Jeff Lindsay praises John Gee's book “Introduction to the Book of Abraham” as a tool to save his testimony

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Philo Sofee
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Re: Jeff Lindsay praises John Gee's book “Introduction to the Book of Abraham” as a tool to save his testimony

Post by Philo Sofee »

One idea that strikes me is just because Joseph Smith never got the canonization finished in his lifetime, and someone years later did as a prophet, seer, and revelator, does that effect the canonical status of the Book of Abraham as scripture? Does that not make us question all later prophets as mistakenly canonizing things that are not scripture? Is that a road Mormons are willing to go down in order to save Joseph Smith? Is it now the case that only what Joseph Smith thought could be scripture actually could, and all else ever spoken is not scripture? What it does is destroy the later prophets, i.e., Mormonism going into apostasy. Is that a safer road than seeing Joseph Smith believing his revelations from the Holy Ghost as Shulem has shown (how that could not be scripture in MG's mind is utterly bewildering actually)?

Why does an 40 or 60 or 80 year gap make the Book of Abraham less scriptural? I honestly do not see the connection at all. Time is irrelevant if something is scripture - given of the Holy Ghost. Why aren't we asking why it took so long for the sealed portions to get started? Why is it taking so long? Why is it not here? Does that have anything to do with it being not scripture? Is time even an issue? I am just curious. I get that MG is attempting to alleviate the fatal problems against the Book of Abraham, and I sincerely don't see his stance saving Joseph Smith or the Book of Abraham based on what Smith said about it, and all his contemporaries. The Holy Ghost was testifying to everyone in that era concerning the truth involved in the Book of Abraham, its reality, its provenance, etc. In other words MG, I think your approach is interesting, but ultimately irrelevant.
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Re: Jeff Lindsay praises John Gee's book “Introduction to the Book of Abraham” as a tool to save his testimony

Post by Xenophon »

Philo, this was exactly my issue back on page 6. For a moment, if I grant the idea the benefit of the doubt all it does is raise more issues for me than it solves. So many people who are supposedly called of God and are to be his mouthpiece have to get this wrong along the way to make it a total non-starter for me. Not to mention the case I think Shulem has made against it pretty well puts it to rest.
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Re: Jeff Lindsay praises John Gee's book “Introduction to the Book of Abraham” as a tool to save his testimony

Post by Shulem »

Much thanks for the posts supplied by Philo Sofee and Xenophon, including the one on page 6 that I neglected to respond to because my attention was so focused on our friend, MG. But I can assure you that contributions in the thread are much appreciated and will likely be read by many interested readers for years to come.

I agree that the delay in canonizing the Book of Abraham does not have much relevance and certainly can’t be a factor in disqualifying the book because it was canonized by Church authority and accepted by the general membership. That in and of itself makes it a universal action and this action is acclaimed as coming from God with his divine approval. So, if God were to reverse this action he would be obligated to provide the Church with an answer or an explanation as to why the work was being decommissioned. The members are going to want to know why and anything short of a genuine explanation wouldn’t go over well. It would call to question how God himself presides over the Church through men that are misrepresenting his divine will.

The fact remains that the Pearl of Great Price was canonized by the Church although it could have occurred earlier either in Salt Lake or perhaps even Nauvoo if Smith had moved to cause that to happen. But as I pointed out earlier he was busy with other affairs in which the construction of the Nauvoo temple was greatly weighing him down and draining the resources of the Church. But again, the fact remains, the work was finally canonized. All of the Presidents of the Church after Taylor have accepted the canonization and fully support it. The Presidents of the Church have in effect certified that this work is given by inspiration of the Holy Ghost and is therefore a gift given to the Church by God himself through the prophets both living and dead. It’s a done deal, thus:

The weight of all the Presidential successors (15 Church Presidents) from Taylor to Nelson surely has the weight to match that of Joseph Smith! Who dare say that all 15 Presidents of the Church to succeed Young were wrong in sustaining and promoting the Pearl of Great Price as part of the standard works of the Church? In my view, the act of doing so would ring the bells of apostasy and cause a great rift in the Church.
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Re: Jeff Lindsay praises John Gee's book “Introduction to the Book of Abraham” as a tool to save his testimony

Post by Shulem »

When I was a faithful Latter-day Saint there seemed little chance of getting more scripture from the standpoint of the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon or the lost 116 pages or even the Book of Joseph which Smith promised to translate. One gets the impression that Mormon canon is generally closed and nothing further of consequence will be added until the Millennium. Not even the Doctrine and Covenants has received any kind appreciable update since the saints crossed the plains. Revelation and new scripture seems to be pretty much set in stone and what has been given is all that is going to be given until Christ returns and the Millennium begins. So, it seems everything is futuristic and Mormonism consists only on what it is now with little hope of achieving the same kind of magnificent contributions which Smith gave to the world that were daring and innovative. Mormonism has settled into doldrums and is boring. It lives off the past glory of a previous generation telling their story without making new contributions to the cause. The Church today really is boring. I think most people will agree with that because it simply repeats over and over the same message and everything is correlated and predetermined. Doctrinally, the Church has become stagnant and does not grow. It simply keeps singing the same tune, over and over.

How hard would it be for the angel Moroni to come down and deliver the gold plates into the hands of Russell M. Nelson who for all practical purposes possesses the same gifts and rights that Joseph Smith had? More of the Book of Mormon could be given to the Church to better prepare it for the Millennium. But it seems that current thinking in the Church is that the Church has all it needs and is not deserving of more of what Smith gave in the first place. First the Millennium must come then more revelation will follow. It should be the other way around! Smith’s successors are nothing like him. Mormonism needs something exciting and something new in order to chart a course ahead while it waits for the Millennium that may never come.
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Re: Olishem

Post by Shulem »

Shulem wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 5:59 pm
I will share more of my thoughts on Olishem later, perhaps.

Jeff,

The Book of Abraham text directly states that the sacrifices mentioned therein were performed in the land of Chaldea on an altar designed specifically for human sacrifice. The plain of Olishem was designated as the place where the sacrifices of Egyptian custom took place. But there is a problem with the narrative of the text (Abraham 1:10) and the vignette of Facsimile No. 1 which provides Abraham’s own illustration of the Abrahamic sacrifice mentioned in the text of verse 12. They do not agree. There are clear contradictions between Olishem being yonder in another quarter of land outside of Egypt and the location designated in the iconographic symbolism of Facsimile No. 1 of “Abraham in Egypt” according to Facsimile No. 1, Fig. 10.

I would like to discuss those differences with you, Jeff. I think it can be shown that Smith’s narrative in the text does not match the iconographic symbolism of the vignette in which he attempted to connect to his story in the Book of Abraham.

Has this ever raised any level of concern with you, Jeff?

Sincerely,

Shulem
Philo Sofee
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Re: Jeff Lindsay praises John Gee's book “Introduction to the Book of Abraham” as a tool to save his testimony

Post by Philo Sofee »

Xenophon wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 11:34 am
Philo, this was exactly my issue back on page 6. For a moment, if I grant the idea the benefit of the doubt all it does is raise more issues for me than it solves. So many people who are supposedly called of God and are to be his mouthpiece have to get this wrong along the way to make it a total non-starter for me. Not to mention the case I think Shulem has made against it pretty well puts it to rest.
Oh crimany! Thanks for the heads up Xenophon, I am not paying attention very well. Well, interestingly two independent posts and thinkers have the same problem, which is extremely interesting... thanks again man I shall check it out.
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Re: Jeff Lindsay praises John Gee's book “Introduction to the Book of Abraham” as a tool to save his testimony

Post by MG 2.0 »

Philo Sofee wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 4:26 am
One idea that strikes me is just because Joseph Smith never got the canonization finished in his lifetime, and someone years later did as a prophet, seer, and revelator, does that effect the canonical status of the Book of Abraham as scripture? Does that not make us question all later prophets as mistakenly canonizing things that are not scripture? Is that a road Mormons are willing to go down in order to save Joseph Smith? Is it now the case that only what Joseph Smith thought could be scripture actually could, and all else ever spoken is not scripture? What it does is destroy the later prophets, i.e., Mormonism going into apostasy. Is that a safer road than seeing Joseph Smith believing his revelations from the Holy Ghost as Shulem has shown (how that could not be scripture in MG's mind is utterly bewildering actually)?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but where again did Joseph, first person, say that the BofA was a translation given to him through the HG? Shulem pasted some quotes that could be indirectly interpreted to be saying that, but not necessarily. Far from it. Saying that the Holy Ghost is here…in one place…so it’s gotta be there…in another…is a reach. Not to say that Joseph may not have considered his interpretive ventures (including his work with the Bible) and other projects to have been inspired on some level.
Philo Sofee wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 4:26 am
Why does an 40 or 60 or 80 year gap make the Book of Abraham less scriptural?
I think that the conditions of timing between what we see during Book of Mormon translation and publication vs. BofA are in a sense rather stunning. If the Book of Abraham was considered to be of similar scriptural authority on par with the Book of Mormon it seems as though a thirty year period would not have gone by before canonization and publication in Utah as scripture. There sure wasn’t any rush, until John Taylor came along. And what was going on behind the scenes with his decision to move towards canonization all of the sudden…after thirty years. Something just seems disjointed.

There was a rush to get the BofM translated and published.
Philo Sofee wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 4:26 am
I get that MG is attempting to alleviate the fatal problems against the Book of Abraham, and I sincerely don't see his stance saving Joseph Smith or the Book of Abraham based on what Smith said about it, and all his contemporaries. The Holy Ghost was testifying to everyone in that era concerning the truth involved in the Book of Abraham, its reality, its provenance, etc. In other words MG, I think your approach is interesting, but ultimately irrelevant.
My suggestion is that much, if not almost all, of the Book of Abraham controversy may be somewhat unnecessary. If the critics are attacking the midrashic writing and exegesis of Joseph Smith, that puts things in a different ballpark.

Regards,
MG
Last edited by MG 2.0 on Tue Sep 21, 2021 5:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jeff Lindsay praises John Gee's book “Introduction to the Book of Abraham” as a tool to save his testimony

Post by MG 2.0 »

Shulem wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 2:22 pm

The fact remains that the Pearl of Great Price was canonized by the Church although it could have occurred earlier either in Salt Lake or perhaps even Nauvoo if Smith had moved to cause that to happen. But as I pointed out earlier he was busy with other affairs in which the construction of the Nauvoo temple was greatly weighing him down and draining the resources of the Church. But again, the fact remains, the work was finally canonized. All of the Presidents of the Church after Taylor have accepted the canonization and fully support it. The Presidents of the Church have in effect certified that this work is given by inspiration of the Holy Ghost and is therefore a gift given to the Church by God himself through the prophets both living and dead. It’s a done deal, thus:
Yes, it is a done deal. Once scripture is canonized it’s very unlikely it’s going to be uncanonized. I think I’ve been rather clear as to why we might want to give the canonization a second look. Something, at least to me, doesn’t seem to make sense via the timeline, and for the other reasons I’ve mentioned.

Regards,
MG
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Re: Jeff Lindsay praises John Gee's book “Introduction to the Book of Abraham” as a tool to save his testimony

Post by Philo Sofee »

MG 2.0 wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 4:52 am
Philo Sofee wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 4:26 am
One idea that strikes me is just because Joseph Smith never got the canonization finished in his lifetime, and someone years later did as a prophet, seer, and revelator, does that effect the canonical status of the Book of Abraham as scripture? Does that not make us question all later prophets as mistakenly canonizing things that are not scripture? Is that a road Mormons are willing to go down in order to save Joseph Smith? Is it now the case that only what Joseph Smith thought could be scripture actually could, and all else ever spoken is not scripture? What it does is destroy the later prophets, i.e., Mormonism going into apostasy. Is that a safer road than seeing Joseph Smith believing his revelations from the Holy Ghost as Shulem has shown (how that could not be scripture in MG's mind is utterly bewildering actually)?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but where again did Joseph, first person, say that the BofA was a translation given to him through the HG? Shulem pasted some quotes that could be indirectly interpreted to be saying that, but not necessarily. Far from it. Saying that the Holy Ghost is here…in one place…so it’s gotta be there…in another…is a reach. Not to say that Joseph may not have considered his interpretive ventures (including his work with the Bible) and other projects to have been inspired on some level.
Philo Sofee wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 4:26 am
Why does an 40 or 60 or 80 year gap make the Book of Abraham less scriptural?
I think that the conditions of timing between what we see during Book of Mormon translation and publication vs. BofA are in a sense rather stunning. If the Book of Abraham was considered to be of similar scriptural authority on par with the Book of Mormon it seems as though a thirty year period would not have gone by before canonization and publication in Utah as scripture. There sure wasn’t any rush, until John Taylor came along. And what was going on behind the scenes with his decision to move towards canonization all of the sudden…after thirty years. Something just seems disjointed.

There was a rush to get the BofM translated and published.
Philo Sofee wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 4:26 am
I get that MG is attempting to alleviate the fatal problems against the Book of Abraham, and I sincerely don't see his stance saving Joseph Smith or the Book of Abraham based on what Smith said about it, and all his contemporaries. The Holy Ghost was testifying to everyone in that era concerning the truth involved in the Book of Abraham, its reality, its provenance, etc. In other words MG, I think your approach is interesting, but ultimately irrelevant.
My suggestion is that much, if not almost all, of the Book of Abraham controversy may be somewhat unnecessary. If the critics are attacking the midrashic writing and exegesis of Joseph Smith, that puts things in a different ballpark.

Regards,
MG
Yes, we see that is what you are saying and doing, and yet it has no teeth. Everyone around him was thrilled, excited, working with him on it, blathering about the Holy Ghost giving Joseph revelations etc., and he never corrected them. True *we* may not have a direct statement, but the fact that the church itself canonized it, and testimonies have been born concerning it is the end of your argument. All the weird timing, etc., is irrelevant. The fact that Joseph Smith may not have crystal clearly said "thus saith th Lord" does not mean it was merely an intellectual exercise. To me you look like you are squirming to get Smith out of the tight spot because you just cannot bring yourself to see that he made a huge mistake, or worse, even performed a clever (for his day) conjob. I get that. I have just accepted the conjob and have moved on, more or less.
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Re: Jeff Lindsay praises John Gee's book “Introduction to the Book of Abraham” as a tool to save his testimony

Post by Xenophon »

Philo Sofee wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 4:28 am
Oh crimany! Thanks for the heads up Xenophon, I am not paying attention very well. Well, interestingly two independent posts and thinkers have the same problem, which is extremely interesting... thanks again man I shall check it out.
Just for clarity I was just pointing out my comment for the same thing you suggest in your post here, not needing credit or anything .

It isn't that much of a stretch to suggest this line of thinking throws into question a fair bit of the divine mandate that believers grant the leadership of the church. So little a stretch that we both thought of it right away.

In all of MG's posting here I only see him working to attempt to establish thst canonization was wrong, not deal with any of the fall out that I believe would come were it to be removed from the standard works or at the very least were the canonization left in tact but acknowledged as wrong.

These kinds of apologetics always leave me thinking some members might be much happier in a church that looks more like the church or Joseph Smith (not that they worship him per se, but just that one adhere to only his teachings). That is fine and all but I think one has to acknowledge how out of sync that is with the current church and its community.
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