Talk:Lost 116 pages

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Background section[edit]

Removed reference to wholly discredited John Clark letter source as source provides entirely alternate book of mormon discovery history in pages 225 - 228. (source can be found online @ Author admits his memory was fuzzy and was writing about conversations from 13yrs prior in his same book containing letter (see link above). His alternate history of other events such as Joseph Smith's excursions to recover the Golden Plates as mentioned above entirely differ from any other account either agreeing with or disagreeing with Joseph Smith's version of event. Mikesquad (talk) 06:44, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

New section on Christopher Marc Nemelka[edit]

Is the claimed translation by Christopher Marc Nemelka something notable that should be mentioned in the article? It was recently added. I'm not sure how important it is. Good Ol’factory (talk) 02:47, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

I have heard of lots of people who have "claimed" to have translated the lost 116 pages. I would say unless we can verify somehow that any of the translations are authentic, they do not warrant a mention in this article. At least, that's how I see it. For believing LDS members, it is far simpler: the translation will only come through the one the Lord has appointed to be His prophet in these latter-days. If it comes through any other channel, it is not inspired of God. I know that is not the measuring stick Wikipedia uses, so the authenticity of translation will have to be proved another way for Wikipedia purposes. But again, unless and until it is proven to everyone's satisfaction and beyond reasonable doubt that it authentic, I wouldn't include it. That's my two cents on the matter, for what it's worth. --Jgstokes (talk) 03:20, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
I see where you're coming from, but isn't that an impossible standard to meet? If we used that standard, we wouldn't have an article on the Book of Mormon, since the authenticity of the translation has not been proved to everyone's satisfaction. Good Ol’factory (talk) 04:00, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
I think it comes down to WP:UNDUE. If this claim by Nemelka, regardless if it is true or not, is reported in reliable sources then the weight given in this article should be roughly proportionate to the prominence in the published, reliable sources. I don't think that we have met that threshold, though, in which case the third bullet of UNDUE applies. Nemelka's claim just isn't prevalent at all among reliable sources so I say delete at will. --FyzixFighter (talk) 04:15, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
The only reliable source I can find that discusses Nemelka is this one from a few years back. It discusses his claim of translating the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon but not the 116 pages, which may be a more recent development. Good Ol’factory (talk) 04:20, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
Good Ol’factory, I understand what you mean completely. And I agree. But in the Book of Mormon's case, we have 12 men who gave their testimony that the translation of the Book was true and correct, 12 men who, whether they remained "true to the faith" or not, never denied what they had been shown or the authenticity of the Book of Mormon or of Joseph Smith's translation of it. Nemelka has no such witnesses for his "record". And he completely overlooks the fact that, according to LDS doctrine and practice, any new LDS scripture needs to come through the one who is appointed to be the president of the Church, the prophet, seer and revelator. I know that argument against its authenticity doesn't hold water for Wikipedia purposes. So getting back to how Wikipedia should view this record, I like FyzixFighter's observations that the material violates WP:UNDUE. With that in mind, I say we should get rid of it. The insertion of it was well intentioned, but it is not encyclopedic for the reasons FyzixFighter has outlined. Hope that further clarifies my position. --Jgstokes (talk) 06:16, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
Nemelka is arguing that he is the prophet, seer, and revelator. I don't think he has intended to present his claims within the context of LDS Church orthodoxy. This has been quite a common thing to happen in the history of the broader Latter Day Saint movement. Good Ol’factory (talk) 07:00, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

Given that I was the one to remove the section, it's obvious I don't think it should be there. Principally I think that not every claim about any particular subject needs to be added to an article, and we do need a threshold of notability, established by significant enough coverage (not just slam/puff or silly season journalism) in third party reliable sources, especially in cases of where living people are specifically named. I don't think that Nemelka meets a minimal level of notability for inclusion, however it is entirely possible that there are references I didn't find that push him over this threshold. Asterisk*Splat 18:02, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

I think the removal is on solid grounds. I've looked, and even the reliable sources that talk about Nemelka's claims do not include any discussion of the 116 pages claim. Good Ol’factory (talk) 00:04, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

If the a link to the Nemelka's publish Book of Lehi is insufficient, then of course a reference to compilation of CES Symposium is insufficient to include the Holland stuff as well. That is to be consistentMormography (talk) 04:34, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Sorry but there is no reasonable, realistic comparison between the two. Asterisk*Splat 00:04, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
I agree that the Holland quotes could be useful for the article in that it can provide a view on what the LDS Church's "take" is on the incident and its meaning and repercussions. Holland doesn't speak for the church, but as one of its top officials, it's probably a good source for such an insight. In contrast, the Nemelka claims appear to just be "some guy" who doesn't represent or lead a significant movement or group. Good Ol’factory (talk) 00:17, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Either both are included or both excluded until dispute is resolved. AsteriskStarSplat has provided no reasonable explanation. Good Olfactory's sudden change of reasoning proves POV pushing.Mormography (talk) 11:36, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

FyizxFight made edits without discussion. POV dictates only one of two sections is included. Non-POV includes either both or excludes both. A 2 to 3 vote doesnot squately make, nor does it make sense that a cabal ditacte wikipedia content. By this reasoning I could round up a bunch of friends to out vote others here. Admin resolution required.Mormography (talk) 00:31, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't agree that NPOV requires mutual exclusion or inclusion of the two section. My comment about consensus squarely existing was with respect to just the Nemelka section, the section that my edit removed. I was not commenting at all on the existence or the quality of the section with the Holland cite. However, taken by itself, IMO the Nemelka section fails WP:UNDUE and the above discussion appears to me to establish a consensus to exclude it on that basis. Applying the same rubric (WP:UNDUE), I think that a section on how the topic is handled within the LDS faith should not similarly be excluded. That said, the one sentence section is severely lacking but can easily be remedied by expansion and addition of relevant sources. --FyzixFighter (talk) 02:12, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
FyzixFighter I understand what you are referring to about WP:UNDUE there was a citation that linked the source of Christopher Marc Nemelka material directly, which does fall under non-neutral sources. Yet you are incorrect, in stating that there is undue weight for the whole section. If you saw in the first edit to the there was a natural source that was able to "fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources." Whiteboycat (talk) 23:29, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

The correct solution would be to include both in the see also section. As it is, the Holland quote says nothing substantive and does nothing to deal with how the topic is dealt with, that is unless how the topic is dealt with is that it is ignored. But alas we see a weakness of wikipedia,, a cabal can collectively violate the three revert rule. Unfortunately for reason, most people have something better to do than be lobbied to waste their time in favor of reason on wikipedia, ergo the cabal can out last reason, carefully waiting for editors to pass away so that the editors can be reverted. Thus we see how regligion outlasts reason given the centuries. Nonetheless, the Internet in general is appearing to overcome even wikipedia's limitations.Mormography (talk) 02:37, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Actually no, since the see also section is for internal wikipedia links (see WP:SEEALSO). A "cabal" cannot violate WP:3RR, although they can edit war - again I would point you to the dispute resolution mechanisms wikipedia has in place. Overcoming a "cabal" is best done by bringing in the wider wikipedia community through dispute resolution avenues. An argument could be made however that your last edit violated 3RR since it undid other editors' actions in part (removal of link to Nemelka's pdf). Maybe you weren't aware of that caveat of 3RR. Another caveat to 3RR is that not all reverts need to involve the same material. Seeing as the edit isn't in line with the WP:SEEALSO and technically crosses the 3RR line, please revert yourself. --FyzixFighter (talk) 04:02, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
I know that it's easy to get paranoid when users disagree with you, but sometimes there are differences of opinion on WP, and sometimes one finds oneself in the minority. To accuse others of participating in a cabal can be tempting in such circumstances, but ultimately it shows a lack civility, and possibly maturity. Good Ol’factory (talk) 04:08, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

link in Further reading[edit]

Now that the glaring MOS issue has been cleared up, let me address the link itself. Even in the "Further reading" section, I don't see Nemelka's document as relevant. I don't think it satisfies the topical and reliable guidelines suggested in WP:Further Reading. It's just too fringe IMO, and so the UNDUE concerns remain for me. Thoughts from the other editors?

As for editing, Mormography was bold and put the link in, because of my concerns I'm going to revert, now let's discuss per WP:BRD before re-adding it in.--FyzixFighter (talk) 15:05, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Chris Nemelka

The link above the is the one in question.

An argument could be made that your last edit violated 3RR and given that you have unapologetically confessed to edit warring with me at Succession Crisis the sincerity of this dispute is in questionable, an insincerity further validated by the nonsensical topical and reliable arguments. It is exactly on topic (116 lost pages) and a reliable reference, though according to reliable the annotation may be improved. Furthermore, according to BRD you have not explained why your revert was necessary. The UNDUE argument is easily defeated by the depth of detail, quantity, prominence and other less relevant items in the article.Mormography (talk) 01:57, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

  • Comment. From my research, I haven't been very impressed with the reliability/notability of the material in the link. The author is discussed in some reliable sources, but I can find no references to this document he produced even in that small amount of coverage. It is pretty fringe-y stuff, and I don't think it should be included. If there are other links or material in the article that should not be included, they should also be discussed, and not used as a justification for keeping this one. Good Ol’factory (talk) 03:44, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
UNDUE is refers to proportion, hence other items in the article are imperative to undue discussion. GoodOlfactory reasoning might apply for removal of the a subsection, but not the further reading. The Holland section makes no notable statement what so ever and it is given its own section. A 3-2 vote is how consensus is defined in Wikipedia? Good to know, I will keep that in mind.Mormography (talk) 04:02, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm not interested in re-litigating the Holland issue, in this section, anyway. Its retention is an insufficient reason to keep this particular link. If you want to pursue removing the Holland section, I suggest that it could be addressed in a discussion in a separate section (above, or a new one)—but I don't think its retention should be used as leverage to keep this problematic link. (And I count the opinions as 4–1 in the Holland case above, not 3–2; but in any case, consensus is not identified by counting heads.) Good Ol’factory (talk) 05:52, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
In the count of 2, I count the original editor who added the Nemelka section and myself. But I agree, a simple vote is rather weak grounding.Mormography (talk) 08:57, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
GoodOlFactory, I don't know where you were looking but there are places that make references to Christopher and his publication one such is SaltLake city weekly [1] Whiteboycat (talk) 23:35, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, the Salt Lake City Weekly source is the only one that I could find. But I can find no mention in it of Nemelka's 116 pages claims, which is what we needed. Good Ol’factory (talk) 00:20, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
Here is a quote referring to the ″sealed portion″ which also contains the 116 pages. ″Along with claiming to have translated the "sealed portion" of the Book of Mormon...″Whiteboycat (talk) 19:23, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
The sealed portion of the golden plates and the 116 pages are not the same thing. Joseph Smith translated the 116 pages—he did not translate any of the sealed portion. Good Ol’factory (talk) 21:12, 18 November 2015 (UTC)


External links modified[edit]

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I would like to include a summary of the supposed content. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:56, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

What is the source of the summary of the contents? Good Ol’factory (talk) 00:59, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

When the plates were returned to Joseph Smith[edit]

Hello again, everyone! While I appreciate and respect the work that Epachamo and John Foxe have done on this page with respect to when the plates were reportedly returned to Joseph Smith, there seems to be some disagreement or difference of opinion between the two editors as far as the precise wording to use. According to the sourcing in this Wikipedia article on that subject, Bushman, a historian, was quoted as saying that the revelation received by Smith on this matter (Doctrine and Covenants 3) said that the plates would be returned to him in mid-September 1828. So I went back to the passage in question, and what the cited verses actually note is that Smith is still called to the work and will translate again if he remains faithful. In other words, in the revelation cited by BUshman to back up his assertion that the plates were returned to Joseph Smith one year to the exact day from when he originally received the plates does not actually say that will be the case. I understand that things get more than slightly sticky when speaking about what primary sources say vs. what secondary sources say, but I am not sure what the exact protocol is when a secondary source makes a claim about a primary source that is not factual. Wikipedia is not about what is true, but what is verifiable, so the way I see it, Bushman is making a claim or assumption based on a source that doesn't say what he says it says. My vote, as noted earlier, would be to add some kind of context or supporting additional sources to settle this distinction one way or the other. Just wanted to put this out there. Sorry this was such a lengthy comment, but I hope it made my thought process and reasoning on this clear enough. Either way, there has got to be some middle-ground method to resolve the discrepancy, because at the moment, the reader consulting both sources is likely to get confused on this matter as is. --Jgstokes (talk) 01:58, 9 January 2020 (UTC)

I'll follow up with an even lengthier response (sorry as well!). The timeline for the return of the plates and the interpreters is not clear from the historical record, and Richard Bushman acknowledges this in "Rough Stone Rolling". I believe the article did/does not reflect what was summarized in his book. From his book:

"Joseph went back to Harmony in July 1828, suffering, as he later wrote, much “affliction of soul.” As he later told the story, the angel appeared and returned the interpreters, which had been taken from him when Harris went off with the manuscript. <Bushman makes no mention when or if the interpreters were returned again>... Lucy said Joseph was put on probation. If he showed proper penitence, the interpreters would be returned on September 22, the day of his annual interview with Moroni for the past four years. ... Lucy Smith said that Joseph received the interpreters again on September 22, 1828 ... (Footnote 46) Although the assertion clashes with other accounts, David Whitmer said Moroni did not return the Urim and Thummim in September. Instead Joseph used a seerstone for the remaining translation. Kansas City Journal, June 19, 1881, Omaha Herald, Oct. 17, 1886; Interview (1885), in Whitmer, Interviews, 72, 157, 200. Of the translation process, Emma said, “The first that my husband translated, was translated by the use of the Urim, and Thummim, and that was the part that Martin Harris lost, after that he used a small stone, not exactly black, but was rather a dark color.”" Emma Smith Bidamon to Emma Pilgrim, Mar. 27, 1870, in EMD, 1:532.

Bushman, Richard Lyman. Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (Vintage) (Kindle Locations 1640-1641). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Vogel also discusses the confused timeline:

Upon returning to Harmony, he said the angel had taken back the plates and spectacles. As a result, he had lost his gift of seeing, and for a season, heaven fell silent... In his history, he later minimized this period of uncertainty by claiming that, despite the withdrawal of the plates and spectacles, he received angelic encouragement. “Immediately after my return home I was walking out a little distance,” he said in 1838, “when, behold, the former heavenly messenger appeared and handed to me the Urim and Thummim again ..." Obscuring the nature and duration of his indecision when he wrote his 1838-39 history, he reported that “immediately” after he returned to Harmony, he received a revelation resolving the matter and that the plates and interpreters were returned after only “a few days.” ... He explained that even after he regained possession of the plates, presumably in mid-July 1828, ... Contradicting the “few days” of Joseph’s 1838-39 history, Lucy remembered that the angel had told him the plates would be returned on 22 September 1828 if he was sufficiently worthy."Vogel, Dan. Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet (A Biography) (Kindle Locations 4951-4952, 5801-5803). Signature Books. Kindle Edition.

I believe the confusion of the timeline is significant and should be mentioned within the article, not in a footnote. Not mentioning all of the plausible alternatives leads us to demonstrate a POV towards a preferred alternative, something neither Bushman or Vogel did. Epachamo (talk) 02:25, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for that additional context, Epachamo. I'm glad I started this topic so this could be discussed and detailed. Based on the additional information you shared, I am fully on board with what you suggested, and support your assertion that it needs to be mentioned in the article, not as a footnote or reference. Unless John Foxe or anyone else reading this conversation has any objections, I'd suggest fleshing out that part of the article to explain the discrepancy. Since you are more familiar with the source material, I will leave that process up to you to figure out, and any further issues can be discussed here on talk as needed. Thanks again. --Jgstokes (talk) 02:33, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
The syntactical changes I made were intended to be stylistic improvements, and I replaced electronic citations with page citations from my dead-tree copies of Bushman and Vogel. In other words, I didn't intend to change the substance, though perhaps I misunderstood something in the process. John Foxe (talk) 16:45, 9 January 2020 (UTC)