

I wonder what our Heavenly mums think of their Hubby changing some of their precious kids skins to black !

tatabug said...

EJ,

Determining credibility can be a very subjective thing. Especially if you are doing it from the internet. Looking at this particular article, I just have to look at the references he used, search them on the internet, and try to get as much information on the references, the authors, and the author of this particular article. I did a little of that, and from what I've been able to find out in the little time that I've spent on it, leads me to believe it is credible. But I would encourage you to find out more on your own if you are truly interested. I could spend all day on it, but it likely wouldn't mean anything to you, and I will have wasted my day in order to try and satisfy you.

The author of the article in question, has a website that you can check out if you'd like. It appears he is a University Graduate and a historian, and has various other interests as well.

Also, I'm not sure if you've actually read any of the articles about horses from FARMS or FAIRLDS, but they do give evidence of other possibilities other than tapirs. But perhaps those are not as humorous to talk about. However, I did find at least one reference in a FARMS article which was the same as one used in Yuri Kuckinsky's article.

There are very few articles on the subject from FARMS and FAIRLDS, and I'm not sure why there aren't more, or why they haven't picked up on some of the same evidence Yuri has found, other than that it's probably that these guys write these articles on their own time and their own dime unless they are published in a book. Even then, who knows how profitable they are. Plus, good science takes time.

Anyway, the reason for giving more than one possible "excuse" is that we don't really know for sure. That is what science is about--suggesting possible theories which can be tested until more conclusive evidence can be found to explain what the case really is.

But if you are truly interested, I would just Google, and you would be suprised at the amount of information you'll find. For horses, I used the search term pre-Columbian horses. Yesterday, I googled pre-Columbian metal smelting site and was literally amazed at the information. It is apparently not uncommon knowledge that there was metal smelting going on in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. There is even information from presitigious universities on the subject. Currently, most of the discovery is still being studied, but it looks promising, at least in my opinion.

The more I study, the more I am coming to believe that there is a huge black-out going on in academia with regard to influence from outsiders before Columbus. It seems, however, that there is a wider effort than I had expected to find of people trying to mainstream the idea that the Natives of America had outside influences well before Columbus, because the evidence of it is virtually undeniable.

Oh, and by the way, cememt is used in the production of concrete. Perhaps Joseph got lucky, or perhaps it's just a matter of cement technology being among the first anachronisms to be disproven. It would make sense since cement/concrete is so durable and weathers well as compared to things such as, say, metal.

Bishop Rick said...

Tata,

You have to admit that talking about Tapirs if funny. Your statement made me laugh...in a good way, not a sarcastic way.

Elder Joseph said...

Tata

Cement is more luck than anything else and its actually more fully described as concrete ....

If Egyptian Chariots and other metal artifacts can survive then so can Nephite ones ( if they really existed) ..

Hill Cumorah should have been an archeological dream if 2 million Jaredites really did perish and later some 230,000 Nephites as well....

Instead the church is too scared to dig because they know themselves nothing ever happened there ....

Same with the new church DVD ( The Testaments Of One Fold And One Shepherd )setting in Latin America .The DVD was modelled on 'worldly' Archeology and history rather than BofM history.. The church DVD shows no swords no chariots, no horses, no cows, no goats etc and instead show a monkey and a Parrot , neither mentioned in the BofM and also the weapon called a macuahuitl made of wood and flint ...also not mentioned in the BofM ..

There is an excellent blog about this from Zelph earlier on ....

If the church Prophet and Apostles had the guts of conviction of the Book Of Mormon themsleves then they would have used its animals and metallurgy as the source for the DVD scenery ...

But they didn't ... good old traditional archeology was preferred while at the same time GB Hinckley says the BofM is what it purports to be ! When in reality they seem to believe different themselves .

Some of those articles of pre columbian influences in the New world are interesting though ....

Zelph said...

Yes, and the film 'the testaments' also depicts a jaguar, found in Central America, but guess what? Yep, no mention of it in the Book of Mormon, along with the use of stone carving as found in central America, but once again, no mention of stone carvings in the Book of Mormon. In fact, the Book of Mormon specifically mentions metal plates.

This is the ironic thing I find regarding the film 'the testaments'. If we are supposed to believe the Book of Mormon is a historically accurate book, why aren't any of the film depictions based on it? Instead, all the descriptions from the Book of Mormon are ignored and all the archaeological facts that we find are inserted into the film. Then, at the beginning of the film it says that we really have no idea where the actual locations took place of the Book of Mormon lands, yet they base the film on real-world locations instead of the Book of Mormon cultures.

O.K. I know this was a different topic, but EJ just struck a chord with me and brought up an excellent point. If the leadership of the church has so much faith in the authenticity of the Book of Mormon, why make a film that is supposed to depict the culture, yet fails to reference anything from the Book? Not only that, but they reference specific animals, weapons and other cultural items that we can find. It absolutely baffles me.

It makes me wonder what is really going on in the heads of some of the church leaders. I can't help but wonder if they know the BoM is fictional and maybe that is the whole point of the film, because the main storyline is fictional. People feel the spirit as they watch the film, but it doesn't make the story historically accurate. Maybe what they are trying to say is that it doesn't matter if the BoM is historically accurate, as long as one can feel the spirit.

tatabug said...

BR,

I understand it's funny to you and others, and I admit that I laughed a bit at your description of Moroni trekking to NY with his tapir. When I read about it elsewhere as a possible "excuse", I just have to roll my eyes.

EJ,

You sure do read minds well. You're not even a member and you know more about how Church leaders think than I do, and I've been a member all my life. (It's posts like these where I just have to shake my head and say to myself, Elder Joseph, Elder Joseph, Elder Joseph.)

Zelph,

One question. Do you honestly think that every historical, archaeological, social, etc. detail is included in the Book of Mormon? I don't understand the problem with using our knowledge of the history of the Natives of Central America to help fill in the gaps in this situation. I suppose though, that even if the film ONLY contained those things mentioned in the Book of Mormon, people would still find a reason to complain and find fault with it. I think any approach would raise controversy for those who already have a "beef" with the Church.

I think the use of historical fiction makes it into a story from someone's perspective. Otherwise, consider the account leading up to Christ's visit to America. There is very little detail given shortly before Christ came, so either it would be a very short movie if the text of the Book of Mormon was strictly adhered to, or artistic liscense would have to be taken in order to make it into something more real and relatable.

I see this as just one more example of nitpicking. I can understand the impulse. I've experienced it many times. When there is something or someone you don't like, the more you contemplate it, the more you find to dislike, even if it really isn't serious.

Elder Joseph said...

Tata

You are very brave to take on us 'skeptics' and as much as I disagree with you and am convinced you are in error and blinded by the church, I do appreciate very much your effort to 'correct' us and hold on to the faith !

It proves to me that some Mormons are not afraid to investigate . So I do commend you for that and your patience too.....

you said

"You sure do read minds well. You're not even a member and you know more about how Church leaders think than I do, and I've been a member all my life."

Yes I believe this sincerely and this worries me greatly ..I have successfully predicted what Jw's were going to do next in relation to their dilemma before they got the message from their God to do it ...

Its the same in Mormonism.What we have coming in the future is revelation that the BofM is Inspired fiction and everything else joseph Smith came up with. Todays younger members are aware of this and a future prophet from among them will address it .

I think my investigator days are over in church .It will be heartbreaking for me and the many friends I've come to love in church .... but I am having difficulty listening to the church meetings now and any mention of Joseph Smith and other Mormon prophets is causing me anger unfortunately :(

I've been posting on exmormon.org and emailed with two past missionaries who have served in my ward .. one in the process of quitting although still attending for now for emotional, social and family reasons only....and the other one formally resigned .. yet they were die hard missionaries !One had several converts and big regrets now :(

I do believe their are numerous and vast members on the verge of officially quitting as the Internet and the prominence of ex and skeptical church members has won the day .Its overwhelming and the odds are stacked against the church ..

There is a big dilemma on its way for the church now that the 'Exodus' is commencing ...

I've written again to Greg Dodge about the no of resignations and included an enquiry as to whether the church still includes resigned members in its membership figures ?

He probably won't reply yet again , it was the same with the Watchtower Society for me as a youth..

I know I've gone off the subject again , but maybe Zelph could post the topic of membership figures for his next blog...

tatabug said...

EJ,

I did some looking for you and found some statistical information that might give you some of the answers you are looking for. I don't know if the information will please you or not, as it doesn't seem that there is a consistent upward trend in the membership exit rate. The trend seems to be quite varied.

This site deals primarily with missionary work and retention and is a very long article, but it may contain interesting information for you.

This site has the exit data as computed by information that is published by the church, ie total membership, converts, and births. Please note that deaths and excommunications are also included in the exit numbers. Also note that the Church did not allow resignations until 1989. I don't know how reliable this information is, and the person who posted this information seems to think it is probably bogus because he thinks that the Church is cooking the numbers. If you look at it, there are years where the membership, births, and convert numbers were rounded or estimated, so that would make it difficult to get a completely accurate number.

Anyway, have fun with it.

Elder Joseph said...

Zelph

The parallel between Gideon and the Indian story of Tedeuskund...

The problem with the book of mormon is that there is that much plageurised from everywhere around him , that there is nothing i can trust in there ..

Joseph writing (prophesying ) about himself is obviously dodgy .. The accurate name of Mary giving birth to The Messiah is simply put there by someone already familiar with the New Testament ...

Goodness its so obvious he was a confidence trickster , but I understand why people believe.The mind and mind control is a scary reality .Look at JW's , Moonies etc

I was once controlled by the JW mindset myself .

Elder Joseph said...

Sister Tata

Thanks for those links ..

They reveal alot on information which other church members would have preferred to hide from me , but you didn't ...

I found them both very Interesting and in line with what I've observed over the last two years of investigating .

Brother E J

Elder Joseph said...

Zelph

you say you are still somewhat an 'active' member ..

How do you feel about investigators being brought into the church and seeing them go through the information conditioning .... can you allow them to be influenced by the false version presented by the missionaries ?

Don't you feel you have a duty to offer them the other side of the church .Its real history and lack of archeology or more accurate still archeology which proves the BofM historically false .

What about black members ? should we keep the priesthood issue from them ?

My bishop asked me not to tell them about the church leaders remarks on JOD's.!

James Brian Marshall said...

Hey!

For a person asking so many questions, it makes me wonder if you're really asking to know, or possing the question only to sew dissention, fear, and doubt?

All are tools of satan.

Jesus Christ said: " I come not to destory the law, but to fullfill!"

There is your template for what God does for mankind. Mankind takes away from God's fullness. We sin against God and His doctrine. God come back with more proof He is real, He exists...

In case you've forgotten, God told the House of Israel He in the last days would restore Israel's covenant knowledge.

Now if the Bible is the vehical bearing the message God will restore His covenant knowlege back to Israel in the last days, that means the Bible does not contain that knowledge. ( yes I know the Bible was assembled in the last Days ) Excepting the Bible is the message bearer.

So if Christ will restore His Church, how will He do it? Why not another Book? As Prophecied by Isaiah chapters 28-29-30? Or by Ezekeil Chapter 37.

Or by King David psalms 85, David tells Joseph Smith's story of finding the plates.

David writes, " Truth shall spring from the earth".

Now what sealed Book sprang from the earth, a book that was written and sealed by Daneil himself?

I know I'm waxing cheeky to point of rudeness. But I've followed your blog off and on for sometime now!

If you're really searching, you will find. Unless you're faking!

If your're faking then you practice priestcraft and are no better than the Salt Lake Mormon hierachy.

Honestly I don't know your heart. But I've 36 years of searching for truth under my belt. I've found searching for truth is no harder than keeping your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open.

You're right to be disatified with the Mormon church.

You should be asking why the LDS and RLDS split. If you find you answer, ( if you're truly searching ) you will find you've been lied to about everything excepting one thing by the LDS Church. The Book of Mormon.

The Book of Mormon is true.
But you need to find a church who does not use that truth for it's personal, organizational gain and agrandizement.