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About rockpond

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    Mormon Libertarian

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  1. Another Faith Crisis Letter

    If someone were to bring up this letter or the CES letter to me, my response would be something like: I can’t possibly answer the questions in here to your satisfaction. Nobody can. So what are you looking for?
  2. False. Where have I shamed leaders? CFR please. Where have I asked to be spoon fed? CFR please.
  3. I disagree that it is the same thing, and not just having to do with the hat. Joseph reading the plates through a urim and thummim that were buried with the plates, for that exact purpose, is quite different than Joseph looking at his treasure digging stone in the bottom of a hat while the plates sit covered across the room. While I agree that both versions rely on divine supernatural powers, it is folly to dismiss concerns of members who see the latter as not the equivalent of the former.
  4. I agree that every individual and community frames their own story and creates their own narrative (and meta-narrative, in the case of communities). I believe there is both truth and bias evident in all narratives. When Elder Ballard stands in front of the church as an apostle and states that there has been no attempt to hide anything from anyone, when Elder Oaks jokes about how it was so obviously not hidden for the past 47 years, and when they claim that they can only act in an honest and transparent way -- they are building a meta-narrative. That meta-narrative permits the shaming of those who find themselves with doubts after discovering troubling facts in the church's history and doctrine that weren't a part of their experience in many decades of church membership.
  5. That makes sense. I saw it a little different (though still the same general idea) because of my experience. I was able to make sense of the difficult historical events and doctrines. My faith crisis was primarily caused by the betrayal I felt when I realized that there were all these things that church leaders never shared with me -- even after I had dedicated so much of my life to service in the church and education through its institutions. So I look at it as just the act of telling them early on will help... nuanced faith or not.
  6. In 2016, Elder Ballard put out the call to inoculate. But I’ve never heard anyone claim that the church wants a more nuanced faith for the youth. Who is making that claim?
  7. Except Joseph often used his own seer stone (the one that he used earlier in his life for treasure digging). And he put it in the hat rather than looking at the plates (which sometimes weren't even in his view). I think this is what CB is referring to. How many members know that the Book of Mormon they read was largely translated not by the prophet looking at the plates through the Urim and Thummim but by placing his head in a heat and reading words from a different seer stone?
  8. This is what gets tough for me to understand in threads like this one. If we all agree that the church is comprised of imperfect members, including imperfect leaders, why do so many seem to want to insist on a history of institutional perfection of the church? Why does identifying apparent mistakes of leaders get one labeled as a nitpicker, a critic, an anti-Mormon?
  9. I agree that there is no perfect comparison - which is why I wrote that it was not a "good comparison". Your Acts example is a much better analogy. I would recommend leading with that next time.
  10. Not everyone returned from their missions to find access to stacks of old Ensigns. I have a hard time shaming good and faithful church members for not knowing what to even look for or ask.
  11. I guess we'll have to disagree regarding the sufficiency of the teaching of the 1832 account over past decades. Hopefully we agree that the church does have some vested interest in building/maintaining faith and commitment among its members. With that as a basis, I would cite these three relatively recent comments from general authorities: Ballard's 2016 address to CES in which he called upon them to inoculate the upcoming generation and make the "gone are the days" statement. Church Historian Snow's call for more openness. Ballard's response in the recent YSA Q&A devotional wherein apparently out of ~4,000 questions the issue of multiple first vision accounts was a common enough theme to have made the final list of questions. I think these points illustrate that we, as a church, have not done all we ought to have done to help members understand both the existence and content of the first vision accounts. Onward and upward.
  12. There is a really significant difference between the four gospels and the 1832/1838 first visions accounts: The gospels had different authors and not all of them were eyewitnesses to the events they wrote about. The 1832 and 1838 first vision accounts had the same author and he was the eyewitness to the event. I recognize that this is the analogy used by President Hinckley (and probably others) but it is not a good comparison.
  13. What is generally taught to church members each Sunday and in general conference is the 1838 version. What is generally taught to investigators is the 1838 version. What is predominately quoted in general conference is the 1838 version. That’s what I mean by the narrative. What do I want? Not that it should be about me, but since you asked... Acknowledgement that members who were shocked and hurt when they learned of the multiple accounts and differences therein are not the ones to be blamed for not knowing. I would love it if the Brethren would publicly admit that the Church was not as forthright and transparent as it ought to have been regarding the content of the multiple accounts. And, we ought to include teaching the text of the first vision accounts in our Sunday curriculum (youth curriculum is part way there, not sure about adult gospel doctrine).
  14. Not really. I’m just interested in discussing my ideas.
  15. President Hinckley only mentioned that there are multiple accounts, he didn’t share any details. As far as I can tell, from what you’ve shared here, the full text of the 1832 account was only published in the 1984 Ensign article authored by someone who was not a general authority. My point was that the 1832 account was not a part of the church narrative. And in looking at the links you provided, that seems to be true. Per your list, it appears that prior to the 2003 institute manual, the 1832 account had been published just once, likely not in the curriculum*, and only alluded to by any general authorities. Have I missed something? * I agree that it’s tough to draw conclusions regarding curriculum since the old manuals aren’t online. But we know that the TOTP: Joseph Smith manual did not cover it and that seems like the most likely place.