For those who believe in remaining teachable and are receptive to lifetime learning. In particular, the topics of leaving Mormonism, public policy, genealogy, and psychology will be explored.
The nice thing about the Book of Abraham is that we do not have to rely on anyone's opinion or statement about anything. The only statement I use is what Joseph said the Book of Abraham is, which statement is right in our scriptures, then I can use no futher statements from the 1800's to disprove it. I simply use the facsimilies as they appear in the scriptures, "The Philosophy of a Future Stae" by Thomas Dick, the writings of Josephus, the known English translation of the hieroglyphics in the facsimilies, and Joseph's Egyptian Alphabet and Grammer. We don't have to know anything about Joseph Smith or what his friends or enemies said about him or what they said about the translation process or the documents themselves, or anything. And the thing that convinces me Joseph was a knowing fraud and not just following the false impressions that came to his mind is his "restoration" of facsimilie #2. (His restoration of facsimilie #1 is incorrect according to Egyptologists and I agree, but he may have felt that what he drew was supposed to be there). However, with facsimilie #2, his restoration is more telling. An honest man might leave the damaged and missing portions of the facsimilie blank as is drawn in the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammer. A fool might notice a pattern, that there were supposed to be hieroglyphics there, and imagine some characters there and draw them in. Perhaps they would be true characters from his memory of looking at the other true characters. Perhaps they would be made up characters, for he had made up some characters in damaged portions of the sensen text as evidenced in the Egyptian Papers. But, Joseph was neither an honest man (for he did not leave the area blank), a fool (for he did not put some random characters in the missing place), nor was he a prophet (for what he "restored" there was not only incorrect judging by the text that is on every other hypocephalus facsimilie that has the surrounding characters, the characters he "restored" were from a different time period, a different developmental stage of the Egyptian written language). No, Joseph was none of those things, he was a knowing fraud because he copied character by character in order from a random section of the sensen text and gave it a different translation in the facsimilie than he gave those same characters in the the Book of Abraham text.The case is even more clear when you look at what I am talking about. I don't believe a fool following his heart would do that, neither would an honest man, neither would a prophet. IMO, Joseph knowingly, actively defrauded us in that. And for a man that could do that, I have no problem entertaining the idea that he defrauded the Kirtland Safety Society investors with sand filled boxes, that he defrauded Josiah Stowell of his pay by pretending he could see treasure in his stone, or that he defrauded all of us with the Book of Mormon, especially when the Book of Mormon has so much evidence against it.For a discussion of the reuse of Egyptian symbols, look [L=here]http://p080.ezboard.com/fpacumenispagesfrm47.showMessage?topicID=526.topic[/L]To see photos of how the symbols line up look [L=here]http://zarahemlacitylimits.com/BOA/BOA_5.html[/L] and [L=here]http://zarahemlacitylimits.com/BOA/BOA_7.html[/L]OK, I am out of this thread. To me, Joseph never was a prophet, fallen or any other kind. I apologize if I have overstepped the bounds of NOM.
It was good to read your post and also all the comments you received at hatrack.com. I was a very faithful Mormon until 2001 (my senior year at BYU). During that year I did a lot of soul-searching and came to many of the same conclusions you have detailed in your posts. I am married with two children and my wife is still an active member. We lived in Topeka, KS (Sherwood and Lake Shawnee wards) for several years and just moved back West. Wish I had known you while I was out there! It's been difficult finding people in my community who share my beliefs. You are so lucky that your spouse has also seriously considered these issues.... I look forward to any further posts that you might come up with.
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