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Saints: The Standard of Truth, Part 6, Rebutting Daniel Peterson’s argument of Gold Plates

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
February 9, 2020 8:00 pm

Saints: The Standard of Truth, Part 6, Rebutting Daniel Peterson’s argument of Gold Plates

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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February 9, 2020 8:00 pm

In this second week of the 6-week series, Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson rebut LDS apologist Daniel Peterson’s view of the Book of Mormon’s gold plates.


Is 101 for teams is a valuable resource for anyone wanting a simplified view of the Mormon religion from a Christian perspective. Is it one-on-one for teens is available at the Utah lighthouse bookstore in Salt Lake City or .1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism welcome of this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM last week we began looking at the book sinks the standard of truth and it covers Mormon history from the year 1815 to 1846. As we mentioned last week, this book basically has the stamp of approval by the leadership of the church and that's what makes this thing so important and I think we need to reiterate one more time, at least at the beginning of this week that sinks the story of the church of Jesus Christ and the latter-day's is one of a four volume series and according to the first presidency statement at the front of the book it says we pray that this volume will enlarge your understanding of the past, strengthen your faith and help you make and keep the covenants that lead to exultation and eternal life.

And another thing that was added in the prayer in the preface to what you just said on page 18.

Saints is not Scripture but like the Scriptures.

Each volume contains divine truth and stories of imperfect people trying to become saints through the atonement of Jesus Christ. What we were trying to say. Last week Bill is. While this is not Scripture were not trying to say it is, it still is an official history as produced by the 21st century LDS church, and it does have the written approval of the first presidency, something that even the gospel topics essays that started coming out in 2013.

They did not have that this does so we can assume that this is the history that the church leadership wants its members to know and believe now. Last week we ended with the story of the gold plates and we read to you from page 40 and 41 from this narrative saints showing how Joseph Smith carried these plates for a distance of 3 miles because it states very clearly the goal plates were secreted 3 miles away from the Smith home.

I think Eric we probably need to read the small portion on page 40 because it is going to play an important part in what we plan on discussing today and that is how Joseph Smith retrieve the plates and what he went through in order to get them home. According to the book it says her into the health Joseph found the log where the plates were hidden and carefully wrap them in a shirt. He then ducked into the woods and headed for home. His eyes alert to danger the force concealed him from people on the main road, but it gave these plenty of places to hide straining under the weight of the record, Joseph tramped through the woods as fast as he could.

A fallen tree blocked the path ahead of him and as he bounded over it.

He felt something hard strike him from behind. Turning around he saw a man coming at him wielding a gun like a club clutching the plates tightly with one arm. Joseph knocked the man to the ground and scrambled deeper into the thicket. He ran for about half a mile when another man sprang from behind a tree and struck him with the butt of his gun. Joseph fought the man off and darted away. Desperate to be out of the woods. But before he could get very far. 1/3 man attacked landing a heavy blow that sent him reeling gathering his strength. Joseph hit the man hard and ran for home. Now if you listen to last week's show that was probably a bit redundant for you, but we needed to repeat that account because there was an article that was published on the web. November 10, 2019 by Dr. Daniel Peterson, Daniel Peterson is a BYU professor and he is well I guess you could say her keys, the go to guy when it comes to Mormon apologetics. He had an article on path titled running with the golden plates and it refers to a film that is going to be coming out that is going to re-create how Joseph Smith was able to retrieve the plates and ultimately get them to his house and so Dr. Peterson writes about this and what does he say I spoke at a small cottage meeting on Saturday night along with the interpreter foundations fundraiser at Snow, and Mark Goodman, the director of the foundation's current witnesses, film project, it was a real treat for me to see two brand-new clips from the principal dramatic movie which is now taking shape.

This was the first time that they been shown the first depicted Joseph Smith, played by Paul with rich, being chased by money diggers while he's carrying the plates. The second show. The first meeting of David Witmer with Joseph who has been working with all of her calorie in harmony, Pennsylvania, and who knows a great deal more about David's travels of the previous two days from Fayette, New York than he could possibly know, by natural means. Mark was very apologetic to the group before showing the two clips saying that their color was off at the music was too loud, and so forth, and that this was only preliminary work.

However I have to say that I was quite pleased.

I've seen the criticism that the plates were too heavy that Joseph Smith could not possibly have run through the woods carrying them now obviously Dr. Peterson is very well aware of probably things that I said personally, as well as other critics of this account from what they have said over the past several years. I find it fascinating, though, that what Dr. Peterson is going to defend tends to leave a lot of the details out and basically what he's going to argue for is that it was quite possible to run with these alleged goal plates. He goes on to say, well, there were two prop sets of plates at the disposal of the filmmakers. One of them was quite light for convenience.

The second was roughly the weight of the real historical plates themselves limit stop either. The second was roughly the weight of the real historical plates themselves. What is that weight I don't know of any scientific evidence that is ever proven exactly what these plates weighed. I've heard all sorts of speculation and Dr. Peterson himself has given lots of speculation as to what he thinks the plates weighed, but when you say the second was roughly the weight of the real historical plates themselves. Folks, how can we take this statement seriously. Nobody knows what the plates weighed nobody weighed the actual plates that Joseph Smith padding gives us a definitive number.

It's nothing but speculation but bill if they were called, how much with a way that's the argument that I've reason I only go back to Golden.

I've mentioned this last week because that's what the angel said the plates were made of. And if the plates were made of gold, then gold that size would be around 200 pounds and I know Mormon scholars and probably a lot of Mormon apologists roll their eyes whenever they hear anybody say that why they don't believe the plates were gold little words they have to somehow question with the angel himself said and come up with a lighter alloy. Dr. Peterson believes in a lighter alloy.

I have no doubt that he holds to the toboggan theory and rim talk about that, but the point is, when he says the second prop was roughly the weight of the real historical plates themselves.

I don't know what that weight is and what ever weight. Mr. Peterson comes up with can't be proven. While I'm sure he's going to say somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 to 50 pounds.

Oh, no doubt because that has been believed by some that the plates weighed as lightest theory I've heard that argument.

That's not really the more common weight that I hear. Usually it's 40 to 50 pounds. As I mentioned last week, we ended our show on Friday talking about going to an office supply store picking up a case of paper that weighs about 40 pounds carrying it around the store with you to see how quickly those things get too heavy to carry but let's go on with what Dr. Peterson says he continues when our people were filming the scene in which young Joseph Smith runs through the woods while being pursued by money diggers who are intent on gaining possession of the book of Mormon plates. They gave Paul the option of using a lighter prop. After all, he would be running down the hill repeatedly carrying the plates jumping over rocks and logs trying to avoid the branches. He would be doing this over and over again for different takes repeating the effort so that filming could be done in a variety of angles.

He tested the lighter set of plates and then chose to go with the heavier ones so that the scene would be more realistic. Thus, again and again he had to run down the hill carrying the plates then climb up the hill once more, then run down the hill.

Then climb up the hill at the end of the day. The producer tells me the actor was utterly exhausted but the fact remains that he did it, which proves that it can be done and this is how Dr. Peterson concludes his peace and Joseph Smith was a young man who spent his days doing heavy manual labor who never rode in an automobile who had a reputation for unusual physical strength. If Paul with rich could do it. Joseph could have done it to what's missing in this whole narrative what we just read from the saints book includes details that Dr. Peterson doesn't mention nor details that perhaps the film is anyone going to bring out it seems. And that is jumping over a log fighting off an attacker who was armed and then doing it again fighting off another attacker, who was armed and then 1/3 attacker fighting him off and being able to run away from said attackers without them being able to catch Joseph Smith who was carrying this heavyweight forcible. He has to knock these guys down in such a way that apparently there stunned, or maybe even knocked unconscious to where they can't follow him. And remember, as we mentioned. Also, Joseph Smith, as the book brings out had a limp. How much of a limp.

We don't know. But still, any type of limb by an individual carrying a heavy weight would make an especially burdensome attempt at getting away from these attackers were trying to come up with a reasonable solution in trying to understand all the facts here and when it says that he gets up on a log and then is hit from behind and now guys coming at him and and imagine that if these plates even wages 40 pounds you have those under your arm. You're probably putting them under your favored arm, I would carry something like that under my right arm. Now you're using your opposite arm to punch the guy is a going to have any kind of an effect it just is not seeming to go with what the evidence is that we are given in both the standard of truth as well as the history that goes back to hundred years.

So when Dr. Peterson says, but the fact remains that he this actor was able to do it. Which proves that it can be done. All it proves is that this actor ran a distance with a prop and a heavier weight.

We don't even know what that is. Dr. Peterson doesn't give the weight but doesn't really prove anything. This does not prove anything. A lot of the details are left out. I'm wondering when this film eventually comes out. Is it going to have all those details that are included in the book, saints, or even included in other references such as the testimony of his mother, who we assume got the story from Joseph Smith himself so I don't see how this article really helps the situation. I think it's really made only for those who really want to believe that story of the gold plates.

Thank you for listening you would like more information regarding this research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website you can request our free newsletter research. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint is sharing your faith with the lighter they say it helps to know what their church is taught in several basic topics. For this reason, this research ministry has provided its crash course is a crash course, Mormonism includes concise articles highlighting what LDS leaders and church manuals have taught on issues that will probably come up in a typical conversation.

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