1) Download the best amalgamated version of the discourse from:
2) Download a review of the historical context from:
3) Pick up a decent sized dictionary and look up the word “principle” and especially note the definition pertaining to Chemistry, which will say something like this:
One of the elements that compose a substance, especially one that gives some special quality or effect.
4) Read the article on the history.
5) Carefully read the new amalgamation, especially note the text in italics is represented solely by the Woodruff account.
The only thing thats absurd here is you adamantly insisting you know what Smith was thinking, especially when there is clear evidence, which you admit to yourself, that you have no idea what he was thinking (e.g., the sun being eternal). But, never mind the evidence, full steam ahead! And do brush up on the KFD, will you? Youre obviously grossly ignorant of its textual history when you say there is no need to harmonize anything.
I am tired of this nonsense, and of you. Please dont reply to anything I post anywhere in the bloggernacle anymore. Please just ignore me and anything I write. I’ll extend you the same courtesy. Thanks, and have a nice life.]]>
I don’t care which revelation is more accept “officially”. Officials, in my experience, are more concerned with preserving the appearance of harmony, thereby promoting faith, than with giving the full truth of the matter. Personally, I only care about which revelation was more true, and I don’t think that the prior revelation would contain greater light and knowledge than the later revelation. I don’t think that you believe any of this, and THIS is where the difference really lies between us. Your forced interpretation of those passages is entirely based upon this disagreement if I’m not mistaken.
3) What is your interpretation then. I would really like to hear the “non-philosophical” and more true interpretation of what all these statements mean. I shouldn’t have had to ask for this.
4) The BOAP editors take this passage as a example of man’s uncreated nature in other places. Perhaps your interpretation of the BOAP’s is wrong, for Joseph’s statement is quite clear.
What part of sec. 93 are you talking about? The only harmonization needed in these parts of the KFD is trying to square Joseph’s obvious belief in an uncreated spirit with our current doctrine of spirit birth. A lot of harmonization is needed here. I should also mention that the only reason why I have “these” veiws is because of the facts. Nobody sets out to look for ways in which the beliefs they grew up with are wrong. Instead, they seek confirmation. Which one of us is doing that? Hmmm.
To be honest, I don’t think anybody has made any straw men here. Maybe we can drop the labels and address the content instead?]]>
You are taking crazy pills when you elevate the KFD to the level of revelation on par with the Scriptures, expecially when the textual problems with it are well known and its cleary not the word of the Lord. D&C 93 = well documented first person quotation of the Lord. KFD isnt. Got it?
1) OK, so if you have no idea what the sun analogy means, which immediately follows the ring analogy in Clayton’s account, doesnt it cast some doubt in your own mind as to what the ring analogy is supposed to mean? No, of course not, youre still absolutely sure youre right. OK, whatever.
2) No, I am not being difficult. The writers documenting a statement do nothing at all to qualify your interpretation of that statement.
3) How is it forced when in the very next statement he says the sun is eternal and light coming from the sun is also eternal, which you admit you do not understand? I am not refusing to interpret the statement, I am refusing to agree with your interpretation of the statement in light of the context, which you are ignoring. You never even asked me what my interpretation of the ring analogy was.
4) No, I didnt just refute myself. Self-existence and necessary existence are not the same thing, not even close. Self-existence in the philosophical sense implies uncreatedness, as in existence in and of itself, necessary existence doesnt, it implies pre-existence to some event, as in it necessarily existed at some point. If they are the same thing, as you assert, then why in the world did the BOAP editors insert an explanatory comment? Because of their love of stating the emminently obvious?
How am I refusing to take these sources at face value? D&C 93 is the Lord speaking through Smith, the KFD is a problematical text owing to its varying sources which require harmonization on the very points we are discussing. Two completely different things, Jeffrey. Youre the one that is ignoring the facts in an effort to promote your views. Youre the one building straw men out of questionable sources to create contradictions. I’m not doing that, Jeffrey.]]>
Because those passages aren’t ambiguous, nor is there any evidence which suggests that Joseph was speculating, and he did claim revelation for these views: “I know that when I tell you these words of eternal life, that are given to me, I know you taste it and I know you believe it. You say honey is sweet and so do I. I can also taste the spirit of eternal life; I know it is good, and when I tell you of these things, that were given me by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, you are bound to receive it as sweet, and I rejoice more and more.” One can also mention that all these doctrines are based upon Joseph’s reading of the BoA, which is also revelation. Thats how.
Joseph certainly considered his KFD to contain lots of revelation and I see no reason to doubt him. Have I ever said that anything in the HoC or JoD is revelation? I certainly haven’t. But when some prophet claims that a teaching was given to them by revelation, the burden of proof is on you to show how he was wrong, not on me. Now tell me, which should be considered as a higher revelation: a statement spoken by some prophet millennia ago and for which he claimed no revelation at the time and was hopefully written down correctly, passed on correctly and translated correctly or a statement which is confirmed by many source over extended periods of time not even 200 years ago, which was never translated or passed down and which the prophet did claim revelation for? Just because the BoM was translated by revelation doesn’t mean that every statement in it was given by revelation. This seems blindingly obvious to me.
1) Wrong. I understand them just fine with or without philosophy. I think you are the only one who refuses to acknowledge the obvious meaning of those passages I sighted. Its true, I have no clue what he meant by his comments regarding the Sun (I personally think that he possibly believed the Sun to be uncreated in some sense as well) but I am quite sure what he meant regarding the spirit. Just because he mentions the sun in one passage doesn’t somehow disqualify all the other ones.
2) C’mon. Now you are just being difficult. All these different people misunderstood Smith in the exact same way on all these occasions? C’mon.
3) I did provide the sources. Go the the Book of Abraham Project online and look up the dates I provided. It’s not that hard. Your misinterpretation of the ring analogy, which basically amounts to a refusal to interpret it at all, is extremely forced. He was very clear what he meant: if something can have a beginning, it can have an end. I don’t see anything ambiguous about that.
4) Exactly. You just refuted yourself. Self-existence is necessary existence, meaning that is must exist of necessity. Of course its talking about the pre-existence. What else would he talk about with regards to our uncreated spirits?
I agree that our difference surrounds our ideas concerning the nature of scripture and revelation, but it seems clear to me that it is you who is simply refusing to take these many sources at face value and give them the interpretation they deserve out of an unwarranted allegiance to a false understanding of scripture.
If anybody else is still reading this thread can I get an “amen” of sorts? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills here.]]>
How is it not a staw man when you create a contradiction by interpreting ambiguous passages from speculative non-revelatory writings in such a manner that they end up contradictory?
I gave you a passage, the one about the sun being eternal, which plainly shows that what Smith was thinking when he says “eternal” and what you think he was thinking are clearly at odds. Would you care to address that quotation please? No? OK.
Not everything Smith or Young said or privately speculated on falls into the classification of “revelation”. Are you suggesting that the KFD is “revelation”? Are you suggesting that anything in JofD is “revelation”? Is anything in the HofC a “revelation”? You are the one that has to elevate ever comment of Smith to the classification of “revelation” in order to create a contradiction. Isnt it obvious that Smith’s comments at a funeral arent of the same caliber and quality as that of a revelation had from the mouth of the Lord? It seems blindingly obvious to me.
1) How can it be any plainer that you dont understand what Smith meant by those words? You are imposing a modern philosophical reading on a text that does not support such a reading. Isnt it absolutely clear Smith’s intentions and ideas differ from your modern philosophical ones when he says things like “The sun has no beginning or end; the rays which proceed from himself have no bounds, consequently are eternal.”
2) Which proves nothing on your reading of Smith’s intentions.
3) No, it is not plain what Smith meant by the ring analogy. What is plain is that you think you know what he meant by it. Smith is not necessarily implying uncreatedness in the philosophical sense with that analogy, that is something you are injecting into it. Doesnt the simply fact that the sun analogy immediately follows this ring analogy show that youre reading is wrong? Also, note the serious discrepencies between the Clayton account and the McIntyre account, especially look at the [earth formed from other planets] parallel accounts, theyre different enough to result in two completely different conclusions as to how/when the preceding planets were broken up. Doesnt that tell you to be circumspect on using these sources? BTW, provide the sources then, how hard is that?
4) No, I didnt. Its plain the author/speaker is talking about pre-existence of the spirit prior to the Creation, per the Job proof text, and the editors of the BOAP project agree with that reading as the footnote to that piece you quoted from states “By self- existent he seems to mean necessary existence.” In other words, pre-existence and not the sense of uncreatedness you take it to mean.
Jeffrey, you are injecting your ideas and notions of Western Philosophy into men who never entertained those ideas, and in doing so creating a contradiction where one simply doesnt exist. And, you have to elevate all sorts of things to the level of “revelation” and set them at par with Scriptures, which you only too easily dispose of as “dead”.
This is the fundamental difference between us, Jeffrey.
When you create a contradiction by reading meaning into words that clearly do not mean what you say they do using questionable sources, then that indeed is a straw man. Lousy sources and poor exegesis result in weak arguments.]]>
I can respect your move to cling to scripture and reject anything which doesn’t agree as speculation, but I think that this only serves to illustrate a big difference between us. I don’t think that scripture is the absolute truth which modern revelation must bow before. I think that forcing revelation to agree with scripture is a case of clinging too much to dead prophets while rejecting modern ones. Since scripture is revelation, holding revelation to the standard of scripture seems to be getting the cart before the horse in my opinion. I also think that calling Joseph’s repeated statements, both in public and private over an extended amount of time, statments based on the Book of Abraham, “specualtions” isn’t entirely accurate to put it mildly.
I also think that you are trying a little too hard to fit those quotes into your overall model of revelation.
1) After just speaking about the spirit of man not being created, he says “anything which is created cannot be eternal.” How much clearer can it be?
2) He contended throughout an entire discourse on this matter and repeated it enough so that it was the only thing that was really remembered from it.
3) It is rather plain what the ring analogy was supposed to accomplish. BTW, all my sources are the Book of Abraham Project.
4) You simply ignored the “self existence” part of the quote, which supplied the context for the rest of the statement.
I think the most any honest person would read those quotes very different than you have. Straw man… indeed.]]>
Comparing the Scriptures to the public or private speculations of Smith, Young, or whoever is something I am unwilling to do. Smith, Young, or whoever can incorrectly interpret without it having any impact whatsoever on the veracity of the Scriptures. So, comparing the two things and trying to reconcile them, by forcing a square peg into a round hole, as you put it, is unnecessary as far as I am concerned. If Smith, Young, or whoever held a view contrary to the Scriptures as we understand them, that does not mean we have to reconcile, it means we reject the speculative view. SMith, Young, and whoever will make mistakes in speculative doctrine, and both Smith and Young admitted as much, and that has no bearing whatseover on the Scriptures.
With respect to your quotes:
1) this quote is taken from a discourse on the Priesthood (HC vol 3 page 387), and not a discourse on the nature of physical or spiritual matter or the Creation or createdness or uncreatedness of anything in specific. The discussion is over whether or not things pertaining to the Priesthood are earthly (temporal) or heavenly (eternal). Smith says the Priesthood is eternal, and he also says “earth, water, etc. had their existence, in an elementary state, from eternity. Clearly Smith’s comments are being taken out of context if you are trying to use them to say he is commenting on the uncreatedness, in the philosophical sense, of the spirit of man. What he meant by the comment is ambiguous, outside of that which is determined by context.
2) this quote is taken from a poorly documented rambling discourse (HC vol 4, chap 4), which appears to have been focused on the nature of punishment for sins, not a discourse on uncreatedness or the nature of the human spirit. Smith’s point appears to be more aimed at talking about the filial relationship between God and human spirits and that being a means of redemption and judgement, which judgement is temporary. What he meant by the comment is ambiguous, outside of that which is determined by context.
3) what is the source of this quote? I am having difficulty finding it. What I found similar to it was this, from TPJS, page 181:
“The elements are eternal. That which has a beginning will surely have an end; take a ring, it is without beginning or end-cut it for a beginning place and at the same time you have an ending place.
“A key: Every principle proceeding from God is eternal and any principle which is not eternal is of the devil. The sun has no beginning or end; the rays which proceed from himself have no bounds, consequently are eternal.
“So it is with God. If the soul of man had a beginning it will surely have an end. In the translation ‘without form and void’ it should be read, empty and desolate. The word created should be formed, or organized.”
Now, make sense of “eternal” in Smith’s usage when he says the sun is eternal and its rays are eternal. It only makes sense when speaking of eternal=heavenly and temporal=earthly.
4) what is the source of this quote? Regardless, all it can be used to argue for is pre-existence.
No, Joseph’s Nauvoo revelation clearly doesnt contradict anything except your perceptions of what you think he believed. Its not either one or the other as you present it. You have created a straw man and are trying to force a contradiction.]]>