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Everything posted by livy111us

  1. I've always found this to be the best explanation of who will be involved and what will happen
  2. John Sorenson, who is an anthropologist/archaeologist wrote a rebuttal to this letter And a quick write up on it. Smithsonian recently opened an exhibit featuring pictures of Joseph Smith and Brigham young containing inaccuracies on the captions. Brigham Young is said to have converted to the Church in 1823, that was before the Church was even organized, and years before he heard anything about it. It was said that the Saints in Utah were "communal, undemocratic and separatist venture . . . antithetical to the ideals and structure of the national government", which is the exact opposite of what they actually were. LDS scholars had to go in, hold Smithsonians hand, and oversee the changes for correction, much like the old letter they sent out about The Book of Mormon. You would think that a scholarly organization would put a little bit of research into claims they make before publishing or presenting information, but, for the second time, they haven't. (Salt Lake Tribune 9-20-06) Answering the first Smithsonian letters can be found here: It is not very well known that the letter which condemns the Book of Mormon was removed from circulation by the Smithsonian. They now send out a very neutral letter.
  3. Cool fireside on Book of Mormon evidence. It goes over Mother in Heaven, BOM geography, and lots of evidence.
  4. Hello, Finrock! Why yes, I'm having a wonderful day, thanks for asking! I hope you are also enjoying this beautiful day (at least it is beautiful in Utah). The way I understand the situation, and I may be reading too much into it, is that the Bishop was trying to hold the OP to the Bishop's standards with tithing. Hmmmm..... Actually, after re-reading the OP he was probably acting accordingly. My guess is that he knew that the OP was not paying tithing (at least through the ward and they didn't have record of it) and was confused that the OP answered in the affirmative that he/she did pay tithing and wanted clarification. I misunderstood the situation, most likely because I've seen several Bishop's be a little too liberal with the TR interview questions. To the OP, I don't think you need to take it up the chain. I'd sit down with him to work it out between the two of you to figure out what he as thinking. It was most likely innocent but if not, then the SP needs to know about it.
  5. Additional questions about tithing would fall into that category. If they start asking about net or gross, how often you pay, how you calculate it, then yes, it is an additional question/requirement. After I discovered what this Bishop was doing (he's a family member and not my Bishop) I did some research on this question. A friend of mine, who is also a Bishop, had a discussion about this as well. He showed me where it said exactly that the Bishop should not stray from the TR questions. If they answer "no" to any questions then the interview is over and then they can discuss the issue at hand or schedule another appointment. I don't know how many perform the TR interview exactly how it is supposed to be performed, but it is the way that is laid out by the Church. Does anyone have the Temple Recommend book with the exact wording on how the procedure is supposed to take place? I think that might clear up any confusion. Edited to add: I found it online. It isn't black and white as I remember it but advises not to deviate from the outlined questions. "Generally, do not deviate from the recommend interview questions. If, during an interview, an applicant asks about the propriety of specific conduct, do not pursue the matter. Merely suggest that if the applicant has enough anxiety about the propriety of the conduct to ask about it, the best course would be to discontinue it. If you are sensitive and wise, you usually can prevent those being interviewed from asking such explicit questions." I still do not believe that Bishop was acting appropriately by pursuing a specific answer regarding tithing. It is either a yes or no. We have been told countless times that it is between us and the Lord.
  6. According to the Church Handbook of Instructions, Bishops are not to "add any requirements to those that are outlined in the temple recommend book." 1:11 That would include doing exactly what that Bishop is doing. This counsel is outlined again in the temple recommend book, they are *not* to ask anything in additional to the temple recommend question. I believe they are able to clarify questions but not ask questions that aren't outlined in the TR book. I would say take it up the ladder. Who knows if he is going overboard with other members. I knew a Bishop who would deny temple recommends if they drank energy drinks. He made this a temple recommend question for his ward. It is completely wrong and should NOT be happening. It may be innocent but needs to stop.
  7. Here are the first few pages of an excellent article on the subject written by Egyptologist Kerry Muhlestein. I've attached the entire document to this post. Actually, the document is too large to post. If anyone is interested I can post it all in sections. Kerry Muhlestein ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND OSIRIS-MICHAEL1 THE USE OF BIBLICAL FIGURES IN EGYPTIAN RELIGION, A SURVEY In the twilight of ancient Egyptian History, Biblical names and figures were used in Egyptian contexts on both papyri and stone. This has long been known by students of ancient Egypt. Some studies have pursued the use of these figures or employed them in attempts to understand other aspects of Egypt.2 However, much remains to be done in coming to understand what these uses can teach us of Egypt and Egyptian religion itself.3 Here a survey of such use is provided, which attempts to answer those questions which must first be addressed if we are to move further in the study of such texts. These questions are 1) Who used these Biblical figures and stories? 2) What figures and stories did they use? 3) Why and how did they use them? 4) When did they use them? 5) How did they learn of them? and 6) When did they learn of them? This study represents an initial phase of answering these questions. Who used Biblical Figures and Stories? The bulk of the texts we will examine here come from a few important papyri caches. Many aspects of these papyri are international and intercultural. They come largely from within Egypt, and those that do not were found in the vicinity of Isis temples, which denotes an Egyptian association.4 Most of the extant texts were written in Greek, though a significant number were written in Demotic—a script that most likely was used only by Egyptians themselves.5 There has been some debate as to which culture gave birth to these texts. While they show some similarities with Greek magical culture,6 these similarities are minute when compared with 1 The name ‘Osiris-Michael’ is used in PGM XXIIb. 2 See, for example, J. Johnson, ‘Louvre E3229: A Demotic Magical Text’ in Enchoria 7 (1977), 55–102; J. Gee, ‘Abracadabra, Isaac and Jacob’ in FARMS Review 7/1 (1995), 19–84; A.D. Nock, ‘Greek Magical Papyri’ in JEA 15 (1929), 219–235; R.K. Ritner, The Mechanics of Ancient Egyptian Magical Practice (Chicago, 1993), 2, 4, 88–92, 89–90, 109–110, 182, 240–241. 3 Johnson in Enchoria 7, 97. 4 See Gee, ‘Abracadabra, Isaac and Jacob’ in FARMS Review 7/1. 5 A.E. Hanson, ‘Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Arabes, and Ioudaioi in the First Century ad Tax Archive from Philadelphia: P. Mich. Inv. 880 Recto and P. Princ. III 152 Revised’ in J.H. Johnson (ed.), Life in a Multi-Cultural Society: Egypt from Cambyses to Constantine and Beyond (SAOC 51, Chicago, 1992), 136, has suggested that some Greeks learned Demotic. This is contra the comunis opinio, which is that in the Greco-Roman period demotic was used only by Egyptians; see Gee in FARMS Review 7/1, 42; W. Clarysse, ‘Egyptian Scribes Writing Greek’, CdÉ 68 (1993), 187–188; W.J. Tait, ‘Demotic Literature and Egyptian Society’ in Johnson, Life in a Multi-Cultural Society, 307–10; and E. Bevan, A History of Egypt under the Ptolemaic Dynasty (London, 1927), 84. 6 W.R. Dawson, ‘Anastasi, Sallier, and Harris and Their Papyri’ in JEA 35 (1949), 158–159. Abraham, Isaac, and Osiris-Michael 247 Egyptian religious texts.7 They follow the basic patterns of the Book of the Dead, and do not demonstrate a notable shift from earlier Egyptian ‘magical’ texts.8 Instead the texts seem to represent another smooth step in the ongoing flow of Egyptian religious texts, with no noticeable break or change. This is true for the other attestations of Biblical figures in Egyptian contexts, such as funerary stelae. The current study incorporates these kinds of uses that go beyond the Greek Magical Papyri, but does not pretend to be a comprehensive list of such sources. In all cases investigated, the material, historical and geographic context, literary form, and genre are in keeping with an Egyptian context.9 Moreover, while figures from a variety of cultures were employed, the majority of figures are Egyptian, suggesting an Egyptian backbone to the textual history of the manuscripts under study. Canaanite, Mesopotamian, Israelite, Greek, and Egyptian deities and figures are all used.10 The latter three represent the lion’s share of uses. Some texts use primarily Greek figures, and others primarily Israelite. However, Egyptian figures make up the core of the texts. Additionally, the majority of these texts seem to have been owned by Egyptian priests —especially priests from Thebes. Those texts outside of the Greek Magical Papyri corpus appear to have been composed by Egyptian priests. Furthermore, these texts fit into a chronological continuum: Christian magical texts from Egypt follow them and use the same patterns, only discontinuing the use of Egyptian and Greek gods over time.11 Yet these later texts are clearly Egyptian, and thus support the argument that the earlier texts are also Egyptian in origin. Taken together, all these evidences lead to the conclusion that these texts are Egyptian in nature. Surely they exhibit the influence of other cultures, but they are essentially Egyptian. The aforementioned chronological continuum introduces a difficulty in categorizing the texts. The dates and nature of language and figures employed in many texts makes it certain that they represent Egyptian religious ideas. The dates and language of other texts make it easy to identify them as Christian. However, there are a number of texts that cannot be as easily determined; they may represent either Christian Egyptians using typical Egyptian texts, or they might be practitioners of Egyptian religion using these texts at a time when much of Egypt had 7 There is agreement on this among Egyptologists who specialize in this type of literature from this time period. See Johnson in Enchoria 7, 94, 87; J.H. Johnson, ‘The Dialect of the Demotic Magical Papyrus of London and Leiden’ in J.H. Johnson and E.F. Wente (eds.), Studies in Honor of George R. Hughes (SAOC 39, Chicago, 1976); Gee in FARMS Review 7/1, 35, 43; K. Koch, Gesichchte der ägyptischen Religion (Stuttgart, 1993), 542; R. Ritner, ‘Egyptian Magical Practice under the Roman Empire: The Demotic Spells and their Religious Context’ in Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II.18.5 (1995), 3333–3379. Contrary views can be found in C. Faraone, Ancient Greek Love Magic (Cambridge, 1999), 35–36; and F. Graf, Magic in the Ancient World (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1997), 5. The most nuanced treatment of this is from J. Dieleman, Priests, Tongues, and Rites. The London-Leiden Magical Manuscripts and Translation in Egyptian Ritual (100–300 ce) (Leiden, 2005). Even in this carefully thought out and constructed discussion (Dieleman, Priests, Tongues, and Rites, 22), concludes that at least the portion of the library he studies arose from an Egyptian scribal and priestly tradition and stemmed from ‘an Egyptian temple milieu’. 8 Gee in FARMS Review 7/1, 44. For examples of this, see Dieleman, Priests, Tongues, and Rites, 170–182. 9 For more on this, see Dieleman, Priests, Tongues, and Rites, 282–284. 10 For more on this, see Nock in JEA 15, 228–229. 11 See M. Meyer, Ancient Christian Magic: Coptic Texts of Ritual Power (New York, 1994). The most comprehensive treatment on Christianity in Egypt is C.W. Griggs, Early Egyptian Christianity: From its Origins to 451 ce (Leiden, 1990). become Christian. While the study of how Egyptian Christians reused and reinterpreted Egyptian religious practices in their new Christian religion is a very worthy study, it is not within the parameters of this disquisition. Therefore, for this study I have only used texts that are comfortably categorized as Egyptian religious texts. While we cannot here be detained by a lengthy discussion regarding the use of the term ‘magical’ in connection with such texts,12 I maintain that these texts are essentially religious in nature, and do not represent anything out of the norm for Egyptian religion and religious practice. Thus ‘magical’ is not the most accurate term. However, the majority of texts used in this study are from a corpus long known by the name of ‘Greek Magical Papyri’, and even though I do not feel they are Greek in essence, but are only partially Greek in script and language, and I do not think they are magical in nature, it would be too confusing to refer to them by some other name. The more recent usage of ‘Theban Magical Library’ is closer to accurate, though there is still room for debate as to what is meant by the term ‘magical’. While a better name may be needed, I will use these standard terms for these texts in order to avoid confusion, but do so with the understanding that all the texts discussed in this article represent Egyptian religious texts.
  8. Here are some resources I like BOAP: The Book of Abraham Project Fullscreen | Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship Fullscreen | Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship Fullscreen | Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship LDS FAQ: Ancient Evidences for the Book of Abraham: Other Records Confirm its Story Book of Abraham/Evidence for antiquity - FairMormon Astronomy, Papyrus, and Covenant | Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship Mormon Challenges | Come in from the Cold I began to reflect: Book of Abraham--Names Abraham in Egypt | Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship A Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri | Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
  9. Book of Mormon Evidences, Part One: Not Proof, But Indications of Plausibility Book of Mormon - FairMormon
  10. I remember this now that you bring it up. I can't recall if it was a message read over the pulpit or in General Conference but it came from a source of authority.
  11. I have heard this argument used about not understanding the Trinity. I hope you don't mind the cut and paste. “This is eternal life, that they might know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). The Greek word for “know” is “ginosko” which means: “To come to know, recognize, understand, or to understand completely” (Vines Expository Dictionary, pg. 627). If one cannot “understand completely”, let alone explain the idea of the trinity, how does one expect to have eternal life?"
  12. I missed that. Is it in this thread or another? What post #? I don't use the ECF as proof of any doctrine, which is why I only posted one and a Father who personally knew the Apostles (at least John), but just so show that this Modalism was abhorred in early Christianity and later writers spent a lot of time refuting this principle. Modalism has been rejected by most educated Christians since the ECF and, without going into great detail, is the reason I posted Ignatius. edited to add: I found your comments on the ECF and completely agree with you
  13. Heb. 5:9--“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;” This speaks about Christ obtaining perfection, If He were God the Father, He would have been perfect already. The New American Bible reads: “and when perfected, he became the source of eternal salvation.” The N.I.V. says: “and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him” Mat. 12:32--“And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” If you sin against Christ, you are forgiven, but if you sin against the Holy Ghost, you are not forgiven. If they were the same person, there would also be the same punishment. Luke 3:22--“And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.” All three members of the Godhead were at Christs baptism. John 14:21--These are brief examples of there separation, Christ praying to the Father (see also Mat. 26:39, 27:46, John 12:27-28, John 16:26, John 17:5-11) John 7:16-17, 8:27-28--“Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” The Son teaches the Fathers doctrine, not His own (see also Luke 2:49-50, John 17:3-4) Rev. 1:1--“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:” How could God give Christ revelation if they are the same? Eph. 1:20—“Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,” God raised Christ from the dead and set Him on His right hand. (see also Mark 16:19, Luke 22:69, 1 Peter 3:22, Rev. 3:21) John 5:27--“For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.” God gives Christ authority. (see also Romans 2:16, 2 Tim. 4:1) Mat. 28:18-- These are Jesus’ words saying “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth”. Power that is given must come from somebody else. In this case, power is given from God. How can He give power to Himself? John 14:28---“Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.” God is greater than Christ. (see also John 10:29, 1 Cor. 15:28) 1 Cor. 11:3-- “The head of Christ is God”. Christ is subordinate to the Father. 1 Tim. 2:5--“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” This tells us directly that there is one God and one mediator, which equals 2 people. A mediator between two parties is indeed a third party (see also John 14:6, Rom. 8:34, Heb. 7:25) Rev. 5:7--This is a vision John is having of heaven, and he sees Christ take a book from the right hand of God. This couldn’t happen if they are one. John 8:17-18--”It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.” There are 2 witnesses, Jewish law specified that at least two or three witnesses were required to establish the testimony of anyone as a fact. This scripture states that Christ is one and God is the other. John 20:17--“Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” We share the same Father and God. Christ Himself refers to Him as His God. There has to be a separation there. (see also Mat. 27:46, Mark 15:34, 2 Cor. 11:31, Ephesians 1:3, 1 Peter 1:3, Rev. 3:12) Gen. 1:26, 3:22, 11:7, Isa. 6:8-- “Let us” that shows 2 people in the garden, not one only . John 5:19-- “The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what thingsoever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise”. How could Jesus follow the Fathers lead, if He was Himself? Acts 7:55--“But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,” This is a great example of the divinity of them. Stephen saw Christ on the right hand of God. Acts 2:33 also Heb. 5:5--God said to Christ “Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee” Can you beget yourself? Mark 13:32--“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” No one knows when the second coming will happen, not even Christ, but God only. Can God keep a secret from Himself? Mat. 18:10-- “In heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven” If God was in heaven during Christs ministry, there is no possible way for them to be the same person. (Mat. 5:48, 6:9, 10:33, 16:17, Luke 11:2, John 14:12, 20:17) Luke 22:46–“Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” This shows that the Father and Son are not only in different places at the same time, but they also possess their own spirit. John 14:12--“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” Christ returned to the Father after the resurrection (see also John 16:27-28, 30, 1 Peter 3:21-22) Mat. 26:39-42-- “O my Father, not as I will, but as thou wilt; thy will be done” (see also Luke 22:41-42, John 5:30) John 3:16--The Father sent His Son to the earth (see also John 5:24, 6:38, 7:28-29, 8:26, 29, 42, 12:44-45, 17:3-10, 18, 25, 20:21, Mark 9:37, 1 John 4:14) John 14:9-- “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father”. Yet many people saw Christ and lived. Mat. 28:19–“baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost” If God was only one person, he would have only commanded them to baptize in the name of God Ignatius says that there were “some vain talkers and deceivers not Christians, but Christ- betrayers” who “Some of them say that the Son is a mere man, and that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are but the same person, and that the creation is the work of God, not by Christ, but by some other strange power. Be on your guard, therefore, against such persons, that ye admit not of a snare for your own souls” (Ante-Nicene Fathers 1:68, chap. 6, Ignatius to the Trallians) “Jesus commands them to baptize into the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost—not into a unipersonal God.” (Ante-Nicene Fathers 3:623, Tertullian 213 AD, W)
  14. However, most scholars have denounced that website due to massive amounts of misinformation. Take that info with a grain of salt.
  15. That journey is quite possible and has been done in less than a year. Moroni had nearly 40 years to make a similar trek. John Sorenson wrote "Would Moroni have been able to survive a trip of several thousand miles through strange peoples and lands, if he did transport the record? Such a journey would be no more surprising than the trip by Lehi's party over land and by sea halfway around the globe. As a matter of fact, we do have a striking case of a trip much like the one Moroni may have made. In the mid-sixteenth century, David Ingram, a shipwrecked English sailor, walked in 11 months through completely strange Indian territory from Tampico, Mexico, to the St. John River, at the present border between Maine and Canada. His remarkable journey would have been about the same distance as Moroni's and over essentially the same route. So Moroni's getting the plates to New York even under his own power [in 36 years] seems feasible." John L. Sorenson, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City, Utah : Deseret Book Co. ; Provo, Utah : Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1996 [1985]), 44
  16. Matthew Roper has co-authored a few since then. Wordprint Analysis and Joseph Smith's Role as Editor of the Times and Seasons - Matthew Roper, Paul J. Fields, and Atul Nepal - Insights - Volume 30 - Issue 6 his reviews against the Jocker's et. al. study in 2011 The Historical Case against Sidney Rigdon's Authorship of the Book of Mormon - Matthew Roper, and Paul J. Fields - FARMS Review - Volume 23 - Issue 1 Examining a Misapplication of Nearest Shrunken Centroid Classification to Investigate Book of Mormon Authorship - G. Bruce Schaalje, Matthew Roper, and Paul J. Fields - FARMS Review - Volume 23 - Issue 1
  17. It would only be speculation on my part, but we are told that Moroni was dedicating Temple sites during his wanderings, perhaps there will be a Temple built in that spot in the future.
  18. Remember that Moroni traveled for several decades before depositing the plates in Cumorah, this was more than enough time to make the trek. There have been documented cases of others doing this in less than a year. An interesting bit on this topic can be found in a book by John Lund. "Two maps showing Moroni's travels from Central America to Palmyra, New York were produced by two contemporaries of the prophet who said that their information came from Joseph Smith himself. Patriarch Wm. McBride and Brother Andrew M. Hamilton, both of whom settled in the Richfield, Utah area credited Joseph Smith with teaching them that the Land of Bountiful mentioned in the Book of Mormon was in Central America. He also taught them that Moroni had dedicated several temple sites during his long journey. Moroni carried with him what Joseph Smith referred to as the "other things" which were found buried with the gold plates. These included the Urim and Thummin, the breastplate and the sword of Laban. The plates themselves weighed about 50 to 60 pounds. The temple sites credited to Moroni's dedications are the St. George and Manti, Utah temples, plus Nauvoo, Independence and Kirtland, and, according to Patriarch McBride, "others we know not of yet." McBride wrote that Joseph "marked with his cane in the sand the track the Saints would take to the Rocky Mountains" and also drew a map of Moroni's travels. In later years both Patriarch McBride and Brother Hamilton drew maps according to their recollections which were basically the same. From information written on the maps, they show that: (1) the Book of Mormon Land of Bountiful was in Central America, (2) Moroni walked from Central America to Palmyra, New York, (3) Moroni traveled through the Great Basin on his way to New York, and (4) he visited the site of Adam-Ondi-Ahman. According to Patriarch McBride, Moroni was accompanied by other Nephites during part of his journey to Palmyra. No information has been found from either brother's writings why he finished the last part of his journey alone or what happened to those who followed him in his exodus. Knowing that Moroni had a group with him is consistent with President Brigham Young's statement when he announced the building of the St. George temple, that ".....this spot was dedicated by the Nephites. They could not build it (the temple) but we can and will build it for them."
  19. Here's some info on more walled cities and palisades in Mesoamerica. Mesoamerican ruins of Be K'an 150-450 AD, Tikal, Edzna have dirt fortifications Then we are still OK for Mesoamerica. Most of these dry moats were missed in early excavations. Having been found (at locations such as Becan) they are now part of the list of things to look for, and they are found in increasing numbers as they continue to dig. These are dry moats that use the dirt to build up a mound, on top of which are staked fences. That is precisely what the Book of Mormon suggests. If that is your only criterion, you now have at least two places that qualify. Your assertion that there are none is clearly ignorant of the data. Mesoamerican Fortifications and the Book of Mormon early use of such palisades at San Jose Mogote in the Valley of Oaxaca; Bruce Owen discusses such fortifications at Becan in central Yucatan (5 meter deep moat, a 12 meter high earth embankment, with a timber palisade on top), and at other settlements Mesoamerica: Maya Ross Hassig, War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica (1992), 219 n. 34, says that "the relative absence of fortifications in the Maya lowlands is at least partly the result of not looking for them and because the primary thrust has been to look for earthen and stone walls, leading archaeologists to ignore possible organic remains of such defensive structures as wooden palisades. The large defensive wall and dry moat at Tikal were not recognized as such for years despite being pierced by paths along which archaeologists repeatedly passed between Tikal and Uaxactun. Palisades would leave even fewer traces (Webster 1976a:89;m 1979:148)." The breakthrough discoveries of Webster and others at Tulane University were soon followed by related findings which fueled a paradigm shift in our understanding of the prevalence of warfare in ancient Mesoamerica. Other findings have confirmed the use of palisaded fortifications (palisade = fence of "pales" or pointed sticks made as a defensive barrier, according to the American Heritage Dictionary), ditches, and earthen walls. John Sorenson summarizes these Mesoamerican findings as of 1984: “More than one hundred fortified sites are now known. Ray Matheny's work at Edzna revealed a large, moated fortress dating to around the time of Christ [1]. Loma Torremote in the Valley of Mexico was a palisaded hilltop settlement by about 400 B.C. [2] Part of the three kilometers of defensive walls at famous Monte Alban dates before 200 B.C. [3] The core of Los Naranjos in western Honduras was entirely surrounded by a big ditch sometime between 1000 and 500 B.C. [4] Besides the actual sites, graphic art, remains of weapons, and warrior figurines have been found for many periods. So have stone walls. (Compare Alma 48:8) [5] And the public skull-rack (Aztec tzompantli), used at the time of the Conquest by the Aztecs to strike fear into the hearts of potential rebels against their military control, has now been found in Cuicatlan Valley of Oaxaca dating from before the time of Christ. [6] "Increasingly, it is apparent that war practices in use when the Europeans arrived go back to the very early history of Mesoamerica. Yet as late as ten years ago, most of the published descriptions of early life in the area directly contradicted this view." (Ensign, Sept. 1984, p. 33.)
  20. While the Jehovah=Christ and Elohim=God the Father is a rule that is true most of the time, there are many examples through the scriptures which Jehovah=the Father and Elohim=Christ. Numerous times the title LORD God, or Jehovah Elohim is used. Who is this speaking about? Well, context is the key. If we were to use the above rule in these passages we would be very confused. The Church and scholars make this known but sometimes the general membership of the Church still relies on this rule as concrete doctrine. The Church has even included this in our scriptures. In our Topical Guide there is a section that points you to all the scriptures which refer to Jehovah as the Father God the Father, Jehovah There are also many instances where Joseph Smith and other leaders of our Church used the name of Jehovah to describe God the Father. So what you are pointing is nothing new to LDS. Many people (LDS and non-LDS) mistakenly believe that there is no deviation by the ancients on the names of Christ and the Father, but this is not the case. FAIR has an article on this subject which should be helpful: Mormonism and the nature of God/Elohim and Jehovah - FAIRMormon
  21. "If" true, then he is probably referring to a chandelier because they can be VERY expensive. Here is an ugly one that is on sale for $51,000 Axo Light Subzero 50 Light Chandelier | Wayfair A quick Google search turned up many chandeliers in religious places that are well over 1 million dollars, and yes, they are ugly as well. I think that if we got a gorgeous one for our Temples for only 100k then we are doing pretty good. Like Jenamarie said, the Lord required His house to be built with only the best of material in ancient days. So we must ask ourselves, how would this translate today? What are the best materials around the world today? He did not say to get mediocre material, but the best. Some argue that we could have bought decent material and used the money to give to the poor or something of the like. When this is brought up, I am reminded of the story of Christ when Judas tempted him with the same accusation. John records: John 12:3-7 "Then Mary took three quarters of a pound of perfumed oil made of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus. She then wiped his feet dry with her hair. (Now the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfumed oil.) 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was going to betray him) said, “Why wasn’t this perfumed oil sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor?” 6 (Now Judas said this not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief. As keeper of the money box he used to take what was put into it.) 7 So Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She has kept it for the day of my burial. 8 For you always have the poor with you, but you don’t always have me” From my notes: In addition to the Jerusalem Temple being made of the finest materials around that part world, Josephus states that the treasury in the Temple held “10,000 talents” of gold. This would equal out to approximately $2,250,000,000 in todays dollars. The exegesis notes that the given value of the ointment, according to Mark, is 300 denarii, or a full year's wages for a normal man. "The vase and its contents were worth more than a man's wages for a whole year. The gift could have canceled someone's pitiable poverty. There is the problem! But there is an answer. The poor are more than mouths to be fed. The poor have needs which money cannot meet . . . The censure of the apostles was an oblique insult to the poor. God has made harvest fields beautiful as well as bountiful . . . Why has God sprinkled fields with flowers and the sky with stars? The utilitarian cannot explain our world, and he cannot meet the deepest hunger of man's heart . . . The poor hunger for more than bread. The woman's deed was not only beautiful --- it was symbolic . . . We need symbols: they vivify the mercy of God and unite mankind, for though men may quarrel about the phrasing of a creed, they cannot quarrel over the bond of a symbol. The woman's deed was not only symbolic, it was sacramental . . . There is no rule of thumb [as to the proper balance between practical utilitarianism and symbolic beauty], for the good reason that every thumb has a different thumbprint . . . a man does not discuss art in a where children are starving, but neither will he be long content that children should live in ugly houses on ugly streets . . . Talents also point the road: Beethoven must not forsake his music, except in direst emergencies, to run a soup kitchen" (Interpreter's Bible 7:569-570).
  22. Unfavorable or not, it is history. The book does a great job and painting an *accurate* picture of Joseph Smith, warts and all. But despite his shortcomings, the Lord was still able to use him to restore God's church and use him as an instrument. This is a great lesson for all of us imperfect people who can use this as an example to show that the Lord can take an imperfect human to do such great things.
  23. You will enjoy Seth Payne's lecture. He gave some great advice in his presentation that many of us in the Church should take. Remember, this is coming from someone who has spent years researching, defending, and promoting the faith who then had a crisis of faith. He has bee on both sides of this situation. "We must never make a doubter feel stupid, unwelcome, unworthy, or unwanted because of their doubts or disbelief. Such behavior is anathema to Christian love and is an attempt at social shaming and coercion. The redemptive value of the Gospel of Jesus Christ rests on the ability of an individual to choose for him or herself. Therefore, even if these attempts at shaming and coercion were effective, they would create reluctant disciples following the rules with an unconverted and defiant heart. Take doubters at their word. Respect their views as you would have them respect yours." He continues "Church members and families who react negatively to the doubts and disbelief of those who once believed, are, in most cases, not acting out of malice. Rather, they are responding to an extremely shocking and disconcerting event -*‐‑-*‐‑ an event which challenges them and requires an adjustment of some kind to the pre-*‐‑existing relationship which had previously been anchored, or at least strongly supported, by a shared worldview." He spent some time on accusing the doubter of sinning as being the cause of his doubts. This comes across as being judgmental and pushes the doubter further from the Church. While in *some* cases, this is true, but certainly not all. How do you think it would make someone feel who are struggling within on a daily basis to know whether the Church was true or not, and when they confide in others of this very personal information (many times as a cry for help) they are scolded telling them it is because they are sinning? It probably won't help the situation much. We need to be more understanding and sympathetic towards people with doubts and not be so quick to throw out accusations. We need to be more loving and uplifting in order to bring them back to the fold.