At 06:41 PM 11/13/2002, Marc wrote:
I read that. Be careful with John Pratt -- he's into some pretty scary stuff
involving signs and tokens in his own semi-public ceremonies involving what he
calls the Enoch calendar. Details available upon request. But more to the point,
and staying away from personal attacks, he discusses a book that's making quite a
splash ("Why God Won't Go Away") but fails to note that while this book is popular
-- it was mentioned on's main page the last time I was there (Indigo is
Canada's largest book chain) -- it has received poor reviews from scientists for
its poor science. It's one thing to criticize a book for its conclusions, but if
it misrepresents itself, that's a problem, and the poor reviews are, in my
opinion, well-founded. Why? I won't get into the science per se, but the two guys
who wrote it, while they have scientific bona fides, are a little out of their
field when it comes to philosophy. They ironically try to show that there is a
spiritual plane which exists in the physical world, a view that's known as
reductionism, or rationalist materialism, and a philosophy we LDS would have a
hard time with. It's the basis for atheism: that all so-called spirituality has a
physical basis. My worry on behalf of Meridian is "blow back" when some of the
nonsense Pratt's into backfire onto a very nice couple (the Proctors, who put out
Well, Pratt did say that none of the books he looked at, one of them being, _Why God Won't Go Away_, were worth the money he was going to spend on them. Besides, his article was not a book review.

I agree with you regarding "the basis for materialism." Marxist scientists have for decades attempted to establish a material basis for spiritual experiences, that is nothing new. However, that is not what Pratt was driving at. Pratt clearly states that there is a relationship between the brain and spiritual experiences but that we need to be careful not to draw conclusions without taking both the spiritual and material elements into consideration. Imo, the brain acts as sort of an interface, if you will, between body and spirit.

Imo, Pratt is very much into the doctrine behind Moses 6: 63, that all things bear record of Christ. If it is true that "all" things bear record of Christ then it should not be surprising that astronomical and calendrical events might also bear testimony in some majestic way of the Savior of all mankind (See my sig file below). I look at Pratt's research in much the same manner as I do Avraham Gileadi's. Gileadi was a pathbreaker by exposing lay members of the Church to "the learning of the Jews" and how that learning can broaden and deepen ones understanding of scripture. Pratt does much the same thing in a different manner by exposing members of the Church to celestial and date events and how those can indeed bear record of Christ. I don't agree with all the conclusions that Gileadi makes and neither do I with Pratt, but I also don't throw out all of their good and valuable research as "crackpot" just because I have disagreements with various areas of their work. Besides, I don't base my testimony or doctrinal understanding on personalities, and you can be assured that If and when somebodies actions does become "pretty scary," aside from Samuelson's wrong headed opinion of a harmless skit, that I'll distance myself completely from that particular personality.

Steven Montgomery

Recall the new star that announced the birth at Bethlehem? It was in its precise orbit long before it so shone. We are likewise placed in human orbits to illuminate. Divine correlation functions not only in the cosmos but on this planet, too. After all, the Book of Mormon plates were not buried in Belgium, only to have Joseph Smith born centuries later in distant Bombay. (Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Conference Report, Saturday Morning, Oct 2002)

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