A recent discussion on a post mormon discussion board touched on the question of the possibility, or likely impossibly of steel swords in the new world in Book of Mormon times. The question was brought up “Is this a ‘gotcha’ in the mormon debate?” I responded that is was not, because mormon apologists, or mopologists, have a small, but well used arsenal of responses. Many of my exmormon friends thought that the list was a fresh and concise perspective on the debate, so I have recorded the apologists arsenal below. (I’ve added a couple responses and expanded a bit.)
Apologists use any or all of their standard response classes.
- Deny: “It doesn’t say that. The bretheren have not taught that. It’s not doctrinal.”
- Dispute “Steel swords aren’t that hard to make. Anybody with a fire and iron ore can make them. Heck, my mother makes them on weekends.;
- Define: “Steel in this context means iron. Or bronze. Or obsidian, or a club”
- Discount: “The Book of Mormon isn’t about swords or horses or cureloms or cumoms or water-tight barges or endless wars. It is a second witness of Christ.”
- Discover: “We found some metal somewhere in Central America. That proves that steel was common in the new world amongst Nephites.”
- Deflect: “We’ve been over this question a thousand times. Please read my 100 page paper that is distantly related to the topic.”
- Deride: “I can’t believe how stupid you anti-mormons are. Answering you would be casting pearls before swine”
- Deplore: “It’s so sad that you’ve lost your testimony and are going to hell. “
- Defer: “God has not chosen to reveal this knowledge to us. It will all make sense later, when we join him in the Celestial Kingdom.”
Now when you have read these things I would exhort you to keep them in your heart, so that the next time a mormon argues, you can play along and see how many of the 7 + 2 D’s of apologetics they can use in one response. Personally, I have been greatly amused by comparing the list to the answers I have heard recently.