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About SteveO

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    Seasoned Member: Separates Light & Dark

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  1. *ahem* You ever think about, uh, visiting Cougartown? Speed limit 35-45ish?
  2. I actually think there’s something here worth unpacking. I cannot for the life of me find his exact wording, but Daniel Peterson tells an interesting story of a back and forth he once had with Dan Vogel. It was something about where Joseph hid the plates and whether it involved using a log. Vogel said there wasn’t one, and Peterson insisted there was one. Peterson even asked a colleague who backed him up. Anyways, short version, Peterson turned out to be wrong, and the reason why is because the event was inaccurately depicted in...a church art piece. And that’s the sole reason his version of the events was wrong, the stupid painting gave him an inaccurate depiction. Art is hugely influential in how we perceive things. One of the biggest obstacles the BoM has had to overcome, in my opinion, are the Arnold Friberg paintings, and the perceptions they influenced. I like them, but they gave grossly wrong impressions about the people, society, and culture of the Book of Mormon. There weren’t any Greco Roman armor or swords. No massive walls that would’ve killed Samuel the Lamanite if he had jumped off of them...you get the idea. When those wrong perceptions clash with scholarship, people get confused at the discrepancy. I honestly think, that a good part of the problem with the way the translation process was presented, started with an art piece whose artist either assumed that Jospeh used the plates, or, as Calm mentioned, thought plates were more interesting to paint. As someone who dabbles in painting myself, I can promise you, painting golden plates is a far more interesting subject matter than a guy with his face in a hat. It’s an objectively true statement, it’s clearly more interesting. And so, with an art piece, you can influence and shape a large portion of the perception of the church. And I think it just takes off from there. Maybe it’s not the sole reason, but I really thing a big portion of it could be as simple as a painting.
  3. Well, as has been mentioned previously, not everyone is at that level of thinking. There's nothing particularly wrong if they aren't either. My older brother, who is TBM as they come, takes the story of Genesis absolutely literally. It just works for him better to think of it in those terms. We still exercise the same priesthood and participate in the same saving ordinances. I was watching a documentary last night actually of the origins of the universe. If we take that information as a given, I'm not sure what practical use subatomic quantum physics would be to bringing shepherds to God in ancient Palestine. The symbolism found in Genesis does a better job in my opinion. Does that mean God or the prophets were deceitful? No, in this case, I think the ends justifies the means. In that way, the Gospel as a whole is very flexible, as it should be. We have those still in the church, like my brother, who still do the literal Genesis thing. The gospel is able to cater to that approach. And then there are guys like me who follow P.P. Pratt's approach, and the gospel caters to that. And then everything in between, and the gospel caters to each one of them as well. The end goal is Faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring until the end. No matter which approach one takes, the Gospel is always directing adherents to that end. *Disclaimer: Views and opinions expressed by SteveO do not necessarily represent those of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or its membership
  4. https://books.google.com/books/about/Key_to_the_Science_of_Theology.html?id=H-8QAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button Heavy reading, but this might give you a better idea how miracles were understood by contemporaries of Joseph Smith. I suspect this way of thinking has been watered down, even among the LDS of today, but I think it clarifies the mentality of Joseph Smith better for someone who is not LDS
  5. When someone becomes disillusioned by church leadership, is it not because that leadership is at odds with their expectations of what divinely inspired leadership should look like? I’m saying their expectations for how a prophet should be are at odds with the reality. At the root of nearly every contention with the church is, I believe, the idea that the leadership is not divinely inspired. Whether the examples are of moral failings, failure to discern, factually incorrect or disproven theories, or just things that conflict with personally held beliefs—the common theme is that God isn’t guiding the leadership. And people become disillusioned because they can’t handle it. Now you’re saying they’re going off and doing their own thing—well yeah, because now they no longer believe God speaks through anyone on behalf of anyone. There’s no longer any need to know what the mind of God is—God is whatever they want him to be. It’s safe. I think if God isn’t offering uncomfortable suggestions from time to time—you’re doing it wrong. As for literally speaking through a prophet, I stand by my statement. The Lord reveals his will and mind through a prophet—but even a prophet has to be able to communicate that perfection in an imperfect manner, imperfect language, inadequate articulation, etc, etc. When President Nelson is speaking, he’s communicating the will of the Lord, but that doesn’t mean he does so without error. Anyways I’m on a sleeping pill, if the flow of logic is bad, I’m not taking responsibility till I can correct it tomorrow
  6. I’ve been listening to Allen Watts a lot recently. He has a line where he says that, (and I’m loosely quoting here) “A loving God would not allow his children’s brains to atrophy and rot by way of giving them a step by step handbook of everything to think, do, and believe”. I’m starting to see it (more like realize it) in a few other threads where people who have left the church or have become disillusioned are really the ones who have to be “commanded in all things”. They aren’t the “free thinkers” that they pride themselves to be. In reality, they just cannot bear the idea of a world where God is not literally speaking through a prophet. They can’t bear a reality where the onus is on them to go and “study it out in their minds”, and then go pay the price to receive personal revelation—because they really don’t believe God will speak to them. Far better, far easier to have someone else tell them what to think, do, and believe. Which is why, when leadership so often inevitably errs, they can’t deal with it. They can’t deal with Jospeh Smith going back to review the revelations and editing them. They can’t deal with his character flaws, or with any of the flaws of the succeeding prophets. It’s all or nothing. Either God is micromanaging the church up to and including how every red cent of tithing is to be used, or this is all a fraud with well intentioned people claiming to speak for God. Not saying that’s you, but I do think you’re reaching too far to try and find an error where there is none. When I give a lesson on the creation and fall, I’m going to give it as stated in Genesis. I’m going to give it as stated in the books of Abraham and Moses. I’m going to extrapolate while still referring to the creation period as “7 days”. I’m going to speak of Satan as a “serpent”. I’ll probably even throw in the Midrash commenting on how the serpent was cursed by being made to crawl on his belly, allowing him easy access to his prey, and thus the real curse being in the “easiness” of acquiring his food. Now, does Brother Steve really believe in all that being “literal”? I haven’t said, after each instance, “hey guys, you know scientists actually theorize the universe began 13.5 billion years ago and that life on Earth probably started out in the oceans as simple, single celled bacteria...hey guys, I really don’t believe Satan was a talking snake in the garden...etc, etc”. Do I really need to say that? Really? Or do I understand that people are at different stages of learning. That there may be some spiritually immature listeners in my audience who still take the biblical stories as literal, and may not be able to step outside that way of thinking just yet. Meanwhile, Brother Bukowski and Brother Robert are sitting in the back still nodding their heads in agreement, even though they’re doing so for completely different reasons than the spiritually immature sitting in the front row, also nodding their heads. I just don’t see President Nelson being literal on the rib thing. He’s expanding on the metaphor. The church for the longest time has taught that Adam was “placed here”. It’s even alluded to in the endowment. The prophet knows this. So why would he take the number of human and animal ribs literal, when he knows the act of creating woman from a rib is metaphorical? I don’t think you’re a guy who would appreciate a stop in the narrative each and every time with a “this is literal, and this is metaphorical” to precede a speaker’s commentary on scripture. Heck, even Jesus didn’t do that at the Last Supper when his listeners were absolutely confused out of their minds when he was giving them his flesh and blood to drink. The onus is on the listener to mature spiritually, and sometimes it’s confusing, and takes some thinking and study, sometimes takes life experience, and prayer, and on and on. It’s why we walk by faith during those times. And now we can talk about faith and hope, etc, etc...see how it’s all connected?
  7. ... But if I really believed in God and Jesus Christ--perhaps I received an undeniable witness of them--nothing against atheists, but disbelief is now no longer compatible with that witness through no fault of my own--would you not respect that? Your way or the highway? Not going to "change your life" for me? I thought that was the point of families-to be understanding of one another, to serve one another...
  8. Do you have this kind of charity and understanding for Sunday School teachers and leadership who may have mistakenly passed on inaccurate information regarding church history? Or are they deceptive liars who duped you and others all these years past?
  9. I don’t think so. You really just need to lack as much self awareness as “Changed” or even yourself have displayed on this thread.
  10. Ah, now we need legit examples...MY mistake...we can’t post just any old examples guys. They. Must. Be. LEGIT. Do you guys read your posts out loud and hear how ridiculous you sound before posting? Edit to add: what a waste of time coming to this board is anymore.
  11. A more interesting question: when the examples you seem to think don’t exist inevitably appear, are you going to be able to admit your mistake?
  12. Have you read/heard of Graham Hancock’s new book, “America Before: The Key to Earth’s Lost Civilization”? I heard an interview he gave, and his comments on how archeologists have been stuck in a box when it came to thinking outside the “Clovis First” theory. He made an interesting comment that based on the most recent evidence, there’s no way people could have made the journey to the Americas any other way except by boat on the Pacific, but it makes absolutely no practical sense...
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