Urim, Joseph Smith, Book of Abraham, King Follett, part 3. Joseph Smith and Seer Stones.

Howard Coray’s letter demonstrates a fallacy that has many supporters in popular Mormonism. The fallacy is this: When Joseph Smith finished the translation of the Book of Mormon, he gave up using his revelatory instruments. The basis for this belief is a statement by Orson Pratt to the effect that he once observed Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon producing a portion of the “New Translation” of the Bible. Pratt asked why the seer stone was not being employed in the work. According to Pratt, Joseph responded that since being ordained in the Melchizedek Priesthood he was able to obtain revelation without the use of such items.
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Ramblings about Stones, Expectations and Faith

We (sane?) humans have a well-known tendency to systematize our thought-environs. We desire to not only have reality match expectation, but many of us desire that our sincere beliefs not be paradoxical and furthermore have no gaping rational holes. Perhaps such tendencies, assuming they exist, arise from the paradigms of science or perhaps from an inherent desire to have things make sense—to have deductive logic connect the pieces. Do these tendencies motivate us to make and hold to seemingly rational conclusions about faith (theology?), even when empirical evidence “proves” they don’t match reality? When logician Kurt Godel was asked if (based on a cosmology which includes time-travel ) one could go back in time and kill their own great-grand parents, he replied that this would create a paradox, and so could not happen because “logic is powerful.” Read more of this post

A Note on One Eternal Round

I was talking to an editor for Nibley’s last book “One Eternal Round.” The book has been both a chore and full of interesting choices. Hugh left about 20 drafts for each chapter it seems, meaning 20 very different write ups for each chapter, roughly. So you could kind of pick and choose which to take, but of course try to form a cohesive whole. Read more of this post

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