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In the face of this attitude, it is fitting to remember the words of the contemporary poet:. The conclusion is that do discover anew the value of truth, amounts to recovering being as the primary and original metaphysical value. It comprises, without a doubt, an intellectual task of great scope and with profound practical consequences. Manila: Sinag-Tala Publishers Inc.

Darmstadt: Wissenschafliche Buchgesellschaft, , p. I sit in the other camp. It can never serve as the base for knowledge. You say: Aristotle, the first philosopher who made a serious and complete balance of the philosophical ideas developed by his predecessors and contemporaries. I use Aristotle myself - his thought has a lot of similarities to Indigenous philosophy - especially in Ethics. We cannot know the truth. We are unable to obtain a position exterior to this world so as the observe, from an objective point of view, whether we really do know the 'truth' about this world.

Therefore the truth is unknowable. And yes, these philosophical approaches have lead to a dead-end. The knowledge systems of the Europe and its derived cultures cannot show an actual base for their knowledges. I do not see why Relativism is such an issue.

ALL things are based in culture, therefore all things are relative. Metaphysics is not wisdom. There are some basic assumptions that people make when they engage in metaphysics - and those assumptions cannot be proven. However, being is Man and women. Are you sugesting there is another "being" on which we gound knoweldge? We should put aside concepts of 'truth' and stop acting as if we can know the truth. So if it is relative, then you statement is not ruling out absolutes.

If your statement is an absolute, then it provides as an example of an absolute statement, which proves that not all truths are relative. This argument against your "relativism statement" only works, if you positioned truth as relative. And to add for you sentence of "metaphysics is not wisdom In other words, metaphysics is considered wisdom, to know why things works in their certain ways, which we can discuss through metaphysics. This means when the form of the object is in front of someone the accidents: type, color, shape, capacity, etc. If you cant cite authorities to support your argument, then you did not read my work well enough.

Is there a "creator" of our faculty of reason? Eventually your mind can only make one answer to that question Not quite. I do agree - but I would frame it a little different. I'm suggesting that we can never know the truth. In that case we should discard the concept It is unkownable, and the search for "truth" leads nowhere, and in fact, raises more issues than it resolves. It also seems to me that you are arguing from 'justified true belief'. Your statement that " scientific discoveries in the past, and how all the methods and precautions of science, implies that the fundamental certitude that truth is accessible in some way.

However, if that is the case, previous scientific discoveries, which have now been proven wrong, were 'justified true belief', and therefore knoweldge. However, they have now been proven wrong, and so are no longer 'justified true belief'. How the do we accept the current scientific 'knowledge' as 'justified true belief'? What priviliges the current justified true belief over the former justified true belief'?

Dancy, J. Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology. Malden, MA, Blackwell. I would also place Feyerabend's work in this context Feyerabend, P. Against Method. London, Verso. Feyerabend, P. Farewell To Reason. London, Verso among others. For and Against Method. Chicago, Il, University of Chicago Press. I also want to go back to a statement in your first post " the human intellect is normally oriented towards truth I disagree.

They mean authentic, belief, correct but not in a 'truth' sense. Again, I disagree with Aristotle if that statement is meant as an absolute. I don't always disagree with Aristotle, but certainly in this case I do. There are many and varied beliefs about why things are a certain way. Indigenous Ontologies which is basically what we are talking about are substatially different from Christian Ontologies, which are different from scienctific ontologies the last is a bit of a generalization, but I hope you get the point. There is nothing that priviliges any one of the wide range of ontologies - the wide range of why things are they way they are - and the causes.

As well, as soon as metaphysics is brought to the table it is complgtely challengable and cannot provide a firm basis for knowledge. What proof does Aristotle have to make that statement? Thus, despite invariant content, perspectival truth 2 ends up being noncommittal as to what worldly states of affairs ultimately obtain.

Moreover, perspectival truth 2 so understood fails to deliver also on the Kuhnian dictum because the disagreement between communities is explained away by relativizing knowledge claims to perspectives. Can we improve on perspectival truth 2? Perspectival truth 3 has a seductive appeal. It is kosher to the normativity of realism in getting at least part of things right via the representational success of our modeling practices.

At the same time, it accommodates the Kuhnian stance against the God's eye view by delegating to scientific perspectives qua families of models the task of offering idealized, inaccurate, and yet still true perspectival images of an independent world. What better prospect for truth within a perspective? Here is a worry, and a possible way forward. The worry first. Perspectival truth 3 evokes the Kantian stereotype of a noumenal reality receding beyond the realm of appearances i. Scientific inquiry, like cartography, becomes a mapping exercise with incomplete and partial maps of a world we never made.

Perhaps this is all we can reasonably expect from science. Perhaps we should not ask for more from perspectival truth. Yet, I want to conclude with a note of optimism, and suggest that there is more that we can expect from a notion of perspectival truth. Should this intuition prove correct, a more promising way of thinking about perspectival truth may be available to the perspectival realist.

I pursue this intuition in the next final Section. Let us take stock. Yet, perspectival truth 3 still falls short of delivering on the normativity of realism science ought to get things right. The goal of this final section is to go back to the contextualist motivation behind perspectival truth 3 , elucidate some of its key aspects, and move perspectival truth forward in a new direction. A good starting point is the common distinction in epistemology between context of use and context of assessment.

In what follows, I take on board the distinction between context of use and context of assessment but not with an eye to defending relativized truth. To see how this distinction can be helpfully deployed to cash out a fourth kind of perspectival truth, let us return for a moment to the aforementioned example of water, with which the case for perspectival truth 3 was illustrated. But if the context of use is statistical mechanics, then a. It ultimately opens the door again to a form of relativized truth, akin to the one at play in perspectival truth 2. Yet such knowledge claims must also be assessable from the point of view of other subsequent or rival scientific perspectives.

For such an assessor would be able to tell that although viscosity is indeed a fundamental property of water in hydrodynamics, 26 Viscosity features as a dimensionless variable, either as dynamic viscosity qua measure of internal resistance, or as kinematic viscosity qua ratio of dynamic viscosity to the mass density.

Thus, in the context of assessment, it would not be the case that a. For a. Would not the first clause, i. Should we conclude that the researcher has contributed to the advancement of knowledge about object x? Here, I cannot help but sharing Richard Boyd's , pp. For more details on this point, please see Massimi forthcoming.

But there is more. Things get more complex when it comes to scientific perspectives understood diachronically, i. Consider the following two knowledge claims: b. For example, b. But it is deemed false in the contemporary quantum electrodynamics perspective. Scientific knowledge claim c. What makes us believe that c. Here is where the scientific realist would reply that the electron spin is a real property of the electron, and in contrast the elastic ether simply does not exist—end of the story.

We go back to the problem of success from nowhere vs success from here now , and neither of them is very promising.

Thus, a viable notion of perspectival truth should be able to tell the difference between b. And, from our own current scientific perspective, we no longer believe b. The whole programme of ether dynamics reached an impasse by the end of the nineteenth century precisely because these momentous efforts could not deliver models of the ether that were accurate with respect to the experimental data, consistent with engineering practices, able to feature in projectible generalisations and so on.

By contrast, scientific knowledge claim c. For example, it features in projectible generalizations e. It was and still is consistent with other accepted scientific theories e. Qua contexts of assessments, scientific perspectives offer standpoints from which knowledge claims of other scientific perspectives can be evaluated. This double role of scientific perspectives is important in cashing out a fourth version of perspectival truth that does not fall prey of any of the aforementioned problems. If scientific perspectives were allowed to sanction the truth of their own knowledge claims by their very own lights and standards, perspectival truth 4 would be bankrupt.

Contexts of assessment can help with the task. Insofar as knowledge claims about, for example, properties of water previously identified e. Sometimes a knowledge claim true in a given scientific perspective becomes a limiting case of a more general true knowledge claim in the new scientific perspective.

In any case, insofar as knowledge claims about, say, properties of water, of electrons, or planetary motion continue to be found from the point of view of a new scientific perspective as still performing adequately, such knowledge claims can be said to be true across scientific perspectives. This is perspectival truth 4 — combining a contextualist, yet still bona fide realist account of truth within a perspective.

As mentioned in footnote 25, MacFarlane defends relativized truth.


Is perspectival truth 4 truth enough? Is perspectival truth 4 closer to Putnam's warrented assertibility than to the realist notion of truth as correspondence? I do not think so. The standards of performance adequacy do not fulfill the task of warranting what we can assert about the electron or the properties of water; nor do they claim to replace truth as correspondence. Instead, their task is simply to allow us to evaluate the ongoing performance of our scientific knowledge claims across time and perspectival shifts, because we simply do not possess a God's eye view to do that otherwise.

Perspectival truth may well be our best bet of getting things right from a human vantage point—a vantage point we equally share with our historical predecessors and contemporary rivals. This is the only vantage point we can legitimately reclaim as our own. I thank audiences at Chicago, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, Stirling, Munich for very helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper. Volume 96 , Issue 2. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account.

If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research Volume 96, Issue 2. Original Article Open Access. Michela Massimi University of Edinburgh Search for more papers by this author. Tools Request permission Export citation Add to favorites Track citation. Share Give access Share full text access. Share full text access. Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article.

Abstract In this paper, I assess recent claims in philosophy of science about scientific perspectivism being compatible with realism. Acknowledgments I thank audiences at Chicago, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, Stirling, Munich for very helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper. Armstrong, David. Crossref Google Scholar. Heck, what else did "put it on the shelf" really mean, except "make yourself unconscious of what you are now conscious of"?

I was stuck on some quest, the goal of which, seemed to increasingly restrict my consciousness to the point where it was operating just enough to be able to recognize commands from my church controllers, understand them, and then obey them, the end. That, after all, is the climax and culmination of life in a cult. What a waste. But thank God, now we are free. I know coming out of that state is hard, and our relationships are rocked Isn't every struggle worth it, just to fully BE? Just so our children never have to go through it?

There is no chance to feel all we can feel, to think all we can think, to achieve all we can achieve, in it. There is no chance to feel truly whole there, even though while we are in it, we are convinced that just the opposite is true. But of course, everything is backwards in that poor mental state.

Delusion is just like that. For explanations of a universe that confuses him, he seizes onto numerology, astrology, hysterical religions, and other fancy ways to go crazy. Having accepted such glorified nonsense, facts make no impression on him, even if at the cost of his own life.

Human beings never welcome the news that something they have long cherished is untrue. They almost always reply to that news by reviling the promulgator. The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and it goes away, puzzling. What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence. Hitchens from "Mommie Dearest". Religion is based, I think primarily and mainly upon fear.

It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing - fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Religion is a search for security. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we've been taken.

Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back. Truth doesn't need inspiration. For truth is reality. That which is false is unreal. The more clearly we see the reality of the world, the better equipped we are to deal with the world. The less clearly we see the reality of the world - the more our minds are befuddled by falsehood, misperceptions and illusions-the less able we will be able to make wise decisions. Our view of reality is like a map with which to negotiate the terrain of life.

If the map is true and accurate, we will generally know where we are, and if we have decided where we want to go, we will generally know how to get there. If the map is false and inaccurate, we generally will be lost. While this is obvious, it is something that most people to a lesser or greater degree chooses to ignore. They ignore it because our route to reality is not easy. Tate's introduction indicates the huge variation in conclusions reached by historians regarding this books' influence on Joseph Smith.

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It all boils down to frame of mind and maintaining an objective viewpoint. Grant p xvii are mentioned. Tate also mentions that Oliver Cowdery was a printer in the town that first printed the book and may have actually helped with the first printing of the View of the Hebrews "A View of the Hebrews" p xviii. The basic premise and thrust of "A View of the Hebrews" is that Native Americans are actually descendants of the lost 10 tribes of Israel.

The 10 tribes departed into the north country and then went east and north, and eventually traversed the Bering Strait to the Americas. Much of the book is devoted to studying the customs, traditions, ceremonies, legends, etc. There are stark differences between "A View of the Hebrews" and "The Book of Mormon", which apologists are quick to point out. The focuses on the 10 tribes aspect, whereas "The Book of Mormon" just has the families of Lehi and Ishmael.

Tate mentions a book that points out 84 "un-parallels" that could be added to these main ones p xvii. The most damning evidence FOR plagiarism is shared inaccuracy. This is primarily what I was looking for as I read. The shared inaccuracies, as I see them are as follows:. History teaches us that the hunter-gatherer lifestyle is the most primitive existence and leaves virtually zero idle time.

It is only through cultivated crops, irrigation, domesticated animals, specialization, division of labor, and permanent settlements can civilizations support people with idle time. Therefore, I count both "A View of the Hebrews" and "The Book of Mormon"" as inaccurate on this point, which may seem too subtle to be counted to many readers. I submit that I know of no other books that portray hunter-gatherers as idlers.

Weaker clues for plagiarism are common ideas. The shared ideas or "parallels" that I could perceive are as follows BH Roberts lists 18 and can be viewed at Link is here. It is also interesting that Ethan Smith quotes the 11th chapter of Isaiah in his book. Joseph claimed the angel Moroni quoted the exact same chapter to him in his bedroom on September 12, Also interesting is the similarity of the name "Ether" to "Ethan".

It could easily be coincidence, or it could have been Joseph Smith's sense of humor kicking in, a sort of inside joke that only he was privy to. Ideas for metal plate records may have come from long-winded descriptions of metal working p , , Joseph Smith would have definitely felt he was on solid ground asserting that the native Americans were of Hebrew descent after reading "A View of the Hebrews" based on 11 "proven" points p I agree with BH Roberts.

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The average reader will get the impression of plagiarism when comparing the two works. Not outside the realm of possibility in my mind. After 20 more years of reading fiction, I have to admit that it is possible. If Edgar Rice Burroughs can create a fictional world on Mars and write 33 complex books with hordes of names and personalities to grip the reader, others with that creative talent can do so too. Roberts briefing the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve in is classic and deserves special mention. Roberts spent several hours outlining for the brethren all of the 'problems' with the Book of Mormon as compared to historical and scientific evidence domesticated animals, steel, plants, language, etc.

He then went on to describe the book View of the Hebrews and discussed the many parallels. He records in his diary that several members of the Twelve were visibly shaken by this information. Roberts, known today as 'The Defender of the Faith', was seeking guidance and direction, hoping the brethren could shed some light on his quandary and help him in the defense of the faith, and allow him to address the issues in an open format for the benefit of all church members.

Roberts could foresee the day that this information would present itself to his descendants and was hoping for logical explanations he could provide to his progeny. He was gravely disappointed. All he got from around the table was testimony bearing last bastion of the unreasonable fanatic , and a consensus opinion that for the church to openly address these issues would not benefit the cause and should therefore be squelched.

Some months later, BH Roberts received a call to the eastern states mission. Thus began the pattern of hide, deny, duck, dodge, and misdirect that continues today. He would describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, their mode of traveling, and animals upon which they rode; their cities, their buildings, with every particular; their mode of warfare; and also their religious worship. This he would do with much ease..

Excerpt from the journal of Joseph Smith Sr. Note similarities to the dream of Lehi. As I was this traveling, the thought suddenly came into my mind that I had better stop and reflect upon what I was doing, before I went any farther. So I asked myself, what motive can I have for traveling here and what place can this be? My guide who was by my side, as before, said, "This is the desolate world; but travel on". The road was so broad and barren, that I wondered why I should travel in it; for I said to myself, "Broad is the road and wide is the gate that leads to death, and many there be that walk therein; but narrow is the way and straight is the gate that leads to everlasting life, and few there be that go in thereat.

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This path I entered, and, when I had traveled a little way in it, I beheld a beautiful stream of water which ran from the East to the West. Of this stream I could see neither the source nor yet the termination; but as far as my eyes could extend I could see a rope running along the bank of it, about as high as a man could reach, and beyond me, was a low, but very pleasant valley, in which stood a tree, such as I had never seen before.

It was exceedingly handsome, insomuch that I looked upon it with wonder and admiration. Its beautiful branches spread themselves somewhat like an umbrella, and it bore a kind of fruit, in shape much like a chestnut bur, and as white as snow, or if possible, whiter. I gazed upon the same with considerable interest, and as I was doing so, the burs or shells commenced opening and shedding their particles or the fruit which they contained, which was of dazzling whiteness.

I drew near, and began to eat of it, and I found it delicious beyond description. As I was eating, I said in my heart, "I cannot eat this alone. I must bring my wife and children, that they may partake with me. Accordingly I went and brought my family, which consisted of a wife and seven children and we all commenced eating, and praising God for this blessing.

We were exceedingly happy insomuch that our joy could not easily be expressed. While this engaged, I beheld a spacious building standing opposite the valley which we were in, and it appeared to reach the very heavens. It was full of doors and windows, and they were all filled with people, who were very finely dressed. When these people observed us in the low valley, under the tree, they pointed the finger of scorn at us, and treated us with all manner of disrespect and contempt.

But their contumely we utterly disregarded. I presently turned to my guide, and inquired of him the meaning of the fruit that was so delicious. He told me it was the pure love of God, shed abroad in the hearts of all those who love him, and keep his commandments.. I asked my guide what was the meaning of the spacious building which I saw. He replied, "It is Babylon, it is Babylon, and it must fall. The people in he doors and windows are the inhabitants thereof, who scorn and despise the Saints of God, because of their humility. Joseph Smith Jr.

It appears that the WoW changed from a "word of wisdom, not by commandment or constraint" to worthiness criteria on December 4, , in a vote by the Kirtland High Council, led by Sidney Rigdon. Joseph Smith was not present at that vote and never believed in it. If God's oracle that received the Work of Wisdom revelation never believed in complete abstinence, why should I?

April 5, , at the General Conference of the Church, while the Spirit rested upon him, the Prophet Joseph said: " Were I going to prophesy, I would say the end would not come in , 5, or 6, or in forty years. There are those of the rising generation who shall not taste death till Christ comes. McConkie, Elder McConkie who was sustained as Prophet, Seer, and Revelator reasons out that it's possible that some of that "rising generation" could be alive somewhat past the year 2, as an aside, David O. McKay and the First Presidency vehemently objected to the publication of "Mormon Doctrine" and has been something of a disaster.

I personally think the book should not find a place on a faithful and informed LDS family bookshelf. As a young man, I attended several firesides and lessons that all agreed on a drop dead date of the late 's or By my reckoning, the year is a very generous cutoff date and here we are in ; the 'time is far spent'. Duet When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

Since some of Joseph Smiths and other Latter-day prophets ' prophesies stand unfulfilled, the scriptures direct me to "not be afraid" of these men, that is to say, discount anything they have said. How can I obey the command in Duet and still remain in fellowship with the church? I need clarification and guidance on this question. It appears from my research that perhaps nothing has been more thoroughly white-washed in its presentation to LDS believers as the events and circumstances surrounding the 'martyrdom'.

Why would normally peaceful local farmers and merchants band together and risk life and limb to kill the leader of a neighboring religious community? On the surface it makes no sense. In order to understand it, one has to dig deeper into the history. At this point in his life, Joseph Smith was enjoying playing the part of the leader of the largest private militia in the state.

He had a uniform made for him and had a flashy sword. The Mormon militia conducted drills and was feared by the locals. He had more than 18 women married to him in the spring of familysearch. This turned out to be the last straw for William Law, who had disagreed with Joseph on financial matters and viewed polyandry as an equivalent to adultery. A heated argument ensued, and the Laws were excommunicated. William Law bought a printing press in an attempt to inform the world of the dark secrets of the church, with a paper called The Nauvoo Expositor.

He managed to print one edition, which had a devastating effect on the church membership. Joseph was incensed with the turn of events and called together a mob to destroy the printing press and facility. What would make Joseph take such a rash and lawless approach to protecting the reputation of the church? To me it is obvious: William Law knew the truth, and the truth was the one thing that Joseph Smith could not allow to get into the hands of church members.

The people around Nauvoo had had enough. The military threats, the womanizing, the lawlessness - it was all too much for the good people of the region. In addition to the destruction of the free press, there was the assassination attempt on Gov. They took up arms and were willing to risk everything to rid themselves of this monster.

The Truth Behind the Mermaid Myth

The events at Carthage were actually more of a gunfight than a lynching. The LDS leaders were smoking, drinking, and singing to lighten their spirits. They were armed and expecting a fight. They were able to seriously wound several of the opposing force during the melee.

While it is hard to condone bloodshed, the actions of the local populace at Carthage on June 27 is readily understood. The LDS theology requires a literal belief in the world-wide flood of Noah. In fact, the theology teaches that the earth is a living thing and required baptism by immersion see Ensign, Jan , p November Ensign, Mormon Doctrine p Belief in a literal flood that covered the entire earth immersion presents some fundamental obstacles for me. Here are my issues with the universal flood doctrine:. The ice sheets that cover Greenland and Antarctica predate the flood.

If water covered the entire earth, why didn't the ice sheets float away or at least leave a record in the ice core? Genetic Diversity. There is simply too much genetic diversity on the planet to be consistent with the idea that every land-based animal today descended from a few breeding pairs just a few thousand years ago. Worldwide distribution of species. It appears to me that some species evolve locally, and are necessarily geographically immobile. How could thousands of such species have become so widely distributed without any populations in between where they are today and where the ark supposedly landed?

How, for example, did the duckbill platypus end up in Australia and nowhere else? Fish and coral. Noah apparently did not take fish or coral on the ark. However, a worldwide flood would cause many fish types to be extinct and no coral would have survived. There are many coral reefs that are thousands of years older than the flood. No room on the ark. Simple mathematics show that there was insufficient room on the ark to house all the animal species found on the earth, let alone the food required to sustain them.

No geological record. Vast floods have swept through regions of the earth, most recently after the last ice age. They occurred when huge ice dams broke, releasing stored water from impounded rivers. These floods left very clear and unambiguous signs in the soils, hills, canyons, and rocks. A universal worldwide flood would leave clear signs, but none exist. Where did the water go? To the ancients, getting rid of the water must have seemed a trivial thing. After all, after seasonal floods the water just sort of disappeared, soaked into the ground, ran off to an unknown place, etc.

If water covered the earth to cover Mount Everest, there is simply nowhere for all that water to go. Ad hoc arguments about the continents sinking and the oceans getting temporarily shallower don't work either. We have mapped the ocean sediments and they are much older than the flood.

How did the carnivores survive? There would not have been nearly enough herbivores to sustain the carnivores during the voyage and the months after the ark landed. For that matter, what would the herbivores eat after the flood subsided? The idea of a universal flood simply does not stand up to any sort of scrutiny. To some it is given to believe and trust in the strength and intellect of others. This is not a gift that has been given to me. I have to understand and study and ponder and pray and determine things for myself. In discussions with Bishop Palmer and President Molina, I have been urged to trust other, more scholarly historians, and not delve into these matters on my own.

Is this not trusting in the arm of flesh and denying the commandment to gain intelligence, light and truth on my own accord? Note that this advice is in conflict with quotes mentioned in the preface. After having read the widely varying interpretations and conclusions regarding the 'translation' of the Book of Abraham, I can never again trust any single point of view analysis of any particular event or circumstance.

Some researchers will do anything to arrive at the conclusions they held infallible before they began their study, ignoring anything contradictory or unreasonable. BH Roberts said that "Justice will follow truth" as we study the facts, and this is the only reasonable approach. Any person, persons, or organization that attempts to conceal or hide facts will ultimately find that the truth will emerge, and their efforts to conceal such truth will weaken or destroy their hidden agendas.

History teaches us this lesson. We are now living in the age of information. It is a tidal wave of extreme proportions and power. Those of us who have found the steps leading up to the watchtowers can see it coming and feel the vibrations. It will rise up and wash away any who are not prepared. I find it interesting that in the last 15 years, the RLDS Community of Christ and Seventh-Day Adventist churches have seen the tidal wave coming and have made appropriate adjustments. Both of these organizations have owned up to the facts surrounding their roots, and emerged with a church and doctrinal base centered on Jesus Christ and de-emphasizing the founders of their faiths.

The LDS church seems to be going the other direction, with more and more emphasis on the first vision, the coming forth of "The Book of Mormon", etc. It will be very interesting to see how well the LDS church will weather the tidal wave. Perhaps there are enough members that will simply label the information 'evil' and not take any interest. I have also witnessed a gradual departure in how the church deals with truth. When I was a missionary, an entire discussion was devoted to truth. Why the truth is important above all else, that our lives should revolve around truth, that in the church we will find all truth that God chooses to reveal to us, how the truth will set us free.

Great stuff! None of the new discussions deal with these concepts and finding truth head-on. It is all about feelings and using the spirit to discern truth, the recipe for which has been found to be unreliable. Go as slowly as you need to and discover the underlying meanings, read the cross-references, compare, etc. This approach has been tossed aside and we are given speed-reading contests instead. Just buzz through it like a chain-saw and look for that warm feeling.

Read "The Book of Mormon" by Christmas and your family will be blest! Why always "The Book of Mormon"? The overall emphasis appears to minimize understanding and finding truth and foster a touchy- feely-based faith. Without truth our goal of gaining knowledge is frustrated and a community of socio-paths develops see social pathology section. Depression, anti-depressant drug abuse, white-collar crime, and suicide follow. Utah leads the nation in most of these categories. Is the church trying to distance itself from the truth? If so, why? The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that God loves all his children equally and grants them equal privileges.

The following passages from the Book of Mormon and the Book of Moses squarely contradict this doctrine.

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For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. Jacob Oh my brethren, I fear that unless ye shall repent of your sins that their skins will be whiter than yours, when ye shall be brought with them before the throne of God.

Moses For behold, the Lord shall curse the land with much heat, and the barrenness thereof shall go forth forever; and there was a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all people. Abraham Speaking of Ham, son of Noah Noah, his father, who blessed him with the blessings of the earth, and with the blessings of wisdom, but cursed him as pertaining to the Priesthood.

Now Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could not have the right of the Priesthood Brigham Young added the following: JoD Vol 7 pg " You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind. The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of any one of the children of Adam. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings.

This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin How long is that race to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them, and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof. Until the last ones of the residue of Adam's children are brought up to that favourable position, the children of Cain cannot receive the first ordinances of the Priesthood. They were the first that were cursed, and they will be the last from whom the curse will be removed.

When the residue of the family of Adam come up and receive their blessings, then the curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will receive blessings in like proportion. I tell you, nay. If a Jew comes into this Church, and honestly professes to be a Saint, a follower of Christ, and if the blood of Judah is in his veins, he will apostatize.. I would rather undertake to convert five thousand Lamanites, than to convert one of those poor miserable creatures whose fathers killed the Savior, and who say, "Amen to the deed," to this day. Yea, I would rather undertake to convert the devil himself, if it were possible.

The I say to the Elders in those regions, be not astonished if you have to see hard times. How can this fundamental doctrinal contradiction be explained? In order to be a true believer, I must accept, as eternal truth, that a loving God curses some human races due to the deeds of their fathers. In addition, I must embrace Smith's doctrine that light skin is an indication of favor with God.

How can I be a member without condoning bigotry? This is a perfect example of where mental contortionism is required to make any sense of the situation. Entire books have been written to guide the faithful Latter-Day Saint through the required contortions, by the way. The temple ordinances, tokens, etc.

Temple marriage is necessary to attain the highest glory of salvation. If temple ordinances are such an important, basic, and unchanging part of the gospel, shouldn't the criteria for being allowed to partake of those blessings be similarly important and unchanging? Why could a man who drank wine and chewed and smoked tobacco in be granted full temple access and salvation, yet a man doing the same things in is not allowed to have those blessings? Additionally, what of the revisions to the temple ceremonies?

Are not the gospel and all associated ordinances supposed to fit the "unchanging" stipulation? The removal of the graphic references to blood oaths and the portrayal of a minister as an emissary of Satan in the endowment seem to be a move toward "political correctness" which should have nothing to do with unchangeable truth and Gods will. The church credits Joseph Smith with defining, once and for all, the true nature of God. In fact, it is heralded as a great contribution and gift to mankind.

However, most church members are unaware of the extent of the evolution of the concepts associated with the nature of God. A close examination of Joseph Smith's translation of the Bible reveals his early monotheistic beliefs. He consciously attempted to remove all references to a plurality of gods from the King James Bible.

He also changed several passages to identify the Father and the Son as the same god. For example, he revised Luke to have Jesus teaching that "no man knoweth that the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son, but him to whom the Son will reveal it. Apparently, Joseph's own early theology is reflected in his translation of the Book of Mormon. Similarly, some of Joseph Smith's early revelations freely switch the role of the God of Israel from the Son to the Father.

In the "Lectures on Faith, fifth lecture, Joseph Smith defined the Godhead as consisting of two personages: the Father, a personage of spirit, and the Son, a personage of tabernacle. The Holy Ghost was not considered to be a personage, but rather was defined as the "mind" of the Father and the Son. Clearly, Joseph Smith originally taught that God did not possess a body.

Key passages in the original text of the Book of Mormon were changed in the edition to reflect Joseph Smith's evolving doctrine of Deity. What follows are specific examples from the original first edition Book of Mormon which did not have verse divisions compared with the altered text of recent versions. Elohim and Jehovah appear thousands of times in the original Hebrew Bible. The divine name Jehovah appears only six times in the KJV, while the name Elohim does not appear at all. Accordingly, Jehovah appears in the Book of Mormon only twice, one reference being an excerpt from Isaiah.

The name Elohim appears nowhere in the LDS standard works. After Joseph's study of Hebrew in , he began to use the name Elohim for the first time; he also began to use the name Jehovah more often. Jehovah appears for the first time in the Doctrine and Covenants after It appears twice in the first two chapters of the Book of Abraham, which was published in In summary, Joseph originally taught that Jesus and theFather were the same person and that God had always been God, but laterdeveloped the idea that the Father and Son were separate Gods, but only the Sonhad a tangible body.

Smith taught that both God the Father and Jesus had beenmortal men, even though scripture say God is the same always. Later on, God has a physical body KingFollet Discourse , and was once a mortal man like us. Then Brigham Young says God is Adam. Jehovah and Elohim are the same person upuntil the turn of the 20th century, then that all changes with theastute theologian James E. ThenGordon B. Hinckley denies the God-was-a-man doctrine in the Larry Kinginterview, or at least down-graded it from doctrine to couplet. Since Joseph Smith supposedly knew that God and Jesus wereseparate personages in first vision , how is it possible that hisconfusion persisted?

If the Book ofMormon was a literal translation and the most correct of any book, why theinaccuracies and need for corrections, especially in regard to fundamentaldoctrines like the form of Deity? Who isto have the final say regarding nature of Deity? Was God once a man, or not? Every eyewitness account of thetranslation of the Book of Mormon describes Joseph Smith peering into a hatthrough a peep stone.

Russell M. Nelson,Dallin Oaks, and other church leaders have confirmed this modus operandi. Various figures in the Old Testamentpossessed implements with divine powers, rods being the most common. Another passage in the Old Testament condemnsuse of such items Leviticus; Deuteronomy ; 1 Samuel ; 1Chronicles Many haveassociated the use of such stones with the occult, and the debate rageson. The debate is of no real importanceto me. What is important is thatthe use of peep stones was part of the mystical and magical environment thatenveloped the people living in the early 's.

Virtually all persons having a belief in'second sight', visions, etc. It permeated the society.

The Correspondence Theory of Truth

Every man who lived on theearth," Joseph said to them, "was entitled to a seer stone, andshould have one, but they are kept from them in consequence of theirwickedness, and most of those who do find one make evil use of it. On three occasions, Joseph Smithadmitted that, in reality, he could see nothing through the peep stones; twicewhile under oath in a court of law, and the third time was to his father-in-lawIsaac Hale.

One has to judge when ahuman being be more prone to tell the truth; 1 Under oath in a court of law and to ones father-in-law while assuringhim that his daughter was in good hands, or, 2 while telling stories to awealthy and superstitious Martin Harris. You be the judge, but I am inclined to believe that Joseph Smith wastelling the truth in court and to Isaac Hale and he could not, in fact, discernanything with the peep stones.

Josephalso used the stones for other revelations, not just the 'translation' of theBook of Mormon. If revelation throughseer stones is the proper method revealed by God for his 'prophets, seers, andrevelators', why aren't they still in use today? Why does the church of today distance itselffrom this practice if it is a divine conduit to reveal the will of God?

Since Smith taught that all righteous menwere entitled to a peep stone, does one conclude that the men of the LDS faithtoday are all wicked? And what should be made of theattempt to sell the copyright of the Book of Mormon inToronto,Canada? Joseph peered into his hat using the stoneand purportedly received a revelation that this endeavor would succeed. Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery went on thismission and failed.

Upon their return,Joseph inquired of the Lord regarding this failed attempt, and the followingrevelation came through the stone: " Somerevelation are of God; some revelations are of man; and some revelations are ofthe devil. At the time of Joseph's martyrdom, he was working on a translationof the "Book of Joseph". Obviously, theLord wanted this work to come forward.

The papyri were given to Emma, which she sold some years later, but theChurch reacquired them in