"The Book of Abraham is an interesting example of clutter (see prior comment). Its origins are cluttered, but its message and content are powerful. Many who study ancient documents tell us the message is authentic in spite of the cluttered connection to the Chandler text. So we have clutter, but no hard evidence to lose faith in the prophet Joseph Smith."
No hard evidence?
Common Egyptian scrolls are translated by Joseph Smith into the Book of Abraham. It turns out that Joe's "translation" was absolutely incorrect. It turns out the scrolls were dated 2000 years after the time of Abraham. It is a common scroll which means that similar scrolls are commonly found.
Message Is Authentic?
How can that possibly be? That statement makes absolutely no sense. First of all, how can they "tell us" the message is authentic if it's origion is proven to be a fraud, or "cluttered" as you put it? Secondly, how can they verify at all that the message is authentic? That's impossible with the current conditions. Now if they had an actual ancient document to look at, then yes, they could verify that the translation is correct. But since they can't even verify the translation, how can they possibly verify the message?
This is a perfect example of Internet Mormon logic. Mormons, whether Internet or Chapel variety, are similar in one way. As long as an explanation of any kind exists, then it is good enough. Any normal, rational person can easily see the flawed thinking in the statement above. But an Internet Mormon, who so desperately wants his faith to continue to be true, is willing to accept any explanation, no matter how far fetched it might be, and cling to it as the solution to his problem.
The Internet Mormons over at mormonmatters.org all think this way. They have all had serious challenges to their faith and have found their individual ways to restructure their belief system until it fits the given evidence and still keeps the church true. But why go to all that effort?
Guess what guys? If the church is not true then that means:
- You don't have to pay tithing anymore!
- You no longer have to wonder if you are Celestial Kingdom worthy!
- You don't have to lie to your bishop to pass interviews anymore!
- You don't have to spend all your spare time doing churchy things.
- You have an extra day on the weekend to study, shop, or just chill out!
- You can enjoy a beer and not feel guilty for it.
- You can choose your own underwear!
So if the church is not true, look at all the benefits you get! Why do you actually resist the evidence when it is working in your favor? Why do you want to choose a life of bondage over a life of freedom?
Tell you what. Just for a moment, look at the evidence and see where it points. Don't do any belief restructuring. Just look at the evidence. What does it say?
In fact, if you are required to restructure any beliefs, then that means the beliefs you have been taught are false. So basically, you are taking a false belief and rearranging it into an even more false belief. If the evidence forces you to change beliefs which have been taught to you by a prophet, then guess what? Game over!
I know you will have a million and one explanations as to why I am wrong, and they are all just as ridiculous as the next one. That's not really doctrine. That was just his opinion.
No matter what you say, the bottom line is this. The LDS church doesn't want you to restructure your beliefs. Where did they ever say it was okay to do that? In fact, if you do that, aren't you really apostising? Prophets can't even change doctrine, let alone yourself!
So it doesn't really matter what your argument is. If you have to change and restructure your belief system, then you are wrong! Simple. The only explanation that does not require extensive mental gymnastics and denying the evidence is the explanation that states that the LDS church is not true and Joseph Smith was a fraud.
Continue believing if you want to. It doesn't really matter to me. I'm just sitting here trying so hard to help you see the truth. Take it or leave it. I don't give a shit. But I can guarantee that once you ditch all the cognative dissonance and accept the truth, things will become as clear as crystal.
I shouldn't have to enjoy all this bliss alone! I want someone to share it with! Free your minds from the 180 year old lies of Joseph Smith. All he wanted was money, pussy, and power.