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  1. We are definitely way ahead of the curve as intellectuals or scholarly bent, but someone needs to be at the forefront. What saddens me are a lot of EXLDS people not wanting to have a positive or faithful perspective towards nuance or different faith promoting angles from the misleading dominant narrative that we all have cherished for so long. For most it seems that it is faith shattering when the curtains are withdrawn.

    Were the brass plates just a chunk of metal hidden behind a cloth?
    At the same time isn’t it an amazing story how it all came to be through the means of a seer stone by someone looking into a hat? Were we all deceived with notions of the divine coming to earth again, along with his miracles and angels?

    It saddens me somewhat to no longer believe in these fantastic stories, at the same time what an amazing community we do have. What amazing church and structure we have all created for ourselves. Why stop supporting such an amazing history & theology and what would we really prefer having in it’s place?

    For the most part Mormonism provides a positive healthy life enhancing, Christ focused lifestyle. The mistake has been to think of it as perfect, flawless work. Our church needs to be continually improved to be fit for Christ second coming. It’s a work we must all do together.

    It’s not really clear to me that most of our leaders and general authorities are aware of the messiness of our history. It seems to me the leaders in the past did their best to hide the facts from everybody and everyone.Anyways I’m just rambling without any real footing on how to move forward in faith. Perhaps the intellectual community can provide a path forward because it seems we are just destined to apostasy without a clear direction moving forward.

    The direction forward needs to be a more healthy, positive, fair, inclusive, perspective that honors our past and enhances our future. May our faith in Christ and the divine be our guide and future moving forward.

  2. Here are some fairly simple answers to a couple of the questions posed in the podcast:

    Why did JS choose to start his prophetic career as a translator/transmitter? It was an appeal to the authority of an ancient source. In his time period, certain cultural trends viewed the ancient as authoritative. Freemasonry and the revival of alchemy are good examples of that concept in motion. JS’ beliefs and translations fit cleanly with that ideal. Religious dependence on the Bible, something that JS was surrounded with, is consistent with this kind of thinking, as is the tradition of referencing grimoires in folk magic traditions. JS’ appeal to ancient sources continued throughout his life, so with this as a constant, it’s hardly a surprise that his prophetic career starts there.

    Why did JS use the term translate? From what I can tell, JS believed a significant and divine power resided in what he called the pure language or Adamic. For example, the Book of Mormon talks about the power of the Jaredite’s written language, which avoided corruption at the Tower of Babel. Another example is his Moses translation, another very early text in his prophethood, which addresses how Enoch’s language was powerful enough to work miracles. The Book of Moses also calls the pure language a Priesthood which will be restored in the latter days. JS’ translation efforts are shaded by JS’ underlying desire to learn the Adamic language. Hebrew and Egyptian, two constants in his prophethood, were avenues to the ancient language. He used the term translate on a practical level because he believed he was rendering one language accurately into another through the “power of God”. On some level his motivation to learn the pure language must have also led to his use of the word translate. Who else but a translator would reveal a language? His efforts with the GAEL and his subsequent use of it with the Kinderhook plates, his revelation on the Pure Language, his translations in the Questions, Answers in Hebrew document, his translation of the Jaredite word Deseret, and his translations of various Egytian words given in the the BoA are all great examples that illustrate both JS’ belief that he was achieving literal translations and his work towards the underlying goal of revealing the pure language of the priesthood.

  3. What a great lineup – but I could have stopped listening at “if it’s crude, it’s crude like a Van Gogh.” It’s such a great and expressive line, I loved it.

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