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clarkgoble

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Everything posted by clarkgoble

  1. I don't think there's a way to know how common it was in absolute terms. However the Church's The First Fifty Years of the Relief Society they discuss it and that no limits were placed on it until Heber J. Grant and that under Joseph it was discussed. It's not until after WWII that we get Joseph F. Smith setting the current policy. "While the Authorities of the Church have ruled that it is permissible, under certain conditions and with the approval of the Priesthood, for sisters to wash and anoint other sisters, yet they feel that it is far better for us to follow the plan the Lord has given us and send for the Elders of the Church to come and administer to the sick and afflicted" You have official statements from the First Presidency in the early decades of the 20th century permitting and even encouraging the practice. (See the 1914 First Presidency Circular -- also quoted from in the lds.org entry.) See Jonathan Stapley's "Female Ritual Healing" for more references. Joseph F. Smith was prior to WWII a big proponent of female healing. I can't speak to your grandparents or how normative their practices were, but there's plenty of literature from before WWII promoting the practice.
  2. At the moment the policy is to call for the Elders. I personally am skeptical people are doing it for the right reasons but for more personal emotional reasons. But of course I don't know and it's not up to me it's up to God. I think those publicizing it clearly are making a more political point. I'm fine with it in theory, but think the policy needs to be changed by revelation from God by those with the proper authority. People taking it upon themselves are acting inappropriately IMO. But certainly historically it was common up through the 1920's and continued up until around WWII. Since then clearly they've requested we not do it. I'd not be at all shocked if Pres. Nelson changes the policy over the next few years. But until he does, it's inappropriate. He has the keys.
  3. If you mean the main oil companies, no. Typically a company like Doterra sells coconut oil as a "carrier oil." More or less an oil that dilutes an other oil - important for oils like oregano that can actually burn you particularly if you have wet skin. However you certainly can use olive oil - particulary if an oil starts burning you or if you get something in your eye. Most people have a bottle of olive oil on hand. But I'd think it'd be blasphemous to mix consecrated oil with something from Young Living or Doterra. Although in the early Church I believe annointings were done with oil mixed with cinnamon or the like. But I see that as an artifact of the era and more aesthetic than having any religious significance. I've no idea what Rowe is doing. I'm sure she's mixing and matching things and trying to get a following. To me what's she's doing is priestcraft. If God is involved then no money ought be exchanged.
  4. A lot of the claims you hear from oil advocates are nonsense, but there are a fair number of scientific studies on many particularly in animal husbandry. Things like oregano, thyme or peppermint oils as antibiotics. I personally find for an upset stomach that peppermint works better the pepto-bismal. The problem is that the business model most of these companies favor tend to incentivize outrageous claims that the companies can say they didn't advocate. The main problem is doing peer reviewed double blind studies with reasonable sample sizes. (A lot of stuff you see referenced by oil proponents has very small sample sizes and is thus not terribly meaningful) Legitimate studies that actually tell us things cost a lot of money and few are willing to do them. Energy stuff is popular. If I understand correctly the issue with Rowe was mixing religious language and quasi-priesthood actions with the energy healing. I suspect it'd get dismissed as just an other alternative medicine claims ranging from chiropractory through other such stuff were it not from that emulation of priesthood. As far as I know that's primarily Rowe and a few others with most other energy workers distancing themselves from that and outright upset at her. It's also worth noting that most energy workers don't use quasi-religious overtones. That said I think it clear that some, particularly in a few locations like parts of American Fork, have embraced it in a disturbing way. I'd hope people don't label everyone because of what Rowe and a few others are doing. There's a few you see retweeted on Twitter occasionally. I suspect were one to closely go through The Exponent or Feminist Mormon Housewives you'd find examples of people doing it. Here's one example and another I found with a quick google. My guess is that there's overlap between feminists wanting more eccesiastic influence and those using energy alternative medicine in a quasi-priesthood way. To me the issue isn't energy claims but these larger feminist issues. However it seems clear some are conflating them.
  5. Typically those bearing witness are doing so to the big items that were revealed not every nuance of the presentation. It's rather easy to assume he had revealed to him the destructions of the Jaredites and so forth but not a nuanced revelation on Book of Mormon geography. Thus he followed the then common view of location. I'm not sure unless he explicitly claims geography is revealed that we should take that as his revelation rather than the key things focused on.
  6. Don't have time to do that research this week. And of course one always has to deal with second hand accounts that might not reflect the nuances of Joseph's actual beliefs. (A good example of that is the Zelph accounts) There's also the issue that some ties to Times and Seasons which, while Joseph was the editor may again not necessarily reflect his personal beliefs. So there's the infamous "this land" question that geography folks like to debate. That said, for at least part of his life it appears Joseph held to a quasi-hemispheric model. Regardless of ones geographic theories, a hemispheric model clearly doesn't line up with the distances in the text. There's then the limited use of the Book of Mormon and limited references. One study found 22 uses of the Book of Mormon by Joseph in Nauvoo versus 451 for the Bible.
  7. I think my point is that this is not how contemporary feminism defines patriarchy. Rather it's the system itself (not individuals) to the degree it treats women differently than men. So any system in which men primarily have power or predominate in leadership roles is patriarchy in that usage. We can disagree over nuance, but the issue isn't how tight of control leaders hold but the inequity in the roles. Some might make further arguments about more equal access to power, but at least as I understand it that's somewhat separate. Although I've certainly heard a few using the term patriarchy for that. (A big complaint I have is inconsistent use of terms by feminists at time - particularly as a way for bait and switch arguments) I don't want to say no one blames all males. There's silly reactionaries everywhere. But in the more formal arguments (recognizing the ridiculous levels of diversity in the self-described feminist movement) I'm not sure blaming males is the point. If anything they blame the structure and then secondarily blame men and women who maintain the structures. Now in the particulars I'll certainly disagree with them over structural analysis. I think many tend to elevate formal lines of power and repress analysis of informal lines of power. I also think they tend to privilege the types of power educated upper middle class women desire. So there's no shortage of criticisms one can make. Even if this is due to evolutionary psychology though that doesn't mean it's not a system that shouldn't be critiqued and repaired. After all we're not passive victims of our psychological instincts. Indeed much of society's development is managing such biological drives. But most feminists, at least that I've read, tend to see the origin of patriarchy in biology. But they're attempted through our freedom and reason to create a different system than unthinking brutes follow. Well de Beauvoir had her own egregious errors - she wasn't exactly enamored of motherhood and marriage. And the way she and Sartre treated boys and girls is disgusting - a clear example of s#### abuse IMO. She just didn't pay enough attention to power relations and that contaminated much of her analysis. I don't think she really did understand love between a man and a woman as I think her life exemplified. I do agree things have changed. However to me the biggest problem is one big label for so many different views with a lot of bait and switch going on.
  8. I think there's "sins" but not sin in the sense of a breaking of a fundamental relationship with God. The closest in various humanisms like marxism is breaking with the community as a whole. However secular humanism of the sort we're discussing had that Lockean element that made such group relations difficult. Now that may well be an element newer formulations of humanism change. I've not kept up - but I think formal secular humanism is itself a much more marginal movement these days. So I don't deny that you see, particularly in "social justice" a kind of sin just as you do Marxism. I just don't think that's secular humanism due to the fairly libertarian strain within it.
  9. I agree with you. There are some key points of conflict that make secular humanism fundamentally incompatible with the gospel. Ideas of sin and salvation is alien to that conception. (Which I think we're seeing nationally as the very idea of sin become incomprehensible even to many raised in a Christian family) That said, I also think there's a lot of overlap which is what I suspect Mark is getting at. While we must turn to God, we're also taught that we should be about good on our own. We should be solving our own problems. Fundamentally I think too many of us wait for God to say something but think we should do nothing until then. That, to me, is completely opposed to the gospel in which we should constantly be anxiously engaged in good causes. So the idea that we need God to solve all our problems seems wrong. Often our religion places us into a place of responsibility where we act much as secular humanists claim we do. Of course I do think the differing beliefs over how the universe works changes what we see as problems and how we solve them. At minimum secular humanism generally sees religion as intrinsically a problem to be eliminated.
  10. I'd strongly disagree over the claim of "no one was victimized." The fact that something evolves either due to biological instincts or social evolution doesn't mean no one gets victimized either by the structures themselves or are allowed by the structures. It's not terribly hard to compare primitive societies and see some engage in a lot of victimization while others don't. The fact that it's natural doesn't entail it is good. I think Peterson is just fundamentally wrong here. I'd also add, that while I have many issues with feminists, the main issue is the terminology. Once you figure out how they're using the terms they're far less objectionable. I'll not get into a discussion of how terminology, particularly in the last 25 years arose and how it fundamentally miscommunicates to those not exposed to it academically. But toxic masculinity, as used, just means those stereotypical masculine characteristics that are anti-social. It doesn't mean masculinity is itself is bad. (Although that's how it's often portrayed particularly in conservative polemics) Most of the characteristics that get called toxic masculinity are considered evil "natural man" within our own religion. So in practice there's less problem here than some portray. Likewise while I hate the term "patriarchy" it actually just means structural inequities that no particular person has responsibility over. I think the idea that our current structures are due to cooperation and negotiation rather than sometimes unfortunate accidents of history is just difficult to accept. I'm enough of a Burkean styled conservative to think we should be careful with revolution without first asking if there are good reasons for a structure. Something that typically is not worried about enough in feminist critiques from the days of Simone de Beauvoir to the present. (The place of motherhood being the classic example) I think a common problem we have historically is assuming conservative Protestantism when we don't have explicit revelation. Most of the time that has not turned out well.
  11. I think it's a bit more complicated than that. There's no reason you can't get a revelation that a leader is wrong, but of course the burden of proof is much higher. What you can do on the basis of that information is constrained though. I fundamentally disagree with that, although the individual can't receive revelation for others particularly in a doctrinal way. So there's a relationship to incorrect belief by leaders which prevents one from challenging. If that's all you mean then I'd agree. But I don't think that's a particular esoteric conception of truth but a rather straightforward conception of leadership typical in most organizations. So I think you're conflating epistemological issues with authority issues. I think it practice that's what happens outside of key emphasized issues. But honestly there aren't many of those. The difference is of course claims to revelation so there's an authority issue there. But in terms of teaching there's lots of things deemphasized or new ideas that arise bottom up. (Limited geography for the Book of Mormon being the best example) I think there's a lot of truth to that. Part of the issue is the ridiculously rapid social change. Those periods come every few decades. The last time was around 1965-1975. We're right in the middle of an other rapid social change. People expect others to keep up - particularly the young. However I agree with you that expecting everyone to adapt when things can change 180° in just two or three years is asking a bit much socially. But since people do ask it causes significant intergenerational tensions. (Again like the late 60's) Yes although having more female voices involved in the judgment process even if not the actual judgment can alleviate many of those issues. (If they are listened to) So I don't think that's the major issue. However even if women were involved and listened to that wouldn't resolve the fundamental structural issue feminists are angered by.
  12. On an ontological level I think that correct. Epistemologically though I think there is a vast difference since knowledge of what gets called miracles is throughout Mormon thought. However secular humanism sees that not just as an ontological error if called supernatural but an epistemological error if people believe in the event. Put an other way the question isn't the nature of the event but it's reality. A secular humanist sees all "real" religious claims to simply be either deception by religion biasing judgments or basic errors in judgment. As a practical matter for Mormons while we retain the older rhetoric the practical political stance within homes has become a kind of democratic consensus between husband and wife. There's really no "leadership" in the sense of one figure with a trump over the other the way there once was. Indeed men who "lead" that way rather than by persuasion are seen as deeply dysfunctional and out of tune spiritually. However you don't have to go back many decades to see the shift in practice. The problem with the ideal. you outline is that even when women lead they lead at the suffering of the male leader. They always have trump power and can thus always undermine the woman's leadership. That's in terms of formal power. Again, that might not be true in home leadership where there's really no formal power relationship. Within Church leadership though it most certainly is. Now where I differ somewhat with feminists is that they privilege formal power over informal and tend to neglect the latter. So I'd agree with you that in many cases you have informal power by women that let them accomplish a great deal. However it's also the case that with the rise of correlation and the transition from 19th century Mormon practice that informal lines of power for women became significantly constrained. Part of that was inevitable due to large societal sexist structures. So with the professionalizing of many practices such as building, fund raising and so forth, women without professional backgrounds couldn't do the necessary jobs. However that in turn was parasitic on the place of women in academia and related professional training. That really only shifted in the 70's and 80's. However by and large the changes instituted from around 1910 - 1950 in the Church haven't adjusted to the change in women's role and professional skills. That understandably is a thorn for many women. I think that'll change and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Nelson and Oaks be the ones to change it. I think it's inevitably coming although exactly what the shape will be is unclear. A lot of Church structure is "arbitrary" in various strong ways. (Say Sunday School and Primary structure) It's not hard to see those changing. Likewise a lot of meeting structure is arbitrary. However judgement is the key power relation that many feminists understandably focus on. Even with Joseph's progressive treatment of the Nauvoo Relief Society it's hard to see those issues of judgement changing without a pretty major revelation. It's that power of judgment and command that ultimately is the focus and it's unarguable I think that the lack of equivalency entails a sexist structure. A divine mandated sexism but a sexism nonetheless. However the days when men hunted and fought regularly are far behind us. The number of children has significantly reduced. Even a "large" Mormon family relative to our secular neighbors is 3-4 vs 0-2. Contrast this to the days when much of a woman's work was taking care of children when men (and often women too) had to do hard labor to produce food or money to eat. Again those days are alien to much of the world. (Even in much of the third world thankfully due to changes over the last 20 years) The problem is that structures that may have made sense in a lower technological survival economy don't make sense in today's economy of plenty. That's the problem in keeping the structures of the past. Again though, it's up to God to change things if he desires.
  13. Not my field obviously so I can't say too much. I'll also confess not completely seeing the difference between provenancing and dating since often knowledge of the former (location) seems to given information about the latter. Not always, particularly if a site was used for centuries, but enough information to tie a date due to other information from the original site. Just doing a Google search it does seem like more explicit dating is starting to happen though although it relies on robust databases of the metal in question and sites of production. So it's not radio-isotopes by themselves but tied to a database of metals and provenance. At least as I understand it. I'm under no illusions that a night of Googling means I understand.
  14. "Isotopic Techniques in Archaeometry" I'll confess not something I know a lot about, but apparently with a knowledge of the chemistry of the alloy you can look at the relative frequency of the isotopes. It sounds like it's primarily used to identify sites for the components of artifacts. i.e. "Metal provenancing using isotopes and the Oxford archaeological lead isotope database" It sounds like it's a technique archaeologists are only starting to really make use of though for analyzing things like coins.
  15. I think a rethink of at least some of the arguments is in order. I think accepting that some things don’t work is in order. Ultimately I don’t think this a problem apologetically but I think people need to formalize carefully the alternative missing papyri theory along with variants of the catalyst theory including what I’ve called the deconstructive theory in which a text is “interrogated” rather than translated in a straightforward way. But right now no one has really tried to be rigorous on any of these. In theory this new JSP volume should make that easier by making the relevant documents more easily accessible. My guess is that in five years or so we’ll have some interesting theories based upon all this. As for FAIR my understanding is it’s all volunteers largely summarizing existing arguments. Some is good while some is weak depending upon who is writing it. Wish I had time to help but I don’t remotely have time.
  16. No. I think it’s just naive about the tensions inherent to its stated principles. In practice what they want is clearly a parliamentary style rule by elite where democracy is just choosing between competing elites perceiving themselves as a meritocracy. The problem with that is when populism comes up against this self perceived meritocracy as we saw with Trump and Brexit. They don’t perceive this as authoritarian. It’s just that they can’t fathom people thinking differently from what the elite want. I think the last 20 years shows the problem with secularism of the humanist sort. The Middle East, much to their surprise, didn’t choose what was to them obvious. Ditto post recession rise of populism. And I think in practice it leads to new social norms with a quasi-authoritarian nature not that different from the Puritan religious standards they decry.
  17. I think it depends upon what one means by sexism. By the straightforward sense it seems undeniable it's sexist. Leadership and power is simply not distributed equitably whether in terms of dualistic organizations or by effacing the male/female roles. That doesn't mean it wasn't inspired although I think one can quite legitimately ask what Joseph was heading towards with the Relief Society in Nauvoo. However with the rise of correlation and the professionalization of services in the early 20th century it seems clear any non-sexist organizations were lost. And one can always dispute how unsexist the Relief Society was even in the 1890's even if it was extremely progressive for the era. The problem is that even if one acknowledges a certain type of sexism it doesn't mean that it wasn't given by God. The assumption that the ideal should be here now often seems a questionable assumption. Some might say that authoritarianism is an intrinsic consequence of humanism that is implemented. That is the ideal goals towards which humanism aims and the principles which it thinks will lead to those ends are intrinsically in tension. At best humanism has a tendency towards elite control of the masses even as it says it is for democratic control. The question is whether the stated democratic principles and in tension with other principles. (Here thinking of the manifest from the 70's) That is despite having a strong quasi-libertarian thrust due to Lockean individualism there's an inherent problem between their democratic tendencies and their individualistic tendencies.
  18. Haven't read the full thread, but I know Chauncey Riddle was one of the big anti-humanist voices back in the 70's and 80's. When I took his epistemology class he made us all read the various humanist manifestos (not the most recent) and then discussed why he felt they were so incompatible. Alas I lost my notes and the class was around 25 years ago. There's obvious problems with the first (prior to WWII) manifesto. However to me even the later ones seemed problematic in various ways. That's not to deny a lot of overlap - any system attempting a kind of utopian social ethic will have a lot of overlap I suspect. The classic manifesto in 1973 certainly takes a very negative view of religion and "false theologies of hope." I think they had a far too naive a view of science and its limits as well. The main issue to me seems to be pushing people away from even seeking after God. The very idea of salvation is seen as harmful. Thus the key problems for a Mormon are, I think, epistemological in nature rather than political or ethical. I'd probably say that there's a distinctly individualistic element that runs through the manifestos up through the 70's that's a kind of Lockean stance I personally find problematic. That then manifests itself in the various ethical claims which end up being tied to individualism. Particularly with regards to sexuality or politics. Often the manifestos read like a kind of Libertarian alternative to the Communist Manifesto. I should add I've not read the latest take on the humanist manifesto, so I can't comment there.
  19. There's no explicit statement unfortunatley. The closest is the Cowdery statement. However it's also the case that there are early traditions that seem closer to what the text itself describes. So you have the early traditions of the gold plates being taken and put into a hill full of records. (See Packer's "Cumorah's Cave" for the sources) If one gives weight to those accounts then clearly it's not the hill in New York. There's also the tradition in early Utah of Moroni dedicating temples or the like. While I think it's fair to cast a skeptical eye to those accounts (which even in the original seem second hand) they do suggest a Moroni wanding quite a long distance presumably with the plates. There's also the somewhat controversial maps that purportedly originate with Joseph but which appear created much later. Anyway, I think there's at least indirect evidence in addition to the pretty clear textual evidence separating what Moroni did versus what Mormon did. As always I think we have to give precedence to the text itself. In various ways Joseph often displays ignorance of the text. (IMO) Which to me is always the strongest evidence that he didn't write the text.
  20. This definitely seems an unfortunate article to have published. If you're going to write something like this you better have your data all carefully checked.
  21. It's been a rather widely discussed problem. Only 43% of people would even say they could easily tell the difference. Admittedly for traditional news the rate was much better, but that's for what people admit. The bigger issue (IMO) is the actual blurring of news with more opinion within it. As I mentioned, DesNews current layout doesn't clearly distinguish opinion from reporting. One study from a couple of years ago found only 40% of news organizations label article types. I think it's a much bigger problem than you do - particularly articles that people discover via social media rather than perusing the main page of a regularly read site. Honestly I think it's a major contributing factor for why people trust the news less and less. And none of this is even getting into the problem of actual opinion appearing in what is more straightforward news stories.
  22. Interesting they're still finding things like this, although this one was apparently found and then resealed. While it might not tell us much about Book of Mormon issues, it is always interesting to me the nature of caves for the people religiously and how that may affect Cumorah legends.
  23. Umm that link to wikipedia dates it to the 19th century and the origin text to maybe the 2cd century. The controversy is interesting and it sounds like the plates are much smaller than the 19th cenutry text tends to portray them. (Or maybe I'm just misreading it) OK. That's fine. I thought you were making a claim about their actual age. Although to me the text seems pretty clear as to the dating.
  24. When you were 10 the distinction was probably mostly followed in the media. It's hard to believe you watch and read the media and don't notice the strong breakdown of that division - particularly in television news. People aren't being stupid when they disregard the distinction. The link I provided to Deseret News has no clear division in it. Unless you know the figures there's no way to know what's news and what's opinion. So blame editors and producers not the readers.
  25. The typical reader doesn't understand the differences that those in the industry do. Further most recent designs of web pages (including the Deseret News as the link I provided illustrates) don't clearly and easily distinguish punditry, op-ed and news. While those in the news industry make a lot of the distinctions it's pretty clear that in presentation the outlets do. Honestly I'm aware of the distinction but I find the distinctions blurry at best at most sites.
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