Subject:

I finally read Dallin H. Oaks' talk "The Language of Prayer".

Date:

May 17 14:15 2005

Author:

Kevin


Note:  In Elder (Mormon Apostle) Oak’s talk he stated the correct manner of prayer is to use Thee and Thou.  He was speaking to a worldwide audience at the time with translators in local congregations in numerous countries translating his talk into their languages.  How other countries translated that talk is discussed below.  The original talk can be found at:

The Language of Prayer   Dallin H. Oaks, “The Language of Prayer,” Ensign, May 1993, 15

 

 

Obviously, Elder Oaks does not speak any language other than English.

I'm fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. Both languages use the familiar form of you (tu in Spanish and vos in Portuguese) to address God. There is a formal way of addressing people in both languages (for example, the usted form in Spanish). The formal you is never used in addressing God in these two languages. The translations of the Mass into Spanish, French, and Portuguese all use the informal for you rather than the formal. And certainly, when Spanish and Portuguese speakers pray, they pray using the informal and more familiar form of you rather than "thou".

I can't speak for German, but I also think that Polish uses the informal you when speaking to God.

 

Subject: The weirdest talk in modern General Conference history: Dallin Oaks' "Language of Prayer"

Date: May 31 00:22

Author:Tal Bachman

 

 


So, I don't think there is anything particularly unusual, or even wrong, about anyone, including Dallin Oaks, saying silly things once in awhile. (After all, the only reason why someone might say far fewer silly things than average would be if they were a "special witness" of, with special access to, the faultless, omniscient mind of a deity, like the ascended Jesus of Nazareth.) Often times, silly comments lead to serious discussion where new insights are made. And of course, silly comments sometimes turn out not to be so silly upon inspection.

But that brings us to what may be the weirdest talk in modern General Conference history, Dallin Oaks' "Language of Prayer" talk. There are so many internal contradictions and problems with this talk, that a full critique of it would be a couple of times the length of the original talk. But since a few people asked me last week for a few comments after this talk came up on a thread that I started, here are a few. (The full text of this talk can be read at www.lds.org, May 1993 Ensign).

It is easy to imagine that addressing the Creator of the universe, the embodiment of all righteousness and perfection, should impel us to use language different from that which we use to talk to goldfish or prison inmates. It is all the more significant, then, what a hash Elder Oaks makes of his defense of it.

For example, he writes:

>> The special language of prayer follows different forms in different languages, but the principle is always the same. We should address prayers to our Heavenly Father in words which speakers of that language associate with love and respect and reverence and closeness. The application of this principle will, of course, vary according to the nature of a particular language, including the forms that were used when the scriptures were translated into that language. Some languages have intimate or familiar pronouns and verbs used only in addressing family and very close friends. Other languages have honorific forms of address that signify great respect, such as words used only when speaking to a king or other person of high rank. Both of these kinds of special words are appropriately used in offering prayers in other languages because they communicate the desired feelings of love, respect, reverence, or closeness.


Question: How does it make sense to say that the “special language of prayer follows different forms in different languages, but the principle is always the same”? What principle? Oaks says that in prayer, “some languages have intimate or familiar pronouns…other languages have ‘honorific forms’” but that "BOTH...ARE APPROPRIATELY USED". Huh? Familiar forms of address, versus formal forms, are opposites. What “principle” could erase the very distinction on which his entire talk depends for its point? This is totally bizarre. If it is true that different languages use either the formal or informal in addressing God, and then he says that that's appropriate, on what grounds is he arguing that in English, we shouldn't use "you"? WHAT PRINCIPLE?

Oaks writes that "thou" and "thee", etc., constitute "dignified" language. But then he writes this:

>>The special language of prayer that Latter-day Saints use in English has sometimes been explained by reference to the history of the English language. It has been suggested that thee, thou, thy, and thine are simply holdovers from forms of address once used to signify respect for persons of higher rank. But more careful scholarship shows that the words we now use in the language of prayer were once commonly used by persons of rank IN ADDRESSING PERSONS OF INFERIOR POSITION...These same English words were also used in communications between persons in an intimate relationship." (That is, they constituted the informal form).


So, according to Elder Oaks, we should use "thou" because it is more "dignified", AND, according to Elder Oaks, "thou" is NOT more dignified, because (as most people interested in English know), it actually IS the now obsolete informal, intimate form of address - exactly the one people did use to address golfish and criminals with, 500 years ago. How does this make sense? Oaks says in effect, "'thou' is formal" AND "'thou' is informal".

How does Oaks get around this obstacle to his argument? Very easily. He simply ends up declaring, as though hopefully to make the conundrums he gets himself into in this talk magically, instantly vanish:

>>But the history of English usage is not the point.


Previously in this talk, Oaks notes that the meanings of words change over time, as though to insinuate that "thou" had. But it isn't that "thou" has "changed meanings"; it is that it has been totally obsolete - hasn't been used - in "standard English" (hereafter "SE") for going on half a millenium. Even by the time of Shakespeare and the KJV it was falling out of use in SE, and I know for a fact that some linguists believe that the only reason Shakespeare used it so often in his plays (whereas contemporaries like Ben Jonson used it rarely) was that he (supposedly) hailed from Warwickshire, where it was still a part of the dialect.

(And by the way, my wife is from Lancashire; and if you went there right now and talked to people over fifty [as I have a few times] who still speak in dialect, you would hear them quite frequently use the INFORMAL "thou" and "thee" to their grandchildren, farm animals like goats and pigs, and grocery boys. It never has been - and is still not, where it is used - the "reverent", "dignified", or "formal" form, not in regional dialects, nor in SE).

Anyway, it is easy to wonder if for Oaks, "the history of English usage" has ceased to be the point only because "the history of English usage" completely destroys the weird arguments he keeps trying to make. How can "usage" and its "history" NOT be the point, when his whole talk is about 500 year old words that he wants us to keep using, on grounds that they are "dignified", even though, as he also admits, they aren't? How can ANY discussion of a word's meaning, nuances, etc., completely divorce itself from the history of that word? Oaks doesn't really answer this question. But why should he have to? He's an apostle, and even though his talk contains numerous internal inconsistencies, that he is an apostle should be all that is required for us to not notice, I suppose.

So far, Oaks has argued that "thou" should be used because it is "dignified", even though as he explains, it wasn't ever actually "dignified" at all; insinuated then that it might be appropriate just because the meaning has changed, even though it hasn't where still used in regional dialect, and in fact has dropped entirely from SE.

And in seeming (subconscious?) recognition of his increasingly embarrassing position, he finally concedes that, okay, "thou" might be obsolete - but that THAT is precisely why we SHOULD use it for "the language of prayer"! (He says, "In our day the English words thee, thou, thy, and thine are suitable for the language of prayer, not because of how they were used anciently but because they are currently obsolete in common English discourse".)

Confession: I don't understand. Why does "obsolete" mean "more sacred"? Would Dallin Oaks insist that we all start listening to the MoTab on wax cylinders or vinyl LP's, or wear burlap robes to church instead of navy business suits with red silk ties?

Oaks' position seems to come down to this: SE currently lacks a formal "you", since "you" now is used in both formal and informal settings. But, deity must be addressed, in English, using formal speech (though he doesn't explain why all other languages should use the informal, as the church insists they do). So, the obsolete "thou" can be appropriated to this end, despite the fact it was always - and is still, where used - the informal form.

This might be okay, except that THE CHURCH ITSELF translates ALL references to Deity, in its scriptures, its manuals, its conference talks (even Oaks'!), everything, into the INFORMAL form of address of every language of which I am aware. German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portugese, Dutch, every other language with two forms of address, I believe - the church itself always uses the INFORMAL! On what grounds, in the end, does Oaks argue that "right" requires English speakers to try essentially to create out of nothing, like Kwanzaa, and use, a formal form of address, while "right" ALSO requires virtually all non-English Mormons to do EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE? Again, “what principle”? Why?

I think, in the end, the answer is - "because". That's always the ultimate answer in authoritarian organizations, whether we all realize it or not. "Because" - because Spencer Kimball said so, because Joseph said so, because we always have...but as each "because" (just as we have seen in Oaks' own talk) evaporates under scrutiny, another "because" replaces it. And in the end, there is nothing else, except "because". Because we said so. And when the prophet speaks, the thinking has been done. And that should settle the matter for all faithful Latter-day Saints. The end.

----------------------

MORE COMMENTS.

Any discussion of Dallin Oaks’ version of the “language of prayer” might take into consideration the language of the KJV, since Mormon prayer language seems to be an effort to continue its form of speech. As well, while Oaks' talk isn't specifically about the KJV, Mormon defenses of its continued use often rely on the same kinds of arguments used by Oaks for defending obsolete language in prayer. And I feel pretty sure that Oaks' would defend the continued use of the KJV as staunchly (and as unconvincingly) as he does "the language of prayer". Just a few comments then for what they're worth.

The first English translation of the Bible was done by John Wycliffe in the late 1300's (don't remember the exact year). It was revolutionary because it was a translation of the scriptures into the language of the common man; and as such, was a total karate kick in the face of the church. The church opposed Latin to English translations, at bottom, because it weakened their power - up until that time, the priests (obviously this is pre-church/state separation) had been the referees in the game of life, but the players themselves had little or no access to the "definitive" rule book, The Bible. All priestly opinions had to be accepted just on faith as being accurate expressions of what The Bible itself said. Human nature being what it is, it is difficult to imagine even the most saintly pope or priest (or prophet) never wielding such power to satisfy his own interests.

Wycliffe, with his English translation, helped to start changing this situation. Though with great faith in God, he aligned himself with reason, autonomy, and enlightenment, and against the dark forces of dogma and questionable, irresponsible religious authority claims. He once said that even if a hundred popes were to announce something, their opinions on faith shouldn't be accepted unless they squared with holy writ. It is no wonder the church was so angry at him. Suddenly, they were being held accountable. Their power derived from their ability to be the final interpreters of a scripture withheld from the very people they sought power over (does that sound familiar?); even at the same time they claimed that scriptures were the only word of God, they reserved ALL RIGHT to INTERPRET that word of God; which in effect substituted them for that word of God itself, without acknowledging this was what was happening (and does THAT sound familiar?). Was it Brennan or Black who said the Constitution was "whatever we say it means"?

Wycliffe's successor translator, William Tyndale, similarly wished for holy writ to be accessible to the common man. He once said to a priest, “ere many years, I will cause a boy that driveth a plough to know more of the scriptures than thou dost”. After he published his translation, one which broadly would come to serve as the template for future translations, including the KJV, he was pursued by the Catholic church, caught, and then burned at the stake. His crime? Facilitating access to religious information, a “crime” that the Mormon church would probably make, in essence, against the guy who smuggled Joseph’s “Kirtland Papers” (the Egyptian Grammar book) out of the archives, against the Tanners for publishing it, against Grant Palmer or Michael Quinn or anyone else who would dare reveal religious information and facilitate the holding accountable of men who make authority claims identical to (and identically as specious as) the Catholic popes and priests the church once derided in its endowment ceremony. “The truth”, in the end, does not matter - only “the church”. But since the church’s very claims to authority are based on claims about “the truth”, how can it fight against access to it, without legitimately arousing the gravest suspicion? Without suggesting it could not be what it claims to be?

In the story of the English bible, the Catholics are the bad guys. And Dallin Oaks, whether he knows it or not, seems to be on the side of the bad guys; he seems very much to agree with uber-Catholic Sir Thomas More, who once complained bitterly about the holy word of God being translated into the language of ploughboys - rather than left in the more exalted, reverential language of….Latin. (How stupid). (Just replace “Latin” with “KJV English”, which for many people, four hundred years later, seems about as incomprehensible as a Robert Burns poem written in Scottish dialect, and you have Oaks' position). Oaks would have been criticizing Tyndale, Wycliffe, and the KJV translators if he’d lived several centuries ago. He can’t get around that, without disavowing his main position, which he hasn’t done, that I know of.

The protestant King James repudiated More’s/Oaks’ position by authorizing a new translation, one that would combine the best features of all then extant versions, to be written in the tongue of the common man - not some fake language which we’re supposed to pretend is “exalted”. The whole point of the King James Version of the Bible was to put it into common tongue - NOT keep it “exalted” or “obscure” or “archaic (although a few of Tyndale’s by then famous phrases, 80 years old by that time and already sounding a bit dated, were kept). The whole point was to make it comprehensible, so as to neutralize the claims of priests - and Mormon apostles - who in effect argue that the scriptures mean whatever they say they mean.

Because the KJV translators - whose project, oddly enough, Oaks reveres and loathes at the same time without realizing it - wanted the word of God totally comprehensible to everyone, I believe very strongly they would say he was every bit the religious bigot, upholder of superstition, and self-styled divine "authority" who actually INHIBITS the spread of the divine word by warring against its intelligibility, as were the Catholic friars who, well, "fried" John Wycliffe.

What’s even worse is that neither the Old Testament nor the New was originally written in anything other than plain language. The New Testament, for example, as is well known, wasn’t written in “formal, dignified Greek” at all, but in koine Greek, the Greek used by fishermen, prostitutes, and...Jewish tentmakers like Paul - the Greek, by the way, used by people whose native tongue wasn’t Greek at all, but Aramaic.

So, if Matthew and Paul and Luke et al didn’t use some archaic, pseudo-dignified form of speech in writing about the most sacred matters imaginable - Jesus’ suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection - and don’t even quote Jesus using anything other than common speech in addressing God, on what grounds can Dallin Oaks or anyone NOW claim that the scriptures (and our prayers) are so sacred as to merit warping in this way? It makes no sense. To endorse this warping is to insult the very KJV translators who the church claims were inspired to write what they did. They wrote in common speech. Any translation which doesn’t represent that fact is a slap at them, and reveals yet another example of a Mormon claim which undermines itself when seen in the light of other Mormon claims.

I mentioned Jesus using common language to address God. I’d like to ask Dallin Oaks who “the great exemplar” is, if not Jesus? Of course, he would say Jesus. So, if, as Oaks claims, we need some formal language with which to address God, why then does Jesus, the great exemplar, address God using the very intimate term “Abba”? (And according to some authorities, he would have done so all the time, not just where it is specified in NT text).

Abba does not, as is commonly suggested, translate exactly into “Daddy”, but it definitely is a familiar, intimate term, maybe something like "papa" - NOT “Your Royal Highness” or whatever it is that Oaks seems to think Jesus would want us to use.

Oaks might reply that he was entitled to use this term, since God was his literal father. I might then ask why Paul tells his congregations that the Spirit of God says that believers in Christ should worship God as “Abba”? (See, e.g., Gal. 4:6, Rom. 8:15). Aren’t the standard works THE standard for official church doctrine? That’s what Oaks would say - and in saying so, he would have just exploded his own weird thesis, for in it, prayer to and praise of God is explicitly exemplified, and recommended to be, in FAMILIAR language.

Further, I’d like to know (if we are to maintain the kind of “appropriate distance” to deity recommended by Oaks and before him, by McConkie), why Gordon B. Hinckley announced in public that “Jesus is my friend”?

If Oaks really wants to read the Bible in something like a faithful translation, he could try the RSV (forget what J. Reuben Clark said), or the NRSV, even the ESV which maintains the “virgin”/parthenos/alma/beutlah/Isaiah/Matthew deal for the born agains. Heck, even the NIV would be better than the KJV for accuracy. Maybe even better in my mind is Richmond Lattimore’s translation of the New Testament. THAT is near to what it would have sounded like to the contemporaries of its writers.

Let me try something out here, to conclude.

The church continues to insist on using “thees” and “thous” in prayer, because to replace them would raise the question of why the church is still then sticking with an archaic Bible translation which has been greatly superceded in accuracy and intelligibility by a number of others. But questions like this are bad.

They’re bad, because we might start to wonder, after digging more deeply into the various translations, if the KJV can’t be replaced because to do so might undermine the basis for many of Joseph’s teachings and doctrines, which were “riffs” or midrashic embellishments on particular KJV verses - which in some cases were mistranslations (unbeknownst to Joseph), or which were misunderstood by him due to ambiguity in the translation. But that can’t happen without calling into question the reliability of the charismatic Joseph, and thus the authority of his church.

Therefore, use of the KJV, and the use of KJV language for Mormon prayers, must be defended in whatever way possible - even in ways which make no sense, which are contradicted not only by the facts of history but by the scriptures themselves (as suggested above), and even by statements within the very talks of people trying to defend them - like Dallin Oaks' "The Language of Prayer".

Just as we might expect if the church were not run, in the end, by anything approximating Omniscience no matter how diluted by mortal minds, but by mortals whose access to omniscience is every bit as non-existent as our own, the church once again seems to find itself painted into a corner, any escape attempt from which - while maintaining church claims - must of necessity provoke the greatest violence on the rudimentary rules of logic, and the most basic respect for fact, truth, and reality.

I'll give Oaks' credit for this, though his talk is a carcrash - I don't imagine anyone being able to do better defending the indefensible than he does. What else could we really expect? The thing, in the end, just isn't defensible without ending up sounding like you're creating your own version of the Nicene Creed. If the thing itself is nonsense, it is no wonder defenses of it are as well. How could they not be?

Just my two million cents,

T.

 

 

 

Subject:

Try listening to conference in spanish when they talk about this

Date:

May 17 14:48

Author:

ink


On my mission, we were laughing out loud at the "translation" of the talk. Not sure if it was Oaks' talk, or another one (this would have been 1992-4).

The spanish translators kept saying things like "He's talking about something that only makes sense in English." or sometimes they'll even LIE and do a reformed-Egyption-esque on the spot translation with phrases like "We should always treat our heavenly father with respect while we pray [delete part about victorian English being used by Nephi for a reason]. Our voices should be humble [delete part about how victorian English gets you "in the mood" for the 'ghost]"

 

Subject:

I'd love to hear the Spanish translation of this talk. n/t

 

Subject:

Re: I finally read Dalin H. Oaks' talk "The Language of Prayer".

Date:

May 17 15:09

Author:

questioner


I'm so glad to hear others' thoughts on this talk. I am getting released from my calling in RS and am planning to quit the church (the bishop and RS Pres. don't know the entire reason I said I needed to be released), but they asked if I would teach a class in RS on this talk as my last function in the calling. The RSPres is concerned because one of the women said, in RS, that she calls God "you" instead of thee, thou, etc. The RS pres is REALLY upset about it. I dread teaching this class. I was wondering how Spanish speakers address God in prayer, and whether or not any other languages use a formal or familiar address in prayer. This concept of telling people how they must pray, and doing it in English, is so arrogant and English speaking-centric, it is just mind boggling. If any of you know how speakers of other languages address God (formal or informal & familiar), I would love to hear it.

 

Subject:

Re: I finally read Dalin H. Oaks' talk "The Language of Prayer".

Date:

May 17 15:53

Author:

Orange Nephi


The New Testament books were written in Greek. Greek has no formal you and I don't believe Hebrew does either. In fact the Aramaic word Abba that Jesus used and that we were told to use is a very informal form of the word father meaning something more akin to Pappa. The leaders of the Mormon church have no clue as to what was used in New Testament times.

The following is something I wrote up on the subject:

In the Book of Mormon Class Member Study Guide, chapter 9, Boyd K. Packer says the following in talking about the sections of Isaiah included in the Book of Mormon:


“For the most part, it is in easy-flowing New Testament Language, with such words as spake for spoke, unto for to, with and it came to pass, with thus and thou and thine.”

What he does not mention is that the New Testament for the most part was written in Greek and that the languages of the New Testament included Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic and other languages of the Middle East. These peoples did not speak Jacobean English and this is what the King James Version of the Bible (as used by the Mormon Church), is written in.

As an example of Jacobean English as used in the Bible I will quote the KJV of the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9):



“Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

The Greek of the New Testament does not have the same vernacular as is used in the King James version of the Bible. There is no special dialect used when speaking to deity.

The following is the Greek Version of the above (as closely given as possible using the English alphabet.

“Pater emun o en tois ouranois, agiasthetu to onoma sou, egthetu e basileia sou, genethetu to thelema sou, us en ouranu kai epi ges.”

 
Let us look at the section “hallowed be thy name”. The Greek for this is “agiasthetu to onoma sou”. The following is a breakdown of the words.

agiasthetu This word means let be revered, or hallowed.

to the

onoma name

sou Genitive version of the word you. The genitive indicates possession. I.e. Your or of you

I would expect a scriptural scholar like Elder Packer to have some knowledge of this. Although the word sou may be translated as thy, it is more appropriate to translate it as you. When Elder Packer states that the Book of Mormon was written in the New Testament language, my question is, “Does he mean that the Book of Mormon was written in Greek?” Or is Elder Packer being deceptive and mis-directing people?

 
In April 2004 I sent a letter to my local stake presidency about some question I had on this problem.

I noted that I was concerned that Packer either did not understand what language the New Testament and the Old testament were written in or he was being deceitful. So I asked the Stake Presidency. After three weeks of nothing back I sent the same line of questions to the First Presidency.

Now you may all ask, did anyone answer the questions that I asked? No, they did not. Although someone at church headquarters did send me a copy of an article by Packer from the May 1986 Ensign entitled “The Things of My Soul”.

The article is three pages long and I would like to comment on some of what Packer says in the article. I will quote a section and after each quote my comments will be in bold face.

“I speak to those who have never read the Book of Mormon. This includes many members who have started to read it several times, but, for one reason or another, have never finished it.

My message may help those who have read the Book of Mormon once but have not returned to it.”

When I read this (it is the opening two paragraphs to the article), I could not help but wonder, did the person who read my letter simply assume that I had not read the Book of Mormon and that I haven’t studied it? Perhaps because I had the gall to question a general authority that I could not have possibly read the book? Well, this was not the case with me. I have read and studied the Book of Mormon. Personally, in seminary and in Sunday School for many years. As an anthropologist I even studied archaeology to help prove the Book of Mormon to be true.

“Except for the Bible, the Book of Mormon is different from any other book you have read. It is not a novel. It is not fiction. For the most part, it is not difficult to read. However, like all books of profound value, it is not casual reading. But if you persist, I assure you that it will be the most rewarding book you have ever set your mind to read.

The Book of Mormon is not biographical, for not one character is fully drawn. Nor, in a strict sense, is it a history.”

I have to agree with Packer that the book is not a novel. Novels are well written compositions for the most part. I do disagree that it is easy to read. I find the book tedious. If I never hear “and it came to pass” again I will be happy. I also find it interesting that Packer intimates that the book is not historical. Is this where the church is moving? Will the church some day admit that the book is not about people that lived in the Americas?

“Lehi’s son Nephi obtained the record for his father and said “It is wisdom in God that we should obtain these records, that we may preserve unto our children the language of our fathers.”

The language of the Jews was Hebrew. Later they would speak Greek (many New Testament Jews did not read the Old Testament in Hebrew but read the Greek translation called the Septuagint). They did not speak Egyptian. So why would they really write in Egyptian when they had a well defined writing system already for their own language!?

Packer goes on to talk about what is contained in the sacred record. He then says the following in speaking of Jacob’s record:

“Did you notice that he was not to touch (save it lightly) on the history of the people but he was to touch upon sacred things as much as it were possible!”

When looking at these sacred things they are general Christian type beliefs. Where are mentionings of all of the extra ordinances, polygamy, temple rites, etc? Packer then goes on to say that the more sacred things were written down for posterity. They were not kept secret.

“Those preachings which were sacred, the revelations which were great, and the prophesying, all testified of the coming of the Messiah

Prophecies concerning the Messiah appear in the Old Testament. But the Book of Mormon records a vision of that event which has no equal in the Old testament.

After the people of Lehi had arrived in the Western hemisphere, Lehi had a vision of the tree of life. His son Nephi prayed to know its meaning. In answer he was given a remarkable vision of Christ.

In that vision he saw:

• A virgin bearing a child in her arms,

• One who should prepare the way – John the baptist,

• The ministry of the Son of God...”

I have always wondered why the Jews did not receive the same types of visions that Lehi and Nephi had. What made them so special when there were still prophets in Israel?

I should also note here that the 1830 version of the Book of Mormon states that the virgin was the mother of God. The current edition was changed to say that she was the Mother of the Son of God. A big doctrinal shift here.

“The Book of Mormon is a book of scripture. It is another testament of Jesus Christ. It is written in biblical language, the language of the prophets.

For the most part, it is easy flowing New Testament language, with such words as spake for spoke, unto for to, with and it came to pass, with thus and thou and thine.”

The examples of language given by Packer here are Jacobean English. And Jacobean English is not the language of the Prophets. Hebrew and Greek are the languages of the Prophets and do not have the same archaic forms of speech that Jacobean English uses when speaking of or to Deity. Apparently Packer does not realize this. Packer then goes on to address how to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon.

“No missionary, no member can fulfill that promise – neither Apostle nor President can full fill that promise. It is a promise of direct revelation to you on the conditions described in the book. After you have read the Book of Mormon, you become qualified to inquire of the Lord, in the way that he prescribes in the book, as to whether the book is true. You will be eligible, on the conditions He has established, to receive that personal revelation.”

I thought it interesting that he mentions president and not prophet. What did he mean by this? I also thought it interesting that he said you had to read the book first. Couldn’t one just ask God if they should read the book? Wouldn’t a just, loving God tell you yes or no?

Nowhere in this article did Packer address anything tangible. No archaeology etc. He resorted to proving the book by the book and by only him saying that it was true. Does anyone else find something lacking in this?


To see the Greek portions go to: http://www.geocities.com/westwil2000/packer.html

 

Subject:

Re: I finally read Dalin H. Oaks' talk "The Language of Prayer".

Date:

May 17 18:51

Author:

bona dea


I have had a year of classical Greek and you are absolutely right. In Thomas Cahill's ""Desire of the Everlasting Hills" he describes Jesus using the word "abba" when addressing God. It is a word a child would use when addressing his father. It is similar to "daddy'. So much for formal language.

 

Subject:

In German, the familiar 'du' is always used to address God n/t

 

Subject:

Part Of A Poem I Wrote About This...

Date:

May 17 15:39

Author:

Saul


Sometimes the truth is so concealed
that the little parts which are revealed
get lost in rules and age old traditions
to the point where under most conditions
we end up saying, “What’s your problem son,
that’s just the way it has always been done.”
It would be funny if we were still in our youth
and could blame our blindness to the truth
on the fact that our parents told us so,
but now we are the parents and now we know
that a parent teaches only what he has learned
and he only gains the knowledge he has earned
through study or faith or the school of hard knocks
and yet some of us still end up dumber than rocks.

This odious phenomenon of being confused
between truth and tradition is most often abused
within the realm of organizational structure
where traditions fester until they rupture
into rules which have no end or beginning
and to question them is akin to sinning.
Such oddities should not be found in the one true church,
but if you are brave enough to carry out the search,
it becomes quite clear that we are not immune
to the virus known as the dreaded triune
of obedience to rules which come from traditions
which are based on truths from unknown conditions.
To wit, I offer the following renditions:

We say “thee” and “thou” whenever we pray
because the Quakers and Puritans talked that way,
and the King James Version was translated thus,
so we go to great lengths and make a big fuss
about using the proper Old English grammar
as if Shakespeare himself were manning the hammer
that nails the door to heaven shut tight
if we fail to conjugate our prayer just right.
Such is just not the case in the Spanish translation
where the language form used in any oblation
is the informal personal mode of speech
which seems to bring heaven within our reach
and treats Heavenly Father as a trustworthy friend
where even children can speak without fearing they’ll offend.

This was written when I was the High Priest Group Leader. It was prompted by the Oaks Talk

 

 

Subject:

I did have two years of Koine Greek.

Date:

May 17 16:05

Author:

Kevin


I'm glad to see someone else who knows some Greek! The ridiculousness of Packer and Oaks is demonstrated when one can access other languages.

 

Subject:

still too lazy to log in...

Date:

May 17 16:07

Author:

Orange Nephi


Grape here again.

It just flabbergasts me when these supposed men of God are so bloody ignorant. Just a little study would show them they are off base.

 

Subject:

I guess it is typical American arrogance on the part of Morg's leadership.

Date:

May 17 16:26

Author:

Kevin


Too arrogant and lazy to learn a foreign language.

Too arrogant and lazy to expand their horizons.

 

Subject:

Can I find this speech online?

Date:

May 17 16:24

Author:

Lollypop


You may find on www.lds.org. Just use the search function for "The Language of Prayer". Then, you can wallow in the utter stupidity of Oaks' remarks along with the rest of us.

 

 

Subject:

Holy smokes, I *did* hear that talk in Spanish on my mission

Date:

May 17 16:47

Author:

ink


We were in the Santa Ana stake center, where they had translations in four different languages. The translator was really confused about the talk. She kept on stammering and filling in ad hoc information. I had always assumed that they pre-translated the talks into the various languages, but they didn't for that one.

 

 

Subject:

My TBM ex-wife and I both speak fluent French

Date:

May 17 16:31

Author:

Truth Without Fear


When we heard this talk I openly told her and those around us listening to conference how totally wrong this was, and that the language constructs mentioned were only applicable in English.

I was soundly rebuffed and told I lacked faith.

It took me WAY TOO LONG to finally put all the pieces together.

 

Subject:

besides which

Date:

May 17 16:38

Author:

msmom


I think I learned that "thee" and "thou" ARE the familiar in King James English, so, in essence you are SUPPOSED to "tutois" the lord! Current english only uses the more formal "You."

But that's probably just an observation of the "faithless." Still, even as a TBM it bugged me, but ya know, I figured one more golden opportunity for me to show my unquestioning obedience!

 

Subject:

Re: besides which

Date:

May 17 17:44

Author:

Orange Nephi


THEE and THOU

The pronoun of the second person in English grammar used to break down like this:

Nominative singular: THOU
Nominative plural: YE
Objective singular: THEE
Objective plural: YOU

In the Middle Ages, people began to use plural forms in all cases, at first as a sign of respect to superiors, then as a courtesy to equals. By the 1600s, the singular forms had come to represent familiarity and lack of status, and fell from use except in the case of a few dialects, notably in the industrial north of England. People in Lancashire north of the Rossendale Forest and Yorkshire used to be well known for their use of the singular second person pronouns tha (nom.) and thee (acc.). For religious reasons, the Quakers also retained the familiar forms, though generally in such a way that thee was used in all cases, along with the third person of the verb (thee has where grammar would dictate thou hast), and they brought it to America, where it was current in entire neighborhoods of Philadelphia till the 1890s and in some farms in the hinterland for perhaps another generation after that.

So what began as a clear distinction based on number turned into a distinction based on formality and social status.

Languages like Japanese and (especially) Indonesian have a variety of words for "you" depending on the social status of the speaker and addressee(s). "It's a nightmare trying to determine which form to use so that you won't offend anyone," an online friend once told me.

Otto Jespersen, in "Philosophy of Grammar" (1924), briefly traced the reason that the plural came to mean the formal in the second person pronoun in Indo-European languages. "When a person speaks of himself as "we" instead of "I" it may in some cases be due to a modest reluctance to obtrude his own person on his hearers or readers; he hides his own opinion or action behind that of others. But the practice may even more frequently be due to a sense of superiority, as in the 'plural of majesty.' This was particularly influential in the case of the Roman emperors who spoke of themselves as nos and required to be addressed as vos. This in course of time led to the French way of addressing all superiors (and later through courtesy all equals, especially strangers) with the plural pronoun vous. In the Middle Ages this fashion spread to many countries."

Jespersen gives several instances of the "plural of social inequality" from Italian, Danish and Russian, along with illustrations of the grammatical irregularities that often result, and concludes, "Politeness and servility are not always free from a comic tinge."

An author from 1653 wrote that the use of "thou" was generally contemptuous, or "familiar caressing," and that custom required the plural "you" when addressing one person.

In English, the shift can be illustrated by the persistence of the Quakers in using thee when speaking to one person, which began as a provocative and deliberate flouting of custom in the name of social equality and ended up being a mere peculiarity of speech, not recognized as anti-social by themselves or by non-Quakers.

"God is no respecter of persons" was one of the Quakers' favorite lines from the Bible. In their own apologies, their speech peculiarity was lumped with other social causes. Robert Proud, in his "History of Pennsylvania in North America" (1797), wrote of, "Their disuse of vain compliments, and flattering titles, bowing, kneeling, and uncovering the head to mankind; and their using the singular language, thou and thee, to a single person, in discourse, according to the true form of speech, though so contrary to the general practice of people in common; believing all tokens of adoration and worship belong to God only; and that plain, but civil language, and true speeches are most becoming to professors and followers of truth."

William Penn hinted that that early Quakers found this deliberate flouting of linguistic convention a useful way to provoke their enemies: "They also used the plain language of thou and thee to a single person, whatsoever was his degree among men. And, indeed, the wisdom of God, was much seen, in bringing forth this people, in so plain an appearance: for it was a close and distinguishing test upon the spirits of those, they came among; shewing their insides, and what predominated, notwithstanding their high and great profession of religion. This among the rest, sounded so harsh to many of them, that they took very great offence at it; forgetting the language they use to God, in their prayers, and the common stile of the scriptures; and that it is an absolute and essential propriety of speech." ("Rise and Progress of the Quakers," 1694)

By the early 1800s, however, the use was no longer felt as disrespectful, merely quaint.

In the King James Version, God is addressed in the familiar -- "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done," etc. Someone said this is to emphasize that the God of the Bible is not an unapproachable ruler but a God who has a relationship with his people. I don't know, but many modern people only encounter thee and thou in biblical speech, and, since people seem to think of God as mighty and remote, they probably hear thee as a marker of servility and respect. Thus the once-too-familiar pronoun now has the reputation of being servile.

In the Quaker communities it had the same effect, I think. They were a serious, weighty sect, usually well-off, always from the oldest families. Their gravity commanded respect, and non-Quakers in 19th century Pennsylvania almost always seem to have used "thee" when addressing them.

The awkwardness of not having a true singular "you" has led some languages and dialect to invent one. According to a posting on a listserv that I subscribe to, The Dutch plural, jij, was used as polite singular until by the 16th century the true singular, du, was a literary rarity. But then jij itself began to be felt as too intimate or condescending for a "plural of social inequality," and it was replaced by Uwe Edelheid, meaning "Your Nobility," later shortened to U E and then U, and recently in spelling lowercased to u. Meanwhile, a new familiar plural jullie has appeared, and a dialect singular form, gij, has got into standard Dutch as dialectal/biblical/poetic.

In the American South, there is a real grammatical difference between "you" (singular) and "you all" (plural). Other regions of the nation ridicule this as redneck ignorance, but it compensates well for the loss of the distinction between the singular and plural second person pronouns. It is accepted even among the most educated and literate Southerners.

From: http://www.etymonline.com/columns/thee.htm

 

Subject:

Jacobean English has sort of become a hieratic tongue.

Date:

May 17 17:55

Author:

Kevin


It does create quite a paradigm shift when you realize that 'thee', 'thou', and 'thine' are all informal forms of you. The opposite is true now, I suppose. In the 1928 Book of Common Prayer (or Rite I of the 1979 BCP), when the people all pray: "we confess that we have sinned in thought, word, and deed against Thy Divine Majesty, most justly provoking Thy wrath and indignation against us", it just doesn't have an informal meaning to us here in the 21st century!

 

Subject:

Excellent synopsis, Mr. Orange Nephi.....

Date:

May 17 20:56

Author:

Adso of Melk


perhaps the most clear I have read on what can be a very confusing evolution of English usage.

May I add that the use of "thee" particular to the Quakers has perhaps not died out yet entirely. Many years ago I heard an old Ohio Quaker redress his grandson: "Thee has again disobeyed me, child!" He did not normally speak in this fashion, and maybe was reverting, as people often do in times of stress, to a language that was natural to him.

Also, to further complicate matters, speakers of Italian will know that the formal manner of address to another person is to use the third person singular female, "Lei." Or in the case of two or more people, the third person plural, "Loro." Thus, in an Italian restaurant, the server will ask you: "What does she want?" (whether you are male or female) or "What do they want?" This usage is still common in Northern Italy, although it seems to be less so the further to the South you go, particularly in Rome, where "Voi" (you, plural, as in French) predominates. I have been told that this results from the historical Spanish influence in the Italian peninsula, but, as I have no formal training in Spanish, I am not certain.

In any event, Oaks was entering into an arena about which he obviously knows nothing at all with this sermon.


Adso of Melk

 

Subject:

You are correct, msmom. Dallin Oaks had his rationale entirely ass-backwards...

Date:

May 17 17:58

Author:

Scott Tippetts


According to Dallin Hoax's rationale, we should be using the FORMAL variant of 'you' to talk to God -- which is, in fact 'you' -- instead of the informal 'thee'.

Hoax's insistence on the familiar (thee/thou/thine, etc) for talking to God means that one is actually showing less respect for God by addressing him informally.

As a missionary in Argentina, this linguistic discrepancy always confused me when I was teaching people how to pray, because when translated, the Mormon rationale's contradiction is quite obvious.

For a supposedly smart guy, Dallin Hoax sure is stupid.

But then, we knew that already from his inane comments to the FARMS banquet, about the Limited Geography Speculation on Book of Mormon [lack of] evidence.

Oaks is such an imbecile.

 

Subject:

Dalin H. Oaks' talk "The Language of Thought Control".

Date:

May 17 20:22

Author:

Adso of Melk


There is little to be added to the excellent expositions above that demonstrate Oaks' ignorance (deliberate or otherwise) of not only his native language, but also the languages spoken by other members of a pretended "worldwide church." But I think there is something more going on in the sermon from this lawyer cum apostle.

First, notice that after he makes the erroneous presentation of his argument about what he calls the proper language of prayer, Oaks leaves himself a convenient back door out of which to escape. He says that rules of grammar notwithstanding, using the Jacobean or King James language has been commanded by God. As a result, he deftly covers his backside by saying that whether his exposition is right or wrong - and it is wrong - God has commanded that such language be used. Therefore, he (Oaks)is correct.

It is the old Mormon fall back - authority trumps scholarship - stated again in a very backhanded way. It is so much easier to be an apostle than a lawyer, isn't Dalin? Here you get be be opposing counsel, judge, court of appeals, and legislature all rolled into one. When you are right you are right, and when you are wrong you are right, because you sit in one of the soft chairs. A nice job, if you can get it.

Message to the Saints: don't even bother thinking differently from those of us who have the high seats in the synagogue. You are wrong, even when you are right.

Second, I think the real issue here is that the LDS Church is forever wedded to the language of the King James Version, and to the KJV text itself, because of the BofM's extensive borrowings - anachronistic glosses and all - from the KJV. The LDS membership must be convinced at all costs that contemporary language, and thus contemporary biblical translations, are not respectful of Deity. In that way, Mormons who would discover scripture for themselves in their own modern tongue suffer a sometimes not so silent censure. Anyone here who has attempted, in a Mormon Sunday School or other meeting, to introduce a Biblical exegesis based on a more modern translation will know what I am talking about. You will be summarily dismissed if your reasoning contradicts the official wisdom, as off the wall as the latter may be.

The BofM borrowings and generations of proof texting by LDS leaders must be protected at all costs. Prove this to yourself by a simple exercise. Look up, for example, what "familiar spirit" really means in the KJV. Now explore how this phrase has been used by Mormon esigetical preachers since the 19th century. Then, try to correct the misuse of this phrase in a Mormon meeting. You will not succeed. Mormon history itself requires that the LDS cling to the KJV.

Lastly, Oaks' injunction requires that English speaking Mormons pray in what is now to them a foreign language - and clearly the examples in this thread demonstrate that Jacobean English is a foreign language to contemporary Mormons in North America. Spontaneity, vulnerability that comes from speaking from the heart, and original thought are accordingly stifled in prayer. Accordingly, the Mormon way controls even your most private thoughts and feelings. Even in prayer and meditation, the Mormon is assimilated into the corporate whole.

Modern tyrants, from the Radicals of the French Revolution to the Politburo of the former Soviet Union, have been keenly aware that when you control language, you control thought. Orwell did not write "1984" in a vacuum. For the Mormons, Oaks' speech loudly proclaims not just the politically correct speech, but the spiritually correct as well. The intent and the result is no different from the autocrats that have proceeded him: think our thoughts or you will perish.

Oaks may be a foolish man, but he is not a stupid one. He is, in fact, an very intelligent man who has been corrupted to the core. Language, truth, law, your most private thoughts - none of these things are off limits to him in his own mind. At the very center of his conference sermon is the desire to control the language - and as a result, the individual thinking process - of the LDS membership.

Cosa ne pensate, voi altri? J'ai raison ou tort?



Adso of Melk

 

 

Subject:

Mormons just don't get it.

Date:

May 17 21:33

Author:

The Coach


Prayer is meant to be something personal. Something between you and God. If you feel comfortable praying thee's, thou's, and thy's, then all power to you. However, God will not pay a prayer less heed if prayed in less than proper English. Prayer is meant to exalt heaven, not expand your vocabulary.

In every mass or worship service I have been to, "old English" was never used in prayer. Mormons just feel that their prayers should be as flashy as their temple buildings.

 

Subject:

Even as a teenager I knew...

Date:

May 17 21:53

Author:

RogerV


... that Mormons who thought they were being extra-reverent or respectful by using archaic pronouns were in fact using the "familiar" form of address.

And to this day some of them still probably wonder why they didn't succeed in dunking me...

 

 

 

Subject:

When I heard this....

Date:

May 18 23:28

Author:

Victory & Freedom


My seminary teacher said that if we didn't speak this language in our prayers, then it wasn't a "valid" prayer.

Because I didn't (and still don't) know how to speak old English I thought I wasn't worthy to pray.

 

Subject:

NKJV

Date:

May 31 00:35

Author:

solideogloria1


I'm trying to entice my husband into using the NKJV, but no luck there...

Even before I left the morg and resigned (Which I did simultaneously), I bought a NIV bible and reading the NIV made the bible so much more understandable! My kids understand bible stories so much better when the hear me read the out of the NIV compared to when their Dad reads out of the KJV...

 

Subject:

I've said it before

Date:

May 31 00:47

Author:

activejackmormon


but I still insist that poor Dallin Oaks is really just a defense attorney representing a guilty client. Hey, the twinkie defense worked some what, perhaps a Ltd geography thing just might work as well.

Let's give Dallin some respect. He's the defense attorney for Jack the Ripper and the prosecution has the defendant's fingerprints all over the murder weapon. He's doing a remarkable job given what he has to work with. Johnnie Cochrane without skin pigmentation, Dallin will always do his best to spin the truth into fiction. If he can defend Mormonism, defending Ted Bundy would be a cinch for this attorney.

 

Subject:

I suspect you're speaking partly tongue-in-cheek. But remember something about defense attorneys: …

Date:

May 31 01:04

Author:

Nick


… When the state can demonstrate that a lawyer for the mob (for example) has become too entwined in the business of the mob, they can argue that he is no longer acting as a lawyer, but as an active participant in a criminal enterprise. From that moment on, his actions with regard to that client, and his communications with that client, are no longer subject to the usual protections.

Long ago, Dallin Oaks became a willing part of the con job that is perpetrated by the LDS church leadership. He is not just a lawyer for the client, but an active participant in the ongoing pulling of the wool over the eyes of the faithful. He is one of the group that is sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators, and he knows full well that neither he nor his fellow members of the Qof12 and FP are anything of the sort, in actuality.

I maintain that he is not deserving of the least bit of respect — as a lawyer or as a GA.

 

Subject:

Not bad, Nick

Date:

May 31 01:13

Author:

Tal Bachman


I'm not certain, though, that Oaks is clear on the fraud. I'm really not.

I only say this because I had covered much (definitely not all) of the material that many people think of as "proof" that the church isn't what it claims - and I still believed it was true. I don't know how much time Dallin really has to track down every last lead and every last question, and then assemble the pieces, so to speak, on the table, and really think, and ask himself the really tough questions. He might be as busy as many other members, and just as hopeful that he has not made a mistake as we once were.

I feel certain that he has really wondered to himself at times, and even, at times, felt a little aloof from the church (prior to being called as an apostle). But, that's different from seeing each problem and inconsistency and impossibility all together, and how they all relate to each other. It's different from actually realizing that the church isn't what we all thought.

Anyway, I was just trying to be charitable. Like AJM said, the guy's defending Jack the Ripper, and they've got his client on videotape with Carrotty Nell herself, knifing her. Anything he says after that will sound, by definition, absurd. Maybe the extraordinary thing is that it doesn't sound even more absurd...

T.

 

Subject:

He's clear on at least one big part of the fraud.

Date:

May 31 01:21

Author:

Nick


He knows that he and the rest of the Qof12 and FP haven't received any revelation, or made any prophecies, in recent memory.

I also strongly suspect (we're not talking about an unintelligent guy, after all) that he is also fully conversant with the actual story behind the 1978 "revelation" (thought it was a few years before he was appointed to the Qof12) — which was really the end result of years of political maneuvering, rather than any magical conversations in the Holy of Holies.

And yet, Dallin Oaks, like the rest of the Qof12 & FP, sits there in General Conference, year after year, and allows himself to be sustained as prophet, seer, and revelator.

And that is a straight-up, unambiguous con.

 

Subject:

I have to differ a little bit on this one . . .

Date:

May 31 02:47

Author:

Falstaff


It's not a fully conscious con, because Oaks and the rest of the crew believe that if God wanted to reveal secret, hidden things through them, he could and would do so. This is my opinion at least. I believe that, in the end, they are just as afraid of offending god as your average TBM. The fact that they are apostles is proof to them that the church is what it claims. And this is so because from a very early age they had a feeling that they were important, and this feeling was confirmed for them over and over again through priesthood blessings and callings. It may seem a small step from being aware of the many historical difficulties and internal inconsistencies to concluding that the church is not everything it claims, but it's a very significant step. Anyone on this board who ever truly believed in mormon claims and hoped it was true knows this, i.e., knows how easy it is to chalk all the difficulties up to "human weakness" while maintaining the truthfulness of the restored gospel. Oaks and the other prophets, seers and revelators have too much invested to ever genuinely take the crucial (frightening) psychological step to disbelief.

 

Subject:

The public words of GBH on the subject of contemporary revelation convince me otherwise, with regard to the FP and Qof12.

Date:

May 31 03:13

Author:

Nick


Also, reading the rationalizations and obfuscations by Dallin Oaks, in his conversations with Steve Benson, convince me beyond the slightest doubt that Oaks in particular is absolutely cognizant of the power game that is at the heart of Mormon authority (rather than the relevation and powers of discernment which are purported to be guiding the affairs of the church).

Add to all of that the ever-increasing emphasis on "follow the prophet", "when the prophet speaks, the thinking has been done", "the words of the living prophet take precedence over the words of previous prophets", "the words of the living prophet take precedence over the scriptures", etc. — all in the absence of contemporary revelation — and there can be little doubt but that a great many of the FP and Qof12 are all too aware of the game they are playing.

 

Subject:

I read the Bible from the NIV and NAB now.

Date:

May 31 01:07

Author:

Questing Beast


The Catholic study version of the NAB is particularly interesting, as its language is the most explicit (e.g. it says that Elijah "cut their [the priests of Baal] throats"; whereas the NIV infers that he directed others to slaughter the priests; and of course the KJV says that he slew them).

If the church, as you say, were to abolish the push for "dignified" prayer language, it would have to give up the KJV as obsolete, which it increasingly is: my children actually grow quiet and listen when I read aloud to them from either of these two modern, common English translations. They are great works of scholarship, worthy of the name "translation", and not a mere paraphrase: the scholars went back to the oldest, extant Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts (just like the KJV scholars did in their day), and rendered their meaning into English; leaving us with notes on the conflicting possible meanings, and why they chose the meaning that they did. A study Bible in modern English is a satisfying adventure in reacquainting one with original "holy writ." (Makes one wish that JS had not loved the sound of KJ English so much: the BofM would be a better, more ripping yarn, if it had more of the pace of, say, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.)

And yes, since my loss of hope that there ever has been such a thing as "the true church", my prayers have become far more informal and continuous: I am still hoping that there really is such a thing as a personal God, but if not, at least the Original Cause is something that I can admit a connection to, and try to establish a reunion with. I like the idea of someday having my "visiting rights" honored: that would convince me that a personal God (Father, Papa) is real: anything less than repeated personal visits will not suffice.

 

Subject:

Re: I read the Bible from the NIV and NAB now.

Date:

May 31 02:45

Author:

1spirit


Don't give up hope for the "true church", maybe it's been with you since you were born. It's within you.

 

Subject:

La idioma de oracion

Date:

May 31 02:22

Author:

Kevin


You are right about that talk, Tal. It is one of the weirdest talks given by a general authority, and while hugely embarrassing, it is not nearly as embarrassing as 'die kleine Fabrik', or the 'little factory' talk of Boyd K. Packer.

Spanish speakers always address God in a very familiar way. The formal form of you is never used to address God. Rather, the informal form is used. Catholic devotion in Spanish speaking countries has a great informality. And that is true of most Romance languages, if not all, and many other languages besides! I love that mixture of informality and reverence that Spanish and Portuguese speakers have towards God. On one hand, he is el Senor Dios todopodero(the Lord God omnipotent), but he is also one that you speak to as if he were a member of one's own family.

Oaks' talk is a stunning example of the provincialism of Mormon leadership. They can't deal with dissent, let alone alleged 'irreverence' to God!

 

Subject:

Correction: "El" idioma de oración, not "la"...

Date:

May 31 02:43

Author:

Mark Cross


...that error aside, now: I with you have always found the intimacy and closeness of using the informal pronouns in Spanish very endearing. I agree that the Utah Brethren can be so condescending, arrogant and narrow-minded!

 

Subject:

Thanks for the correction! n/t

Date:

May 31 03:17

Author:

Kevin


 

 

Subject:

Great comparisons, Tal.

Date:

May 31 04:56

Author:

Dagda Mor


 

About 8 months ago, I finally picked up a New Living Translation (NLT) version of the Bible. Even after 2 years of not believing in the church, my mind was programmed to think that this version of the Bible was somehow inferior to the KJV.

The night I got the NLT, my wife and I read a chapter out of Kings - she read a verse out of the KJV, then I read a verse out of the NLT. After she would read a KJV verse, we'd usually be a little baffled about what was going on. After I read the corresponding NLT verse, it made perfect sense. I never could get into the Old Testament even as a TBM missionary, and now while I doubt Christianity and the Bible in general, I've gotten much further with the NLT since it's clear as day to read (in common language).

I do, however, think that Oaks and crew *might* be more willing to accept some other translation of the Bible if the church didn't have so much riding on the KJV. Not only does the Book of Mormon ("the most correct book on Earth") liberally quote passages verbatim from the KJV, but the entire BoM and D&C are written in KJV English.

Something else to consider - so long as Oaks and company maintain that the KJV is the "most correct translation" of the Bible, the Book of Mormon and D&C will be written in much plainer language than the Bible. This makes the BoM and D&C seem more straightforward (plain and precious) than the Bible, and will keep members reading and appreciating their unique Mormon scriptures. Reading the BoM is a cakewalk compared to most of the KJV.

Subject:

What a PATHETIC talk.

Date:

May 31 06:55

Author:

Stray Mutt


Supposedly Oaks is one of a handful of people on the planet who can lead people to a transcendent understanding of the divine, yet what does he talk about? Stupid, trivial crap like this. Let's pretend proper pronoun usage is important. Fine, let the underlings deal with it. But to use your slot before a global audience to lecture about the nuts and bolts of prayer instead of, oh, say, insights into the one you're praying to, shows what a shallow, clueless dolt he is.

But this is the kind of thing you might expect from a lawyer like Oaks -- argument over the fine points of procedure. "The prayer is rendered invalid, Your Honor, because the plaintiff used the incorrect pronoun."



 

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