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Everything posted by Just_A_Guy

  1. IIRC, one of the architects of the collapse of the Nephite system of judges was a guy named Jacob who eventually came to control a city called Jacobugath and proclaimed himself king. The BoM doesn’t go into much detail, as I recall; but one gets the sense that he was well on his way to building a new coalition until he and his followers were destroyed en mass in the natural catastrophes that accompanied Jesus’s crucifixion.
  2. Perhaps. This account is Mormon’s summary of the record of the people of Zeniff, but Mormon is giving the account as a (relatively) omniscient narrator and at times is probably weaving in materiel gleaned from other sources. Exactly where the record of Zeniff ended and at what point he relied on other sources for the denouement of the story, Mormon doesn’t seem to tell us.
  3. Sometime ago, some coworkers and I got so far as to brainstorm about how we could operate a drug cartel from within the ranks of our government jobs. Purely as an academic exercise, naturally.
  4. Mosiah 16:1: Abinadi quotes from Isaiah 52:10 (all shall see the salvation of the Lord) and 52:8 (Lord and His people to see eye to eye), which were quoted in the priests’ initial question to him (chapter 12). The care with which this account was constructed, never ceases to amaze me. It may not be “great literature”, as that term is popularly understood. But it was painstakingly put together by someone who was highly intelligent and, I think, couldn’t resist a bit of literary showing-off now and again. Mosiah 17:7-8: interesting to me now the priests stake out their position with their verdict: they are the devoted followers of God, Abinadi is a blasphemer pure and simple, and his execution has nothing—nothing!—to do with his accusations against their purported misconduct (though his recanting those accusations will spare his life even if his blasphemy is permitted to stand). Also: where could we have gotten the account of Abinadi’s final condemnation, testimony, and execution; since Alma is already on the run? Did someone else from the royal court ultimately defect and join Alma? Mosiah 17:10: Royal Skousen’s work with the earliest manuscripts of the BoM leads him to conclude that this should read “unto death”, not “until death”. Mosiah 17:13: Skousen has this as “scorched”, not “scourged”. The image I conjured up as a kid was being burned at the stake, but that’s not necessarily what happened here. Mosiah 18:4: Joseph Smith once (somewhat facetiously, IMHO) noted that the Egyptian word “mon” meant “good” and “Mormon” could this be interpreted as meaning “more good”. But this verse suggests that maybe the word has to do with wild animals or wild beasts or something like that. (Maybe that’s why President Nelson wants us to lay off on using the word. What if we’ve been using the Nephite word for “wild animals” to describe ourselves for the past two centuries?!?) Mosiah 18:13: Comparing the baptismal ritual/prayer here with the one Christ taught the Nephites after His resurrection and/or the ritual we practice today suggests that liturgy is . . . malleable. Which is interesting considering Isaiah 24:5’s oft-quoted condemnation of those who have altered the ordinances. Mosiah 18:24-26: we often quote this as the basis for our own practice of not having a paid clergy at the congregational level. But of course, in the New Testament Paul defends his priestly prerogative to support from the Church; something the D&C also clarifies that modern church leaders can claim (and which was done by bishops and stake presidents into the Utah territorial period). Our lay clergy is, we presume, divinely ordained for our particular circumstances; it is not an eternal or unchangeable sine qua non through which one identifies The True Church.
  5. I’m currently involved in a high-ish profile case at work that has developed quite a Reddit following, which I’ve been keeping a jaundiced eye on (but not posting to, obviously). As it pertains to our case I’ve seen precisely one Reddit post that was sheer brilliance (and which very slightly affected the trajectory of the case), a couple dozen that were marginally insightful—and the other few hundred posts were nearly all utter nonsense (but still entertaining in their own way).
  6. I figure it’s because Luke is writing to a gentile audience; so he tones things down a notch. Also, Matthew is very interested in making sure his readers know just what the Jewish establishment did to Christ and what their punishment is going to be . . . Luke has no such priorities. With regard to a wedding garment: what I get out of that is that even for the Johnny-come-latelies who are invited from the highways and hedgerows, there *is* a price to be paid. They are expected to show respect for the nature of the event. The invitation may have been to both bad and good (v 10), but the bad are expected to make themselves good (or at least be willing to explain their failure to do so and beg their Lord’s pardon) or else will find themselves being dismissed from the feast.
  7. In reviewing the footnotes to the Maxwell Institute’s BoM study edition, I’m reminded that Mosiah is the only book from Mormon’s abridgment (excluding his autobiographical Book of Mormon) that lacks a prefatory summary—presumably, some scholars think, because it was lost with the 116 pages.
  8. This may be a stretch, but it just occurred to me: —Noah’s priests interrogate Abinadi by quoting Isaiah 52:7-10. —Abinadi, in his reply, skips the rest of Isaiah 52 and starts up with Isaiah 53. But, the part of Isaiah 52 that Abinadi skips is interesting: 11 Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord. 12 For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rearward. 13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: 15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider. In some ways, the experience of Abinadi and his followers mirrors this section of Isaiah: Abinadi has likely been tortured and is before the priests with marred visage (v 14); he is stunning the king and his priests into silence (v 15); he has dealt prudently (v 11) by coming in disguise; his followers (after his death) will depart the domains of the unclean king (v 11); and those followers will eventually flee again (from Amulon and the land of Helam) through miraculous means of divine intervention (v 12). I don’t mean to suggest that Abinadi is a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. But to me it’s an interesting case of parallelism-by-omission (is that even a thing?)—the chronicler whispers for our attention and reinforces his narrative by subtly referencing the scriptural dog that didn’t bark. Also, note v 10 (quoting Isaiah)—“When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin he shall see his seed”. “Mosiah”, IMHO, can be read as a combination of “Moses”/“Moshe” and “-iah”. The latter, as we know, often shows up in Old Testament names as a reference to YHWH. The former derives, apparently, either from an Egyptian word for “son” [Thutmose = “son of Thoth”] or a Hebrew word for “to draw out of the water” (a euphemism for childbirth). So “Mosiah” may literally mean either “son of Jehovah” or “born of Jehovah”. We see numerous instances of people being “born of God” in this book of Mosiah—the hearers of Benjamin’s sermon, Alma the Elder, the followers he eventually converted in the land of Nephi, the church he organized in Zarahemla, and ultimately the experience of his son Alma the Younger—but it all, to my mind, comes back to this verse: When thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin He shall see his seed.
  9. In Portuguese, “disculpe” means “excuse me”. So I got the gist. 😉 I wonder if the BoM prophets were sort of “over-compensating” at times; or at least knowingly bucking a broader Nephite social trend. There are hints in the BoM text that at times hoi polloi Nephites had quite a bit of animus towards the Lamanites (Jacob 3:9; Mosiah 9:1).
  10. A summary is here. There used to be a more detailed version that at the moment, I can’t find either.
  11. I wish I could remember more of Bradley’s arguments—I lent his book to my FIL a year and a half ago and he still hasn’t returned it . . . IIRC he derives his argument in part from miscellaneous statements JS and Harris made about the contents of the lost pages, thematic elements, allusions in other part of the BoM as we have it today, and nuances in the manuscript itself. My recollection is that Bradley hypothesizes that the Book of Mosiah actually begins with the reign of Benjamin’s father, Mosiah, who lived during a time of massive Nephite apostasy and basically re-enacted Nephi’s journey by taking a small group of followers and the holy Nephite relics and escaping to a new land (Zarahemla).
  12. It may be worth noting here that I believe some linguists/researchers (Skousen, Bradley, maybe Gardner) suspect that the lost 116 pages included one or two chapters of the book of Mosiah; so what we call “Mosiah 1” is actually “Mosiah 3” or “Mosiah 4”.
  13. I hope not to be terribly offensive with this, but . . . When I talk to lay Christians about the LDS notion of the Godhead, I find that most of them don’t really find it that objectionable and aren’t particularly attached to their understanding of the concept of the Trinity. (Internet-warrior Christians, of course, are a different matter entirely.) I think “different Jesus” is, to a significant degree, a scare phrase/crutch used by a subset of mainline Christian clerics and apologists who feel like they can’t defend the notion of the Trinity on its own merits and would prefer their parishioners just quit asking questions. As far as the OP goes: I think the Church over time has gone back and forth about whether, from a theological standpoint, it’s a big deal that outsiders consider/call us “Christians”. At times we’ve felt it’s important in order to reflect glory to our master, Jesus Christ; at others, we’ve felt the “brand” was irretrievably tainted and not worth pursuing (I believe President Young was of the latter opinion.) But from a socio-political standpoint, I think, it has consistently been a very big deal. Because frankly, as Americans, we have a significant national heritage of doing some pretty horrific things to “non-Christians”; and we tend to (rightly or wrongly) view use of that epithet towards us as being a sort of “battlespace prep” by a “Christian” majority that (we fear) is proud of what they did to us in the 19th century and wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to do it all over again.
  14. British thinker Phillip Blond has a really concerning thread on X/Twitter right now. He’s thinking that Hamas *wants* Israel to respond and get bogged down in a ground war in Gaza, which will then justify a response from the West Bank and the Golan; forcing Israel into a three-front war and possibly eliciting a fifth-column uprising from Israel’s internal Arab minority as well.
  15. Well, and toxic marriages come from toxic people; and divorce doesn’t stop the toxicity. To the contrary, it tends to morph the relationship from one of detente to open warfare—which doesn’t do the kids a heckuva lot of good, either. And really, the more you think about the argument, the worse it sounds—its proponents basically justify putting kids in a hostage situation. “I’m dissatisfied with my marriage partner and I WILL MAKE MY KID’S LIFE A LIVING HEck UNTIL YOU LET ME PICK A NEW PARTNER, after which time I’ll start acting like a decent human being again!” I mean—what?!?
  16. I’m going to go on-record as suggesting Lehi, Utah. Maybe not this conference, but within the next 5 years.
  17. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Marry yourself another wife, and your kids won’t be in a two-parent family anymore.
  18. This is entirely honorable; but it does sort of lead one to wonder whether President Ballard improperly judged Tim as guilty. A lot of people are suggesting that Tim was framed by Vice; but if President Ballard cut ties “many months ago”, then whatever the source of his info re Tim’s alleged wrongdoing was—it wasn’t Vice. One other thing to bear in mind about this is that we tend to immediately assume that leftist accusations of sexual misconduct against conservatives are ab initio fabrications. This may be true in some cases (Kavanaugh, Thomas); but it should also be noted that often the guys really were dirtbags but the left covered for them until a) the guys quit being leftists (Russell Brand, Donald Trump) or b) it became politically expedient to throw them overboard (Clinton, Epstein, Weinstein, Franken, and - probably coming soon - Biden). The point here being that just because someone gets accused of sexual conduct doesn’t mean that the accusation is untrue. Often, it just means the left has decided to stop protecting someone.
  19. Indeed. Then again, the scenarios exonerating Tim are also based in an awful lot of speculation.
  20. Undercover work is necessarily shady business (I defended a couple of prostitutes who got caught in a massage parlor sting about 10-15 years ago; and after reading the report of what the SLC vice squad officers did, I really don’t know how those guys could go home and look their wives in the eye each night. Suffice it to say—they enjoyed their jobs. A lot.) I could easily envision a scenario where people who were already part of Tim’s organization (so, no donor/financial gain aspect to it) got uncomfortable with some of his methods and were reassured by him with something along the lines of “Don’t worry about this psychic thing, I have President Ballard’s personal blessing that what we are doing is totally legit!” Do I believe that President Ballard withdrew association from Tim without attempting to offer so much as a word of explanation? As someone who believes in President Ballard’s prophetic calling and good intentions and general character as a minister and a gentleman: No; no I don’t. Maybe he tried to reach out and Tim, basking in the success of his new movie, refused to take the call. Or maybe he *did* get through to Tim and that Tim now, as an experienced undercover operator, is using his particular set of deception and manipulation skills in order to misrepresent his past activities and entice his current audience into believing that he and they have the same fundamental values.
  21. The Church’s response to Vice is legit; the Deseret News published the full statement. There are those suggesting that the author of the statement (LDS media relations director Doug Anderson) has somehow gone rogue; but the statement is now six days old and every day it goes unretracted/ unrebutted/ unsupplemented by the Church (and, every day that Anderson keeps his job) seems to bolster the conclusion that the statement said substantially what the Church leadership wanted it to say.
  22. As I understand it Vice was prepping their story and asked the Church’s media affairs director for comment; he emailed them back and then later provided that email to the Deseret News as well. When the Church (or other comparable institutions) comments reactively in this way, the comments often don’t end up on their news release website.
  23. (Apologies in advance for the bad thread title. It's late, and it's been a humdinger of a day at work, and my filter is kind of broken at the moment . . .) Back in July, I wrote: Since then . . . Vice - Mormon Church Denounces Tim Ballard’s “Morally Unacceptable” Activities Deseret News - Tim Ballard Considers Senate Run Amid Renewed Controversy Vice - Tim Ballard's Departure from Operation Underground Railroad Followed Sexual Misconduct Investigation Thoughts: I hope these are untrue. Yeah, I know, it's Vice. Even Vice isn't likely to be making this up out of whole cloth. President Ballard, at least, seems fairly convinced that Tim has to some degree been a bad boy lately.