Posts by John McDonnell

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  • Restarting Daniel’s 70th Week (Dispensational Caucus)

    08/14/2011 6:03:59 AM PDT · 35 of 41
    John McDonnell to GiovannaNicoletta
    The most important thing for us to do is to be ready when the Lord does arrive.

    Yet the article contributes nothing towards being ready, unless the act of idly speculating is defined as being ready. Those who put bumper stickers on their vehicles warning that in case of rapture there would be no one operating them obviously think that "the rapture" they believe in could happen at any time.

    What Christians always need to be ready for is a confrontation between Christ and those supposed to be doing His work on Earth, as prophesied in Malachi 3:1-5 and in the commentary on that in Luke 12:35-48.

    "Let your loins be girded about and your lights burning" calls for self-discipline that the article is unconcerned about. Nor is the article concerned about giving "portion of meat in due season", which will be rewarded at His coming. Nor is it concerned about mistreating other servants and becoming drunken in one's excuse for ministry, which will be cursed at His coming.

    "I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil" (John 17:15).

    Thus, the best preparation for Christ's coming is to do what pleases Him and to avoid doing what displeases Him. "And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes" (Luke 12:47).

  • The Companionship of the Holy Ghost - Mormon

    08/04/2011 5:20:44 AM PDT · 462 of 474
    John McDonnell to Elsie
    I’m still waiting for the FULLNESS to be shown.

    While walking through a large park, feeling thirsty and hungry, I noticed that under one of the shelters was what looked like a refrigerator. It was not white or black, but shining in metallic gold.

    Out of curiosity, I approached the gleaming object. I was confronted by a guard who warned me to stay away from that refrigerator. Defiantly, I answered, "This is a public park, and my taxes support your employment." While he continued warning me, I approached the golden refrigerator, which had a manufacturer's label that read "FULLNESS". There were also refrigerator magnets on the door with faces portrayed on them.

    I opened the door, saw all sorts of food and beverage, selected one of each that looked good, and moved to sit down at a nearby picnic table to eat and drink. The guard, who had been following me, warned me not to eat of the food nor drink of the beverage, as neither of them were properly labeled. He said that no one knew the origin of the golden refrigerator. "Its food and drink could be poison to one's soul."

    I thanked him for his concern, but asked, "Where do I pay for these refreshments?"

    "We don't know who put this refrigerator here, nor who supplies it, and no one is here to collect payments for the food and beverages in it. This whole thing has got to be the dastardly plot of the Devil to poison people who are hungry and thirsty."

    A while later I returned to the park wanting to taste other food and beverage in the golden refrigerator. I was confronted by a lady guard who repeated the same warnings that the previous guard had voiced.

    Before opening the golden door titled "FULLNESS", I noticed that the face of the former guard was portrayed on a refrigerator magnet. I was confused by this, but again took out some food and beverage and began enjoying them.

    Meanwhile a family was approaching the refrigerator, and seeing me happily eating and drinking, wondered if I got the refreshments from the refrigerator. I told them that there is plenty of good food and beverage in it, and that no one needs to be paid.

    At this, the woman guard jumped into activity, warning the family that the refreshments were not properly labeled and could be poisonous to their souls. I countered, "I have enjoyed refreshments from this refrigerator before and suffered no ill effects."

    The guard, who was much more authoritative-looking than I, convinced the family to stay away from the golden refrigerator. I went back for more refreshments. As I shut the door, I noticed that the guard was gone. But on the refrigerator door was a new refrigerator magnet with her face portrayed on it, frozen, like all the other faces, in expressions of concern for the welfare of souls.

    This greatly upset me. Meanwhile, another guard was approaching.

  • The Companionship of the Holy Ghost - Mormon

    08/03/2011 7:21:15 PM PDT · 457 of 474
    John McDonnell to svcw
    Joseph Smith was so strong that he could run like a deer through the forest with 435 pounds of gold in his arms aka gold tablets.

    A careful study of The Testimony of Eight Witnesses shows that these men who handled and hefted the plates and saw the engravings thereon would notice that they did not state that the plates were made of gold, only that they "have the appearance of gold". This suggests that they were either composed of another metal or alloy plated with gold, or were composed of an alloy of gold.

    That they were definitely not made of solid gold is proven in two ways: (1) As related in Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses by Richard Lloyd Anderson, William Smith, in an 1883 book, wrote: "I was permitted to lift them as they laid in a pillowcase, but not to see them, as it was contrary to the commands he had received. They weighed about 60 lbs. according to the best of my judgment." That would be much too light for plates of solid gold in the dimensions described by Joseph Smith and others. (2) In the 1879 Saints' Herald interview of the former Emma Smith, she stated: "The plates often lay on the table without any attempt at concealment, wrapped in a small linen table cloth, which I had given him to fold them in. I once felt the plates as they thus lay on the table, tracing their outline and shape. They seemed to be pliable like thick paper, and would rustle with a metallic sound when the edges were moved by the thumb, as one does sometimes thumb the edges of a book." Sheets of pure gold, if bent, would not spring back flat again.

    There are many alloys of copper. In an 1884 sermon, William Smith, who was not among the eight who saw the plates, stated: "When the plates were brought in they were wrapped up in a tow frock. My father then put them into a pillow case. Father said, 'What, Joseph, can we not see them?' 'No. I was disobedient the first time, but I intend to be faithful this time. For I was forbidden to show them until they are translated, but you can feel them.' We handled them and could tell what they were. They were not quite so large as this Bible. Could tell whether they were round or square. Could raise the leaves this way (raising a few leaves of the Bible before him). One could easily tell that they were not a stone, hewn out to deceive, or even a block of wood. Being a mixture of gold and copper, they were heavier than stone, and very much heavier than wood."

    I'd like to know where William got the information about the "mixture of copper and gold", and whether "mixture" meant a copper-gold alloy, or copper or some copper-based alloy plated with gold. In any case, "435 pounds" presumes a metal composition that is not supported by the historical evidence available. In other words, "435 pounds" is urban legend, designed to enable ignorant mockery.

  • The Companionship of the Holy Ghost - Mormon

    08/02/2011 8:47:26 PM PDT · 427 of 474
    John McDonnell to reaganaut
    Hebrew structure is such that a particular form of the word (sans vowels) is recognizable and carries a certain meaning. So your claim that an absence of vowels would have led to meaning changes is errant.

    In Tanakh - The Holy Scriptures, published by the Jewish Publication Society, at Ezekiel 16:30, a footnote indicates that the words for "How sick was your heart", through a change in vocalization (which involves vowels), yields "How furious I was with you". Several other examples of changes in meaning with changes in vocalization are shown in the book's footnotes.

  • The Companionship of the Holy Ghost - Mormon

    08/02/2011 6:03:25 PM PDT · 417 of 474
    John McDonnell to Godzilla
    John, please do some more detailed research before embarrassing yourself further. The "jot" (Hebrew word "Yodh") is the 10th letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It is not a vowel mark John.

    Same goes for tittle. Tittle is used by Greek grammarians of the accents and diacritical points. It means the little lines or projections by which the Hebrew letters differ from each other. One example would be the difference between the letter L and I. The difference is only one small mark.

    Again, it is not a vowel mark. Therefore the rest of your argument is invalid.

    "Jot and tittle" has a meaning going beyond the meaning of its individual words. It is an expression that means "the least part of". The NIV translates the phrase, "not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen." Hebrew vowel markings were sometimes not even written. Yet not writing them has lead to false vocalizations, which has resulted in changes in word meanings.

    Even though vowel markings can be less than "the smallest letter" and "the least stroke of a pen", they can determine whether or not the meaning of a scriptural passage can become corrupted.

    Therefore, when Jesus referred to the least part of the law and the prophets, which He Himself inspired to be written with their full vowel markings included for clarity, He had to be referring to vowel markings as well.

    Are you actually suggesting that Hebrew writing, which can be misinterpreted when bereft of vowel markings, NEVER made use of them until the Middle Ages? If that is your position, please confirm it.

  • The Companionship of the Holy Ghost - Mormon

    08/02/2011 4:45:21 PM PDT · 402 of 474
    John McDonnell to reaganaut
    John, the vowel markings in Hebrew were created in the early middle ages and therefore would not have been an issue for the Book of Mormon ‘authors’.

    Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ taught, before His Atonement for our sins: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

    After His Atonement for our sins, Jesus Christ taught the Nephites in the land Bountiful: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, One jot or one tittle hath not passed from the from the law, but in me it hath all been fulfilled.

    Thus, both the people in Palestine and the people at Boutiful in Mesoamerica knew what jots and tittles were. Yes, they would have been an issue for Book of Mormon authors.

    I think what happened is this. All Hebrew scriptures were first written with full vowel markings. As they were accepted by common consent into the expanding canon of scripture, those who recited them would often do so from memory. Because the proper vocalizations were known, copying the Holy Scriptures using consonants only was a short cut that caused no problems until reciters became scarce. Improper vocalizations of the consonants-only copies resulted in various vocalizations, resulting in disputes over which words were intended. Therefore, in the Middle Ages, if you are correct, vowel markings were restored to help stop the spread of improper vocalizations.

    Secondly, the wide strokes are not part of ancient Hebrew, again another medieval construction.

    But since the people in Palestine and the people at Boutiful in Mesoamerica knew what jots and tittles were, written Hebrew, for ease in reading, would have employed a mixture of wider and narrower strokes.

    And what is the point in writing in a language no one could understand?

    Moroni explained that:
    "And now behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge in the characters, which are called among us reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech. And if our plates had been suffiently large, we should have written in the Hebrew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold, ye would have had no imperfection in out record. But the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also that none other people knoweth our language, and because that none other people knoweth our language, therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof."

  • The Companionship of the Holy Ghost - Mormon

    08/02/2011 5:17:32 AM PDT · 377 of 474
    John McDonnell to reaganaut
    Not only is Hebrew more compact, but ancient Hebrew is much more “blocky” and simple than any of the forms of ancient Egyptian.

    Hebrew caracters with no vowel markings are indeed compact. However, once you start adding tittles and other minute markings, you've got a major problem for engraving on metal plates. Also Hebrew characters are written in a variety of stroke widths, another major problem.

    You do not seem to catch the significance of "reformed" Egyptian. While you are correct that ancient Egyptian writing is not simple, Chinese caractors are also complex, and a modernized and simplified form of Chinese caractors does exist. One could even call that simplified Chinese "reformed".

    The Book of Mormon plainly states that no other people can read their reformed Egyptian caractors, which means that Book of Mormon authors and scribes invented reformed Egyptian specifically for their recording on plates. They would obviously create a caractor set that would not, as in Hebrew, have various widths of stroke nor a system of tittles and other time-consuming minute markings.

    I only wish that the 8 witnesses had been a little more specific in describing the reformed Egyptian that they looked at: "and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated, we did handle with our hands: and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship".

  • The Companionship of the Holy Ghost - Mormon

    08/01/2011 5:02:02 PM PDT · 343 of 474
    John McDonnell to Elsie
    I thought the BoM was in REFORMED Egyptian!!!

    If you thought that, you would be correct.

    If you studied the Book of Mormon, you would find that the reason they wrote in reformed Egyptian instead of the Hebrew they spoke in was because of the difficulty of engraving Hebrew characters on metal plates. Their reformed Egyptian characters were invented to make engraving easier and more compact.

    Moroni did not like having to write in reformed Egyptian: "Thou hast also made our words [spoken in Hebrew] powerful and great, even that we cannot write them. Wherefore, when we write [in reformed Egyptian], we behold our weakness and stumble because of the placing of our words; and I fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our words."

    "And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying: 'Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek that they shall take no advantage of your weakness; and if men come unto Me, I will show them their weakness; I give men weakness that they may be humble, and My grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before Me.'"

  • The Companionship of the Holy Ghost - Mormon

    08/01/2011 4:34:39 PM PDT · 334 of 474
    John McDonnell to Tennessee Nana
    Nobody but he himself was ever worthy enough to see and read and touch them

    I believe that is an intentional lie, because anyone who has actually read the Book of Mormon has read that 8 witnesses handled the plates and hefted them, and I cannot believe that a critic of the Book of Mormon would be ignorant of what one is supposed to be criticizing.

    Richard Lloyd Anderson's 1981 book Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses shows that none of the 11 witnesses, despite the fact that many of them were expelled from the church or left on their own, ever denied their actual printed testimonies. Some of them were hounded to do so, but each died without denying their printed testimonies until only one was left, David Whitmer. Since all the other 10 had failed to cave under pressure, enemies of the Book of Mormon slapped a full court press on David Whitmer, who refused to cave while he was alive and left a message supporting the Book of Mormon on his gravestone in Richmond, Missouri.

    Game over. Score 11 for Book of Mormon enthusiasts. Score 0 for Book of Mormon haters.

  • The Companionship of the Holy Ghost - Mormon

    08/01/2011 12:41:41 PM PDT · 302 of 474
    John McDonnell to Tennessee Nana
    John this could be said of the supposed “book of mormon” Have any experts ever examined the original ???

    Many experts have studied the two original manuscripts of the Book of Mormon, and have established who were the scribes for each of the manuscripts. There is the dictated manuscript, which survives in chunks and fragments, and is owned by the LDS. And there is the printer's manuscript, which is almost fully intact, and is owned by Community of Christ.

    There are many minor differences in the two manuscripts, and all those differences have been studied and commented on. Scholars have found that the dictated manuscripts has Hebraisms that sound strange in English, such as double negatives becoming a stronger no instead of canceling each other out, as in English.

    As for the original metal plates, when the translation was completed, an angel took them, presumably back to Hill Cumorah in Southern Mexico, where the other plates are hidden until the time comes when God allows them to be discovered. God told the three witnesses of the Book of Mormon that its translation was true. So when the Book of Mormon plates are rediscovered, we will know how to translate reformed Egyptian. Therefore, the remainder of the plates written in reformed Egyptian can be translated without any need for a seer. The Brass Plates are written in the Egyptian that Moses was proficient in, so no seer is needed to translate those either. In other words, when the plates are made available for study, they can be translated and published fairly quickly.

  • The Companionship of the Holy Ghost - Mormon

    08/01/2011 12:01:10 PM PDT · 294 of 474
    John McDonnell to Godzilla
    I cited the sources along with the materials John should you desire to research further.

    No you didn't. You were extremely vague about what you claimed. Your whole approach has been to throw out bits and pieces without giving full sources for any of it, apparently hoping that the sheer volume of the bits and pieces will make it look like your position is solid, when it is not.

  • The Companionship of the Holy Ghost - Mormon

    08/01/2011 11:38:50 AM PDT · 293 of 474
    John McDonnell to Tennessee Nana
    She pretended for the rest of her life that her cheatin no good husband had been true to her

    That is your belief, not a statement of fact. The facts are that Emma Smith was an honest woman, who fully understood before the interview with Joseph Smith III that church leaders did not want any coverup whatsoever, that they wanted to know the truth even if it was ugly. Emma Smith answered the questions, and the net result was that the wife of Joseph Smith Jr stated that to her knowledge he had no other wives, spiritual or otherwise. Since the interview was conducted just before she died, it was published as "Last Testimony of Sister Emma" in Saints' Herald for October 1, 1879.

    Soon after that publication, "the people in Utah became greatly agitated" (RLDS Church History 4:290). In the interview, Emma had testified that there was no revelation on polygamy prior to her husband's death. That meant that Brigham Young had fabricated it, and the Utah membership had been lied to.

  • The Companionship of the Holy Ghost - Mormon

    08/01/2011 9:35:58 AM PDT · 286 of 474
    John McDonnell to Godzilla
    Two (2) statements by smith in his own handwriting acknowledging that he practiced and endorsed polygamy

    If you are so sure about that, then you should be able to prove everything that you are here claiming. Where can those handwritten documents be viewed? Who were the handwriting experts that testified that that they could not have been forgeries? Were did you learn of their existence, if they actually exist?

  • The Companionship of the Holy Ghost - Mormon

    08/01/2011 9:25:41 AM PDT · 285 of 474
    John McDonnell to Godzilla
    Open your self to the truth - it is freeing John.

    I am open to the truth. In my judgment, what you have presented is not the truth, but rather a hasty, undiscerning gathering of whatever you can find that can be seen as damaging to those who believe that the Book of Mormon is what it claims to be.

    God knows your motives. I do not. But I cannot see how your sloppy attacks can do anybody any good. I think that you are wasting the days of your probation trying to tear down what you don't like, instead of laboring to build up what you love.

    Open your self to the truth - it is freeing Godzilla.

  • The Companionship of the Holy Ghost - Mormon

    08/01/2011 9:04:07 AM PDT · 283 of 474
    John McDonnell to Godzilla
    No simplification involved - it is a statement of fact.

    There are no simple facts in complex situations like the Reorganization of the church, which developed after all of the confusion during the Nauvoo period of church history and the rivalries after the death of Joseph Smith Jr. It has been a while since I have read the volumes of RLDS church history. The movement to reorganize seemed to be blessed by the Spirit, especially in gatherings of saints, but the individual leaders had greatly differing views about how to reorganize. As the process unfolded through many deliberations, certain leaders did not like the direction being established and left. But the testimony of the majority was that the Spirit was guiding them. In 1860, Joseph Smith III became a spokeman for that guidance. As with anything else, we need to know who, what, when, where, and why disgruntled persons made statements (which are gleefully quoted by Mormon-haters without regard for who, what, when, where, and why).

  • The Companionship of the Holy Ghost - Mormon

    08/01/2011 8:42:42 AM PDT · 281 of 474
    John McDonnell to Elsie
    Religion by commitee. Who needs it? Do they ALL put their faces into a hat to discern the TRUENESS or 'revelation'?

    Jesus taught: "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye canniot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth" (John 16:12-13). When people gather in the name of Christ to advance His cause, the Spirit can, through their prayerful deliberations, guide them. Interactions in the Spirit are mind-expanding, soul-inspiring experiences. The Acts of the Apostles demonstrate that church conferences helped the church stay focused on its service to Christ. They could be contentious, at times, but a good course of action would usually prevail. Through the guidance of the Spirit, early church conferences dealt with the numerous problems they faced, clearing the way for many great and marvelous works to be accomplished. Isolated Christians might individually do much good, but organized actions having the full blessings of the Spirit can change the course of history.

  • The Companionship of the Holy Ghost - Mormon

    08/01/2011 8:06:35 AM PDT · 278 of 474
    John McDonnell to Godzilla
    you overtly avoided smith's own admission

    If I had the date of the first publication of it, the name and motives of the publisher of it, and some commentary on it from persons other than enemies of the church, for balance, then I might be able to deal with it. My guess is that it was fabricated by polygamists to justify their sins, or by enemies of the church who thought they could get away with "making things up".

    Some lies are so impressive that they are taken as fact. For example, Tina Fey's imitation of Sarah Palin saying, "I can see Russia from my house," is taken by many as being something that Sarah Palin actually said, and many will never, because they are closeminded, believe that she did not say it.

  • The Companionship of the Holy Ghost - Mormon

    08/01/2011 5:11:20 AM PDT · 274 of 474
    John McDonnell to Elsie
    "To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did."

    Elsie applied this to the present Mormon church. Since the Mormon church no longer practises blood atonement and polygamy, it is not continuing to do as their fathers did. Therefore, the application is false.

    The application is true, however, concerning baptism for the dead, which is not mentioned in the fullness of the gospel. Here, the Mormon church, even if it came to realize that baptism for the dead is a false doctrine, could not discard it without offending its membership. The RLDS was correct to reject Joseph Smith Jr's "revelations" on baptism for the dead, because Community of Christ believes in the principle of common consent. The president of the church, past or present, cannot force on her anything claiming to be of divine origin. The church, must, through delegates to a general conference, either accept or reject communications claiming divine origin, and without such acceptance, they cannot have scriptural authority for the church. The documents on baptism for the dead, as first presented, were never given approval by a general conference of the church.

  • The Companionship of the Holy Ghost - Mormon

    07/31/2011 8:23:51 PM PDT · 271 of 474
    John McDonnell to Godzilla
    even founders of RLDS acknowledged smith to be a polygamist

    That statement is an oversimplification, especially since the RLDS came to believe on good evidence that Joseph Smith Jr was not a polygamist. Back when they were contending against polygamy, RLDS ministers liked to quote Jeremiah 17:5-8, reading into it as follows:

    "Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord [Brigham Young]. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh [the Reorganization]; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness [beyond the reach of American law], in a salt land and not inhabited [Salt Lake City and surroundings]. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the [Missouri] river, and shall not see when the heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."

    God loves repentance. No matter what the sins of the Mormon church were, that church is doing much more good than evil now. "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:7-9).

  • The Companionship of the Holy Ghost - Mormon

    07/31/2011 7:34:56 PM PDT · 269 of 474
    John McDonnell to Godzilla
    And your 'evidence' is even more tainted

    Your "even more" is an admission that your evidence is tainted.