Ever since FAIR published an introductory review concerning Rod Meldrum’s presentations and DVD, various members of FAIR have been vilified by him for shining some light on what he was doing. On Rod Meldrum’s blog he wrote this:
Book of Mormon
Upon the loss of the 116 pages containing the Book of Lehi, Joseph Smith turned to the small plates of Nephi for this period of history. This translation concludes with the Book of Omni and his brief description of Mosiah’s move to the land of Zarahemla.
This is followed by the Words of Mormon. This section was apparently written in preparation for his transfer of the plates to Moroni.
In another thread, one poster wrote:
If you don’t agree with me on Cumorah being our best strating point, I would be very open to hearing what you consider to be the best piece of evidence or the best witness to call upon as the most solid to date.
To which I responded:
In my opinion, it is a huge problem to start with ANY physical location. You’re already making assumptions, no matter how hard we try. [Read more…] about Book of Mormon geography
Late in June of this year, FAIR posted an initial review of Rodney Meldrum’s DNA Evidence for Book of Mormon Geography. At the time, there were several folks who indicated that they were looking forward to the promised analysis of the DVD’s use of research and scholarship.
The Book of Mormon is inextricably intertwined with Joseph Smith. We undeniably have the text because he translated it. Recently there has been much ado about what Joseph Smith thought about the book’s geography. Without trying to tie Joseph down to any particular idea at any particular time (and there is also evidence that he was flexible in his thinking on the subject, altering and refining some of his views with later information), the real question is what we should expect of Joseph as a geographer of the Book of Mormon. For those who might suggest that Joseph should be held as the definer of Book of Mormon geography, that suggest appears to be based on one or more assumptions about Joseph that neither the church nor he would accept as accurate. Any of the following might be the basis for assuming that Joseph knew the geography of the Book of Mormon, but none are correct.
In a previous blog post I mentioned how Simon Southerton “has been trying to polarize apologists and others who promote various theories about the Book of Mormon.” An astounding example of that very avocation recently appeared under Dr. Southerton’s nom de plume on the Recovery from Mormonism message board.
Much has been said in the last few days about FAIR’s publication of our concerns regarding Rod Meldrum’s scientific and theologic errors in the Book of Mormon DVD he is selling. As more material appears, doubtless more will be said.
I had the opportunity to spend several hours reviewing the material. As I did so, I found one over-riding error that is probably responsible for 95% of the other errors which I found. [Read more…] about Advice from a Nobel Prize Winner
FAIR provides an “Ask the Apologist” service to which people send questions. In recent months many well-meaning individuals have asked why FAIR has not endorsed DNA Evidence for Book of Mormon Geography, a DVD created and promoted by Rodney Meldrum.
Last night I attended another in a wonderful series of firesides hosted by the Olivewood bookstore. Tyler Livingston was also there and took good notes, so I will refer everyone to here. The speaker used his knowledge of Mesoamerican languages and interpretations of murals, stela, and other Classic period art to draw intriguing parallels with various passages in the Book of Mormon.
In my explorations, the first person to actually use the term pious fraud in conjunction with Mormonism was Mark Twain in Roughing It. Surprisingly, the reference was not to Joseph Smith, but to Brigham Young allegedly dressing up as Joseph Smith. This is Twain’s take on the narratives about assuming the prophetic mantle. More recently, Dan Vogel’s biography is essentially a book length defense of an earlier 1996 essay championing the pious fraud model as the most plausible solution framed by Jan Shipps in “The Prophet Puzzle:”
What we have in Mormon historiography is two Josephs: the one who started out digging for money and when he was unsuccessful, turned to propheteering, and the one who had visions and dreamed dreams, restored the church, and revealed the will of the Lord to a sinful world.