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the narrator

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  1. the narrator

    Rumors of Changes to Temple Worship

    That could be the case, I guess, though that would change make the difference a matter of degree than type. However, I terribly dislike the implication of that reasoning. A couple decades ago on my mission (I can't believe it's been that long), we had a couple zone leaders making some really stupid decisions and accusations based on their belief that they were being inspired to do so. In a heated argument during a zone meeting, one of them claimed that our mission president was the most righteous person in the mission and that Gordon B. Hinckley was the most righteous person in not just the Church but the entire world. It was pretty clear what he was trying to imply by this, so I called him out on it: "So let me guess, you think you're the most righteous person in the zone, right?" He replied by stuttering an affirmative, and then I needed to step between him and a polynesian elder (who was the target of one of the false allegations) who was about to punch the zone leader.
  2. the narrator

    Rumors of Changes to Temple Worship

    The first presidency said that it came by revelation. How does that contradict what Rockpond said?
  3. the narrator

    Rumors of Changes to Temple Worship

    You say that as if it's a bad thing.
  4. the narrator

    Rumors of Changes to Temple Worship

    Who said anything about lying?
  5. the narrator

    Rumors of Changes to Temple Worship

    If you go to the temple and listen to the announcement at the beginning of the changed endowment, you'll learn a little more information on how they received the revelation that hasn't been shared here. It wasn't just a matter of prayer and consensus. I'm surprised that you believe you can discern how the changes came about without going to the temple and experiencing them. There's information available to you in the temple. I hope you'll be able to take advantage of that and go soon. I've known about the change for several months, and how Rockpond described it is precisely how it came about.
  6. the narrator

    Rumors of Changes to Temple Worship

    I wasn't going to make that point explicit, but yeah. I think this is why Packer called the Proclamation on the Family a revelation some years ago, as that came about from a process just like that. And I wonder if that description in his talk was soon changed because it didn't align with tradition of revelation among the leaders being something different. Much of The Brethren's authority is grounded in the implied myth of their epistemically privileged/unique revelation, so pulling back the curtain on that can simultaneously be a threat to authority, balm for those like you, and a cause for faith crises.
  7. the narrator

    Rumors of Changes to Temple Worship

    I think the way Joseph received revelation was more akin to how anyone else receives it today. He just was more comfortable with phrasing his impressions in the first-person voice of God (similar to how you might see a televangelist do it today). The problem is that we have a built up a long tradition of Joseph's revelations being more unique and others, so Church leaders are in a bit of a bind now. If they say that the revelation was a process of listening to concerns/complaints, researching, discussing, praying, and feeling good about it, then they end up describing a process of revelation no different than that espoused by leaders of any Christian denomination.
  8. the narrator

    Rumors of Changes to Temple Worship

    Joseph F. Smith:
  9. the narrator

    The textual transmission of the Book of Abraham.

    No need to lecture me on scholarship. Your asking for evidence assumes that there must be some source material for those names rather than maybe Joseph's own creative abilities. Perhaps those of the BofA are based on some ancient source text and the names in the United Firm revelations are creatively drawn from those and other revealed names. IMO, it seems quite clear that a premise of your methodology is the assumption that the names and terms in Joseph's translations and revelations must have some other basis other than Joseph's own creativity, and working with that premise you then mine for ancient names and terms that share a resemblance to those of Joseph's. Case in point is your discussion of "telestial" I saw while skimming through one of your papers you shared above, where IIRC you propose that it's rooted in "telos." While this could be the case (though I see no reason to think it is), the common assertion that Joseph simply created the term by mixing "celestial" and "terrestrial" together seems to me far more likely--especially when "telestial" seems to have no place in the context of Paul's mention of heavenly and earthly bodies. (I know "telestial" is a pain for the Church's translation department for this very reason.)
  10. the narrator

    The textual transmission of the Book of Abraham.

    But your methodology begins with an assumption of a flow of direction. I don't care to prove or disprove the historicity of the BofA.
  11. the narrator

    The textual transmission of the Book of Abraham.

    I was the editor for that short-lived journal at Claremont :). My point is that if the same methodology to find an ancient basis for BofA and BofM names can be used to find an ancient basis for the United Firm revelations, then the methodology isn't showing what you think it is.
  12. the narrator

    The textual transmission of the Book of Abraham.

    I really hope Metcalfe publishes his stuff, as I found it quite convincing. I briefly skimmed your paper. It would be interesting to see the same methodology applied to Joseph's fictionalized rendition of the United Firm revelations.
  13. the narrator

    Love Everyone Equally?

    Matthew 5: Perfect love is God's love.
  14. the narrator

    The textual transmission of the Book of Abraham.

    The answer is in "something we do every day."
  15. the narrator

    The textual transmission of the Book of Abraham.

    There isn't any particular thing, or even any particular combination or percentage of combination of things. One's relationship to a community is frequently a form of life and depends largely on their views of that community, their relationships to those within the community, and what the community means to them. I can't think of anyone who fits that description. The only people I can think of who I would describe as having left the Church have made some sort of statement to that effect. But even with them, I would like to know what they mean by the statement, because (as I said above) their relationship to the community and what it means to have left can vary greatly.
  16. the narrator

    The textual transmission of the Book of Abraham.

    Well, surely nobody out there would reject all of them. That's absurd. You must be referring to specific ones. Okay. So they have "left the Church" if they disagree with you. Yeah, that's the thing I'm rejecting and why I dislike that language. But, hey, there is definitely something that you and a lot of PostMormons have in common.
  17. the narrator

    Evidence for the Book of Abraham

    I don't want to speak for him, but he's pretty open about his views on the BofA having changed drastically over time and strong disagreement with Gee and Muhlstein. One of my all-time favorite moments in Mormon Studies was at the Church History Symposium some years back at the Conference Center, when Gee claimed that Joseph had no direct involvement with the KEP or EAG. Hauglid was one of the next presenters and opened with a picture of one of the pages of the KEP or EAG on the overhead, declaring, "this is in Joseph Smith's handwriting."
  18. the narrator

    The textual transmission of the Book of Abraham.

    I would have suspected that you rejected the black and white thinking common among those in the pews with you, but maybe I'm wrong.
  19. the narrator

    The textual transmission of the Book of Abraham.

    The assumptions you make are the relationships that the BofA has to the ancient past, and how the BofA can be interpreted to illustrate that relationship. I am not saying the relationships you see are invalid, nor am I saying that the BofA cannot be based on some source from a couple millennia ago. I'm saying that other ways of reading the BofA (and I would say much straight-forward readings) could just as easily be used to see relationships to 19th century views of Abraham found in contemporary commentaries and Masonic lore. Or, bring the two together, and say that Joseph translated an ancient texts using concepts and understandings contemporary to him.
  20. the narrator

    The textual transmission of the Book of Abraham.

    This all illustrates the point. Referring to the BofM as "fiction" and talking about "leaving the Church" both come from the IMO incredibly naive views of the faith that take a dichotomous black and white view of the religion. As DZ Phillips would say, their use is parasitic upon such views. I frequently joke about how faith crises result in black and white Mormons transitioning to white and black postMormons. Both groups might embrace the language of "fiction" and "leaving the Church" because they both share the same naive black/white white/black dichotomy and share the assumptions that those words have when they use them.
  21. To the contrary, this is one of those rare occasions that I am in some agreement with DCP: (source) We differ in what is a religious claim. I do not think that a claim about the BofM's historicity is a religious one--though it certainly is (IMO wrongly) associated with the religious claim that it is the word of God. Agreed. I'm saying that those works of theology you listed do not involve religious apologetics.
  22. the narrator

    The textual transmission of the Book of Abraham.

    And to complete the project, additional volumes need to be made of 19th-century sources, which Hauglid agrees with. Added: I don't have time to read your piece right now, but based on a quick skim it seems to depend on a lot of assumptions on your end. I really wish Brent would publish his research, because I found what he detailed to me to be quite convincing.
  23. the narrator

    The textual transmission of the Book of Abraham.

    Because the use invokes the connotation. I don't see why this is so difficult to grasp (--a phrase uttered by Wittgensteinians every 6 minutes). You can use whatever words you want. You'll just have to live a frustrating life of people annoyed by your technical appeal to dictionaries when the meaning of language is found in how communities use that language. The difference is that few mean those connotations when using them--well, at least few seem to want to claim that those on the left are pro-death, whereas anti-choice may still be apt since abortion restrictions (besides for protecting the health/life of women from dangerous pre-modern-medicine procedures) originated alongside prohibitions on contraceptives as a means of controlling women's sexual behavior. But you're presupposing what they take as "basic truth claims" and "engagement" or even "attendance"--and are interpreting all of those in relation to your own views of the corporate institution based in Salt Lake.
  24. Schooling -- haven't read it, but sounds more like something assuming Joseph's prophetic calling rather than promoting or defending it. Evolving - not apologetic. Rather, than promoting or defending the truth of religious claims, it's showing how science does neither. Instead it's of theology to show how those who begin with a premise of faith can embrace scientific views and how those views can better than beliefs. First Principles - this is a work of theology, not apologetics. Like evolving, it begins with a premise of faith. Planted - haven't read it, but from what I understand Patrick is neither trying to defend or promote religious beliefs but is rather taking a pastoral approach to help people through challenges. Michael Ing and Seth Payne have both argued for this approach, and Payne calls it pastoral apologetics, but I wouldn't call it religious apologetics.
  25. But religious apologetics involves promoting or defending the truth of religious claims. There is a difference between doing scholarship that may (or is intended) to enhance or faith, and scholarship done with the intent of promoting or defending the truth of particular religious claims. The current (or at least pre-Nelson/Holland talk) mission of the MI seemed geared at doing the former and has (at least as far as I have seen) avoided doing the latter, whereas the emphasis of the DCP-era MI and FARMS (or at least what was emphasized in retrospect by those involved) was the latter.
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