long ago ideas

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago." - Friedrich Nietzsche. Long ago, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery conquered false claims that the Book of Mormon was fiction or that it came through a stone in a hat. But these old claims have resurfaced in recent years. To conquer them again, we have to return to what Joseph and Oliver taught.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Thinking past the sale to stone thrones

Yesterday I commented on the article about how Riplakish supposedly built a massive stone throne, even though the Book of Mormon text says nothing of the sort.

On my mesomania blog, I also commented on the concept of "thinking past the sale" which is the tactic used by LDS scholars and educators to keep the overall Mesoamerican setting alive.

The two posts are related because the Mesomania spin on the Riplakish account is an example of how to use the "thinking past the sale" tactic.

The article in Mesomania Magazine is titled "Why did Riplakish Construct a Beautiful Throne?" However, the article never answers that question!

Instead, the article explains why ancient Mesoamericans built massive thrones made of stone. But it is carefully crafted to prevent the reader from even realizing the switch.

The anonymous author doesn't explain a rationale for inferring that Riplakish had a throne carved out of stone. It just assumes that Riplakish lived in Mesoamerica. That's the sale, but the article doesn't go there because the author instead wants you to assume the Mesoamerican setting and think past that sale to the details of ancient Mesoamerican thrones.

The text (Ether 10:6) says merely that Riplakish "did erect him an exceedingly beautiful throne." The article instead describes at length ancient Mesoamerican stone thrones that are "massive" and "elaborate."

The anonymous author cleverly doesn't even cite Ether 10:7, which refers to fine work of gold. As I explained yesterday, that description lines up with the one in Mosiah about Noah's throne, which was specifically made of wood.

Not stone.

This is a common tactic that you will find often when you read Mesomania material.


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  2. In your research, Jonathan, have you been able to determine whether Joseph or Oliver was the originator? And also, the source of that knowledge/revelation?

    I'm not disputing your case, I'm just wondering how far back we can map the causal chain.

    To use your own analogy of thinking past the sale, the sale this post skips past is establishing the revelation/event in which this special knowledge was imparted unambiguously.


  3. Fair point. I've addressed these questions at length before. Obviously each blog post can't revisit every aspect of the issue. That's what the books are for.

  4. We're starting to get some spam comments, so I'll have to start moderating comments.