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.

Friday, March 17, 2023

CWIC Media interview, part 2

The second part of the interview is available now. In this one we discussed the question, "Did Joseph Smith Really Use A Seer Stone?"


This is a timely interview because, although we didn't discuss it in this interview, our book about the translation is being formally released soon. My co-author and I will be doing interviews about the book and its contents, and the usual critics will do their thing.

Readers of this blog know that I believe what Joseph and Oliver said, not only about Cumorah, but also about the translation of the plates with the Urim and Thummim that came with the plates. 

Others disagree.

Which is fine with me. 

I've said repeatedly that I'm happy for people to believe whatever they want. I encourage people to make informed decisions, but if they don't want to, that's also fine with me. 

Most people just want to confirm their biases. That's why Fox News and CNN/MSNBC succeed in creating silos of increasingly dogmatic partisans.

That's also why Dan Peterson and John Dehlin (who completely agree about SITH) have their loyal followers who resist alternative interpretations of historical evidence.  

In fact, many if not all of those who disbelieve what Oliver wrote about Cumorah--that it is a fact that the final battles took place in western New York--also disbelieve what Oliver and Joseph said about the translation.

That's how we ended up with both M2C and SITH (the Mesoamerican/two-Cumorahs theory and the stone-in-the-hat theory, respectively).


Someone sent me a video from a critic, the Backyard Professor, who released a video yesterday about the translation. It's titled "Backyard Professor Responds to Propaganda Video of Elder David A Bednar on Priesthood Restored."

In his video, he quotes the usual suspects, the SITH advocates including David Whitmer, Brant Gardner, Mike MacKay, Dan Peterson, and Royal Skousen. He could just as easily have read from the Gospel Topics Essay or Mormonism Unvailed--or FAIRLDS, Book of Mormon Central, the Interpreter, etc.  

What none of these sources quote is what Joseph and Oliver said, because they specifically excluded the seer stone from the translation narrative. 

But since these scholars reject what Joseph and Oliver taught about Cumorah, it makes sense that they would also reject what Joseph and Oliver said about the translation. 

Here's the place in the Backyard Professor's video in which he agrees with John Dehlin that FAIRMormon (now FAIRLDS) is better at causing people to have doubts than even he is! 

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