Does historicity matter?

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.
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SamBee
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Re: Does historicity matter?

Post by SamBee » 15 Oct 2014, 14:01

I agree with him.

I think even if a fully fledged Nephite city were to be found down a sinkhole in the Yucatan, it would not actually impact the message of the BoM that much, other than proving it didn't all come out of JS' head.

I like the Book of Mormon, but it's not the history or lack thereof, which is important to me.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

DaddyB
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Re: Does historicity matter?

Post by DaddyB » 28 Oct 2014, 15:27

SamBee wrote:I agree with him.

I think even if a fully fledged Nephite city were to be found down a sinkhole in the Yucatan, it would not actually impact the message of the BoM that much, other than proving it didn't all come out of JS' head.

I like the Book of Mormon, but it's not the history or lack thereof, which is important to me.
I agree that this is likely what the EQP had in mind. If not, it is probably what those who heard it assumed.

But to me it is irrational to say that the events in the Book of Mormon never actually happened and still believe the Book of Mormon is of divine origin. I also find it interesting that it is even an issue. The only reason a believer would doubt the historicity of the Book of Mormon is if he or she accepted the claims of the critics without checking their sources and learning what LDS scholarship has discovered and said. The academic evidence in favor of the historicity of this book of scripture far outweighs the weak claims against it. I have not heard or read a single claim against its historicity that is not flawed or is without a very rational explanation.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Does historicity matter?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 28 Oct 2014, 15:31

The only reason . . .


There almost never is only one reason for any human conclusion. Just saying.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Heber13
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Re: Does historicity matter?

Post by Heber13 » 28 Oct 2014, 15:40

DaddyB wrote:The academic evidence in favor of the historicity of this book of scripture far outweighs the weak claims against it. I have not heard or read a single claim against its historicity that is not flawed or is without a very rational explanation.
Does that matter to you? If so, why?
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

DaddyB
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Re: Does historicity matter?

Post by DaddyB » 30 Oct 2014, 14:27

Heber13 wrote:
DaddyB wrote:The academic evidence in favor of the historicity of this book of scripture far outweighs the weak claims against it. I have not heard or read a single claim against its historicity that is not flawed or is without a very rational explanation.
Does that matter to you? If so, why?
Good question. If there were no critics making false claims to prevent serious consideration of the spiritual realities of the Book of Mormon and to create doubt in those weak in the faith, it would not matter so much. It would still be enjoyable, however, and act as a faith strengthener.

The reality is that Satan does not want this Book to be read or respected. It is one of the most if not the most powerful weapon against his agenda. The academic arguments against the Book of Mormon are often presented in a very logical, credible way and people generally instinctively trust what they read or what someone quotes from history. It is hard to imagine someone deliberately misleading us even though we are aware that people do that all the time. It is, therefore, the responsibility of those who do know, to provide answers to the charges of the critics. Most if not all of the evidences in favor of the Book of Mormon have been discovered because a critic first claimed it as a problem. Does that answer your question adequately?

DaddyB
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Re: Does historicity matter?

Post by DaddyB » 30 Oct 2014, 14:29

Ray DeGraw wrote:
The only reason . . .


There almost never is only one reason for any human conclusion. Just saying.
You are right. I may have overstated that just a bit.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Does historicity matter?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 30 Oct 2014, 14:34

I think it's important to realize that not all criticism or concerns are illegitimate or obvious. There are serious questions about ALL scriptural records of ALL religions that aren't easy to answer - especially for many members who refuse anything except the most faith-promoting, traditional answers. (NOT directing that at you, Daddy B; just saying.)

There also are many things that people have assumed about the Book of Mormon over the years, even prophets and other leaders, that simply aren't supported by the text itself.

Sweeping dismissals don't help many people who have real, serious questions - even those who are totally active.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Heber13
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Re: Does historicity matter?

Post by Heber13 » 30 Oct 2014, 14:44

Ray...would you say that is a more modern trending approach to religion than in decades past?

I'm not sure prior generations were as focused on proving historicity with exactness as our generations with our technology and tools we have now.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Curt Sunshine
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Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Does historicity matter?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 30 Oct 2014, 14:53

Absolutely, Heber.

Scriptural inerrancy has a long tradition, so people have believed everything recorded in sacred texts for as long as the records have existed, but focusing on scientific proof is very common now - whereas it was the exception just a century ago. That approach dismisses and even ridicules allegory, symbolism, myth, exaggeration, etc. - so much of what scripture used to mean (including to those who wrote it) gets lost in translation, both by believing literalists and unbelieving critics.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Rsbenson
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Re: Does historicity matter?

Post by Rsbenson » 03 Nov 2014, 21:09

I feel that when people can’t explain the religious teachings given by God in a historical, physical setting they start making up useless, nonliteral symbolisms to cover up ignorance.
In Genesis there was a real Garden of Eden with a real Adam, a real Eve, a real tree of the knowledge of good and evil, a real tree of life, a real Satan, and a real serpent. Oh, and by the way, God, the Father, and Jesus Christ are also real.

Historically, as the story goes, the Father commanded Adam and Eve to multiply and replenish the earth and not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They ate it anyway. This act of disobedience caused a fall which would not have happened without it.

Now, if you see problems with what physically happened, when compared with the spiritual teachings in the scriptures, don’t stick your heads in the sand and pretend like it didn’t happen. Figure out the problems and go on to the next piece of history. Pretty soon everybody is going to go outside at night and say that the stars aren’t really there. They are just symbolic.

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