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Showing posts from October, 2014

The Star Gods of the Book of Abraham

Few things offend the sensibilities of modern readers more than the blatant polytheism of the Book of Abraham(Abraham 4). When the Prophet Joseph Smith first taught this doctrine publicly, some of his fellow Mormons called him a fallen prophet(Here). While learning Hebrew in Kirtland, Joseph learned that elohim has a plural ending. This opened up new spiritual vistas, reflected in the Book of Abraham. However, the rest of the world is catching up. The earliest Israelite religion was polytheistic and so is the Book of Abraham(Bokovoy).
From the perspective of this older theology, "Yahweh did not belong to the top tier of the pantheon. Instead, in early Israel, the god of Israel apparently belonged to the second tier of the pantheon; he was not the presider god, but one of his sons"(Mark S. Smith, pg. 68Abraham 1:16Doctrine and Covenants 110:3-4). 
"A generation ago, when I was a graduate student, biblical scholars were nearly unanimous in thinking that monotheism ha…

A Response to Grant Palmer's "Sexual Allegations against Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Polygamy in Nauvoo

Abstract: Grant H. Palmer, former LDS seminary instructor turned critic, has recently posted an essay, “Sexual Allegations against Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Polygamy in Nauvoo,” on MormonThink.com. In it, Palmer isolates ten interactions between women and Joseph Smith that Palmer alleges were inappropriate and, “have at least some plausibility of being true.” In this paper, Palmer’s analysis of these ten interactions is reviewed, revealing how poorly Palmer has represented the historical data by advancing factual inaccuracies, quoting sources without establishing their credibility, ignoring contradictory evidences, and manifesting superficial research techniques that fail to account for the latest scholarship on the topics he is discussing. Other accusations put forth by Palmer are also evaluated for correctness, showing, once again, his propensity for inadequate scholarship.

Read the rest at The Interpreter.