Joseph Smith and the Taxonomy of Intelligence(s), Part 3.

In this part (click for parts one and two) we give three short excerpts from the critical text[1] for the King Follett Discourse, (in the book it receives the designation, “KFD2”). Here we are looking at lines 163-166, then lines 172 to 176, followed by lines 180 to 184. There is some variation from the actual critical text, because of the limitations of HTML. Some of the actual critical text appears in over/under style in cases where there are multiple witnesses who do not precisely agree.[2] In the version that appears here, instead of over/under text, the form is overunder in succession rather than simultaneous display of text above and text below. Further, there is a color coding employed which shows the source of the text. There is some clear-texting here, but not much.

The color code is:

Black = words which are multiply witnessed, suggesting that they were actual words used in the speech. It’s more complicated than this, but I’m taking the easy road here to keep things brief.

Red = words not witnessed at all, but inserted to complete what seems an obvious textual extention (there is very little of this).

Green = text which originates from Thomas Bullock’s on-site report of the April 7, 1844 discourse of Joseph Smith.

Blue = text from Wilford Woodruff’s journal account of the sermon.

Gray = text from the Joseph Smith diary as kept by Willard Richards at this point.

Orange = text which originates from William Clayton, another clerk assigned to keep notes that day.

There were others who recorded the sermon but they generally were not as careful to report exact word strings as the above witnesses. The “best” witness source for the sermon is the Thomas Bullock text. By best, I mean the witness which appears to be closest to the archetype, in what it does report. Bullock tried to report every word, a task which none of the textual witnesses accomplished. A more complete explanation is in the book. Clayton’s text is somewhat more readable, but in some cases appears to put words in the speaker’s mouth. Also, Clayton ceases reporting the sermon when it drifts to certain well-worn topics. Woodruff is the least reliable (again, I mean this in the sense of being closest to the archetype, not necessarily in terms of idea) of these three, his journal report is an expanded one, from notes taken on site. These notes are not known at present. In many cases, Richards followed a similar procedure to Woodruff. But in this case, the diary was used as the primary recorder and therefore has what appear to be snatches of exact words, but often what appear to be summary statements. Elsewhere, Richards could be so brief in his reporting as to be virtually incomprehensible. He did not use such text signals here fortunately.

So here we are with the lines mentioned above. First, lines 163-166:

The soul – the mind of man the immortal spirit Doctors of Divinityall men* say God created it* in the beginning. The very* idea lessens man in my idea estimation*
I don’t believe the doctrine hear it all ye ends of the world for I know better God has told me so

Lines 172-176:

The mind of man the intelligent part [of man] is coequal with God himself I know that my testimony is true* hence whilewhen I talk to these mourners what have they lost* They are only separated from their bodies for a short period season but their spirits existed coequal with God and they now exist in a place where they* converse sameas much as we do on the earth.

Lines 180-184:

I take my ring from my finger and* liken it unto the mind* of man, the immortal spirit because* it has no beginning or end Suppose you cut it in two but as the Devil lives there would be an end. All the fools learned* and wise men from the beginning of creation* who say* that comes and tells that man had a beginning proves that he* must have an end and if that doctrine is true then the doctrine of annihilation would be* is true.

Next, we will look at what the text and context tell us.

[1] This text is eclectic, but combines a number of features common in other types.

[2] Rather than argue for an alternative or combination, etc., we sometimes just give alternatives in this way.

6 Responses to Joseph Smith and the Taxonomy of Intelligence(s), Part 3.

  1. J. Stapley says:

    I was hoping you would do, “God never did have the power…” (grin)

    This is really interesting work and I find your critical text an interesting representation of what is going on. A continued thanks for the continuing effort.

    • W. V. Smith says:

      This could easily get out of hand. This format requires brevity. But yes, I was going to put that up. But this is enough to make the point I think. We’ll see.

  2. Pingback: Joseph Smith and the Taxonomy of Intelligence(s), part 4. Text and Context for the King Follett Discourse «'s Blog

  3. BHodges says:

    wonderful stuff, makes me hungry.

  4. Pingback: Antebellum Liberty vs. Mormon Individuality «'s Blog

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